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  #31  
Old 03-27-2019, 02:37 AM
Steve Newman

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HyFive, really nice trio of .243s. I'm guessing the "ugly duckling" Savage is going to out group the other two. I have an almost identical looking older .223 FP110, pre accutrigger and made far back enough when Savage was only making a long action in the FP line, for ALL the cartridges offered in it, short or long action length. They used an extended baffle behind the bolt head and a spacer in the internal mag to make the "short action" cartridges work. Though not very pretty, my rifle has been fully "optimized", with full action bedding, barrel free floating, aftermarket trigger, and precision prepped handloads. In good wind conditions, it will consistently shoot 1 inch 3 shot groups, or smaller, at 300 yards like this: https://imgur.com/rrdPvUj Savage is definitely the most bang for the buck.

Last edited by Steve Newman; 03-27-2019 at 03:06 AM.
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  #32  
Old 03-27-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Newman View Post
Though not very pretty, my rifle has been fully "optimized", with full action bedding, barrel free floating, aftermarket trigger, and precision prepped handloads. In good wind conditions, it will consistently shoot 1 inch 3 shot groups, or smaller, at 300 yards like this: https://imgur.com/rrdPvUj Savage is definitely the most bang for the buck.
Guess I am just odd man out but I like the looks of the Savage center fire rifles. My old flat back 112 single shot has been "optimized" as well and IMHO there is not a better shooting rifle to be had.
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  #33  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:13 AM
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Yesterday, I got back to the range and did some extensive ammo testing with all three rifles. All three rifles were sighted in with Hornady Custom 87gr VMAX. I tested the following loads.

- Hornady Custom 87gr VMAX
- Hornady Custom Lite 87gr SST reduced recoil
- Hornady Superformance 75gr VMAX
- Hornady Superformance 95gr SST
- Federal 85gr Trophy Copper
- Federal 70gr Nosler Ballistic Tip
- Federal 95gr Nosler Ballistic Tip

All shooting was done at 100 yards with a very light wind. For each load, I shot a five shot group with each rifle and then moved onto the next rifle; this allowed each rifle to cool off sufficiently before shooting the next group with the next load.

Much to my happiness, all three rifles shot the reduced recoil 87gr SST very well, Tikka: 0.525", CZ: 0.800", Savage: 0.688". All three guns were capable of sub-MOA performance with the Tikka shooting the smallest group, however the CZ 557 was more consistent overall and shot the smallest groups across all loads with only one group larger than 1".

The Tikka shot the 87 VMAX, 87 SST and 95 NBT the best. The CZ shot 87 VMAX, 87 SST, 70 NBT and 95 SST all under 1 inch. The CZ with 95 NBT also shot a very tight group but had a large POI shift up and left. All other loads stayed close to the zero. The Savage shot the 87 SST and 95 SST the best. The 85gr Trophy Copper was terrible in all three rifles and keyholed in the CZ. The Tikka did not like the 75gr VMAX which really surprised me with a 2.10" group.

Now, this took over three hours and admittedly, I think I started losing some concentration as the session wore on and that could easily be the reason why some of my groups started opening up. I took a little break and when I came back, I shot the best groups as I indicated above.

There was no load that really stood out above the rest and I believe the reduced recoil load will shoot well in all three rifles and that will work well for the prairie dog trip which is the goal. My next step is I want to stretch these out at 200 and I want to try one more load, the Hornady 90gr ELD-X but I'm really hoping those aren't that much better because they are much more expensive.

Overall, I was a bit surprised by the results. Average group size for the Tikka, CZ and Savage was 1.36", 0.839", and 1.07", respectively. I really expected the Tikka to shoot better than it did as my other Tikka's are amazing shooters. The Tikka is also the lightest of the three rifles and I do believe that has something to do with it. I'm toying with the idea of putting it in a heavier stock.

Stay tuned for results from 200.
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  #34  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:15 AM
HyFiveGuns

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  #35  
Old 03-28-2019, 12:44 PM
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Will be very interesting to see how they shoot after 300-400 rounds thru them.

Bet they get better.
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  #36  
Old 03-28-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by deathwind II View Post
I prefer my 6mm Remington over my .243 Win.'s, but sure like(d) the looks of that recent CZ 557 .243 Varmint/Target. Can't find any on the market now.
The 6mm Remington has a slight advantage, but are nowhere near as popular. I can go to any gun shop and get 243 Winchester ammo. Besides, I have a 243 Ackley Improved that is quite nice.

