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May 28, 2009
Video Blog: Shooting Over A Chronograph
By David E. Petzal
Out of curiosity, what were you shooting?
Looks like a Les Bauer custom model in maybe .30-06.
Am I close?
Looks like the infamous E.R. Shaw MK VII
I'll bet the manufacturer of that chrono made a fortune with people blowing those tiny sky screens to bits. Your a pretty steady shot Dave, I'd have to be rock steady before I'd attempt to hit the small window.
PS, On your recent job promotion was Christen a perk to change your targets too?
Be good Jim, Kristyn is a staffer who was getting shooting lessons for another up-coming video that day.
Nice rig Dave.How much does it cost?
To All: What I am shooting is the fabulous Shaw MK VII .30/06, which has a full-scale article coming up on it in the magazine. The particular version I have is $975; prices start at $650 and go to $1200. It shoots like a sumbitch.
I read an article in 'Handloader' about the E.R. Shaw Mk VII in .22-250 AI. Quite an impressive rifle, but I still can't snuggle up to that spiral fluted barrel.
What cartridge and load are you using including primer type and manufacturer? I believe I know why your book of sorrows is not having a happy ending.
O’this is too easy!
By the way, nice equipment Sir Dave, I bet you use a synthetic stock when hunting for the dings, bings and barbwire gouges!
Jim in Mo
What do you mean by bet ting the manufacturer of that chrono made a fortune with people blowing those tiny sky screens to bits! How about gutting the chrono out stem to stern!
That's a possibility, I've seen people blow apart the newer large triangle screens!
Told you it was an 06' ! I'd know that "crack" anywhere.
Dave, was that spiral fluting on your barrel. Isn't the rifling supposed to be on the INSIDE, LOL.
BTW, where have all the primers gone? Are there any small rifle CCI no.41 left in this world?
Don't tell David the rifling supposed to be on the INSIDE!!
I might hurt hid feelings!!!
I found that very interesting and very entertaining.
I don't own a Chrony and am not sure I want to. One of the reasons I bought my first bolt-action rifle in .30-06 about twenty-five ago was that a couple old timers told me that competitive cartridges like .270, .280, the 7mm and .300 magnums, etc. were all factory loaded 200-300 fps slow, whereas the .30-06, which was a low-pressure round, usually achieved factory ballistics out of the box. Gun writers, who assume that every child's first toy was a Lee Loader, don't care about factory ballistics, so I never found out if the old guys were right.
Were the old guys right or not?
Dave just curious,have you shot any of the kimber 84m's.If so what was your impression
Note to self: DO NOT ENTER A SHOOTING MATCH AGAINST MR. DAVID E. PETZAL. Actually and seriously, I have seen many persons shooting from a solid bench, who were less steady.
As for the chrono, I don't need one, and have turned down many opportunities to "run a few rounds through this thing to see if your load clocks with the books". What I am looking for is accuracy, at a velocity that is safe, and will allow me to reload the case many times. Thus, my ammo is considered by my shooting partners anemic, mostly. Older and wiser, I start a load at the recommended end of the manual listing, and work up at the rate the tech did, until accuracy is achieved, record that load in my own book of tears and continue upward until either accuracy suffers, or pressure signs show.
Then, I drop back 10 or 15%, load up a fair test, usually 10rnds. shoot three shot groups, on several days to see if the grouping is consistent enough for the purpose for which the load and rifle is intended. This method has worked well for me since 1963, and I see no reason to change, but I learned the hard way, with a chrono. The book said I could achieve 3850fps in a 22/250 with 40gr. 380 and a Win.120 primer. I loaded 20rnds., went to the range where my buddy had his chrono set up, and proceeded to show off my high stepper. The first round was hard to extract, but I saw my reading was only 3745. Didn't shoot any more, went home, pulled the bullets, and loaded 42gr. When I tried to open the bolt after the first shot the next day, it wouldn't budge, my buddy lent me a rubber mallet and I tapped the bolt open. My Dad said many times, while I was growing up,"son,foresight is not always very good, but hindsight is always 20/20". So It was with that prized rifle, you guessed it, I fired it again with that load that probably was 65,000 to 70,000psi., and the chrono said 3766fps. after I picked the brass out of my hand and proceeded to tell the whole world how I had been grossly misinformed and cheated. It cost me $35 hard earned cash to get a gunsmith to remove the barrel and open the bolt and resurface the bolt face, lap the lugs, and tell me how stupid I was. That taught me a valuable lesson. Caution is the best avenue for any handloader. And if you really screw up like that, throw the gun away, don't subject yourself to that kind of chewing out.
