This is the first installment of my rifle diary. This week we talk about my Browning Abolt 2 in .243 Winchester.
I have been on a bit of a journey with my old Browning Abolt 2.
In 2014 I bought this girl from new, money was very tight and it was the second purchase of rifle on my ticket the first being a second hand Browning Abolt prohunter in .270 that I needed for work.
The .243 even 6 years on is almost completely as I bought it.
Rifle new was £450, synthetic stock that is factory bedded and 24″ barrel .
Along with the rifle I bought a Atec .30 cal moderator and a Deben bipod.
The first scope to go on it was a Meopta Artemis 2100 7×50.
The aim of getting this was to use it mainly for foxing in the winter and a spare guest rifle for deer.
The journey started with the ammo, as I live in Scotland I needed to keep this rifle fully deer legal so it had to shoot 100gr. Bullets.
As I already reloaded for the .270 I knew if I wanted to get the best from it I had to reload.
After alot of experimenting with bullet brands and type I found the only bullet that it would group was either 55gr Sierra blitzkings (which were useless to what I needed) and the Sierra Prohunter 100gr, which was perfect.
I started my loads with Hodgsons H4895, but I was finding brass was not lasting long, reason was because the pressure for the H4895 was too much which was highlighted by my mate Gerald Delk, he advised that I needed to change my powder and while I was at it change my brass also. So after some research and Geralds help I chose Alliant Reloder RE19 and Lapua brass.
Testing showed fantastic results and taking my load .8 above the recommended 42.2gr of powder the brass was showing no pressure signs and the bullet was giving over 3000fps and still showing sub quarter MOA groups at 100m.
Now the ammo was sorted I had to look at the other faults I wanted to address, don’t get me wrong the pros of this rifle outweigh the cons but they still needed addressing.
First up was the rail, the rifle originally came with two ‘split’ quarter rails. Now replacing the with a full rail was a bit of a headache, finding a rail with the right screw spacings was confusing, Browning have three different options for the same model, even more confusing is that you would have expected the rail would be for a short action when in fact you need to get the long action rail, anyways Alan Horn helped me with that. So I replaced to a full rail.
Next niggle was the stock, the stock is thin specially at the butt end, cheek weld was made difficult if you had NV or a high mounted scope and replacement stocks are nigh on impossible to get and as a left hand shooter who uses a right hand action made it harder. So the fix was a cheap fabric cheek riser from ebay, bit of strap modification and it works a treat.
Next job was the trigger, the factory trigger was stupidly heavy at 4.5lbs of pull, easily fixed by an aftermarket Timney spring bought from Brownells, now pulls 2.5lbs making a less of a fight.
Then disaster struck, while the rifle was in transit back from the range the trigger got broke, thankyou to Mike from Brock and Norris and Andy Biddel they fixed that issue .
Last issue was the mod. I changed it from a .30 to a 6.5 rated mod and the noise has reduced massively.
This rifle has always been reliable, it has counted for a heck of alot of deer and foxes over the years and housed a lot of NV and scopes, making it the centre of many a review.
I have toyed many times to sell it I just cant so recently I painted it and it truly has made it feel like a new rifle. Let us not forget some of the Youtube videos it has been involved in during reviews and scope testing as well as hunting.
Tonight I done some distance testing at 300yrds and checked muzzel velocity after changing mod, speed is down a little from 3065 to 3025fps but thats ok SD is up from 2 to 3.5 but again am ok with that as the noise level and muzzel flip has reduced a lot .
Due to grass being long I did the testing from the bonnet of the truck, 3 rounds at 300 onto a approx 2 inch piece of tape 2 rounds touching must have pulled last shot though, still happy with the results.
Anyways this is the journey of my old Abolt 2 243, its amazing how one rifle can be involved in your life so much.
Watch out for future rifle journeys from the Tikka .270, Tikka T3x CTR 6.5 Creedmoor, The CZ 455 and the CZ 452. Keep Hunting, Fishing and loving every day.