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SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
New rifle update

In addition to the 338 Win mag I aquired recently I've also gone ahead and stepped into the world of the 'black gun' and couldn't be happier! With predator hunting being one of my main pursuits it was only a matter of time. My hunting partner recently purchased a Rock River Arms AR and after seeing it and the accuracy he was achieving I could no longer resist. I've often thought that for coyotes it's almost a perfect choice for those situations  where multiple shots are offered. And, with the accuracy these rifles are attaining what more can one ask for? I actually purchased this from my pred hunting partners bro who doesn't hunt but is a ravenous collector of AR's. He purchased it thinking he'd get into yote hunting with his bro, but never really got serious about it and after less then 150 rounds thru it offered it to me for a very good deal. He had a collapsible stock put on it and mounted a Burris Fullfield II 4.5 to 14 scope on it which I received in the deal. The mounts are a little low for my liking to get a good cheek weld, but for now I can deal with it until I get some higher mounts. Other then that I'm sitting pretty good.  Got out yesterday after picking up some Hornady 55 gr V-Max and even though the wind wasnt helping (10 to 12 mile gusts) trying to shoot between gusts I was able to get 3/4 to 1 inch 3 shot groups and sighted her in 1 and a quarter inch high. Happen to be P-dogs on this property and caught one slipping showing himself while I was on our makeshift bench and after giving him a slight compensation for the breeze nailed him at a walked off 230 yards. 

The rifle is a Bushmaster V-Match with a match grade 24 inch barrel (I like the velocity advantage of longer barrels, but may get a shorter 20 inch upper down the road) and is a little heavy, but nothing I can't handle while walking the coyote country. I will now have to get some 223 reloading dies and get down to finding the combo this gun really loves in terms of accuracy and a good bullet for predator punching. I love my Savage Model 10 Predator bolt 22-250 but he's going to have some competition for awhile when I grab a rifle from the safe for yote slaying..

Here she is:

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AR & 338 Win Mag 004.JPG
AR & 338 Win Mag 004.JPG594.53 KB
AR & 338 Win Mag 006.JPG
AR & 338 Win Mag 006.JPG416.02 KB
AR & 338 Win Mag 013.JPG
AR & 338 Win Mag 013.JPG422.38 KB
SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Also got my 338 back from the smith

I took it in to get the butt pad replaced not due to recoil problems, but instead because I hated the old orange rubber pad that was on it. That was the only thing I didn't like about the rifle. I had even shot some reloads I made before taking it in going up to max loads with the 210 Barnes and 225 gr Accubond and was shooting from the bench with only a thin foam pad tucked to my shoulder and the recoil wasn't any worse then my -06 or 7 Mag. This is surely due to the weight and the straightness of the stock. I had my smith put a Limbsaver butt pad which should help even more. I really like how she's looking now and still plan on christening her on a cow elk hunt this year.

Here's a pic with the old pad then one with the new and some close ups of the fine checkering. I have my Nichols scope on her now but will be topping her with a Luepold Vari-X II as soon as I get the scope back from Luepold.

 

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
The wood on that 338 is

The wood on that 338 is amazing. I don't have anything with that much figure in it. Even though the recoil didn't bother you before you will be a amazed at the difference a limbsaver pad makes.

I entered the black rifle world a long time ago for many different reasons and varmint hunting was definitely one of them. The accuracy of all the new models is almost unbelievable sometimes for the price they sell for. Even my short barreled Ruger sr556 with a heavy trigger and cheap ammo will do 1.5" all day.

Congratulations on your new purchase and the upgrade to the old one. Looks like you gonna have a fun summer with that Bushmaster.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1946
Very cool SoCo !!!

It looks like you are becoming a "SUPER" predator ! Thumbs up That .338 looks very nice, but a little big for me ( I'm a wuss). Yes I am sure you will get it where it needs to be before a elk hunting trip.

When it comes to the AR platform I am still kind of an old school guy. Don't get me wrong they are great in both perfomance and accuracy. I enjoy toying with buddies that have them and burning thru the ammo, but it is hard for me to give up my 26" bull barrel and my bolt action.

I hope to see some dead critter pics with both weapons in the future !!!! Thumbs up

Quinton 

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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Might try 69 grain boat tail

Might try 69 grain boat tail hollow points over varget.  Berger, Nosler, and Sierra among others offer good choices.  The velocity is slower, but the B.C. is about as good as its going to get with 1:9 twist.

You have a lot of choices for scope mounts, I like the single piece mounts made by Rock River and others.  Burris has a line of extra high XTR rings that work well as well.  You might consider swapping the collapsible stock for a magpul prs or just a standard A2 stock.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Very nice!!!

Very nice!!!

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Thanks

guys!

