This morning I woke up well before the alarm and could not get back to sleep. I started thinking about my forthcoming session at the range, particularly testing the Nosler Accubonds and Partitions in the Bergara BA13 243 Win rifle I am reviewing. My thoughts then turned to the trail camera I have looking over the dead calf and boar.
Finally, I got up and dressed. It was too early to go to the range. The car was already packed with all the targets, chronograph and other gear I needed. I thought to myself that all I needed to do was also put in my hunting backpack and I could call into the trail camera location on my way, spend the hour from first light to sun rise there, then go on to the range as normal. So, off I went.
I walked into my preferred spot just on first light. This time I sat a little further down the side of the spur. That was because, when I had looked back at the old fence post where I had previously sat, I realised that my head and shoulders could be seen against the skyline. I sat in a slight depression, behind a tuft of grass; well concealed from any animal that might come to the carrion.
Daylight, then dawn, came and no ferals appeared. The morning had been perfectly clear, but as the sun began to rise, a wave of mist bands rolled out of the rainforest, and along the creek. They progressively got heavier and soon I lost vision to the carrion. There was no point staying where I was, so I did a circuit and stalked in on the dead calf and boar. There seemed to be no further sign of scavenger activity on the carcasses. I swapped over the camera cards and headed back to the car.
Later, at the range, I started off with the Bergara and the 100 grain Nosler Accubond loads. Like last week, I have loaded these to be 10 thou clear of the lands with a propellant charge starting at 45.0 grains of AR2213SC (H4831SC in the USA), moving up in 0.5 grain increments to 47.0 grains. Referring to the ADI and Harvey reloading guides, that still 1.0 grain short of the maximum charge.
After cleaning the barrel, and firing two fouling shots, I moved on to test the 85 grain Nosler Partitions. It was the same loading sequence and the Partition was likewise seated 10 thou clear of the lands. That required the seating die to be adjusted, as I found that the stubbier Partition sits about 20 thou closer to the lands than does either the Ballistic Tip or Accubond projectiles at the same die setting.
I was looking for the charge that gave the best group without any signs of pressure. Next week I will be testing loads at varying seating depth around the optimum charge for each projectile. I will also be sighting the rifle in preparation for some hunting field trials. From today’s range results you can see that I will be using the 47.0 grain charge for both the Accubonds and the Partitions, varying the seating depth to look for an accuracy sweet spot.
I also ran some more ammo through the Savage B22 FVSS varmint rifle in 22WMR, adding to my growing collection of group size and velocity data. The best performer today, again, was the CCI V-Max 30 grain Polymer Tip. I took the opportunity to sight the rifle in for this ammo, in anticipation of some hunting field trials with it as well.
Reviewing the trail camera photos on my return home from the range showed not many photos or videos had been taken. Apart from a flock of egrets and a lost cow, nothing had come into frame. I suspect that the calf has lost its appeal while the boar is yet to reach full bloom. The coming days will tell. I will wait until Friday morning before I revisit the carcasses in the valley.