Best factory production rifle for regional matches

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cbshtr posted this 22 May 2023

I will soon be receiving some inheritance money and would like to buy a quality production rifle to start competing in local matches after a 20 year absence. My budget is no more than $1500 for rifle and scope. I have an old Tasco 36X scope that I may be able to use, leaving more money for the rifle. I'm looking at heavy barreled guns to help with recoil.

The models I have been looking at are the Savage 110 Magpul Hunter, Savage 110 Tactical, Bergara B14 HMR and the Tikka T3X CTR. The two Savage rifles are supposed to come with factory blueprinted actions from what I've read. All of these have good reviews and accuracy reports with the Savages being less expensive. I have no experience with any of these and know of no one who has one. I'm more interested in the shorter barreled tactical style rifles over the long barreled varmint/ bench rest style guns. Of the guns mentioned which would be the best competitive option. I'm open to other suggestions as well within the parameters mentioned.

I'm leaning towards a .308 Win caliber only because I'm already set up with everything 30 caliber. All the rage today is the 6.5 Creedmoor but with the 8" twist I would seem to think it would be difficult to get competitive accuracy. Please correct me if I'm wrong but looking at match reports they rarely show up. I've seen a few .243's and .223's but mostly .308's. I'm open to suggestions.

Any information and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Robert Homan

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Tom Acheson posted this 22 May 2023

Historically, since 1999, our local matches for CBA Production entries, have been dominated by .308 Winch. chamberings. Easy to load for, lots of production and custom molds, many die choices, lots of load data available for the round. Many twist rates are between 10 and 12. Variations of Remington 700’s and Savages are quite common. Of course, there are others. Just need the completed rifle to weigh less than 12-pounds. The wrong scope and mounts might push you too close to the weight limit. One concern is the shape of the underside of the forearm, as it relates to fitting the front sand bag. If too round it can be difficult to manage.

Have to add the occurrence of .223 chamberings are being seen more recently.

Tom

 

 

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cbshtr posted this 22 May 2023

I have been looking at the underside of the forearm, only selecting those a little wider with a flat bottom. The .223 does interest me, but not sure if I want to go that route yet. Something worth looking into tho.

Robert Homan

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Lucky1 posted this 22 May 2023

I'll second Tom's advice as you are well on your way with the 308 choice. I've dabbled with 6.5 Creedmoor and have had limited success. I've had better luck with my 1916 Swede and they are known to be finicky and there are certainly less choices in bullet molds. Your choices of rifles are all quality ones and can most likely be made competitive with proper workup. The 36x scope is also a great start and helps the budget. It'll come down to which rifle makes you happy and trips your trigger.

Scott Ingle

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John Alexander posted this 22 May 2023

I have two skinny barreled, 6 pound Tikkas and both will shoot strings of five shot groups that average .75" with JB at 100 yards. Not that you want a skinny barrel but it demonstrates the quality. One rifle has done well in CBA competition. Both with 8 inch twists. The downside of faster than needed twists is more theoretical than real -- unless you cast really terrible bullets.

Your 36X Tasco scope should do fine and if it's optics are as good as mine they will be better than most of the competition.

The 308 is boring but the logical choice to start with.

John

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 22 May 2023

golly, eat my heart out here ... you are going to have so much fun ...  

a couple weeks ago there was a decent discussion on competition and I thought it was most interesting as to what a person's goal is to want to compete ...  fun, glory, the challenge, finding out how really good you are ... etc. etc. ...oh, and all above !! ...

if for fun, I would go with a Savage class rig and compete against myself and see how good I could get with the equipment and talent I bring to matches as I progress ...  there is lots of luck in factory rifles, so it could be fun achieving a level above your prognosticated stature ... and with the cheaper Savage, you might try a few different screw-in legal * production * barrels ... after all, production classes are somewhat of an equipment testing excercise.

if " competing " is actually spelled " Winning thru Obsession " in your view of things, I would have to go with the Tikka ... just because statistically that gives you the best chance of a great rig.  ( ok, I have 2 of 308 Tikka , the old Tikka 55 ...  deer rifles, but they live in smileyville with me  ...  1 pound triggers, straight actions, tight chambers ... dang ! .. ) ...

above is without consideration of the rules ...  are those guns legal in production ?? ...

*********************

i have to mention, again if winning is a must, i would look for a great trigger, a well made action and a great barrel ... Tikka statistically has these.  need to do a bedding job, but i think that is legal.

next, I actually would go for a lighter bullet than a 180 gr 308 ...... probably 6mm or 6.5mm ... to reduce recoil on the bench ...next I would look at which stock will be stable in the bags ...  

in big matches, the nasty 200 yard targets are a big deal ... your longer bullets which need faster twists are a real big deal ...  I would concentrate on my 200 yards shooting most of all.  check out in the match reports here how many national shooters wipe out at 200 after they are in the running at 100. 

boring as it might be, the 6.5 creedmore looks pretty good for the 200 yard game.  you are probably in for some custom molds anyway ... and you don't need exotic loading equipment for excellent match ammo ... $50 of Lee dies will get you in the top flight ...

just some thoughts, enjoy the trip and keep us posted ... ken

 

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Lee Guthrie posted this 22 May 2023

My observations on Savage rifles.  Some people express almost mystical adoration for Savage.  Me, no way.  Maybe it's just bad luck following me, but .....

