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Appleseed Welcome Center => Appleseed Newsletter => Topic started by: Kennebago on November 20, 2015, 08:26:04 AM

Title: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on November 20, 2015, 08:26:04 AM
Editor's note:
This thread was submitted to the newsletter by a 3rd party and has been published here with the author's permission. Should you run across a thread that you think should be included in the newsletter, send Roswell or FiremanBob a PM.


Earlier this week I wrote up everything that helped me as a bolt-action shooter at my first two Appleseeds, figuring I might as well pay it forward just in case there were any other people out there getting ready to shoot their first event with something other than a semiautomatic. Goodness knows there were plenty of people who shared information on forums that ended up helping me at mine.

I posted this yesterday on Rimfire Central's Appleseed subforum (mostly to see what the responses would be, if there were any) and people seem to think there are a few useful things in it, so I figured it might be worth sharing at the mothership.

Text and images are below.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

One of my favorite things about Appleseed is the unshakeable “run what ya brung” attitude that runs down into the marrow of the program.

My favorite rifle is a 452 Varmint, so that’s what I’ve been bringing.

I finished up my second Appleseed this past weekend (requalified), and I thought it might help some other people who are preparing for their first or second event with a bolt-action rifle if I shared some of my observations. Some of it probably isn’t news to AQT veterans, many of which are far better informed than me, and to be honest most of this was probably absorbed from them in a few dozen threads scattered across the forum (and across a few years), but at least it is in one place here. And some of it would go for any rifle, not just a bolt – most of my AQT runs have been made with a bolt-action, so if I'm saying obvious things, I apologize.

I don’t consider myself a good shooter, and I am really far from an expert. But these are my thoughts. If I'm wrong about anything please say so - one thing I still keep on-hand is my teachable attitude!

Bolt vs semi

Currently, my best semiautomatic run is all of two points better than my best bolt gun run. I’m just not seeing a disadvantage that can’t be overcome (this might change with experience). If you’re shooting a bolt gun, it just takes a little bit of preparation and some persistence.

I had some Internet Anxiety leading to the event over that, and it was completely unwarranted. If you've got a bolt gun, grab that thing and roll tide.

Keep your head locked on the rifle and work through each breath

This isn’t a secret – to successfully qualify as a Rifleman you will need to be able to assertively work the bolt without breaking cheek weld, and to breathe as you cycle the action.

As a bolt gunner, this is probably the single most important thing I worked on ahead of the event weekend. Shooting in a reasonably brisk rifleman’s cadence, my goal was working the bolt fast enough to be back on the rifle starting my trigger press at the same point in the breathing cycle where I would be just starting to press a semiauto trigger after letting out to reset.

Starting out, this sounded far more complicated than it was in practice. All you will need to do is lift the bolt while you start to inhale, begin to exhale as you push the rifle back into battery, and then be ready to begin your trigger press as you finish exhaling and approach the respiratory pause. Observe the front sight or reticle as it tracks upward back onto your target and let ‘er rip.

It sounds odd when written out, but a few minutes of dryfire is all it takes to get a good rhythm.  Shooting in rifleman’s cadence this way is smooth and natural - during the AQT grind this past weekend, all I noticed was my reticle floating back up on target after running the bolt for each shot.

Magazines, and keeping them loaded

I shot a personal bolt-gun-best 230 this past weekend with my CZ, using three 5-round magazines. This required changing mags once on Stage 1 and Stage 4, and changing mags twice on the transitional stages. It was a bear, and was made harder by an outstanding (relentless) Line Boss. If I wasn’t getting slung up, shooting, or getting unslung, I was over at my station prepping magazines as fast as I could.

I was also in the best frickin’ Rifleman’s Bubble of my life (so far), which didn’t hurt.  But what really helped me get through that run was that every spare second I had was spent on loading magazines. That gave me just enough time to take a few cleansing breaths and get my heart rate in check before prep began.

My very first Rifleman score (220) was shot with CZ’s 10-rounders at my very first event back in September, and while being forced to make more mag changes this time definitely took working more efficiently, it was not anything I felt unprepared to do.

Practice magazine changes while you are down there on your living room floor before the event, and without any question  5-rounders can carry you all the way through the AQT. I used three magazines to preserve the “shoot two, reload, shoot eight” rhythm on Stages 2 and 3, but if two 5-rounders is what you’ve got, it’ll work (talk to the instructors). That would probably be easier than what I did (which was shoot two, reload, shoot three, reload, shoot five).

Don’t panic on Stage 2

The first time I shot Stage 2, I fell apart. I think I got off five rounds – I wasn’t shooting in rifleman’s cadence, I fumbled my reload because I was back on my heels, and I took forever to build a good cross-legged seated position. Rookie mistakes with a semiauto, and real killers with a bolt gun.

To hit this stage successfully, I think shooters need to figure out which kneeling/sitting position is the correct balance of fast enough to get into and stable enough to land hits in the black. For me, this was crossed ankle (which is theoretically not my first choice for stability). I practiced dropping into my chosen position a couple of nights before the event, which helped. I’d guess this is where people make the most improvement between their first and second Appleseed, because outside of Appleseed I’d never been asked to get into a seated shooting position before.

Focus on getting your hits. My approach was that a shot in the black here is all you need. To hit 210 / Rifleman, my math says it’s okay to shoot 4s and 5s on this stage and run over the time limit with one (or even two) rounds unfired. Remember that throwing rounds outside of the 3-zone in a rush to finish will score the same as a round you didn’t fire, and you should resist the urge to dump your last few rounds for the sake of getting all 10 shots off. I tried to work methodically, get hits, and really focus on running the bolt as I breathed.

Get your scope right (if applicable)

This won’t apply to iron sight shooters, but I’m assuming most bolt-action shooters in the United States are using scopes.

This one obviously isn’t unique to bolt guns, but most of the scopes I see out and about in the world are set up too far to the rear for shooting prone. If you have to make a conscious effort to scrunch your head backwards in prone to get rid of scope shadow, you are going to be sore at the end of the day and you will probably have consistency issues. I knew I would probably have issues with this being a first-timer over the summer and wouldn’t you know, I had to push my scope forward quite a bit more than I thought I would need.

