I finally took the M25 to the range today. I had 100 round of 175 grain Sierra Matchking reloads, 40 rounds of Black Hills 175 grain BTHP Match, and about 18 rounds of Black Hills 168 grain Match. I used the 168 to get on to paper, then shot some groups at 200 with the 175 grain Black Hills for a baseline. Then I ran a couple of groups of the same ammunition through the 700 5R just to compare.
The best group out of the M25 was right at 2″ at 200 yards, strung vertically, about 1.5″ wide. The 700 5R did about as well, though its dispersion was more horizontal. I ran some of my handloads through the 5R to compare, and the group sizes shrank just a bit, but that rifle really prefers the 155 grain Lapua Scenar bullet.
Remember back in 2007 when I wrote that post on reloading? I said in it:
Once the case is sized and decapped, wipe it clean with a rag or a paper towel to get the lube off. Again, PUT THE FIRST CASE IN YOUR GUN TO MAKE SURE IT WILL CHAMBER. Either that, or buy a case gauge.
When I did these rounds I didn’t have the M25, and I don’t have a .308 case gauge.
Guess what? I didn’t size them enough. They fit in the 5R just fine. They stick in the M25 chamber just short of being in battery. And I mean they stick. I had to use my foot to operate the mechanism to get the cartridge out.
Guess what I’ll be ordering right after I finish this post?
I need new scope rings, too. I wrote LaRue Tactical about the rings I have, and was advised not to use them with the scope base that comes with the M25. That base, manufactured by Sadlak, has a groove down the center of the Picatinny rail to allow the shooter to use the iron sights, but the LaRue rings have an abbreviated engagement surface, and it only makes contact with the Sadlak base at its corners. I can already see where those tiny contact patches have worn from recoil. THAT can’t be conducive to accuracy.
I took the M25 over to Black Weapons Armory here in Tucson, Friday after work to see if I could find anything that would allow me to move the scope back another inch. They had a lot of options, but none of them would work. Everything commercially available has cross pieces spaced four, five, six, or seven slots apart, but the Sadlak base has slots eight, nine, and ten spaces apart. Right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m not taking it to the range again until I have new rings on it.
UPDATE: Solution found. It’s not optimal, but it’s acceptable. Sadlak’s extended rail for the M25 is (supposedly) available now, not in August as previously advertised. I’ll order one on Monday, and I have an order in for another set of Burris Xtreme rings now.