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Long Range BPCR Shooting
Wagon Box Willy
aka Bill Esposito

After having fun during the 2011 Cowboy Action Shooting season up here in New Hampshire which was my first real shooting experience since I was a kid, I decided I wanted to expand my new found hobby a bit and try some long range shooting.  Since I've fallen in love with shooting black powder cartridge (45 Colt) and loading my own, I decided I wanted to get a BPCR (Black Powder Cartridge Rifle) and be able to shoot the long range side matches at the CAS events as well as other long range matches.

Now I'm really new to this so if I say something stupid please feel free to send me an email and correct me.

My search for the right rifle began with lots of internet Googling and reading of the message forums.  I found the Sharps (just like Quigley), Rolling Blocks, Trap Door Springfield's and Winchester 1885's.  For some reason that I honestly don't know I ruled out the Sharps, which is quite odd since Quigley Down Under is one of my favorite movies.  I then got really interested in rolling blocks but thought the stock comb seemed a bit low for the longer range shooting.  Really did not even consider the Trapdoor simply because I didn't like the musket look.  Yes, this is all about getting a rifle that looks as good to me as it's my hobby after all.  More research convinced me that I didn't want the button rifling which is found on many of the cheaper Italian imports (figures) so that left me looking at the Pedersoli rifles.  Then someone responded to one of my message threads and mentioned that I should take a look at the new Winchester BPCR rifles as they were on par in price with the Italian Pedersoli.  That's really only true if you buy the Sporter or Hunter models and then you still need to add sights.

I watched Gunbroker for a few days and lo and behold a brand new Winchester limited Edition High Wall BPCR model with Badger half round 30" 45/70 barrel, Monte Carlo stock and no sights was up for sale at a decent price.  I watched it for a few days and then pulled the trigger.

The modern Winchesters (and Brownings) are not faithful reproductions of the original gun, if you want that you'd better buy a Pedersoli or Uberti though you wont get the same quality barrel that you get with the Badger equipped BPCR models.

Here are some pictures of it.

And here's the new 45/70 model 1885 and the model 1866 in 45 Colt

I have the dies on order from Track of the Wolf so I can load 45/70 as well as some Postell style 535gr bullets from Springfield Slim

I next need to order some sights which I will get from Lee Shaver. 

Break In:  12/4/11

The manufacturer of my barrel, Badger, provides break in instructions and I followed them today.  Basically one uses jacketed bullets to lap the barrel to close up the pores left from the manufacturing process.

I followed the directions and shot 14 rounds looking down the sight-less barrel.  I never could see the "copper wash" they referred to in the procedure but I did notice less and less copper remnants on my patches as I cleaned.  I used Hoppe's#9 solvent and Windex Multi-Surface cleaner.  I will shoot the rest of the box another day in the same manner but I was getting tired (bored?), what with all the cleaning between shots.

After the last shot I cleaned the gun with my cleaner of choice, EEzox, and put it in the safe.

Ordered a Lee Shaver Gunsmithing Super Grade Soule sight and a globe front sight.  I wanted a mid priced sight and Lee's seem to be of high grade for about 150 bucks less than the MVA sights.  The Lee Shaver sight also comes with a Hadley eyepiece which is a bonus and 70 bucks you wont have to spend if you bought from one of the other manufacturers.  Lee also does a trigger modification for $35.  Send in your trigger and get it back providing you with a 2lb or less pull.  I'm going to do that this winter at some point too.  Lastly for now, I ordered my sights on a Saturday night directly from Lee and got the email confirmation right back.  I then replied to the confirmation with a question to which I was answered in about 5 minutes.  We had a short email exchange where I asked about the trigger.  Great service so far.


I received the Lee Shaver sights and I'm installing the front globe sight first.  I measured the dovetail ways in my Miroku Badger barrel and it seemed to be pretty close to .375 as I could measure using my digital calipers.  The Lee Shaver dovetail came in at about .390 so it was too large although a note included with the sight said that it might actually be too small for the Miroku manufactured Winchester and that it was recommended to glue it in with some red Locktite.  Luckily that was not the case for my barrel.
So the first thing that needed to be done was the dovetail had to be made smaller so that it would go into the dovetail ways on the barrel about a quarter way with finger pressure only.  You should always install dovetails from right to left when looking from the shooters vantage point or left to right when looking at the end of the muzzle.

