Copyright 2000 – Stephen Redgwell
This is a great idea if you come across, or are possession of, a rifle that is not original and cannot be restored. You’ll spend some money in this, but as you will see, the results are worth it.
Unlike 90% of home sporterised rifles, this job was done well. It is a tribute to the gunsmiths and the rifle’s owner, Mike Travis. He was smart enough to realize that if a proper job was going to be done, he’d need to enlist the pros.
Mike was nice enough to send me these pix and let me use them on the site. My congratulations to him and Ashley Outdoors (now XS Sights – www.xssights.com)
Well, here are the pictures, finally!
The basic action is a #5 Mk 1. When I found it in a gun store, it had been highly polished and blued, the rear sight was missing, the flash suppressor had been cut off and it was shot out.
The bore was dark! It already had the Ramline synthetic stock installed, and it had a B Square scope mount and a cheap Chinese scope.
I ordered a new barrel from Springfield Sporters. They only had 2 groove barrels ($20), so that’s what I ended up with. I also ordered a new, milled rear sight.
I sent the whole thing down to Ashley Outdoors in Texas and their gunsmith, Bo Wallace, did the work. He cut the new barrel to 19″ and gave it a target crown.
He also installed the new barrel and one of Ashley’s proprietary scope scope mounts. It is basically an aluminum ring that fits over the root of the barrel, and is affixed with Acraglass. The scope rail then extends over the barrel without actually touching it (except at the mounting point). Bo also installed a new Ashley front sight.
When I got it back, I installed a Leupold Scout Scope using Warne Maxima Steel QD rings. I also installed a Galco 3 point “Ching” sling and a Galco 5 rd butt cuff.
After sighting it in, some of my 1st groups at 100 yds were .75″ using Greek surplus ammo! This was repeated multiple times. The barrel seemed to be leading with an extreme amount of copper fouling, so I fire lapped it with a Wheeler firelapping kit. That took care of the problem. The trigger is still a bit heavy, but now that it’s hunting season is over I intend to have it fixed.
It’s a better shooter than I am. With Remington 180 gr. RNSPs, it hovers around 1 to 1 1/4″ at 100 yards. With Federal 180 gr. SP ammo, it shoots about .75″ to 1″ at 100 yards. I am still in the process of developing good handloads, but so far it looks very promising.
The whole package, unloaded, weighs about 8 lb – maybe a little more. The OAL is 38.5″ It holds its zero when the scope is removed and replaced.
The new Ashley front sight works great with the standard rear sight. Hits on the 200 & 300 yd gongs are a piece of cake with either the scope or iron sights.
Muzzle blast can be a bit fierce, but recoil is no problem at all with the Pachmyr Decelerator recoil pad.