Sunday, March 29, 2009

Centerfire Sunday

This afternoon, after church and lunch, I went out to the Woodsworth range to play with my Savage 10 in .243 Winchester. The little rifle shot the scope off, back in February. I ordered new bases and rings and installed them this morning. I took the time to make sure everything was tight and that all the screws were properly secured.

I started with some old reloads and got the little rifle on the paper at 25 yards, then moved to the 100 yard line. After getting the scope dialed in, I switched to my hunting load. This load gives me good power, with a measured velocity of 3105 fps and a standard deviation of 24. The bullet is a 100 grain Hornady that I picked up cheap a couple of years ago. They sold as blemished bullets and I bought a thousand of them. I've got lots of hundred grain Hornady's. They're not as uniform as I might like for target work, but I get around that problem by taking out my digital scale and sorting them by weight. I place similar weights in zipper bags.

Whether a bullet weighs 99.8 grains or 101.2 grains matters little to the deer it hits. He probably won't be able to tell the difference. However, those little differences in bullet weight make a difference on the target line. So, I sort by weight and use like weights when I'm reloading.

After getting the little rifle to shoot close to point of impact, I posted a new target at the 100 yard line and got out my hunting ammo.

That's the best three shot group I've ever shot with that little Savage. It's a hunting rifle with the sporting barrel. It's dead stock, with no tweaking, yet that 3-shot group measures just 0.337. I called it a fluke and shifted to the next target for my final five rounds. A final scope adjustment and I settled down on the bags.

Five shots into 0.847", clustered on the bull. I was out of ammo, so I put the little rifle into its case, cleaned up my bench and came home. I'm completely satisfied with my efforts today.


Rivrdog said...

PawPaw, people talk a lot of trash about hunting rifle precision, as if it was an oxymoron.

The trash-talkers say that you can't shoot sub-.5 MOA with ANY rifle that doesn't have a barrel as stout as a baseball bat, aluminum bedded, etc.

I've always said BS to that, it's all about the ammo and the shooter, and unless the rifle has a serious flaw, any well-made hunting rifle should be capable of that accuracy.

I'm going to Boomershoot this year, and will be taking a WIN 70 in .243, and my trusty Savage M99E, which was made about 1960 (I am it's only owner). It is a .308 rifle. I was going to take my M-14, but I underestimated the expense of putting a mount and scope on it, and didn't have the necessary thousand bucks for the job.

I use Nikon Pro Staff scopes with bullet-drop compensators. They are a good quality scope at a medium price.

I am handloading now for the shindig, and my load for the .243 is Hornady 87-gr SPBTs over 46gr of 4831. No chrony, so no speed, but it should be about 3350 or so.

J said...

Did you give that little rifle a gentle pat and an attaboy before you put it away?

Old NFO said...

Nice shooting! It's all about the shooter... :-)

Anonymous said...

I once owned a little rifle, a glass bedded M94 Swede Mauser sporter that liked me well enough to allow me to make five shot groups like that with only a Williams FP rear and Redfield Sourdough Patridge front sight. Of course I had twenty year old eyes then. Alas, marriage and the necessity of making a house payment necessitated "rehoming" the little Mauser. (Heavy sigh.......)

Gerry N.

J said...

Gerry, marriage has ruined many good riflemen and fishermen.