Even at that, I had to adjust it further Sunday night after the shoot and I felt cramped for eye relief all through the AQT grind. In the end, what I had to do was ignore some neck pain and figure out which tooth I was pressing into the stock through my cheek when I had an acceptable sight picture. I then focused on pressing that same tooth into the stock for the entire grind.

It worked that day and I earned my patch, but there isn’t a reason in the world to shoot like that. I had to lift my head and re-settle it several times through each AQT, and on a few stages I had to do it more than once. For a semiauto shooter, that’s inefficient and means speeding up your cadence. For someone who has to manually cycle the action, wasting that time means the difference between getting all of your hits in Stage 2 and running over the time limit with a bunch of rounds still in the magazine (or worse, getting sloppy and throwing shots in a rush to beat the clock).

Play around on your living room floor and have tools available to make adjustments during prep periods. Far better to sort your scope out on Day 1 shooting squares than it is to fiddle with it during AQTs.

Get your cheek weld right

Running a bolt gun means breaking NPOA to at least some degree for every single shot. Keeping your cheek welded to the stock through all four stages is critical to keep unnecessary variables out of rebuilding NPOA as the rifle goes back into battery, and having a comb that is too low relative to your sights will make consistency here much more difficult than it has to be.

If your stock, rings, and ocular / rear sight all work well with your facial geometry, awesome. My general impression is that scope shooters who are used to shooting off a bench will occasionally be willing to accept something closer to jaw weld or chin weld than cheek weld, which is a problem that a bench will cover up and the AQT will quickly expose (and that working a bolt gun will compound due to breaking NPOA each shot).

Some new stocks make this easy to address, like Magpul’s X-22 or Ruger’s anniversary package. Shooting a CZ, I didn’t have this option, and I wasn’t willing to modify my stock for a riser kit.

In the end, I added a stock pouch before attending my first event and I was really glad I did. It does a great job, and I store hex keys or whatever else I need that day in it. With consistent cheek weld, I was able to focus on Neckpain Tooth Index or whatever else it happened to be at the moment rather than where the rifle was on my Y-axis.

(http://i.imgur.com/y8IiXmh.jpg?1)

Number your magazines

This one seems really obvious to me, but I never see it at my local ranges and I haven’t seen it at the Appleseeds I’ve attended, either. It’s a little ugly, but this is a dead-reliable way to never mix up your 2’s and 8’s, or whatever combination you are using. I carried this practice over from handguns, where mags / mag springs can be a weak point in the system and being able to quickly identify which mag is faulty helps solve feedway stoppages. So I guess the same benefits would apply, but I've never seen a rimfire magazine go bad like I've seen centerfire handgun mags go bad.

(http://i.imgur.com/ftrMKE1.jpg?1)

Paint pens work great for this. I mark my CZ magazines on the spine, starting with an X or a V depending on whether they’re 10-rounders or 5-rounders. I haven’t marked my only steel magazine yet, because I am kind of attached to it. This past weekend while using 5-rounders in the transitional stages, I set my nest up with Mag 1 (two rounds) and Mag 2 (three rounds) and separated from the unmarked mag (five rounds) with a chamber flag. This ended up working pretty well, since I could easily tell which magazine was which when it came time to reload.

It looked something like this:

(http://i.imgur.com/zawtNba.jpg?1)

For 10/22 magazines, which are (irritatingly) little cubes, I mark the side of each magazine near the front. I’m admittedly new to 10/22s, but marking magazines that way helped several times on Saturday while making reloads in prone as I was able to glance down and make sure I was oriented correctly before driving each magazine into the magwell.

(http://i.imgur.com/bviNLSm.jpg?1)

Rapid-fire AQTs

These are uncommon, but if you are given the option and you are shooting a bolt gun, don’t be intimidated because a rapid-fire AQT will work to your advantage. It sounds counterintuitive (how could a faster test help a slower gun?!) but in effect, what this does is let you take your time on Stage 2 (which is where a bolt-action’s speed disadvantage is greatest) by trading off time from stages where a bolt gunner should have more time than they really need.

That, and they’re FUN!

That's all I've got. Nothing profound (I'm not much of a philosopher), but I hope that assembling the stuff that helped me will in turn help somebody else getting ready to attend their first Appleseed, so they can focus on more important things than shooting issues.

Those guys in red and orange hats do like to talk about this one day in April from a bunch of years ago...might be worth paying attention to.  ;)

Good luck, and persist!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: jmdavis on November 20, 2015, 11:35:22 AM
You don't need to change mags twice for the rapid stages. Five and five is just fine. Two and eight changed the AQT when the M1 came into service. Prior to that it was five and five for the 1903 and the 1917.

Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Kennebago on November 20, 2015, 01:22:29 PM
You're right, aigning mag changes with M1903/M1917 stripper clip reloads never occurred to me. That's pretty cool!

My 10-rounders were lent out at the time, so with three 5-rounders in-hand I consulted the line boss and decided to take the harder option. I'll stick to 5/5 next time.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: BeSwift on November 20, 2015, 02:43:44 PM
Very nice write up. Those who take the time to read your advice and experience will be on a good footing for how to get this done running a bolt...   O0
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: PHenry on November 20, 2015, 04:58:47 PM
competition bolters tell me they refuse to wait for the gas action.  ^-^

watching them run the bolt on a match rifle (modified AR - to bolt action) is something to be seen. U cannot see their hand move and they do not break position to work the bolt - very fluid motion.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Rocket Man on November 21, 2015, 02:01:37 AM
Good post.  Rifle looks familiar.   :D  Mine is basically the same except with an M1 Garand canvas stock saddle, and Weaver K4 scope.

Keep your head locked on the rifle and work through each breath

Yep, cheek weld is paramount.  The most important of steady hold factors.  One of the frustrations I have with my M1917 is that you can't, because the bolt travel is so huge... for that rifle you have to add lifting your head and dropping it back on the stock to the rhythm.  Not so with the CZ.

