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Light load for a CMP match

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stevenjay1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 09 2018 at 6:31pm
There is a monthly CMP match at my club and I shot my No4 Mk2 last month and I did awful!  Mind you, I'm over 70 and don't expect to out shoot a 20 year old but I would like to give him a run for the money. My thought for the next match is to reduce the powder load (IMR 4895) with a 174 grain .312 Hornady bullet so I'll hit close or in the black at 100 yards without using "Kentucky windage". Plus less recoil would help as well.  Has anyone taken this approach and if so, how were the results? Thanks, Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 6:33am
I regularly use a Hornady #3120, 150 Gr bullet at about 2450 fps, out to 300 yds its the same as a MkVII & recoil is noticeably milder.
The Hornady #3120 has a better profile than the Speer 150 gr bullet for seating depth, BTW.

My no 4 Mk2 actually prefers the 150's to the 174/180's!
I don't have a 4895 load, as I use 38.0 gr 3031, but go from the manual 1/2 way between 2400 & 2500 & you should be really close.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 8:06am
I can tell you my No4 Mk2 Sniper clone shoots Prvi 174 FMJBT's with 39 grs of H4895 very well. I had experimented with 40 grs of the same powder, but it likes this load the best. Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 8:42am
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

I can tell you my No4 Mk2 Sniper clone shoots Prvi 174 FMJBT's with 39 grs of H4895 very well. I had experimented with 40 grs of the same powder, but it likes this load the best. Good luck!
 
Exactly what I use at the shorter ranges, 100 & 200 yards. I have a permanently damaged right shoulder so recoil is an important factor.
When shooting my Envoy (7.62mm) at longer ranges the extra weight of the rifle helps me use hotter loads.
 
 I have used 140gns gas checked lead with 10gns of Red Dot at 100 yards in my SMLE and my No.4 but it is only marginally better than staying at home and watching day time TV.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 11:36am
I use the 150 grain Hornady over 22 grain of 4759 for a wopping 1800 fps but it shoots into the center of a SR-1 at 100 yards using the battle sight  I claimed my first win in a CMP match with it in my P-14.  It has very little recoil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 11:42am
Was that supposed to read 100 yard's? I hope so! 
If not I'll have to take up sewing instead of shootin'Shocked

Steve, if you find a good reload that suit's your shoulder and groups well; you can possibly alter the front sight blade height to zero it to 100 yards. It depends on what the original sight height is of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 1:25pm
Originally posted by Zed Zed wrote:

Was that supposed to read 100 yard's? I hope so! 
If not I'll have to take up sewing instead of shootin'Shocked
 
 
May I recommend a good supplier of tools and accessories for your new hobby....
 Geoff Ives. Sewing machine Services. Oxford.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 2:45pm
Me Owwwwwww!
LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 4:09pm
Yes 100 yards, I corrected the post above
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevenjay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2018 at 5:59pm
There are some great suggestions, thanks.  I like the load with 4759 but that powder is no longer made.  I also like the idea of shooting cast bullets.  My No4 has a mint bore and should do well with cast bullets.  However, I no longer cast.  Does anyone know who cast .312 or .313 303 bullets?  Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2018 at 10:16am
Steve, I shoot a fair bit of CMP VMR.  My No. 4 shoots very good with the .311 174 gr. SMK and the .312 Hornady 174 gr Match.  The bore on my No. 4 slugged at 0.3035.  If your bore is a bit on the large size, the .312 Hornady may do better.  I'd bench shoot the rifle with a few different loads and see how it does first.   
 
I found Re 15 and Varget does very well with the 174 gr. bullets.  I load with 40 grains of either powder, produces velocities a bit lower than the Mk VII service cartridge, about 2370 fps if I recall correctly.  I've not actually tried 4895 in the No. 4, but Re 15 and Varget meters better, Varget is less sensitive to temperature change.   I don't weight all the charges either, just not worth the effort for this rifle.  This load in my rifle shoots about 1.5 MOA off the bench for 10 rounds, just about holds the X Ring on the SR target. 
 
My best scores in the CMP VMR matches were 293-9x and 290-11x with my No. 4 loaded with the 174 gr. SMK and 40 grains of Re 15/Varget.  I use a Creedmoor shooting coat and US Military 1907 type sling.  I've also reduced the size of the aperture on the Mk 1 sight (allowed by CMP rules), this was critical for me to see the front sight clearly.  I also use 1.0x shooting glasses. 
 
