F/TR Practice Load?

Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by radford56, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. radford56

    radford56

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    I was bitten by the F/TR bug last year. I shot our local mid-range matches with the best rifle I had available at the time, which was a .308 Remington 40X 24" barreled action bolted into an old AI chassis system. I used a Harris bipod and a squeeze bag because I initially considered the matches as practice for tactical competition, but along the way I decided to concentrate on F/TR instead.

    So, I had a dedicated F/TR rifle put together in an MPA chassis. I'm using a 30" 10 twist Bartlein barrel that I had chambered for the bullet I primarily intend to use in matches - Berger 185 Juggernauts. I've moved away from the Harris bipod/squeeze bag to a Phoenix bipod and a Protektor Dr bag, etc. Like a lot of projects, this one ran a little behind schedule and I just got it on the range a couple of days ago.

    What I've learned in my brief time on the range is that I need to learn a different technique to shoot this rifle well. I had notions of using my 40X .22lr or my .308 40X to practice in order to save wear on my match barrel, but I've come to the conclusion that I really need to practice with my match rifle in order to practice effectively.

    So - once I get an effective load developed with the 185 Juggernauts I'd like to come up with a less expensive practice load. Most of my practice has to happen at either 100 or 200 yards due to range availability. Any recommendations for a good bullet to use as a practice substitute for the 185 Bergers that costs less but provides effective practice?
     
  2. mike mccormick

    mike mccormick Silver $$ Contributor

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    Practice with your match ammo. Most of this game is in your wind calls. You need to know what your combination is going to do in the conditions. You won't learn this by introducing a variable. Just my opinion....it's worth what you paid for it
     
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  3. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

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    Any match bullet in that weight range with roughly the same BC will do. But if you do the math on how much it costs to pull the trigger (including barrel wear), you’ll find you’re not saving much. I’d buy jugs in bulk and just go with that if I were you. Or just shoot a cheaper bullet in matches and buy a bunch of those. Juggs are good Bullets but there is nothing magic about them
     
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  4. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Gold $$ Contributor

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    In competition, it is all about consistency. I shoot FTR .308 Win. Lapua brass, CCI BR-2, Varget and Berger Juggernauts.
    I don't change anything in my equipment, loading process or my materials between a match and the practice range.
    I want my practice to be everything I expect in a match. If I use a different round I may get different results. To me that doesn't help me understand how everything else I am doing affects the performance.
    It isn't really any cheaper to shoot something else.
     
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  5. Marksman63

    Marksman63

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    Welcome in F Class shooting, where the words “costs less” are not in any vocabulary...
     
  6. radford56

    radford56

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    Okay....you got me there. And, I think after reflecting on it, it probably is best to stick with the match setup (including ammo) for practice.
     
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  7. HomeSlice

    HomeSlice Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'm not very good at this, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    Other than basic mechanics, position building, etc. I found that I get almost nothing but empty brass out of 100-200 yd practice with my F/TR gun. The thing I'm worst at is wind reading. I can shoot 130 yds in my back yard. My 40x 22LR at that distance on a windy day has been instructive. It's also a lot less expensive.
     
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  8. Medic505

    Medic505 Dean Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    99% of my "practice" is with a Anschutz MPR with a Weaver 36X scope @ 200 yards. Set up a couple flags or surveyor tape on a T-post or whatever you have to watch the wind and go shoot. Shoot on windy days. Learn to wait on your condition. <<< This is what I still struggle with. Set a timer. Learn how long it takes to rip off 10 shots and figure in pit service time. Doing this is cheaper in many ways, plus saves wear on your match equipment. Barrels aren't cheap, neither is good rimfire ammo. Trigger time is trigger time, learn to make the best of it.
     
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  9. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Gold $$ Contributor

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    I don't under stand why any one would build a purpose built rifle develop a load for it then practice with a lesser quality ammo. That being said there is no harm to using the 22 as suggested. The wind calls are about the same. In fact I now need to buy a nice 22.. Researching that Anschutz small bore rifle kind of got me wanting one for chits and giggles..
     
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  10. 1911mag

    1911mag Gold $$ Contributor

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    I thought the same when I got hooked on Mid Range and learned more about my set up from shooting practice exactly like a match. I could learn wind by shooting my Kimber .22 at 100 yds but my match rifle will behave totally different. The more trigger time on FTR rig paid off more so in my opinion.
     
