So after much anguished soul-searching, research and contemplation, here’s what I came up with (and all pics can be right-clicked to embiggen):
Rifle: Savage 12 Long Range Precision (6.5mm Creedmoor)
Man, this is a bench rifle like few others. Don’t even think of humping this puppy out in the field because you’ll break bones (collar-, leg-, back etc.), not to mention getting a thrombosis.
I didn’t like the Accu-Trigger. I used them before and had no problems, but I do believe I’ve become spoiled by last year’s Howa 1500. When I voiced my dissatisfaction with the Accu-Trigger, Dave The Gunsmith (henceforth known as Evil Dave) said, “You know, I have a Rifle Basix trigger group sitting in the back. For an extra hundred, I’ll swap them out and set the pull to whatever you want.”
Holy crap. “12oz?” And it was done.
Scope: Meopta Optika6: 5-30×56 Illuminated Mil-Dot 3 34mm FFP
Why did I go with the bigger (56mm bell and 34mm tube) scope than the normal 50mm/30mm specs?
Because the Merchant Of Death had it on sale, that’s why.
And whoa… what a difference. I also popped for some Talley rings because they’re excellent.
Here’s what the setup looks like:
I dunno if it qualifies as an Evil Black Rifle, but it sure looks like it means business, dunnit?
“Yes, yes Kim, very nice… but how does it shoot?”
So I took it down to the 100-yard indoor range,and set about grappling with the gun. Savage rifles are renowned for their budget price, reliability, ruggedness and accuracy. They are not renowned for the silkiness of their operation. The magazine release action nearly gave me a heart attack, and you have to slam the mag up into the well really hard, or else it doesn’t snap closed, but by the end of the session I’d worked it all out and it didn’t bother me too much. The bolt, however, was silky smooth and we’ve already discussed the trigger. Recoil was light because the gun’s weight soaked it up like a sponge. Add a muzzle brake (which is not really necessary), and it would be akin to firing a .243 Win.
I fired off a few warm-up shots to foul the barrel and get used to the trigger. Which almost worked, because when I got serious, I still managed to touch the damn trigger once by accident. So I ended up with a 6-shot group that looked like this:
This will be our “Find The Called Flyer” Competition…
What this tells me is that if the shooter does his part and does not touch the trigger until he’s absolutely ready to fire, this Savage / Meopta combination will perform as advertised. And that Hornady ammo is outstanding.
Cost for the whole rig came to a hair over $2,100 before sales tax. If you want to emulate this rig for yourself, you could do a lot worse and not much better (without blowing stupid money).
Guys, I have always enjoyed shooting the Boomershoot ULD rigs — but this is the first time that I have been seriously reluctant to send it off to the winner (who will be announced
tomorrow Wednesday March 8). I would take it to any bench competition with the certain knowledge that I would not make a fool of myself (always allowing for my barely-adequate skill, of course). I love the rifle, love the trigger and love the scope.
Game, set and flipping match.