I bought two different new Savage Model 12s (a BVSS and an F class), both in .308, that were advertised to be tack driving demons.  I've had lever action Marlins shoot as good.  We tried everything to get them to shoot.  Tried all kinds of loads with both jacketed and cast.  Tried letting a couple other shooters use them (two who went through Army sniper school and one who competes internationally).  Did everything except replace barrels and do machine work.  Nope.  Still wouldn't shoot.  On the same day several friends and I were range testing -- BEST group from the Model 12 that was supposed to be F class competition was 5 shots into 1 3/8 inches at 100 yards, using same ammo that I shot through a friends 40x with a 5 shot .41 inch group on the same day.  When I sent it back to Savage it was returned with the notation that it shot within factory specs.

Your mileage may vary, but I will probably never buy a new in the box Savage again.  If you find a used proven Savage maybe.

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lotech posted this 22 May 2023

Savage offered heavy barrel synthetic stock rifles some years back in .308 and .30-06. I bought one of each and they shot cast bullets well, though not quite as well as a Remington heavy barrel 700 VS that I already had. Some years later, I got two new stainless sporters (don't recall the model) in .250 Savage and .30-06. Never tried cast in either one, but their accuracy with jacketed bullets was mediocre. Hawkeye borescope exam showed a good bit of bore roughness. 

I've read where Savage has a good reputation for accuracy; maybe I just got some that weren't among the better ones.    

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Wm Cook posted this 22 May 2023

Robert, I'm in about the same position as you.  I might a bit further along since I have the rifle,scope part sorted out.  I went with a Savage 10F.  To be honest I can't remember if I went that way because of the cost or the weight of the Model 12.  Probably the cost and not the weight since the 12 is being shot in Production class competition.  I'm using a 36x Sightron scope. 

The Savage10 and I'm sure the Model 12 ride the bags real well with their wide forearms and flat/minimum taper bag friendly stock. That flatter profile rear stock is an advantage when you return to battery coming back from recoil.  My rig's chambered in .308 and with the Sightron it comes in at about 11 1/2 lbs.  Both the 10 and 12 have adjustable triggers with the 12 being able to go below a pound.

I'd consider the following:

  • Rifle -  I can't find specs on the Mapul Hunter you mentioned so no comment there.  I did find a 110 FCP HS Precision that looks like the old Model 10 but there's no specs that I can find.  It may be discontinued?  The 110 tactical looks to be wearing an Apex stock and I'm not sure if the action on the 110 is the same as the Apex.  If it's a viable option I'd lean toward the flatter stock like the old 10F's or the Model 12's.  Sorry but I can't comment on the Tikka or the Bergara but I remember that before I went with the Savage they were in the top three that I was looking at.
  • Scope - A good budget scope would be the Sightron, or if you could find one used maybe a Weaver 36x.  I've had three or four Sightron 36 and about as many Weaver's and they all held the POA/POI. I had one Sightron boosted to 50x years ago.  First choice would be a Leupold but that's costly. I have had a number of them and they have great glass quality.  Mirage can cause some real head scratcher groups and I had myself talked into believing the Leupold was better at reading through soup than the Weaver's. I'd be hesitant to count on the Tasco, but maybe that's and unfair opinion.  
  • Cartridge - Sticking with the same cartridge you're already set to reload is an advantage. What pushed it as my first choice was the large number of 30cal molds that are available.  Bullet weights range from 160 to 230 grains and come in spitzer, tapered and freebore design.  Not asked but I would offer the opinion that you might want to start out with a custom mold.  First get a good chamber/throat cast to determine freebore dimension and a real real solid dimension for the barrel bore.  A borerider bullet from a custom mold with a nose that fits your bore would leap frog you months over the learning curve I waded through. 

Looking at CBA results are valuable.  I know they are not the end all for information but they are from a registered match and you can get a feel for what the benchmark is for accuracy.  

Below you'll see the Production class equipment list from both the 21 and 22 Nationals.  That'll give you an idea whats being used. 

If you go with the .308 and if your freebore length and bore diameter are close to what I have I can send you some samples if you think that'll help.  If there's anything else I can do let me know.  Good luck, Bill Cook.

My Uncle once told me that you learn something new every day. And when the day comes that you don’t learn anything, well, that’ll be the day after you die.

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John Alexander posted this 22 May 2023

i have not had good luck with 223 Savage varmint rifles. Had four all had long loose spot in mid half of barrel.  I have never heard that claimed for the 30 cal.

However, at least 7 of the thirteen current CBA national records were shot with Savage rifles and Savage rifles have won the production class nationals more than any other rifle for the last 25 years and several overall nationals.  I would still buy a Tikka.

