It was a year ago and I decided I wanted a rifle that I could learn to shoot out to 1000 yards (with any luck). I'd never been down this road before and so the first thing I started on was some research on the web. That may not be the best way to garner info about an item, but it usually works OK for me. If enough information is gathered, I can usually sift through enough to help me make a somewhat informed decision. I started my research on several of the gun forums I already frequented and then joined a few more to increase the resource pool.
And so after a few weeks of reading.....I decided on a Savage .308 Winchester
bolt action rifle. More so, I liked the model 10 FCP. After checking
with one of the local gun shops I frequent, I found a Savage 10 FCP HS-Precision
hanging on the wall. It didn't take me long to decide this was going home
As it comes from the factory, this particular Series 10 model
has the HS Precision stock on it. Savage lists the model 10 family of
rifles under their Law Enforcement line-up. It comes with a flush fitting detachable
box magazine fits as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. Sling studs are installed
at both ends of the HS-Precision
stock with two located on the forearm. The rifle has no iron sights and
the barrel is not tapped for them. The receiver is tapped for a base
installation. The three position safety is located at the rear of the receiver.
Savage states the rifle tips the scales at 9 pounds.
Fast forward about 9 months to the configuration shown in the above photo.
This is what my rifle looked like when I attended my first
precision rifle course at Front
Sight. It did everything I needed it to do and then some. It shoots
better than I do but that is OK....it gives me a good reason to practice.
It shoots sub-MOA and when I'm doing all my stuff correctly, it will shoot
better than 1/2 MOA.
I've used two optics on the Savage since buying it. I
bought the first when a large on-line retailer was offering the Bushnell Elite
4200 6-24x50 on a close-out special (above photo). I had never owned a
first focal plane optic until this one and after using it for a while, I was
hooked. The mil-dot reticle and mil turrets was a must have as far as I
was concerned. Although the illuminated reticle was not a requirement,
this model had one.
For mounting of the Bushnell 4200 optic, I used an EGW (Evolution Gun Works) 20 MOA base. This heavy duty base is machined from extruded 7075 T6 (max hardness) aluminum alloy and Type III hard coat anodized. The base is milled for Picatinny cross slots and gauged for the MIL-STD 1913 rail spec. Mounting screws were supplied with the base.
For those not familiar with what a 20 MOA base does, it provides 20 MOA (approximately 20" at 100 yards) of additional elevation for the scope. When you are shooting at long distances, one can run out of elevation adjustment on the scope. A relatively inexpensive fix for this is to use a base that is machined with the rear of the base sitting higher than the front. Once the scope is mounted and zeroed on this base, the shooter will find they have an additional 20 minutes of up elevation adjustment.
I secured the scope to the one-piece EGW base using a pair of 30mm Burris XTR (Xtreme Tactical Ring**) model rings. I like the XTR ring as it provides a large mounting surface for the scope and uses 6 screws to secure the upper and lower ring halves. When I mounted the scope, I aligned and lapped the rings using the Wheeler kit. Details can be found in my scope ring lapping review.
The Bushnell scope worked well during the 5 to 6 months I had it on the Savage. I made good use of it during a lot of my load development. During that time, I managed a lot of sub-MOA groups with some of these 5 shot groups going under 1/2" @ 100 yds.
I opted to replace the Bushnell 4200 for a couple of reasons. I picked up a .308 semi-auto along the way and needed an optic for it. The 4200 was a good match for it. I also decided I wanted an optic with more elevation adjustment range. The 4200 gives 48" of elevation adjustment....or 13.3 mils. To get to 1000 yds, I need 10.6 mils with the load I shoot. That means there is enough adjustment assuming I used the 20 MOA base, which then offsets the scope approximately 5.5 mils. So, half of 13.3 mils is 6.6....add that to 5.5 gives 12.1 mils of up elevation. My optic zero ran a little low so I actually was sitting right at 1 mil from the absolute bottom of my adjustment range when zeroed at 100 yds. I didn't like having the erector springs cranked that far to one end.
Another detail I never knew (there was nothing in any of the research I did) before the scope arrived via UPS was that the markings were all done in dark green. Elevation, windage, magnification, parallax....all of the controls were marked in dark green. Ever try to read dark green ink on a black page? It looks like this. I've since found that not all 4200 optics were done this way....but the idiot that decided to make mine with this color was just that, an idiot! The last reason....while the turrets could be reset to zero after zeroing the scope, the elevation turret did not have a zero stop.
While none of above reasons were actual show stoppers, I realized that after using this scope on the range, I wanted something better....because I could. As I said, it didn't go to waste since it found a home on my .308 semi-auto, which doesn't get used as much as this Savage rifle.
** No, I didn't spell it wrong....that is how Burris markets it.
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