For the minimal ballistic advantage, I will still stick with the one where I can get ammo anywhere, even though I reload.
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  #37  
Old 03-28-2019, 06:52 PM
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The 6mm Remington has a slight advantage, but are nowhere near as popular. I can go to any gun shop and get 243 Winchester ammo. Besides, I have a 243 Ackley Improved that is quite nice.

For the minimal ballistic advantage, I will still stick with the one where I can get ammo anywhere, even though I reload.
Lack of 6mm Rem. ammo is what lit the spark for the 6mm Creedmoor for me, its easier to find in my area than 6mm Rem.
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  #38  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:12 PM
Steve Newman

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langenc, you are correct about shooting rounds to help all three of those factory barrels settle in....Savages (which I love) are notorious for leaving some tooling marks in the bore that need to be smoothed/burnished out. I am guessing the Savage will show the greatest improvement as it gets broken in. M2HB, you are also right about the 6MM Rem. being the "better" cartridge, but Winchester pretty much crushed them by marketing the .243 as a "dual purpose" medium game/varmint round from the get go and with a fast enough twist barrel to stabilize both light and heavy bullets. Remington initially promoted the 6MM Rem. (originally introduced as .244 Rem.) as a varmint cartridge, with a slower barrel twist rate that would only shoot lighter weight bullets well. By the time they realized and corrected their error, the .243 had an insurmountable head start. Both cartridges are very accurate and do what they were designed to do, and are pretty much identical in real world use...slight ballistic advantage to the 6MM.

Last edited by Steve Newman; 03-28-2019 at 10:40 PM.
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  #39  
Old 03-29-2019, 04:15 PM
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Update from 200 Yards...

Back to the range today for some more testing. Temps in the low 50's, humidity around 80% and winds about 5-7 mph.

First was some additional ammo testing at 100 yards with Hornady 90gr ELD-X and Federal 100gr Sierra Game Kings. The 90gr ELD-X were terrible in the Tikka and the CZ, but the Savage seemed to like them a lot with a 0.656" group. I shot a few more groups with the ELD-X's in the Savage and they were pretty consistent, but so are the 87gr SST and those are $0.30 / round cheaper and they are reduced recoil. My wallet is happy that the ELD-X's were not good in the other rifles. The 100gr Sierra Game Kings were all over the place in all three rifles. Couldn't even figure out a group; they were scattered everywhere. Needless to say, those are out.

Next test was 87 VMAX (full power) and 87 SST (reduced recoil) at 200 yards out of all three rifles. Once again, the 87 SST grouped tighter than the 87 VMAX. Groups from the Tikka and the Savage averaged around 2.25 - 2.50" while the CZ averaged 2.5 - 3.0". The Tikka is the lightest of all three and I've noticed that my groups improve significantly with a tighter hold on the rifle to stop it from jumping around. I am seriously considering getting a heavier stock for it.

At this point, I have about 150-200 rounds through each gun. I think all three rifles are great and I've enjoyed my experimentation immensely. Here is my conclusion:

- Most accurate: Savage 11-VT
- Best looking: CZ 557 American
- Best operation: Tikka T3x Hunter
- Best ergonomics: CZ 557 American

For my prairie dog trip this summer, I think I will be taking the Savage and the Tikka.
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  #40  
Old 04-08-2019, 10:11 PM
HyFiveGuns

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A little update on the Tikka. Picked up a Boyds Pro Varmint stock. I've heard mixed things about Boyd's, but the inletting was perfect; the action fit perfectly and the barrel appears to be free-floating. Gun now weighs about a pound more but that was kind of the point. I have this same stock on my CZ 455 and it has a great feel when shooting off the bench. Anxious to see how it shoots now....

IMG_4762.jpg
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  #41  
Old 04-10-2019, 01:04 PM
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Per the request for pictures, here's my Wichita Classic .243. It has a 12-twist 22-inch tapered-octagonal barrel. It is pillar-bedded with the barrel floated and has a 2-lever Canjar trigger
worked down to about 8 oz. I've shot it mainly with target bullets--80-gr. FB Bergers, 70-grain Nosler Ballistic-tips, 75-gr. Sierra HPFB, and 80-gr. FB Watsons.
It seems to do best with IMR4350, although I've tried W760, RL15, and RL19 as well. My best groups have come with Lapua brass, the Watson 80-gr. FB, IMR4350, Fed. 210M primers,
and with the bullets seated to just kiss the lands. This formula has produced 100-yard 5-shot groups ranging from .22" to .68", with an average group size over about 10 groups of .49".

Scope is a B&L 12-32 in Warne mounts. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.




Last edited by South_Pender; 04-10-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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  #42  
Old 04-10-2019, 02:42 PM
HyFiveGuns

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Very nice South_Pender!!
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