Hello Fellow Shooters,
I am not finished researching this new rifle, but thought I would give you my preliminary thoughts and lessons learned thus far.
My new Longrange Hunting Carry Rifle is chambered in .300WSM.
1. Borden Alpine Action, 15-5PH SST Matl. Borden Rifles
2. Rock Creek 5R SST, 10 twist, 24” long RCB Product 1
3. H-S Precision stock in Green-Tan Camo H-S Precision Stocks
4. Rifle Basix LV-1 (varmint trigger) Remington Replacement Triggers
5. Vias Muzzle Brake Muzzle Brake Pricing - Muzzlebrakes.com
6. Bedded with Brownells Accraglass Brownells - World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools
Gun Smith: Straight Shot Gunsmithing http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/website...sgcustomrifles
Nathan Dagley is the proprietor of Straight Shot Gunsmithing. He is a very polite young gentleman that posses the personal drive to strive for perfection. He is the kind of person that is interested in pleasing his customers. If there is some option that exists he will call you, describe the options and make sure you have your say before work is performed. I hold his capabilities in high regard and will do business with him again.
Jim Borden: My perception is that he is a serious character committed to producing actions to the best of his ability. He is brief with replies, but to the point and answers all questions in a timely manner. His actions are top notch, square and tightly toleranced. The Alpine is made of 15-5PH SST which is a high strength stainless. That was one of my primary reasons for choosing his action. In addition to the Alpine action Jim provided the Wyatt Box Repeater Magazine which 3.0” front to back. My longest over all bullet length is 2.998”.
Mike Rock: What can I say about Mike! He is a colorful character and always fun to too talk with. He is very friendly, full of great advice and very willing to share it with fellow enthusiasts. His barrels are shooters and I really like his 5R cut rifling. I have 3 of his barrels thus far. The only other thing I can add, is if you want to use one of his barrels, you better order it 6 month’s before you need it. Mike I think I will send you a watch for Christmas. NO wait, maybe a calendar……
Now to the rifle, I have only been to the range 3 times since I received the rifle and fired approximately 50 rounds so far. I broke the barrel in per Mike Rock’s recommendation which was by coating the barrel with moly powder on a cleaning patch for the first ten shots. I clean powder residue out of the barrel after each shot and clean with solvent after every 3 shots. I am very careful to never allow the barrel to over heat. 3 shots and cool down.
My targets are pictured and rather than discuss them all I will discuss only the interesting ones. This rifle is for an Elk hunt which starts in Sept. So I want a solid 180gr bullet for this purpose. My favorite bullet is the 180 Accubond. Second is the 180 TSX.
My favorite load to date is MRP-68.8gr, 180AB, 215M primer, .002 off lands for a bullet overall length of 3.027”. This gave me a .375 group. I have shot this load only once as I ran out of bullets to try again. However I just got my new order in last night and loaded up the load to test later this afternoon. Since I have had the rifle, I have not tried to load any cartridges into the magazine until last night. I made a discovery, the magazine will hold 2.998” long max overall length. That means my best load will have to be pushed back to .031 off the lands. I will see later, how much this will affect accuracy.
The other thing that I noted was that feeding of the WSM cartridges is terrible. Very difficult to cleanly chamber a round and eject as well. Be prepared for a clean cycle only 50% of the time. This is not a cartridge configuration for dangerous game. Extraction is lousy as well. Seems to me that the ejector button spring is on the weak side. Shell seems to bounce around and stay in the case, rather than eject cleanly. Also, I have noticed a distinct nick on the neck of spent cases. On exit, the neck hits a sharp corner in the action. This is bad if you happen to neck size, “without” a button in you die. This may all be a learning process for me and I think some of these issues may be overcome later on by learning the proper speed to open the bolt at. Can’t be too slow or too fast.
If I had it to do over again, I would use Short Mags for Single shot rifles, and conventional cartridges for repeater actions.
As you can see from my target groups, there is nothing exceptional here and development is still under way. The rifle does however show great potential. There is one group that shot .062”. This must be some kind of anomaly though. I have had a can of IMR4831 sitting on my shelf for over 10 years, and it has performed poorly in every rifle I tried it in, and then I try an ambiguous load and it shoots a one hole group. In my next test, I am trying it with various bullets and multiple charges to see if it may finally be a viable powder in one of my rifles.
And last but not least, Pictured is my .270Wby with deep fluted Rock Creek barrel, smithed by Kirby Allen a couple of years ago. It took a while to develop an accurate load for it as well but it is finally dialed in. It really likes H7828 powder as well, but really has an affinity for H1000. This was supposed to be my medium weight hunting rifle, but on my last hunt for WY mule deer, proved to be a hassle to carry in the steep mountainous terrain. I think the new WSM will be just right for pursuit of game in steep country.
P.S. After writing the above I realize that something has changed on the new format of this site and I am unable to post pictures. I may have to come back and add them to this article, (if I figure it out) as the above is sort of compromised without the pics.
Sam Spade, thank you so much for the instructions on posting pics. You are a scholar and a gentleman!
Ok After posting 24 pic, I got a message saying that I can only attach 6. Well now I know, man what a learning experience this has been. I will post more pics of the Action and barrel & weights in seperate post.