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  #1  
Old 03-14-2004, 02:39 PM
Tomac Tomac is offline
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NDM-86 Dragunov Range Report: Part II




Rifle: NDM-86 (.308) w/PSOP 8x42D scope & Russian black plastic furniture.

Ammo: Georgia Arms "Canned Heat" 168gr match.

Weather: *No* wind for nearly 2 hours! Overcast & cool, no mirage, nearly ideal shooting conditions! (Had I known I would have brought the Black Hills 168gr Moly Match!)

Disclaimers: Barrel was not cleaned at any time during the session and I had a bit of trouble settling down/relaxing (only the 2nd time I've fired this rifle and my long-range skills are definitely rusty...)

Spotting scope: New Yukon 6-100x w/100mm objective lens. Surprisingly good for the price ($275), can see 7.62mm Shoot-N-C holes at 500m but *very* sensitive to vibration, probably best used w/a good stand-alone tripod (just sitting at the bench where I had it set up was enough to cause constant image movement).
Laser Rangefinder: New-Optik 1500LRM, gave good performance against varied terrain out to about 600yds but past that needs a good reflective target. I'm satisfied w/it.


I'd only planned on doing my final 100yd sight-in now that I have my laser rangefinder but with such perfect weather I decided to push to 500m even though I only had the Georgia Arms budget match ammo with me.

100yd Sight-In:
I fired 6 3-shot groups, their sizes were (CTC)
.9", .8", .7", 1.7" (I pulled the flier on that one), .24"(!) and .6".
The .24" group was *very* encouraging and hints at what the NDM-86 could be capable of w/the right shooter & ammo!







Now it was time to push it to 500m. 3 shots on the 500m gong (which, btw, is 12" and not 18" as I mistakenly reported earlier) indicated I was close enough to being on target at that range to try for group size. I used a large Shoot-N-C bullseye to make it easier to make out hits w/the spotting scope although it probably wasn't the best choice for really accurate shooting.
I wanted at least 3 3-shot groups at 500m but the wind started to make its appearance. I fired 4 3-shot strings with the following results: .5"(!) (only 2 of the 3 hit paper, the 3rd was to the left and off target due to wind but still that's 2 shots only 1/2" apart at 500m!), 4.58" (w/only .5" vertical dispersion), 5.55" and 1.32" (again, 2 shots on target w/the 3rd off target due to wind).





Overall I'm *extremely* pleased w/the potential displayed by the NDM-86! With more practice, a better scope & top-of-the-line match ammo I have to wonder just what this rifle is truly capable of! This rifle is definitely a keeper!
The maximum range I can safely shoot at my range is about 850yds so sometime next week I'm going out w/my target buddy SAM (Shoot At Me!) w/his stylish laser-reflective tinfoil hat to see if the NDM-86 can do "one shot-one kill" at 850yds. Stay tuned!...

Tomac
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2004, 11:37 PM
MiniZ MiniZ is offline
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Thanks for the report.

I wish the rifles weren't so darn expensive though. I guess this is an example of supply and demand at work however.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2004, 06:56 AM
Tomac Tomac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniZ
Thanks for the report.
I wish the rifles weren't so darn expensive though. I guess this is an example of supply and demand at work however.
If memory serves the NDM-86 was only about $800 when they first arrived in '94. I know the current price of $1,700 seems expensive but then try to find another semi-auto .308 that will shoot .5" groups at 100yds and see what the price tag is! The NDM-86 is a real bargain by comparison. I've got my 3 (one shooter and 2 put back) so I'm happy that a life-long dream has finally been realized...
Tomac
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2004, 06:42 AM
Lovegasoline Lovegasoline is offline
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Tomac,
As per our emails, I'm much enthralled with the Dragunov.

A few questions on the RR II:
Classical purity of trajectory, what comes next: do you start testing different ammo? What if any break-in does the does she receive?
In the 1st string of 6 (red/wht) targets: what are the inch dimensions of the squares and rectangles?
Do you have any criticisms of the scope? Have you tried it yet in varying lighting conditions?
How do you like the stock?
Have you had a chance to fire it standing and if so, what do you think of the balance of the rifle?
What about the fit & finish?

I'm reflecting and ...I'm shocked to realize...I've never owned a rifle! As a boy I had airgun BB rifles and loved nothing more than playing in the woods and shooting that thing...alone, with others, enaged in 2 man or team BB rifle battles. I'm stuck living in NYC now and for 20 years there's been no more woods across the street or in back of my house
However...
I WAS recently issued my NY rifle permit (no guns yet purchased)...I need a rifle! I need a Dragunov! Like you, it's the rifle that has captured my imagination but alas, as MiniZ says,"I wish the rifles weren't so darn expensive"



