22 Creedmoor v.2.0
Last season I wrote a bit about the 22 Creedmoor, if you'll recall, I had rechambered my 220 Swift to this caliber in order to get a rifle that fed properly from a detachable box magazine without a loss of performance. The experiment was a succes, I got to learn a lot about the caliber, but my plan had always been to rebarrel the rifle with a barrel having a much faster twist rate that would allow me to use bullets that would do this caliber justice.
Well, the plan changed about mid-summer when I reviewed my options and decided to use my 308 Winchester as the basis for my second 22 Creedmoor. The price of .308 slugs having gotten high enough that it just didn't make sense to use this caliber in my trainer gun, especially considering it's anemic performances. So the new Benchmark barrel was installed on the Borden action and I now have a coyote hunting rig that is an near exact copy of the rifle I use in competition. Since I spend a lot of time in the field hunting predators, it will be perfect training for the practical type long range shooting I compete in.
Here's a quick run down of the hardware on it:
Borden tube gun action
Benchmark 26 inches, medium palma, 1-7.5 twist, 5 grooves, ReddNobb rifle comp.
McMillan ajustable A-5
Timney Trigger set around 2 lbs
PTG bottom metal, AI 5 rds. magazine.
Stiller 20 MOA rail
Badger Ordnance rings
Burris XTR II, 4-20x, 50mm, FFP, Horus H591 reticle.
Load developpment went quite well I must say, within 50 rounds I found a load that shoots well under 0.5MOA and that runs at a speed that'll allow me to flatten coyotes out to about 750 yds. Can't ask for more from a brand new barrel, I'm sure I'll have to tweek the load a little bit once the barrel brakes in, but for now, it's more than fine to go hunting with. Rather than write all this stuff down, here's a copy of my reloading log for this rifle. The "pressure loads" and velocity tests are fired indoor in our testing range using a magneto speed chronograph.
Here's what the targets from the OCW test look like, these were shot at 101 meters, off a bench using the bipod and a rear bag. Numbers in white indicate the order the groupes were shot in
The winner from the test was a Berger 75gr. VLD with 47.0 gr. of H4831SC, so I loaded a few more of those for the chrono test at the shop. 5 shot average is just a shade over 3550 fps with a SD of 14. Very happy with those numbers for now and the final test was to confirm the loads accuracy and my zero. So I drove to one of my hunting spot, setup a target at 300m and fired 3 rounds lying prone, off the bipod and rear bag. Happy with the results, I gave the one click I needed for elevation and was now ready to hunt. Here a groupe analysis of my 101m and 300m targets, as you can see there's practically no difference in the groupe size in MOA .
I'm certain that I will play with different loads as time progresses but for now, I'm very happy with the performance of this one on targets and it's time to go and find some fur to see how the bullet behaves once it hits flesh and bones.