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Thread: **Range Report added** M1A in Blackfeather ready for final testing...

  1. #1
    CGN Regular TonyBen's Avatar
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    **Range Report added** M1A in Blackfeather ready for final testing...

    I spent about 3 hours trying different configurations last night, trying to nail down the best combination that would give me the best cheek weld with the scope/base/rings I had. Leupold sent me some nice MK4 rings and I wanted to use them, but they were too high. I went back and forth between the RBS, the A2 stock and the CTR.

    I was able to use them with my AR-15 A2 stock and a Bradley cheek rest, but the A2 buttstock does not work well with the Blackfeather. The way the stock meets the pistol grip creates an abrupt angle and does not allow a natural high pistol grip that I like to use when shooting. So off it came, as well as the Leupold rings.

    I settled on some Warne steel low rings that I got locally. They were the lowest possible combination that I could find for a 30mm tube. The lowest possible setup would be with an ARMS mount, but this test is for the CASM with the Blackfeather stock, so that's what I have to work with.

    The best stock to use would be a Magpul PRS with the adjustable cheek riser, but I'm running low on funds. I bought two different risers for the CTR stock I have on my AR; the low and the medium. Having all the parts here now, the high would have worked better, but the medium riser is workable.

    The tube stock Frank sent me would be nice if it set higher as its the most comfortable, but it's just too low to use effectively with the CASM, a 30mm tube and a 50mm objective lens. I will eventually get a PRS at a later date so I can use the Accushot Monopod. I think the RBS would work well with a scope which has a 1" tube, low rings and a 40mm or smaller objective lens.

    Once I got all sorted out on a final configuration, I did a thorough install on the CASM mount and I lapped/aligned the Warne rings. I finished installing the scope properly and found a good eye-relief position and leveled the scope as best as I could since I don't have the room to set a plumb line far enough in my house from the work bench.

    The next step is to get it zeroed, work it out to 300 yards, then meet up at the club for the 600yd shoots. Once that's all done, I need to head out to Douglas ridge for the 1000yd shoot.

    Here's the official parts list:
    -M1A standard, GI barrel
    -Blackfeather stock
    -Leupold Mk4 ER/T TMR reticle, 4.5-14x50, M1 Turrets
    -M14.CA SHG (Scout Hand Guard)
    -CASM-II aluminum mount
    -Warne steel low rings
    -Atas Bipod
    -Magpul CTR stock with medium cheek riser
    -Hogue AR-15 pistol grip
    -M14EBR.US trigger shoe



















    Oh, and for my final live-fire video, I'm going to extend an open invitation to anyone locally who wants to try out the rifle and get their feedback on it. I already have the guy who runs the tactical sniper matches locally on board and he's going to take her for a spin. I plan on getting novices, moderately experienced and very experienced shooters behind it as well as some active duty military/LEO types.

    Thanks,
    Tony.
    Last edited by TonyBen; 11-04-2014 at 07:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Wow wow double wow. I just got my blackfeather rs and I'm setting it up in a m305 but yours looks sooo sweet. Great work

  3. #3
    CGN Regular TonyBen's Avatar
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    Thanks! by the way, I just weighed this rifle with a full 20 round magazine and the total package you see pictured came in at 13lb, 14oz.

  4. #4
    HELP! I sold my soul to the internet 300Spartans's Avatar
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    That's a work of art, Tony.
    It's not the equipment, it's you!


  5. #5
    CGN Regular TonyBen's Avatar
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    I got a surprise e-mail last night from Frank. I guess I won't be needing that PRS stock or any more cheek risers and I get to use the RBS again. En route is one of his latest creations; the HBA (High Buttstock Adapter). It literally puts the stock in-line with the bore and it puts your cheek weld where it needs to be to work with high power scopes.



    I'm VERY excited to get this piece of equipment! Thanks Frank!

    Tony.

  6. #6
    Newbie MountedMadness's Avatar
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    Beautiful piece of kit.
    Great work on all fronts.
    Now we wait for the shooting video - the part we all like!
    Good luck and happy shooting (rifle and video - LOL).

  7. #7
    CGN Regular TonyBen's Avatar
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    So in keeping true to form, there's never a dull range report! I met m14forum member Freshmen at the range and expected to have a nice lit range. Turns out, there was a power outage a couple of days ago and it messed with the timer system that turns on the night lights and we were unable to activate the flood lights.

    Just to the right of the firing line is the parking lot behind a brick wall. One of the shooters drove his pickup to the edge of the brick wall and shined his headlights on the 100yd range. He was unable to shine it on the 50.



