I took the new-ish Savage Long Range Hunter .308 out again this evening at the insistence of my good buddy who is considering buying the same, or a similar, model. I had 40 rounds loaded so, despite the late hour, we decided to go give it a whirl. The load is a loose replication of Federal's "Gold Match" target round using a Hornady A-Max 168 grain.
We got to the range at sundown and ended up shooting 20 rounds by headlight. My buddy's first 5 shots went into .72 inches, prone, at 100M. We walked down to the target for a look and said he was sold. He was buying one at the trading post tomorrow. Like me he doesn't shoot prone much and off of a bipod, very infrequently. Shooting in the dark by '83 Mazda headlight with a 6X convinced him.
With the pressure off we decided to have some fun. We put up the target you see below and maneuvered ourselves so we had a shooting lane between the benches, adding another 25 or so yards onto the distance. My buddy shot the head, I shot the torso. Not really tight groups but under the circumstances, it was quite good shooting for a couple of old guys flopped onto their out splayed jackets, shooting in the dark by fading 12 volt battery power.
A couple of observations: Granted, it was a light load we were shooting tonight but even with military ball the recoil is minimal. The adjustable comb is ugly but totally Savage-functional. The trigger was exceptional, and the muzzle break more than effective. Something we seldom notice due to our reluctance to shoot at night was that the muzzle flash was almost non existent. A little pink-purple spark in front of the muzzle break and that was it. We were both surprised.
This is the second time I've shot this rifle with target-grade loads and both times have been in darkness, or close to it. I look forward to shooting it in the light of day.~Muir