After a couple years of loitering here, I recently decided to drop some coin and finally get myself shooting. I'd hoped for a 300 WSM
, but decided I'd need to go custom to do that and didn't have that kind of budget. I found a 300 RSAUM on sale, but could only find 1 box of ammo (!!!) in the state's biggest store so my wife agreed to let me "upgrade" to the 300 WM.
After reading reviews here and asking some questions on SnipersHide, I decided to go with the 4-19X50 Nikon Tactical (and really blow my budget). Trouble was, everyone is onto this scope and it took a couple weeks to find one.
I lucked out and measured the scope right the first time, mounting it in a 1-piece Burris base w/Signature rings (high) and gaining some MOA with the .010" inserts.
After mounting the scope, I found I had about 1/16" clearance to the barrel...perfect.
I'd never shot centerfire larger than 30-06, but I found the recoil lighter than my ML and like a rimfire compared to the turkey loads I sighted in the same day (ouch). 10 rounds and I had it zeroed at 100 yds. The first group on-center was .71"...not bad for 180gr factory ammo, an improvised rest, and an out-of-practice shooter.
I couldn't resist the unplanted fields, so I looked up the drops online and put up a target at 500 yds. I had a bad 5-15mph highly variable crosswind, and with no spotting scope and no experience with wind doping it played havoc with me. I'd just dial my best guess and fire the group at the center. I shot 2 3-shot groups, which had vertical spread of 1" and 3" and horizontal of about 5-7".
After correcting my drops, I took the target out to my max available range of 813 yds. I fired 5 shots in the first group. 3 shots formed a 4" group, another was 2" further to the side, and the 5th probably missed the edge of the board (group was right next to edge). Very pleased with this, I corrected up 1.5 MOA and left 1 MOA and fired my remaining 9 shells. The wind was terrible this group, and the horizontal spread was 18"+ (3 off board) and vertical spread 6". 3 shots were in a 6" circle centered on the bull.
I am very satisfied with the Sendero as-is. I already adjusted the trigger, and I don't see the need for further accurizing. With handloads, something better than a rolled up sheet for a rest, and a more practiced shooter I'm confident it'll go about .5-.6 MOA. With the scope mounted, it is heavy enough that recoil is totally reasonable but that I wouldn't want it much heavier to lug around after elk (its intended purpose).
The Nikon Tactical is great. It was SOOOO easy to dial in the ranges with that scope. Glass seemed good, clicks confident, and tracked back to zero well. The side focus was a great feature and I'm glad I got a scope with that. Well worth the sleep I lost over it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
The only change I'd make to the gun would be a stock with adjustable cheekpiece....but since it's for hunting and not tactical I wouldn't do it on this one anyways.
I can't wait to get it shooting 800+ yards again, on a day when I can see what me and the gun can do more than the wind.
Thanks everyone who helped me out with this gun (on the scope, the mounts, cartridge choice; well, just about everything). I can't wait (but will, until fall) to handload for it and really have some fun.