Sunday, March 3, 2013

Walking Varminter Part 2


I picked up the new Savage 116FHSS the other day.  I looked at everything from metal work, stock fit, action fitting, sling studs, etc, and it all looks well put together.   I was a little bummed about how the muzzle crown looked.  I think it should have been smoother the entire edge to edge, but I don’t see anything that looks cut crooked.   I have worked with a lot of Savage rifles over the years, and they are just flat kicking the butt of the other makers.   I started out as Remington 700 guy, and then transitioned to Brownings.  Rifle to rifle the Savage has always been more accurate.


This rifle has the new Accu Stock 2 so I compared it to a new Remington BDL/CDS synthetic stock. The Accu Stock is 10 times the stock quality with an aluminum bedding system and much better molding and stiffness. The only thing the Remington has is a little better feel. I was frustrated with the Savage bolt removal process, but now that I have done it a few times it is pretty easy. Taking the action out of the stock was probably as difficult if not more so then a fully bedded rifle. While I had the action out of the stock I adjusted the Accu Trigger down from its factory 3# to 2.25#. I made some minor adjustments in addition to the provided set screw. After putting it back together I checked the locking lug engagement and it is acceptable.


I then start the cleaning process step by step:              


  1. With my home brew powder solvent of 50-50 Kroil/GM Top Engine cleaner.   I use a coated cleaning rod, bore guide, copper brushes,  and  clean the dirty solvent out with 100% cotton patches with a jag.
    1.   I don’t just sit and scrub with the bore brush until it is wore out.  I use five brush passes, clean patch, wet patch, dry patch and repeat if needed.  
  2. After I clean the powder fouling out I use Sweets 7.62 with a nylon brush to get the copper out.   Dry patches after letting the solvent soak a while to get the dirty Sweets out. 
  3.  I continue with Sweets until no more light blue shows on the first patch after soaking.
  4.  One more time with the copper brush, solvent and dry patches.
  5.  Finally I use JB Bore Past starting with blue “Cleaner” and finishing with red “Polish”. 
    1.  I wrap my cotton patches coated with paste around a nylon brush, and really work them back and forth for a long time.  
  6. Then I clean the bore with solvent and lightly oil with Rem Oil. 


The small bore of the 22cal takes more time and effort, but it has always been worth it for me. 


I load up three casings with a heavy bullet and moderate powder charge.  These are just for barrel break in.  I will shoot them one at a time making sure each casing has the same number of firings.  Luckily I can shoot within walking distance of the house, so I just go out and fire one round and fully clean the gun.  This will take some time as I will do single rounds for 50 times, and then will do three rounds for 20 times.  Every single time the barrel will be fully cleaned and polished before doing the same thing again. 



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Walking Varminter Project

The old heavy gun
I am tired of packing my heavy bull barreled varmint guns.   I love them for their insane accuracy, non-existent recoil, and dozen round capability.  I hate them for their poor balance, speed of movement, and heavy log weight.  I have been debating it and now is as good a time as any to buy a new gun.  I know the coyotes are hooking up and by the time I get it done it will be spring.  I promise I will show a picture of the first varmint killed with this gun but it may not be a coyote.

I wanted an easily available commercial round from a factory production gun in a 22 center fire cartridge.  It has to be 22 cal or I can’t use it during the big game season in Washington.   I would have preferred a 6mm caliber but it is not an option this time.  The gun must be Stainless Steel with a synthetic stock.   I am a velocity freak within my budget so the obvious choice is a 220 Swift.  Well heck I can’t find a Stainless 220 Swift, so I must go to the next obvious choice a 22-250.  I have one 22-250 that shoots in the high 1’s to low 2’s so I know this cartridge is accurate and fast. 

I call my local dealer and put together a “Group Buy” to get a discount.   You should put together a group buy with your favorite gun shop and save a lot of cash.  If your dealer won’t do a group buy I would find a new shop.   I order up the brand with consistently the most accurate rifle not specifically factory sorted available.  Yes, you got it right a SAVAGE in the 116 model.  The 112 is the most accurate…but it is still a Savage. I am telling you if you want a stock rifle that shoots super accurately then buy a Savage.  You can save some money by buying a Stevens…same rifle with the old trigger and stock system from Savage.  I have one old style Savage trigger set at 18oz….and the safety works!!  I don’t want to get in a debate because there are some great rifles out there.  My most accurate big game rifle is a totally stock Browning, but no one builds accuracy into every rifle like Savage. 

My rifle is in and I will pick it up next week.   I will walk you through the entire process I use with every rifle I have.  (I know it is only two, but I do this every time.)  I will cover everything from barrel break in to lube choice.  Just my opinions and experiences, and I hope I can help you save time and un-needed expenses.   Stay Tuned