Took today off and took two of my bolt action rifles out to Iron Mountain for some long range shooting. Down here in the Inland Empire there's a bit of a breeze ... should have known better. I make the trip up into the high desert and it's blowing up pretty good. I'd estimate a good steady 10 miles an hour with gusts upto 15.
I set up shooting straight into the wind and lased off a 100 yards range. I bust out my old faithful Ruger .22-250 and fire up a few shots. Typical of a cold barrel with this rifle the first shot is 2" right. The next four group less than 7/8" of an inch even with the wind. Each blast throws up a shower of dust even with a mat laid out. A few more groups are just as pretty.
I switch rifles and break out my brand new Remington 700 in .308. Its got a one piece scope base - which I don't like as much as the Ruger's two piece base - the one piece blocks too much of the loading port. I'm using a Harris bipod settle down behind the Springfield Armory 4-14x scope sitting in ARMS #22M rings. First two shots are 8' high and 13" left. A few adjustments and I was centered. I cleaned the rifle and laid four shots into the target. The "group" was about four inches large. Clearly the rifle doesn't like this ammo (PMC 147 target ammo).
I switch back to the Ruger and enjoy a couple more sub-MOA groups. The Remington's stock trigger is better than the Rugers. I've adjusted the Remington down to 3 pounds. I'll have to check the Ruger's but it doesn't break in as much as a surprise - not that breaking glass feeling. The Ruger has a good trigger - the Remington has a great trigger.
Backing up to 200 yards and swtiching the .22-250 ammo my group opened up to 4" and shifted 7 inches right into the strong wind. I tweaked the scope and brought the group back into the COM. This second handloaded ammo isn't as accurate as the first different loading. Four shots from the first batch brough the group down to 2" again - and right 7". Seven inches difference between the two load!
200 yards is a long long way to walk back and forth in the blowing sand and just plain wore me out. It wasn't easy to see the target though my spotting scope due to the wind and heat mirage. I've got to get a handful of different .308 loads and see what factory ammo the rifle likes. I'll roll up some of my own rounds but won't start to attempt to tweak a round until I get at least 100 rounds though the rifle.
One last comment the Ruger's Weaver V24 scope was much clearer and at 20x easier to find the bullseye. The Springfield scope even when cranked up to 14x wasn't strong enough for fine target use though the heat mirage wasn't as bad. Eventually I'll get the Remington it's own scope - looking at a Leupold M2 currently but I'm not willing to spend that kind of dough until the barrel shows its metal.
Glad you got a chance to get out.
What is that downrange in the second photo, a car?
Where is this shooting area?