We are approaching mud season, but we’re not quite there yet. What does that mean? There is still a couple of feet of snow in the yard and throughout the woods but, unlike a week ago, it is no longer a solid surface of frozen snow over ice. Now, when I take a step and put full weight on my front foot, it breaks through the snow, through the ice and ends up in sucking muck that does not want to set me free. When I pull back, the rear foot becomes overloaded and it breaks through the snow, ice and joins the other foot in the sucking muck. And there I stand, rocking back and forth, making foot farts until someone gets the tractor, throws me a rope and pulls me out.
Wow! I could shoot this all day….
OK, the Performance Center T/C Long Range Rifle is easy to shoot. At 12 lbs with oversize optics and a recoil… pillowing muzzle brake, shots can be fired all day long without taking a toll on the shooter or anyone else on the firing line. Put on a silencer, and it is all focus on shot placement and none of the typical consequences of pulling the trigger on a centerfire rifle, at least from the backside of the recoil pad.
Setting up involved only dropping the bipod legs, setting the comb height to get my eyeball looking down the optical center of the scope and adjusting the recoil pad for my condition. I suffer from a little known medical condition called pigeon shoulder that requires a rifle’s butt plate to be raised an inch and canted outboard 10° to feel comfortable while squeezing off shots. Yes, I did just make that up, but it did draw your attention to the fact that this type of adjustment is possible for people who are pigeon shouldered… or any other type of princely shooter who needs this type of shooter coddling.
Accuracy and recoil were about the same with muzzle brake or silencer in place. Even with the sonic crack, sound levels were greatly reduced with the silencer in place but, ultimately, I decided to publish data collected with the brake in place as this would be a more typical shooting configuration. The same was applied to the ammunition selection.
I know that the Performance Center T/C LRR is made to shoot over the long haul…. 800 yards, 1000, yards. But this is New England where even 200 yards is mostly greeted with many trees and at least one granite based mountain side. We also don’t have exceptionally very long range competitive shooting. That does not mean we don’t have coyote and deer hunting across plowed fields or along firebreaks that cut through woodland and it doesn’t mean we don’t travel to open space settings to hunt and to compete.
All of the preceding takes us to the ammunition selected for evaluation. None of it is match ammunition, but rather ammunition a person with hunting on their mind might choose out of the 125 factory loads generally available for the 308 Winchester. Additionally, I did stick within the range of 15 to 165 grains favored by the LRR’s 1:12 twist rate with the exception of one inexpensive brand 180 grain load, primarily because it was handy when I was hoovering up ammunition from inventory.
Federal, Federal everywhere….
I believe I have finally gotten over my animosity toward the 308 Winchester, previously known here as the 30-06 Short. The truth of the matter is that the 308 Winchester is a fully adequate hunting, defensive and match shooting cartridge. Ammunition is inexpensive and it is available in the largest selection of centerfire cartridges. The 308 Winchester chamber is also available on a huge… that’s right, huge number of firearms. It is also available in a number of hunting handguns.
At the moment, the test barrel length specified by SAAMI is 24″, so even with a loss of 4″ of barrel, velocity drop to rating isn’t significant. The reason I say “At the moment” is because SAAMI specifications are dynamic and subject to change…. and they do. One reader dinged me for not posting cartridge drawings, clearly not understanding that information is sourced. Drawings are the property of SAAMI or CIP, standards organizations and, while the provide free access to the information, they do give permission to reprint. The reason for this is that it is subject to revision and do not want static copies of their information floating around. In any event, it is their copyrighted material.
Clearly, the Performance Center T/C Long Range Rifle can meet the manufacturer’s under 1 MOA guarantee. One thing a low recoil rifle can do, allow for the highest level of concentration when shooting off of a bipod with rear shooting bag support. With adjusted length of pull, comb height, contact and support was comfortable, even for my pumpkin size head. The brake kept the rifle returning to the same position after a brief and uneventful muzzle rise. II had one problem when shooting that is the result of my bad habit. When I shoot with a light trigger, I tend to press on the side of the trigger nearest to my finger. Consequently, I was not fully depressing and releasing the trigger shoe safety. After a moment to get my head screwed on straight and to refresh my memory of how to shoot, there were no further hiccups.
The barrel ran cool, open or suppressed, and the rifle barfed no noticeable gases or residue back down the chamber end. In fact, the rifle was very clean shooting. Looking down the barrel with a borescope, the 5R rifling picked up very little in the way of copper deposits and the bore cleaned up with little effort. The spring loaded plunger ejector took a little getting used to. My technique is usually to open the bolt with moderate effort and then catch the empties as they roll out a few inches. This one had me doing a little fielding initially, but that effort became routine and a little finesse dumped brass in hand. The magazine capacity is nice. I could load 9 cartridges to shoot three groups without reloading and I could run 2 sets of 5 types of ammo for chronograph final verification. Magazine insertion and release was positive and reliable.
The Performance Center T/C LRR reminds me I need to spend more days at a local range that reaches at least 300 yards, and where other gun guys hang out and talk firearms. It would also make a heck of a handload development rifle for all of its stability and consistency of performance. Nice rifle, not a bad price and excellent performance.