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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the last 5 years I have only shot targets at 100 and 200 yards as that is as far as the public range goes.

I have had some good shooting at 200 yards but for the last 1.5 to 2 years I haven't shot at 200 yards. My eye sight suddenly changed for the worse in 2014. All my rifles are now zeroed at 100 yards. But recently I have had some days of 20/20 and 3 weeks ago able to ring steel at 300 yards in a 30 MPH wind, loved it.

So today I took the 2 hour orientation of a range 20 minutes away that goes out to 880 yards. I am going to shoot my AR15s and AR308s in the Ground Hog Bench rest competition, their matches are either 200/300 or 300/400 yards.

Since all my ARs are hand built I have to shoot in the Custom category against F class rifles shooting 6MM rounds. My 308 Gold Medal Sierra Match King rounds are $1 each and have a 25 inch drop at 400 yards with a 200 yards zero.

As most of you know I have built a LOT of lightweight ARs, the 6.8 is down to 3.2 pounds and the AR 308 down to 4.7 pounds.

But years ago (before adjustable gas blocks for me) I used an A2 buttstock with a Tubbs adjustable butt plate even had a huge rubber pad.





Thinking of adding a lead weight of 3.6 pounds to those stocks. I can switch the A2 heavy stock to different rifles in seconds if they all are using a rifle buffer tube. So the stock could be on my heavier (5.3 pound) Juggernaught Tactical 18 inch 5R barreled 308, or my 204 Ruger with 18' Wilson Combat barrel.

Building an AR 15 with H's 6.8 SPC18 inch 5R rifle gas system now. It has shown very tight groups so far with cheaper ammo. I still have some 140 Bergers from SSA, and can easily get more bullets (have 100).

So I will be pushing 10 pounds with scopes that are all higher powers. All the Vortex are 24 and the Leupold AR is 18 power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So please help me with more ideas of getting the groups down.

Going to start out by getting a good 200 yard zero on all my rifles. Learned my lesson many times over and will stay with one brand and weight of ammo for each gun.

Also anyone have a 3.6 pound butt stock weight they will sell or trade?
 

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So please help me with more ideas of getting the groups down.

Going to start out by getting a good 200 yard zero on all my rifles. Learned my lesson many times over and will stay with one brand and weight of ammo for each gun.

Also anyone have a 3.6 pound butt stock weight they will sell or trade?
I read another post that indicated you found a weight. That should help a bit. FYI, the 3.6 lb weight was too heavy for my match service rifle as I got older. I replaced it with lead .45 bullets so I could tailor the balance for off-hand by adding or removing bullets. Probably not important for benchrest.

For me, the secret for small groups at distance is a bubble level attached to the pic rail where i can see it just before the shot breaks. Inconsistent rifle cant is a group killer. True BR rifles have flat bottoms for this reason.

Another requirement is finding the highest BC bullet that groups well in your rifle. As you know, high BC's yield less wind drift.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I am only going to shoot bench rest with BIG scopes, 18 and 24 power. Those service rifles with iron sights are not for me and my bad eyes. One can always use the service rifles for weight training. Plus I am already OLD, but looks like most of the guys shooting Ground Hog Bench rest competition are as old as me, with a couple of 50 year old whippersnapers added for diversity.

I have a Vortex bubble that attaches to the Vortex scopes, but just looking at the turrets top I am usually level.

The lead in the A2 buttstock is the easiest way to add weight and make for a slightly less recoil for spotting the point of impact. I might even try a rear bag, but so far I don't use one.

I use a cheap Caldwell front rest, might have paid $30. I am betting some people will show up with those super adjustable $300 to $500 rests.

Me, I am just going to try to get better. Many of their matches have been held in 20 to 45 MPH winds, I usually quit when it gets above 25 and the County Range shuts down then. But the club range they keep shooting!

Will look weird as almost all my handguards are carbon fiber.

My A2 stock with Tubbs adjustable plate weighs 26 ounces. Add the 53 ounces with the lead weight and stock will weigh almost 5 pounds, the Juggernaught Tactical 308 barreled rifle weighs about 5 pounds without scope. So 10 pounds and another 18 ounces scope and mount.


