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My Old Winchester Model 70 Part II Boat tails; the mullets of the bullet world...

August 1, 2021 One, or more, should not trifle with bullet selection. The four nominees for this project are certified trifled free.They were on the shelf, they work within their respective applications and… they were on the shelf. Where once “proven and reliable” sold, now “New! New! and New!” and “Better! Better! Better!” are the…

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Bye, Bye Miss American Pie Part II I handloaded only four bullets, so I made the picture bigger

My prior experience with the Remington Model 700 CP was with a 300 Blackout 10.5″ barrel version. The firearm was very good, but the combination was lacking. Supersonic velocity loads were short range deer worthy, but it is a lot of gun mass for thet level of power delivered. Subsonic, it was terrific with heavy…

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Savage’s Impulse in 300 Winchester Magnum Part 1 I have some work ahead of me

It looks as though Savage Arms, out from under the Vista Outdoor corporate umbrella, has a bright future with innovation and market expansion as the new company’s objectives. Savage CEO Al Kasper, who has been with Savage since 1996, would seem to have the best perspective on the company’s potential. I would guess that Savage…

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The 270 WSM – The best of the WSMs? Winchester's XPR Renegade Long Range Threaded

08/01/2021

I am pretty sure that life is lived on a sliding scale of intensity. On one side is tranquillity, as in parents/grandparents who live in Maine and do not answer the phone or doorbell. On the other side is controlled chaos, as in an eldest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter who live in Texas. The existence of both extremes is to be expected.

The first group lives in a predictable environment, with a good deal of latitude in determine areas of participation. Activities are generally introduced through necessities; food shopping, home maintenance, landscaping, auto repair, sitting on our respective asses watching Sea Patrol on streaming TV. The second group, corporate career tending and raising a very talented, very active teenage daughter who is entering high school, keeps life at a dead run.

What I find so amazing is how both life styles can coexist. Effortlessly, adapting, conforming and modifying routine to accommodate one another while spending time together. With tomorrow visiting family departure day to Texas, it will be difficult to retreat to a routine that does not include them.

Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR

Manufactured Viana, Portugal
Item # 535732264
Type Bolt Action – Short
Caliber 270 WSM
Mag Capacity 3 Round Detachable
Barrel Length 24″  5/8″-24 Threaded Muzzle
Rifling 1:10″
Weight – Actual 8 Lbs 8 Oz
Overall Length 44″
Stock Grayboe Renegade Composite
Hardware Finish
Perma-Cote Matte Black
Length of Pull 13 1/4″
Drop at comb 3/4″
Drop at heel 3/4“
Sights Clean
Scope Drilled and Tapped
Trigger – M.O.A. Adjustable 3.5 Lbs Nominal
Safety Thumb 2 Position
MSRP $1,099.99
Available in: 243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, 308 Win, 270 WSM, 300 WSM, 6.5 PRC

A long range firearm reflects  a combination of mechanical accuracy and shooter accommodations. In the case of the Winchester XPR product line, mechanical accuracy is achieved through the combination of quality design, quality materials and quality manufacturing process.Yes, that is a lot of quality. Shooter accommodations, both application suitability and aesthetic preference, are packaged in twenty different models of XPR. The XPR Renegade Long Range SR is one model within this product line up, tailored to the long range shooter.

A purpose made stock

The Grayboe Renegade stock is designed for shooting from rifle rested or prone positions typical of long range shooting. The comb is high to support a noggin positioned to look down a scope’s optical centerline. The palm swell, near vertical pistol grip provides stability of hold and offers maximum leverage and control for a trigger squeeze. The low cut neck allows the thumb to be an active participant in the hold. The undercut buttstock allows a shooter’s free hand to micro adjust and steady elevation and duplicating the function of a bench shooter’s use of a bunny bag and hand squeeze.

The wide, shallow beavertail forearm is an ideal support surface when shooting from prone and it provides a stable surface when shooting from a rest, backpack or similar. The two swivel studs accommodate both shooting sling and bipod. The Inflex recoil pad deflects recoil motion away from the face and comes with additional spacers to adjust length of pull.

