Today I did better than my last match (617-1X back in March), as I shot a 660-6x. Neither of these numbers are going to make other shooters quake in their boots at my martial prowess. One of the guys from the office brought his rifle and we squadded together. For those doing the math, 660/800=0.825 so I am statistically hitting inside the 8 ring. This is holding in the black, and I'm looking forward to working to get better. After all, 660-6X was dead last of all the adults shooting today.
On my handloads, loading 24.4~24.6 grains (the tolerance of charge weights dropped by my setup) of Alliant Power Pro 2000MR under a 75gr HPBT or 80gr A-Max is a solid performance choice with Wolf 556 primers and Lake City brass. My buddy was going to shoot the match with M855 green tip, and I gave him some of my handloads to use instead. He won two stages and at the end had 22 more points than I did. There were no signs of pressure with any cases ejected from either rifle, and ejection was consistently at the 2 o'clock about 5 feet from the rifle in the prone position with both loads. The barrel didn't show any signs of excessive copper fouling in my barrel, and I'll ask the other guy I work with if he noticed any fouling.
On slings. Last match I used a traditional leather 1907 style sling, this time I used a green cotton M1 web sling and I think that I'll use it from now on. The leather sling is good, but the M1 sling was much easier to clip and unclip from the rifle.
On gloves. The Creedmoor sports open finger glove really helped me stay stable in slung positions. This piece of gear more than any other made shooting much more pleasant.
On jackets. Since my Creedmoor hardback is still pending arrival we simply used a canvas work jacket to try to keep the sling from utterly destroying our biceps. It was not an ideal solution, but better than nothing. I'm looking forward to the arrival of my hardback.
Final thoughts. I didn't magically gain 43 points on my score over the last seven weeks. My first match this year wasn't my finest performance, and this match had much better wind conditions. I also had better ammo, tighter sights, and a better glove. So in this sport, gear counts.