Prairie Doggin' with the 30x60 XCB

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  • Last Post 23 July 2018
Larry Gibson posted this 03 July 2018

Made my way to SE Montana to meet some friends for a week of prairie dog shooting. We had permission to shoot on a ranch (6 sections in size) south of Broadus, Mt on Belle Creek. I decided to give my 30×60 XCB rifle, a try. Set up on a small ridge over looking a swale that was just under 500 yards across. The bottom was about 300 yards with 300 to 500 yards sloping slightly up away from me. Fairly short green grass with lots of PD digs all over. I was shooting prone with sandbag front and rear rests. I was spotting with Zeis 10×40 binoculars and ranging with a Leupold range finder. Range adjustments (elevation and windage) were made on the Leupold 6.5×20 target scope.


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The PDs out and about ranged in size from little ones about the same size and “picket pin” ground squirrels up to 8 – 12″ tall and a couple inches wide when standing. I started off shooting PDs between 200 and 300 yards an the close side of the swale. I used 18 rounds of “sighters” I had loaded. Those were with weight sorted 30 XCB bullets that were .1 gr under the match selected weights. All info on how I weight sort has been previously posted. My standard HV load (53 gr AA4350) was used giving 2900 fps. That load was previously tested to 600 yards and maintained 1 to 1.35 moa accuracy. The question wasn’t so much hitting the PDs…..the question was would the hard (WQ’d #2 alloy with 22 +/- BHN) be effective on them. I needn’t have been concerned as the 30 caliber bullet hitting them was very effective indeed. It proved as effective as 55 gr Nosler .22 Varmageddon bullets proved to be out of my 22-250 the next day. A hit PD simply was out for the count…….

At 200 to 300 yards with the 18 “sighters” I had I dispatched 15 PDs. I then went to a box of standard load with my weight sorted match selected bullets and dispatched 2 more PDs. I then shifted to the far 300 – 500 yard slope and spent the rest of a very enjoyable morning and early afternoon. When we stopped shooting I had shot 38 more shots. I tracked and recorded the range and result of each shot. The results show I hit 23 out of 27 PDs shot at between 300 and 415 yards. beyond that I hit 7 with the remaining 11 shots taken with most of the misses being just off one side of the PD or the other. It was very difficult to judge the wind out there with no bushes or trees and just the short grass. My wind meter said the wind was 5- 8 mph gushing to 10 to 12 mph out of 7 t0 9 o’clock when we finished shooting. Was impossible to tell what it was really doing in the swale.

At the end of the day I was very pleased with the results. Would like to note that ricochets were evident so what was down range beyond the PDs was definitely a consideration. What was interesting was the antelope had little fear of the shooting and would walk right in front of us….this one walked by about 25 yards away……

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LMG

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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Brodie posted this 04 July 2018

It sounds like you had a fun and successful shoot Larry.  I plan to do a little P Doggin myself this week, but I will use my 22 cal. pellet rifle as they are in my neighbors back yard.  Ok they are behind his fenced in back yard, but people proximity dictates the air rifle.

Good Luck and good shootin'.

B.E.Brickey

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OU812 posted this 09 July 2018

I found a different lot of Hornaday gas checks that do not need flaring before installing on this XCB bullet. My older lot of Hornaday gas checks needed flaring before installing. Will soon experiment more with taper bumping this bullet.

Did you ever settle on using any certain lube? 

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Larry Gibson posted this 09 July 2018

Yes, after my extensive testing I use 2500+ lube on my HV bullets.  Other bullets also.

LMG

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OU812 posted this 09 July 2018

Thanks Larry.

Have you ever tried 70/30 alox/beewax (Javalina lube). I dried some Lee alox on non stick aluminum foil then mixed it with hard beeswax candle wax purchased from Hobby Lobby. This lube allows me to shoot more shots before groups start to open. I do not shoot any faster than 2200 fps.

I briefly tried 2500+ lube @ 1900fps and groups would start to open after just 5 shots. Javalina groups would stay together up to 20 shots. Felix lube works good also, but groups would start to open after 15 shots 

Probably the 2500+ lube works better at higher velocities.