Sorry; I forgot to include the bullet in that formula. It was a 55gr. Sie. spitzer.
Just wondering here Dave... it sounds like a lot of the times you don't get what you want from the loads that you make but do you get what you want from factory loads?
Very good video Dave. You are as impressive on video as your are in print.
How about some info on shooting reduced loads for the more frugal types? I really enjoy shooting jacketed bullets with modest charges of shotgun powders. One can really get lots of affordable practice from a pound of Red Dot and 25-20 bullets in a 250 Savage or 25-06.
Sorry about the extra "r" in my last post. The coffee has not kicked in yet.
How 'bout trying some of Clay's reloads in that 'ought-six. Bet that would perk up your velocity figures. Me fingers are in me ears and I'm standing back already.
So how do you calculate your muzzle velocity when your chrono is 15 feet from the muzzle?
I use a ballistic calculator and just keep moving the MV until the "5 yard" reading is equal to the chrono reading. Usually 15-25 fps difference or so. Is ther ea better way?
I agree, might want to include some safety glasses as well...
Thanks for showing your minions that obsolete equipment is not necessarily obsolete.
To Florida Hunter 1226: For the past several years, every manufacturer whose ammo I've clocked has delivered exactly the velocity promised, and not infrequently, it's more. With handloads, I get what I expect probably 70 percent of the time. My on-camera whining was just to gain sympathy.
To WA Mountain Hunter: I don't bother. The bullet drops so little velocity at 15 feet that I simply count is as muzzle velocity.
To PBHead: Regretfully, I've never used reduced loads. Take the pain and fear out of shooting a rifle and what are you left with?
To Dick McPlenty: I've never fired any Kimber that was not terrific, including the 84M. Great, great gun for the money.
To FocusFront: What you've written is the exact opposite of what I've seen. The .270, et al, have always been loaded right up to specs. The .30/06, however, used to be loaded down, probably because of all the old, questionable '06s out there. You'd clock a 180-grain load that said 2,700 fps on the box and get 2,550, or something like that. No longer true. O6s are now loaded right up to snuff like anything else. There are too many chronographs out there for it to be otherwise.
To ye who have made mock of the Shaw's helical flutes: I, too, had my doubts until I shot the gun. Now, appearances be damned.
Sounds like David is having ignition problems with his reloads. I wonder if he is using CCI’s?
I don't own a chronograph either, but would find it interesting to see what all my loads from various rifles actually do for muzzle velocity. The only load I ever had chronographed was for my 7mm Weatherby Magnum in about 1993. Using 68 grs. of H-4831 with the 175-grain Nosler Partition from a 26" Douglas barrel, the readings were all between about 2970 and 3008 fps. I could probably increase that load a grain or two and eke out another 75 feet of velocity, but what the hell.
What the hell happened to the GM blog? Censorship?
I was waiting on someone to ask! Maybe, under the economic circumstances; it was pulled for "poor taste"?
I'd rather talks guns anyway.
What are you guys talking about, clue me in.
Dave, were you using powder faster than 4350 with a 180gr bullet?
Probably using slow burning ball powder like 760 or slower and CCI primers. I seen a lot of hang fires with that combo. Faster burning than 4350 it shouldn't be causing any problems
Jim in Mo-
DP had printed a short story about "how the little Cadillac car that couldn't go up the hill" I guess making the point that GM kind of had it coming for hard economic times...not his words mine but you get the drift.
So when I thought I was shooting my 180 grain .30-06s at 2700, I was only getting 2550? No wonder I missed those two deer.
Thanks for the response dave. That off hand shooting over the chrony was worth the video.I've seen plenty of guys evaporate chronies from the bench let alone off hand.Reminds me of what a local painter said about experience."After 30 years of doing something you're bound to become fairly competent,even if it is finger painting".
Video Blog: Shooting Through A Chronograph
My loads shoot what the book say!
Must be doing something right!!!
