Ted’s essays

no magic bullets

I have recently been looking into subsonic rifle loads for full-sized bullets. By full-size I mean enough power to be considered adequate for hunting and defensive purposes. Less recoil and less noise are attractive, but I have found that sub-sonic rimfire (.22LR) can’t even clean-kill whistle pigs. One way to go, of course, would be to just get a carbine that shoots pistol ammunition for the purpose. The popular handgun loads all come with subsonic options or, as in .45, never do go supersonic. The speed of sound is about 1,130 feet per second. That varies a bit depending on conditions. I feel comfortable working with 1050 and below as subsonic and figure 1200 and above to be supersonic. The […]

ammo load testing

I meticulously assembled 7 groups of loads with 165-grain Hornady SST bullets. The hand-weighed charges ran from 5 with 43.4 grains of Varget powder to 5 with 44.0 grains, every group of five separated by tenth-of-a-grain increments. I also loaded up and tested 7 groups of 168-grain Sierra HPBT match bullets. These were pushed out by 42.7 to 43.3 grains of Varget, also groups of five in tenth-of-a-grain increments. My shooting was all done at 200 yards from a bench rest through the Leopold scope my .308-caliber AR-10 always wears. The wind was kind to me, not disturbing us at all. The targets were some 50-foot rapid-fire pistol targets I had a lot of. While not ideal for load testing, […]

flippin’ bergers – part 1

All I have used in my .308 are target bullets and target ammunition. I wanted something in this versatile rifle that could actually DO SOMETHING. From my reading, Berger’s 175 OTM Tactical is a great hunting round. So I aim to find out. I loaded up 3 each in 3-grain increments from 42.8 grains up to 44.9 grains of Varget… hand-weighed powder charges, of course. While my reading led me to think the 44.0 load would be the cat’s pajamas, my rifle definitely prefers 43.7 – as you can see. Keep in mind that These holes were punched from 200 yards away. Most of us would be pleased with this as our 100-yard group. It measures 1 1/2 inches from […]

ammo load testing

I was looking for this article this morning. Since it was hard for me to find, I am posting it anew here. It is from The Fixer over a year ago. Swiss K31 I built test loads for a couple of rifles. Monday’s weather was as suitable for testing as I was going to see for a while. It wasn’t real cold and very light winds grew into pretty light winds by the time I’d finished. I probably did my testing upside-down as the notch-sight rifle results are questionable anyway, while the scoped rifle would likely perform noticeably better with no wind. The Swiss K31 will spend its entire life with challenging-to-shoot-well notch-and-post sights. Especially with older eyes, the rear […]