With the cheek weld sorted out, I find that my biggest source of mechanical inaccuracy is due to minute changes in placement of my trigger hand after working the bolt.  We're talking changes on the order of 3/4 to 1 MOA, not a huge difference, but noticeable.  A bolt can be a good if demanding teacher.

Magazines, and keeping them loaded

What I tend to do with magazines is bring a 10-rounder and a 5-rounder to the line.  The big one has 8, the little one has 2, impossible to mix up.  But it doesn't make a huge difference.  My next attempt is single loading with the single-shot adapter...

Paint pens are a good idea on magazines.  I mark all of 'em, not least because I wind up loaning out magazines at many a 'Seed.  But rimfire mags can and do fail.  I have Marlin mags that get the feed lips beat up, and FTF on the last round.  The clever Ruger rotary mags will bind up over time and need to be cleaned out, and once in a while a spring will break and that's it.  You'll see.  Magazines are wear items, I eat about one every other year per firearm with moderate use...

Don’t panic on Stage 2
Interesting that you choose a different position for speed, but it's a valid approach.  Personally I do well in seated, and Stage 3 is my worst stage -- but my standard advice on fast stages is, if your NPOA check comes in on the black, take it.  4's make scores.

Get your scope right (if applicable)
Yup.  I've lost count of the scopes I've seen on the line mounted too far back.   But any scope position is a compromise.  Also don't forget that you can change your address to target -- if that scope just won't go back far enough in prone, try squaring up behind the rifle.  And remember that if it's a variable scope, lower powers have a larger eyebox and are more tolerant of imperfect head position.

Rapid-fire AQTs
I've seen a lot of shooters score on RFAQTs that just couldn't do it with regular AQT's -- sometimes a tighter clock helps people focus.  Not always.

Personally I haven't shot the score with my CZ on an RFAQT.  Ran out of time.  Admittedly I only tried it once.  But the bolt and scope tricked me into going for perfection.  I had a 147 / 150 through Stage 1-3, and then I only got four shots off on Stage 4 before time...  :shootself:

On regular AQT's I score with boring regularity with the bolt gun.  It's not a handicap.

I have had several students shoot Rifleman scores and earn their patches with bolt guns.  The most impressive was a bone stock CZ 452 Trainer, new shooter, only "modification" was a sling.  Not even aperture sights.  He shot a 235 I think. 

But the lesson is that he scored because he was in the Rifleman's Bubble.  If a boltie helps you get in that bubble, then you're going to do well.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Laredo on November 22, 2015, 10:10:14 PM
Great write up.  Thanks for taking the time to do it. 

2 take always for me:

- These are some good tips for when I am working with bolt shooters...
- I need to get a bolt! 
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Guntuckian on November 22, 2015, 10:42:56 PM
Great write-up!  Thanks for "paying it forward!"

Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Charles McKinley on November 22, 2015, 11:58:03 PM
Nice write up.  Now for centerfire bolt.  I recommend the Mossberg MVP.

Any way to get the bolt action threads in one place there are several now.

Also read, https://openlibrary.org/books/OL7161034M/Suggestions_to_Military_Riflemen

By Townsend Wheelen.  It is also available for down load from other places and hard copies can be attained.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: cyclingbob on November 29, 2015, 06:01:21 PM
Thanks for your hard work with bolt action post.

So here is my brief Appleseed shoot history. I hope these points help new shooters. I started with a bolt and end with a semi and bolt.

Appleseed 1 was a Marlin 80 D bolt action with 3x8 Bushnell Banner Scope. I understood that a bolt action would be a challenge but that was not my problem.

Even though I practiced quite a bit prior to the shoot  my prep was clueless.  So no shooting mat, sandals and shorts, and old style impossible to adjust sling.  I most regret not having elbow and knee pads. After the shoot my elbows looked like I had auditioned for the Walking Dead. Raw meat.

Looking back on AS 1 is painful.

I promised myself to do better with solid preparation.

A year off due to illness.

For Appleseed 2 (1022) I studied all the material I could get my hands on and posted a bunch on the forum. Everyone was super helpful and I thank all for your advice. I came prepared and practiced the Staged AQT for 2 months prior to shoot.  The surprise came on the day of the shoot when the course of fire was Rapid. Ooops. Well back to the drawing board.

For AS 3 (1022) I qualified 2x and made Rifleman. So looking back  preparation is the key. I am 68 years old and  getting use to all positions was the key to being comfortable on the day of the shoot. Full disclosure. I was still good for 2 ibuprofen both nights.Think of the prep time as physical therapy without  the hourly rate.

So fast forward to ASeed number 4 with 1022 and a bolt action Crosman Benjamin Marauder PCP .177 pellet gun.  See http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=46948.0

All of your points are right on target.

EXTRA MAGS AND NUMBERING

Starting with ASeed #2 I numbered all mags.

For ASeed #4 I bought 6 mags for the reason described in the above post.  So at the start of each AQT I would grind through all the mag loading to squeeze as much time as I could to reload my PCP reservoir prior to Stage 3.

CHEEKPIECE AND CHEEK WELD  - CAN YOU FALL ASLEEP IN PRONE?

I needed to build up the stock on my BM PCP and 1022. Take a peek at the post above for a look at the cheekpiece for both the 1022 and BM PCP.  No beauty contest  here  and  downright ugly but they get the job done.  The cheekpieces have a medical theme.

The cheekpiece on the BM PCP is a stretchable elastic bandage. The material sticks together and makes for a comfortable nonslip surface that is easy to adjust in height. I used an entire bandage. Maybe $3.

The cheekpiece for the 1022 is a wrist brace, elastic bandage and a tendon strap. Cost is still $3 as other items were on hand.

All the effort with cheekpieces made the prone position very comfortable once I trained muscles and joints to "like" the prone position.  Relax into the sling with a comfortable consistent cheekpiece and cheek weld and you will be snoring like a warthog.

Nice job on the post.

