Monday, November 14, 2016

Plinking in Squamish, testing two 50 BMGs

Sometimes it's really hard to find time to get out and shoot, especially when it comes to some longer ranges (longer than the furthest local range which maxes out at about 300m).  It's even harder to co-ordinate with pals who have similar interests with different schedules.  Compound that problem with trying to get out when the weather is decent and you soon begin to realize that sometimes timing trumps weather and despite wind, rain and or snow, you just have to get out and do it.

When we got to our spot in Squamish, the rain was coming down in sheets, though it's hard to see in the photos.  It was a bit cold, around 7 degrees, so not horrible, but not exactly comfort weather either.  If there was one thing I learned about the first two times coming up here, is that layering up is extremely important.  I'm still trying to figure out the best kit to bring on these trips.  Next time, more waterproof gear, and more insulating gear to keep warm.  

I should also remember to put on said waterproof gear early on in the day instead of thinking about it when I'm already soaked like a wet rat, lol!  Also, I have to remember bringing two sets of gloves, one for working and setting up targets and camp, and a pair strictly for shooting.  I set up with my shooting gloves, got them soaked, and they were wet for the rest of the day, doing absolutely no good to me in keeping my hands warm.

The wind really picked up at times, and at one point, nearly lifted our pop-up canopy, which offered very little in terms of shelter from the wind and rain.  It's hard to stay dry under it when the rain is coming in sideways.  

It's hard to tell from the photo, but uur shooting range consisted of this rickety old road (dead-end on both forks) made up of loose rocks and streams of water slowly eroding the thing.  Who knows how many more seasons of shooting we will have here, but it seems to be getting more and more sketchy every time we go out here.

Quick pic of the 860m target stand through my Steiner.  

Alex shooting his Sako TRG42 (my previous rifle) in 300wm.  He had no problems hammering the gong all day at 480m, 630m and 860m all day long.  Why the hell did I sell it, lol!

Alex also brought along one of his most recent builds, a Remington 700 in 7mm-06.  

Colin with his extra-gucci tripod.  His 6.5CM was having no trouble landing rounds on steel as well, despite the crappy weather.

Jay's latest Manfrotto setup with his Savage 10TR/XLR Carbon set up.

I took my Remington 700P out to plink with this trip.  It needed to be zeroed but we didn't set up any target sheets.  I was using my cheap Atomic ammo so I wasn't planning on shooting groups, just get a rough zero and call it a day.  I did this first with a simple bore sight, then I picked small rocks to shoot at from about 100m.  When I was hitting everything I aimed at, I figured good enough and went for the 680m gong.  Considering the horrendous wind and rain, I was able to smack the torso sized gong with little difficulty so I was happier than a pig in shit.


And my Cadex CDX-50 TREMOR.  I picked up an F-class LRA bipod from PGW and the major difference between this and the one that came with my LRT-3 is the bore sits a little lower. with the F-class.  Other than that, both are excellent, robust but light bipods, quick deploy and easy adjustments.  

I still don't have a permanent scope for my TREMOR so I borrowed a buddy's S&B.  If you're wondering about the cam tape, that's the color of the rifle it came off of.

We tried two different types of ammo, 660gr American Eagle FMJ XM33, and 750gr Hornady A-MAX Boat Tail.  At the max range (860m) we were shooting at, the wind didn't really affect either by a great degree, so the only real difference we noticed was the 750gr had a bit more kick to it (heavier bullet, more velocity).

The TREMOR performed as expected, AWESOME.  Managed to nail the 860m gong on the first shot, so I'm not concerned about accuracy or precision here.  The one thing I did notice was the TREMOR had a lot more recoil, despite that wicked looking brake on the end of the barrel.  I tried shooting 660gr through it and it still felt like I was getting punched in the face by cheek rest.  I had to grip the $hit out of it to prevent it from bucking my face off the cheekrest and my had of the grip (you can see this in the video further down).  

When I was just picking up the long range precision thing, I was told that I don't need to apply a ton of pressure on the cheek weld, just enough as though I was falling asleep on it.  With the TREMOR, you will not be caught napping on the cheek rest, so I'll have to re-evaluate my shooting technique when running this rifle, lol!  At the end of the day, despite me momentarily losing my man-card, the round went where it was supposed to as promised by Cadex, so I am more than satisfied with the TREMOR.

The LRT-3 performed no different than the last few times I've brought her out, that is, perfectly.  Rounds landed exactly as predicted (after figuring it out in Strelok and actually putting in the temperature this time). Definitely less recoil than the TREMOR.  I tried the 660 grain first, then threw in the 750 grain and yes, there was a bit more kick with the extra 90 grains in bullet, but not nearly as much as 660 grain in the TREMOR.  The LRT-3 is about 988 grams, almost a whole kilogram heavier than the TREMOR, so I wonder if this has something to do with it, or the muzzle brake?  Aside from the weight and muzzle brake design, the other variables in terms of ammo, chassis , barrel, and overall dimensions are fairly close between the two rifles.

PGW LRT-3 Recoil

Cadex CDX-50 TREMOR Recoil

The weather was getting pretty horrible near the end of our shooting session (when we brought out the 50s) and since we weren't doing any accuracy or precision comparision tests between the rifles, we started goofing around a bit.  Jay wanted to free-hand both 50s white standing, but as it turned out, that would have been a bit too dangerous.

Hopefully the weather co-operates with us next time, but I have a feeling fair weather shooting is a ways off.

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