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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my "Walking around" Prairie Dog gun at the January Indy 1500 show for a song, after settling on it and THEN not finding it for two months, except for $700+ on the "other" auction site...

$450 for a 20" Predator which I wanted, then found a Nikon Monarch 3x9 with BDC for $239 at a scope dealers table and I was in business....

But it has been a LONG journey...

At first, everything I put through it, from my AR-15 handloads through Black Hills and Hornady Match gave me at BEST about 1", with PMC Federal XM93 55 and any 62 surplus running 1.5 to 2"...

I was not happy, while my PD hunting buddies kept on me, saying 1" is an accurate rifle out of the box, you CAN make it shoot starting from there...

Well it's been a journey, longer than I thought it would be, but along the way I shot it a LOT and ended up learning not only the scope but also the Mossberg knock off "Accutrigger..."

Ladder tests with 4 different bullets, 4 different range times with what I thought it would like, looking for 1/2" at 100....and even though I got it to .80", I was not satisfied....and the .80' was with 69 grain Nosler Matrch bullets my buddy sent me to try.... none with any of the ones I had or THOUGHT it would shoot....


Then I switched powders and primers on a whim....Varget for H335 and Federal for CCI....and went back to the range....

ALL the groups shrunk, a LITTLE, but noticeably. But I finally got my 1/2"...from 69 gr Matchkings and I was READY for South Dakota this year...and found out no difference between the Federal and CCI primers...

UNTIL I got back to the shop "that will ALWAYS have them in stock" since the owner and a few other friends use them as the most accurate reloads in their ARs...

...And you guessed it, "Out of Stock":mad: And can't find any more anywhere....

So with only 50 of mine left, I needed another load. And less than 3 weeks until I leave for South Dakota!

I had 500 50 gr Vmax, but saving them for the Swift, a box and another for a few more than 100 60 gr Vmax (the bullet I thought this rifle would like but had no luck with so far), and a little over 200 52 gr Matchkings.

I loaded up for this weekend the 60 grain Vmax at 23.5, 24.5, 25.5 and 26.5 Varget for two three shot groups each, and the 52 grain Matchkings at 24.5, 25.5 and 26.5 Varget also.

Well, it has been a long road, but ALMOST 1/2" with the 60s, (.595") and .395" with the Matchkings! (The target actually says .495, but I was so excited I read the calipers wrong!;):p)

That rifle can shoot! And I am getting to like it more and more. I guess the "long road" is a good thing....I put more rounds down it than I thought I would to find the loads it liked, but it was worth it....more range time is not a bad thing when learning a rifle....

The top targets are my best from the 60 gr Vmax this weekend the best I can live with at .595", the bottom are my best from the 52 gr Matchkings...funny, both 26.5...

The funny thing, from a Harris bipod, with sandbags under the butt, the best group I have shot from my Swift Bull barrel M77VT is .385"...

I think the Mossberg may kill a bunch of dogs in a few weeks...;):D:D
 

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I'm not sure that I would have had the patience to go as far as you did, but I can see the rewards! Congrats on some good groups! And good luck PD hunting! I haven't done that in many years now. But it sure was a lot of fun back in the day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yeah, 3/2, I have never been a Mossberg fan either, had only shot a couple of 500s a couple of times, although never actually had any complaints, and I actually shot them well and had an old hunting buddy that shot slugs through his with astounding accuracy, even though his father and brother ran out an bought ones just like his and theirs never shot as well as his...;)

But I handled an MVP Varmint at a Gander Mountain late last year when I was starting my search for another rifle, and was almost ready to shell out $1000 for a Sako .222, and liked the way it felt and looked, they wanted $579 so it was right in by budget but I didn't have the money until January.

When I went back it was gone, and NOBODY had one, because it takes AR mags so it was caught up in the "assault rifle" frenzy too.

On the internet they were all going for $700+

I think the dealer made a mistake on this one though, last one, no price, and when the salesguy asked the dealer (his father?) the father who was dealing with 3 deep NICs checks, just turned and said "aw, $450" I said I'd take it without even looking in the box. In fact, all I had seen was "Predator" on the label, didn't know it was a 20" that I wanted until he opened it to show me after I said I'd take it. Most of them are 18.5"

But two dealers had the same rifle at the March show, and they both had $650 on them, so I think I stole it at that price.

You can see where they saved money on it, like the mag well and trigger guard are plastic (Ok, POLYMER,;)) and the neat looking (from a distance) "checkering" is just pressed...

But it is good where it counts, the aluminum pillars beds it nicely, the barrel is fully free-floated and that Accutrigger-like trigger is nice, adjustible but it was sweet right out of the box so I never played with it. I could probably make it a little lighter but it is nice and crisp, which is more important. They did a great job with it.

The bolt "wiggle wobbles" a lot more when working the action than my Ruger 77, but locks and unlocks nicely too. Safety and bolt release and mag release are just sheet metal, but also work well. And it does feed nicely so far out of any of my AR mags I fed through it, just doesn't lock the bolt back on empty with all of them, like it does with the Mossberg one that came with it.

And the fluted barrel looks good too, and saves a little weight, maybe that stuff about the flutes making it just as stiff as the full metal profile would do without a lot of the weight is true.

I think that accuracy in such a handy rifle for that price is a great buy, now at least.

When I thought it might be "just" an MOA rifle I wasn't so sure, but then again, MOA isn't all that bad for that price either, I guess I was just spoiled with my Swift and all my buddies' Sweet (and EXPENSIVE!;)) varmint guns.
 
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