If your rifle is a Mk 2, it should have the 1 MOA click adjustable rear sight; and you'll have to adjust the front sight (left or right) to zero the group at 200 yds (or if you shoot the reduced target at 100 yds).  No real need to change the front sight height, just record the rear sight elevation setting for the range you shoot at.  I find the 174 gr. bullet at a reasonable velocity has very little wind drift out to 200 yards unless your in a fairly stiff cross wind. Then you'll need to apply some "Kentucky Windage".  
 
I've done a bit of cast bullet shooting from No. 4's and I've never gotten close to the accuracy I get with jacketed bullets.  Perhaps I didn't experiment enough or used a large enough bullet.  The LE barrels groove diameters are typically larger than 0.312 , so I'd think you would need a 0.315 or so diameter; I'd slug the bore to find out.  The other benefit of jacketed bullets is that the higher velocities give less wind drift.      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevenjay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2018 at 1:12pm
UPDATE  Well, a deep subject and so is the .303! I loaded up some .303 last night using IMR4895 and a 150 grain .312 bullet.  Looking back in my notes this is a load that has preformed well in my No.1 and P14.  I thought this would be a good starting point.....WRONG!!  I used four different charges, 38, 39, 40 and 41 grains of 4895.  The 38,39 and 40 grain all shot about a foot low with the rear sight set at 100 yards or meters, not sure.  The group or pattern size was the same, 8ish inches.  Now, the 41 grain load, there was definitely a sharper report and recoil.  I checked the primers on the two cases I fired and the primers were flat, very flat.  OK, Enough is enough so I stopped and headed home.  If I thought the last loads were an embarrassment, these were worst!  I was surprised the 41 grains of 4895 showed high pressure signs as this is my standard load for my other .303s including a No.4 I sold.  So, my thoughts are to first slug the bore on the new No.4 and see if the bore may be tight. Perhaps the .312 bullet was oversize.  At least it is a start.  I have to go the Manchester next week and I'll pick up a can of Varget.  After I slug the bore I'll look at the bullet selection.  I already have some 174 gr bullets.  We Will See. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2018 at 6:00am
Steve, I think you did right on stopping until we figure out what is happening here.  What type of primer are you using?  Some have thinner cups than others and softer material.  41 grains 4895 does not seem excessive for a 150 gr. bullet.  Did you have any trouble opening the bolt with this load?  Usually that's a positive indication of excessive pressures.  I see some flattening of WLR primers on my .303 loads, even ones that are fairly mild. 
 
The poor grouping may indicate an issue with the forend fit and not so much the load.  A good fitting forend is critical to accuracy with the LE.  Particularly look at the condition of the sloped "draws" surface towards the rear of the forend, it may be damaged.  If it is a standard No. 4 forend, the barrel should have firm downwards contact at the muzzle.  Make sure the front trigger guard screw is tight.   
 
I would still slug the bore to give a good reference point on bore and groove diameter.  Use a soft (pure) lead bullet so that it easily upsets into the grooves.  I can't recall the nominal groove depth, I think 0.0055, so a 0.314 groove depth would not be unusual and a .312 bullet diameter would be just fine.  As your rifle is a Mk 2, I would expect bore/groove dimensions to be good if it has the original barrel.   If the bore is under 0.303, I would probably stick with .311 bullets. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevenjay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2018 at 8:07am

Thanks for the input, I have completely disassembled the rifle, cleaned and lubed where necessary. When I reassembled the gun I made sure the screws were equally tight and then checked the barrel for fit with the forearm.  The barrel is just resting on the bottom on the bottom of the forearm and has a little space between the top of the barrel and top part of the forearm. I think all seems well with the fit. the bore slugged at just a hear under .311, so a little tight but not bad for using a.311 diameter bullet.  I was using Winchester primers and did not realize they were soft.  I have some CCI I'll try next and see what happens. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2018 at 1:48pm
What was the bore diameter (i.e. diameter across the lands)?   

With a .311 groove diameter, I would not shoot .312 bullets.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevenjay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2018 at 11:53am
After quite a bit of work I have found a great load that works in my No.4 and should give me a better showing at the next CMP match.  I'm using 40 grains of IMR 4895 and the Hornady 174 gr. .312 round nose bullet. Here is a picture of the two three shot groups showing sight adjustments. I still have to continue to work on the sights but I'll get there.  It may have to wait for awhile as the weather is turning (getting cold) and snow is forecast for later in the week.  Here is a picture of two groups and yes, I pulled the third shot on group #1. Thanks for the help.
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