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For a little while I’d been wanting a good longer if not properly long range rifle and for a while I contemplated getting a 300 Win Mag. But they’re expensive to feed and have relatively short bbl lives and the recoil is considerable if not brisk. Also, once I settled on getting a 5R the bbl is 26”, which makes it impractical if I should want to hunt it.......and I like to.

So I settled on the 308 and I put the money down on it in late February as a birthday present. My wife and folks(who aren’t keen on guns) even threw in some money. Which it turned out was just as well. So I ordered one from Cleavers in Brisbane as their price was about $500 less than MSRP. I discovered later they’d bought a massive lot in 2018 and this was the last 308 20”.

It took a little while to arrive here being an interstate purchase but I was delighted with the stock in particular. It’s a HS Precision item (apparently) and short of a McMillan Game Scout I had a couple of years back, it’s the best stock I’ve used. The finish, mmmm, not so great. The satin finish on the stainless bbl had a couple of permanent rub marks due to shipping or storage that I was underwhelmed by and the thread protector on the muzzle is, well, a bit rough. But the bolt is jewelled and smooth and it functions fine. Next was my selection of scope.
 

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A few years back I bought a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 PA for my Steyr Pro Hunter Varmint in 223 and it’s a wonderful scope. The only things I thought that made it inappropriate for a 308 I’d both hunt and target shoot was the minimum power of 6.5, the 50mm objective and the capped turrets. It’s too much for stalking deer, I didn’t need a 308 for spotlighting (legal in Oz), and the capped turrets made on the fly adjustments impractical. So I went for the new Strike Eagle 3-18x44. It has an illuminated reticle, although I’m yet to understand the full benefits of IRs. So I picked up a standard picatinny rail and 30mm rings through friends and bought the Strike Eagle. Just for the record, I’ll be upgrading the rail and rings to a 20MOA rail and QD rings a little down the track. Here it was it is complete with sunshade.
 

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The Covid crisis, I have to say, has been a severe annoyance to my shooting habit. Hence, I FINALLY got out to shoot the 5R last Monday at a friend’s farm. My interest was not in shooting any pests with it, although I could probably have done so. I just wanted to get it on paper. My son and I finally got out there at 4:30pm and the light was leaving (it being Autumn here) so as the light failed I did my best. I was using these Winchester “white box” 135gn HPs that were given to me by a friend. They used to be made here before Winchester shut down Australian ammo operations. Winchester are useless; they couldn’t run a bath let alone a business - amazing quality and low cost, rimfires, handgun and rifle ammo but, no! Rant over. Anyhow, my goal was to get it on target @100yds in as few rounds as possible and save the potent 135hps for game. I will shoot a group or 2 but this is hunting ammo.

The target shows the 5 rounds it took to zero it @100yds. #1 @40yds was after a bore sighting. #2 I misadjusted the windage.......oops! #3 was a correction on windage and pretty much right although +2”. At that point we moved the target out to 100yds and were forced to shoot using lights. With the previous settings not changed #4 printed +5.5” @100yds. After some very rudimentary elevation adjustments #5 was dead on @100yds.

It was in this activity that the stock shone. I expected some recoil as I was shooting off bags on the hood of my car and there’s no real record pad. Most of my rifles are light weight or military. But it was joy to shoot. Very mild. The trigger is, of course, a “lawyers trigger” and will ultimately need replacing. I’d also like to fit a detachable box mag. But it’s very nice to shoot.

I’ve posted a pic my soon took of it over my shoulder in the dusk. Definitely a good buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In retrospect I think one of these in 300 Win Mag, with the extra weight of a 26” bbl, would be quite tolerable. Plus the muzzle is threaded so you can get your choice of brake too.

The rifle currently has an internal box mag so it means new bottom metal. 5 rounds is inconvenient if I end up shooting any tactical matches, even though the M24s had 5 round mags. But fitting that metal may not be the only issue and I’m not brave enough to knock out any of the stock with a chisel myself!
 

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id go 300 because I do quite a bit of long range deer shooting and im kind of 308 flush
 

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At 73, with four rotator surgeries behind me, I don’t enjoy magnums any more. I have about given up on long actions too. Now I deer hunt with a M700 light varmint 7-08. Never thought I would see this day, because I used to enjoy long shots over bean fields.
 
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