This post was brought about because of the post about Moderators in the General Discussion section “To mod or not to mod?” hope you are reading Private Fraser.
Here is my solution to some of the problems when fitting a moderator to a rifle.
The ideal is to get a really light rifle to use as your base rifle, towards this end I sold my Tikka 595 and brought a Browning A-Bolt titanium, these weigh 5 1/2lbs with a 22” none fluted barrel, for comparison a Sako Finlight with a 21” fluted barrel weighs about a 1lb more. Unfortunately they do not make these rifles any more, and they where not cheap when they did. I added a Swarvoski scope as these seem to be the lightest of all the quality scopes, at the minute it is mounted in Weaver aluminium rings/bases, although I have a set of Tally one piece lightweight mounts on top of the gun cabinet to swap these with once I get a minute.
For a moderator I went for an A-Tec CCM, with this model you can remove baffles one set at a time, trading weigh for less noise suppression. I found I could remove 2 baffles without any problems with noise suppression for stalking. The CCM weighs just under 1lb with all baffles, so I guess about 12oz with two removed. You can see the spare baffles next to the bipod in the photo.
To stop the rifle swinging round when it is on your shoulder, leaving you no option but to carry the moderator down which leads to it being dragged through all the undergrowth. I fitted a sling swivel mounted on the barrel. For this I used an engineers “P-Clip” which are normally used for securing rubber hoses. It has a steel ring covered with rubber; I had to make a small adaptor to mount the sling swivel to the P-clip. Mounting a sling in this position is nothing new, it is popular on African game riles, Brownells sell steel barrel sling mounting rings, but I think you might have to have these soldered onto your barrel.
On the heavy barrelled Howa with a 20” barrel I have fitted a Nylon sling swivel to the barrel. On the Howa with the mag’ conversion I have a “P-Clip” conversion fitted direct to the A-Tec moderator. This over barrel moderator again weighs 500gms, although A-Tec no longer make this moderator, Jager sporting arms now make one very similar, the best bit is it only cost £175, £90 less than the A-Tec one.
So long as you make sure that the sling is loose when you shoot the rifle I could detect no affect on rifle accuracy, all three rifles shoot sub 1 MOA with or without slings fitted, I guess it might make a difference on a bench rest rifle but it was not detectable on my stalking rifles. One down side is that you cannot use the sling wrapped around your elbow when shooting free hand, not a problem to me with my style of shooting.
Browning A-Bolt Titanium with CCM.
Heavy Barrel cut down to 20”
270 Howa with Mag’ conversion.