To reduce the size I got out a flat file and put it between a couple of dogs on on my bench and began pulling the bottom of the dovetail over the file.  Do not exert a lot of pressure here but just enough so that you can feel the file biting.  Because I know my sight was big I pulled the dovetail across its length 10 times, then reversed it and pulled it again another 10 times. You want to pull it over the file the same number of times in each direction so that you get even machining.  I had to do probably 6 repetitions of 10 pulls each way before I could feel it getting close.  Once I got close I reduced it to 5 each way between fit checks.

Here you can see the bottom of the dovetail which is being pulled across the file.  As we remove material from the bottom of the dovetail the width of the dovetail gets narrower which is what we are after.  We want to remove just enough material so that you can press the sight into the dovetail about a quarter of it's length.  Once we can do that, remove the sight and use some cold bluing to preserve the metal.  I used my Birchwood Casey touch up pen.

Once we have the dovetail at the proper size it's time to install it.  One thing I didn't mention earlier is that you should remove any levels that may be installed on the sight so that you don't break them or separate the bubble while you're working.

You should always install dovetails from right to left when looking from the shooters vantage point or left to right when looking at the end of the muzzle.

Here you can see me using a wooden dowel to tap the sight into the ways.

The Soule rear sight went on effortlessly and of great relief to me my eyes are able to get sharp focus.


Spent a half hour and made a simple gun vise.  This was long overdue.  Very simple and basic construction.  A base board, a wood screw clamp, some scraps and some rubber to line the contact points.


I'm having some problems chambering the rounds I'm making.  I am not sure if it is because of fouling, bullet, or COAL.  I did get to shoot some rounds today at 80yards which is about the longest I can do in my back yard.  The day was cold, windy and dark.  The target on the below is 6 shots of 65gr of KIK 2f, compressed about .140 with an over powder card, Winchester Large Pistol Primer seated with copy paper, new, sized W-W brass and  Lyman Postell bullet....blowing between shots.  I'm pretty happy with this mostly because I am just learning how to shoot and have maybe 25 rounds under my belt.  I'm pretty sure the two hits to the upper right have more to do with me pulling the rifle than the gun or the load.

This next target is with 67gr of powder compressed about .180.  At this point my hands were cold from fighting with thw bullets and trying to get them to chamber so I quit after 3.  Again I'm pretty happy cuz I was on the black even with everything else going on.


Well, I need to order some bullets as the ones I bought are not the right size for my barrel.  So in my down time I figured I'd make some shooting sticks.  I grabbed a piece of walnut I had laying around and sliced it up into 2" wide boards.  I cut the longer sticks for shooting while either sitting or the ground or on a stool.  I "guessed" that 40" was the proper length, I know that is more than long enough for sitting on the ground and should be long enough for sitting on a stool, only time will tell.  The shorter ones are 21" long and are for shooting prone.  I used contact cement to glue some leather inside the "V" to protect the barrel and added some large nails as spikes.  So far the spikes work very well but the ground is soft with the coming of spring.

I thought what I did for the nut was a good idea so let me show it to you.  I took a 2" hole saw and cut a hole in the project scrap and used the "hole" to form a nut.  I drilled two 3/16 holes in the nut and banged in dowels and cut them off.

The dowels align with the slot and keep the nut from spinning so that only one hand is needed to loosen/tighten the knob for height adjustment.


I made a best rest base for my prone shooting sticks.  the only modification to the sticks was a 1/4" hole through the top of each stick about a 1-1/2? from the end.  the sticks are then flipped 180° and inserted onto the pivot bolt in the rest base. A knob at each pivot point locks the assembly at the desired height.  I couldn't see the for making an idenical se of sticks just for this purpose.

Wire nuts are there to protect me accidental acupuncture caused by the pointy end of the spikes.

The size of the base is based solely on the dimensions of the one scrap board I used to make it.  If I were to do it over again I would line them with felt rather than leather and maybe make the end pieces 8 or 10" long instead of the 5-3/4 that the material allowed.

By the way the credit for the basic design of these sticks comes from



I have my bullets on order from Montana Bullet Works.  I ordered Postell 535gr and Saeco 645's in 480gr.  The Postell's I got from Slim are just too large in the nose (diameter) to seat out although I have been seating them deeper getting about 1/8" of etching by the lands, which is fine, but it results in difficult chambering at times to the point I will need a Camming Seating Tool to get those rounds chambered.

