Need to upgrade optic

Discussion in 'Sako Medium Actions' started by BruceHB, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    These tired eyes need help and I’d like more power than the 6-18X now on my father’s Sako L579 I’m restoring. Currently running OEM Sako mounts (1 inch rings) I’d like to know if there are recommendations for optics similar in quality to a Nightforce NX8 4-32X50F1 with a MIL-XT or Horus TREMOR3 reticle in MIL’s which requires 30mm rings. I’m running Nightforce ATACR 5-25 and 7-35X56F1 optics (34 mm tubes) on my modern guns and would prefer not to spend this much on this Sako.

    Many of you know I’ve been restoring my father’s L579 originally in 243 Winchester Mag, upgraded to a 243 Ackley Improved, blue printed action glassed bedded into the stock with Devcon, free floating the Shilen barrel and Canjar set trigger. I’ve replaced the barrel with a 26" Hawk Hill match barrel in 6mm Creedmoor and non-standard chamber and APA Little Bastard muzzle brake.

    Currently breaking in the barrel with factory ammo i’m getting ok groups around .4 MOA at 100 yards. While I plan to development handloads I’d like a variable optic in the 32 to 35 X range which likely requires new mounts as well.


    Wants for the optic are side adjustable parallax, first focal plan, reticle in MIL’s and if available, a zero stop turret.
     

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  2. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    "i'm getting ok groups around .4 MOA at 100 yards"?

    This is a very, very impressive group at 100 yards, but what is your goal on improving the quality and magnification of what you are using now?

    If your goal is grouping at a longer distance, say 500 meters, you already have some of the most expensive and quality scopes on the civilian market on your "modern" guns, the Nightforce ATACR rifle scopes ($3,000-$4,000+) so if you do not want to spend this much on this rifle, there is an alternative. Nightforce makes rigid one-piece mounts that combine with Picatinny Rail systems to allow the use of your scopes on more than one rifle. An option that then leads to other intrigue, the Coriolis Effect at long distance, the direction of the range layout, ambient temperature, time of day, elevation and humidity for longer range shooting, etc., the stuff that is way too complicated for me.

    Congratulations on a heck of a rebuild and exercise of your dad's L579.

    Side note, I sometimes use quick release mounts on a few hunting rifles that have similar sized actions to avoid having to buy scopes for each individual rifle that require a couple of shots to verify POI, but then I am not in the competition style shooting arena. My 2 cents.
     
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  3. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    Spaher, thank you for your response. I actually have aids that take the Coriolis effect into account when shooting some events. I use a Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 BDX laser range finder that has a version of the Applied Ballistics trajectory software built in. However, I connect it to my Kestrel 5700 AB Elite meter that monitors dozens of environment conditions including wind and applies the full version of the Applied Ballistics software integrating custom cartridge/bullet profiles specific to each gun/cartridge combination. (Shown here with my .224 Valkyrie gas gun).

    Thank you for your kind words on restoring my father’s L579.

    I’m not a fan of quick change mounts having only one used on my LWRC M6 5.56 carbine rifle which with an Aimpoint Comp5s Red Dot is no tack driver.

    The LWRC M6 carbine shows my only quick release scope mount along with a Surefire XL 400 Ultra weapon light/laser with remote switch. Trigger performance handled by Trigger Tech Diamond adjustable trigger.

    The group above was shot with reseated factory Hornady 108 gr ELD Match ammo which like all factory ammo has a wide velocity spread. The day that group was shot, the ED (extreme deviation) was 131 fps with an average SD (standard deviation) of 65 fps. My handloads developed with temperature insensitive powder using Quickload to help select powders with the proper burn rate, case capacity etc. is really a great tool. My goal with developing handloads is to get groups at 100 yards below .25 MOA. With my modern bolt guns we are near the zero club or less than .1 MOA at 100 yards, zero being .099999 or better.

    At longer distance the SD should be in the 3 to 5 fps and an ED of 10 fps or below if you want to reduce vertical stringing.

    Pictured are books I’ve found of interest as well. The books by Applied Ballistics were an eye opener for someone that has been around guns all his life. I’m now being mentored by a friend heavily involved in PRS competition and these boys have taken precision shooting to another level in ways I’ve not imagined.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  4. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    Pictures from the range breaking in the new Hawk Hill barrel with reseated factory Hornady 108 gr ELD Match ammo. OK groups with factory ammo, but expect more from the rifle with handloads.

    The targets are 3 inches in diameter and the red bulls eye is .5 inches in diameter.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
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  5. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Bruce. It was a pleasure for me to read your approach toward perfection in shot placement. This much involvement is beyond my needs but never the less an impressive presentation for those that are just beginning the trials of hand loading for precise POI. The aids that you are using will generate great interest in those that want to improve their ability. Those aids also solve some of the infinite obstructions of bullet flight between muzzle and POI. Very interesting and informative. Thank you. Sakojim.
     
  6. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    Bruce, I am now more than impressed with your 5 shot quest/goal of .25 MOA at 100 yds.

    This is way out of my comfort zone and do not want to catch the bug as I'll probably be disappointed, but would like you to keep us informed of what and how you do this. Congrats, again.

