I have had two sessions with this rifle now. I have bedded the recoil lug area and tuned the X-Mark Pro trigger to 2.5#. TPS 20 MOA base and TPS rings. Scope is a NF NXS 5.5-22x50 with NP R1 reticle. Ultimately, the gun will be used primarily for long range mule deer and elk in Alberta's river break country with Noslers soon-to-be-released 250 gr Accubonds.
The break-in started with about 50 strokes of JB Bore compound and then a thorough scrub. The first range session had no wind and good conditions overall. All bullets were seated to an OAL to fit into the magazine. My initial testing below has been at 100 m for the most part (way too close), but it has allowed me to work on load testing and getting a feel for the rifle. From this point forward, all testing and load development will be further out to see what is actually happening once these bullets start to settle down. Anyways, results so far:
After a 2 shot zero, I started with the center 10 shot group (see below) at 100 m while breaking in the barrel, which consisted of a patch of Gun Juice between each 250 SMK's over 85 grains RL25; the flier was the first clean bore shot. I then scrubbed the bore clean (surprisingly little to no copper) and fired a rapid fire fouling group in the lower left. The last group on the top left is a 3-shot aggregate (2 pretty much in the same hole) shooting 250 Scenar's over 91 grains of RL25. I left after that group 'cause it was starting to get too busy at the range.
The second session (see below) consisted of a tail wind gusting between 2 and 8 mph at about a 10 degree angle. I started testing 250 SMK's over 91.0, 91.5 and 92.0 grs RL25 (from left to right, top three groups). Average velocities/extreme spread (FPS/ES) were 2692/38, 2708/34 and 2738/32. Three shots consistently went into less than 1/2 MOA, with two of the five opening up the group to around MOA. Not sure if it was the conditions, or the kit. Then I tested 250 Scenars over 91.0, 91.5 and 92.0 grs RL25 (from left to right, middle three groups). Average velocities/extreme spread (FPS/ES) were 2784/38, 2788/33 and 2823/22. Again, three shots typically went into less than 1/2 MOA (4 into 3/8" with the 92.0 grain load, two in the same hole), with the others opening up the group to just under MOA.
Another interesting note: I checked the chamber "freebore", and the ogive of the 250 scenars can be seated to touch the lands (rifling) while the cartidge OAL is as long as the magazine will allow (~ 3.62" OAL). This allows me to feed ammo from the mag while seating the bullets to either touch the lands or slightly deeper at -.020" from the lands. Kudos to Remington for this detail.
I ended the session with a 300m 5 shot group with the 250 SMK over 91.0 grains RL25, with 4 out of 5 going into a tight 1/2" group (see below). Wind was picking up by now.
Overall, without playing with bullet seating depth and still working on getting the barrel broken in, my initial impressions are good. I will continue testing the 250 Scenars and in the range of 92 grs RL25 at 300m to 800 m. BTW, the muzzle brake
works extremely well - very little recoil and very comfortable to shoot - very impressed actually.