.223 trainer-experienced input needed!!!

FishDr

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Agree with the above comments. My earlier comments about a fast/heavy 223 were not for training purposes. I built this gun for a very specific competition envelope. Apologies to OP if I derailed his thread. If I were building a trainer, 75bthp or similar on a much slower node would be where I’d look.
 

PracticalTactical

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Clearly opinions vary on what makes a good PRS trainer rifle.

I know guys that prefer to practice with more recoil than they compete with to better train for recoil management.

How you define or achieve that is up to the individual, but some guys run hot and heavy 223 to maximize recoil, or even run a 308 for training, while others choose to go the other way with moderate 223 loads, but then need to accustom themselves to an increase in recoil during competition.
 

Sam19kilo

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The info you guys have given me has been extremely valuable and have me narrowed down. Looks like I can plan on practicing all winter in the off season which is the ultimate goal until match season starts again 🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼
 

PhOnEpHrEaK

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I’m wanting to build a .223 trainer and would like to hear what you guys have had work for you in the past.
-barrel length, twist rate
-rough load data(no I’m not wanting to copy, just get an idea)
-velocity
-trigger?

Would love your guys input!!! 🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼
20-24” (or match your main rifles profile and length) 1/7 twist
75 Elds under 24-24.5 8208 in Winchester brass and 450 primers
2965fps single digit SDs
Whatever trigger matches your main rifle.
 

Jabot

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80.5 fullbore bergers. 24.5-25.0 varget. 28 " Krieger
Velocity 2900 -2920.
.2 inch groups
5 shot 2.5 inch group at 800
Accurate mags with front plastic milled out cbto 2.035 oak 2.510 I think if I remember right
 

Sheldon N

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I built an identical 223 trainer so I could “save money”, but after spending $6500 (Impact, Bartlein, Schmidt, Spuhr, Foundation, new mags, etc) I think I would’ve been better off buying 10-15 extra dasher barrels.
Right now my 223 trainer has been turned into a Dasher using one of my old match barrels that's not quite dead. A month or so ago I temporarily made it into a 7SAUM and did a bit of ELR shooting. Never a bad thing to have a second rifle. :)
 

PracticalTactical

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I built an identical 223 trainer so I could “save money”, but after spending $6500 (Impact, Bartlein, Schmidt, Spuhr, Foundation, new mags, etc) I think I would’ve been better off buying 10-15 extra dasher barrels.
I don't think so... You just need to change your approach a little.

I've been working on load development on a new 223 PRS rifle myself lately and I could not be more impressed with it.

It's practically a clone of my Cadex CDX Tac but with less recoil.

It has a 1:7 Bartlien barrel and a long throat. I was out on Sunday chronographing loads with fire formed IVI brass that was neck resized.

I'm running Hornady 88 Grain ELD match at over 2900 FPS and getting around 1/2 MOA at 100 yards.

The BC on the 88 grain bullet is as good as or better than what most PRS shooters run in their 6MMs and the speed is comparable to or even greater than 6BR guys are running while I'm getting less recoil.

You can call that a training rifle if you want to but 5 years ago everyone wanted a 6.5 Creed... then 6 Creed... now 6x47 or 6 Dasher or 6 BR... see a trend here yet?

Guys are seeing the benefit of reduced recoil with good... not great... but good ballistic performance.

I think maybe you might want a little longer throat and tweak the mag so you can feed rounds as long as 2.625" or so... Other than that, you should be good to go.

88 grain Hornady ELD Match / .545 G1 BC / .274 G7 BC Seated to 2.575" OAL
27.2 grains of 2000MR runs 2933 FPS
25.0 grains of 8208 XBR runs 2920 FPS
25.5 grains of Varget runs 2902 FPS (Compressed load)
26.5 grains VV550 runs 2903 FPS

13.75 MOA 3.999 MIL Drop at 670 Yards

Based on primers, none of these loads seem hot in my rifle... Primer edges are still rounded.

Keep in mind, these are fire formed cases I'm using that have been neck resized only. I also do not resize the whole neck. I adjust the die so the neck is only sized to about 0.020-.030" above the neck to shoulder junction. this helps maintain correct seating depth without jamming the base of the bullet into the donut.

If you run full length resized brass, you should stay under the powder charges listed above by a full grain.
 
