Well, the urge to have something more than a factory sporter hit me, but unfortunately the budget is tight around here. So off to the pawn shop to grab a used savage 110 long action and then order up some parts off the good 'ol internet and a few days later I have put this together:
It's a Savage 110 action with a tuned and modified accu-trigger, McGowen 26" stainless barrel in 6.5x55, Choate tactical stock, Bushnell elite "tactical" milradian scope, burris rings with 10 MOA inserts and a harris "style" bipoad that I had lying around.
At this point my total invested is roughly $900, I guess the range results will tell if it was a good choice or a waste of money....
So, off to the range I go. The weather isn't too great, but we'll see what this will do. I threw together some loads with new Winchester brass, 45grs of IMR4831 and some sierra 140gr MK bullets. The results of the first three rounds down the bore are:
BTW, the 4th and 5th shots were me figuring out the milradian adjustments in the scope since I'm used to MOA ;)
Pardon the iphone pics, I left my camera at home. Incidentally, taking pics through a scope with an iphone is a real pain!! I forgot my spotting scope and chrono so I'll sait until a few more rounds are down the tube before I get too worried about accuacy, but the preliminary results seem to be pretty good. I have some rounds loaded up to do an incremental load development test (ladder test) but I'm certain that this thing will easily give me sub 1/2MOA groups just based on this first test fire session. The 6.5x55 should get me shooting coyotes and my gongs out to a fair distance, enough to enjoy until I get my big gun built in the next year or so.
Anyway, I guess bottom line is that I am more than happy with a total investment of under a grand including optics, dies, and enough components to load 20 rounds.