Short Rifle Project Conclusion

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  • Short Rifle Project Conclusion

    By S12A

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    Introduction.

    I recently put together a short barrelled (16.5") Remington 700, which has been the subject of an article on this website previously. This rifle was intended to be a light and handy rifle to cover most situations i would find myself participating in. The intention was never to build a dedicated long range rifle but the results have been suprising.

    Modifications

    Since the original project was completed i have made some adjustments to the rifle. The first thing i did was add grip/texture to the forend and grip areas.

    To do this texturing i did the following:
    • Roughed up the areas needing texture using coarse sandpaper
    • Cleaned and then degreased the stock to allow for proper adhesion
    • i purchased body filler from supercheap auto , their own brand and mixed it up in small lots to do each side of the forend at a time
    • once the area was covered to the desired thickness i used some icy pole sticks and tapping them on the sticky filler it created the uprisen grippy part
    • once it was uprisen i wet my finger and gently ran it over the area so it did not dry in shap peaks as filled dries pretty hard so it would be uncomfortabe.
    • i completed the same for the other sides
    • once dry i ran over very lightly with some fine sand paper
    • All done and ready for another clean up and paint (it dries pink)

    After that was done i hit it with a different paint job just using white as the base and OD green in a netted pattern. I then swapped out the X Mark trigger with an older style remington trigger given to me by a mate, which is much nicer and breaks clean at just a tad over 2lbs. I also swapped out the cheaper rail with a Larue 20MOA rail.

    I have also shortened the butt by 1 inch and added a Pachmyr recoil pad.

    Performance at the range

    After these modifications i took the rifle to the range to try and find an ideal charge weight. I ended up resting on 46.0 Grains of AR2208 with a COAL of 71.45MM. This load was feilding results of around the 0.55MOA mark.

    Getting behind the rifle it is noticable how much the action has slicked up after a few hundred rounds. It was never bad to begin with but it feels a lot more controlled now. The trigger had a noticable effect on lowering the group size and i cant explain how much i disliked the X-mark. after trying to adjust it using the screw it made no difference to the weight.

    the grip has made a big difference for indexing my firing grip and has added some extra width as well to the forend which is nice for offhand shooting.



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    Field firing and performance at 1000M +

    So as i stated earlier this rifle was never intended to be a dedicated long range platform however the results in this area have been a big suprise to me.

    I have fired this rifle ikn the field at 300M , 600m, and 1045M with great success at every range in multiple positions.

    The data i am currently using and is correct involves 14.9MRAD of elevation for dead center hits on a 500mm X300mm plate at 1045M . These shots were taken in a 10KPH wind with gusts to 25KPH in 30C heat. The wind effects were multiple due to shooting over the intersections of 2 valleys.

    This may seem like a lot and by all means its not ideal but the suprising point i took away is that it is consitent with the only shift from wind and not elevation. I made multiple hits at 1045M from kneeling over rocks . this is another time where the short barrel was great. it is very easy to setup and find room for in confined firing positions.

    At 600M I have shot 100mmX100mm plates consitently in wind which was around 10kph , equating to approx 0.75MOA.

    Conclusion

    Don't believe everything you hear about ideal barrel lengths. it will change depending on circumstances and anyone who makes a blanket statement about the best barrel length will probably be reinforcing their purchases , rather than discussing actual facts. Now this is certainly not to say that 16.5 inches is what works best for me. for an all round rifle i tend to think 20inches would be best. but for my long range competition and field rig i will use 24 because i believe i can cover all situtions. but you probably cant hunt pigs well with a 24 inch barrel in thick scrub.

    All this proves is that you can shoot a 16.5 inch barrelled .308 at 1000M and be effective with the right ammo .

    The real gain for me from this rifle was some extra confidence in my skills at LR shooting and really the practical knowledge gained from some of the work i have done on the rifle as well as the ballistic data.

    PROS
    • Handy, well balanced
    • Stable at 1000M with correct ammo
    • compact for packing and carry
    • flexible for multiple shooting applications

    CONS
    • Slower velocity means more drop at distance
    • can be louder than other .308's
    • muzzle can be prone to jump if your position is not good (ie not straight behind the rifle)
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