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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused:I am new to the forum and very new to a mini-14 Target which should be here in a week or so. I have been reading all the post I can find on it and have a question or two in regards to handloads.

I have been reloading for bolt rifles for years. My method, probably like most, is to select a powder and load 3-5 rounds, starting at a reduced load and increment .3-.5gn until close to max. Shoot, watch for pressure signs, and then pick the best group and start tweaking. If I don't find a good group, look at a different powder or other variables.

When is the damper on the Target model adjusted. Do you test the various loads, pick the group and then tweak with the dampener on the best group on the first run thru.

Any help/suggestions will be appreciated.

Lago
 

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Damn good question.
I don't recall anyone discussing load development with the Target model.

I find there are already too many variables in reloading...and a harmonic dampener adds one more!

Sure, you can "select" a powder, as you say. That narrows the variables to bullet weight, bullet type, and load. Definitely keeps it simpler.

But, maybe your rifle will like H335 over Varget or Tac... maybe the lighter bullets will shoot better with one powder, and the heavier ones with another... MAYBE...:)

Like I said- good question. For me, I think it would depend on how much effect the dampener has on groupings. If it's nominal- used for "tweaking", as you say- then I would agree that your proposed approach would be logical.

But...IF the dampener is capable of a more pronounced effect- say, giving you a shotgun group on one setting, to an MOA grouping on a different one, then that's a different ballgame. In that scenario, using the dampener as a "tweaker" only after you've selected the bullet and load would mean you could be passing over a lot of possible good combinations.

It is an interesting subject, and I don't recall seeing many posts here about the effectiveness of the dampener. Keep us posted on how it goes...

I think that those of us that reload never get around to zeroing our scopes. I know I haven't after 6 months with my Mini- there's always a different load/bullet/powder combination that I haven't tried yet!
 

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The dampener allows you to tune the rifle to the load. Much like the B.O.S.S. system. On a regular Mini, you tune the load to the rifle.
 

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If you already have a pet load for another rifle, you can try to tune the mini to shoot that load. If it's a max load you'll want to reduce it somewhat and work up while watching for excessive pressure signs in the mini. Best of luck.
 

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Start off by firing several loads for groups and make an adjustment on the balancer, take your pet load and fire it with 3 different changes of the balancer. I like to shoot 60 gr Vmax with Reloader 10 and 22 grs. I get best results with a 20 rd mag. It does well with my 55 gr Nosler bt and 21.5 gr Reloader 7. How many rounds have you fired in the target model?
 

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I dont know how many times I adjusted the dampner on my mini target. Finally I found a position that worked well for a 60 grn sierra and put lock tight on the set screws. Well to this day that position works for 55 threw 69 bullits. I also added ASI gas block
 

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As already mentioned the HD can add infinite variables into the load development process. We already have powder-primer-charge-bullet-OAL-Neck sized- FL sized -crimped-not crimped, etc.etc. Adding the HD or BOSS system into the mix can make you CRAZY.

I have a few BOSS equipped rifles and they work very well. I can tune a good load to a great load. What I can not do with the BOSS is tune a bad load int a great load. So, what does that mean?

It means do what you do. Set the HD and leave it alone. Do your load development as you normally would. Find a bullet/powder/velocity load that looks good or great, then fine tune the load with the HD.

The BOSS is a little different than the Ruger HD as Browning has taken the time and effort to give a starting or reference point for their BOSS settings with a different bullet/weights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I saw a post or 2 here recently that it takes 200-300 rds thru the mini-14 before it starts grouping better. Well, I made that today. Did about 120 rds last weekend and another 170 today. Wasn't trying to put it on paper so it was just dirt shooting. Used up some partial cans of powder and bullets that I don't load anymore.

I did get some Midway 55gn HP bullets, about the only HP that were in stock. My local range does not allow FMJ.

Anyhow, I am ready to do some reloads and hit the range again. I will probably start with the dampner turned in about 2 turns. There was a post here, I think, where they found the swee spot to be about 2 1/2 turns in.

Won't know until I get back to the range.

lago
 

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I just purchased a Mini 14 Target rifle a few weeks ago and I am still in the process of getting everything working. I have had good luck with 25.5 gr of TAC, Winchester SR primer, RP cases, Sierra 55 gr. Blitzking bullets, using a taper crimp on a Dillion 650 press.

I average about 2" at 100 yards but, because of the scope I put on, I am not shouldering the rifle properly due to eye relief issues. I have ordered a new stock and that should correct the problem of proper shouldering. At that point I can play around with the HD and see what impact it has accuracy. I have high hopes :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am going to use Varget, starting load 24.4 thru 25.4, with Rem 7 1/2 primers and Fiocchi brass. Also have the same loads with Winchester brass.
Best group wil be reloaded and used to find-tune the HD. Bullets are Midway's 55gn HP.

Lago
 
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