 

The stock provides aluminum pillar bedding for the action and an integrated recoil lug locks into the XPR action, preventing longitudinal movement and the barrel free floats. The Grayboe stock is a fiber filled, solid epoxy composite, but still scale checks at only 3 lbs 8 oz. There is no foam core or aluminum frame. Subsequently, the stock can be modified to accept things like an adjustable comb, flush cups for QD sling mounts. The barrel channel can be modified to suit a change in barrel contour or to glass bed. The stock works as is, but some folks like to tune to an individual preference.

Details matter

Long range rifles tend to have large and relatively heavy optics. Under recoil, a rifle moves back quickly, but the scope wants to remain where it is. In that millisecond before the scope accepts it is going along for the ride, the scope mount, rings and a collective of fasteners are place under a good deal of stress. The XPR receiver is tapped for large 8-40 size fasteners rather than the more common 6-48 fasteners. The Winchester ejection port is open top, however, a Picatinny rail to allow flexible scope positioning did not interfere with single round feeding or ejecting fat WSM cartridges.

Controls are convenient, beginning with the slide safety and bolt unlock, which parallel the bolt shroud. The two position safety indirectly blocks trigger movement and locks the bolt closed when the safety is engaged. The bolt release allows the bolt to be open to clear the rifle’s chamber with the safety engaged. The oversize bolt knob is handy; no fishing for a tucked in bolt handle/knob that is made for hiking through brush. However, the bolt knob is screwed in place and can be changed.

The Winchester M.O.A. trigger is a good one for precision shooting, which coincides with long range shooting. A third lever, an actuator, provides component geometry that doubles mechanical advantage of the trigger piece , shortens travel to half the distance of a conventional trigger and preloads the trigger components. The result is no pretravel, no creep and no overtravel. Pull is preset at the factory to 3.5 lbs, however, there is an adjustment range of 3 to 5 lbs. Two set screws at the front of the trigger housing set trigger pull and overtravel.

The bolt, like the receiver, is machined from bar stock and through hardened. When surface hardening was state of the art, a little use would wear through and friction was handled by base metal. The three lobe design results in a brief 60° lift, the full diameter body adds to the bolt’s rigidity and flutes prevents binding gunk build up in heavy use. The slick, corrosion resistant coating is nickel Teflon. Again, details, but the bolt can be disassembled without special tools…. that I have a tool box full of. The sliding extractor grips firmly and reliably. The ejector plops empties out without launching them into the next county.

A little better view of the stock contours from the bottom side.

The trigger guard and magazine are polymer, will not rust and will no doubt feed more reliably than metal pieces over the long haul. The magazine stacks cartridges straight up and down and serves them up from the center. The magazine holds 3 WSM rounds and magazines can be preloaded and stowed in jacket pockets… or shirt pockets… pants pockets work also.

The 24″ barrel has a sporter contour, rather than a boat anchor weight some manufacturers insist on hanging on anything listed as “long range”. The barrel, like the receiver and bolt handle are finished in Perma-Cote; high abrasion and corrosion resistance and non glare. The barrel has a target crown and 5/8-24 threads to accommodate a variety of muzzle devices. In this case a SilencerCo Omega 36M modular silencer.

 

The silencer was invented to curb firearm report, at a time when population density was increasing. I use them all of the time these days. My ears love them, my distant neighbors love them and active area hunters love them. In this case, the Omega 36M went from 300 Winchester Magnum to this 270 WSM application and seriously dampened noise without shedding velocity.

Pictured left, L-R, 270 Winchester, 270 Winchester Short Magnum and 270 Weatherby Magnum.The 270 WSM is one of my favorite high velocity big game cartridges. It is flat shooting, moderate recoiling and lethal on even large bodied game. Compared to the also excellent 270 Weatherby, the average price of WSM ammo, in comparison to the average price of Weatherby ammunition, makes WSM almost a budget round to shoot.

