Last November I wrote about a precision shooting rifle project I was contemplating. The following January, once the Christmas/New Year holidays were over, I got together with Steve Prater (click on the Our Staff link) and dropped the gun off with the famous last words, "... no hurry, take as much time as you need." Those of you with experience dealing with a busy gunsmith will appreciate my naivete. :)
As I was preparing to go out into the firing area today, what should I see but Steve walking across the store holding a vaguely familiar looking rifle in his hands. If I hadn't been the only person in the direction he was looking, I mightn't have twigged even as slowly as I did.
He reports that the Marlin T-900 "fire control system" (does anybody make a straightforward trigger group anymore?) isn't the worst contraption he's come across and that mine only needed a good cleaning, reduction of the trigger return spring tension and the sear engagement squared up. As I straight away proved, my rifle's trigger now breaks cleanly and I'll take Steve's word for the 4.1# detail - as I fire the gun more, this will lighten up a bit anyway, hopefully to the desired 3.5# pressure.
Mounted on the Millet Angle Loc scope rings was the Tasco 6-24x40mm AO scope I had earlier picked out as being a decent optical starting point for this project. Frankly, this scope was available from Lock and Load's regular inventory, and the mounting rings are Steve's preferred brand, so I wasn't willing to let a few dollars difference in purchase price be my only buying guide. Even if it hadn't been established shop policy not to charge extra to mount scopes bought from the store.
Still to be acquired is a bipod and sling. These guys are touted as being "just as good as Harris". Since economy specifically is one of the metrics of this project, I may give their 6"-9" model a try. However, they're going to have to come off of their $63.95 msrp since Walmart's online sales site offers actual Harris bipods in the same 6"-9" size starting at only $6 more with free shipping via USPS, delivered to my front door if you please.
Of course, it would help if I had some idea what the actual differences were in the various Harris models available (other than price). Why is this model $24 less than this apparently identical model? There's bound to be some differentiation between each of the examples linked, but is that variance of especial importance to a shooter in my circumstance?
As for a sling, Butler Creek was mentioned by several people I asked, but again, which one, if any of these, is best for the KD range shooting application I'm building for?
Since it's not quite finished* yet (and I didn't bring a case to carry it home in), I left the gun in the shop. After I dialed in the scope, of course. :) A 1/4" dia, 5-round string at 25 yards seems a reasonably close beginning from which to start the refining process. With any luck, I'll be able to enlist some help with all of that, come the day.
Oh yeah, I was also still able to put controlled doubles "within the fist" at 10 yards within the 1 second limit (15 yds took a little longer, or expanded to "within the torso":)).
All in all, a pretty good day. How was yours?
* To the extent something like this is ever "finished". :)