John

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Lucky1 posted this 22 May 2023

The piece of advice that can be gleaned from the previous discussions is.....it's a crapshoot if you get a good one or not. John is a stellar shooter with his Tikka but I know another Tikka 223 shooter that is really frustrated getting his 223 to shoot well. So basically get something you like, work on the loads and get better, and if it really isn't working you can always try something different. The good thing is there are a bunch of people to help and you can have a great time trying out new loads and techniques.

Scott Ingle

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Hornet posted this 22 May 2023

I see that Remington is listing the 700SPS Varmint as available in .308. Has anybody tried one of their newer rifles to see if they fixed all their self-induced quality problems? I was pretty happy with my ancient 700VS ( finally had to set the barrel back 3/16 after burning out the throat).

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longhunter posted this 23 May 2023

I have just gotten a Begara B-14 in 308.  it is showing great promise. I will keep you posted!

I have one in 22lr also.  I run a Extream Long Range 22 match.  1" steel targets up to 26 " steel out to 400 yards.  If you are interested i can break it down more.

They both shoot well.

I am thinking this will be my last 308!

Jon

 

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret.

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OU812 posted this 23 May 2023

The 223 has less recoil, uses less powder and lead. I would take Johns advice and buy the Tika. He might point you in the right direction concerning mould and powder choices.

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Tom Acheson posted this 23 May 2023

My experience with a Savage Model 12  Varminter Low Profile in .308 is different than others have experienced. Not sure if it is a BVSS. The twist rate is 1:10, with a 26” barrel.

 

I bought mine new in 2007. The decision was based on that model’s track record in the CBA Production Rifle category in our matches. Odd that I picked it up the day the Minneapolis bridge collapsed. 

 

Various loads were tried. I eventually settled on 27.0-grains VV N-135. The bullet was an LBT 312-185, 50/50 lino/mono, sized 0.311” and “bumped”. The best 100-yard match result was produced 25 August 2011. The small 10-round group was 0.649” and the 10-round aggregate was 0.947” and the score was 198-5X. I haven’t checked lately but those numbers might still be Minnesota State CBA records.

 

If I bump the bullets and use VV powder, the rifle does very well. Varget powder also did fairly well. Have to add that my Weaver T-36 scope works really well with this rifle.

 

But full disclosure. After the last time the rifle was used in a match (August 2021) it sat until last weekend and I did poorly. But it was the first time I used 4198 powder, the bullets were not bumped and I learned the cases need to be full length sized. Not a rifle problem.

 

I spend most of my match energy trying to get an XP-100 to shoot and ignore my rifles. However, I do enjoy shooting my Remington Rolling Block in .38-55 with an old Unertl 24X scope.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Tom

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Tom Acheson posted this 23 May 2023

Short footnote……

The OP said Regional matches. Regional matches are usually a once a year thing. I hope when the word Regional was used it could have said Local matches. All of us would like to see you out shooting your new rifle frequently, not just once a year!

Tom

 

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OU812 posted this 24 May 2023

"Bumped" sounds so vague. Was that hard alloy difficult to bump?

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Bud Hyett posted this 24 May 2023

I feel I've shot enough Production Class with various rifles to state there are no absolutes. Trends "Yes", but absolutes "No!" I took the above table and tried to graph the detail to find an absolute, it did not come out. You must buy a rifle and then make it work. There is a wealth of information here on the Forum and many experienced people willing to help. 

Were I to start today, I'd get the Savage Low Profile Varminter in .308 Winchester with at least a 30X scope. The .308 diameter bullet will touch the next scoring ring when the .224 bullet will not. I've shot a 7mm-08 and several times lost a point when the .024 smaller bullet did not touch a ring. There was a shooter at Windhill who shot a .358 Winchester in part to gain the larger diameter. 

Higher straight power scopes are not being manufactured today, You'll need to get a variable if purchasing new. A 30X is easily good for two hundred yards. There often are used 36X scopes on websites such as www.benchrest.com from shooters who have upgraded. 

Bullet (mold) selection trends toward 200 or more grains in .30 caliber. The two exceptions are the RCBS 30-18-SP and the SAECO #315 that are very competitive. More important then weight is bullet fit in the chamber leade and the barrel.  The heavier bullets have greater wind resistance. But be careful of mold selection, e.g., there are two versions of the RCBS 30-200-SIL bullet mold, the later manufacture has a larger diameter nose and shoots far better. 

 Powder selection currently is what you can find. Powder Valley and Natchez Shooters Supplies are two websites with large stock and keep refreshed. Powders from Alliant 2400 to VV N-135 and IMR 4895 are the common choices. (I stay way from WW 296 and IMR 4227 in bottleneck cases having seen several rifles damaged beyond repair from Secondary Explosion Effect.) 

Large Rifle Primers are premium. And Large Pistol Primers do not easily substitute due to the difference in deck height. This may force me to shoot Plain Base since I have a larger supply of Small Rifle Primers and will have to save my few Large Rifle Primers for Military Rifle competition.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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cbshtr posted this 24 May 2023

Since starting this thread I just remembered that I ordered a 30 caliber gas check maker almost 2 months ago. I forgot all about it. Ship date keeps being pushed back. So it looks like I made the choice of caliber. I do have several molds including a Eagan MX3.30BR, Saeco 301 and 315, Lyman 314299, Ideal 31141 and 311413. I'm figuring at least one of these should show promise.

