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Let The Dragon Roar

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Let The Dragon Roar

Old 02-22-2014, 09:15 PM
  #1  
Boone & Crockett
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Default Let The Dragon Roar

Today was a perfect day for a shooting session - sixty-eight degrees, no sun but bright with a high overcast, zero wind.

The Swamp Dragon and I arrived at the hunting lease around 10 a.m. Three other guys were at the campground, but they were heading out to try a little coyote calling. So the Dragon and I had the two-bench rifle range to ourselves.



The Dragon's .54 caliber barrel was loaded with a 105 grain charge of GOEX FFFg and a round ball that I loaded on a clean dry bore on the evening of November 11th, 2013 - the day before our deer season opener. Bad season / no shots.

Wondering if the three month old charge would fire, I set a target out at 100 yards and cocked the gun. Pulled the trigger and .... KABOOM! The shot hit a bit to the right of where it should have, but not far enough off to be of concern for a shot on game. So I loaded up and shot four more times.

Here's the target.



After putting up a fresh target on the 100 yard frame I switched from FFFg to FFg for the next five shots. Here's that target. NO, don't ask me to explain the high hit. I have no idea why that one went there.



Then I tried five shots with 95 Grains of FFg. To my surprise it grouped about an inch-and-a-half higher than the 105 grain load.



Going back to the 105 grain load, I tried five shots with .016 patches instead of the .018 patches I'd been using. Here's that target. (Note To Self: Stick with .018 patches.)



I gave the Dragon a good cleaning and thanked it for doing it's best. Then popped off a box of .22 Long Rifles from my Ruger MK I (I'm a lousy pistol shot), followed by some load experimenting with a Savage Model 40 .22 Hornet (fantastic accuracy - 3/4" ten shot groups all day long).

Hey, it's almost three o`clock. Shooting's done - time for a beer.

Last edited by Semisane; 02-24-2014 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:34 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Very nice. I would be happy with those groups with any of my off the shelf rifles, damn pleased with them if I had made the gun myself!
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:11 AM
  #3  
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Impressive as always.

I almost bought a Savage 40 22 Hornet a while back. Looks like I should have done so. I know this is a MZ thread but do you like the 40? I still may be able to get my hands on it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:34 AM
  #4  
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That is great shooting. Anytime I can shoot under a 2 inch group at 100 yards, scoped or no scope, I would be very happy. That would be a real deer or hog killing machine you got there.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:06 AM
  #5  
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How fun to shoot like that with a home made rifle!
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:07 AM
  #6  
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Josmund, I really like my Model 40. It's a great shooter and a real fun gun. Knocks the snot out of hogs and coyotes, and explodes crows into a puff of feathers. For rabbits, it's head shots only if you expect any meat. One downside - it's on the heavy side. You don't want to carry it on long walks.

Mine didn't shoot any of the factory loads available real well. OK, but not great. But it's fantastic with handloads with Hornady 35 or 40 grain V-Max bullets and Hodgdon Lil`Gun powder. Here are some targets at 50, 100 and 150 yards.

The first two are with the 35 grain V-Max. The next three with the 40 grain V-Max.










Last edited by Semisane; 02-23-2014 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:40 AM
  #7  
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I swapped a beautiful russian sks for a savage 340 in 22 hornet years ago. It is one of the most fun guns I have. Its my last day of turkey season gun when all else has failed.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:55 AM
  #8  
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I have wondered.. do your friends on the lease hunt with muzzleloaders? What do they think of your Swamp Dragon? Have they shot the thing?
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:38 PM
  #9  
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That 22 Hornet can really shoot. If I ever get one, I'm coming to you for loads.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:43 PM
  #10  
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Cayugad, the other guys on the lease hunt with muzzleloaders only during the two week primitive weapons season (the first week and last week of the 809 day season. They think I'm "a bit peculiar" when I hunt an entire season with a muzzleloader. But I do break out a cartridge rifle once in a while just to prove to them I'm not totally nuts.

They like the Dragon, and a few of them have shot it. But black powder is just not their thing.
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