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lte82

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Right now my 223 trainer has been turned into a Dasher using one of my old match barrels that's not quite dead. A month or so ago I temporarily made it into a 7SAUM and did a bit of ELR shooting. Never a bad thing to have a second rifle. :)
If you don’t have matching rifles are you even a PRS shooter? Lol
 

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padom

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I don't get it.

I stand by my statement as true regardless of "who" any of you are or are not.
We have been through this before. The numbers you are posting are not the norm for 223 bolt guns. You have some custom super long throat you and I talked about before with cut up mags to run extremely long, non standard 223 COALS to maximize case capacity to increase speeds before pressure.

Nobody is able to do this with any 223 chambered barrel they order. Period. 88 ELD's will jam into the lands long before the lengths you are stating and pressure will occur long before the velocities you are posting. This is only achievable with custom very long freebore 223 reamers and modified 223 AICS style magazines.

So to keep popping into 223 threads and throwing out statements that 223 bolt guns have the same ballistics as 6mm chambered bolt guns with less recoil is very misleading. Especially to the people that dont know any better. Because you are the anomaly. Not the norm for 223 bolt guns. Just so we are clear.
 
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PracticalTactical

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We have been through this before. The numbers you are posting are not the norm for 223 bolt guns. You have some custom super long throat you and I talked about before with cut up mags to run extremely long, non standard 223 COALS to maximize case capacity to increase speeds before pressure.

Nobody is able to do this with any 223 chambered barrel they order. Period. 88 ELD's will jam into the lands long before the lengths you are stating and pressure will occur long before the velocities you are posting. This is only achievable with custom very long freebore 223 reamers and modified 223 AICS style magazines.

So to keep popping into 223 threads and throwing out statements that 223 bolt guns have the same ballistics as 6mm chambered bolt guns with less recoil is very misleading. Especially to the people that dont know any better. Because you are the anomaly. Not the norm for 223 bolt guns. Just so we are clear.
I'm not saying any 223 bolt gun can do what mine is, certainly not. I'm saying that mine as configured is closely replicating 6BR ballistics with less recoil... that's all. Maybe not quite as inherently accurate, but close enough.

I thought I was clear that rounds are 2.575" long and cases are fire formed... and anyone can get their rifle throated for longer rounds... and tweak the mag to feed it. Lots of guys are talking about custom rigs here, so they should be able to request the same.

I'm also not claiming to be the best PRS shooter, but I'm certain that a good 6BR PRS shooter with a rifle and ammo configured like mine would do every bit as well.

As for spotting hits, I've found it just as easy to see the 88s hit as 108s from a 6 creed.
 
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Sheldon N

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I'm certain that a good 6BR PRS shooter with a rifle and ammo configured like mine would do every bit as well.

As for spotting hits, I've found it just as easy to see the 88s hit as 108s from a 6 creed.
You've apparently not been to enough matches to know how much that extra energy on target matters at distance. That extra 100 to 150ft lbs of energy is huge.

Not every target is going to be equipped with a flasher, not every target is going to be light weight and center hung so that it twists. I can think of plenty of double corner hung full size 1/2" thick IPSCs at 800 yards in mirage conditions that I've encountered - with no calls to even the 6mm impacts.

And heaven help you if the volunteer RO assigned to your stage showed up with their $150 15-70 power spotting scope with cloudy optics cranked to max magnification... they might as well be looking through a cardboard toilet paper tube with saran wrap on it.

Guys are already playing the 22 caliber game. 22BR, 22BRA, 22 Dasher make way more sense to run a heavy 22 cal bullet if you're chasing the no-recoil option. Problem is lack of energy... spinner stages where you can't spin the spinner, no calls etc. There's a reason you don't see a mass exodus to the 224. One of the guys I shoot with chambered up a 22BR, 88 ELD's at the speeds you're talking about, shot several matches with mixed results, switched back to 6mm.
 
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PracticalTactical

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You've apparently not been to enough matches to know how much that extra energy on target matters at distance. That extra 100 to 150ft lbs of energy is huge.

Not every target is going to be equipped with a flasher, not every target is going to be light weight and center hung so that it twists. I can think of plenty of double corner hung full size 1/2" thick IPSCs at 800 yards in mirage conditions that I've encountered - with no calls to even the 6mm impacts.

