It looked like a perfect range day this morning, so I decided I'd better get there early, since the wind was really light, maybe the best conditions I've seen in 2 years. I decided to stop by Walmart on the way and pick up some tire tube patches to use as pressure pads, just in case. Bad move. I got the range 10 minutes after it opened, and every bench was taken, and the wait list had 5 names. Took an hour to get on a bench, and by that time the wind was starting to kick up. Oh well, that's all part the deal but at least the bench rest guys had their flags out, which is helpful.
I ran a wet patch through the barrel and a couple of dry ones afterwards. I had no idea if I'd even be on paper, since everything was untested, including the scope. I started out with one round in the mag at a time, since I needed to safety test my trigger work. First round was on paper, 2" high, 1" right. I corrected and the second shot was 1/2" high, 3/4" left. Corrected again, and elevation was good, 1/4" right. Switched to the first bull and spent a dozen and a half rounds fine tuning. These were all using CCI SV, and by the last 10 rounds I was using a full mag, since the trigger seemed solid.
The trigger was a little stiff, since I changed out the actual trigger when I started my torsion spring mod last night. Weird, but the second trigger increased the pull by 4oz, even though they looked identical, so I'm guessing there are some very slight differences (mental note), so this one is breaking at 2 1/4 lbs, but pretty clean.
Shooting with a rest feels weird, after so many years using a bipod. I can tall already that I'll need to ditch the Ruger sling mounts, especially the rear, which interferes with the rear bag. I had to put the sling in between the stock and bag to get it to ride a little better, but definitely not ideal since it didn't allow side support from the bag's ears. In any case, I'm going to have to learn a whole new technique for using a rest, which should be a good challenge.
Here's the first target shot using my new Feddersen-Ruger. I shot the bulls in sequence, 2, 3, 6, 5, 4. For the first time, using new equiprment, I felt encouraged. I loved the sound of the free floated barrel, that transmits through the stock with each shot. My other 10/22's bull barrel makes a high pitched ring, but the sporter barrel makes a lower note, and sounds almost like the round bell at a boxing ring. I love the sound, since it indicates that the receiver is really locked in well, and the barrel is ringing naturally, like music.
After the target change, I decided I'd try all the brands of ammo that I'd brought with me. I justed wanted to get an idea of the potential, but not do in depth testing, so no cleaning between brands, and I didn't shoot 10 or 15 rounds to season the barrel to the change in lube, like I normally would. I shot CCI SV, Eley Club, and Wolf MT on this target. All felt good, but Eley felt really consistent. Of course my poor shooting skills show up on the results, but from the feel, and knowing when I'd blown it, I think the Eley felt most accurate, but none of them were losers.
Next up were Wolf ME and GECO Semi-Auto. I shot an extra couple of bulls with each of these. I got some vertical stringing with the GECO, but randomly, so I'm not sure if that's just my inability to deal with the rear bag, or something else going on. Still, nothing terrible, and the decent groups tell me that the ammo warrants more testing.
Next up were GECO Match, and Midas +. I've never shot the high end Lapua ammo, but got a few boxes last month to try. Even though I hadn't cleaned the barrel (plus I forgot my chamber brush), I decided that the rifle deserved to run some quality ammo through it on its first trip out. The GECO Match was a disaster. The first ammo of the bunch that the Feddersen barrel didn't like. I shot two full rows, just in case i was a lube issue, but nope, it sucked. The Midas was another story. Like the Eley, if just felt good, and I'm sure I could shoot some really good targets with it on a good day. I didn't want to shoot too much of it, since even though the rifle deserved it, the shooter's skills weren't deserving. The Midas did shoot the best group of the day thoiugh. 0.174" measuring with On Target.
I think before my next trip, I'll remove at least the rear sling swivel and inlet a QD mount socket, so I can easily remove the sling and have a better surface for the rear bag to ride on. I'll probably also hve the torsion trigger spring in by then, maybe set to 1 1/2 lbs or so. I'm going to keep the barrel floated for now, since I just love the sound, and until I build my skill level, I probably won't be able to take advantage of any increased accuracy from fine tuning with pressure pads. In the end, my goal is to make sure the rest of the rifle is functioning at a level to take full advantage of the Feddersen barrel and receiver.