One of the things I want to try is to see the accuracy of the heavy rifle with lightweight action components ( Ti carrier, lightweight 2 ounce buffer) compared to full mass carrier and stock or heavier rifle buffer. I can go to almost 9 ounces on the rifle buffer with tungsten weights. I will always use an adjustable gas block though.

I have shot half inch (5 shot) groups at 100 yards with the light weight components and FG 175 SMKs. But just want to have fun and finally shoot 300 and 400 yards in a friendly competition. Pretty sure no one else will be using AR's.

I might build the ARP 5R 6.8 18 inch barrel as a heavy upper, but I don't like most sharp edged hand guards.

I might also shoot my Savage 10TR bolt gun in the stock division. Just I enjoy shooting the ARs more!
 

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by ground hog i presumed prone position? if so, how do the old guys get up and down, they have a hoist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Concrete tables so they don't have to hire that hoist. My understanding 5 targets with 5 rounds per target at shorter distance and same at greater distance. You are allowed some ranging shots at each distance too.

http://dsrpc.org/category/match-results/groundhog-benchrest/

They have Precision Tactical Rifle and many other matches too. I may not be competitive as far as results but any day shooting and a chance to get better is a great day.

I always have a plan for every day shooting, work on something to get better.

Learned we can't shoot the rattlesnakes, rabbits or yotes that cross the ranges all the time.
 

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I started out shooting pistol competitions back in 2006 and got hooked on the running and gunning stuff. Then tried 600 yard Fclass with my bone stock R700 SPS in 270 shooting 140gr bergers. Boy was that a bad idea. Shoulder still hurts. I showed up with some FR pant legs filled with creek sand for my rifle rest.
It was good times too. Range got shut down in 2008 so never shot a rifle match since.

Now I just don't care to drive 2 or 3 hours to the nearest Fclass match so I just shoot on the farm.

Sent from my hiding place
 

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if you can use it in competition, try the Caldwell Tack driver rest bag
http://www.chuckhawks.com/caldwell_tack_driver.htm

and lots of practice---spending your $$ on ammo and time shooting at the range, this will help more than any "do-hickey" you can buy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use a cheap very worn Caldwell front rest. Never used a rear rest. The way I manage the 308 recoil (which is bad for me) is I hold the magwell with my left hand, and pull back hard on the buttstock so it is very firm into the right shoulder soft part.

I like the Tubbs stick canted so it doesn't rest on bone.

 

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Are you allowed to use rear bag on the bench? If so, pick up an egw bag rider for the A2 stock, gives you a parallel to bore surface to plant in the bag. Also, they make them for round hand guards. Since you are a factory ammo shooter, try out the ABM match grade ammo, individually weighed charges and Berger bullets... http://www.buyabmammo.com/308-win.html

Beyond that, trigger control is going to be the big factor.

-Alexander
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have 40 to 50 boxes of 175 SMKs from Federal. Read many have used the factory ammo in F class matches and done well, so it will be good enough for me. It has a good BC and is reliable from box to box.

Hoping to get to 500 meters this fall, don't need 6.5 Creedmoor or other fancy stuff at that range. Just going with what I have in the garage already. Have a full weight NiB 308 BCG and a DPMS target style pistol grip.

Sunday going to watch a Ground Hog match for a short time, see what targets and rifles they are using. Then sign up for the next match, after I have zeroed all my rifles at 200 yards.

I have the Savage 10TR for stock class, a 204 Ruger AR15 and the AR 308 to try in the matches. Both the 204 and 308 weigh just over 5 pounds before adding the heavy A2 stock. Since I can see where my bullets strike now as light weights, should get easier when heavy.
 

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Yes, 175smk is good, but think about it like a rimfire, it may he excellent ammo, but maybe not what your barrel likes best. I shoot my 6.8 in long range silhouette and do just fine, so if the 308 recoil gets to you, try the 6.8. But, from the bench, good trigger and recoil management is king. Have someone with a modern smart phone video you shooting, most new phones have a slo-mo video feature. Watch the recoil cycle and see how and where the gun is moving off target.