    Revisiting the Nightforce mounting system, their literature has a third crossbolt system to add greater stability found or needed in competition bolt action rifles. The quick release system I was thinking of was not the AR style design use or dot systems that would not serve your purposes as they can be sloppy whose purpose is removing and replacing on the same weapon with inconsistent POI's. The distinction I was trying to make was the sharing of the same scope on different rifles for economy purposes. Sometimes I have used the Leupold quick release bases and mounts to "share" scopes where 1" groups work for hunting as I feel I get a solid mounting platform and just keep a record on differences of POI for each rifle and then verify changes by sighting in after the scope swap.
     
  7. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    After looking around I feel the Nightforce NX8 4-32X50F1 with a Tremor3 reticle with the Sako ringmounts is the way to go. Currently I'm running Nightforce ATACR series optics for my modern guns, but at $1,700 less I'm going to try an NX8. If the optic does not perform well enough which I believe it will I can always find a rifle in the safe to put it on.
     
  8. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    Great plan, I bet it works plus now scope for new rifle if doesn’t. LOL

    Totally different but check out topic “Sako rifles as intended, in field” for a .22LR exercise @50,100 & 200 yds. Video. Page 6. Criticism welcome…
     
  9. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    Impressive.
     
  10. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    thanks, Fun Practice.
    Next time with less wind I will actually concentrate on consistent POI rather than just speed.
    Winchester ballistics on this bullet wrong but not much out there for 200 yards with 22 LR.
    Shoot straight
     
  11. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    I’m glad you found my pending reloading experiments of interest. You’ll find there are a limitless number of perspectives on reloading, what is both worthwhile and unnecessary, but keep in mind there is also a wide array of shooter expectations that need to be considered.

    Hunters typically don’t like heavy rifles with long barrels and select bullets for impact performance, while target shooters look for precision. Within target shooting you have but not limited to plinkers, PRS, F-Class and Benchrest shooters, all having their own unique set of performance criteria. While some share a few common criteria, one of a few could be consistency where velocity standard deviation and extreme spreads are held much tighter than any factory ammo can produce.

    However, shooting PRS where you are shooting steel plates of varying sizes at ranges from 200 to 1,200 yards under time constraints will not require the level of case prep as someone shooting benchrest or possibly F-Class. The PRS shooter will shoot 200+ rounds that day in competition plus sighting shots while the bench rest shooter will be a fraction of that.

    Where .5 MOA may be acceptable in PRS, it would not be competitive in benchrest of F-Class and the equipment and steps in load development will most likely vary considerably. By way of example, for my modern precision bolt rifles a brief overview of the reloading process would be tumble brass to clean, anneal brass (Amp annealer), full length size with custom made dies (https://www.whiddengunworks.com/custom-reloading-dies/) made from once fired brass from that specific rifle (chamber), reform primer pockets with 21st Century Primer pocket Uniformer unless using Lapua or Alpha munitions brass, measure primer pocket depth with Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator (https://bullettipping.com/products/seating-depth-comparator/), measure primer height with dial micrometer with stand, seat primer to .004 below case head with a .001 primer crush, check case and neck for concentricity, confirm neck wall thickness and concentricity using powered neck turning lathe and various mandrels, seat primers with 21st Century Super Precision hand priming tool (best feel of any seating device), trim cases to .001 tolerance using Henderson Gen 3 powered case trimmer (https://hendersonprecision.com/product/gen-3-powered-case-trimmer/), use precision bullet seating dies with built-in micrometers or seating die/press with pressure seating gauge, confirm case base to ogive (CBTO) and base to ogive (BTO) for bullets after sorting cases and bullets by weight and case volume. Use Quickload software to select the appropriate power for your cartridge, bullet and barrel length, check bullet selection with a bullet stabilizer calculator like the one from Berger Bullets to confirm bullet weight is appropriate for your barrel twist rate and length which impacts velocity. Conducting velocity node testing and then move onto freebore testing to determine precision.

    Precision handloading is about consistency and I use an A&D FX-120i scale and Auto Tricker connected to an APC Smart-UPS power supply to deliver clean stable power with can drop a 40 grain charge in 9 or 10 seconds with an accuracy resolution of .02 grains. Check out video review here. https://www.whiddengunworks.com/custom-reloading-dies/ By the way, Gavin at the Ultimate Reloader is a great site for reviews.

    For precision reloading at F-Class or benchrest, you may wish to use a quality single stage press, but for PRS where you need more ammo, a good progressive press is useful.

    This is an endless topic, so the above was my brief narrative on some of steps and equipment used in my reloading.

    Other sites you may find of interest.

    https://erikcortina.com/

    https://precisionrifleblog.com/

    https://www.gordysprecision.com/

    https://www.snipershide.com/precision-rifle/

    https://www.accurateshooter.com/

    https://appliedballisticsllc.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC39nvRRBJ0HbJq7JfxMgsQg

    Berger Ballistics calculator https://bergerbullets.com/ballistics-calculator/

    Foundation stocks https://foundationstocks.com/

    Impact actions https://impactprecisionshooting.com/collections/actions

    Bartlein barrels https://bartleinbarrels.com/

    Sphur mounts https://spuhrwebshop.com/en/

    Nightforce scopes https://www.nightforceoptics.com/riflescopes/atacr#pm:{"limit":0}

    TriggerTech triggers https://triggertech.com/collections/bolt-action

    Lapua brass https://www.lapua.com/reloading-components/cases/
     
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