So, I got in my order from MidwayUSA containing a beautiful new Streamlight TRL-1 light for my Kimber, as well as a box of 175grain Federal Gold Medal Match.
Last week I outshot the 168gr FGMM rounds at 285 yards with my handloads, but I wanted to see if my barrel likes 175 grain rounds. I originally thought my barrel was a 1:10 inch twist, but a quick check shows it to be a 1:12, so in theory it should favor bullets in the 155 - 168 grain range. It seems to be a pretty fast barrel, so I figured what the hell.
My results were astonishing to say the least. The range was 100 yards on private property. I started out by shooting five rounds of my handloads to warm and foul the barrel, and then followed up with a 5-shot group of the 168gr FGMM after a minute or two to allow the barrel to cool. That last part is pretty pointless since it takes about twenty rounds to get the 20" Fulton Armory Titan barrel to get warm. After about five minutes, I touched off five rounds of the 175gr FGMM, and couldn't believe my eyes:
The top group is the 168 grain FGMM, which measures 1.142" center to center. The flyer in the center diamond was my last shot. Out of those five rounds, I had three blown primers, as well as some really obvious extractor wipe on the case heads. The fourth round was one that blew a primer, which caused a jam. I had to loose my cheekweld while I dealt with the jam, and I attribute my group growing from .586" CTC to the 1.142" group to that loose primer keeping the bolt from closing. Now we know why the military insists on crimped primers.
As for the bottom target, the one shot hole at 9 o'clock just outside of the orange is from a Browning BAR in .300 Winchester Magnum, and is not from my DPMS LR-308. That .331" group by the calipers is five rounds of the 175 grain FGMM that I got from MidwayUSA. It could be a fluke group, as things like that are relatively common. However, I have never had that happen on the first string. Unfortunately, I didn't get to print another group of those as I didn't have any more time. I will buy some more and give them another shot in the near future. You can count on that.
When stuff warms up in the spring, I'm gonna do my best to duplicate those 175 grain rounds. I didn't shoot them over the chronograph, but will when I get some time.