And heaven help you if the volunteer RO assigned to your stage showed up with their $150 15-70 power spotting scope with cloudy optics cranked to max magnification... they might as well be looking through a cardboard toilet paper tube with saran wrap on it.

Guys are already playing the 22 caliber game. 22BR, 22BRA, 22 Dasher make way more sense to run a heavy 22 cal bullet if you're chasing the no-recoil option. Problem is lack of energy... spinner stages where you can't spin the spinner, no calls etc. There's a reason you don't see a mass exodus to the 224. One of the guys I shoot with chambered up a 22BR, 88 ELD's at the speeds you're talking about, shot several matches with mixed results, switched back to 6mm.
You make an interesting point Sheldon and certainly something to consider particularly depending on the particular range setup.

From what I've seen the splashes on steel were just as visible at 670 yards as the 6 creed. Perhaps farther out, the difference might be more apparent.

I guess to your point, PRS is about challenging the competitors and match organizers design stages that play into some shooters strengths while exposing the weaknesses of others. That's just the game.

I've never believed there is any one perfect solution for long range shooting. It's always a battle between recoil, ballistic performance and accuracy, and the rifle that wins a match today at these distances and this weather might not do well at another match at different distances and weather.... and never rule out good old luck.

My strategy for the 223 is to focus on what I consider to be high probability shots and don't sacrifice my preferences for the low probability shots. But I'm sure a top 10 percenter would see things differently.

I think too many middle of the pack shooters are putting too much energy into what top shooters are using when they could not shoot the difference. Most guys time out half the time no matter what rifle they have.
 

generalzip

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I'm not saying any 223 bolt gun can do what mine is, certainly not. I'm saying that mine as configured is closely replicating 6BR ballistics with less recoil... that's all. Maybe not quite as inherently accurate, but close enough.

I thought I was clear that rounds are 2.575" long and cases are fire formed... and anyone can get their rifle throated for longer rounds... and tweak the mag to feed it. Lots of guys are talking about custom rigs here, so they should be able to request the same.

I'm also not claiming to be the best PRS shooter, but I'm certain that a good 6BR PRS shooter with a rifle and ammo configured like mine would do every bit as well.

As for spotting hits, I've found it just as easy to see the 88s hit as 108s from a 6 creed.
I have a custom throated 223 with 88s going 2850. The ballistics are similar to my 6BR. The recoil is less. Whats the catch? It is nowhere near as accurate as my 6BR and the vertical is nowhere close. My 6BR puts rounds consistently into 1/4-1/2" and the SD are low single digits. My vertical at 1000 is like 3-4". The 223 is basically a shotgun at that distance even with the 88s. On paper the 88 eld "should" be as good as the 105 hybrid. It's not. The 105 has a higher BC than stated on the box when run in a 7-7.5 twist. It also has wayyy more splash than an 88 at distance. This is extremely important in matches especially when its wet or there's mirage. The 105 is also an insanely consistent bullet lot to lot and is easier to tune than an 88 ELD.

The long throated 223 with a 88 is a cool concept. Great for training and kids/women. But to think you can hang competitively near the top of PRS shooters with 6BR parent case rounds is a bit unrealistic in my opinion. I've fired thousands of round or 223/88's and 6BR and creed with 105s to form this opinion. This isn't just me talking out my ass. If you feel you can be competitive with your 223 go for it.
 

generalzip

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Guys are already playing the 22 caliber game. 22BR, 22BRA, 22 Dasher make way more sense to run a heavy 22 cal bullet if you're chasing the no-recoil option. Problem is lack of energy... spinner stages where you can't spin the spinner, no calls etc. There's a reason you don't see a mass exodus to the 224. One of the guys I shoot with chambered up a 22BR, 88 ELD's at the speeds you're talking about, shot several matches with mixed results, switched back to 6mm.
I've contemplated this route. For me, I think the downside of barrel life is too great. Not even the life of the barrel itself but the consistency of the load over the life of the barrel. The 6BR and dasher you legit can load the same load from start to end of a barrel life and it will hammer. I've found the more overbore rounds like 6 creed etc erode the throat and almost every match I find myself needing to chase lands or drop charge weight to stay in the node. I believe these 22 cal BR cases would suffer the same consequence I've observed with the 6 creed sized 6mm cases. I have no experience with the 22 BR/dasher but this theory is the main reason I've avoided it up until now. I also feel my BR/BRA has so little recoil that i don't really need any less to spot impacts pretty consistently.
 