Hunter25, I have a Limbsaver on my 7mm Mag and even though I use a small piece of foam folded in half I could shoot that gun without it off the bench and get by. It's amazing what a little weight in the rifle, a straight stock, and a good recoil pad will do to tame a magnum. The 338 should be even milder now. Thumbs up

Elkkill, I've been pretty much inline with you regarding my beloved bolts and predator hunting, but the allure of an AR for those occasions when multiple yote targets appear had been getting stronger definitely some times it would have helped drop some targets that got away. I guess I am turning into a bit of a predator hunting nut come to think of it. I've already got a 22-250, 243, and 12 ga, dedicated to the game and now a 223. Feels kinda cool to have a 223 as I didn't think I'd get one till now. I'd like to think of my self as a 'Super Predator' but still have have to get better at it (But we all know that's the fun part getting out there and getting better!). Regarding the 338 I've always been a lover of the classic wood and metal bolt action hunting rifle. Synthetics definitely have their advantages, but in terms of aesthetics wood and blue will always be my choice for a beautifull bolt gun. In terms of it's weight I've still got a few years I can still make my self suffer and endure it in the field then it'll be time to invest in an ultra light mountain rifle. The weight really does help in shooting offhand and staying steady though. I'll take a shot with a rifle that balances like this on a deer or elk size target out a little over 100 yds or more and feel good about it. Hey, also, Elkkill, I'm starting a thread in the Archery forum I'd like to get some of your feedback on due to your expertise there, thanks!

Bitmasher, good advice and right what I was thinking! I planned on going with at least a 60 to 69 gr bullet for the higher BC and retained velocity out at 400 yards if needed. Also, plan on looking at those Rock River mounts my bud really likes them as well.

Thanks again for all of your comments and feedback!

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
AR modifications

Well, instead of waiting to save up the funds for a shorter barreled AR upper (600 to 700$$$) or buying a barrel alone versus an upper (300 to 400$$$) I opted to cut the Barrel down to size. My smith said he'd do it for $55 as well as an excellent trigger job for $75 (breaks now at a crisp 2 1/2 pounds). This was a big savings and has my rig operational right now versus waiting x amount of months to save up big money. I also purchased a Bushmaster 10rd magazine and an ERGO Grip from Falcon Industries around 25 apiece. I also took off the Burris Fullfield II purchased a Weaver riser and put on my Nikon Prostaff 4x12 mil dot reticle glass on it. I went with a barrel length of 18 inches which I feel is a good compromise between a shorter 16in carbine and usual 20in hunting barrel. I feel this length will still retain good enough velocities for shots from point blank to 300 with the occasional 3 to 400 yarder thrown in. These mods have made it a much nicer, handier, and compact, rig to carry vs. how it felt with the longer barrel and low scope mounts.

I purchased some Ultra Max (not heard of this brand before) loaded with 55gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and sighted her in. This remanufactured ammo was giving me 5 shot 1 inch groups at 100 with the occasional flyer, 1 and 1/2 to 2 inch groups at 200, and 2 and 1/2 inch groups at 300. I sighted in 1 1/4 quarter inch high at 100 which put me on at 200 and about 4 inches low at 300. This ammo is bargain level not high end but loaded with Noslers BT's. I really liked it other then occasionaly it would throw a flyer out of five shots. I don't think that was me but maybe. I chronoed these loads at an average speed of 2900 fps. So, a bit of velocity loss over standard 223 55 gr speeds.  But still well within lethal and flat trajectory standards. I plan on trying the new Hornady Superformance Varmint ammo next which I hope will give a little faster speeds.

I usually don't hunt coyotes this late giving them time to birth and regrow new shooting crops, but two factors had me head out yesterday. One my landowner buddy's mom has had a few kittens go MIA as a result of high coyote numbers around her place and they wanting them killed. And, two, my burning desire to get this AR into the field and baptise her. After a bunch of dry stands I finally got some action on the bluffs above their pad and drilled one of the kitty snatching bandits. The shot was only fifty yards but that 223 planted it right there with a broadside shoulder shot. I'm really happy with the purchase of this gun and the mods I've had done and plan on putting a serious dent in the predator population next fall!

Here's the pics as compared to the original AR pics at the top of the thread.

PreviewAttachmentSize
AR modifications 004.JPG
AR modifications 004.JPG423.46 KB
First AR yote 003.JPG
First AR yote 003.JPG691.68 KB
elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1946
Looks like it works well !

SoCo,

It looks like it is performing well and congrats on the yote !!! Thumbs up

Quinton

970TBONE's picture
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Location: Grand Junction, CO
Joined: 04/01/2010
Posts: 83
Good shootin. Nice AR. I'm

Good shootin. Nice AR.

I'm still saving for mine. I think I'm gona go with a bushmaster predator or a R15 

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