These bullets were seated to the first driving band and actually go in the chamber pretty easily as long as the rifle hasn't
been fired, but once it's fired some are impossible to chamber without a cam.

Here you can see where the bullet meets the lands.  Some can be seated with minimal thumb pressure but others cant.

Here's the compromise I came up with which gives me a COL of 2.700 with 70gr of KIK 2f compressed .333".  Some bullets still need extra coaxing to chamber but I have about 200 of this batch still to shoot.

UPDATE 1/28/2012

I received my new bullets but haven't shot them yet. The Postell's measure a diameter in front of the driving band of .446-7 (old bullet was .4515) so they slid in right up to the driving band.

I used the following procedure to determine Extended COAL of Loaded Round

• Drop the bullet into the chamber and tap the base with the eraser of a pencil
• Using a caliper, measure from the base of the seated bullet to the rim of the chamber (A)
• Measure the length of the bullet...B
• A + B = C    C = Extended COAL of the round
• Determine seated depth of the bullet in the case (D) by subtracting B from the case length (2.1" for a 45/70)

A = 1.518
B = 1.417
C = 2.935 COAL
D = .582

70gr KIK 2f = .118 compression at max COAL

The loaded round is at the right.

The Saeco 645 measures out to

a = 1.612
B = 1.244
C = 2.856
D = .488

70gr KIK 2f compression = .021 at max COAL

Here are the Saeco 645, 480gr bullet (left) and the Lyman Postell, 535gr bullet (right) loaded over 70 gr of 2f KIK (by weight).  Both bullets are seated to achieve a COAL of about .020 under the max COAL for each bullet.

As long as we're talking about the bullets here's my Drop Tube w/vibration to help settle the powder.  The tube is made from 3/8" diameter brass tubing cut to 24" in length and fitted a Lee funnel to the top.  I then ripped some scrap 1/2" plywood to make the stand and attached the tube using some brass cup hooks that I bent to create an eye bolt.  A couple of o-rings are used to set the height of the tube.  I then took a $5 Wal-Mart aquarium pump and screwed it to the base of the drop tube.  The pump when plugged in provides a good amount of vibration.

My method for loading this case is to fill up the powder measure with a Lee dipper and drop it into my drop tube.  The powder get's vibrated until I get another load ready at which time I take the case off the drop tube and insert a card wad.

After that I place another case on the tube and repeat.  I give each case about the same amount of time for vibration using the process of filling the measure as the gauge.

By the way, that's a Thompson Center U-View plastic powder measure sitting in front of the digital scale at right.  I found that it will drop within +/- 0.1 grain so I don't have to use the scale for weighing the powder except for determining the initial charge size.  The volumetric measure of the powder measure is about 5 grains higher than the actual weight of the KIK powder I'm using. (75gr on the measure is about 70gr by weight).

Next I needed a scope because it was painful shooting in my back yard and walking 240' each way after every shot to see where it hit.  One can easily spend more for a scope than you spent on the gun and I certainly wasn't going to do that.  My rational was that I will need a scope for 100-300 yards which are the longest ranges I will have to shoot locally.  If I every go to a match I'm sure there will be spotters available with better scopes if needed.  So I did some internet research and settled on the Konus Konuspot-100 4.0"/100mm Spotting Scope Kit and purchased it from BH Photo because they had the least expensive price by about $75 of anyone and I've done plenty of business with them in the past.

The Picture at right shows the Konus 100 sitting on a Giottos tripod and ball head.  That is a professional grade photo tripod which will work great with the spotting scope.  I tried the Konus at about 150 yards and could see the splatter target like it was right in front of me so provided the optics don't fall off drastically I should easily be able to see the hits on the splatter target at 300 yards.  The paper target (see the targets pictured above) was more difficult because the bullet holes were black on black.  I saw the hole in the white fine but could barely make out the holes on the black though I could easily see the break in the white ring between 7 and 8.  So far I'm pretty happy with the purchase.


I did receive the loading tool from Sage Outfitters.  Unlike the more expensive tool (better made) from Arizona Sharpshooters, the Sage Outfitters tool did not have the relief for over the primer pocket.  Probably not a big deal but I wanted one so I took a round file and cut the relief myself (pic left lower) and it works fine.

