I’m almost done with reloading .38 Special. The last of the Titegroup is in the powder drop, just a few hundred rounds to go. I’ll get to it eventually… no big rush right now as vacationing is more important. 🙂
As you know, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do next. I was thinking to work on .308 Win loads because I was dreaming of an elk hunt with my Dad — I’d want to have the skills to nail a target at 500 yards on demand if I was going elk hunting. But after some talking with Dad, I don’t think that will happen (schedules, cost, physical demands and Dad’s getting up there in age; I also think he’d rather go fishing than hunting). So if an elk hunt isn’t in the near future, that lessens motivation to work in that area.
Then there’s my recent work with the Aimpoint CompM4s and just loving how well it works. I can’t help but think about the recent hog hunt, as I think the reason I missed was due to placement of cheek on gun and not getting the right sight angle, thus my point of aim was not the intended point of impact. But gosh, that parallax-free Aimpoint would render that moot. Furthermore, I see how Aimpoint markets towards hunters and I always was skeptical of how well that would work, especially lacking magnification and using a 4 MOA dot. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I think it could work. Sure I wouldn’t take a mountain goat at 500 yards, but a deer or hog up to 200 yards? Maybe… but I need to take the AR out to the range and try it and see how well I and my eyes can do it. Point is, the thought has recently perked my interest. The kicker is the Aimpoint is mounted on a .223 AR so… I’d need a substantial load, which means something like 62 grain Barnes TSX (or maybe the forthcoming .224″ TTSX!).
And when I think about that? it brings me all the way back to my first rifle handloading attempts… which had a lot of problems and failure to get a good load. I spent some time the other day re-reading all my blog posts on the topic. There’s a part of me that’s motivated to go back and solve that problem. I don’t want to leave that unfinished and unknown… but is that reason enough to bother? I have kinda moved on from exploring .223 as a hunting load since I bought the 6.8 SPC.
So I’m back to waffling.
But while I’ve been thinking about all of this stuff I’ve been reading and researching, trying to figure out what components I want to use. The biggest of which is what powder to use, because I want something that will not cause me headaches on the Lock-n-Load progressive press. What just hit me was reading about IMR 8208 XBR. That powder has perked my interest. It apparently meters well. It’s supposed to be resistant to temperature changes. It’s purpose-built for rounds like .223/5.56 and .308/7.62NATO, with an eye towards high velocity and high accuracy. I mean, that sounds like the perfect powder! What things I can find by Googling on the powder sound very positive and promising — everyone trying out the powder is impressed by the performance. There even seems to be a few people dabbling with it in 6.8 SPC loads, but there’s certainly not much information here (tho what there is is promising). So gosh… could that be the powder to try? I got a Cabela’s gift card for Christmas. I’m thinking if the local store has a 1# jug that I’ll pick it up.
I hate that I’m waffling so much about what to do next. I think it’s because I need a tangible goal to work towards, instead of just reloading for the sake of reloading. When the elk hunt seemed possible, .308 was appealing. I think about the Aimpoint and hogs, so the .223 returns to being appealing, but not enough. Finishing what I started before? That has an appeal too. And I can always use more trigger time with the AR. Geez. Am I leaning that way now?