Robert Homan

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cbshtr posted this 24 May 2023

I should mention that the Tasco World Class 36X scope I have is from the nineties and has Japanese glass with 1/8" movement. From what I remember it was pretty clear and accurate adjustments.

Robert Homan

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 May 2023

while talking about 308 shooting, i believe that in my stash I have some 308 brass with small rifle primer pockets.  back when I was serious about small cast groups I made some into 243 brass ...  at the 1 moa level I couldn't tell any difference ...

if anybody is interested, i will dig through the pile to see what is down there ... pm me please

sorry to back into this thread, but I will otherwise forget about these again five minutes later.

i need to make a FS list of stuff I don't need ... and maybe my phone number and home address ... hah ...

ken

oh, i have an extra B&L 36x scope from about 1999 ...  i preferred my Weaver T20 for ARA 22 at 50 yards.

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Lucky1 posted this 24 May 2023

Bud is right on with "no absolutes". The bell curve on quality has slid together so the average quality is better than ever but there can still be stars and dogs in every brand. Case in point. A local gun smith/dealer ordered 6 1894 Marlins for a number of cowboy action shooters when Marlin still had decent quality. 3 were so-so, 2 pretty good and one was stellar. Almost consecutive serial numbers. Yes, he shot everyone of them and kept the best one for himself. This was with factory ammo and no tuning but does show the randomness of manufacturing. Personally, I screw up the shot far more than I can ever blame the rifle.

Scott Ingle

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Tom Acheson posted this 24 May 2023

No problem bumping the hard alloy. With the right set-up, the bumping goes well. Key to bumping…

Adjust the die so the taper starts just slightly above the single lube groove. And it is also possible to increase the pressure so that you get very sharp corners on the gas check.

Yes, there are no assurances. Every rifle is a beast into itself. 

Read an article a few years back that focused on “the best primer for .308”. Yes with jacketed bullets. The conclusion was CCI 250. True, a LR Magnum but it has worked well for me. My rifle never has and never will seen a jacketed bullet.

Tom

 

 

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cbshtr posted this 24 May 2023

I tried bumping to get undersized bullets to fit using sizing and Eagan taper dies with not much success. I had too many inconsistencies to pursue it any longer.

Robert Homan

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Tom Acheson posted this 25 May 2023

If there was a single expression to characterize the tip of the spear in tackling CB accuracy, it is “bullet fit”.

If we start off with the wrong bullet “because we have the mold”, we stand a decent possibility of being disappointed.

Chamber cast, take dimensions, search the mold chart @ Accurate molds, find a candidate, order a mold with YOUR very specific dimensions at key locations that YOU WANT on the bullet. Then roll the dice!

Tom

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Tom Acheson posted this 25 May 2023

Maybe a short comment on neck tension, that sometimes dreaded CBA debated concept.

Lightly tap a sized, lubed, bumped bullet into the throat. Measure that to determine the cartridge OAL. Then load a round 0.025” longer than your calculated OAL. Close the bolt. Here is where the neck tension enters. If too loose, the bullet will be pushed back into the case as the bolt closes. What we want is the neck being tight enough to resist the movement of the bullet. When that happens you are pushing the bullet into the throat, slightly engraving the bullet. You can feel that resistance as you close the bolt.

The overall goal is developing the concentricity of the bore and the bullet.

Now the rest is up to you, your choice of powder and, most importantly, your bench technique.

FWIW

Tom

 

 

 

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cbshtr posted this 25 May 2023

Tom, very good comments about bullet design and fit. Other than for hunting I always had a tight fit in the throat. I just didn't have a specific way to do it like you mentioned. Now to throw a curve ball into it, I've been trying to think of a factory .30 caliber round smaller than the .308. At the range the other day I found a 300 Blackout case. I have way more than I can count of .223 brass but I don't see anything about the 300 and cast bullets. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with it and does it have the potential to be a competitive round?

Robert Homan

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cbshtr posted this 25 May 2023

I shot at Tamqua with a Ruger Ultralight in 30/06 years ago. That gun barrel barely measured a half inch at the muzzle and got hot fast. It shot good enough for hunting but was definitely not good for matches.

Robert Homan

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cbshtr posted this 25 May 2023

My desire is to be competitive, not so much to win but to consistently shoot tiny little groups. Deciding on a gun is a pain. I had a Savage 10 once that shot patterns. One of the least accurate guns I've had. Now I have a Savage 11 that shoots little groups with whatever I feed it. As soon as I get close to making a decision I watch another video that lists a bunch of problems with it. I just don't get it. Everybody talks about feeding, extraction and ejection problems. I've owned over 30 guns for over 50 years and in that time I had one Marlin 336 that needed an extractor. Other than that I never had a reason to think about any of those problems. They say modern guns are so much better than they used to be, but really, are they?

Robert Homan

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cbshtr posted this 25 May 2023

I meant local matches. For me Tamqua is about 1 1/2 hours away so I wasn't thinking local.

