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BHW 223 X-FACTOR PERFECTION

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GLSHOOTER:Apr 6, 2012 at 2:32pm


A little package showed up at the house yesterday from RPG out of St. George, Utah. They are sponsors here on the site and Ritch Johnson is the man behind the curtain.


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The box knows it's way from Phoenix to St. George vary well. Inside was an upper that Ritch assembled for me. This one sports a 24" bull barrel 1:8 satin finish mounted up in an Aero Precision Upper with a JP adjustable gas block. The FF tube is one from Young Manufacturing. I put a genuine COLT BCG in it along with a no name tactical charging handle.


The interesting thing about this barrel is that I had Kiz, here at BHW, do some mild laser work for me. The barrel is satin and I knew that the lettering would not "pop" per se but would be almost ghost like in its' appearance. I figured correctly and the effect is very interesting. The letters disappear and reappear as the light strikes them differently.


I wanted the BHW logo on the barrel as a confirmation to everyone on the line what they were up against, not that I would EVER play mind games with anyone, and I wanted something unique to set the tone on my rifle. I'm not a real flashy guy and matches are won by the diligent and skilled not the flamboyant and boisterous.


This one was built for F-Class matches between 500 and 1000 yards that I want to participate in. The matches are a challenge to any shooter but many times the winner boils down to the X count on target. X count means a lot so I figured that if I could bring the heat the deciding thing would be the X factor in my matches. So that is how we got X FACTOR on the barrel. All Kiz had to work with was an example of some off the wall script I found and her laser. She went the extra mile and did some extra work on the logo side that looks very clean and, IMHO, very classy.


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The rifle was together about an hour after I got the upper, I had to have lunch, and came out nicely. That is a Vortex Viper 6.5X20 on top set up in 30 MM Burris Signature rings with the poly inserts on a pair of YHM mini-risers. I popped a Harris bipod on the tube and dropped the upper on my match rifle lower that I built up with a Geissele High Speed trigger. I also have two pounds of #8 lead shot in the butt stock to bring the weight up and help me fight the recoil. Weight limit on this rig is about 22 pounds in the field target class it shoots in over the F-Class course. I will be giving up some weight but I think I'll live. This one scope, bipod et.al. weighs exactly 14 pounds.


Here it is on it's foray into the dazzle of a Phoenix spring day.


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Not the quality pics that Kiz does but I hope good enough to get it across on how nice this one looks.


I am tickled that it came out so well and will be chronicling the rifles progress as I break it in and work up my long range match loads with a PD popper on the side.


Thank you all at BHW for making me one pleased fellow.


Greg

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GLSHOOTER: Apr 8, 2012 at 11:56am


I made it to the range yesterday to sight in the 6X45 for my upcoming match. Thanks to life happening and getting a late start I only manged to start the break in procedure I use. That lasted exactly five shots and then I had to know!!


Light was going and I was tired so I laid my GEICO body down on the mat and went for it. Of course I would hit that 8 ounce trigger HARD on the first shot and it went right where I called it to the left. Oh well. The next two went off just as planned and were right on 0.4 CTC. The measured group for the triad went 0.800. This was a load of 52 grain Bergers that was great in my 700 bolt gun. I think that the 1:8 is going to handle the varmint weight bullets just fine.


I'll go out to the desert later this week and do the final break in and then some real group shooting next Saturday. I think we will be pleasantly surprised with the 69's I want to try and maybe some 75's for a dessert.


Greg

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Post by GLSHOOTER on Apr 15, 2012 at 6:15pm
I drove out in to the desert today to finish the break in. The barrel showed virtually no fouling. I used some PMC and Federal 223 FMJ's for the chore. I did lay down twice and had to hold off some charging pop cans out on the side of a hill. They were out 250 yards but luckily for me the FMJ's did them in nicely.

That Vortex scope really is clear and makes it seem easy way out there. I'll be shooting some groups and velocities next week end and it should be a very interesting trip.

Greg

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GLSHOOTER: May 2, 2012 at 11:54am


I took the X Factor out with the 6X6.8 on Sunday as it was time to stretch its’ legs. . Only 90 with variable winds, Full sun and a box of loads to try. 24" BHW 3 R 1:8 stainless with a 6.5X20 VORTEX scope at 100 yards.


These were the first "official" targets I shot so I was hopeful. Loading these up I grabbed a box of 69 grain Sierra MK's. The only problem was that I had MOLYED them about 10 years ago and it was too late to go but a fresh box. I've shot a lot of coated bullets and knew what would happen when I dropped the hammer but since I was at the range and needed to cool the 6X6.8 off I decided to let'er rip. Of course I’d never tried it in a polygon rifled barrel so that was also an area I was curious about.


The first five reminded me that barrels don’t like MOLY until they are seasoned. The velocity was right what I expected at 2741 over a charge of RL15. In case you don't know any of the coated bullets take a few rounds to settle down and I was not doing the shoot one clean one on these as I just wanted to see what would happen. Routinely you will see early on a bullet or two tossed out of the group for no reason until the coating process is completed. This can take from five to twenty five rounds. The first five shots were definite ‘seasoning” for the barrel.