-Alexander
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Already tested from 130 to 180 grain and the barrel likes the 175 SMKs best.

Remember I have been shooting this rifle at 5 pounds using a titanium carrier and a empty buffer. With an adjustable gas block and a good muzzle brake I can shoot 80 rounds without difficulty.
 

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I assume you will be shooting at DSRPC , looks like they use paper targets for their groundhog matches, shoot two yardages and score both plus grand aggregate. I think some bag riders might be a good option to keep your gun under control during recoil to minimize how much you need to readjust each shot.

How's the vertical in your groups? Seems like they use a 1 minute 10 ring too, so if your vertical dispersion is low you should be good to go if you can keep up with the wind. Do they allow feeding from the magazine? If not, a "bad lever" is a nice addition for single feed matches. The long range matches I shoot are single feed, I only need to take my trigger hand off, grab a round, hit the lever and get back on the gun.

Either way, those groundhog matches look like fun! I'd like to find one up this way, or maybe catch one of the $49 flights to Vegas from here in Stockton, if they allow guns to be checked. Would be cheaper than driving to Reno, lol!

-Alexander
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
AR 15 in 204 Ruger
Rifle has been transformed into a long range bench rest rifle with an A2 stock with 3.5 pound lead weight in the stock and a DPMS Target pistol grip. The stock has a Tubbs adjustable butt plate that weighs about a pound.
Rifle has a Vortex Viper 6-24 x 50 scope and Vortex scope level



Next Ground Hog Bench rest match is September 11th, this time at 200 and 300 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alexander,

I noticed the 32 grain and the 40 grain Hornady 204 Ruger rounds have nearly the same drop at 300 and 400 yards.

Do you think the 32 grain would be better at 200 and 300 yards on a lower wind day? Hornady doesn't list the wind drift factors.

I was going to re-zero my AR 308s and the 204 yesterday, the public range is closed for a week for the American Marksmans Regional. Since I don't have my membership to Desert Sportsman range yet (they cashed my membership check) I have no place to shoot for a week. Didn't shoot last week due to dentist and taking Hydrocodon.

So I have to wait until the 24th to put that 200 yard zero in and get my shooting form back. I need to shoot 3 times or more a week to shoot my best, got till 9/11 till the 200/300 Ground hog meet.
 

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Which ever has the better BC, typically the heavier bullets have a better BC. You could take the info and plug it into JBM calculator and get your wind drift deltas.

If you can't get out to live fire, dry fire training is very effective. Especially if you watch your reticle movement on target during trigger pull. For precision shooting I often times will squish my fingers up under the trigger guard above the nub (A2 grip) so my trigger finger isn't dragging on a standard flat trigger guard.


-Alexander
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Also getting my AR 308 with the accurate Juggernaught Tactical 18 inch barrel ready just in case it is a 25-35 MPH windy day.

I will be using the rifle buffer tube, the Tubbs adjustable butt plate with an A1 stock. Filling the A1 stock with 3 pounds of lead weight!.

Just measured the length of this 308 stock set up, about 11.0 inches so only half an inch longer than an A2 stock. The rubber LimbSaver plate is super soft, really cuts the felt recoil. With this set up I probably could shoot a 338 Lapua, at least for a couple of rounds.

The AR 204 Ruger is using an A2 stock with a Kick-EZZ rubber A2 butt is barely over 11 inches too. Need to take a pic as the 204 shown at the bottom pic has the A2 stock with the Tubbs and is too long.

So will have common length of pull when switching from the 204 to the 308.





 

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Didn't read all of it. BUt weight will help.

It also goes back the the 3 rule. The 3 things that will shoot well are barrel, trigger, and glass. The rest just hold it together.

What trigger are you running?

Also other points would be to practice. Get your breathing right, your trigger control and follow through, etc. A class with a vetted instructor would help with this. Never underestimate the advantages of taking a class.

Also the other aspect would be since your loading the quality.

The biggest thing I have found that helps with my shooting is having ammo that is consistent. Case length as well as OAL. And the powder charge. I find that drops the sd and ed down the most is having a consistent powder charge. If you are using ball then it is easy. If you are using stick then you have to put more effort into it.
 
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