...because I want one





Vicariously,
Lovegasoline
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2004, 09:15 AM
Tomac Tomac is offline
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Lovegasoline,
The NDM-86 easily shoots better than me using the Georgia Arms "Canned Heat" budget match ammo so at my present skill level I don't think I'd benefit from using costlier "big name" match ammo. However, I'm going to have one of the experienced tactical shooters at my local range club shoot it for group size using both the Canned Heat and the superb Black Hills Moly Match to see what (if any) practical difference there is in accuracy out of the NDM-86. For now I believe I'm better off using the economical Canned Heat to improve my skills (ie: economical = I get to practice more) until I can benefit from the hopefully better accuracy of the pricier match ammo.
I don't believe in bbl break-in, especially w/a chrome lined bbl. So, except for a thorough/careful initial cleaning/lubing I've done nothing special w/this rifle.
The largish red square w/the open dot in the center is 2" square. The smaller squares are 1" or .5"x1" if you take into account the vertical line bisecting them. Group size was measured center-to-center (CTC).
My biggest criticism of the 8x42 scope is the coarse windage/elevation adjustments (appx 1.1MOA). This is fine for a battlefield environment where "minute of torso" accuracy is acceptable and the ability to range/engage a target quickly is more important than absolute precision. However, even .5MOA adjustments would be (IMHO) a huge improvement and make it easier to achieve those longer ranged precision shots. My only other real complaint (and this is minor) is the reticle w/its inverted caret aiming point isn't as well suited for precision shooting as traditional crosshairs.
I haven't shot w/the scope in lowlight levels but I have observed w/it at night and brightness seems adequate (7mm exit pupil diameter compared to the "bright" 4x24's 6mm). The illuminated reticle is bright w/o being too bright.
While I prefer the look of wood I find this Russian synthetic SVD stockset to be much more rugged and practical. I especially like the spring-loaded rotating/locking cheekrest that you can quickly/easily set to scope, iron sights & cleaning positions w/o having to remove it from the rifle.
I've only fired a few shots off-hand using the iron sights (not enough to be worth mentioning in a range report yet) but the rifle feels lighter than it is and the balance is excellent (balance point is just in front of the magazine).
The finish is a high-gloss black paint that chips rather easily (fortunately I took another's advice and applied black electrician's tape just behind the ejection port to prevent ejecting cases from chipping the finish there). It looks really nice but someday I'll look into having it refinished w/something more durable. The fit is an interesting combination of excellent where it needs to be (bolt, bbl, gas system, trigger, etc) and so-so elsewhere.
I know the NDM-86 seems expensive but try to find another semi-auto .308 that can deliver .5 MOA right out of the box and see what it will cost you.
My Accu-Shot monopod arrived yesterday and I installed it on the buttstock of my NDM-86 and my combo drag bag/shooting mat/carry bag is *supposed* to arrive today. If it does I'm heading out to the range to try this from prone for the first time instead of from the bench like I've been doing. Hopefully I'll have another range report later today or tomorrow...
Tomac



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovegasoline
Tomac,
As per our emails, I'm much enthralled with the Dragunov.
A few questions on the RR II:
Classical purity of trajectory, what comes next: do you start testing different ammo? What if any break-in does the does she receive?
In the 1st string of 6 (red/wht) targets: what are the inch dimensions of the squares and rectangles?
Do you have any criticisms of the scope? Have you tried it yet in varying lighting conditions?
How do you like the stock?
Have you had a chance to fire it standing and if so, what do you think of the balance of the rifle?
What about the fit & finish?
I WAS recently issued my NY rifle permit (no guns yet purchased)...I need a rifle! I need a Dragunov! Like you, it's the rifle that has captured my imagination but alas, as MiniZ says,"I wish the rifles weren't so darn expensive"



...because I want one





Vicariously,
Lovegasoline
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2004, 10:22 AM
JRJ JRJ is offline
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Another great post Tomac. Thats one good looking rifle you have there. I wish I had a longer range in my area. I'm limited to 200 yards.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2004, 08:09 AM
Gargoyle Gargoyle is offline
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Put that gun in a Bulls bag and you will get better groups. The Bulls bag is a buttefly sand bag that clamps the forend in between two swuede sand bags. The bag mimics a strong hand grasping the rifle in front. This way you can take it out in the field without zero change. Shooting off a rest only will cause the shots to print higher than when you shoot holdong the gun. Also, with the bulls bag, put the rifle into your shoulder. Shooting the gun with all of the range accessories where you only touch the gun by pulling the trigger will give a drastic change in zero when you shoot in the field.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2004, 07:59 AM
Tomac Tomac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle
Put that gun in a Bulls bag and you will get better groups. The Bulls bag is a buttefly sand bag that clamps the forend in between two swuede sand bags. The bag mimics a strong hand grasping the rifle in front. This way you can take it out in the field without zero change. Shooting off a rest only will cause the shots to print higher than when you shoot holdong the gun. Also, with the bulls bag, put the rifle into your shoulder. Shooting the gun with all of the range accessories where you only touch the gun by pulling the trigger will give a drastic change in zero when you shoot in the field.
Agreed. However, I just recently received my shooting mat so I can finally get off the bench and I'm still wait for my SVD bipod to arrive.
Tomac
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2004, 12:12 AM
Gargoyle Gargoyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomac
Agreed. However, I just recently received my shooting mat so I can finally get off the bench and I'm still wait for my SVD bipod to arrive.
Tomac
Ok, sounds good.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2007, 11:10 AM
TY44934 TY44934 is offline
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Any updates to add?

I know that with THE RIGHT AMMO, the Russian Dragunovs were also capable of extreme accuracy; they were designed by the Russian who built Russia's olympic competition rifles & for decades, the Russians have kicked our butts in almost all the Olympic shooting sports.

Nice to see that you used quality ammo for the test. That is fair. And the results show that this rifle CAN shoot.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Tomac Tomac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TY44934
Any updates to add?

I know that with THE RIGHT AMMO, the Russian Dragunovs were also capable of extreme accuracy; they were designed by the Russian who built Russia's olympic competition rifles & for decades, the Russians have kicked our butts in almost all the Olympic shooting sports.

Nice to see that you used quality ammo for the test. That is fair. And the results show that this rifle CAN shoot.
Recently attempted 20 shots rapid fire @1,000yds w/no more than 4 seconds between shots except when changing the mag. Used a std SVD sight-in silhouette, SVD bipod and military 1P21 3-9x42 scope and achieved a 50% hit ratio. Due to a bit of wind from the right all the misses were to the left just off target.
Tomac

Here's a pic of the 1P21 reticle looking at the 36" 750m gong:
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