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padom

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I've contemplated this route. For me, I think the downside of barrel life is too great. Not even the life of the barrel itself but the consistency of the load over the life of the barrel. The 6BR and dasher you legit can load the same load from start to end of a barrel life and it will hammer. I've found the more overbore rounds like 6 creed etc erode the throat and almost every match I find myself needing to chase lands or drop charge weight to stay in the node. I believe these 22 cal BR cases would suffer the same consequence I've observed with the 6 creed sized 6mm cases. I have no experience with the 22 BR/dasher but this theory is the main reason I've avoided it up until now. I also feel my BR/BRA has so little recoil that i don't really need any less to spot impacts pretty consistently.
Same reason I've stayed away from the 22cm, 22br, etc. My 220TB is the fastest I'll go with 223
 

generalzip

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I think too many middle of the pack shooters are putting too much energy into what top shooters are using when they could not shoot the difference. Most guys time out half the time no matter what rifle they have.
While this may be true, in this game it's wise to take every advantage you can get if you want to be competitive.
 

Sheldon N

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While this may be true, in this game it's wise to take every advantage you can get if you want to be competitive.
And it's not even a "gaming" thing. It just makes you so much more effective having a gun that shoots 1/3 MOA at distance. Every follow up shot based on prior splash is way more consistent when you KNOW that the bullet is going to go where you corrected it to. Way fewer head scratching moments wondering why the bullet went over there instead of where you thought it was going to go.
 

PracticalTactical

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I fear that some of your comments are based on a somewhat over simplification of the PRS game by applying undue importance on the cartridge.

Perhaps its because you are all so good at PRS (cough cough) that you take for granted the basic factors that contribute to a shooters performance in PRS and few of which have anything to do with the rifle.

Guys miss because of ballistic calculation errors, wind errors, unstable positions etc.

While I appreciate your caliber perspective even if it is contrary to my own, I have never walked off the line and thought I missed because of my rifle or caliber.

I've timed out, I've made bad wind calls, I've had incorrect ballistics I've had positions I could not get into, I couldn't get a stable position... etc. No rifle change would have changed that, and unless you are a top level guy, I don't think most guys would shoot 2 points better with whatever any of you call the perfect PRS cartridge.

The biggest problem I have personally had is an inability to spot my misses. It is impossible to see off target hits in 4 feet of weeds at my home range. That, more than anything is what I'm hoping to change with the light recoiling 223. I hope to reduce recoil to the point where I can see the bullets in the air and call the misses in the air, while closely replicating 6BR ballistics.

As for accuracy, so far I'm getting a pretty solid 1/2 MOA with 88s in my 223 so if a 6BR prints 1/4, sure that's an advantage, but given the other factors mentioned above, I doubt its worth 2 points to the "typical" PRS shooter.
 
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lte82

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It will be interesting to see what conclusion you come to over the next year or two of competing. If you start winning big matches with the 223 that would be great! And if you switch to 6 dasher I won’t hold it against you lol!
 

Kane0519

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100%. Confidence in your gear and POI is critical. The second you start doubting your system is the moment you start to break down mentally and start dropping in the ranks.
Been there. Bought the t-shirt. Will only buy mid-range gear (especially scopes) at a min for this exact reason (high end is better, but the budget has to be accounted for). I’ve spent too much time second guessing gear & chasing ghosts. It can take the fun out of it, which is why I shoot in the first place.
 

Sheldon N

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I've timed out, I've made bad wind calls, I've had incorrect ballistics I've had positions I could not get into, I couldn't get a stable position... etc. No rifle change would have changed that, and unless you are a top level guy, I don't think most guys would shoot 2 points better with whatever any of you call the perfect PRS cartridge.
I've made all those mistakes too, everyone does.

I also shoot enough to know where something will cost me points. Real world honest answer looking back the national level two day matches I've shot, if you gave me a 223 with an 88 ELD it would probably put me back 5 to 10 points. That's my guess for the "caliber penalty". For context 5 to 10 points in a match is huge... that's enough to take you out of podium contention and if you're a shooter on the bubble it's enough to keep you from qualifying for the national finale.

