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Ken Kwiat

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About Ken Kwiat

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  1. I was shocked to hear this news. I guess I’ve been too out of the loop. I have many great memories of Ron in so many matches over the years. He was very gifted in his ability at creating a stage strategy that worked best for an individual’s strengths. And his ability to impart his research, knowledge, and approach to our sport was a phenomenal testament to him. Once you trained with Ron, you were forever “under his wing” at any match. My deepest sympathies to his family. RIP, my friend. (BE’s comment on personality types and how well that worked made me LOL. Ron’s laughing too on that one!)
  2. .260 loads in AR: TF told me when I first got my JP LRP in .260 that I'd have a hard time getting 140s and 142s to work. After over a year trying, I had to admit he was correct. Like Tom said earlier, just too high pressure with the bullet length compressing into the powder charge (H4350 which is pretty much the .260 gold std) when loading to mag length. Piercing primers was pretty commonplace. Btw: I started with the 139 gr. Scenars but they seemed to run at higher pressures than the 142gr. SMKs. Another of our top LR shooters had predicted that too based upon profile difference. I was down in the 2550-2600 fps range (22" barrel) and still getting the occasional piercing or blown out primer. My thinking was I wanted to stock one bullet, one powder for bolt gun (AI) and gasser. Oh well. I'm happy with the 123gr. SMKs and when I compare gasser dope sheets to my bolt gun, it's really pretty negligible even out past 650yds. Granted, I'm getting higher velocity from the lighter 123s and the BC is still decent. Because of the higher pressures, I use the CCI MilSpec LR (harder cup) primers (from another LR shooter who knows his stuff, thx Chuck) -- it helps. .260 vs. CM -- take your pick. Virtually identical (per Zak's article and real world experience). Comes down to 'who do you want to buy your brass from and do you want commercially available ammo'? Keep in mind, I'm feeling good when I get 3 reloadings out of .260 brass run in my gas gun (compared to 10+ loads from .260 Lapua in my bolt gun). The rims get beat up on extraction, primer pockets loosen, etc. It's a toss up to me whether to use .243 necked up (my slight preference) or .308 necked down. I neck turn both when I do just to avoid any potential issues. For friends getting into LR that haven't invested (time and money) with all the anal retentive things LR shooters do for reloading, I tell them to go with 6.5CM (plus, you can get ammo from Hornady!). For me, I prefer .260 as I'm there anyway due to brass availability and its use in other platforms. AR15 vs. AR10 platform for LR? Is there really any question?
  3. I wanted the USPSA community to know of this news from Colorado. Harvey Arnold passed away last Friday. I received this note earlier today from one of Harv's friends: With great sadness I want to share that Harv Arnold died on Friday night, August 2 at Boulder Community Hospital. He fell at home, developed pneumonia and had a bleeding perforated ulcer that no one knew about. He was too weak for surgery. His old friend Steve was with him much of the day Friday at the hospital and even when Harv couldn't talk he did know he was dying. He acknowledged that much. The Steve referred to is one of our long time competitors as well, Steve Hulet. I am comforted to know that Steve was there in Harvey's final hours. And thanks to Bill Burkard for providing the below details of arrangements. Celebration of Life: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM Ahlberg Funeral Chapel 326 Terry Street Longmont, Colorado Online you can share memories and photos athttp://greenwoodmyersfuneral.com/book-of-memories/1643626/Arnold-Harvey/index.php. Steve Hulet’s wife, Ann, would like to contribute to the memories by putting together a photo collage/slide show for the service and would appreciate if you have any photos you’d like to share if you would forward them by email to Jenn Cetlinski atjcetlinski@huletcpa.com. I know of few others in our sport where USPSA/IPSC meant so much. For 20+ years (to my knowledge), USPSA was a centerpiece of Harvey's life. And, he gave back to our sport and made many friends across the country. I am sure others have more remembrances to share. RIP, Harv.
  4. I find the trick is to lure him with the promise of beer... Of course, that's easier if you're in CO. Or, at least call him 'kjekk mann'. SYS, Sinnsyk
  5. FWIW, I enjoy .38 Super in the 1911s. If you read the history of the cartridge, it goes hand-n-glove with the platform. Sure, not as much as the .45 ACP but not far off. I've always been an Open/Limited shooter but look forward to trying SS with .38 Super (OK, minor but it will make me get more As). It's a really pleasant load to shoot at 135ish PF (I'm sure 9 minor would be comparable). I have a Colt Series 80 that I've been tweaking -- I run SuperComp (Starline and the Armscor RL). By my rationalizing, I can simply change the powder charge on my 1050 that's already set up to load .38 Super. Recently, I got a number of Tripp Research's 10-round mags -- no range experience with them as of yet but they look well made. .45 reloading has always been a pain for me with my reloading room set up. I understand the 9x19 argument with brass cost but I have so much SuperComp brass given my 15 years of competing in Open that it's not a big expense for me. Also the reason why I've never jumped on the 9Major bandwagon.