Factory ammunition bullet weight distribution between the 270 WSM and 270 Winchester is currently about the same; 120 grains to 150 grains. Same ammo type and weight typically gives the WSM a 260 to 300 fps edge. For the handloader, setting aside bullets intended for the 6.8 SPC, bullet weights range from 90 grains to 180 grains.

270 Weatherby brand ammunition, bullet weight for bullet weight, shows a 100 to 250 fps advantage over the 270 WSM. However, while all three noted 270 cartridge have a SAAMI homologation calling out a 24″ test barrel, Weatherby ammunition ballistics are based on a 26″ test barrel consistent with their Weatherby Mark V firearms.

Factory ammo or handloads…

I don’t shoot very much factory ammunition these days. Ammo is over prices, availability is not great, so I would rather handload for my purposes with components of choice. I this case, a selection of bullets and loads I often use for 270 WSM firearms.

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These are maximum loads in my firearms and may be excessive in others. All loads should be reduced by 5% as a starting point for development where cartridges have greater than 40 grains in capacity and 10% for cartridges with less than 40 grain capacity following safe handloading practices as represented in established mainstream reloading manuals. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation.

 

Cartridge – 270 Winchester Short Magnum
Firearm Winchester XPR
Barrel Length 24″
Min – Max Case Length 2.100″ +0.000″/-0.020″
Min – Max COL 2.560″ – 2.860″
Primer CCI 250
Bullet Diameter 0.2780″ +0.000″/-0.0030″
Reloading Dies Hornady
Bullet Type  Bullet
Weight
Grains
Net H2O
Grains
Capacity
COL” Powder
Type
Powder
Charge
Grains
Muzzle
Velocity
fps
Muzzle
Energy
ft/lbs
100 Yard
3 Shot
Group ”
Barnes Triple Shock
130 71.2 2.830 Re23 66.5 3275 3097 0.7
Barnes Triple Shock 130 71.2 2.830 Mag Pro 74.0 3293 3131 0.8
Hornady Interlock SP 130 73.2 2.785 Win 760 61.0 3252 3054 0.6
Hornady Interlock SP 130 73.2 2.785 Hybrid 100V 63.0 3267 3082 0.4
Sierra GameKing 140 71.5 2.800 Re17 61.0 3212 3208 0.5
Sierra GameKing 140 71.5 2.800 Re23 64.0 3197 3178 0.8
Nosler Partition 150 72.0 2.850 Re23 63.0 3013 3024 0.6
Nosler Partition 150 72.0 2.850 Mag Pro 69.0 3049 3097 0.7

Overall

No surprises, and that is a good thing. Every Winchester XPR I’ve shot has pretty much felt the same, shot the same and performed admirably. The Renegade in 270 WSM is more of the same.

Savage’s Impulse in 300 Winchester Magnum Part 2 Pick a bullet, any bullet, but don't tell me what it is...

05/30/2021

In part I, the Savage Impulse was checked out with Winchester Superformance 180 grain ammo, rated at 3,130 fps and clocked 3,162 fps and Remington Express Core-Lokt 150 grain ammo, rated at 3,120 fps that clocked 3,261 fps.  The largest group shot was 0.8″, the smallest was 0.3″. Excellent performance, but not necessarily ammunition or bullets I would routinely use.

The 300 Winchester Magnum is a relatively flexible cartridge. For the handloader, it can be loaded down below 308 Winchester velocity levels, or loaded up to take full advantage of its large case capacity for long range shooting, and/or for heavier game.
Bullets pictured above: Barnes TTSX 130 grain, Berger VLD Hunting 168 grain, Berger VLD Hunting 175 grain, Nosler Partition 180 grain, Hornady ELD-X 200 grain, Hornady ELD-X 212 grain.

Handloads for the Savage Impulse 300 Winchester Magnum

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These are maximum loads in my firearms and may be excessive in others. All loads should be reduced by 5% as a starting point for development where cartridges have greater than 40 grains in capacity and 10% for cartridges with less than 40 grain capacity following safe handloading practices as represented in established mainstream reloading manuals. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation.