I bumped it up a half grain and slipped in another magazine. Velocities were now up to 2862 and the best nine ran 0.848. The odd flyer was discarded per expected MOLY behavior. Things were looking up on the speed and the MOLY seemed to be grabbing a hold.


Bumped up another 0.5 grain and now the velocity got up to 2945. Group size got a bit bigger at 0.898/8. I was not shooting these at a slow rate as It just seemed like I was in the groove so I decided to roll with it. I am liking this as the ten shot group was rounding up nicely.


Last charge weight shot out of the bag with the 223 load development was a gratifying 2979 FPS with a 0.903/9 effort. Nice and round. I think this one will work once I get it refined a tad.


Like I said the MOLY was a factor that I had not thought about but wanted to try. I didn't shoot these like I normally would as after the gun setting in the safe for about two weeks I just had to give it a spin.


I am going to strip the bore down and load up some naked bullets. I suspect that it won't take long to get down to the 0.5 MOA area with the 69's abut I want to see how the 75's and 80's do as those will be my 500 and 1000 yard bullets. Of course I'll also work up a smoking varmint load with the 40 and 50 VMAX and will hit some PD's where it hurts this summer. T


That the BHW barrel will produce is without question based on my quick forty round test. I want to spend a full day trying out some powders that I have had great luck with in the past. That is the one advantage of a “stock” cartridge in that previous experience will bled over and make load development a whole lot easier and faster.


Greg

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GLSHOOTER: Apr 6, 2012 at 2:32pm


I managed some range time last Sunday and thought I'd put up some groups showing my initial testing and how the barrel is responding. I shot 50 grain VMAX, naked bullets, at magazine length with loading data from Hodgdon and Accurate Arms. No attempt was made to hot rod these or do anything special. Brass was once fired Winchester NT that I had worked over about three years ago. They were primed with Winchester SR primers. No sorting was done other than to make sure everything looked good to these old eyes.


Temperature was a typical May day here in Phoenix with the gauge showing 102 with light to moderate variable cross winds going from 5 to 3 o'clock. Full sun.


I went with H4895 for the first loads. Remembering I had previously shot Moly bullets in the barrel with a mild cleaning since then I knew the first group might be be horrendous and I found I was worrying too much already!! A first effort of 1.505 with a bad shot that yielded four in 0.894 showed I was a worry wart. The next five popped into a nice 0.939 at 3291. Slow but usable without a doubt. I bumped it up a bit and was having trouble settling in. The next two groups were at 1.296 and 1.040 at 3356. Speed was better but wider groups. The last groups pushed 3411 and I managed a best of 1.414 with them. I want to try that load again as the wind was squirrelly when I was in the middle of that one.


I had some AA 2460 up on the shelf that had not been used in a bit so figured it was worth a try. Initial starting levels at 3334 were not good with a 1.229 and I felt that it might not like this one but pressed on. Second load level hit 3375 so I was above 3350 that I like as minimum on this bullet. Things were cooking down the barrel and my trigger fingers' arthritis was going away. The first five went into 0.669 and I had me a long drink of cold water to settle down. The next five showed a decent backup of 1.044. Still sub-MOA but the combined 10 shots were very gratifying when taken as a whole. Definitely a load that would whack a PD way out there!! The third test at MAX turned 3460 and I ended up with groups of 1.132 and 1.367 each with a tossed round. The best four of these would have been 0.816 and 1.45. I would take this one but I knew it already knew it could do far better.


After picking up the cases for that batch I settled in for my last thirty shots for the day.


A new can of AA 2520 had been cracked open for this test and I was interested to see how it would do. I have not used much of it and this was great time to try. The wind died and I had let the barrel cool for about 15 minutes. At these temperatures the gun never got "cold" but the BHW tube didn't seem to care much.


I settled down and dug way back into my lizard brain to give it all I had. The first round was slow and I was to find a speed of only 3316 but what can you do? Of course speed doesn't kill but the first group popped up and was , for me, worth all the time!! I measured out a ragged line at 0.504!! Of course we all know about the blind hog and an acorn so I settled down again and backed it up with a nice round five shots in 0.756. I'll take that load to the bank and smile all the way. The next two load level were hovering in the neighbor hod of + or - an MOA with a 1.25 at 3379 and a pair of 1.3's at 3441 though the fast ones did have some three shot groups of 0.371 and 0.601. I think it needs a reshoot based on that.


So what did I learn? I found 100% reliability in the rifle. The loads velocities were slightly over book value. The primers were good. I found some SD numbers that indicated that I better weigh some cases for volume consistency. I also found that with essentially range brass this gun will shoot. I'll be shooting some more varmint weight rounds on Monday with some other powders. After that I'll load up a batch and get sighted in. June 16 will be a Black Hole day for prairie dogs here in AZ.


Greg


PS: Just so you don't think I'm a Virtual Shooter try these:


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PPS: Thank you Carl and the BHW Crew!!

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