One of the most rewarding parts of Mystic Precision is helping shooters get into various forms of shooting and meeting/exceeding their goals (hey, it helps pay the bills too 🙂 ). But sometimes the journey can get a little long, frustrating and expensive.
I have had the pleasure of working with Kelly T for a few years now with info on set up, loading and testing. His baby has been a Savage in 338 Lapua Mag but unlike most Savage rifles, this one was a royal PITA!
Here is the journey by Kelly T… Hard work, dedication and a large insertion of funds… success!
“Well, It was a two year journey that started with my decision to get into the LR game after playing with what I had and realizing it’s limits.
I purchased a Savage 111 LR Hunter (I believe is the model) and decided this was a decent and economical way to get started as I had no clue if I would enjoy the discipline.As I was already an avid and patient reloader with mild OCD this would appeal to me and my nature.
SO I order up a 10-50×60 LRMOA from Jerry as I like magnification and I felt it would be suited well to this application, I also asked Jerry at the time what other “gadgets” he had there and he told me about his new MPOD, so, I said lets try one of those also.
Items arrive in timely fashion as usual with Jerry, I have used his services and product line for quite some time, as well, his knowledge has aided me greatly over which now I realize has been years.A custom machined 40MOA rail also came from EGW to give me the most flexibility if I really decide to move way out.
Well, first off I configured my rounds as usual with seating depth but still allowing to be mag length as I still preferred a repeater, and off I went to reload.
This is where I really got into the Ladder testing , also a method I picked up from Jerry’s info [My process is a bit different]
I always try a couple powders and bullets just to optimize potential and not miss that perfect load.Little did I know I would be using three different bullets and three different powders in varying combinations to try find that combo.
First test I went out with H1000 and Retumbo and had some interesting results.Found what I thought were some clusters to test and check, well , I couldn’t get a group to print at 2 or 300 yards that you could drop an 8″ pizza on.So, now I added IMR 7828 to the mix, as well as having tried Berger , Lapua and Sierra , all 300gr of course, what is the point of having a short range boomer, need the big boys for distance right?
After a whole summer of trying and talking and consulting and chatting and not listening to others and slugging the barrel and checking and tightening and even factory ammo I decided it was time to try a new barrel.
I contacted Jerry and we decided to go with a 30″ McGowen pre-fit, as I wasn’t looking for benchrest accuracy , just decent. [Certainly shoots better then decent]
Jerry pointed me to Terry at Black Art Rifle to do that install and thread and time my brake.
The barreled action arrived early last spring along with 500 – 300gr SMK’s to get me going.I put it back into my XLR Chassis which I also painstakingly worked to ensure no issues would arise with clearances and/or bedding.
Out I went with loads to test with Retumbo and IMR 7828 , well, I almost wet my pants as the results of my new ladder test were literally 1/20th of the vertical stringing.
This brought me great relief as I now knew I was not a complete buffoon.After this , it came pretty darn easy.Picked a few charges from the ladder to take out to 500 yards and see what I got, what I got was good.I loaded a couple more to try three round groups to confirm a last time and then I was able to settle easily on my choice.
The photos will speak for themselves [group at 500yds], obviously this isn’t all my blood sweat and tears with this en-devour but it definitely shows a portion of what I put myself through with my stubbornness and maybe patience trying to get that factory barrel to shoot.
I am now getting this thing zeroed @ 1000 yards and will start reaching out past and hopefully educate myself on how to play this game.
My load is Lapua brass, 215 primer, 95gr of Retumbo and 300gr SMK’s , chronographed at 2894 ft at the muzzle.
[ Kelly took a shot, adjusted the scope and went to the other side, adjusted the scope to original and went back to the first side, then adjusted a final time to get to the other side. A bit of scope ping pong but if you overlay the shots, that would have made a great 1000yds group – great scope tracking as well]
I must thank Jerry and Terry and also many many members of Canadian Gun Nutz for keeping me focused and the end game in reach.”