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First time ever with ML (Omega, BH209) - Range Report

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First time ever with ML (Omega, BH209) - Range Report

Old 10-01-2010, 09:03 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Virginia
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Default First time ever with ML (Omega, BH209) - Range Report

First I want to give a big thanks to all of you for your knowledge. I have enjoyed lurking and posting a few dumb questions here and there. So...THANKS!

T/C Omega Z5 (yeah, the cheap one!)
Leupold Ultimate Slam 3-9x40
T/C Cheap Shots - 240 grain
BH209 - 80 grains
CCI 209M primers
Spinjag starter
Spinjag loading jag

The goal was to get sighted in with the irons first (for backup purposes), then mount the scope and sight it in as well. I also brought four other guns to the range to verify their POIs (and have a little fun), but 31 shots and 3.5 hours later, I had only shot the Omega! I knew it would be time consuming, but good grief! Still had a great time, though.

One quick note about BH209, I was getting a little nervous about the fact that it was the only powder I had (after reading some bad experiences here), but, for me, it lived up to its advertising hype. In 31 shots, I never had a hang fire, misfire, slow ignition, etc. And in 31 shots, I never swabbed the barrel once. Swabbed the breach plug with some Gunzilla when I got home, and cleaned it 20 minutes later in less than 5 minutes...

Okay, so my first shot was a relief. I was expecting 12 ga slug type of recoil, but it was much milder. I'm sure if I had been using 120 grains, I'd feel a little differently. But I have no need for that as of now. The irons took a little while to sight in, mostly because I couldn't believe how far I was having to move the sight to the right. When all was said and done, it is as far right as it can possibly go without starting to hang over the edge. Not sure how I feel about that.

Once I got it close at 25 yards, I moved it straight out to 100. All I brought were those 3-inch orange target spots that I affixed to white paper. The sun was beating directly on my target and it made it almost impossible to see. I had to stare at the target with both eyes open for at least 10 seconds before I could make out the orange target. Then, I'd memorize where it was on the paper, get my cheek weld and fire. I was surprisingly accurate. Reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend who shoots 1000 yard matches with irons (M14). I asked him how he could even see the target, and he said, "I just kinda know where it is." Not that I can shoot anything like he can...

Once I was consistently hitting the edges of the target spots, I loaded up a 250 gr T/C Shockwave (w/ black sabot, just like the Cheap Shots) to see where it would hit. Dead-center bullseye on it, so that was good enough for me. Irons were sighted in, as far as I was concerned.

Onto the scope. Mounted it right there at the range using a Game Reaper one-piece base/mount/rings. It was so easy I'll never use any other type of mounting base/mount/rings if I can help it. It was here I discovered that the Omega was definitely designed for use with IRON SIGHTS. I like to smash my cheek into the stock when I shoot, but with the scope mounted, even as low as it was, I was almost resting my lower jaw on the stock. So I guess I'll just have to get rid of this gun, pick up an Omega X7 as an unscoped brush gun, and then pick up a Triumph for use with scope. And my wife can't figure out why I need so many guns!! For now, I'll just pick up a comb riser...probably the BlackHawk tie-on.

Sighted in a 25 with the scope and moved to 100. I have to say, while I am please with the Leupold in EVERY other way, I was VERY displeased with adjustment mechanisms in that scope. They were extremely inconsistent. Each click is supposed to be 1/4 MOA. So, let's say I'd be off 2" down and 2" to the left. I'd make 8 clicks up and 8 clicks over, but the group barely moved. Then I'd do the same and get good movement, but a little too far, maybe an inch high and right. So, 4 clicks left and 4 clicks down and my group would move on target vertically but off to the left like FOUR freaking inches! As long as she stays zeroed, I'll keep the scope for now. But I'm going to do some testing after the season and decide whether or not to contact Leupold.

At any rate, with 80 gr of BP209 and the T/C Cheapshots, I was consistently getting 1/2 MOA at 100 yards. Holes were almost touching but not quite. Shots 30 and 31 were zeroed and also 1/2 MOA, and I hadn't swabbed the barrel once.

Still have some work to do, though. Now that I'm zeroed, I'm going to shoot the "real" bullets to see what groups best (Harvester, Barnes, T/C). If they all shoot worse than 1/2 MOA, I might be tempted to use the Cheap Shots in the field!

I've got my barrel soaking in Gunzilla for now and probably will leave it soaking over night. I've only run about 4 patches (4 wet, 4 dry), and the last one was considerably cleaner than the ones previous, so I'm probably close to done. But man, those first couple of patches were FILTHY DIRTY. That's probably how you BP freaks like it anyway! I could shoot 50 rounds out of a centerfire every day from now until I die and the patches wouldn't get that dirty when finally cleaned. Filthy, just filthy!!

Okay, getting delirious...better hit the sack!
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:41 AM
Fork Horn
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Sounds like you had a blast (pun intended).
I don't know if it would help or not, but many times I have seen people tap their scope a few times after making adjustments. I guess it's supposed to "settle" the crosshairs or something. I usually do it too, but don't really know if it makes a difference.
Considering the fact that there is definitely going to be a 'jolt' to the scope on the first shot, I'm thinking it can't hurt to give it a couple raps before shooting.
Glad you like the BH209 - I haven't tried it yet.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:15 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Virginia
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Yeah, I did have a blast. I can't to go out again to figure out which bullets she likes best.

Put a comb riser/cheek rest on the stock today and it definitely makes me feel more comfortable as far as a cheek weld goes, but it definitely messes with the ergonomics of the rifle. That rifle felt really good when I'd pull it up with just the irons...just felt really natural and fast (to aim). I guess the comb riser will just take some getting used to. Not thrilled about the looks of it...looks a little too "tacti-cool" for a muzzleloader. And this is coming from a guy who has shot both deer and turkey with an M14!

Thanks for the suggestions on tapping the scope. If that were the issue, it would make sense if I had adjusted, fired, and fired again and the two shots were way off. I always make two-shot groups when sighting a scope, and they were always +/- 1/2 MOA. As long as it's still zeroed when I go back to the range, I don't think it's anything to complain about to Leupold until AFTER the season.

I had a good time with the BH209. I've never shot anything else at all since this is my first time with a ML, but at this point I see no reason to do so as long as it keeps performing like this. If I had needed to swab between shots, I don't think I would have gotten close to having my scope zeroed.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:38 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,425

That is unusual for a Leupold to react that way...The ones I've setup have always responded properly...
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