• Iowa Fox's .243 Match Pistol

    I masterminded this build after lots of conversation on the ride home from Wyoming in June of 2015. In July 2015 I ordered the action in a box for 2016. Finished weight had to stay below 12Lbs as I planned to use this pistol to shoot in the Hunter Class at the 2016 MOA event.

    After I received the new action I thoroughly cleaned it with Break-Free and lubed it well with TW25. I then opened & closed the bolt maybe 2-300 times. Wow this thing turned out exceptionally smooth, I was surprised.

    The stock was the next item on the list. Pistol stocks for a Savage action are extremely hard to find and expensive, especially if you go with a chassis. The 7 Fingers weighed to much to stay under 12lbs finished. I decided to use a Choate rifle stock and cut the butt section off with a hacksaw. I was going to shorten the forend as well but my wife talked me into leaving it full length. She said it will steer better off the bi-pod, and as always she was right.

    With a weight of the stock and action established I needed a barrel. I called McGowen but they did not offer 1-7.5 twist in 6mm, nor did they chamber for the 243 match. After a lot of looking and shopping I called Jim Briggs at NSS whom I had never spoken to before. Everything was good but we couldn't come up with a barrel weight. I sent an email to Criterion and they promptly got back to me with with a best guess which turned out to be on the ounce when I received the barrel. Jim really helped me with the small details while we built the barrel order form. I'm surprised he put up with me, I hope he sees this picture just so he knows how it turned out.

    Next after a lot of shopping for brakes I decided to get one of Ross' which was $35 shipped. I head spaced the barrel to the action and my wife and I used masking tape on 3 locations around the barrel so we could index top center using the tapped holes in the action for the scope base. I boxed the barrel & brake sending them to Chris at Bayside Custom Gunworks. I had them back in a week with a beautiful job of machining.

    We reassembled the barrel and brake to the action, then into the shortened stock with the full length aluminum block. Weight on the kitchen scale was looking good.

    I ordered a 6-24 FFP Vortex on Feb 8 with my military discount. Thanks Vortex for remembering us old guys. Well, that one didn't arrive in time so I found a 4-16 FFP Vortex. The 6-24 arrived a few hours before we drove out of the yard leaving for Wyoming. I went to mount the Vortex in the XTR rings which I had for a couple months and took a sucker punch. The rings were the correct 30mm but the tray underneath had 1" inserts. I was really starting to run out of time now. A panic call to Burris and the guys had a set of 30s in the mail. Now it was time to work up some loads and hit the range. After trying several powders I settled on HV-100 with 105 Hornady match bullets.

    After a year I just barely finished in time to pack for the trip.





    Build Specifications
    Base Action/Rifle:
    Savage Precision Target Action
    Cartridge .243 Match
    Barrel: Criterion 15" Light Varmint Contour
    1-7.5" Twist; 11-degree target crown
    Muzzle Device: Ross Muzzlebrake
    Stock: Modified Choate Varmint
    Trigger: Target AccuTrigger @ 6-oz.
    Optics: Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50mm FFP
    XLR Reticle
    Optic Accessories: EGW Zero MOA Picatinney Rail
    Burris 30mm XTR Signature Rings
    Bipod: Harris 6-9" Swivel
    Total Weight: 11lb-6oz.
    Gunsmithing: Muzzlebrake Installed & Indexed




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