Robert Homan

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Tom Acheson posted this 25 May 2023

.30 cal in a 223 case? In the early years of IHMSA handgun silhouette, there was a round with many names in .30 caliber based on a 223 case. For several years my XP-100 being used in CBA matches was called a 30 Silhouette. A 30 tcu, 30/223, 30 Juras, 30 Apache, is close to it. I used Lapua 233 match cases and 165-180 grain bullets. The results were OK but I eventually shifted to a 6.5 mm round using Lapua 6 BR cases, necked up to 6.5.

But I have to say my best performing .30 XP-100 round was a 30 PPC, again Lapua cases. That was my first dip into the bumped bullet world. 

I have a break open single shot pistol, made by RPM, their model XL, chambered in 30 Silhouette, that I’ve been trying to sell for a few years. 

I have a lot of data on the .30 Silhouette chambering and could send it via e-mail. It would be uninteresting to most of our forum readers.

Tom

 

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Bud Hyett posted this 25 May 2023

I watch another video that lists a bunch of problems with it. - Quit watching these videos or at least watch them only for entertainment. How do you know the qualifications or level of experience of the person making the video or writing an article? 

They say modern guns are so much better than they used to be, but really, are they? - The gun writers will not get free equipment if they tell the truth. 

You need to spend your money on a rifle, then tailor your experience and the help of the shooters on this Forum to make it shoot.

I've only ever bought one rifle that shot well from the outset without tinkering. This is a Ruger #1V in .220 Swift. This is a rifle that according to all the self-styled experts was not to shoot well. (That is a statement excluding the BSA Martini International rifles in .22 LR.)

In aerospace we have an old saying, "There comes a time when we must shoot the engineers and start production."

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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John Carlson posted this 26 May 2023

At least a couple of us have been playing with the 300 Blackout.  One a Ruger American, 16" barrel, 7" twist.  The other a Savage with 22" barrel, 8.5" twist.  Initial efforts were disappointing.  100 yard groups tended to be around 3".  Chronograph data was abysmal with max spreads over 200fps and SD over 100.  Got some stellar chrono data from very fast powder but groups were off the paper.  Bullets were 155 up to 200gn.  Not a lot of reloading data available, especially for cast bullets.  Lyman manual does not include pressure data but some I have seen shows even subsonic loads up around 30,000psi.  Could explain a lot.

I'm thinking of holding a raffle.  Folks could guess how many rounds it will take me to hit the gong at 300yds launching a 200gn bullet sub-sonic.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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RicinYakima posted this 26 May 2023

At least a couple of us have been playing with the 300 Blackout.  One a Ruger American, 16" barrel, 7" twist.  The other a Savage with 22" barrel, 8.5" twist.  Initial efforts were disappointing.  100 yard groups tended to be around 3".  Chronograph data was abysmal with max spreads over 200fps and SD over 100.  Got some stellar chrono data from very fast powder but groups were off the paper.  Bullets were 155 up to 200gn. 

 

CZ's are not any better!!!!!!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 May 2023

a couple years ago JoeB here did a fairly impressive " study " of cast in 223 versus 22-250 ... including rechambering the same barrel from 223 to 22-250 ...  a long test series, with several barrels and 

his results pointed to the 22-250 being a better cast bullet shooter ...  most of we on-lookers were shocked at this ... and of course, JohnA here has been terrorizing hunter class for years with his 223 ...  ( in a supernatural Tikka, btw ) ....

however, at the least, JoeB's test points to larger case capacity than absolutely needed might not a bad thing ...

*************************

a few years ago some manufacturers made some rifles in 6 ppc ...  here is a link to a discussion on this >>

factory 6 ppc rifles

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remember, the early favorite killer 222 cartridge for benchrest was replaced by the even-more-killer 6 ppc because the ppc case seems to be more forgiving of load variation.... " you can't go wrong " ...

just some more thoughts ... but golly a production class Sako in 6 ppc might be cause for both jealousy and admiration ... and although we admirably say we compete to impress ourselves ... impressing our buddies does add a little honey to the situation ...  heh ...

ken

oh, in addition there have been several production rifles in 7.62 x 39, which is a plain jane PPC case ... and a cousin of the 30 Kern  cast favorite ... and easier to find than a 6 PPC Sako i bet ...    probably couldn't go wrong with a CZ bolt gun in 7.62 x 39 ... or even a Ruger American ... hmmmm ... could a guy have TWO  production rifles ?? ...  THREE ... oh my ...

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John Alexander posted this 26 May 2023

"Everybody talks about feeding, extraction and ejection problems. I've owned over 30 guns for over 50 years and in that time I had one Marlin 336 that needed an extractor. Other than that I never had a reason to think about any of those problems. They say modern guns are so much better than they used to be, but really, are they?"

=====

My experience has been about the same as yours (most all with bolt action or single shot). I think most of the the talk about rifle feeding, extraction, ejection problems is with the bad ass rifles people like to play with now. At least that's the type of rifle I see people struggling with at the range where I spend a lot of time. When forty different manufacturers are making them, and a million different shooter are "improving them" by replacing parts and hanging on everything imaginable, what could go wrong?