@lte82 you're pretty good at this game. :) What do you think you'd have placed if you ran 223 with 88's in all the matches you shot this year?
 

morganlamprecht

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Not every target is going to be equipped with a flasher, not every target is going to be light weight and center hung so that it twists. I can think of plenty of double corner hung full size 1/2" thick IPSCs at 800 yards in mirage conditions that I've encountered - with no calls to even the 6mm impacts.
sheldon touched on the biggest thing i noticed immediately when i started running my 223 earlier this year for the rest of our club season

80.5 bergers @ 2800 because of their downrange consistency over the 88s

seeing the impacts hasnt been difficult as most of our targets are hook hung, but picking up which edge of the plates im favoring has been almost impossible to do consistently...it accounts for a few shots every match i drop off the edge and thats enough really matter unless youre smokin everything all day
 
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DG87

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I’m wanting to build a .223 trainer and would like to hear what you guys have had work for you in the past.
-barrel length, twist rate
-rough load data(no I’m not wanting to copy, just get an idea)
-velocity
-trigger?

Would love your guys input!!! 🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼
Currently guilt .223 Remington 700 SA using 26” 1:7 Criterion barrel- 77 Nosler .035 jump small rifle cci at 23.5 Tac. Load off Dillon 650 and it shoots lights out to 700 yards
 

PracticalTactical

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It will be interesting to see what conclusion you come to over the next year or two of competing. If you start winning big matches with the 223 that would be great! And if you switch to 6 dasher I won’t hold it against you lol!
Put it this way, I know I wont be winning any big matches... But regardless of how it performs over the next year or two, the only reason I would change at this point in life is because I won the lottery...

So yes, on that note... I hope to change to a hot 6mm very soon!
 
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Sam19kilo

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Currently guilt .223 Remington 700 SA using 26” 1:7 Criterion barrel- 77 Nosler .035 jump small rifle cci at 23.5 Tac. Load off Dillon 650 and it shoots lights out to 700 yards
So far I’m in the works for that same exact barrel but throated for 88gr ELDs. What do you think? Or just go with 80s?
 

LawnMM

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From what I've seen the splashes on steel were just as visible at 670 yards as the 6 creed.
LOL dude. 670 is easy to spot. Try shit in the 1100-1500yd range in the NM heat and mirage with a 223. Better hope to hell they have a flasher on it or you're hosed.

Don't start the evil small primer thing up over here too. If you don't like it don't use it, your singular experience does not invalidate everyone else's.
 

Sam19kilo

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Currently guilt .223 Remington 700 SA using 26” 1:7 Criterion barrel- 77 Nosler .035 jump small rifle cci at 23.5 Tac. Load off Dillon 650 and it shoots lights out to 700 yards
DOes your criterion have the rem match chamber?
 

DG87

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Watch the pressure. May want to work up the load on the powder charge. 23.0 Tac would be a good starting point
 

Sam19kilo

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Watch the pressure. May want to work up the load on the powder charge. 23.0 Tac would be a good starting point
I was meaning the lands 😂 I know better than to straight copy a load. Im trying varget and reloaded 15 first with 80gr ELDs first since that’s what I have
 

Sam19kilo

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You never know..let me know how it works
80ELDs are lasers out of the new barrel. My SD isn’t spectacular,12.5 over 10 shots and speeds are low 2900fps
To the lands is 1.965” and jumping these .005”
24.1gr R15
23.8gr H4895
Still working on varget load, which I’m doing tomorrow
 

PracticalTactical

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80ELDs are lasers out of the new barrel. My SD isn’t spectacular,12.5 over 10 shots and speeds are low 2900fps
To the lands is 1.965” and jumping these .005”
24.1gr R15
23.8gr H4895
Still working on varget load, which I’m doing tomorrow
Since the 223 is so small, a small variation in the powder charge means a lot on the velocity. You can lower your velocity spreads by using a really accurate scale... like 3 decimal places in grains. Think of it this way, the powder charge is about half of a 308 so the 223 powder charge weight accuracy needs to be twice as precise.

Also things like weight sorting your brass, closely controlling neck tension and using fire formed cases also helps.
 
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Sam19kilo

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Thank you to everyone who gave me info to help my 223 build. It is a success! Here is what I have narrowed down too for a load and will test it at a local match Saturday
H4895-23.3gr
CCI400s
Lake city brass
80gr ELDs
1.960” (.005” off the lands)
SD 1.4, 2875fps
The steel plate is @600yds for a tight lil butthole of a group 🤛🏻
 

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