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That will have to do for sight in for deer season.

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,772 Senior Member
edited October 2021 in Hunting #1
Cutting it close as usual for the past few years, but I finally have my little .458 sighted in for the upcoming season.  I had grand plans of getting things mostly dialed in back in August with a final tweak this month, but ran into a few snags.  

Issue #1, my brass had two different case capacities.  I was trying to figure out some random flyer and erratic velocity change issues and by chance happened to start weighing my cases.  This lead to checking case capacity in water between my two distinct groupings of brass by weight.  Apparently I made my brass from two different lots of Sig .300 WM and didnt catch it before.  The lite brass is approximately 203gr (65.5gr H2O capacity) while the heavy brass is approximately 217gr (63.1gr H2O capacity).  I had to rerun the loads through QL and start over with settling on a load.  I decided to switch from a Speer 400gr to a Speer 350gr at this time since I am low on the 400gr, and now getting low on the 350gr.

Issue #2, split the laminate stock.  While testing the new load options I was using two different powders with IMR 4227 in the heavy brass and W296 in the lite brass.  I just wasnt having a good day at the range and was blaming myself for the crap groups, or so I thought.  At that point I threw in a known load and let fly.  It didnt hit anywhere near where it should have.  That was when I noticed what looked like a split in the laminate on top behind the receiver.  I packed up and called my dad on the way home (hands free in the truck) which resulted in a detour to my parents place.  Upon removal from the stock we found multiple splits in the laminate including the portion behind the recoil lug being shoved back.  Quick and dirty hopefully temp fix was done using a lot of super glue and a brass pin through the stock, followed by a proper bedding job (not the crap job Winchester did).

Issue #3, repair failed.  The next weekend I went to the range with my dad and after a handful of rounds it seemed okay.  After getting home I picked up the rifle and something just felt like it shifted.  I couldnt duplicate it, but I felt it.  Pulled the metal and sure enough what we were concerned about happened.  Time for a trip back to my parents and drop off for a not as quick or dirty attempt to get it to last through to deer season.  The area behind the recoil lug was milled out and replaced with a block of cherry wood.  The brass pin was replaced with a cross bolt and another bedding job done.

Issue #4, repair failed.  The next time I got it to the range things went okay, until they didnt.  Things looked okay, but not ideal with the 4227 loads and I switched to the W296 loads.  I noticed a huge POI shift with the first round, but was not completely unexpected due to some of the nature of this cartridges behavior, and the remaining rounds for that group and the two groups after all had the same shift compared to the 4227.  At that point I threw the MagnetoSpeed on and started doing velocity checks.  Knowing the chrono causes the POI to shift even higher I held really low.  No new holes in the paper, or backer.  Time to pack up again.  After removing the metal again, I found the cherry split and shoved back behind the recoil lug.  That was almost the end of my plans for hunting this season.

Solution, new stock.  Another trip to my parents and another solution.  My dad dug out an old black walnut blank he had laying around and figured he could get something workable before season.  Here I am three weeks later with my rifle back home.  Last weekend it was finished enough to take out to the range without too much worry about weather and this weekend it had enough oil and a coat or poly on it to protect it through the season.  Over the winter he might want to get a better finish on it, but thats his call.  Im thrilled with the results so far.  Last weekend I took some test loads to find the one to sight in with, and today I got it as dialed in as im going to for this season.

Sig .300 WM brass cut down, CCI 250 primer, Speer 350gr FP, IMR 4227, and should be about 2100 FPS.

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Wow!
    That's a bunch of problem solving.
    Stock looks great.
    Good thing you caught all that before taking to the field.
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,735 Senior Member
    Awesome work Dad!!
    Impressive that he could bang that out.
    One handsome rifle.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    The brass issue was a by chance kind of discovery.  A very unwelcome one, but also relieved to discover it as what was probably my flyer issue.  Over winter I may start over with a completely fresh set of brass.  Weight it out prior to even cutting to rough length and try to get 100 pieces close together in weight.

    I know he isnt satisfied with the finish, but it will do for the season.  Im guessing that after the season is over he will ask me to bring it back by for some work.  I think its great for what it is.  It was a rushed job for a hunting rifle that will see rain and snow.  The fact that it looks as good as it does in the time available is amazing to me.  I wish I had half his skills and knowledge when it comes to rifle building.  If time hadnt been an issue we would have made a proper stock that was fitted just right for me, but the factory one worked well enough so he just duplicated it.

    I almost thought I was going to have to get my .350L set up for this year when it first broke.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    Yep, that will have to do
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    That stock looks pretty darn good to me ❤️
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,190 Senior Member
    Good trouble shooting.  Your dad did good stock work
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    edited October 2021 #8
    I'm not complaining about it one bit.  I just hope this one can take the abuse of the cartridge.  If not, time for a repair and rebarrel to something less energetic.  The factory Winchester laminate failed after probably 600 rounds if I don't include the cast lead I played with for a while.  It shouldnt have failed, and I don't expect this one to based on other cartridges that have been just fine in black walnut stocks.  

    Hopefully Speer starts making the 350gr and 400gr .458 bullets again so I can stock back up.

    Just used the bathroom scale and it looks like the rifle also lost 1/2 pound going to a black walnut stock.  It comes in at 8 pounds with the scope.

    One of his previous professions was as a custom builder.  Many years working for a shop since it wasn't legal to do from home in the city I grew up in.  He pushed me to find a different career path if I ever planned on having a worthwhile income.  I keep hoping for a work turndown so I have plenty of free time to spend working on a project with him to try again to learn some of his skills.  
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Maybe a flaw in the Winchester product. Scope held up. Good deal there.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    I'm hoping it was just a flawed stock from the factory.