John

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Tom Acheson posted this 26 May 2023

The first round that my XP-100 was changed to (from stock 221 Fireball) was 30 Kern. Was a good round. I used Lapua 7.62x39 cases using large primers. Maybe I could have massaged 220 Lapua Russian into shape?

The idea to use 7.62x39 in Production has always been appealing to me. At one time I think it was Remington that offered 7.62 cases with a small primer. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough but it seemed like all of the potential Production rifles in that chambering were either a carbine or too light. 

Tom

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John Carlson posted this 26 May 2023

I did play with a 7.62x39 last year.  Howa Mini-action.  Always seemed there should be more there but never could get it to shoot as well as my Springfields.  It does seem that the concept of using cases you can fill with powder is losing some credibility.

I also thought about trying a 6.5 Grendel.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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cbshtr posted this 26 May 2023

This thread gets more interesting each day. I was positive that a small case full of powder would be way more accurate then a half full case. You guys are proving me wrong and I'm starting to feel comfortable with my .308 decision. I also had looked at the 7.62x39 years ago and never saw a single model that would be good for anything other than hunting or plinking.

Robert Homan

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Larry Gibson posted this 27 May 2023

 Yes, Remington did make 7.62x39 cases with SR primer pockets.  Oddly, just last week I picked up 4 Winchester 7.62x39 cases at the local range which also have SR primer pockets.  All my other Winchester cases have LR primer pockets.

 

I have a nice little InterArms Mk X Mini Mauser chambered in 7.62x39.  I've done about everything to enhance accuracy short of a rebarrel.  Its accuracy capability with cast bullets is not competitive as it is a consistent 1 1/2-2 moa rifle at best with 10 shot groups.  Still a fun little rifle.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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RicinYakima posted this 27 May 2023

That is about what my CZ 7.62x39 will do. About 1/2 the  group size of a 300 blackout for 10 shots.  Still a fun plinker and carry rifle. 

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dbarron posted this 27 May 2023

I’ve been fighting a CZ in 6.5 Grendel for 3 years. A tack driver with jacketed. Not so much with cast. One week it will shoot around an inch. Next week, same everything, softball size. I’ve given up on it many times, but dang it, it just HAS to shoot. Maybe. I hope.

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RicinYakima posted this 27 May 2023

IMHO, an issue is the single set trigger. Mine will shoot much smaller groups with the trigger set, but larger if you use the standard trigger. I think it is a lock time and trigger vibration issue with the design of the action. Cast bullet loads below 1600 f/s are iffy with the unset trigger. 

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lotech posted this 27 May 2023

 

Thirty or so years ago, I bought two new limited edition "Davidson's"  Ruger 77MKII 7.62x39 rifles. This was a run of only a few thousand guns made well before Ruger offered this chambering in their regular production. I worked with these rifles for years almost exclusively with cast bullets. They were surprisingly accurate even with bullet weights approaching 220 grains. I used eight or ten bullets and six to eight powders and shot lots of groups. I like using two identical rifles for serious projects; I seem to learn a lot more than when using one gun.

I much prefer working with heavy-barreled rifles than sporters, so eventually lost interest in the 7.62x39s and went back to my heavy- barreled factory .308s. I no longer have either of the Rugers and don't miss them, but a heavy-barreled version of these guns just might outshoot my favorite .308. 

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Tom Acheson posted this 27 May 2023

In the early 90’s I had a silhouette handgun made by MOA, chambered in 7.62x39. All I used were cast bullets. My memory and scorecards say the gun was quite accurate but the machinations you went through to load, fire and unload drove me nuts. It was a very “busy” gun.

Tom

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cbshtr posted this 29 May 2023

I'm writing at a gas station On vacation in Tennessee and have no reception. Once I do I'll respond again.

Robert Homan

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John Alexander posted this 30 May 2023

I don't know the answer about whether a full case improves CB accuracy.  But my current match lost of 5.5 grains of Tightgroup or AA#2 in a case that will hold 28, or about 20% of volume, seems to work well.

John

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Tom Acheson posted this 31 May 2023

I’m in the same boat as John. In my .22 BR in a Lapua 6BR Norma case, I use either 7.5 of WST or 8.5 of 4756. Both are a long ways from filling the case.

The “holy grail” of jacketed bench rest shooters was a short, fat case, with powder filled to the base of the bullet and a small primer. It is not uncommon to see almost everyone at a match using the same powder, the same amount of powder, the same primer and the same bullet. Almost a firing line filled with a bunch of copy cats!

