Seeing as how the Gov only gives me one day a week off lately, what better way to spend that day than sweltering in the Arizona sun? I wanted to see if this gun was everything it was supposed to be, and how it compares to my other 308 guns (some no longer with me, but the LWRC REPR, Armalite SASS, Sig 716, Scar 17 and I'm sure a few others ive gone through). I had to zero at 91 meters with the sun in my eyes (I got out early and we have a single spot already metered out we put targets at) so I didn't shoot for groups today, I just got on target and launched a few to verify its zero. Quick and painless, all the rounds touching suppressed and with both Hornady BTHP 168 and Federal GMM 168s. Oddly enough the zero only shifted 1/2 inch left with the Hornady, so this made it possible to try both at distance! After getting that set and resetting the turrets on my Steiner Military 3-12x50, I dialed up Shooter on my phone and put in the specifics... it was about 88 degrees at 8 am and DA of 6400 feet, so nice and thin air for shooting! I shot a ball park of 2450 FPS into the calc since I didn't have a chrono and it said to dial 7.8 Mils for 700 Meters (closest steel we have, followed by 800 meters and 1000 meters). Shots were high and after a few I got on target dialing 7.0 Mils and finished the mag with about 90% hitting the 12 inch x 16 inch plate using Federal GMM 168s. I was shooting fast and already starting to sweat, but I was more concerned with how this barrel handled heat as I picked up a Ruger RPR a month ago and was quite displeased with how quickly the barrel heated up and started dropping shots. The HK took it like a champ! Time to try the Hornadys out! Similar to the FGGM, I held about .5 mils left and shot for the center of the target, just as easily repeatable and boring as the FGMM, and no issues having to adjust for a warm barrel... This thing is a tank! Time to push to 800 meters. Shooter called for 9 mils (I had already input the offset from the 700 meter target in, so it would be accurate this time around. It said close to 2500 FPS calculated based on adjustment). First shot was left so I held .5 mils left and back on target (little wind had picked up - said 4 mph but I know the weather station isn't close and I don't have a kestrel), finished off the mag the same as the 700 meter and switched to the Hornady. Held just under 1 mil left and went through a mag of that with the same level of boringness! Time for 1000 meters! At this point though, its already getting hot, ive covered my shooting mat (and rifle) in sweat, and the small useless viewing hole on the stock keeps ripping my beard hair out. Shooter asked for 14 mils, but crap... out of elevation at 12 mils
Time for a 20 MOA mount! Now anyone who has used the Mil Dots on the Steiner knows its not the easiest to hold over for something like 2 mils up and 1-1.5 mils left, but I'm out here I figured id try it. According to Shooter, the rounds are going subsonic at around 925 Meters, so its going to be interesting sinking these in to a small piece of steel almost covered by my crosshairs while holding for elevation and wind! Short story is after about 10 rounds I couldn't get on and was having a hard time seeing where they hit (haven't been out here to cut bushes and repaint the steel this year yet since its been so hot) so I didn't want to waste ammo and figured id come back with a 20 MOA mount and some SMK 175s to push out further.
All in all, I can't say enough about this rifle. I used to be a hater due to the cost and lack of anything fancy the other guns come with, but this rifle teamed with the Timney Trigger, good ammo, and a good piece of glass is unstoppable! 800 meters (about 875 yards) was more than enough for its first time out, and I will go back once its cooled off a bit, and also try out some hand loads now that I know I'm going to keep it!
Some pictures from today... Perfect day out! If only it was 20 degrees cooler.. See if you can see the steel out there! Its now gray and nearly impossible to see! Time to toss a coat of paint on!
Edit - almost forgot... This thing makes a nice tidy pile of brass at about 1:30-2:00. Thats just under 100 pieces there at a nice distance and all in perfect order! I was scared the rifle would be over gassed and launch them 40 feet away, but it shot perfect with the Surefire!