A couple of months ago I bought a Savage .223 bolt action to use as a donor action for a 300 Whisper. It is an ugly gun: yellow lacquered birch stock and metal finish that has all the appeal of wrought iron. The crown looked funky and the accuracy was abysmal: 2" at 100M with good handloads. It came with a dinged-up old Tasco 3-9 scope that seemed to work so I left it on.
This past weekend my partner and another buddy arrived for a week-long prairiedog shoot and with them came my 300 Whisper barrel and dies. My partner took one look at this ancient Savage and asked if I'd pulled the action from the stock because some of the old Savage 110's had a fully adjustable trigger. Well. We took a look and it did have the good trigger: a plus. We got looking at the crown and it almost looked filed upon so I stuck a Nosler 52 grain Competiton in the bore and it fell in far past the ogive. That would explain the bad accuracy. While my two companions reloaded I recrowned the barrel and a retest now showed the Nosler ogive/body point solidly above the muzzle. The crown should now work.
For test loads I used Speer TNT 50 grain bullets over H322 in some trimmed and FL resized Winchester brass. I used CCI Small Rifle primers. From the start it was a different rifle. The bullets seemed to follow each scope adjustment with a purpose and the final group was three shots in a half inch! On the adjacent target backer there was an old target and I aimed for the staple and fired off my last five shots. These are they.
Happy? Sure. But now I need to find a donor action for my 300 Whisper.... dammit.