Good timing. I got to the range with it this week - your post reminded me I need to show some progress photos. In the course of things (I had two other rifles at the range with me) I shot three groups with it. The barrel cooled to ambient between groups. The first group of 3 (not shown) was for tweaking the scope.
The next two groups are these:
I adjusted the scope (3-9x40 Leupold VX-II) up one MOA between group 2 and 3 - it looks like I need to fuss with the scope alignment a little before I'm done. I'll install a level on it before the next range trip.
At this point it looks like floating the barrel and bedding the rifle may
have made a significant improvement. I'd like to see 3 or 4 more groups like those to be sure but I'm out of those bullets. I have some "before" targets. When I get a chance I'll post a typical "before" group. Trust me on this, they don't look like these two!
I am not necessarily done with this yet. I have some more bullets on order - 150g Hornady SST - and plan to work up a load for those bullets. When I get that done I'll post another picture. If (there is that "i"
word) it will shoot the 150g SST reliably into groups like these I'll load up 40 rounds for future whitetail seasons, install the recoil pad, declare victory, and move on to my next project.
If it won't, it's on to the lapping. If that doesn't work, I'll put a new barrel on it. I have a .30 Cal 1:10 twist #3 contour barrel on the way here. It could go on any of several rifles including this one if it's needed.