  6. Best of luck to you guys this weekend. I looked through the stages and it looks like it's going to be a great match. Charlie's stage designs look absolutely top-notch. I wanted to swing it (was going to try Single Stack for a change) but can't make it work with other commitments. Hopefully, you'll get good conditions out there. Our Zoot (AZSA) Championship match over Labor Day was hot and windy (Fri & Sat at least). This weekend should be much better.
  7. I could write a book about my chrono experiences. I have a PACT (IV x2 timers/computers) and a CED (w/o IR). The CED would always read higher than my PACT and almost led me to going minor at Natls. In my case, the PACT seemed to track with results at major matches. So, for IPSC/3-gun loads, I've been content for years with what I have. Then, I got into Tac LR rifle. In this game, you really spend an inordinate amount of time with load development, dope sheet creation, and validation. While I was struggling with inconsistent results using my PACT (across multiple Density Altitudes), I noticed that just about all the serious rifle shooters were using Oehlers. Primary reason? They have a Proof channel. So, I bit the bullet while Oehler is making them again and have been very pleased with the results. You get instant verification with the proof channel. I'm not saying that a $100 Chrony can't get the job done just that it should be viewed wrt a portion of the budget for LR rifle. If you're just a dabbler in the sport, spend accordingly. If you're already spending $3-6K on a gun + $2-3K on an optic + all the accessories, $575 for the gold standard chrono is part of the kit (imo). Btw: most LR guys these days focus on Density Altitude for dope (so you have one number to factor vs. six+ variables) but that's a far longer discussion that's covered in detail on other LR forums.
  8. I believe the CNC machined toolheads sold by Uniquetek are the Whidden ones. I have about four-five that I use for LR rifle on a 650 (using the screws to attach). I think it has taken some of the play out. In my case I just wanted to be able to use my 650 as a semi-progressive for the LR reloading that I do. Didn't want to free up more bench space for a single stage when I have three perfectly good Dillon progressives. I also did the rotary bearing tweak that was talked about on the Reloading forum within BE. The CNC toolhead plus bearings seemed to have smoothed it out and I get great LR results.
  9. Hey Mark, Your results look promising. I've not considered Ramshot Hunter for .260 as I'm pretty much following the Hide pack with H4350 (with H4831SC and Rel17 in reserve). Lot's of posts over on their reloading forum. But, your SDs look good to me with a few exceptions. Are you using a ChargeMaster or some other way for your powder throws or the dillon measure? As I'm sure you've seen me post on other threads, I've had problems getting .1 gr. accuracy in throws thru the dillon measures (esp. for the extruded powders). Gas: I haven't touched my gas port yet. My sense is I'm a bit more open than I need to be but I was waiting to settle on my load before tweaking. My 42.2gr H4350 with 139 gr. Scenars is still just a touch hot. A few extractor marks seen yesterday at the Pueblo Pdog shoot. I have a little velocity room to spare as I am nominally shooting for 2650 fps with the 139 grs. If possible, I wanted to stay with the heavier bullets so I don't have to stock five different 6.5mm weights between the two guns. My bolt gun vs. gas gun results were pretty dramatic yesterday but I'm really not set up fully on the gas gun yet. Not a fair comparison. SY. K2
  10. Sorry for the delayed response. Was busy shooting a sniper match yesterday. My responses in LIFO order. From Southpaw: In addition to buying toolheads direct from Whidden, one can purchase the Whidden toolheads from UniqueTek which can include their toolhead clamp kit for a secure fit. I have not researched the clamp kit but it looks interesting. K2: I love the Whidden toolheads for the 650. The clamping ones bought thru UniqueTek is all I use for LR reloading on my 650. In addition, another tweak to my 650 that I made was the one I found on BE's forum, i.e., the rotary bearings that smooth out the shellplate rotation. A worthwhile one. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll try to track down the link. From Graham: If you were shooting Palma rifles, I would agree, but for anything else, the difference between the Lapua and Sierra (2156) 155's is negligible. K2: Agreed, although I don't compete in Palma or F-Class -- may shoot one match this year. My strong bias is for the LR Tac matches that we have out here in the West. The terrain we shoot over and some matches you get some field challenges and exercise to boot (carrying all your LR crap through miles of trails). I'm generally a Sierra shooter and would have gotten around to the 155 gr. Palma bullets if I would have stuck with .308. I use their 142 gr. 6.5mm exclusively for my bolt gun. Love 'em. From Graham: I think you will find that trying to load .308 for a bolt action on a progressive press is an exercise in futility. You really need to be using a single stage or turret where you have tighter controls and tolerances and can make frequent checks and tweaks. IF you do decide to load on a progressive, know that Varget is notoriously difficult to meter. If your gun likes 175,s then try the Sierra 175's over IMR4096. Better yet, find some of the new Hornady 178's, these things have a BC of .530 - that's even better than the Lapua 155's. Early reports on these say they are killers K2: I differ on the progressive vs. single stage. With the Whidden toolheads and rotary bearing tweak on my 650, there's no precision difference from any single stage I've used. I'm essentially using my 650 