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Thread: M y First Axis XP in 243

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    M y First Axis XP in 243

    Just got home from Academy Sports. Got an Axis XP in 243 with Weaver 3x9 scope, Was on clearance, out the door for $256.79. Can't wait to get it to the range! Gotta work up some loads for it this week. Trigger is a bit heavy but, I expected that.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Got one in a 6.5CM last winter. Surprise was the Weaver. Thought it would give it up quick. It did not. Still as good as my Nikon Pro Staff. Go figure.

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    Good stuff GaCop! Love 243!

    Weaver had had an interesting go of things through several decades. They were actually a large supplier in WW2 to the forces. Things got weird when they said bye-bye in ‘84 & then were purchased by Blount ‘88. Blount outdoors was acquired by ATK in 2001 and ATK sold many of its optics lines in 2002 to Meade Instruments. During all of this is when Asian manufacturing was getting better & better. In 2008 ATK bought the Weaver scope line back from Meade. Funny thing...ATK never sold the rights to Weaver MOUNTS & continued producing them during these years. So in 2008 both mounts & scopes were under 1 roof again. Today Weaver scopes are solid lower cost optics.

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    Well, it was ATK. Now it is Vista Outdoors (since 2015 I think). ATK sold most of their outdoors products a few years ago. Interstingly, Vista also owned Savage until this year when it sold off the Savage line (don't know who the buyer was). Vista had to do that so that REI and some other outdoors stores would continue to buy from them. Their customers petitioned a ban on dealing with any firearms mfgs and REI, as well as a couple others, dropped the Vista Outdoors brands (and there are a lot of brands in their lineup).

    FWIW, at least until 2010 there was a guy in El Paso left from the original Weaver plant who would still work on the older model scopes. Have not been able to find out if he is still working or not.

    My Walmart special Axis II heavy barrel .223 had a Bushnell scope on it. It worked very well for an inexpensive scope. That rifle is now in a Boyd's stock with a Vortex Diamonback on it and it shoots REALLY well.

    Sent from my SM-P580 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Well, it was ATK. Now it is Vista Outdoors (since 2015 I think). ATK sold most of their outdoors products a few years ago. Interstingly, Vista also owned Savage until this year when it sold off the Savage line (don't know who the buyer was). Vista had to do that so that REI and some other outdoors stores would continue to buy from them. Their customers petitioned a ban on dealing with any firearms mfgs and REI, as well as a couple others, dropped the Vista Outdoors brands (and there are a lot of brands in their lineup).

    FWIW, at least until 2010 there was a guy in El Paso left from the original Weaver plant who would still work on the older model scopes. Have not been able to find out if he is still working or not.

    My Walmart special Axis II heavy barrel .223 had a Bushnell scope on it. It worked very well for an inexpensive scope. That rifle is now in a Boyd's stock with a Vortex Diamonback on it and it shoots REALLY well.

    Sent from my SM-P580 using Tapatalk
    I really don't care for the cheap plastic stock is has, even crappier than the Tupperware on the 10/110s. I too plan on replacing the cheap plastic with a Boyd's. Over the years, I've
    had good service from Weaver scopes and hope this Weaver will hold up. I'm assuming it's one of the Kaspas? I gave it a good cleaning yesterday after I got home and lubed it. Looking at the box label, it appears to have been made mid 2018.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    I must add that my Axis also shot very well with the plastic stock and cheap Bushnell scope. Since it fully broke in (about 200rnds) it has been sub MOA all the time. Much of the time it is 1/2MOA and when I do my job right it is less than that. The Boyd's stock adds enough weight to make it easier for me to shoot better. Same with the Diamondback. Neither has made the rifle that much more accurate.

    Sent from my SM-P580 using Tapatalk

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    I'm assuming it's one of the Kaspas?
    It is.
    Bought a Weaver V Series, Japanese, in Fort Smith Arkansas in 1989 and it is still going strong. Really good glass.

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    Gave it a good cleaning and lubed the bolt lugs and raceway. So far, have Remington 80 grain HPs loaded up with H4350 and Hornady 87 grain HPs over IMR 4064 for a range trip either tomorrow or Thursday to start the break in process. Checking the OAL of various bullets, I find the throat is a bit tight in this rifle.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Mine really likes 75gr V Max's with 36gr Varget COL 2.640" and 85gr Sierra Game Kings with 35gr Varget COL 2.620". 1/2 MOA or better if I do my part. Working with some Berger 95gr Classic Hunters and they look promising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTGV View Post
    Mine really likes 75gr V Max's with 36gr Varget COL 2.640" and 85gr Sierra Game Kings with 35gr Varget COL 2.620". 1/2 MOA or better if I do my part. Working with some Berger 95gr Classic Hunters and they look promising.
    Years ago I hunted deer here in Georgia with an old Ruger 77 in 243 and the Hornady 87 grain HP. The rifle would put three rounds into an inch at 200 yards consistently so I used that bullet exclusively for years. Every deer taken was usually bang, flop with the occasional run for 10 yards before folding up. I hope it performs as well in my Axis. Time will tell, taking it to the range today for it's first shooting cession. I will give the 75 grain V Max and 85 gr Sierra Game Kings a try to see how they'll do in the Axis.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Did the same with the 85gr Sierra HPBT on Coues deer for years also. That bullet with H4831 was very accurate and deadly.

