New Hole-Poker

g_smolt

Recreational User
After years of toting around my heavy-ass Ruger m77 MKII's, I finally decided to give my sling shoulder a break for the 2021 deer season. I'm certainly not a "light freak" when it comes to firearms - I like the hold stability of a heavier gun, for sure - but since most of my deer hunting involves going from sea level to 2,500'-3,000' and back in a day, a few extra pounds on the shoulder can be a real drag.

To that end, I picked up a new hole-poker that is waaaay lighter than what I have been using...
Savj.jpg

Savage 110 Ultralite in 6.5 Creedmoor topped with a Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40 Duplex in Talley Ultralights, right at 7lb. loaded and on the shoulder. Pretty happy about that, as the Ruger I hunt most with (7mm rem mag, 24", VX-II 3-9x40 in old leupold steel rings) clocks in at about 9lbs unloaded.

I've had the gun for about a month and have run 100 rounds down the barrel - first 50 were step-wise barrel conditioning (shoot and clean to bare metal after each shot for the first 10, after 3 for 15, and after 5 for 25) and now I'm on to wingin' various kinds of 6.5CM lead downrange for the next 150-200 to get a good idea what it likes to eat and where it spits 'em out. Got out to the range today and did 5 5-shot groups, this one was the last.
BulsIe.jpg

Hornady Varmint Express, 95gr VMAX @ 100yds w/200yd zero - last shot is the "flyer", things were a little swirly at the range today, wind-wise.
Not a deer round for sure, but it goes bang, and at this point I'm just shooting in the barrel and seeing what this gun likes. What I DO know is this particular gun does NOT like Hornady American Whitetail 129gr soft-points - groups with that stuff look like 3" shotgun patterns, no rhyme or reason.

I did the break in with Hornady Precision Hunter 143gr ELD_X (that's what the gun was sighted for, +1.9"@100yd), and so far, I'm pretty sure that's the round I'm gonna use when the time comes to put something other than paper in the crosshairs.

Anyone else shoot a Savage Ultralite or a 6.5CM?
 

matchu865

WFF Supporter
I wish I could get that type of pattern, "flyer" included, with my Remingon 700 in 30-06. Last season I stuck on a Bell & Carlson free floated/aluminum bedded stock and an aftermarket trigger and didn't notice much difference in patterns.

Money might have been better spent saving for a set-up like yours!
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
Picked up a couple boxes of Federal Fusion 140gr today, we'll see how that looks on paper in the next week or two. I've still got 3 boxes of ELD-X's left, so I have enough to cover next deer season (at least the AK part).
 

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
I got a SigSauer XP100 Classic a year or so back in 6.5 Creed. It shot a smaller group right out of the box, during barrel breakin. It has displaced my Rem 700 Classic in 6.5 Swede as my primary deer rifle. Since gotten 2 more rifles in 6.5 CM
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
Not big on offhand shooting. I use a monopod, or a pack rest, or a handy tree for game shots. Not that my offhand shooting is inaccurate, I just prefer the stability and confidence of a rest.

Shot a .78" 100yd 5-shot group (off a rest) yesterday in gusty conditions with the federal fusion 140's. That'll hunt.
 

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Not big on offhand shooting. I use a monopod, or a pack rest, or a handy tree for game shots. Not that my offhand shooting is inaccurate, I just prefer the stability and confidence of a rest.

Shot a .78" 100yd 5-shot group (off a rest) yesterday in gusty conditions with the federal fusion 140's. That'll hunt.
I’m a true believer in shooting sticks, preferring a tripod. Can’t understand why more folks don’t use them. In younger years I could do the paper plate thing!
 

herkileez

WFF Supporter
Although I'm not the avid hunter I was in my earlier years, I remember when Savage Arms were considered low cost, low quality compared to Winchester, Remington, Browning, Sako etc. Fast forward to today, my buddies that shoot/hunt tell me that Savage has really upped their game, and that they shoot among the best right-out-of-the- box, still at a reasonable price...Good to hear.
I still have my Ithaca (Tikka) LSA65 Deluxe .270 cal, that shoots 1" at 100 yds, and has taken countless deer over the years. I fed my family on venison, but my kids have grown and gone, my wife no longer wants venison, so I could no longer justify pulling the trigger. I had many great, privileged years hunting deer...but now, for me, fishing is the new hunting.
 

veilside180sx

Active Member
Savage Axis, Ruger American, & T/C Compass (all under $500) will all shoot sub moa if you get a good one.

They all switched to similar 3 lug bolts & 5R rifling.
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
Tough to beat Tikka for a 3-digit factory platform that performs well out of the box. I have a Tikka T3x in 270WSM that groups well and shoots a 130gr Nosler AccuBond (to quote Dr. Evil) "like a frickin' laser".

Savage had a bad rap for awhile, but they're digging themselves out...it seems like Ruger is trying to get comfy in that hole, tho.
 

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