Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 32

FEATURE | PALMA

in California. This is my first time setting up a
chassis by myself. And it's been an eye-opening
insight into what makes these rifles special.
Load development will evolve over time, but
I'm starting with a standard load. I'm cooking
with Peterson small primer .308 Win. brass,
46 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder and
Sierra 2156C 155-grain projectiles loaded to
2.8-inch overall length. This load conforms
within the Hodgdon website load data table.
Using Labradar ballistic velocity radar,
Kestrel Applied Ballistics weather meter and
ShotMarker electronic target the following
results were recorded.
■ Average Velocity
3,000 fps
■ High Vel.
3,020 fps
■ Low Vel.
2,990 fps
■ Standard Deviation
11 fps
■ Extreme Spread
30 fps
Environment during testing
■ Temperature
60.3 degrees F
■ Humidity
54 percent
■ Air Pressure
27.37 inHg
■ GPS Altitude
2,633 feet
■ Pressure Altitude
2,437 feet
■ Density Altitude
3,199 feet
Performance on target for the final zeroing
string can be seen in the ShotMarker target
that was located 200 yards downrange at the
time. After setting the zero, the turret knobs of
the Phoenix sight were reset to indicate zero/
zero on the knobs at the 200-yard zero. The
environment and muzzle velocity data was
loaded into the Kestrel for use as DOPE (data
of previous engagements) in future matches.
For the top Picatinny rail, in addition to three
screws, three 3/16-inch roll pins tie the rail into
the chassis. You line the rail up by temporarily
assembling the barreled action without the
trigger at full torque into the chassis, then

32

JUNE 2020 | SSUSA.ORG

The trigger would be another Jewell, same as all the
author's match rifles.

bore sight the barrel on a vertical mark; I used
a piece of tape on a wall about 50 feet away.
Next, slightly relieve the tension on the screws
holding the rail so it'll move. Using a scope
with the turrets centered in the tube mounted
on the rail, line up the rail with the boreline
of the barrel. Mark everything with a pencil.
Take everything apart to drill three holes in the
chassis aluminum using holes in the rail as
guides. Pound in the roll pins, reassemble the
gun, this time with the trigger and voila-one
solid-as-a-rock Palma gun.
I did shoot a shakedown cruise 3x600
mid-range with the gun to discover and fix
remaining flaws in the setup. The learning
curve included adjusting the cant of the
chassis forearm to make sure the hand stop
goes perfectly into the web of my hand in a
prone sling position; adding rear weights to
the Eliseo chassis to get the center of gravity
of the rifle to improve distribution of the
weight between the hands for handling ease;
discovering where parts were tending to come
apart while shooting a string and applying
Loctite or torquing as required; and figuring
out how to address setting up the gun in
position-particularly learning to not brush the
½-pound trigger while lining up for the shot.
That's all done. Now it's back to fundamentals
and practice until driving this Palma gun
becomes a haze of well-shot stings.


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Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 6
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Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 40
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