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Hi Folks,

I am well passed retirement age and I have a shoulder problem. Firing my old deer rifle causes considerable pain in my right shoulder. So about five years ago, I decided to learn how to reload reduced recoil 30-06 cartridges. This sort of worked, but even my reduced loads produced too much recoil for my shoulder. I developed a pretty nasty flinch too. The accuracy and precision of my shot groups went straight to hell.

About two years ago, a friend suggested I should try a rifle chambered for the .243 Winchester cartridge. I researched rifles in that caliber. They were reported to have about one half of the recoil of a typical 30-06 when firing commercial available ammunition. To avoid wreaking our family budget, I decided to buy an entry level Ruger American Rifle (the Predator model), an inexpensive Weaver 6X38 scope, cheap rings, a modestly priced die set, 50 brass cases and several different types Sierra bullets. Now I was committed.

My first reduced recoil load was assembled with CCI LR #200 Primers, 11.1grains of Trail Boss powder and Sierra #1520 85 grain SPT bullets seated to a COAL of 2.65". The expected muzzle velocity was about 1600 feet per second. The recoil was very light. I felt no shoulder pain!

My next loads were assembled with CCI LR #200 Primers, 22.0 grains of H4895 powder and Sierra #1520 85 grain SPT bullets seated to a COAL of 2.65". The expected muzzle velocity was around 2200 feet per second. The recoil was light, and again, I experienced no shoulder pain immediately or days afterward!!! I was delighted.

My shoulder problem has turned into a long term enjoyable and challenging learning project. I go to the rifle range several times a month except when it is really cold. I usually take along two rifles, my old squirrel gun (a Marlin model 80) and the Ruger American Rifle (Predator model). I fire from a bench rest with sand socks to support the rifle. I set up targets at 50 yards for plinking with the .22 and targets at 100 yards for exploring new loads for the Predator. I switch rifles often to allow the Predator’s barrel to cool down. From time to time, I even work up enough nerve to try my marksmanship skills at the 200 yard range. It’s usually a humbling experience. I take frequent breaks to relax and socialize with other shooters. I always carry a few bottles of water to stay hydrated especially when it is hot. My flinching problem has mostly disappeared. I no longer automatically close my eyes when firing a round (LOL, it was hard to even hit paper). I try to position my body and the rifle for a natural point of aim. I try to assume a good cheek weld. I am always working on my breathing and squeezing technique.

I do slip up more often than I would like to admit and pull a shot. The reason for such a flier is known as soon as I squeeze the trigger. Then there are other times when a shot seems just right but delivers a flier for no obvious reason. This drives me crazy especially when the next shot sends another flier to the same point of impact. Please see the four rounds in the upper left group of the second target of the day.

LINK to My Targets: photos.app.goo.gl/e3875AtMHOT2kJyz2

Do you have any idea what might cause this type of flier?

Your suggestions and comments are always appreciated.

Thank You,
Ron
 
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