i picked up a new sauer 202 in 223 to replace my steyr pro hunter recently. after shooting in the barrel, not sure who to believe on the debate about the need to shoot in a new barrel but i guess for all the effort involved it is better to side with caution. i wanted to work up a load based around 50 or 53gr vmax bullets, so i started with 21.5gr of n130 and 53gr vmax bullets and loaded 5 rounds in 0.5 gr powder increases up to 24 gr n130. the results at this stage werent good enough for me to take the rifle out hunting. i zeroed with 60gr vmax and 22.5gr of n130 and the rifle grouped these well.
on saturday night we headed out to a friends permission that normally holds a good number of fox although they have been getting harder to shoot recently. We spotted a fox at about 200m and after a quiet call it came into approx 80m, after struggling with lamp light etc as my lamp man didnt want to leave the comfort and heat of the jeep ( cyril) the fox had started to make his way back at a steady rate. he stopped at approx 130m and gave me time for a chest shot. he was hit hard but made off and i lost him. We normally have a good look and follow up in daylight. There is a section of the permission that simply looks foxy and i have always been convinced that it holds foxes. We stopped and i called for about 2 minutes when a set of eyes came out of the hedge. not a difficult shot and the fox dropped on the spot. i asked for the light to be turned off and started calling again which resulted in a fox appearing about 300m behind our position. we got into position and dropped this fox as well. before we had the chance to move off another quick scan showed yet another fox but lurking on the top of a bank with no safe shot. We left the fox for a few minutes while we tried an other part of the permission. on returning to the fox it was still on the skyline but this time a short call brought it down off the bank and it fell to the forth shot of the night.
all in all i was very impressed with the rifle and find it a pleasure to shoot, the trigger pull is just about right and with my jtec ranger fitted temporarily while i wait on a third eye spartan arriving the noise reduction was pretty impressive.