Tom

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cbshtr posted this 02 June 2023

Well, after reading and re-reading these posts as well as handling all of the 4 guns mentioned I went and ordered the Savage Magpul Hunter. The Tikka CTR had a very smooth action and crisp trigger but a typical rounded forearm. Go figure for a tactical gun. The Bergara HMR bolt seemed a little small to me and I could bind it if not working it right. But then the next Bergara I tried with standard magazine with a floor plate was very nice. The Savage 110 Tactical had a nice wide forearm but was still slightly rounded. Now the Magpul Hunter has a wide forearm with a flat bottom, 8 x 40 scope base screws, blueprinted action, 20 MOA scope base, adjustable LOP and comb height with aluminum chassis insert. The deciding factor was Cabela's dropped the price $100. Like what has been mentioned several times buying a gun is a crap shoot. This was the gun I was interested in first and I kept coming back to it because it was the only gun that had all the features I wanted. Hopefully I made a good decision. Now if it will shoot like I want without all the fuss, well, that would be the icing on the cake. Will keep you posted.

Robert Homan

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Tom Acheson posted this 03 June 2023

Good to learn that you made a decision and took action…,great!

Will be interesting to see your follow-up comments.

Tom

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John Alexander posted this 03 June 2023

Shoot well without the fuss? You must be thinking about some other kind of bulet.

John

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 03 June 2023

looks as though you have made a very interesting choice ...   always fun with a new rifle finding out how " lucky " you were ...   and this rig certainly checks a lot of boxes to attract the more cheerful fairies ...

*******

I see they use a bedding block sysytem ... i gotta advise to not even waste a primer until you do a serious bedding upgrade ... not complicated, but a mass production bedding block is not likely rock steady enough for serious competition.   a tablespoon or so of Devcon will get you a great fit and save chasing weird target results.

be sure to keep us informed on your progress ...

ken

 

 

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cbshtr posted this 03 June 2023

Ken, once I get the gun I'll have to have you give me points on what I'm supposed to bed. I bedded a Springfield O3A3 years ago with success. Once I get the gun I'll disassemble it to get an idea what I'm dealing with, then pick your brain on how to fix it. I want to eliminate any variables up front, before starting like you said.

Robert Homan

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OU812 posted this 03 June 2023

Do the rules allow threaded barrels? I re throated my factory 223 Remington to 5.56 NATO, but who's looking?

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cbshtr posted this 03 June 2023

The only thing I recall about the muzzle is shortening it by a half inch to clean it up. It's hard to find a heavy barreled gun without being threaded. The only thing going on it is the thread protector.

Robert Homan

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Bud Hyett posted this 03 June 2023

Do the rules allow threaded barrels? I re throated my factory .223 Remington to 5.56 NATO, but who's looking?

Throating is allowed.

If it comes from the factory threaded, then it is Production.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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cbshtr posted this 03 June 2023

Good to know.

Robert Homan

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John Alexander posted this 03 June 2023

 Bud is right, throating is allowed for CBA production class.  Throating is not allowed in Hunting Rifle class. So it depends on which class you intend to shoot your "factory production rifle."

John 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 03 June 2023

OU812 ... ok, you meant  allow * throated *  ........  not * threaded * ... right  ... ?   

. .... or is just another hazy weekend ? ...heh ...

ken

 

 

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OU812 posted this 04 June 2023

I thought I read somewhere that a threaded barrel muzzle was not allowed. I misinterpreted.  I would like to see a pound cast of the Savage throat. I bet I could get it to shoot respectable groups with bumped bullets.

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John Alexander posted this 04 June 2023

We have no rule against threading at the muzzle.

We do have a rule against recoil reducers screwed on to those threads. 

It would be nice on the ears if everybody had threading and a suppressor.  There are unsubstantiated claims that a suppresser improves accuracy, but the same is said about the little rubber thingies that you put on the barrel at the magic point or points.  My  opinion is that this type of wishful thinking comes from believing that one or two groups will tell you the truth -- they won't.

John

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cbshtr posted this 04 June 2023

Pretty sure suppressors are illegal in New Jersey. Their cost and the permit required take care of that option.

Robert Homan

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JeffinNZ posted this 05 June 2023

We have no rule against threading at the muzzle.

We do have a rule against recoil reducers screwed on to those threads. 

It would be nice on the ears if everybody had threading and a suppressor.  There are unsubstantiated claims that a suppresser improves accuracy, but the same is said about the little rubber thingies that you put on the barrel at the magic point or points.  My  opinion is that this type of wishful thinking comes from believing that one or two groups will tell you the truth -- they won't.

John

Suppressors are very prevelant here in New Zealand. Pretty much every second centrefire has one these days. I have one on my .223 Rem and .32-20 Martini. I have not seen evidence of improved accuracy with the suppressors installed. On a skinny barrel they may work as a dampener but I would have to see that tested. Muzzle breaks or "loudeners" as we call them at my club are a massive PITA at the range. Terrible things to be around.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 June 2023

johna ... i am pretty sure the muzzle screw-on gadgets will act as a tuner ... and tuners do affect the grouping ... and group center ...i think you could just screw the muzzle brake or silencer in and out and see the groups get bigger and smaller and change group shape and center location ...

BUT ... is the difference 2 per cent or 20 per cent ...  ? ... and this can be positive or negative ...

and as you imply ...  which 2 or 20 per cent of the 150 shots at a match are going to be affected ? ...

... also, i gotta admit ... it bothered me to see ... in the heat and reduced mental capacity of a match ... shooters reaching out and grabbing the end of their gun's muzzle ...   

