Precision Shooting

PapaG

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I came into a few years of PS magazine and am amazed at the lengths guys will go for extreme accuracy.
I’ve shot BPCS, small bore and muzzle loading competition even taking a few trophies and setting a national record. Ancient history.
I’m embarking on a quest of my own to see just how tight I can make groups out of a single shot center fire rifle.
I’ve shot 1 1/4” at 100 and 4 5/16 at 200 with a black powder rolling block.
Now I’m playing with a TC Contender Carbine in 30-30.
I have several moulds that have done well in 308, 30-06 and 30-30. I have a trimmer, neck turner and reamer. Sizers in 308, 309, 310, 311. Powders in a dozen flavors and a half dozen lubes.
Good scope, good barrel (1” with factory 170s) but 80 year old eyes. Going to be fun.
Will be shooting a NEF 45-70 alongside.
 
If you really want to tackle shooting small groups, pick one cartridge and stay with it. I am pushing 70 and no longer group shoot but if I were to get back in, it would not be with a 45-70, especially not a lightweight one. Even my soft shooting 50-70 would not be my choice for groups. Unless I was going for one shot groups.

The 40-65 and the 38-55 are good, soft groupers. I am currently considering finding a good load for my 22 Hornet. The less recoil, the better!

Kevin
 
If you really want to tackle shooting small groups, pick one cartridge and stay with it. I am pushing 70 and no longer group shoot but if I were to get back in, it would not be with a 45-70, especially not a lightweight one. Even my soft shooting 50-70 would not be my choice for groups. Unless I was going for one shot groups.

The 40-65 and the 38-55 are good, soft groupers. I am currently considering finding a good load for my 22 Hornet. The less recoil, the better!

Kevin
Those guys in Aulstrala are pretty serious about their small bores. My son calls the hornet the baby 30-30. I kinda want one.
The 38-55 was well liked by the Indians at the Pala range for Silhouette.
 
Comment to subscribe. This should be fun to watch. I love loading my 30-30 with all sorts of screwball loads. Best accuracy accuracy so far has been with light for caliber cast bullets and pistol powders. I do have a load with H335 and a 165 grain cast bullet that looks to be even more accurate but needs a good range day to be sure. I’m using a 336 with a fixed 4x rimfire scope but I hear single shots work even better. My cast loads are around the same velocity as Velocitor or Aguila Interceptor 22LR, so the rimfire scope works pretty well.
 
An awful, awful lot of what many, many folks believe influences precision of ammunition is either pure voodoo which does absolutely nothing, or it's so insignificant that ONLY short range BR guys for whom the difference between a 0.0X group and a 0.1Y group means the difference between a win and 10th place.

Hornady and Applied Ballistics are doing some fantastic science of late - really expanding upon the foundation of information learned in the Houston Warehouse decades ago - to debunk tons of unsubstantiated ideas. More than anything, we're witnessing that MOST reloaders and shooters are finding confidence in coincidence - they see two groups on a page, of which inevitably one has to be smaller than the other, and they believe there MUST be a reason the one is smaller, and attribute some false advantage to whatever difference they believe caused that group to be smaller that one time.

For me - I buy good barrels, feed them good bullets, use proven powders for the cartridge, use cartridges which are easy to tune, set appropriate neck tension, and I put 3-5 bullets into knots from 0.1-0.3moa. If I can do it, anyone can.

But I warn folks - only chase the rabbits which get you fed. Going down the wrong trails will just wear out your feet and leave you hungry. I certainly wouldn't let myself get distracted by neck turning or reaming for a 30-30 in a Contender. I'd pick ONE powder and ONE bullet, and I'd make it shoot.
 
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I’m 80 and have the TC.
I’m 20 years or so younger and still enjoy shooting my T/C with a 10” .30-30 barrel. My best loads for serious target work are 180gr Sierra RNSP over 30gr of IMR 3031. That’s not a terrible load with the right grip but I save it for freezer filling. For fun I use Blue Dot and 110gr FMJ Carbine bullets. The old flaming dirt loads never fail to impress. :)

I have a dozen or so loads in lead and copper jackets I’ve worked up over the years and very few translate well to a lever gun - I sold my Stevens 340 last year so I no longer have a bolt action.30WCF - the T/C seems to be its own thing. Enjoy!
 
I’m embarking on a quest of my own to see just how tight I can make groups out of a single shot center fire rifle....Now I’m playing with a TC Contender Carbine in 30-30.

I have several moulds...

Are you on quest or playing? You are not going to find the tightest group you are capable of shooting with a 30-30 contender, shooting cast bullets.

I have a Van Horn .22 hornet contender barrel thats <.5 MOA with jacketed bullets but if you keep your eyes out here https://benchrest.com/class/index.php?a=5&b=197 you can find deals on stuff that shoots very small for penny's on the dollar, of what they cost to build.
 
I guess I'm playing. I don't intend to get in competition, just see how far I can get with what I have using PS techniques.
Nothing wrong with playing. Just have fun and do your best. The goal is to get the best groups out of the platform you can, right?

