There were only a handful of stalwarts at the Ravenshoe SSAA range today. The run of tableland’s weather continues with leaden skies, gusting winds and mizzle. My goal today was to double-check on the sighting of my hunting loads in 223 Rem and 243 Win.
The weather could have been a lot kinder for folks trying to shoot groups, but it was still okay for my purpose. I have found a mild but accurate loading for the Weatherby Vanguard HSP light varmint rifle in 223 Rem that is ideal for use on smaller farms close to town. The best accuracy for the Nosler Ballistic Tip and Ballistic Silvertip projectiles was at 24.5 grains of BM2 (Benchmark in the USA). This produces an MV of 2,860 fps which is a mild, low-pressure loading.
Today, that loading again turned in groups of 0.6 to 0.8 MOA in the windy and wet conditions. I tweaked the sighting on the Swarovski z8i 1.7-13.3 x 42 scope, just one click right and one click up, to place the POI at 1.5 inches above the POA at 100 yards.
The story is a bit different for the Sauer Classic XT 101 in 243 Win that I have been developing a hunting load for. It performed its best with a maximum loading of 38.0 grains of AR2208 (Varget in the USA) behind an 85 grain Nosler Partition. The persistent wet weather has prevented me from running that particular load over the chronograph. However, I would expect it to deliver 3000 fps, or a bit more.
Nosler Partitions are my favourite hunting projectile, in any calibre. While not quite as accurate as Nosler Ballistic Tips or Accubonds, they deliver an unbeatable combination of shock and penetration. The soft lead front half expands rapidly for great shock while the partitioned rear half holds in weight, no matter what, and produces exceptional penetration.
The 85 grain Nosler Partitions grouped between 0.9 and 1.6 MOA today, averaging 1.2 MOA, which is more than adequate for the hunting of boar, deer and wild dogs that it will be used for. Shown is the worst group of the day at 100 yards, with the group centre POI right on the 1.5 inch dot directly above the POA. This Sauer XT Classic 101 in 243 Win, using the Nosler 85 grain Partition is going to be the perfect stalking rifle set-up for Aussie hunting. I look forward to taking it out bush in the near future.
On the way home, I noticed my neighbouring farmer had left a gate open. That was not a problem. The only cattle in that paddock was a single dead cow that I have a trail camera overlooking. The farmer had been adding more wood to the pile over the carcass and is waiting for a bit of dry weather so that he can cremate the remains.
Feeling lazy and wishing to avoid a walk in the rain, I turned the car in and drove over to the carcass. She had blown up considerably, despite the cool weather. There was no sign at all of any scavenger activity on her. I reclaimed the camera and had a look through the photos. In the last 10 days, only a single carrion hawk had landed for a quick look and left without touching the carcass.