Thanks again.


Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: RTB on December 03, 2015, 04:33:14 PM
Great tips Kennebago!
I shot my first Appleseed with the same bolt action you're using; just in a left handed version. I also achieved my first Rifleman patch using my CZ 452 and as I have improved my scores over time I find I only see a slight point increase when using a semi.
Next I need to try using a centerfire bolt action and moving it to a Known Distance range as well  :))
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations
Post by: Evan90 on December 06, 2015, 08:35:46 AM
That's what I call complete guide. Thanks  :---
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: raggedyedge on March 08, 2016, 01:01:31 PM
Very interesting article even though I do not have a bolt gun.

For manual loading guns I prefer the lever action. I find less disturbance of sight picture and NPA. But most important is that the operation is perfectly mirrored for ambidextrous shooting....something I regard as essential for martial purposes.

My video on ambi-shooting and eliminating eye dominance is at...

https://youtu.be/_cNh02Py74g
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: raggedyedge on March 08, 2016, 01:21:38 PM
Here is a video I forgot that I made. Ambi-shooting the AQT using a Henry 22 lever action. The thing to notice is that left and right should be perfect mirrors. Once you have practiced ambi-shooting from cover any eye dominance becomes basically undetectable.

https://youtu.be/D2wKEEmIvCk
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: The Old Guide on March 10, 2016, 09:10:23 AM
Two years ago I had a shooter on the line with a CX 452 bolt rifle. He was firing 194, 198, 187 with good groups. I watched him and he was breaking cheek weld with every shot. I had him dry fire and showed him that the bolt would not touch his cheek. Then I taught him what we used to call the "Springfield wrist roll". His elbow did not move in any position.

Bingo! He fired 227, 232, 224 etc. for the rest of the day - like clockwork. I learned the "Springfield roll" at a big bore match in Keene, NH in 1967. Yeah, a half century ago.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: MandyMonstar on March 10, 2016, 09:35:44 AM
In case anyone reading this is interested, I actually have a filmed run through of the AQT with my bolt.  I get a lot of good information from watching recordings of my shooting, so maybe it would help someone else too.

Link! (http://shootersknitwear.tumblr.com/post/139525689271/working-toward-250)
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Tipi Joe on March 10, 2016, 11:49:44 AM
Two years ago I had a shooter on the line with a CX 452 bolt rifle. He was firing 194, 198, 187 with good groups. I watched him and he was breaking cheek weld with every shot. I had him dry fire and showed him that the bolt would not touch his cheek. Then I taught him what we used to call the "Springfield wrist roll". His elbow did not move in any position.

Bingo! He fired 227, 232, 224 etc. for the rest of the day - like clockwork. I learned the "Springfield roll" at a big bore match in Keene, NH in 1967. Yeah, a half century ago.

Could you please explain what the Springfield wrist roll is? I googled it and only found some exercises. Nothing about shooting.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on March 10, 2016, 02:46:43 PM
I am really curious about the Springfield Roll too - my approach so far has been to break position as little as possible and try to rip the bolt in a rough arc using my trigger elbow as a pivot, but a centerfire cartridge is going to need more movement than that.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: kr6mvs on March 10, 2016, 04:43:40 PM
I found this:
http://www.frfrogspad.com/bolt.htm
which has two parts. One is the fluidity of rolling the hand through the bolt throw, which seems to be enough for low pressure rounds. The other is rolling the rifle into the bolt throw, which seems to be to provide more leverage to cycle stickier high pressure rounds in the big-bore center fire and clear the face in a longer bolt throw.

"Therefore, in operating the bolt from the shoulder (in the off-hand position). as the upward thrust is put on the knob the rifle should be rolled to the right with the left hand.  This results in shortening the apparent motion of the right hand and moves the path of the bolt to the right, missing the face and obviating having to duck the backward travel of the bolt.

I"t is important for the novice to learn that correct and fast operation of the bolt action rifle in rapid fire is not ''one, two, three, four', but rather one continuous series of motions with the wrist playing its correct part in controlling the four stages of the stroke.

"The bolt knob rolls in the grip as the hand pivots at the wrist, knuckles starting in nearly a vertical position and winding up nearly horizontal.  No amount of dexterity can alter the mechanical motions of the bolt knob, but there is no  need for hand and arm to follow them through their rectangular motions as long as the wrist has joints in it and bolt knob may be rolled easily in the grip of the hand.

"The need for the bolt knob to roll easily in the grip of the hand, permitting minimum motion on the part of the hand itself, is a fine illustration of the folly of those who manufacture bolts which are not round and smooth to grasp.

"Until the bolt can be swiftly and smoothly opened and closed with a single sweeping motion of the hand in each direction the shooter has not passed the beginner stage.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: FiremanBob on March 10, 2016, 05:37:44 PM
Thanks for the excellent article.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: crobjones2 on March 10, 2016, 07:45:25 PM
I would love to see a video of this "roll" technique. I am good with lower power and short cartridges(.22, .357, .308), but once I get into the long stroke cartridges, I cannot get a good fluid movement. (.303, 30-06)
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Liberty60 on March 10, 2016, 10:49:18 PM
Thank you for the encouragement! I just picked up a CZ 455 Trainer as I too wanted to run a bolt rifle for my 3rd AS. I'll check back with the news on my quest for Rifleman.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: TheMenace on March 14, 2016, 02:52:41 PM
Excellent reference by kr6mvs (http://www.frfrogspad.com/bolt.htm). Thanks to Kennebago for the Newsletter article and the thoughtful responses. Most of the comments (beyond bolt manipulation) apply equally to semi-auto operation. Makes me want a bolt gun!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: sluggo on March 16, 2016, 05:25:16 PM
This method works well for the Lee enfields
(http://i1058.photobucket.com/albums/t412/sluggo_m14/wristroll1_zps1agmkvwx.jpg)

(http://i1058.photobucket.com/albums/t412/sluggo_m14/wristroll2_zpsssygrmft.jpg)
(http://i1058.photobucket.com/albums/t412/sluggo_m14/wristroll3_zpsp58zbbrm.jpg)

Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Caliper on March 23, 2016, 09:37:41 AM
That's a nice trick!  I've not seen that before. 

