Jerry and I have been friends for about 20 years. He is a quality human being and one of the nicest men that My Shirley and I have ever had the privelege to know. He is a fellow NRA certified instructor, and teaches basic pistolcraft for up to three students at a time several times a week at our local range. He’s also my hunting partner, and as a matter of fact, saw my current dog’s first point before I did. Radical Lee von Dundee loves Jerry. We’ve also slayed a lot of Canadas together.
Jerry has taken some time off from the trap range and has a bug to shoot some rifles. He bought a Winchester model 70 Heavy Stainless Varmint in 22-250 about 15 years ago and never used it. He has tasked me with assembling a complete shooting package for him with target and prairie dogs being the main use, and coyotes second. This is a giant heavy barrelled gun of almost 11 pounds with a push-feed action and substantial fiberglass stock. The trigger is heavy but clean. I may lighten it or replace it. I disassembled the gun and cleaned and lubed it, polished any rough edges, removed some rust from the magazine box and ran some lapping compound through the bore. I don’t do too much polishing in a new bore, generally. I like to see how the gun shoots first. No tools are required to disassemble the bolt in a model 70, and I cleaned off the gummy old lube from inside it and replaced it with powdered graphite that won’t get chewy in extreme cold. I do this with most of my bolts.
There were money constraints, as well, like usual. I started with Burris 2 piece steel XTB bases and locktited them in like I always do. For rings I chose Burris 30mm XTR rings, as well as a Picatinny ring top so he could later install a laser,mini red dot, or flashlight if he wanted. This could be very useful for quick, in-your-face shots when a high-magnification scope is the only other sighting option. The rings were chosen after the scope, of course, and after a lot of consideration I chose a Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 with side focus and the new BDC reticle. This reticle is new for 2009 and is not even available yet, but Joe Hamilton from Vortex had one from a small sample batch he received for testing. Cool. The Viper riflescopes are underapreciated and a best buy in a quality scope with excellent glass and performance. The power ring is as smooth as you can get, and the audible and tactile windage and elevation adjustments are repeatable and crisp. There is an excellent zero-reset feature on the turrets, as well. Just pull the turret up when you’re sighted in and reset to zero without a wrench. I also wanted a 50mm objective lens because this is certainly not a carry gun anyway (or at least I don’t want to carry it any way) and the bigger glass translates to a larger exit pupil.
I also have to choose for him a rangefinder and bipod. More work to do, and I’ll keep you informed as we progress.