I dropped a heavy barreled M-70 action into the A-5, the Williams one-piece floor-plate fit perfectly and I torqued the two stock bolts to 65 in-lbs. Cranked a 16xMK4 on and went to the range this evening. No bedding, just a drop-in so that I could get a feel for this new stock (any excuse to get it on the range is a good one...).
I have read several very positive reviews of the A-5 but none mentioned what for me is the best feature. I shoot the A-1 (HTG) and A-2 a bunch but had not used the A-4. McMillan fanatics will know that the A-4 has a unique cut-away area in the middle of the lower stock. This cutaway was retained in the A-5 and it is the SLICKEST deal - I cannot believe that guys don't make a fuss about how sweet it works (unless some of the testers never figured what it really does?). You put your left hand up into the cutaway, with your thumb on one side of the stock, the yoke of your thumb and fingers in contact with the hook of the cutaway, and your fingers down the opposite side of the stock. Sort of like using your hand like a wedge to push the stock back into your shoulder. Plus you can still squeeze the sandsock or bag to make elevation changes. Pushing the stock back into your shoulder with your hand in this position gives much better control of your stock, you have to try it to believe it.
I also found that the pistol grip is bigger than my A-2, at least I don't get my little finger overhanging. The comb is ideal height for a fairly low mounted scope (40mm MK4 in standard height MK4 rings on a Near rail) and the length of pull is perfect. Large veritcal pistol grip is very comfortable, much more so than standard contour of a Rem. M-700 VS that I also shot.
There is only one problem with the A-5, and it is relatively easy to fix. I want another - right freaking now!
My son has the digital on a trip so I will try to get some taken on the weekend. Stock has desert camo pattern, first one in that pattern for me and I like it. This is a sweet rig but seems heavier than the original configuration. You are right, one of the twins got the call and is going to have two stocks. I did not really expect full accuracy potential and did not get it with the drop-in, but it is sure nice to shoot that stock anyhow.
You are interested in TAC. Just got some and will let you know how it works out vs Varget. We have some known-accuracy rigs that will definitely be good testbeds for comparing the two powders. It sure is fine stuff, has to meter like water. Might even test it in an A-5 stocked rig [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
What will the sibling say,, with it's twin sporting new cloths??? [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
I got to see TAC in action Saturday. A couple friends are testing TAC, one happens to have an A5 as well, and it was pretty impressive, velocity wise. David's intent was to get his 20" LTR 308 shooting the 175 (or the 170 Lockbase he's using) the same 2685fps that the 26" barreled rifles are getting. He managed it with flying colors, and has a good SD too boot. Oh,, and he threw the powder with a Hornady unit. With the excpetion of one shot of 10,, it is extremely consitant.
Back to the stock. As I understand it, it's initial intent was to create a tactical stock that would both ride a bag well if needed and provide a comfortable grip while positional shooting, ala the marksman forearm and the slight taper to allow for elevation changes. Coupled with the request to slim down the pistol grip. I haven't spent a lot of time on the A5,, just a few moments, but it feel much like my A3. The comb was also to be strait, so you wouldn't need a pad for a good cheek weld, and the hook was pushed forward of the orginal A4 design so that you could use a rear bag if you wanted to. The spacers are also cut flush so that the rear of the stock sits nicely on bags, or can be held with the toe hook. With all this in mind, it was also supposed to be lighter than what McMillan currently offeres, and I belive that with a fixed LOP and no bells and whistles,, it is.
So Kelly and the guys at Snipers Hide came up with a stock that is light, versitile and attractive. I, like you, find it to be an outstanding alternative to what's out there.
Looking forward to hearing how the TAC works for you. If the H4350 doesn't work in Gumby Sunday, I'll be trying a lbs of Magnum next month.
BTW,, have you shot any of the newer or 2002 lots of Varget?
Been following the Varget saga and haven't shot any new batches yet, will be soon so will let you know what we find. Seems like blasphemy to hear negative stuff about such a fine .308 Winchester powder! Does that mean it will taste different on rice krispies in the morning?
My new 8lbs'er tastes alright [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] 30fps loss with my standard load of 44.4. It's now running 2650. I'll bump it up .2gr and run rest of the jug.
BUT,,, the prospect of having Varget like temp sensitivity, and being able to throw my 200 and 300 yard XTC rounds and my 600 and inside 308win rounds is VERY tempting.
Oooops,, I guess I digress from the thread topic
A-5 arrived thursday it is with out a doubt the best fitting and most comfortable stock i have ever held. But i didnt get to hold it long, it went to the smiths on sat, its supposed to come back with a 6.5 284 remington rifle in the stock, cant wait.Smith ordered a bunch of barrels at the same time, all the normal length ones came together, mine was 30 inches it did not come. Always waiting on something . ebb