Several years ago, Ken Waters wrote a book entitled Pet Loads. If you're a handloader, you've stumbled on your own pet loads. In the .308, I was developing loads for my son's rifle and we stumbled across a load that works in every .308 we've tried it in. It's simply good brass, properly prepped, a Winchester large rifle primer, 43.0 grains of Reloder 15, and a 168 grain Matchking bullet.
Yesterday I was able to take my new-to-me Remington 700 to the range and take it on a little test drive. I loaded 40 of those good loads and got settled in on the bench. This is a hunting rifle and for most of the shots that matter, it'll be held in my hands. I've learned that rifles recoil differently when fired from different positions, and when I'm shooting a hunting rifle, I want it to recoil from my palm. So, I use a sandbag under my hand and hold the rifle with my palm.
I set up a target at the 25 yard line and started getting familiar with the rifle. It's a standard Remington 700 with a Leupold VX1 3X9X40 scope. I've never owned a Leupold scope and when the first shot didn't immediately hit the middle of the bullseye, I had to adjust the scope. Wonder of Wonders, this VX1 doesn't have click adjustments. The scope adjustment dial turns smoothly. There is tension on it, but there are no clicks, as is present on almost every other scope made today. It looks like Leupold cheaps-out on the low end scopes.
Still, I managed to get the rifle close to point of aim at 25 yards and then went out and posted a 100 yard target.
First shot fell to the right of the target, so I adjusted again, feeling my way along. Second shot fell to the left of the target, so I split the difference and sent a third shot downrange.
Third shot struck that 3" target dot. So, I loaded three into the magazine and sent them downrange as well. You can click on the picture for a larger image, but the 4th, 5th, 6th shot made a string up the target dot. Was that the barrel heating, or the shooter flinching? We'll never know.
This rifle is a shooter. I think I'll go ahead and float the barrel. If I'm struck with a yearning for comfort, I may put a recoil pad on it.