THE RI­FLE

Gun World - - Gun World -

The ri­fle used for this test is a full cus­tom built by Matthew Stew­art in Ok­la­homa (Ste­wartRi­fles.com).

Matthew was a for­mer ma­chin­ist with Sur­geon Ri­fles for more than 10 years be­fore he started his own com­pany build­ing high-pre­ci­sion ri­fles in 2013.

For this build, he used a Sur­geon 591 short-ac­tion (Sur­geonRi­fles.com) that in­cludes an in­te­gral rail and a re­coil lug ma­chined into the ac­tion for max­i­mum strength and a su­per-flat sur­face to bed it to the stock. The bar­rel is a Bartlein 5R, 1:8 twist BartleinBar­rels.com) with an MTU con­tour that has a di­am­e­ter of .930 inch at the muz­zle. The bar­rel was fin­ished at 26 inches with a threaded muz­zle for use with sup­pres­sors, and it is cham­bered in 6.5x47mm La­pua.

Stew­art used Sur­geon bot­tom me­tal with a de­tach­able box mag­a­zine. It rides in a cus­tom McMil­lan A-5 stock (McMil­lanUSA.com) with an ad­justable cheek­piece and rear spac­ers to ad­just overa ll length. He pil­lar-bed­ded the ri­fle into the stock with Dev­con ti­ta­nium bed­ding, and the en­tire bar­rel was free floated.

The trig­ger is a Jewel hunter/varmint (HVR) (OTMTac­ti­cal.com) with a top-mounted safety. The trig­ger is ad­justed to a su­per­clean and crisp 2.25-pound break.

With the S&B scope mounted in Vor­tex 34mm pre­ci­sion­matched rings, the ri­fle weighs in at a healthy 15.1 pounds.

FOR A TEST SUCH AS THIS, I NEEDED A SPE­CIAL RI­FLE CA­PA­BLE OF DE­LIV­ER­ING LON­GRANGE AC­CU­RACY NOT POS­SI­BLE WITH MOST FAC­TORY GUNS. I DE­CIDED THAT A FULL CUS­TOM BUILD FROM STEW­ART RI­FLES IN OK­LA­HOMA WOULD BE THE TICKET.

ADDING IT ALL UP

Now, to an­swer the orig­i­nal ques­tion: Does magnification mat­ter? I dis­cov­ered the an­swer is, Yes, it does mat­ter— per­haps not in the way I orig­i­nally thought. How­ever, look­ing at the av­er­age of all shots fired at all dis­tances and then graph­ing it by magnification (see Graph 1), the over­all av­er­age was bet­ter at 20x and 25x than it was at 5x and 10x.

As you in­crease dis­tances be­yond 500 yards, I spec­u­late that this would be­come even more ap­par­ent. Also, if you had to shoot at non-sym­met­ri­cal or small tar­gets at long ranges, (that doesn’t al­low you to hold at the cen­ter of the white tar­get, as I did), this would also present a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge at low mag­ni­fi­ca­tions.

I had one puz­zling out­lier with the very good groups at 300 yards at 5X, but at that dis­tance and magnification, I could still see the tar­get well. It is also eas­ier and faster when shoot­ing if the scope is di­aled up to 20x or more, be­cause it doesn’t take nearly as much time to com­pose the shot with the con­fi­dence that the scope is cen­tered on the tar­get.

IF YOU ARE CON­TEM­PLAT­ING A NEW SCOPE

FOR LONG-RANGE SHOOT­ING, IT MIGHT BE A

GOOD IDEA TO CHOOSE ONE

THAT IS CA­PA­BLE OF HIGHER MAG­NI­FI­CA­TIONS.

If you are con­tem­plat­ing a new scope for long-range shoot­ing, it might be a good idea to choose one that is ca­pa­ble of higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tions. This doesn’t mean you can’t shoot long range with a 10x or even a 5x scope, as I have shown, but it’s not as easy; it takes longer to com­pose each shot; and it’s not as ac­cu­rate. GW

I

Both of these tar­gets were shot at 500 yards. Tar­get #17 on the left was the author’s worst group of the 500-yard test at 1.372 MOA. It was shot at 5x magnification.Tar­get #23 on the right was his best at this dis­tance. It mea­sured .502 MOA and was shot at 20x magnification.

I

The author used three dif­fer­ent ver­sions of am­mu­ni­tion from La­pua. All proved to be very con­sis­tent, with in­cred­i­bly low ve­loc­ity vari­a­tion from shot to shot.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.