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    Heading out to the range this morning for cession #2. Last cession, a Remington 80 grain HP over H4350/39.1 grains printed three into .628" at 100 yards. This was after some dismal groups prior to it that were caused by loose scope ring clamp screws. Groups tightened up along with the screws. Testing the Hornady 87 grain and Sierra 100 grain SP ProHunter today.

    As a side note. A few weeks ago I was visiting my brother in Wisconsin. He lives about 40 miles north west of Green Bay. I've been away from Wisconsin since 1965 and have forgotten how big the northern white tails can get. The smallest white tail I saw there make Georgia deer look like small dogs!
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Forgot to add. At the first shooting cession, I put 24 rounds thru the rifle. Cleaning it with KG12 Copper Remover, I noticed I wasn't getting any indication of copper fouling at all just powder fouling, even after letting the solvent sit in the barrel for 40 minutes. That surprised me as Savages, when new, are usually a copper mine.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    My .243 Axis really loves Fiocchi 95gr SST rounds if you want something quick and easy. Happy shooting...

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    Second range trip yesterday. Tested Hornady 87 grain BTHPs and Sierra Pro Hunter 100 grain soft points. Best performance was the 87 gr BTHP over 40.9 grains of H4350 yielding 2987 fps and grouped three into .853" at 100 yards. Best group with the 100 grain over 40.6 grains of IMR 4350 was 1.376". Velocity was 2911 fps. Need more work with the Sierra Pro Hunter. This second cleaning cession was a different story from the first. Got a lot of copper out of the bore this time for what ever reason. It still cleaned up fairly quick.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Quote Originally Posted by celltech View Post
    My .243 Axis really loves Fiocchi 95gr SST rounds if you want something quick and easy. Happy shooting...
    I'll have to give those a try, thanks.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Third Range Trip

    Just got home. Tested the Sierra 100 grain soft point over H4831 at 200 yards this time. Long story short, 41 grains yielded a 3 shot group of 1.538" at 200 yards. Definitely a load that needs to be played with to see if I can tighten up then grouping even more. Velocity averaged 2750 FPS. Temperature was a cooler 80 degrees with 90% humidity.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaCop View Post
    Just got home. Tested the Sierra 100 grain soft point over H4831 at 200 yards this time. Long story short, 41 grains yielded a 3 shot group of 1.538" at 200 yards. Definitely a load that needs to be played with to see if I can tighten up then grouping even more. Velocity averaged 2750 FPS. Temperature was a cooler 80 degrees with 90% humidity.
    I sure don't miss swampy weather like that. It might be 112dgF today but I can live with the 10% humidity because the weather report says it only feels like 111dgF. We might see single digit humidity later today if it ever warms up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prdatr View Post
    I sure don't miss swampy weather like that. It might be 112dgF today but I can live with the 10% humidity because the weather report says it only feels like 111dgF. We might see single digit humidity later today if it ever warms up.
    I hear that! When I was in "Assghanistan" in 2007 at Kandahar AB, day time temps would reach 125 degrees but humidity there in the desert was only 5%. I was a civilian contractor working in Force Protection. Best thing about being there was leaving in Jan 2008 and getting away from the nightly rocket attacks. The money was great but the country suxs, primitive as all get out. The summer weather here in middle Georgia is very similar to what I experienced in Vietnam.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    I recently ordered an Axis trigger upgrade kit from M*CARBO for $16. It arrived yesterday and I immediately installed it. Man, what a difference! Trigger feels like it's breaking at about 3.5 lbs. Much improved from what was about an 8 lb pull.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Turns out this Axis barrel is a "copper mine" just like any other Savage rifle. 100 rounds thru the rifle so far and it still coppers up heavily.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaCop View Post
    Turns out this Axis barrel is a "copper mine" just like any other Savage rifle. 100 rounds thru the rifle so far and it still coppers up heavily.
    How is the accuracy? I Don't worry about copper but then I just run a half dozen patched down the rifles to get the carbon out.

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    As long as it shoots well don't worry about the copper. I've only cleaned the copper out of mine once in 2000 rounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prdatr View Post
    How is the accuracy? I Don't worry about copper but then I just run a half dozen patched down the rifles to get the carbon out.
    I've noticed my accuracy start to fall off after firing 15 rounds. Giving it a good cleaning, the patches come out dark blue. 150 rounds thru the rifle so far. To speed up load testing, I started laying a wet towel over the barrel between shots. I've also noticed the clean cold bore shot is always a few inches away from the following rounds even cooling the barrel with the wet towel. Firing a few fouling shots before testing rounds still doesn't seem to help with the first cold bore shot being away from the others in a group.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    I've also noticed the clean cold bore shot is always a few inches away from the following rounds even cooling the barrel with the wet towel.
    The wet towel works especially well here were the humidity is in the teens and FWIW my 243 barrel, from a Stevens 200, does exactly the same on cold bore shots.

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