Posts Tagged ‘nikon’

Aug
22

Range Report: New Varmint Build

You may have noticed that I put together a new AR-15 varmint build.

New varmint build - RRA lower, WOA upper, Geissele trigger

New varmint build - RRA lower, WOA upper, Geissele trigger

When I asked John Holliger what he recommended for barrel break-in on this new upper, he simply replied, “I am not a big believer in barrel break-in.”
In WOA’s FAQs, it suggests shooting 15-20 rounds through it, cleaning, and consider it good to go. So that’s what I did.

Conditions: 85 degrees, humid, sunny afternoon, 10-15mph wind.

Heavy stainless fluted 1:12" twist fluted barrel

Heavy stainless fluted 1:12" twist fluted barrel

I shot 19 rounds of 55 grain .223 VMAX to simultaneously break in the barrel and zero the scope. Then I took it inside for a quick cleaning with Bore-Tech Eliminator. You can tell right away when you’re cleaning a hand-lapped barrel like this one – the patches glide down the barrel like butter.

Topped with Nikon Monarch X 4-16x50 scope

Topped with Nikon Monarch X 4-16x50 scope

After that was done, I shot 10 rounds of Thunder Ammo’s 55 grain VMAX in a respectable 1.359″ group.

10 shot group of 55 grain VMAX

10 shot group of 55 grain VMAX

Feeling pretty good about the first 10 shots out of a new rifle after the world’s fastest break-in, I tried some of Thunder Ammo’s 50 grain VMAX, which grouped slightly better than the 55 grain.

The 50 grain .223 VMAX grouped a little better than the 55 grain

The 50 grain .223 VMAX grouped a little better than the 55 grain

I just so happened to have a box of Black Hills remanufactured 40 grain VMAX on hand, which I figured should be well suited for the 1:12 twist rate of the White Oak barrel. Ten more shots gave us the best group of the day – .900″.

Remanufactured 40 grain VMAX Black Hills Ammo grouped at .9 inches

Remanufactured 40 grain VMAX Black Hills Ammo grouped at .9 inches

Did a quick re-zero to the faster 40 grain bullet, and shot a .616″ 5-shot group.

5 shots of 40 grain Black Hills VMAX in .616 inches

5 shots of 40 grain Black Hills VMAX in .616 inches

A short video:

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with this new build. It’s extremely accurate, the trigger is incredible, and the Monarch X scope is nothing short of superb. (Separate reviews for the trigger and scope will come later).

Once we get a few more rounds down the pipe, a less windy day, and a better rest (which will be here in a few days!), I’m sure those groups will tighten up even more.

Happy shooting.

Mar
29

Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF

The Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF is what rests atop the Savage Model 10. This is the scope that helps me shoot 3/16″ groups with that Savage.

The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF graces the Savage Model 10 Tactical

The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF graces the Savage Model 10 Tactical

This Nikon Monarch features adjustable magnification from 4x-16x with a 42mm objective lens and a 1″ tube. Nikon offers three different reticles on this Monarch – their standard Nikoplex, a bullet drop compensator reticle, and a mildot reticle. This one features the standard Nikoplex, and it can be found at many online retailers for around $450.

Magnification is adjustable from 4-16 power.

Magnification is adjustable from 4-16 power.

One very nice feature of this scope is the “side focus” – parallax adjustment is made with a dial on the left side of the scope, rather than at the objective. This is very handy in the field, since you can adjust the parallax without moving the rifle too far out of position.

Parallax adjustments can be made from a firing position with the side focus

Parallax adjustments can be made from a firing position with the side focus

Another nicety is the mid-height windage and elevation turrets. If you don’t want the giant tacticool turrets, but you don’t want to get out a dime every time you want to make an adjustment, then this is a good solution.

Unscrew the aluminum caps, and you’ll find the windage and elevation turrets, plainly labeled and thumb-click adjustable in 1/4″ MOA increments.

The mid-height turrets feature 1/4" MOA adjustments

The mid-height turrets feature 1/4" MOA adjustments

The glass on this scope is stellar for its price. I had this side-by-side with a Leupold 4.5-14 Vari-XIII at the range. The Leupold’s glass was slightly clearer… but then again, the Leupold cost almost twice as much as the Nikon.

This Nikon scope is very well made, has excellent Japanese glass, great features and is an excellent value. You’ll be hard-pressed to find its equal in the sub-$500 price range. I highly recommend the Nikon Monarch line of riflescopes.

Feb
20

Savage Model 10 Tactical

This is a Savage Model 10 Tactical.

Savage Model 10 Tactical in .223 Remington

Savage Model 10 Tactical in .223 Remington

This Savage is my tack-driving 223. I traded a lightly used Remington 870 Express for it in 2008 – by far the best gun deal I’ve ever made.

This bolt-action .223 is a single-shot with a follower. It has a 1:9 twist heavy barrel with a target crown, free-floated in an HS Precision stock, bedded action, and a sweet trigger job that consistently breaks clean at 12 ounces.

Savage Model 10 Tactical

Savage Model 10 Tactical

I’ve topped this rifle with a Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF scope. I hope to upgrade the scope to a Zeiss Conquest here in the near future… this outstandingly accurate rifle deserves outstanding glass.

Savage Model 10 Tactical - Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF

Savage Model 10 Tactical w/ Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF

When i first picked up this rifle, it was pretty dirty. I spent some time cleaning what looked like a couple years worth of powder and copper fouling out of the barrel. The Model 10 Tactical came with rings on it, so I rummaged through a drawer and found an old, beat up Tasco 4x scope to slap on the Savage and took her to a local rifle range the next morning.

I set up at 100 yards. After a quick bore-sight, I reached in my bag to get some rounds to zero in the beater Tasco. Alas, in my haste, I had forgotten to bring ammunition with me.

Luckily, a couple other fellas at the range were testing some of their .223 loads, and offered me some of theirs.

The first guy had some 55g Noslers loaded up in new brass that he gave me to get a zero. The first shot was about 2″ high and 1/4″ to the left of the bullseye. Gave the Tasco a click to the right and tried one more, and it was right where it belonged – 2″ directly over the bullseye at 100 yards.

The second fellow range-goer had loaded up some 52g Sierra HPBT bullets in some once-fired brass. He wasn’t having very good luck with his ammo in his Thompson Contender. I shot two of his rounds at my same target and slightly widened my earlier hole. The first gentleman was incredulous, so I allowed him to shoot the rifle. His shot widened the same hole to just over 1/4″. Then the loader himself had to try it out – his shot made our three-person five-shot group 3/8″.

So we had three different shooters make one jagged hole with 5 rounds of 223 at 100 yards shooting a used Savage Model 10 with a beat up Tasco scope on it using two different kinds of ammo.

Savage Model 10 Tactical - First target

Savage Model 10 Tactical - First Target

The gentleman with with the Sierra loads was kind enough to share his recipe:
52 grain Sierra Match BTHP, Winchester primer and case, 24.5g H335.

We’ll visit this fine rifle again to see what it does with some real glass on it… and many, many different loads.

Happy shooting.