Ralph, thanks I guess I missed it.
Coop, the reason I said faster powder is I've used 4350 with 55grs powder and Partitions and hit 2700 with 22in barrel. With Shaw's 23-24 in. barrel 2725-2775 should be good to go. If you have a need for speed I don't think 56grs with that bullet is excessive with todays rifles and 2800fps becomes possible.
With the 24in barrel.
I initially utilized an old Oehler chronograph back in the seventies. Although an antique now we though it was marvelous in its day. A couple years ago I purchased a new Pro-chrono since the price seemed right and they came well recommended. The first day out the kid and I shot lots of rounds through the skyscreens with satisfying results. All rounds were from the bench including handguns as we tend to take lots of guns and ammo when we go shooting. My son, the kid, stood up to walk back and join me at my pickup where I was storing away stuff from the afternoon. He found one more clip of .45 ACP 230 gr hardball and decided to shoot it through the skyscreens but was now slightly elevated up a little slope from the bench. His first shot hit the front skyscreen at an angle. The entire chronograph, skyscreens, and tripod all flipped completely upside down so fast and hard that I was immediately convinced that he had "shot chrony". Amazingly enough only the front plastic screen was cut in two by the bullet as it missed the second one and hurt absolutely nothing else. Made for an exciting ending to a good day and lots of laughs after we learned what a chrony killing round the .45 ACP actually turned out to be. By the way you can purchase replacement skyscreens for only a few bucks so now I keep extras just in case.
After a morning of riding our foxtrotters the kid and I loaded up 8 rifles and 2 handguns for a trip out to our desert shooting range. After checking a few rounds through the chronograph of course the wind came up and it started to rain. In the desert you need to leave when it rains as the two track roads quickly turn to slippery gumbo. The kid wanted to fire one more .416 as he had previously selected a gigantic ant hill as a target. A 400 gr Hornady DG at 2385 fps or so sure makes those little critters angry when it blasts into their house. I couldn't convince the kid to dig out the bullet for closer examination. He must be getting wimpy with age being afraid of a few thousand black ants who don't seem to want additional excavation in search of a bullet.
Here’s a sweetheart of a load for your 30-06!
Remington 700 Barrel Length: 22 inches
Brass: Military or Military Match Lake City 62 or
Bullet: Hornady 190 grain Soft Point Boat Tail
Powder: IMR4831 58 grains
Primer: Federal 215 Large Rifle Magnum
Prior to listening and watching David shoot lead me to believe he was far better at Microsoft Words equipped with spell check and stuff than his shooting ability. For his chronograph to last 25 years and being 4 generations obsolete such as the one I have, I find he is a better shot than he lets on especially being a “south Paw”!!
Coop, Sounds like a powerful load do you have any pressure signs?
I thank you for this video. I remember something on the message board about chronographs, and i had no idea what they where. I thank you for explaining what it is and what it does. I would like to ask for more informational videos like this one, if it is not too much to ask for.
Well done Dave! You're videos are always very interesting and of high quality. I was also impressed that you were shooting offhand through those tiny screens. Keep up the good work and keep the videos coming. I'd like to see you shoot some groups off the bench. That would be fun to watch.
Coop, Meant to add. I can see the value in using a LRM primer in an '06 and cold weather with compressed powder. I've just never tried them.
I know what you mean about the chrony. My Ohler model 35 still works great. However, a muzzleloader sabot hit the front screen and chipped it badly. Still works fine. Message to all. Plastic sabots don't necessarily follow the bullet. At 20-25 feet they have plenty of energy to damage your screens. Either don't shoot them over your screens or move the screens way back. The Ohler has a large window to shoot thru-didn't matter.
If the load posed a pressure problem, I wouldn’t be shooting them especially handing a box or two once in awhile to my friends.
I’ve found using magnum primers in “SLOWER” and I SAID “SSLLOOOWWWEERRR”!!!!! Burning rates powders starting with IMR4831; I get more stable velocities and pressure. The byproduct, stable performance in both Desert and Arctic conditions. The pressures and velocities across my chronograph showed no noticeable changes in ether environment, just pure awesome performance. I wouldn’t use Magnum primer in any 25/270/280/30/35/338-06 case slower than IMR4831. Winchester 760 I have found using CCI’s200’s in 25-06 I’ve experienced hang fires! Perhaps it may have been the batch of primers. For Win 760 I use Federal 210’s and Winchester WLR except for my IMR4831 loads in 25-06 where once again I use Federal 215’s and Winchester WLRM
My Fathers rules to remember!!!!!
