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Old January 13, 2019, 19:14   #1
Andy2205
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First F Class match in a while

Yesterday, three of us from the range got together and shot the first F Class match since hurricane Michael shredded the area. Not a big turnout mostly due to people dealing with storm damage issues or being displaced.The facility is a little beat up, but not anything that can't be dealt with. Overhead flapping in the breeze and some pine tree litter laying in the grass. For the most part, the worst has been policed up. Weather was great, sunny and in the 60's, some wind from right to left, but not really bad.



The match is shot using reduced F Class targets at 300yds. The 10 ring is 2.85" and the X ring is 1.42". Like shooting into the mouth of a tea cup. I've been shooting the match with a RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor topped with an Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27x50, using hand loads that duplicate the Hornady match rounds. Not much to say about the RPR, they are what they are a precision rifle. On the other hand, there is much to say about the Athlon optic. For what it cost, it is a very good optic, which I would put up alongside a similar product from Vortex. The glass is clear, the reticle is outstanding and the focus controls do their job. It does have one issue that can be addressed in one of two ways. The turrets do not have a distinct click when changing settings. This is caused by a greased o-ring under the turret caps. You can either clean them and find a slicker lube or remove them. Removing the o-rings does nothing to change the waterproofing. You can read up the scope in the link below.



The match is shot in three stages of fifteen rounds each. The rifle may be supported by a bipod, rest or bag in the front and a bag in the rear. You are given fifteen minutes to shoot each stage. Targets are changed after each stage and you can shoot as many spotters as you like, before the match. I used eight spotters to get the scope back to where it should be, after cleaning up the issue with the turrets.



The first few rounds of the first stage caught me by surprise because I had the rifle in the 10 ring with my spotters. I paused and checked things and found that the cheek rest had dropped slightly, changing my position behind the optic. This is actually the second time I have this issue, when shooting the RPR. Seems I really need to pay attention to the lever that locks the riser in place, while it's resting in the rear bag. Not a bad string, but it could have been better. The 9's didn't help.




The second stage turned out to be my best, missed a 150 by 1 point. Should have thrown a click of windage in there, might have picked up some more X's.




Link to Athlon website: https://athlonoptics.com/product-cat...opes-ares-btr/
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Old February 09, 2019, 15:25   #2
Artful
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nice shooting
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Old February 10, 2019, 06:40   #3
ArtBanks
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Well done.
RPRs get the job done.
I use a Savage Stealth in 6.5 and changed the butt stock to an XLR that gives me the repeatable cheekweld we look for.
Love the caliber.
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Old February 10, 2019, 08:26   #4
Andy2205
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Shot again yesterday, 437/450-14X. A bit of wind nearly head on. Not much of a turn out since the hurricane struck. Everyone was shooting a Creedmoor, my RPR and two custom rifles. The top shooter was sporting a Kelby custom in 6mm Creedmoor against my RPR and another custom rifle in 6.5. Hopefully as the area recovers, more shooters will find their way back to the range.

Art, if you haven't checked out Athlon Optics, you should. Pretty good bang for the buck in FFP optics. The bottom link is the scope I've been using on the RPR.

https://athlonoptics.com/
https://athlonoptics.com/product/rif...r3-ffp-ir-moa/
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Old February 11, 2019, 18:05   #5
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What powder are you using for your handloads?
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Old February 11, 2019, 21:12   #6
Andy2205
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The load is a direct duplicate of the Hornady 140gr. Match ammo. Powder is 41.5gr. of H4350 topped by a 140gr ELD match bullet with an COAL of 2.80. I didn't notice any difference between regular primers and the Federal 210 match primers I'm using now.

At the same time I bought the rifle, I bought 100 rounds of the Hornady match. I shot so well with the factory match that I didn't bother with any load development.

What I did, was go looking for the load info for the match ammo. At one time, Hornady printed the load data on the box end. I found a picture of one of the boxes and that was enough.

I have been shooting near perfect strings with the RPR. Last Saturday was another near perfect string 148/150. That's on an F class target with a 10 ring of 2.85 inches at 300 yards.

My XLR chassis M10 Savage could not hang with the Creedmoors in the F Class. With the RPR in 6.5, I've gone from holding up the tail end to the top. Even with the bigger pre-hurricane turnouts, the matches don't have much of a points spread between first and last and putting them in the X ring could mean the difference of a win or first looser.
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