as a 3-4 stage, it moves production along a bit. I know many top LR Tac shooters that are using 550s,650s,etc. IMO, use what you have. Varget: I think I said the same thing in my response. My experience with Varget through a Dillon powder measure is what resulted in me going with the RCBS ChargeMaster. And I tried pretty hard to make it work. Some have or are willing to live with some powder throw variation. I can live with .1 gr. variation as I can usually get my SDs 15 fps or lower which is my rule of thumb. Latest .260 H4350 loads are in the SD 8 fps range. Good enough for my game. I've gotten .2" 100 yds groups out of my AIAW and well under .5 MOA groups at farther distances when I do my part. This is more than adequate for the LR Tac game. Heavy vs. light: agreed, if you gun likes the heavies specifically there are good high bc options out there. As I said, many of the LR Tac gurus like the 155 gr. (SMK or Scenar) over Varget. I had good success with it. My guess is that Southpaw is reading the other great LR forums like SnipersHide and SniperCentral(?). What I find key on those forums is separating the wheat from the chaff. What I like about BE is that some of us can be filters of that. Although I'm an aspiring LR Tac shooter (doing OK so far), I have definitely been in the IPSC/USPSA game of competitive shooting and diminishing returns for a long time. Heck, there were years where I was shooting 70K rounds/year -- started to feel more like a job to me than my hobby. 3gun and LR Tac are great new areas to explore. From Southpaw: Thanks again for this advice. I plan on cutting my teeth on the 308 for the reasons you've mentioned. I am not opposed to trying different bullet weights. I'm just going to start with the 175s due to how well they shot out of my barrel with the 11.2 twist rate. that, plus all of my scope adjustments i have in my data book are tied to that bullet weight and velocty from the Federal GMM. Your help is extremely appreciated!!! K2: Glad to do it. That's what I've always loved about the shooting sports. I can't begin to tell how much I've learned from some great teachers (espcially in the USPSA community). And, in CO/NM/WY, there's quite a bit of cross over folks to the LR games. Dope & Load Development: I spend an inordinate amount of time on it. Try to do most of that during the slower Winter months. I spend alot of time on the JBM ballistics sites, running different dope solutions and printing them out. Indispensable tools for this: a reliable chrono and a Kestrel. I used a PACT MkIV for years but have recently going to an Oehler 35P. I really wanted the proof channel that the Oehler provides. But, all of these odds and ends add up in a hurry. My advice is to go a step at a time otherwise it is prohibitively expensive. Another thought: if you haven't read Zak Smith's primer articles (and others) on LR Tac, I highly recommend them. Zak is a very good writer and puts the kind of detailed research that his technical background supports. And, he and his partners at ThunderBeast make some killer suppressors! Zak's Site I'll respond to the specific loading/tool questions in separate post.
  11. After about 100 rounds through my .260 AR, a couple of learnings: Load: I seem to be settling into 42.2 gr. of H4350 and achieving just under 2700 fps (keep in mind, at altitude and during the CO winter although latest chrono'ng it was pretty warm). I worked down from 42.6 gr. that was pushing it a bit with the 139 gr. Scenars. When I run dope sheets comparing 2650 to 2750 fps it's pretty minimal gains and I'm sure my brass life would suffer. Some of my primer pockets are marginally loose after the higher pressure throws. Don't want that. So far, I'm using Win .243 resized to .260. Yea, I neck turn. I can't bring myself to devote some of my nice Lapua brass for the gas gun that likes to beat brass up. Brass Deflector: especially with my higher pressure loads, I was getting a serious chink from the brass deflector. On my JP, it's even a plastic/delrin one. Got a SnipersHide trick of putting a little piece of velco fuzzy side over it. Seems to have worked. Chrono: Got tired of struggling with my PACT chrono for rifle. Oehler just arrived.
  12. I agree with JJ on this point. OK, I'm a hard core Giraud guy so I happen to get the chamfering done as that's what the Giraud does. (Why not the Dillon trimmer for me? -- reasons stated in the other poll/thread on the topic). What that means in my case I don't have to bell at all and the inside (ID) chamfer results in easy bullet placement. Do I think my pretty ID/OD chamfers make a bit of difference wrt accuracy (in .223)? No, I don't. In fact, considering it's through an AR with a Wylde or 5.56 chamber it's kinduv funny. Accurate enough for 3-gun? Sure, sub MOA. If you want intense varmint or BR level accuracy, you'd probably be chambered in straight .223 with a longer barrel...a whole differnt topic though. Hannu's the guy to talk to about that stuff. Above my pay grade.
  13. One other thought: I started LR with .308 as it is a great starting point. As I discovered in the LR Tactical game, there's a reason why the .308 shooters are often separated into a handicapped group relative to the 6mm, 6.5mm, & 7mm guys. But again, it's a great place to start. Components readily available, your gun is already chambered for it, lot's of data available, a gold standard to be sure. However, I checked with many experienced LR Tac guys on .308 loads. The Lapua 155gr. loads over Varget was the clear winner recommended to me. My results confirmed those recommendations. It's a sweet combo that I think optimizes a bit higher velocity with a high-BC bullet, i.e., your traj curve is somewhat flatter compared to the heavier, high-BC bullets.
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