Cartridge: 300 Winchester Magnum (64000 PSI MAP)
Firearm Savage Impulse
Barrel Length 24.00″
Min – Max Case Length 2.620″ +0.0″/-0.020″
Min – Max Cartridge Overall Length 3.215″ – 3.340″
Primer CCI 250
Bullet Diameter 0.3090″ +0.000″/-0.0030″
Reloading Dies Redding FL

 

Bullet Type  Bullet Weight
Grains
Net H2O
Grains
Capacity
COL” Powder Type Powder Charge
Grains
Muzzle Velocity
fps
Muzzle Energy
ft/lbs
100 Yd
3 Shot
Group”
Barnes TTSX
130
83.7
3.340 RE 17
77.5
3592
3725
0.9
Barnes TTSX 130 83.7 3.340 Hybrid 100v
77.5
3614
3771
0.6
Barnes TTSX 130 83.7 3.340 IMR 4350
78.5
3591
3723
0.8
Berger VLD Hunting 168 82.2 3.340 Re 22 79.5 3194 3807 0.7
Berger VLD Hunting 168 82.2 3.340 IMR 7828 SSC 79.5 3187 3769 0.3
Berger VLD Hunting 168 82.2 3.340 Norma MRP 80.5 3222 3874 0.5
Berger VLD Hunting 175 82.2 3.340 Alliant 4000 74.5 3158 3876 0.4
Berger VLD Hunting 175 82.2 3.340 IMR 4350 73.0 3103 3742 0.6
Berger VLD Hunting 175 82.2 3.340 IMR 4831 74.0 3112 3764 0.4
Nosler Partition SP 180 81.8 3.340 AA MagPro 82.0 3144 3952 0.7
Nosler Partition SP 180 81.8 3.340 IMR 7828 SSC 78.0 3137 3934 0.9
Nosler Partition SP 180 81.8 3.340 RS Hunter 74.5 3102 3847 0.9
Hornady ELD-X 200 77.7 3.340 AA MagPro 78.0 3030 4078 0.8
Hornady ELD-X 200 77.7 3.340 Re 25 76.0 3008 4019 0.3
Hornady ELD-X 200 77.7 3.340 IMR 7828 SSC 74.0 2988 3966 0.6
Hornady ELD-X 212 79.3 3.500 AA MagPro 77.0 3005 4252 0.6
Hornady ELD-X 212 79.3 3.500 H1000 77.5 2937 4062 0.7
Hornady ELD-X 212 79.3 3.500 IMR 7828 SSC 73.5 2878 3900 0.5

The 300 Winchester Magnum is very straight forward to handload. Most of the notes I see in articles that are presented as unique approaches can be found in the first section of most reloading manuals; clean and inspect brass, trim to a uniform length, check cartridge COL for proper clearance from rifling, don’t drink coffee at the reloading bench, don’t forget to pick the kids up at school, etc. I am not mocking proper procedures for handloading. I am mocking the notion that they are optional or a casual suggestion.

Back to the Savage Impulse

The Impulse stabilized both light and heavy, short and long bullets with its 1:10″ twist. Accuracy, as noted on the load data table was excellent. Is there better accuracy potential from handloads other than those presented? Sure. I tend to shoot in a closer in environment so better than MOA at 100 yards in actually a good deal more than I need. Also, I tend to push for higher velocity, where backing off a bit might better serve accuracy.

The load data presented are those I have worked up for other 24″ barrel 300 Winchester Mag rifles I have worked with over time, tweaked for this particular occasion.

The subject Savage Impulse Hog Hunter held up well and looked like new after being flogged at the range. The only thing I would like to see is 7 lb, or sub 7 pound version. I am sure a good amount of weight reduction could come out of the barrel’s profile and length, in some non-magnum, calibers.

The Savage straight pull, barrel extension lock up design is stout, feed is smooth, extraction/ejection assured, and reliability is absolute. Can’t wait until I pick up the next conventional bolt action rifle and wonder why tugging on the bolt handle won’t open the action.