Re: HELP- I WANT TO IMPROVE ACCURACY OF MY SAKO!!
Well I am not sure what area of PA your in but I know for a fact that there are some good smiths out there. Not to take bread away from Kirby as he is a damn fine one as well. However, from what your reporting with your rifle, you already have a decent platform to shoot some great groups.
However, if your only shooting one brand or type of factory ammo, your already limiting yourself. There is some damn fine factory out there today and by just shooting one type of it your not seeing the full picture. The Federal load is a good one no doubts, but is this the only one your shooting? If so try a box of something else it might surprise you. My firend has several rifles that are shooting the Hornady Custom ammo outstandingly. So good in fact that he isn't even loading for them anymore as he can't touch the velocity nor the groups he is getting. Might be worth a try.
You mentioned having a couple of upcoming hunts, what is the intended game? What are the ranges you expect to shoot? Maybe we can help you out there on some other bullet options.
I have a Sako in 243 which I just shot for the first time about a month ago using the cheapest Win ammo I could find. I simply just wanted to see how the rifle shot, and get it on paper in ordder to develope some loads. Hell after putting three shots through one hole I will stick with the factory for now anyway.
I understand where your coming from, but do the numbers here a minute. Factory loads, if you have some which shoot to your desired accuracy, might at most run you a couple hundered for finding a suitable load, and then picking up several boxes of the same lot.
A reloading set-up will run you around 250, include dies, then throw in a couple pounds of powder, primers, and bullets and your at about 300. Then you still have to work up a suitable load.
Figure the cost of a new barrel having it put on and anything else you want done while it's there, plus the labor, and now your up around 600.
Now your sitting on at least a 600 dollar rifle, and still are not sure if it will keep under the 3/4" @ 100yds your already getting. IF not where do you go then?
I am not trying to bust your chops in any way. You say your new here and to this, and I am mearly pointing out sometimes overlooked details. If your hunting mule deer or elk within 300yds the rig you have now is totally capable of getting the job done. IF you try something else, and it shoots somewhat tighter, buy several boxes of the same ammo from the same lot. It is all marked somewhere on or inside the box.
However, if after everything your still looking to rebarrel, then I highly suggest one of the fellows from this site to do your work. Kirby, Shawn, and a couple of others have all done work for many folks here and all come with good references.
Good Luck on your hunts,
Mike / Tx
"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"