Another tip is to move your support hand sideways away from your trigger hand while retracting the bolt. (ie, for a right handed shooter, move your left hand left) Meanwhile the trigger hand pulls the bolt backwards, but by moving both hands away from each other the movement of each hand is minimized.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Mutant Texan on June 12, 2016, 08:06:02 PM

This won’t apply to iron sight shooters, but I’m assuming most bolt-action shooters in the United States are using scopes.


You don't need to change mags twice for the rapid stages. Five and five is just fine. Two and eight changed the AQT when the M1 came into service. Prior to that it was five and five for the 1903 and the 1917.


This is an old thread but it is relevant to my goals.  I own a Ruger GSR and would love to learn how to use it using the old training that has probably not been taught since the introduction of the M-1 Garand.

This carbine would be perfect for applying the rifleman's skills.  It uses standard M-1 style iron sights with the option of mounting a scope either above the action or in a scout configuration just in front of the action.  I also accepts a box magazine.  The Ruger GSR is built with a controlled feed Mauser style action and has a free floating barrel. 

If I were to bring this carbine to an Appleseed, I would require some helpful instruction on how to effectively use it.  Is this style of shooting taught to the instructors during RWVA boot camp?  Would I also be allowed to run two 5 round magazines instead of the 8 & 2?  I could just throw 8 rounds in a magazine and toss the last 2 in by hand to speed things along if this is allowed.

The next question has to do with the ammo allowed to be used at an Appleseed event.  I have hand loaded my own 3.08 rounds using a .224 bullet in a Remington Accelerator.  These sabot rounds have a muzzle velocity in excess of 4,000 fps using a slow burning powder.  You should not use this ammo in a semi-auto firearm to to possible feed problems that bolt actions are not susceptible to.  Would I be allowed by the rules to use these rounds in a bolt action?
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: hogfamily on June 12, 2016, 08:51:09 PM
MandyMonstar,

Love your blog!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: crobjones2 on June 12, 2016, 10:16:08 PM
I took the knowledge from this thread to good use this weekend. rolling the rifle greatly accelerated my ability to reload my CZ455 fast, without drastically breaking my NPOA
Thank you all
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Rocket Man on June 13, 2016, 03:36:23 AM
If I were to bring this carbine to an Appleseed, I would require some helpful instruction on how to effectively use it.  Is this style of shooting taught to the instructors during RWVA boot camp?  Would I also be allowed to run two 5 round magazines instead of the 8 & 2?  I could just throw 8 rounds in a magazine and toss the last 2 in by hand to speed things along if this is allowed.

We've had GSR's at Appleseed before.  It's not the easiest rifle to shoot an AQT with, but it doesn't have to be.  Other students have brought M1903's, Mosins, R700's -- you name it, we've seen it.

On my line I'm happy to let bolties prep whatever they want for 2 and 8 -- the original course of fire, developed for the M1903 Springfield, called for 5 and 5 on stripper clips.  2 and 8 was a later innovation to match the M1 Garand manual of arms.  Philosophically Stages 2 and 3 on the AQT only require a magazine change to force a position break, and with a bolt-action, you're already doing that on every shot.

The next question has to do with the ammo allowed to be used at an Appleseed event.  I have hand loaded my own 3.08 rounds using a .224 bullet in a Remington Accelerator.  These sabot rounds have a muzzle velocity in excess of 4,000 fps using a slow burning powder.  You should not use this ammo in a semi-auto firearm to to possible feed problems that bolt actions are not susceptible to.  Would I be allowed by the rules to use these rounds in a bolt action?

Sure.  Our regulations say anything up to 8mm is kosher.  The particular range might theoretically have some other relevant ammo restrictions, I guess, but I can't imagine there'd be any concern.  That type of ammunition won't give you any advantage at Appleseed except plausibly lower recoil.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on June 13, 2016, 06:57:12 AM
R700's
What are the load and transition procedures for Stages 2& 3 with a fixed-mag rifle like that?

My pea-brain assumes you would handle it like a tube-fed rifle (fill the magazine when prep ends and leave the chamber flag in for transitions, etc) but I can't find anything specific in the manual.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: jmdavis on June 13, 2016, 09:37:18 AM

The next question has to do with the ammo allowed to be used at an Appleseed event.  I have hand loaded my own 3.08 rounds using a .224 bullet in a Remington Accelerator.  These sabot rounds have a muzzle velocity in excess of 4,000 fps using a slow burning powder.  You should not use this ammo in a semi-auto firearm to to possible feed problems that bolt actions are not susceptible to.  Would I be allowed by the rules to use these rounds in a bolt action?

You do not want to use this load if shooting steel. For paper punching I keep my loads below 3000 gps and generally around 2700.

I have shot KD aqt with a Steyr Scout, in a scout configuration. It works well, but it was through that use that I discovered that the pencil barrel moves the poi up 2 MOA and left 1/2 MOA when shooting sling with the barrel hot as in the aqt. It still produced a rifleman scores and it's done it's job on deer as well. The a Ruger barrel is heavier and it's design makes it easier to use a 10 rnds mag. Let us know how it works for you.

One additional bit of advice. Practice your transitions and bolt operation in dryfire before you get to the event. You can do this at home and even on a blank wall. Without a target for distraction you will be better able to focus on position, trigger control, sight alignment and the other key aspects of successful shooting. Good luck.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: TOMINCT on June 13, 2016, 02:26:35 PM
R700's
What are the load and transition procedures for Stages 2& 3 with a fixed-mag rifle like that?

My pea-brain assumes you would handle it like a tube-fed rifle (fill the magazine when prep ends and leave the chamber flag in for transitions, etc) but I can't find anything specific in the manual.
Some Rem 700's are box mag fed. so swapping mags would be one way. The other is via stripper clip loading.

