Got around to shooting some handloads through the MAS 49/56 that I loaded five years ago. 7.5 x 54 French made from 6.5 Swedish with 147-grain FMJ bullets. Nothing phenomenal for a group, but just fine for recreational shooting. The 49/56 was very pleasant to shoot, but having only twenty rounds was unsatisfying. Fortunately, Graf & Sons happened to have 7.5 x 54 brass, so a hundred rounds was ordered that night. Along with a pack of 150-grain FMJ bullets. I thought. What I have is a hundred rounds of correct brass, and one hundred 168-grain HPBTs. Too heavy for a round originally set up with a 139-grain bullet. I'd be irritated but......even if I didn't pay close attention when ordering, I also shot twenty five rounds of 7.5 x 55 Swiss through the K38 that day, topped with 180-grain cast bullets. Which are a little tougher to close the bolt on with a straight pull compared to most of my other bolt guns. I generally prefer to shoot cast through my bolt guns, because it's cheap and light recoiling, but I think I'll except the K38 from that. I have some 147-grains I can through on the French brass, and the Swiss normally runs a 174-grain.......
I can work with what showed up.
With limited time to shoot lately, I more often grab a handgun for some range relaxation. Poking about in the safe today, I noticed a long-ignored Brazilian M1937. As I had a recently made box of 230 grain LRN handy, that was the choice of the day.
Although I'm not a Smith & Wesson collector, I do think highly of their revolvers. And the .45 ACP is my favorite handgun cartridge. That said, today's range session reminded me that the original grips on this model are not conducive to extended shooting sessions. As in, each shot is like catching a strongly thrown baseball without a glove. The cylinder release plowing a groove into my thumb isn't the enjoyable either.
That said, I doubt I'd notice either of these were I to actually need the revolver instead of shooting it for fun, a sentiment I'm sure Brazilian soldiers carrying these in the Italian campaign of 1944 shared.
Apparently I need to up the pressure in my cast bullet loads for my Type 99. I'm using reformed Remington 8mm Mauser brass, as 7.7 brass was rare when I wanted to load these. There were a number of shots where there was a fair bit of a smokey breeze coming out of the wrong end of the rifle, and a good inch of soot down some of the cartridge case. Think I'll switch the load from IMR 4227 over to Winchester 748; Win 748 runs higher pressures for cast loads at similar velocities, which should form that case to the chamber nicely. Or blow smoke into my face at even higher pressure.
I was given a Dillon 550 frame by The Wife to upgrade my 450. I've managed to strip it down, except for the pins holding the swing arms to the frame. I've actually managed to destroy a steel punch trying to get these out. At this point, I'm seriously considering taking my impact drill and a length of steel rod, and essentially jackhammering the solid pin to see if I can get it to move with rapid small impacts instead of smacking it with a hammer.
But, if anyone has any experience in converting one of these, or a suggestion on moving tight pins, I'm all ears.
A Savage No.4 Mk I, being fed 190 grain cast bullets, with gas checks and a diameter of .314. Powder charge was 30.9 grains of Winchester 760.
At 100 yards, with five shot groups I had a frequent pattern of 3 round inside 3 inches, and two round within 3 inches, with a gap of about 6-8 inches between the two.
I have a feeling I'll need to look at the bedding on this rifle. Perhaps a touch of Brownell's Acraglas.......
Good day to head to the range with a Swedish M96 rifle built in 1900, last fired in the '90s, with ammunition assembled from components purchased and put away about about the same time.
Nice change from living in an area where I'd probably be throwing on a set of Carhartts to stay warm while shooting now.