LevelHead's SWS project
Well I took the rifle to the range. It was a cold day - about 25 degrees with overcast sky. The wind was minimal - maybe 5mph gusts. Range is 100 yards. I've been sick with a severe head cold, so being out in the cold for two hours was not exactly what the doctor ordered. Still I felt better after a trip to the range than I have all week!
|February 2003 - I finally shoot the damn thing.|
I spent about the first 45 minutes doing adjustments on the rifle. I adjusted the length of pull again which now feels much better. I also adjusted the scope some, which was not level on the rifle. I torqued up all the bolts to the right spec (except for the rear action screw which is still too long), then settled in to shoot.
The rifle at the range
The ammo I was using was Argentinean "target" ammo of unknown quality and charge. Bullet weight was 147gr. They were $20 for 100 if that's any indication. I really wanted to shoot, and I really had no cash left, so that's what I ended up with. In the future I'll probably stick with Federal Gold Medal or load my own.
It didn't start as a good day since when I pulled into the range I saw a group of probably 10 wild turkeys on the range. I got out of my car to take a picture and fell flat on my face. Seems the entire range was a complete sheet of ice. I almost fell a dozen times after that too.
At any rate I started shooting and noticed right away that the trigger was way too heavy. I took the rifle apart and turned the proper screw making it much much better. I put everything back together, re-torqued the action screws (except for the rear), and off I went.
Naturally I had to re-zero the scope after messing with it, which I did rather quickly. Preliminary groups were not terribly exciting. It's about now that I realize that double espresso cappuccino I'm drinking to stay warm is not helping me keep a steady hand. Neither are the Ring dings and Twinkies I've been partial to lately...
All in all I would estimate that this rifle is capable of pretty tight groups. I'm out of practice and out of shape, and I didn't feel like shooting prone due to the icy snow on the ground. At least those are my excuses for today.
All in all I'm not disappointed so far. I certainly need to get out with a batch of premium ammo and a steadier hand. The gun is accurate enough to have fun with. I would estimate that it is accurate enough for what I want it to be, but as of yet I have not proven that. I did have two hours of fun with it today - and that's nothing to sneeze at. Whether or not it will be good enough for competitions remains to be seen. Whether or not I'll be good enough for competitions remains to be seen as well. The rifle can be made more accurate with money. My skill is another matter.
For the last half hour I just shot at the same target for 10 or 20 rounds. The rifle is fun to shoot. I'm used to a Sako 7mm Remington Magnum. This very heavy .308 recoils like a pussycat. Compared with the Elk gun, this .308 is a real pleasure. The recoil is not as light as my AR-10(T) was, but that was a semi-auto and this is a bolt action.
Just for fun
The bolt cycled very smoothly. Celt's advice about lubing and cycling the newly finished bolt was dead on. There still a tendancy for it to bind if I hit it at an angle instead of full forward. I'll have to teach myself to stop doing that. When fed from the internal magazine, it fed flawlessly every time. Every round ejected properly and forcibly. There were no failure to fires, and pretty much no mechanical problems whatsoever. In short, I can't wait to go shoot it again. Next time I'll dedicate more time to proper technique and use quality ammo.