 Rem 700 series has been modified for use in NRA match rifle across the course firing for decades. The standard BDL series, fixed mag with hinge floorplate may be altered to take 5 rounds via clip loading. Typically the mag follower has some material removed from the bottom of it and the floorplate is shimmed down to allow the 5th round to be loaded into the magazine.

 On short action models, the rear receiver ring is milled for accepting stripper clips. I've a 223 varmint model that has been modified this way. Accepts M16 stripper clips or Clemul 5 round types as used in hi power shooting. 308/243 et al will be the same but take Springfield clips, not M14 style.

 On long action receivers with S/A cartridges an add on stripper clip guide is fastened to the rear receiver bridge, to allow the rounds to be loaded directly in front of the retracted bolt. If you have a chance to go to a hi power event and folks are running 'older' match rifles you will see what I'm describing here.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on June 13, 2016, 03:33:59 PM
I guess more specifically I am trying to figure out what my dryfire regimen should be with a hinged floorplate to prepare for a KD.

Scope rail will block top loading from any kind of clip and I do not have money left to spend on new bottom metal (I would be going with AICS) as I prioritized nicer glass over mags.

I am guessing I would be looking at loading the mag to capacity (5) when prep ends, leaving the chamber flag in, and then transitioning like a Marlin 60 would. After my first five rounds I would be single loading from stock pouch loops.

Understand this would be a very challenging way to earn a KD tab, which is why I want to try it.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Caliper on June 13, 2016, 03:50:29 PM
I would PM whoever is running the KD event and ask them. Also, are you planning to use a side-saddle ammo carrier for the second 5 rounds or have them on the ground?  Something else to consider and straighten out beforehand.

You might try seeing if you can palm 2 or 3 rounds at once and quickly load them instead of single loading each of the five rounds individually. It would make for fewer times moving your hand out of your workspace to get ammo.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on June 13, 2016, 04:08:00 PM
Scope is backordered and I won't have it for months, unfortunately. Not signed up anywhere yet or yeah I'd be bothering event personnel.

Rifle is wearing a stock pack with external cartridge loops (holds eight), so I have been messing around with that using snap caps.

Definitely want to have technique prepared before shooting for points.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: jmdavis on June 13, 2016, 04:47:41 PM
It will likely be faster to single load the last five in prone than to charge the magazine and then fire. Sitting will be tough. But you could shoot sitting from kneeling and take the loss of a few points vs. the additional time to get a good sitting position. The last time I saw anyone shoot the KD AQT with a 700  was when we had different rules. He single loaded for sitting and failed to get off two rounds. I want to say that his score was a 199.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Rocket Man on June 14, 2016, 12:29:37 AM
I am guessing I would be looking at loading the mag to capacity (5) when prep ends, leaving the chamber flag in, and then transitioning like a Marlin 60 would. After my first five rounds I would be single loading from stock pouch loops.

Sounds OK to me.  But at this point I might observe that I have seen folks make the score with single-shot rifles...

I haven't done that one yet.  Next chance I get I'm going to try with my CZ 452 and a SLED...  I have shot KD with an M1917 using stripper clips, and time was not a factor.  (Sights, on the other hand, were a factor.)  :shootself:

--

Something else I thought of with the Accelerator sabots:  Are those going to impact paper at 25 meters, like a shot cup?  That might pose a problem in our class, if they do.  Don't think they do.

Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: MandyMonstar on June 22, 2016, 04:28:43 PM
MandyMonstar,

Love your blog!

Thanks! :)
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: confederate rifle on December 14, 2016, 09:00:32 PM
very interesting read
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Nashville Stage on March 20, 2017, 02:02:07 AM
In case anyone reading this is interested, I actually have a filmed run through of the AQT with my bolt.  I get a lot of good information from watching recordings of my shooting, so maybe it would help someone else too.

Link! (http://shootersknitwear.tumblr.com/post/139525689271/working-toward-250)

Mandy, thanks for showing your videos; I've been thinking about doing something similar to review my range time.

You have an interesting technique for operating the bolt; I'll have to try that out. It seems less jerky than what I've been doing on my CZ. :)
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: glocker21 on August 30, 2018, 01:02:38 PM
Editor's note:
This thread was submitted to the newsletter by a 3rd party and has been published here with the author's permission. Should you run across a thread that you think should be included in the newsletter, send Roswell or FiremanBob a PM.


Earlier this week I wrote up everything that helped me as a bolt-action shooter at my first two Appleseeds, figuring I might as well pay it forward just in case there were any other people out there getting ready to shoot their first event with something other than a semiautomatic. Goodness knows there were plenty of people who shared information on forums that ended up helping me at mine.

I posted this yesterday on Rimfire Central's Appleseed subforum (mostly to see what the responses would be, if there were any) and people seem to think there are a few useful things in it, so I figured it might be worth sharing at the mothership.

Text and images are below.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

One of my favorite things about Appleseed is the unshakeable “run what ya brung” attitude that runs down into the marrow of the program.

My favorite rifle is a 452 Varmint, so that’s what I’ve been bringing.

I finished up my second Appleseed this past weekend (requalified), and I thought it might help some other people who are preparing for their first or second event with a bolt-action rifle if I shared some of my observations. Some of it probably isn’t news to AQT veterans, many of which are far better informed than me, and to be honest most of this was probably absorbed from them in a few dozen threads scattered across the forum (and across a few years), but at least it is in one place here. And some of it would go for any rifle, not just a bolt – most of my AQT runs have been made with a bolt-action, so if I'm saying obvious things, I apologize.

I don’t consider myself a good shooter, and I am really far from an expert. But these are my thoughts. If I'm wrong about anything please say so - one thing I still keep on-hand is my teachable attitude!

Bolt vs semi

Currently, my best semiautomatic run is all of two points better than my best bolt gun run. I’m just not seeing a disadvantage that can’t be overcome (this might change with experience). If you’re shooting a bolt gun, it just takes a little bit of preparation and some persistence.

I had some Internet Anxiety leading to the event over that, and it was completely unwarranted. If you've got a bolt gun, grab that thing and roll tide.