Using a Military case is like adding 1 ½ grains of powder
Using a Magnum Primer is like adding 1 ½ grains of powder
Reduce your load to mid loading data 3-4 grains less of max and then carefully work back up
Required disclaimer: This opinion does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Wear sunscreen, protective eyewear, and hearing protection. Buckle your seatbelt. Call your mother. --The Armchair Outfitter
David E. Petzal,
A complement on your shooting from Coop is high praise indeed! The rest of us blind squirrels find an acorn or hit our target every once in a while too.
Can any of you guys tell me what a REMF is? As relates to a combat zone.
I have a new word
It’s shiot, a new word for a misplaced shot!
if the first shot was thru the antler which is not a killing shiot!
From the 1st Bn 69th Armor
Glossary Of Vietnam Terminology
REMF - Rear Echelon Mother ???????
Remington Raider - "Stretch" Grohman term for REMF (above); anyone typewriter-armed; see also "Smith-Corona Commando"
Smith-Corona Commando - "Stretch" Grohman term for a REMF (which see); anyone typewriter-armed; see also Remington Raider
Del in KS
Man be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. I can’t believe this Crusty Ol’Air Force NCO knew it and you didn’t!
I have come to conclusion David is a better shot than he lets in on! Sure like to get him out in New Mexico for a Yodel Dog hunt! Especially if I can get access to White Sands Missile Range like I did before I retired.
Del, I am sure you know what a REMF (Rear Echelon Momma (Trucker) I cleaned it up a bit! ;)
Sorry I should have known Clay got there first :(
"Those USAF boys sure know a REMF when they see one"
...lexicon of 503rd Inf(Abn), 173rd Airborne Brigade, LZ English.
You should have kept shooting Dave. At the rate of increase you were having with each cartridge, 5 or 6 shots more and you'd have been in the numbers!!! ;-)
The video sure brings back some embarassing moments; like the time I took my Chrony to the range to settle a dispute about exactly how much velocity is lost between a standard length barrel M1A (22") and the then new Springfield Armory SOCOM-16 with its 16 inch barrel. I set my Chrony up too close to the bench and blew it over on the first shot. I also blew the faceplate sticker off of simply stuck it back on. I did have enough presence of mind to tell the guys in the next shooting station that "I meant to do that!" I moved the Chrony back and fired 3 more rounds and saw that I was getting > 3,000 fps with military surplus 7.62 X 51mm in a 16 inch barreled rifle. Yeah right, and that's when I found that the Chrony should be 15 feet away from the muzzle. After moving the Chrony back to 15 feet, the rest of the day was enjoyed obtaining some decent data to settle the 16" barrel velocity loss debate.
Oops, bad editing. I blew the Chrony faceplate sticker off of it, and simply stuck it back on to the front of the Chrony.
Guys, I was being facetious. Any Screaming Eagle Viet Nam grunt would know a REMF when he sees (or reads) one, heh, heh.
Del in KS
Using Dave's chrony like he does reminds me of shooting thru the knotholes of two boards.
Dave if your chronograph told you the Dow Jones you would shoot yourself. Romance and rifles... I'm thinking shooting offhand is true love and a sandbag is a one night stand. Nice video.
I just now got my kid, yeah the one that I consider an excellent shot with almost any gun, to watch Petzal versus chrony so he could compare to our experiences. His opinion is that utilizing Dave's method rather than a bench the kid would probably shoot the chronograph in just a few rounds. Dave impressed him and that's not so easy to do. It got me to thinking about a fellow I once knew who put a 6 power by 40 mm Leupold on a Remington M-700 in 6 mm Rem. His goal was to become the best offhand standing up rifle shooter in the world. Somehow he managed to find time to shoot a while every afternoon. Really just plinking at extended ranges utilizing whatever target he happened to spot such as lumps of clay, rocks, dark spots on the hillside, etc. He was good at this about 20 years ago so I wonder if he has improved with age. I don't know where he moved to.
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