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Larry Gibson posted this 09 July 2018

Yes, Javalina is what I used for years. Since it is discontinued I am always on the lookout for it. I have 3 turn especially left. I've been using 2500+ for several years now on bullets from 1500 to 3000+ fps with excellent results.  I've shot 100 +/- shots out of numerous rifles of different caliber, different bullets and at different velocities without any loss of accuracy.

In an extensive HV lube test I conducted 2500+ and Javalina proved to give the best accuracy.

LMG

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OU812 posted this 12 July 2018

The seated length of the 30 XCB (taper bumped) fits the magazine well of the Remington 700. This is one thing I really like about this 30XCB bullet. Bullet is pushed back into case 1/32" when chambered. Taper bumping really does help this bullet shoot more accurately. Taper is 1.5 included or .75 per side angle.

According to Larry's Cast Bullet RPM chart, velocity should be kept between 1666-1944fps for a 1-10" twist barrel. I have a few loaded using 20grs of 4759, 22 and 23grs of R7 to target this velocity. Bullet lube is 60/40 alox beeswax. Hard linotype alloy. Will test soon and post pictures.

30XCB on left in picture seated in 308 Winchester case.

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Geargnasher posted this 13 July 2018

I'm noticing a lot of people on this board commenting about X number of shots until accuracy falls off. With any decent lube and proper alloy/powder/fit matchup, this is not something i experience much, and if I do on a rare occasion, I find the failure point (typically an alloy that needs adjusting to the pressure) and fix it. I have rifles that I shoot regularly and haven't put a patch through in years, with no loss of groups.

What gives? Do you clean the barrel and get accuracy back? Is your alloy failing as the barrel gets hot? Using too brittle an alloy, too fast for the twist?

Consistency of bore condition is critical, and if you have to clean after every group to maintain it, you got something way out of whack.

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OU812 posted this 14 July 2018

I do remember the softer alloy (5lbs linotype to 1 lb of pure lead) grouped better beyond the 7th shot. Now I have to drain the pot of hard linotype and mix up more of the slightly softer alloy.

BTW the Felix lube has produced some very good groups. I will be testing it more in the near future with my slightly softer alloy.

Thanks.

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Geargnasher posted this 14 July 2018

I tend to favor alloys in the 2-3% antimony range, with no more than 2% total tin present, usually much less. Controlled heat treatment gets the toughness needed for the job you're asking it to do. Any tin beyond about 1% starts to interfere with the precipitation hardening of low-antimony alloy. Free antimony (not bound to an equal amount of tin) in alloys containing more than about 5% antimony begin to create fouling problems like so many people using linotype alloy report.

The only thing I use linotype for is on the rare occasion I need to mix something approximating #2 alloy or Taracorp Magnum. It simply causes too many problems for me to even consider using for a target load.

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OU812 posted this 23 July 2018

Taper bumping the XCB

My wife left the digital camera back at her mothers house, so I cannot take pictures as mentioned. The last trip to the range resulted in 1/2" groups using your XCB bullet. I softened the Linotype (5 lbs Lino to 2 lbs lead), 23grs Reloader 7, Lapua 308 brass, Remington 9 1/2 primer. Velocity chronied 1905 fps

I also tried some water quenched alloy (50/50 mix, birdshot, 20/1 lead tin alloy), but the pressures did not match alloy. Or maybe I should have quenched after bumping. How do you taper bump a quench hardened bullet without making it softer? Quench after bumping? Maybe unquenched soft works better?

The Felix lube works good, but more fouling shots required before good accuracy. Softer LBT requires less foulers but accuracy goes away sooner before having to clean. I messed up mixing my last batch of Javalina lube, so did not use it. I tried mixing the Alox with hard carnuba red and lube tuned out just plain wrong.

 

 

 

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Geargnasher posted this 23 July 2018

Yeah, don't ever try to combine any kind of Alox and Carnauba red, btdt.

Why did you use 20:1 to cut the birdshot alloy?

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OU812 posted this 23 July 2018

It was the only soft lead I had. Doing the math, 20/1 (5 percent tin) added only 2.5 percent tin to the total mix.

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