Keep your head locked on the rifle and work through each breath

This isn’t a secret – to successfully qualify as a Rifleman you will need to be able to assertively work the bolt without breaking cheek weld, and to breathe as you cycle the action.

As a bolt gunner, this is probably the single most important thing I worked on ahead of the event weekend. Shooting in a reasonably brisk rifleman’s cadence, my goal was working the bolt fast enough to be back on the rifle starting my trigger press at the same point in the breathing cycle where I would be just starting to press a semiauto trigger after letting out to reset.

Starting out, this sounded far more complicated than it was in practice. All you will need to do is lift the bolt while you start to inhale, begin to exhale as you push the rifle back into battery, and then be ready to begin your trigger press as you finish exhaling and approach the respiratory pause. Observe the front sight or reticle as it tracks upward back onto your target and let ‘er rip.

It sounds odd when written out, but a few minutes of dryfire is all it takes to get a good rhythm.  Shooting in rifleman’s cadence this way is smooth and natural - during the AQT grind this past weekend, all I noticed was my reticle floating back up on target after running the bolt for each shot.

Magazines, and keeping them loaded

I shot a personal bolt-gun-best 230 this past weekend with my CZ, using three 5-round magazines. This required changing mags once on Stage 1 and Stage 4, and changing mags twice on the transitional stages. It was a bear, and was made harder by an outstanding (relentless) Line Boss. If I wasn’t getting slung up, shooting, or getting unslung, I was over at my station prepping magazines as fast as I could.

I was also in the best frickin’ Rifleman’s Bubble of my life (so far), which didn’t hurt.  But what really helped me get through that run was that every spare second I had was spent on loading magazines. That gave me just enough time to take a few cleansing breaths and get my heart rate in check before prep began.

My very first Rifleman score (220) was shot with CZ’s 10-rounders at my very first event back in September, and while being forced to make more mag changes this time definitely took working more efficiently, it was not anything I felt unprepared to do.

Practice magazine changes while you are down there on your living room floor before the event, and without any question  5-rounders can carry you all the way through the AQT. I used three magazines to preserve the “shoot two, reload, shoot eight” rhythm on Stages 2 and 3, but if two 5-rounders is what you’ve got, it’ll work (talk to the instructors). That would probably be easier than what I did (which was shoot two, reload, shoot three, reload, shoot five).

Don’t panic on Stage 2

The first time I shot Stage 2, I fell apart. I think I got off five rounds – I wasn’t shooting in rifleman’s cadence, I fumbled my reload because I was back on my heels, and I took forever to build a good cross-legged seated position. Rookie mistakes with a semiauto, and real killers with a bolt gun.

To hit this stage successfully, I think shooters need to figure out which kneeling/sitting position is the correct balance of fast enough to get into and stable enough to land hits in the black. For me, this was crossed ankle (which is theoretically not my first choice for stability). I practiced dropping into my chosen position a couple of nights before the event, which helped. I’d guess this is where people make the most improvement between their first and second Appleseed, because outside of Appleseed I’d never been asked to get into a seated shooting position before.

Focus on getting your hits. My approach was that a shot in the black here is all you need. To hit 210 / Rifleman, my math says it’s okay to shoot 4s and 5s on this stage and run over the time limit with one (or even two) rounds unfired. Remember that throwing rounds outside of the 3-zone in a rush to finish will score the same as a round you didn’t fire, and you should resist the urge to dump your last few rounds for the sake of getting all 10 shots off. I tried to work methodically, get hits, and really focus on running the bolt as I breathed.

Get your scope right (if applicable)

This won’t apply to iron sight shooters, but I’m assuming most bolt-action shooters in the United States are using scopes.

This one obviously isn’t unique to bolt guns, but most of the scopes I see out and about in the world are set up too far to the rear for shooting prone. If you have to make a conscious effort to scrunch your head backwards in prone to get rid of scope shadow, you are going to be sore at the end of the day and you will probably have consistency issues. I knew I would probably have issues with this being a first-timer over the summer and wouldn’t you know, I had to push my scope forward quite a bit more than I thought I would need.

Even at that, I had to adjust it further Sunday night after the shoot and I felt cramped for eye relief all through the AQT grind. In the end, what I had to do was ignore some neck pain and figure out which tooth I was pressing into the stock through my cheek when I had an acceptable sight picture. I then focused on pressing that same tooth into the stock for the entire grind.

It worked that day and I earned my patch, but there isn’t a reason in the world to shoot like that. I had to lift my head and re-settle it several times through each AQT, and on a few stages I had to do it more than once. For a semiauto shooter, that’s inefficient and means speeding up your cadence. For someone who has to manually cycle the action, wasting that time means the difference between getting all of your hits in Stage 2 and running over the time limit with a bunch of rounds still in the magazine (or worse, getting sloppy and throwing shots in a rush to beat the clock).

Play around on your living room floor and have tools available to make adjustments during prep periods. Far better to sort your scope out on Day 1 shooting squares than it is to fiddle with it during AQTs.

Get your cheek weld right

Running a bolt gun means breaking NPOA to at least some degree for every single shot. Keeping your cheek welded to the stock through all four stages is critical to keep unnecessary variables out of rebuilding NPOA as the rifle goes back into battery, and having a comb that is too low relative to your sights will make consistency here much more difficult than it has to be.

If your stock, rings, and ocular / rear sight all work well with your facial geometry, awesome. My general impression is that scope shooters who are used to shooting off a bench will occasionally be willing to accept something closer to jaw weld or chin weld than cheek weld, which is a problem that a bench will cover up and the AQT will quickly expose (and that working a bolt gun will compound due to breaking NPOA each shot).

Some new stocks make this easy to address, like Magpul’s X-22 or Ruger’s anniversary package. Shooting a CZ, I didn’t have this option, and I wasn’t willing to modify my stock for a riser kit.

In the end, I added a stock pouch before attending my first event and I was really glad I did. It does a great job, and I store hex keys or whatever else I need that day in it. With consistent cheek weld, I was able to focus on Neckpain Tooth Index or whatever else it happened to be at the moment rather than where the rifle was on my Y-axis.