    It has a Leupold 2-7x33 on it.  I did have to replace the rings and bases since the front ring and base somehow wore out.  It took no effort to rotate the ring into the base and had some slop when rotated into position.  Now it has a set of Leupold PRW bases and rings on it.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    edited October 2021 #11
    Good hustle. All you need now is for a deer to cooperate. 
    Rifle looks good. How about a pic of a cartridge up close compared to a known. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    .300wm brass only
    .458x1.8, Speer 350gr
    .450bm, factory Black loading
    .35 Whelen, Hornady 250gr
    6.5 Grendel, Nosler 142gr ABLR
    5.56, Winchester white box



    I previously used it on a couple does with a 325gr FTX to less than stellar performance.  Hopefully I get a chance to use the 350gr this season.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    The original intention of this project was to drive a 325gr FTX at the same velocity as the .450BM drives a 250gr.  If I had been a little smarter about it I would have had the reamer made to cut a throat that would allow seating the 325gr FTX a little shallow in the case.  That decision early on did limit me a little with some bullets.  I was able to get the 325 FTX up to about 2150 fps, but it grouped better at 2100 FPS.  I didnt quite reach that goal, but close enough.

    Last year I was using a Speer 400gr but topped out at 1800 fps with W296 with poor grouping.  With IMR 4227 it would group well at about 1750 fps.  I have limited supplies of those left and had more of the Speer 350gr.  With a healthy charge of IMR 4227 they should be going right around 2100 fps.  I can get them over 2200 FPS with W296, and I may try that combination again after season to see if it will group.

    I have no grand vision of the Speer 350gr expanding as it has a minimum impact velocity of 1900 FPS and I will be below that by 100 yards.  I am mainly counting on the diameter and flat point, even if its small, to get the job done as long as I do my part.  The 400gr should have expanded at the velocities I could drive it based on what Speer claims.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,527 Senior Member
    Nice Work!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    After the years seasons that I can use this in are over, I will see if I can fine tune the load some more.  The 'flyer' bothers me only a very slight amount.  If I can tweak the load slightly and get all three to be together I will be beyond happy with it.  Right now, I am good with what its doing.  

    Based on the short shank of the Speer 350gr, and the Lee dies I am using I wonder if I am having some slight variation in how straight the bullets are seated in the case.  Maybe a Hornady seating die would be a better option?  
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,585 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    The original intention of this project was to drive a 325gr FTX at the same velocity as the .450BM drives a 250gr.  If I had been a little smarter about it I would have had the reamer made to cut a throat that would allow seating the 325gr FTX a little shallow in the case.  That decision early on did limit me a little with some bullets.  I was able to get the 325 FTX up to about 2150 fps, but it grouped better at 2100 FPS.  I didnt quite reach that goal, but close enough.

    Last year I was using a Speer 400gr but topped out at 1800 fps with W296 with poor grouping.  With IMR 4227 it would group well at about 1750 fps.  I have limited supplies of those left and had more of the Speer 350gr.  With a healthy charge of IMR 4227 they should be going right around 2100 fps.  I can get them over 2200 FPS with W296, and I may try that combination again after season to see if it will group.

    I have no grand vision of the Speer 350gr expanding as it has a minimum impact velocity of 1900 FPS and I will be below that by 100 yards.  I am mainly counting on the diameter and flat point, even if its small, to get the job done as long as I do my part.  The 400gr should have expanded at the velocities I could drive it based on what Speer claims.
     Big bullets been killing things for over 150 years.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    Even with no expansion I am still driving a .458" diameter chunk of lead and jacket through important bits.  I had an issue with the FTX bullets, but they did still work in the grand scheme of things.  Maybe I had a bad batch, or maybe they are just crap, I dont know.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    They group alright on paper, but on two does at almost perfect broadside shots they made a hard turn about halfway through and came out where they shouldnt have.  I just dont trust the FTX to track true and perform well.  I have no idea if the bullet even expanded or if it deformed and tumbled.  
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,080 Senior Member
    I have shot one deer with my 450 Bushmaster with an FTX, and it performed very well, with a straight blow through of the chest, taking both lungs and clipping the heart.  Deer ran maybe 20 yards.

    BUT- that was a sample size of 1.  Plus, it was shot at about 65 yards. 

    Hopefully will have more data tomorrow :) 
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,080 Senior Member
    Thanks!  The 250 grain FTX did its job, but it is a TX whitetail at 65 yards… so, it’s not a HUGE test of the bullet. But it plowed straight through, left a big exit hole, and dinged the bowhunting blind on the other side. 


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    edited November 2021 #21
    Well, no pictures of performance but it was a successful opening day.  This is my first wild buck.  It's also only the second buck I have spotted in the state game area.  The first was a 4 point that didn't present me a shot this morning.  Far bigger body and head than I ever expected to see out here.  





    The Speer 350 gr seems to have tracked straight through.  No tracking involved as it dropped on the spot, kicked 90* on the ground and that was it.  The chest cavity was nothing but mush and blood.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,190 Senior Member
    Well done
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    Nice buck!!!
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    For the state game area where I nap in the woods, it's an amazing buck.  Even my dad was a little excited to see the 4 point he spotted yesterday morning.  He was a but surprised when he came over to give me a hand.  Probably going to go to the local processor instead of butchering at home.  It's a lack of time to rough butcher at my parents and then do the final work at home.  Also, I don't think I have enough room in the freezer to add this guy in as well.  I may need to go buy another cheat freezer.  We had been limiting how much we ate from the previous deer since I didn't expect to be bringing  any home from the normal season.

    I'm thrilled that this is my first deer season buck.  I doubt I will ever top it on state land.
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
    Never say never! 😁
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    edited November 2021 #26
    160 pounds dressed.  Going to do a European style mount with the head.


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