More stuff.  I wanted to try wiping between shots as an alternative to my blow tube so I purchased a Derlin wiping rod with integral jag designed to have a good fit with the Dave Maurer Arsenal patches.  The patches are 2" round and are made of some form of paper.  They are supposed to not stick together when wet so you can have a stack of them pre moistened with your favorite wiping solution (I'm going to try a 50/50 mix of Dex-Cool antifreeze and water).  Just put a wet patch on the jag, push it through and it falls off when it exits the barrel and you retract the cleaning rod.

Here you can see the size of the rod in my 30" barrel.

UPDATE 3/24/12

I forgot to mention the Delrin Cleaning Jag I bought from Arizona Sharpshooters.  It is design for a tight fit so to force the patch into the grooves to better remove lead and fouling.  In the first picture you can see the 45 caliber delrin jag next to a traditional 45 cal brass jag, notice that the delrin jag is larger, .408 in diameter to be exact.  This means that you will likely not be able to just push your rod down your barrel as it will be too tight.  The compressibility of the delrin really shoves the patch into the grooves and you will likely need to tap your rod with a hammer to push it through your barrel.  I start with a short section and then add a section to it as I need until it's through the barrel.  I think it works great. (sorry, too lazy to grab the tripod for this shot)


I purchased a tumbler from Harbor Fright, couldn't resist the $39 price tag, as well as some ceramic media from Sage Outfitters.  Here are pictures of the machine and media of the media.

UPDATE 3/23/12
Here are a couple of pics to show you how much brass you can clean at one time in the dual tumbler, as well as how clean they come out.  The photo at left shows the two 3lb tumbler barrels each with a pound and a half of media.  I can clean sixty 45 colt cases in each barrel or as pictured, seventy (35 each barrel) pieces of 45/70 brass.  notice how both the insides and primer pockets are cleaned.  All this brass has been shot 2-3 times and all of it annealed before this last firing/cleaning.  This has been a great investment, $39 for the tumbler and $35 for the media.  With my vibratory tumbler I find that almost every 45/70 primer hole has a piece of media stuck in it so I was cleaning with the primers still in.  Now I can decap and get the entire case clean without worrying about the primer holes.

UPDATE 2/3/12

Went out in the back yard this morning and shot off 10 rounds loaded with 70 gr by volume of KIK 2f, compressed .110, .025 card wad and a MBW 535gr Postell.  I threw out the bad readings.  Also, I wiped with a 50/50 mix of Dex-Cool antifreeze and water between every shot....I think I like that better than the blow tube.

Using a Beta Master Shooting Chrony I set it up about 10' in front of my barrel and even though it was a grey sky I used the diffusers.  There were three shots which were obviously incorrectly recorded so I thew them out.  While the Beta Master Chrony will calculate standard Deviation, hi, low and average speeds if you get an error in your data there is no way to deletes the erroneous data so I had to copy the data to paper and do the calculation myself.

fps =  1123,1134,1121,1146,1116,1110,1133

std dev = 12.26687

UPDATE 3/21/12:

I shot a small sample of my new  loads which have 70gr by weight as opposed to 70gr by volume.  This amounts to about 5 more grains by volume than previously loaded.
My small sample averaged out at 1182fps for the 535gr Postells and 1186gr for the 480gr Saeco's.

Here's the group at 80 yards with the new bullets.  I'm pretty happy with it considering I was sitting in a chair using my bench sticks clamped in my B&D Workmate.  I could feel that I wasn't comfortable or steady so that explains the fliers.

UPDATE: 2/13/2012

The Winchester/Browning BPCR's come with about a 5 pound trigger pull which I found too heavy.  Lee Shaver Gunsmithing offers a trigger job for $35 which will result in a 1.5-2lb pull.  The sear is stoned to a new angle and a lighter trigger spring is supplied.  I disassembled my rifle and mailed off the trigger and check to Lee, he received it on a Friday and must have done the work and mailed it out the same day because I received my trigger back on the following Monday.  So he had it and returned it to my doorstep in two working days, one of which was a Saturday.  Pretty impressive.

So here's a pictorial explanation of how to perform the upgrade.

Tools:  Along with your normal gunsmithing tool set you will need a 8" or longer flat blade screwdriver with at least a 5/16 head.  I used a Craftsman #41852 with a 3/8" blade and it worked perfectly and did not bugger up the screw.  You may also need a small punch.  I used a blunted finish nail but to be honest one could use a ball point pen as the pin is not a press fit.

First, remove any tang mounted sight.  You will have to remove one screw from the tang.  When the stock is removed you can screw this screw back into the stock insert so it doesn't get lost.