Don’t worry about the $10K crowd. Shoot what you got and see how it goes.

I highly recommend the T/C specific loads book.
I have Vol 2. Lost or gave away Vol 1.
 
Nothing wrong with playing. Just have fun and do your best. The goal is to get the best groups out of the platform you can, right?

Don’t worry about the $10K crowd. Shoot what you got and see how it goes.

I agree 100% but its always easier to solve a problem, once we have it defined.

Huh? Shooting cast bullets is a sport all its own.

Sure but if they were known to shoot better than "match grade" jacketed bullets, the "j words" would need their own sport to be competitive but they don't. Its the other way around.

Doing "fairly well", wasn't in the OP. If your goal was to see just how tight of group you could shoot out of a centerfire rifle, would cast bullets be your pick?

I understand the OP's goal now though. I figured defining that would reduce the noise in the answers given.
 
Doing "fairly well", wasn't in the OP. If your goal was to see just how tight of group you could shoot out of a centerfire rifle, would cast bullets be your pick?

Two different things. How tight a group could I shoot out of a centerfire rifle, how tight a group could I shoot with cast bullets. Plus how tight a group could I shoot with black powder. The groups got larger in that order but I was only comparing like to like.
 
Two different things. How tight a group could I shoot out of a centerfire rifle, how tight a group could I shoot with cast bullets.

Exactly, from the OP.

I’m embarking on a quest of my own to see just how tight I can make groups out of a single shot center fire rifle.

Thus my question in #8 in an attempt to steer answers in the direction the OP is looking vs the ultimate accuracy direction others were pointing.
 
I agree 100% but its always easier to solve a problem, once we have it defined.
Sorry but I missed the part where @PapaG said he was trying to solve a problem.

It sounds like a pretty cool project. I have a Super 16 barrel for my Contender frame and a full length stock with a nice forearm made by Bulberry.

The T/C is a capable platform but it’s not a $5000 beginner competition platform. Then again, they’re not $5000. 😁
 
Don’t worry about the $10K crowd. Shoot what you got and see how it goes.

A guy doesn’t have to be part of whatever is a “$10k crowd” and doesn’t have to be chasing competition to BENEFIT by not being persuaded into wasting time doing things that those folks have proven to them do not actually influence precision.

I know what’s on the pages of those magazines and what bad advice is on forums like this from folks who believed the same bad advice, wherever they found it. Like I often say, chasing the wrong rabbits won’t get you fed.

Someone shooting a standard neck chamber (not a “tight neck” which requires neck turning, dimensionally) for competition won’t benefit from neck turning or reaming. Why would someone with a Contender in 30-30 benefit from it? Someone competing won’t benefit from weight sorting cases or primers - neither will someone shooting a Contender in 30-30. If the game for the OP is cast bullets, as much of a handicap as that is, then MAYBE measuring and sorting bullets might improve consistency of the lot, but only in recognition of the relatively inconsistent nature of casting. Someone competing won’t benefit from any of a hundred wild ideas you might read on the pages of those magazines or forums like this, so don’t fall into a trap of thinking someone with a Contender in 30-30 will benefit.

Pick a bullet suitable for the barrel, pick a powder suitable for the bullet in the cartridge, and make it shoot. If it doesn’t - then pick a better bullet or a better barrel.
 
We'll being a single shot, using pointy bullets in the 110-150 range with faster powders would be where I start. Bullets made for 30br would be my focus.
 
The "problem" is his quest.

We have multiple threads going on right now in which folks are calling Mini-14’s “accurate.” Pragmatism and purpose aren’t a high priority around here.

Folks build go-carts for racing which will never be as fast as a stock car. But they race them. I can dig “doing the best within the class of competition.” Someone might own the most accurate Mini-14 out there, someone might be the fastest running lineman on the football team, even though neither would survive contact against better options.
 
Agreed, I am guilty of creating my own problems to solve, as that is how I play.

Why I asked the OP, what he was after.
 
I should have mentioned that this is not a new endeavor for me, just a new platform. I shot cast bullets years back in competition and have done the weigh and seperate, heat treat, turn, tight neck, whatever. Thanks for all the input, critique and suggestions.
 
I should have mentioned that this is not a new endeavor for me, just a new platform. I shot cast bullets years back in competition and have done the weigh and seperate, heat treat, turn, tight neck, whatever. Thanks for all the input, critique and suggestions.
Yup. Gathered that from the first post, along with reading your posts over the last few years. You’ve only been posting here for 14 years so how is anyone to guess you might know what you’re doing? 🤣

Since you cast your own this might not help but I have had good results from HiTek coated and gas-checked 175gr flats in the 10” barrel.

You didn’t say which barrel you’re using. If it’s the TCA Super 16 that’s a nice one. Bulberry makes the best in my uneducated opinion.

Be safe and have fun. Looking forward to seeing your targets.
 
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