The other day I meandered out to the local rifle range. There were four people there with brand new rifles that ran the gamut from very low cost entry level rifles, to the latest issue of “The Rifleman’s Rifle.”
Let’s start with Jim and his very first big game rifle. Jim is fourteen years old, and has been shooting rim fire competition for several years with the Junior NRA. His rifle was a gift from his grandfather after he had earned the rank of Second Bar Sharpshooter. The rifle? A Remington model 700 ADL chambered in 243 Winchester a proved deer and Pronghorn caliber. It was topped with the excellent Sightron SII 3 X 9 scope. His grandfather was there and told me that he had lapped the barrel, action, and rings. He is a gunsmith and gone through the rifle completely before giving it to Jim. Bearing in mind that his grandfather purchased the entire set up at wholesale and that there were no labor charges involved the cost was estimated at just over $900. That, is quite a savings! The ammunition being used that day was Federal one hundred grain soft point. A proved yet economical deer stopper. Grandpa used his laser bore sight, not only on Jim’s rifle, but on all that were tested. I have to believe that helped save a lot of money!
Jim shot from the bench with the rifle resting on sand bags, the target at one hundred yards. He shot strings of five rounds, and the barrel was swabbed with Hoppe’s Elite between each string. The results were astounding, at least to me they were. The first group was roughly one and a half inches, centered on the seven ring at five o’clock. As noted the barrel was swabbed, and adjustments to the scope were made. String number two was centered on the nine ring at six o’clock and measured just under one inch. Another swab job, and scope adjustment and it was on to string three. That Jim was settling in and getting the feel of his new rifle was pretty apparent. String three was dead on the “X” and measured less than three quarters of an inch! This was not using match ammo, as noted above! Both myself and grandpa are advocates of the “zero point aiming” theory, and he adjusted the scope accordingly. Jim was instructed to hold at six o’clock, and the fourth string was fired. Yet another swab job, and string five was fired down range. We walked out to the target (It was not changed between string four and five.) Everyone was more than a bit impressed. All ten rounds grouped together, and were covered by a dime! I can only foresee better things for Jim and his new rifle as the barrel further breaks in, and he builds even more confidence.
Tomorrow we will cover Diane’s new rifle.