He has shot everything from 225's to 300 grain bullets. It has had powder loads from 81grains to 103+ while doing load tests. His barrel is a 32" Douglas with a 1.200" contour to .900 final dimension with an APS Pain Killer break. None of this sets in a bedding block. It all is mounted to the Savage Target action just like a 700 would be set up. The smith didn't want to use the barrel nut because he felt it would help with the action supporting the barrel. It sets in a Choate Ultimate sniper stock. He had to get the holes changed to match the hole pattern of the target action. He found out later that the forend is to flimsy to hold the weight of the barrel. However, it still shoots very well. The first six shots out of the bore made a 6" group at 1070yds.
But your thinking, "That's a short action!" It is, but it works. The target action itself is very robust. It will eject a spent cartridge very easily. For a loaded round he does have to pull the bolt, but really isn't that big of an issue. The rifle weighs about 20 to 22 pounds completely set up with bi-pod and optics. Now if a guy were to drop to a 28" with a taper like mine, you are looking at a weight of about 13lbs. dressed out. That Choate is a very heavy stock.
He just recently purchased a Stockade Prairie Dog/Tactical stock. He just got it, so now I have to wait until he finishes the stock to see what it will do. He wanted a really long barrel to try and get better velocity with the 300SMK, but he has had difficulty producing fast loads with decent accuracy. Initially he was using H1000 pushing a 300SMK right around 2950-2975, but they changed the recipe and it does not shoot that fast anymore. He did find a load with 50BMG at 2750 and most recently IMR7828 right around 2675. I personally feel he needs to revisit Retumbo or try some Ramshot powder and work up in minute increments. I feel he jumps around with powder and load weights to much to really see the potential of his rifle. He isn't near as patient with finding loads as I am.
Anyway, sorry for the ramblings and possibly getting off topic. I personally want to build a 338Norma, and feel if I can't afford the custom action rifle, that I would go with the Savage Target action.
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