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  11. Medic505

    Medic505 Dean Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Back up to 200 yards and tell me it's the same game.
     
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  12. 1911mag

    1911mag Gold $$ Contributor

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    Have done out to 300 with .22, just have learned more on wind reading on using my intended set up for its purpose. I would hold over different on wind with a .22 than my .223. Was my opinion.
     
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  13. people

    people

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    Shooting at 100 or 200 is not real training unless you want the recoil. A 22 is the way to go at these close ranges.

    When your ranges get extended then shoot the same ammo you will at a range.
     
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  14. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    A lot of thoughts here however I differ from a few, as you point out your still in load development and the range available is max 200 yards.
    I find that distance adequate for ladder and seating but loads need to be confirmed at the distance you will be competing at as many will not look the same, therefore practice with those 200 yard loads is questionable in my pea size brain.
    What I would do is invest in good wind flags and couple those to your 200 yard development, think quality over quantity, cover 5 shots with a small coin at 200 yards on a consistent basis while learning wind calls will help.
    you may find local non sanctioned matches to test further.
    I see no benefit to a 22 cal at 200 yards, I parallel that to putt putt golf preparing for the PGA
    My 2 cents
     
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  15. Down South

    Down South FTR Junkie Gold $$ Contributor

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    Radford56, if you want to run a cheaper bullet for practice the 178 ELD-M will do the trick for you. You can probably find them for just over $30.00 per 100 if you look around.
     
  16. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Gold $$ Contributor

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    You state you need to develop a new shooting technique. As a new shooter with a new rifle this is not unexpected. Meaning you need to shoot that rifle to work out the details such as setting up the rifle into position consistently, finding the best rear bag height (the bipod will follow that), position behind the rifle, position of the hands, etc. You can sort out a lot of this laying on the floor at home, trying numerous options what feels the most stable and comfortable. Add dry firing, cycling the bolt and simulate loading, trigger control, etc. Then this process will become second nature when you go to the range where you can better focus on recoil control, wind, etc. Dry firing can help tremendously.
     
  17. Medic505

    Medic505 Dean Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Evidently you haven't shot a .22 with a set of flags at 200 yards. Do you shoot a .308 at 600? Do you even shoot F Class?
     
  18. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    You are correct, I do not shoot a 22 @ 200 yards with the intention of improving my 600 yard performance" then switch to a totally different rifle for competition. It just doesn't make sense to me therefore I don't do it.
    Yes,
    I shot a 308 in two different configurations at 600 yards many times, sporting w/10x scope then Varmint/ factory class with a 3-15 scope. It was tough to get under 3/4 Moa even practicing with the intended weapon.
    Course of fire is 10 shots at a 1.2 x ring
    F Class ? Nope haven't had the pleasure .
    My interest is Benchrest 6 mm and very small groups coupled with the highest score. For myself it takes quality over quantity, reloading and table manners while studying the wind cycles and hopefully making a good call.

    Hope that helps you out.
    Regards
    J
     
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  19. Damfino

    Damfino Gold $$ Contributor

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    Practice? Great concept, but I'm too old and lazy. Now I get my practice at matches. I agree with most of the information here and it's clear that most any practice helps you get ready for matches. The more prepared you are the more confidant you'll be and the more fun you will have.

    One lesson I learned - the hard way of course - is that it is false economy to not practice with the same equipment, including loads, you plan to shoot matches with. I want to keep it simple; the same load for practice, 300, 600, and 1,000 yards. For me, 1,000 yards is the real test and there is no substitute or practice that translates well for shooting 1,000 yards, except shooting at 1,000 yards. Kinda like running a 5K versus a marathon.
     
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  20. Crow

    Crow Silver $$ Contributor

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    Speaking strictly from an F-class background, it seems like most competitors have a capable rifle and a capable load to go with it, and what separates the winners from the wannabees is the ability to read wind. That and perfect shot execution.

    Shooting an accurate .22lr prone at 200 yds with flags provides an excellent means of practicing both, and it's relatively econmical, both in terms of time and money.

    I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they've got room to improve.
     
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