    So that means we had to zero a new scope on a new mount at 100 yards. Add to the fact that it is very wet and there's no puff of dirt to tell you where you're hitting. I wasted about 12 rounds before I was on paper. Once I found paper, it was smooth sailing from there.

    After establishing zero, I put a 3 round group with my plinker ammo in the upper right corner and had Freshmen shoot some SSA 168 grain stuff that he had. Groups were okay.





    We put up a fresh target and alternated shooters and ammo. The first group was with the gas off and it was with 6x fired Winchester brass and annealed necks with 125gr TNT's. I shoot anything over 5x fired with gas off. My 5-shot group measured 0.788". Next, Freshmen shot a batch of my 125's and grouped 1.267. After that, we turned the gas back on and I shot a group of 168 FGMM which measured 1.480". Freshmen followed with a batch of SSA 168 which measured 2.096". I fired the last group of the day with my 168gr handloads I use for the 600yd line, 2x fired brass and it measured 1.498"







    I'd say that was pretty pleasing results considering there were multiple shooters, multiple ammo types and poor lighting conditions. Average groups sizes with all the inconsistencies averaged 1.4285." In addition, the barrel hasn't been cleaned in around or over 200 rounds.

    Now that the scope is on paper, the next trip will be at 200 and 300. Also keep in mind that I don't think either of us had ever shot with a bipod before. We did pre-load the bipod. I'll let Freshmen post his thoughts.

    Also, don't discount the value of a good trigger shoe! Also, the only reason that we had a successful range trip was because we had good glass! My cheap spotting scope was darn near USELESS in that lighting condition. The 50mm objective on the Leupold really showed it's usefulness!

    Tony.
    Last edited by TonyBen; 11-04-2014 at 08:54 AM.

  8. #8
    CGN Regular TonyBen's Avatar
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    Here's an update from a session I had last week...

    I went shooting last Saturday at the 200, hoping to get the Leupold zeroed in and see how things worked out. As I leaving the driveway, the mailman was dropping me off a package. It was the high stock adapter that Frank sent me! I threw it in the Jeep and off I went.

    I installed it at the range but my Warne rings were just too low to work with the high adapter and they were too high to work effectively with the low adapter. I went back to the CTR (all this was happening at the firing line) and I got zeroed in at 200. I drew a large vertical line at 200 with a carpenter's level and a fat sharpie so I could level my crosshairs at the range.

    Well, just loosening the rings enough to rotate the scope threw me off target completely at 200! I packed up and went home. I threw the Warne low rings in the "maybe I'll use them again someday" box and I installed the Leupold Mark 4 medium rings that Leupold sent me. They were just a tad too low to work with the RBS and the HBA. I could have used it, but I would have had sore cheekbones at the end of the day.

    Luckily, M14 forum member bfoosh06 met me and loaned me his Magpul PRS. (A BIG THANKS!!) Once I got it all installed, I found the perfect combination of stock and cheek weld. The clouds parted, a ray of sunshine beamed down and doves flew; PERFECTION!!!

    I was supposed to meet up for a 600yd shoot Tuesday night but high gusty winds cancelled the 600yd night shoot. No problem, I just hit the 100 and re-zeroed my scope this time, so it definitely wasn't a waste. I had already planned on showing up early and getting re-zeroed before the 600yd shooting begun. I hung a plumb line at 50 and got the crosshairs level and proceeded to zero the scope. It's on permanently now so I can move on to other things.

    50 yard groups clover-leafed nicely with my plinker ammo. It was VERY gusty at the range last night, so I don't know what groups would have been if it wasn't gusty. I suspect that 125's in 20 MPH full value winds might have some drifting. Had it not been for the berms on the sides, winds would have been 30 to 40 MPH. I was also battling a shifting target. It would rock left to right in the target stand, so I had to wait for it to settle before breaking the shot.

    The material on the tabletops did not allow a good enough grip for the Atlas bipod to get a good preload. This is also the first time I've shot the rifle with a monopod and my first time shooting with a monopd as well. bfoosh also put some neoprene padding on the PRS as well as an aftermarket mushy buttpad. It made for perhaps the most comfortable shooting experience I've ever had! I'm sure once I get some high rings and put on the RBS, it will be just as comfortable.

    The shims have eliminated the vertical stringing altogether, but I found that after 50 to 100 rounds, the heel pounds on the shims so hard that they start to compress and "flow" out the sides of the heel. I bedded the heel over the aluminum just for longevity. This took about an hour's worth of prep but it looks good. My next range trip will be at 200/300, now with a bedded heel. Had I not resolved that before I shoot long range since using stout ammo I could see shims compressing and I can envision groups opening up and shifting which will be very frustrating at 600+. Steel shims would work well too.





    I have a good feeling about my next range trip.

    Tony.

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