Mike's Reloading Bench

Engineered Solutions
for today's reloader

   After looking all over the internet for a Savage 12 Benchrest in 6mm br I finally ended up buying one from GrabAGun in Coppell Texas.  It was the last one they had so I grabbed it and had them ship it to a friend of mine in Garland who has an FFL.  Paul also owns the packaging company that makes my shipping cartons for the MRB Annealer I sell so that is quite handy. 
  During my search I discovered a pretty wide range of prices for the same gun but in reading the fine print dealing with shipping and credit card fees not to mention the nondescript "handling" charges some places collect they're all really pretty close.  My hope was to find one from a reputable dealer outside my state so I wouldn't have to pay sales tax but it didn't work out that way.  The place that had the best price was in the Phoenix area but I couldn't get anyone to pick up the phone after being greeted with a recorded message.  If they won't even answerer the phone to make a sale I can only guess how great the customer service would be.  Buyer beware.  Used to be that I was quite adamant about buying local but in these times I think that's getting harder and harder to do.  I work hard for my money so I try to spend it wisely and frankly the guy with the best price and service wins no mater where he is.  I don't like it, but that's just how it is days.
So, here is my new Savage 12 Benchrest rifle.  Can't wait to get started on it. 
 Also decided on the Sightron S lll 10 x 50 x 60.  I figured at my age I can use all the help I can get.  I would much rather have to dial the magnification down than to wish I had more.  It's a minor difference in price so kind of a no brainer.  It has the MOA -2 reticule which is very similar to the EBR reticule in my Vortex PST.  Tactical Wholesalers had a good price on them so it's on the way.  My buddy Ron had an extra set of Vortex rings so between them and a Ken Farrell 20 MOA base I should be all set.
  Hopefully by the end of this week everything will be here and I can get started putting it all together.  Also been thinking about a Rifle Basix trigger but I think I'll wait and see how I like the Accutriger before I spend another $180.00 bucks.
  I also ordered some dies as I didn't have any and they should be here by weeks end also.  I've had a box of Lapua brass lying around for almost three years so now I will finally get to place it into action.  Let the fun begin!
  Y'all come back now, ya hear.

Bringing out the Savage in me Continued

Welcome to the Armory Clubhouse

  OK, picked up my new toy last Friday. The scope, sunshade, dies and scope mounting rail all showed up on Saturday so time to start the new adventure.
  First observations on the rifle were that the laminate stocks' finish was quite good with no visible sanding scratches that I could see. I'm kind of a stickler for that as I used to be a custom guitar builder in another life and on more than one occasion I had to start over on a finish because of visible scratches after the finish was applied. Trust me, that is a real bummer. The machining of the ventilating slots on the sides of the forearm needed some straightening up and a good sanding to remove the raised grain inside them. My guess is that they need to change their cutting tools a little more often. The fit of the barrel channel is excellent and so is the receiver area however there is an abundance of space for the recoil lug but that will become a non-issue as I am going to bed the action.
  The bead blasted finish on the stainless barrel and the receiver is a bit more coarse than I would like but it's OK. There are some minor stains of some description at the muzzle and on the right side of the receiver but no big deal. I tried removing them with lacquer thinner and some oil but to no avail. I'm not upset about it because I plan on polishing everything after I see how the gun shoots. If the factory barrel shoots I'll polish and keep it. If not then I'll replace it with an aftermarket barrel which will be polished.
  One of the things I found upon disassembly of the rifle was that the three action screws are way shorter than they should be. On this gun, only TWO threads were engaging the holes in the receiver! This is not even close to being acceptable. Even with the inletting for the trigger guard being about 0.060" deeper than it needed to be, the rear action screw still only had about two threads engaged. A trip to Elliot's hardware in Plano, TX rendered the required 1/4-28 button head machine screws I will use to remedy this problem.
  Another problem arose during the test fitting of the scope mounting rail when I discovered I could not get the rear-most screw to start. The other three started but were a bit snug however they did screw in OK. I could not see any damage to the threads in the rear hole so I decided the best course of action would be to chase the threads with a tap. Why would anyone choose a 6-48 thread to hold a scope on a rifle is beyond me! I have a ton of taps but a 6-48 wasn't one of them. All I can say is thank God for Elliot's hardware in Plano, TX. I am now the proud owner of two American made 6-48 taps for the grand sum of $5.00 plus tax! MSC wanted $40.00 each! Anyway, the tap worked fine and the rail is now securely installed. Savage needs to really rethink their hole size selection on this deal. I wonder how many receivers they scrap because of a tiny little 6-48 tap breaking during manufacturing.
  The target Accutrigger is not to shabby. After reading the owner's manual that came with the gun paying particular attention to the section on the Accutrigger I decided to try and adjust it and see how that worked out. The first thing I discovered is that the instructions for the pull weight adjustment are wrong in that they have their clockwise and counter-clockwise directions reversed. After figuring that out I was able to reduce the pull weight from 1 lb 12 oz to 8 oz. Repeated pulls with the scale showed very good repeatability. The trigger is very crisp and has no creep or over-travel. I am quite happy with it so far.