I'm about to sample the kool-aid myself with this exact setup. Similar reasoning to yourself. Looking to extend my range, consistency, and shooting abilities. Looking to do so on a reasonable budget. And I'm based a little north of you in Alberta.
Any update on the setup, progress, or anything you'd setup differently if you had the opportunity to start back at square one?
Butler creeks man.Actually, one more thing I will add about shooting under field conditions:
I blew a shot earlier this season. Found a buck, stalked up closer, belly crawled closer. Ranged it. Okay beauty, go-time. Pulled the rifle to my shoulder.
I still had my neoprene scope cover over the SWFA....
Buck saw me moving around trying to pull the cover off, and off he went.
I prior to this year, I had never really practiced with a rifle that started with the cover on. It was always "get to range, remove cover, go shoot for the rest of the day." And this was stupid, because when I'm in the field, I always keep the cover on until I'm ready to shoot.
Now, when I practice, I've made a point to keep a neoprene cover on my rig, because of snow/weather. I haven't had a chance to do much intentional practice, other than dryfire/sequence practice in my basement, but it is what it is.
Muscle memory is a hell of a thing.
Butler creeks man.
Left hand hits the front cap tab. shooting thumb the red lever.
Update - 17 May 2021
Yesterday I finally managed to make it out to the range. And by range I mean I drove about an hour an half out to public land, and then hiked 1km away from the truck to set things up. You’re guaranteed to avoid people this way, but you miss out on things like gongs and stuff (My city is stupid and there are no close firing ranges/clubs. Still on a wait list 2 years later….) I loaded up the 30-06, strapped the 223 on my pack along with ammo and targets, and off I went.
Fired some test groups with the 223 (prone over pack). Not the best, but felt nice shaking the rust off.
Now it was time to break out the 30-06 and test it out. I used the patented @Formidilosus method of barrel break-in: Load ammo and start shooting. Went as follows:
- Bore sight (literally look down the bore and adjust scope to paper)
- 1x shot to see if I'm on paper;
- Adjust scope to impact;
- Shoot some 3x "fake groups" and fine tune;
- Shoot real 10x group;
Load is 48.7gr 4064 behind 178gr ELD-M. I also followed Form's advice here: skip the ballistics masturbation and load your shit to max load and magazine length. Don't overthink it.
After about 6 rds of junk Remington factory ammo to get things roughly adjusted (Duct-taped holes), time to shoot the handloads.
Here are the first 3 shots with the ELDM's:
So you could say I was pretty stoked at this point. And here are ten shots:
I fired this ten shot group in intervals: 3x, 3x, 2x, and 2x. (Was messing with the 223 in between to give the '06 a bit of a break.) The "top" two shots of the ten-shot group is that last 2x interval. I don't know what I did there, but maybe messed up my rest or position or something.
Anyway, it's obvious that this thing can shoot better than I can. With the way my 223 shooting went, I wasn't expecting these results with the heavier-recoiling rifle either. Rest of the day's generally session went like the ones above.
I think it's safe to wrap this story up. If you want an easy-button, the Tikka with an SWFA is a really solid choice. @Formidilosus 's stuff is legit. If you want to skip the internet masturbation and just get something that will work, I would 100% recommend going this route.
Next project is improving my field shooting. I shot the basic relay in this thread, and was ******* humbled.
This isn’t in response to anyone I particular, but there is an up tick in the amount of “I want a XXXX distance hunting rifle” traffic the last few months. I am getting a lot of questions relating to this, which I do not mind helping, but thought a public post might help answer some questions...www.rokslide.com
Anyway if you've read this far, thanks for sticking with me. I'm going to update my first post with a TLDR.
I like your term "ballistics masturbation" haha