I've lost track of just how many trips I've made to the range over the last week or so, but I think it's been well worth the effort. After a lot of experimenting and fine tuning of the ammunition, it now seems to run like a charm. The last few hundred rounds of test ammo have all cycled without a single failure, with the exception of some even lighter loads that were used to find out just where the lower threshold might be. The recoil is very light and muzzle rise greatly reduced too. Although open class guns with compensators are really noisy to start with, this one is now significantly less ear-splitting than it was! Last evening I chronographed the match load to see just how much velocity there was and how much variation. The variation over about fifteen rounds was about 5%. Even with all of the work to find the best and lightest loads that were still accurate, the power factor still is almost 145, but it sure doesn't feel like it's anywhere close to that. I tried it on a few bowling pins, before I had chronographed the ammo, and I was doubtful as to how well the load would work for getting pins off the table. Boy, was I surprised! The 147 gr. hollow point bullet and a power factor around 145 removed the pins from the table with any doubt about it. I was really surprised, considering how soft it felt to shoot. I think I can probably reduce the load by another 5 or 10 percent and have it still run the gun reliably, but for now, I'm sticking with what I've got.
Next Saturday will be another big test as we're off to the Eddie Brown Memorial Metal Match just East of Coeur d'Alene Idaho, at the new range in Kellogg. The weekend after that it's over to Yakima for their big match of the year, all eight stages of Steel Challenge. The week after that, it's a fun steel match at Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club, and the week after that, it's the Steel Challenge World championships in Piru, CA.
The next several weeks are going to be busy.........