MaY 2012 Issue - Target Shooter Magazine

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MaY 2012 Issue - Target Shooter Magazine

The Savage Model 10 BATactical Rifleby Chris ParkinThis is the most photographed employee at Savage, anyone care toguess why. Yes he hand straightens and checks every barrel!When I got the time I started to play around, preciselytailoring my reloads to this rifle and the Lapua 155gn.Scenar was soon dropping into the magic half MOAzone driven by Hodgdon’s H4895 powder. Velocitieswere, as expected for a 24 inch tube, 2750 fps withthe 168gn. and 2825 fps with the Sierra 155gn. The155gn. Scenars were running at 2875 fps with theH4895 which I thought reasonably firm but not overthe top and, although I was cratering primers a little, Ihad no hard bolt lift or extraction and on reloading theLapua cases, found no slackening of primer-pocketsor case web diameter growth. Factory guns are oftenprone to a little cratering due to firing-pin holes beingslightly oversized.These m/v figures allow comfortable supersonic flightto 1000 yards but, like all shorter barrelled 308s,further performance requires careful bullet selectionto either remain fully supersonic to the magic 1200,or at least selecting a projectile more comfortablewith the drift through the transonic region - such asthe forgiving Sierra Matchkings but, this is Laurie’sterritory so I will leave that one!The precise headspacing and chambering of thebarrels seemed close to perfect as the maximumCOAL on an AI magazine system seems to hoveraround the 2.840 to 2.855 inch region and I was ableto seat at 2.850 inches with the Scenar only jumping0.010 inches into the lands. The Scenar is more ‘jumptolerant’ than the Berger VLDs but, as both designsare quite long for their 155gr weight, it’s always abalance between mag. feeding and powder capacitywith any 308 ammunition.Unlike some factory rifles, I was also able to load withthe bullets both ‘kissing’ the lands or with some jumpwithout having to deal with the bullet almost droppingout of the case-neck. Savage’s slightly ugly barrellocking-nut, although seeming to be a somewhatclunky shortcut to barrel/action assembly, doesallow tolerances to be held more tightly to SAAMI11

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