(http://i.imgur.com/y8IiXmh.jpg?1)

Number your magazines

This one seems really obvious to me, but I never see it at my local ranges and I haven’t seen it at the Appleseeds I’ve attended, either. It’s a little ugly, but this is a dead-reliable way to never mix up your 2’s and 8’s, or whatever combination you are using. I carried this practice over from handguns, where mags / mag springs can be a weak point in the system and being able to quickly identify which mag is faulty helps solve feedway stoppages. So I guess the same benefits would apply, but I've never seen a rimfire magazine go bad like I've seen centerfire handgun mags go bad.

(http://i.imgur.com/ftrMKE1.jpg?1)

Paint pens work great for this. I mark my CZ magazines on the spine, starting with an X or a V depending on whether they’re 10-rounders or 5-rounders. I haven’t marked my only steel magazine yet, because I am kind of attached to it. This past weekend while using 5-rounders in the transitional stages, I set my nest up with Mag 1 (two rounds) and Mag 2 (three rounds) and separated from the unmarked mag (five rounds) with a chamber flag. This ended up working pretty well, since I could easily tell which magazine was which when it came time to reload.

It looked something like this:

(http://i.imgur.com/zawtNba.jpg?1)

For 10/22 magazines, which are (irritatingly) little cubes, I mark the side of each magazine near the front. I’m admittedly new to 10/22s, but marking magazines that way helped several times on Saturday while making reloads in prone as I was able to glance down and make sure I was oriented correctly before driving each magazine into the magwell.

(http://i.imgur.com/bviNLSm.jpg?1)

Rapid-fire AQTs

These are uncommon, but if you are given the option and you are shooting a bolt gun, don’t be intimidated because a rapid-fire AQT will work to your advantage. It sounds counterintuitive (how could a faster test help a slower gun?!) but in effect, what this does is let you take your time on Stage 2 (which is where a bolt-action’s speed disadvantage is greatest) by trading off time from stages where a bolt gunner should have more time than they really need.

That, and they’re FUN!

That's all I've got. Nothing profound (I'm not much of a philosopher), but I hope that assembling the stuff that helped me will in turn help somebody else getting ready to attend their first Appleseed, so they can focus on more important things than shooting issues.

Those guys in red and orange hats do like to talk about this one day in April from a bunch of years ago...might be worth paying attention to.  ;)

Good luck, and persist!

Well said Kennebago!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: CarrollMS on March 25, 2019, 12:22:19 PM
Thanks for great coaching. Scored 235 at Ramseur Bootcamp first day with the CZ American 455
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on March 25, 2019, 05:39:01 PM
Thanks for great coaching. Scored 235 at Ramseur Bootcamp first day with the CZ American 455

Yeah buddy! Bolt action crew strikes again!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Gus on March 30, 2019, 02:38:46 AM
Great post, love the bolt action.  My son Christian used my Anschutz Achiever in Alaska's March Appleseed and qualified distinguished with iron sights.  I used as Ruger 10/22 and did well, but he beat me pretty good.  This particular Achiever is set up with a peep rear and globe front.

I think in April, I'm going to run the Anschutz and see how it goes.

I better start practicing!

Gus
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Quinncannon on March 30, 2019, 09:39:17 AM
Good information, Kennebago! I've shot a CZ 452UL equipped with Brno Sport sights for years, then had to start using a scope on it, still shot good scores. Also started using a Mini Howa, in .223, I found that this rifle is excellent for reduced and KD.

To be clear, I mainly shoot semi-auto's now, but still occasionally pick up one of the bolt actions.

Would be nice if there was a special patch for bolt gunners!
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: TrapperPete on March 31, 2019, 09:46:24 PM
it would be fun if there was a patch for Bolt action qualification , although I shot my first RM patch with a bolt action 22.

but still would be cool if there was a patch. who doesn't like a good patch?

Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Mark Davis on March 31, 2019, 11:44:03 PM
Yeah how about a special bolt patch for Mosin-Nagant.
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Kennebago on April 01, 2019, 02:22:57 PM
it would be fun if there was a patch for Bolt action qualification , although I shot my first RM patch with a bolt action 22.

but still would be cool if there was a patch. who doesn't like a good patch?

Running a custom "unauthorized" bolt gun patch has been kicked around by more than one of us here, including me. My limitation has always been software - working in GIMP is painful and I don't have access to Photoshop anymore. Getting patches printed isn't necessarily hard, but the design work is agonizing without decent software.

You'll find not everybody is supportive, either, which sort of leads to a DIY route anyway. Embroidery can be a hot-button topic!

(I can see both sides, for whatever that's worth.)
Title: Re: Bolt-action Appleseed observations by Kennebago
Post by: Gus on September 26, 2021, 04:27:54 PM
Resurrecting this thread.

Last week I ran a bolt action rifle in a centerfire known distance at Talkeetna. During the 'regular' AQTs I qualified twice with 42 and 43 hits.  I was a tad slow on the first AQT because I fumbled a bit with reloads and fired 8 shots during stage 2 and 9 in stage 3.  In the next AQT I did better with reloads and fired all ten in each stage.

Then we did a rapid fire AQT on the steel targets.  I found a very nice cadence and was getting my hits, but, I ran out of time. For me, five minutes to fire 40 shots was more than I could do with transitions. I suppose I was a bit too deliberate. With practice I'm sure I could pick up the pace on that, and perhaps I will just for the fun of it. 

To all the above, I would add your ammo must be either factory fresh or handloads/reloads wherein the brass is full-length resized and run through a check gauge to ensure they will chamber effortlessly when you're on the line.  My reloads were very accurate, but, a few were a bit snug in the chamber when closing the bolt.  This cost me some amount of time and took away from my concentration on the shooting. So, note to self, buy some check gauges for .223, .308, and .30-06.  Then I'll be fine.

Always lessons to be learned!

Love the bolt gun.

In Liberty,

Gus