Good replies all and I think the Kahn may be along for the ride also but this will be an Allen Mag harvest hopefully. TO bad the 338 AM will not be ready!!!
Anyway, here are the criteria I wanted to build into "my" version of the ultimate pronghorn rifle. In my hunting area, like most pronghorn terrain, the country is huge. There are quite a few ranch roads through it but most is accessable only by foot or at least with a decent hike.
As such the rifle had to be relatively portable. I have put in several 5 to 8 mile hikes pronghorn hunting in this area, the walking is easy but its long so I wanted to keep rifle weight ready to hunt in the 9 lb range. That is not the easiest weight to hit or even approach with a full 30" barrel which I wanted to use.
Recoil also had to be light as this will be my wifes big game rifle after I get done "testing" it out for her!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
While I wanted light weight, I also wanted plenty of power and ballistic performance for taking a 1/2 mile shot with confidence if it presented itself. Again, not the easiest thing to do in a 9 lb rifle.
For the ballistic portion of the rifle, it was relatively easy. I have been sitting on one of the new Lilja 1-7" 257 barrels which I believe is the only one in existence as of yet.
This was kind of an experiment for a rifle design I have been playing with for some time. The rifle is what I call my Extreme Sporter Lite. The full blown ESL will use this same, very light #5 contour Lilja fluted with Dans heavy 50 BMG style flutes. This cuts a bit over 3/4 lb off the rifle weight alone!! Along with that there will be a McMillan Hunters Edge 22 oz stock used instead of the significantly heavier Boyds Thumbhole sporter. Projected rifle weight of an Extreme Sporter Lite will be 7 1/2 lbs with a full 30" barrel.
Again, this is kind of a hybrid of the concept as I used the wood stock as my wife greatly prefers the look of wood, as do I. Still it adds between 1/2 and 3/4 lb to the finished rifle.
This is the finished product ready for barrel break in and range testing. Bare rifle weight is only a fraction over 8 lbs!!! Ready to hunt it is about 9 1/2 lbs so I was a bit off on making the 9 lb limit but for a 30" barreled, wood stocked rifle I am happy with the results, I will not notice the extra 1/2 lb much.
The size of these flutes is clearly shown in this pic. For a #5 contour these flutes are huge. At the breech end the full diameter ribs between the flutes only measure .220" wide compared to .300" flute width.
At the muzzle end the ribs only measure .110" wide compared to the flutes at .240" wide, more then twice the flute width then rim width.
I also wanted the long range performance which would have been easily met with any of the AMs out right now but with the 257 AM being my first baby I wanted to use her to take the first Montana big game animal with an Allen Magnum.
The bullet used will be the awsome 156 gr ULD RBBT with is drop test computed .820 BC(DROP TEST COMPUTED!!!)
From testing the new Lilja barrels in the 270 AM and seeing the performance upgrade with those barrels I am expecting to get +3400 fps with this bullet in the 257 AM with the new Lilja. This should offer true 1000 yard potential if the very light barrel contour will handle the stress of this long bullet driven to these high velocities.
I also wanted this rifle to be totally usible for closer range shots should Daddy big boy jump out from under a hill at 100 yards. As such, I will be using the Weaver Tactical 4.5-14 mil dot with the FFP reticle.
It will be zeroed so that the bottom post of the reticle will be a dead on hold for 1000 yards which is typical of my AM site ins. This will result in a 100 yard impact height of around 2" to 2 1/4", again a typical 100 yard zero for a conventional big game rifle but offering instant 1000 yard targeting and holding reference points with no scope adjustment. I can go from 100 yard jump shooting with the scope set on 4.5x or 800 yard shooting off the bipod and rear bag with the scope set on 14x.
The rifle will be zeroed at long range set on 14x. Even thought this is a FFP scope, there are slight variations as far as POI are concerned. Very little but at 800 yards and out, things need to be perfect and for that reason I will zero at long range on 14x as any error induced by lowing the power for closer range shots will be greatly decreased by the lesser ranges.
So thats my idea of the ultimate Pronghorn rifle.
-Extremely accurate(we will see [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!)
-capable of 1000 yard target engagement
-Low recoil(will be about like a 223 sporter)
-Scope capable of close and long range shooting with no adjustments.
-Ablility to buck the ever present breeze on the prairie
I think she will do fine! Alright let me have it, what do you think and where is my system flawed????
Have a good day,