Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Match Ammunition

We spend a lot of money on this sport, and if you're active at bigger matches, a decent portion of that budget goes towards match entry fees, hotel, gas, rental cars, airfare, food, etc, while attending those big matches. We all want to go to a big match and do well, don't we? Why else would we spend that time and money, and do things like, I don't know.... practice? And yet, many of us travel to those matches with a big weak link in our shooting bags, and many times we do it cause we're just flat out cheap!

So, with the match season getting into full gear, and with folks approaching their first or second big match of the year, it seemed like a great time to discuss a subject that everyone seems to be thinking about around this time of year: Match Ammo!

Hit the DR Performance Shooting website for the full article!


catfish said...

Clearly one of the "little" things that get lost in the fog for some folks.

I would add something that really hit home for me at A4 last year.

Chrono your ammo in something other than direct sunlight - most of us have learned that by now.

But also measure off more than 10 feet when you run your test chrono loads.

At A4 last year, they had two chronographs that we shot through, and one was several inches in front of the other.

No big deal you say? Well, I chrono'd at 169pf or so. On the further of the two chronos, I was at 163pf.

And that was only a few inches away!!

I learned a good lesson there, and whenever I'm testing loads I'm at 11-12 feet from the chrono. If my loads make pf there, they will do so at the standard 10ft you'll see (or should.... but that's another story) at the majors.

DaveRe said...

Derrick, another thing to realize is that there is no standardization in chronographs. No one sends a chrono out for calibration, for instance. We're all aware of differences between manufacturers, but even consecutively produced units from the same company will show differences. 5% is not all that unusual as the wide variance, and with a 180gr .40 load, that's the difference between 169PF and .... [drum roll please] ... 160PF!!!

Quite frankly, until a standard is described and enforced that insures that every chronograph reads the same real speed (at least in as much as an optical sensor based chrono can), its a guessing game. So, your suggestion to create a "worst case scenario" is a very good one - do everything you can to protect yourself from not meeting the PF you need... In the swing from Major to Minor, you lose about 10% of the match points right off the bat... In the swing from Minor to sub-Minor... well... you lose 100%... ;)

catfish said...

It's a black magic indeed!!!

Mike said...

Very good advice, Dave.
Going minor at a major match is less than fun...and 164.97 is still minor. Trust me. I know. :)


Calamity Jane said...

Dave, your advice about loading is dead on as usual. My husband loads with all the care you described and we have never minored at a match...well with the exception of Nationals last year...but who really wants to remember that...I'm sure it didn't really happen....just a bad dream or something.

Anyway, good stuff on your blog..and RIGHT ON about the ammo thing.

catfish said...

Hey, you need to get busy on that exercise article!!!

DaveRe said...

Yeah, buddy, I hear you! :D Been super busy over here - should see it up soon, I promise!