Good morning everyone.
I went back to Bisley on Saturday to have a second, more conclusive test of the 7mm-08 ammunition that HPS loaded for me. Last time, group sizes weren’t great and results were a little random. So this time, I paid rather more attention to all the controllable factors. Specifically, I used proper front and back rests, shot five round groups, and left plenty of time between them to let the barrel cool down properly. Below are the results. Now before you jump to conclusions, here my own and a few notes.
- Top left is the first group. The first three shots are the ones closest to the bullseye (two of them are almost the same hole).
- I then shot five rounds at the middle target, mostly to see how many rounds I could shoot before heat caused the accuracy to deteriorate. I’ve numbered the shots, and the answer seems to be that after five or six shots, the barrel really needs to cool down as the bullets start flying all over the place.
- After letting the barrel cool right down, I shot the top right group, which is fine.
- After further cooling, I shot the bottom right target. The drawn-in hole is because I put one shot into Toxster’s zeroing target that was just left of mine. Sorry Toxster! I must have momentarily drifted away as I was also listening to a short lecture from my right about how the Lee-Enfield’s stock affects grouping.
So broadly, I’m happy enough with those groups. It’s clear that my rifle is best with the first two or three shots, when the barrel’s cold, which is absolutely fine for a stalking rifle. It’s also clear that this is probably the greatest accuracy that this rifle/cartridge is capable of with me at the tiller. So that’s the group to beat when I start reloading my own. In the meantime, these HPS rounds are fine for all practical purposes, and I have a clearer idea of what my rifle is capable of.
Now for some load development…