Next you can remove the butt plate. These screws are wood screws and screw directly into the wood stock.

Using the 8" flat blade driver, insert it into the hole in the butt of the gun being careful to insure that you get the blade in the slot and not wedged between the screw and the hole in the butt or you may split the stock.  Turn counterclockwise (lefty loosy :)) and unscrew the bolt.  It does not take a lot of force to break the screw free.

Here's the removed bolt.  With both this and the tang screw removed the stock can be removed.

Now the good stuff..  All you need to do is remove the trigger pin and pull out the trigger.  Use a small pin, nail or even a pen to push the pin out.  It is a loose fit.  Grasp and wiggle the trigger while pushing the pin and it will push right out.  Then grab the pin with your fingers and pull it out completely.

Once the pin is out you can pull the trigger right out of the mechanism.  There is a coil spring which sits around the adjuster screw, remove that as well and save it.  You will get a new spring when Lee Shaver returns your trigger which you will insert and use.

In the picture at right you see the trigger, trigger pin, original coil spring (black, thick coil) and the new lighter coil from Lee Shaver.  If you decide that the trigger is too light after you get it back you can use the OEM trigger spring and bump the pull up about a pound.

Upon reassembly, install the new coil over the trigger adjuster screw and then insert the trigger into it's location and insert the trigger pin.

The new Lee Shaver worked trigger and trigger spring are now installed and we're ready to reinstall the stock.  To install the stock just reverse what we did to remove it.  This whole operation is very simple and removing the trigger, and then reinstalling takes all of 10 minutes each.

I measured the trigger pull and it is just about 2 pounds and the release is nice and crisp.  I'm a happy camper.

Later that same day...
I did get to shoot at the 80 yard target off hand just before dusk.  The trigger certainly makes hitting the target whilst the barrel is sweeping through it a lot easier.  I was a tiny bit out of breath from running to get everything set up before it got too dark and I still hit the black (albeit a large black) 4 out of 4 times.  I'm happy with the way the trigger feels.

UPDATE: 311/12

I wanted to get in a little time on my new trigger so I set up a target I downloaded from the Long Range BPCR website.  It is an 800 yard target scaled down for use at 100 yards.  I used it at 80 so I guess it was a little big but it was still pretty small at 5.5" of black.  I didn't bother to change the front sight insert but I know I would have benefited from that as the black was very small and left a lot of white between it and the round insert I was using.

I also wanted to shoot all my old bullets and test loads which is what I did.  I took 11 shots.  The flier to the far right was the fouling shot and the two fliers to the left I knew when I pulled the trigger that I yanked the rifle.  The rest seemed to hit in the same ragged group hole so I'm pretty happy with how both my trigger and I handled the test.  I shot sitting on a 8" tall stool using my cross sticks and a blow tube between shots. Temp was 40.0 °F wind SSW 4.6mph and 47% humidity. I was shooting north.


I decided it was time to try my hand at annealing.  There are lots of good links on the net with instructions so I won't repeat them here but I used the air cooled method rather than dropping the hot cases in cold water.  It gives the same result and you don't have to dry the cases.  I had the torch and drill so all I needed was something to spin my cases.  I looked around my shop and located some items I was pretty sure would do the job.

First I took about an inch and a half off a piece of 3/4" copper pipe I had laying around.  At first I thought I was going to saw some tabs in the pipe and fold them over to form the base but I got the idea to try to find something to stick into the pipe to form the base.  I first thought of using wood which I think would have worked since the case holder wasn't ever going to get all that hot but then I spied a nut which I thought would make a good fit.

I had to take a little material off the corners with my grinder but before long I was able to pound it into the pipe.

I searched for the rest of the parts to finish up the holder.  I decided on a 4" carriage bolt and associated nut and washers.  The bolt slipped through the hole in the larger nut and I tightened everything up.

You can see the finished product at right.  Brass is nicely annealed.  The holder worked just like it was supposed to and was made from scraps and on hand hardware.  You don't have to make one exactly like mine but my point is that if you have a workshop you likely have "stuff" laying around which will work for you.