****************

i always wanted a wind tuner ...

ken, mostly just out of tune in general

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Tom Acheson posted this 05 June 2023

Ah yes, “muzzle breaks”. Our club prohibits them, even if you are on the line alone. I suspect the CBA also does not allow them.

Years ago, when shooting handgun silhouette, they were a real pain. You might be a spotter, sitting on a stool behind your shooter, and the shooter 3-slots to your left (or right) touches one off. His gun is close to the ground. The dust storm created by the deflected blast, especially from the dirt area on the firing line at the range in Ft. Stockton, TX, was a real hinderance to concentration and effective spotting. And the adjacent shooters were also negatively affected.

Leave the gizmos at home!

Tom

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John Alexander posted this 05 June 2023

Good point Ken. I have wondered about that watching them at the range. Of course they have as good a chance of degrading accuracy as improving it. Most of the folks at our range with either suppressors or loudeners will never know what they do to accuracy. Three shots are the max group and one or two will do.

Gold star to your club Tom, The damned things are an abomination.

It never made any sense to make suppressors expensive and complicated to have in the US. Real criminals  (as opposed to movie criminals) almost never have an interest in them. 

John

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cbshtr posted this 13 June 2023

I finally picked up the rifle. It is far from a fine wood stocked gun. But it is a solid set up. Action and magazine are pretty tight, hoping they break in soon. I know I could work the action while watching TV but I also know someone who would object. One screw and I was able to adjust the LOP.

I know the aluminum bedding block needs to be bedded for complete contact. I'll be in contact with Ken Campbell when I get to that. Some people will bed the scope base, which doesn't look too hard, but is it really necessary?

I also want to get a pounding of the throat area and slug the muzzle.

As anxious as I am to shoot it I want to get these prep points taken care of first. And this brings me to my last thought, breaking in the barrel. I have JB bore compound, LBT lapping compound and plenty of the J words. What is the best option to get the bore in competitive condition?

Robert Homan

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 13 June 2023

...you can't turn a factory Savage barrel into a Lilja ... but you can improve it ..

1)  sometimes the chambering creates little burrs in the throat ... these can be helped by a mild " fire lapping " ... just fire about 6 or 8 jacketed loads, the bullets roll- impregnated with 600 or 800 grit compound .Clover brand is good ... JB is too mild ....loaded to about 2200 fps ...    stop after these few and don't do a full 100 shot firelap program as you used to read about ...  if 8 shots doesn't fix it ... it wasn't broken, and no harm done ...

2)  if you have a spare three hours you can do a hand lap ... not complicated and again, maybe not needed but you will have covered that possibility and besides, it will give you the satisfaction of doing what you can.  Competition is big on Zen, and believing you gained a little edge might just make it a reality !! 

basically lapping is just using a dedicated Dewey rod and pushing it through just to the end and pouring hot lead down the muzzle onto the patch tip ... this is your lap slug, perfecly fit to the barrel.  push slug out partway and pour 800 grit on it.  pull and push the slug through the barrel until it gets loose and then do a fresh slug ... repeat 3 or 4 times, and then thoroughly clean the barrel.  may improve cleaning, may improve accuracy ... but remember ... Harry Pope was big on lapping his barrels.  note he liked to leave the muzzle end a tad tighter than the rest of the barrel.  the above mild lapping will only remove about 0.0001, so completely safe.

3)  inspect the crown .. if it looks cleanly cut it is ok.  it is rare that a new crown is needed ...  mostly easy money for gunsmiths to add on ... but is easy to check.

***************

at some time you should make a soft lead upset image of your chamber and throat.  check that your rifling lands all start evenly  ... this is important for accuracy .......    and then also keep this upset to help you set seating depth for various bullets.

hope this helps

ken

and yes, i would lap in your scope mounts ... I have a special reamer made for that and I am impressed at how much is cut off some rings on factory rigs.  i could think i might bind up the turret components.

 

 

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mesonary posted this 08 September 2023

Considering your budget and preference for heavy-barreled rifles, the models you've mentioned - the Savage 110 Magpul Hunter, Savage 110 Tactical, Bergara B14 HMR, and Tikka T3X CTR - are all solid options. The Savage rifles, in particular, are known for their accuracy and cost-effectiveness, with the added advantage of factory blueprinted actions.


Sticking with the .308 Win caliber is a practical choice, especially since you already have the necessary setup for it. While 6.5 Creedmoor is gaining popularity, .308 can still provide competitive accuracy, and it's a caliber you're familiar with.

Don't hesitate to visit https://uspatriotarmory.com/product-tag/g-polymer80-80-blank-frames for more options and information. They offer a range of firearms-related products that might be of interest to you.

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cbshtr posted this 11 September 2023

I've been corresponding with Ken Campbell on how to get this rifle set up the best I can before firing a shot. I finally had the opportunity today to scim coat the contact points of the bedding block and bed the recoil lug area. I'll find out tomorrow how I did but these modern puzzle stocks have so many nooks and crannies for compound to sneek into. I'm just hoping the barreled action comes out without a lot of beating and banging.

Robert Homan

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