UPDATE 3/21/12:  I annealed all my fired brass and a bag of 50 brand new cases.  My method of stress relieving is to use my case holder and rotate it in a hand drill at a slow speed over a flame generated by a propane torch.  When I see the color change a bit over about the last 1/2" of the case I remove it from flame and drop onto a cookie sheet.  I aim the flame about 3/8" down from the end of the case.  My intent is to heat the brass until it just turns color and no more.  You will also notice that I don't quench the brass but rather air dry it.  Brass does not need to be quenched like steel does.  Not quenching means I can start loading it as soon as it cools.
As I mentioned before there's lots of good web sources for case preparation and one good source I've located is the Los Angeles Silhouette Club, which is where I pulled some of my data for my annealing process.

A morning at the range 3/22/12

I had a pretty disappointing morning at the range yesterday. I brought my rifle and 25 rounds each of 70gr KIK 2f loaded with MBW 45132 Postell and Saeco 645.  You might remember from above that my rifle was pretty well locked onto the target at 80 yards. I stapled up targets at 100 and 200 yards.

Problem number 1, I'm still not comfortable with my tang sight adjustments. It took me probably 10 rounds of Postells to get it acceptable and I could not get a good group.  In retrospect I probably should have pushed a wet patch or two through the barrel at this point but I didn't until about round 30.

Next I tried the Saeco....not even hitting the paper. Not sure what was wrong, once I got finally got a couple hit hit the black I decided to move on to the 200yd target before I ran out of ammo.

problem number 2, I should have had a spotter. I incremented the vernier about .125" which I was told would get me in the ballpark and shot a half dozen rounds, making little adjustments here and there and no paper. I had no idea where I was and nobody around to help me see where I was going. I probably missed the paper 20 times or more.

Next time I'm bringing a large piece of cardboard to tack up so I can see where my hits are.

I adjusted my stance to that I had a very solid hold. Used my bench sticks and my elbows on the bench. Still not much luck. One would have thought I never shot before. I was pretty bummed and my shoulder was sore. I fired my last 2 shots at a very large gong at 200yrds and missed, packed my bags and went home.

My barrel cleaned up well and there was no leading so I cant blame the rifle. The Postells seemed to work way better than the Saeco's though not anywhere close to what I was doing at 80yrds.  I only have 25 bullets left and MBW is out of Postells for a few weeks so I'll just lick my wounds and shoot in the back yard for a couple of weeks until I'm restocked.

I have a PAST 1/2" shoulder pad coming, more bullets, 10lbs of KIK (today) and a shooting pad from Midway(on sale for $49). My next outing will use the prone sticks and pad so I have a stable hold and see what happens.

Also just received the Boonie Packer Chamber Checker Safety Flag from Midway.  All the pictures of the product on the web depict these as being flimsy, cheap pieces of plastic, and for just over a buck each I can see where one might come to that conclusion....but they are substantial, work great and are definitely not chincy.  The photo at left shows me inserting the curved stem into the chamber, the curvature of the long stem is what keeps the flag in your chamber.  To the right is the flag seated in my chamber.  As you can see by the one I'm holding, there is a lot of material in these $1.50 (5/$5.99) flags.  You can find these on Amazon as well but the price ranges from inexpensive to way overpriced.  I think Midway has the best deal if you can add them to a current order.

Shooting mat and pad

I havent thought much about shooting this week as I was on a business trip but I did come home to my MidwayUSA shooting mat and my PAST shoulder pad.

The foam in each is 1/2″ and feels like the closed cell type but I cant be sure.  The shoulder pad may not fit a large or “full-figured” person as it just fits me and though I am overweight I am small in stature.

The MidwayUSA shooting mat is moderately well made.  The material both top and bottom is fairly robust with the bottom black material having some waterproofing added.  The olive drab top seems well made and with good size anti-skid areas.  The anti-skid does not seem to be sticky though it was only 40° when I had it outside.  I was going to rate the stitching as fair to poor in some places where it seemed that the bottom thread from the bobbin was not feeding properly but upon closer inspection those areas are where stitching was stopped and started and those were areas of overlap. The thread thickness seems a bit undersized for this application.  We will have to see how that affects durability.  I’ll rate the stitching as fair.

There is a pocket in the front flap where you could store a notebook or as I will do, store six metal wire stakes to be used through the six grommets to secure the mat to the ground.  The mat is very large as compared to some twice as expensive.

Based on value I would rate this mat at $49 a 7 out of 10 but if I didn’t take its price into consideration the stitching would drop it to a  5 out of 10 because I do believe that some areas of stitching will prematurely fail.

I will keep this page updated with my progress


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