View Full Version : Winchester Model 70 in 300 WSM with Redfield 3x9 Accu-Range is a Great Combination!

August 9, 2012, 04:25 PM
To say that I was very pleased would be a gross understatement. The best description I can think of is totally thrilled! I got this thrill from putting a couple dozen rounds through my favorite rifle today (October 2011).

I was hoping for some good group results today to confirm my load selection and sight-in efforts and got exactly what I had hoped for with a 3 shot 1.54 inch group at 300 yards! I also hit the small steel targets at 400, 500 and 600 yards using my scope to maximum potential. This really takes confidence to a new level.

I’m ready for hunting and feel confident I can do my job out to 400 and beyond if/when necessary and conditions are right. I’ve been shooting for 57 of my 62 years and can do pretty good at judging when things are right.

This is not from a rifle w/target-turret scope combination costing thousands. This is from an off-the-shelf Model 70 Winchester 300 WSM sporter weight hunting rifle and a $209 Redfield Accu-Range scope in Leupold QRW mounts. Total cost? Less than $875!!

I admit to using my own reloads consisting of Federal brass, Federal 215 Magnum primers, 72 grs of Hodgdon Superformance and the Barnes 150 gr TTSX (which this rifle seems to prefer). I have chronographed the load at 3245 fps out of this rifle. Safety Note: Although not a maximum load please consult the Hodgdon web-site (www.hodgdon.com) and be sure and work-up to this in your own gun if you choose to try it.

This rifle has pleased me on several occasions now. The first time was feeling the fit and finish and noticing the free-floated barrel (with recessed target-crown) when I bought it in late December last this year after I decided that I wanted a new rifle. Confirming what research I did online at the Winchester web-site (www.winchesterguns.com), the second time was upon cleaning/disassembly when I found the barrel was glass-bedded.

Also, and to my added surprise, the action was glass pillar bedded. This is not something I expected to find at the $600 price. As you know, this has the potential to greatly improve accuracy potential. Additionally, the trigger was adjustable down to 3 lbs or a bit less and this too would add to the accuracy potential of the rifle.

I was hoping to mount a higher-end Leupold 3x9 scope on the rifle but finances dictated that I spend only around $200. So, I compared a few in this price range and selected the Redfield 3x9 Accu-Range in 50 mm as the best choice given the features and the dollars I could spend (I also figured that I could make good use of the circle, dot and post hold-over points). Note: If you haven’t seen this reticle system you owe yourself a look, especially if you’re on a budget. The reticle is simple and works well as attested above.

I wanted a good solid mounting system and chose the Leupold QRW for the added flexability of allowing easy scope removal with return to zero. By the way, this works well and I’ve taken the scope off several times using this mount feature and it always
returns to zero. In fact, I recently took the scope of and disassembled the rifle completely to make one last trigger adjustment. Before and after groups were the same! This total disassembly was not necessary but I like to know my limitations as someone once advised.

After purchase, scope mounting and initial cleaning I moved on to break-in and load development. I have been reloading my own ammo now for over 50 years having first learned the “right way” from a close family friend and Life NRA member. Anyway, as I was saying, I bought some components and proceeded to load 50 rounds. The bullet and powder combination selected seemed less than important as all I wanted to do was to break-in the barrel.

A typical “shoot one and clean after each” shot regimen was followed for the first 20 shots, “shoot five rounds and clean after each set” for the next 30. I clean it after every three to five rounds now. Seems everybody has a preferred break-in or cleaning method and I can’t speak to others but this works for me.

I then moved on to working up a load with the bullet I had selected to try first the 150 gr. Barnes TTSX. This seemed optimal for the longer range (not extreme range) deer I hunt here in north Idaho and would be sufficient for Elk (given the solid Cooper construction of the bullet). The Hodgdon online loading data (www.hodgdon.com) was consulted and I selected a few different below mild loads and powders, loaded up some and headed to the range (that was in February 2011).

In the ensuing months I have loaded and shot a couple hundred rounds, tried several different bullets and weights by several manufacturers and have decided on the bullet I started with as being the best one to use this hunting season (more development next year maybe).

Why the 150 Barnes TTSX? Because, it is solidly constructed and has a .420 b.c. to help it shoot flat. Although I have no first-hand experience with how it performs on game, everything I have read and heard leads me to believe it will not only do fine but is likely an excellent choice. Besides that, this bullet groups into less than ½ inch at 100 yards and you already read my intro about the 1.54 inch 300 yard group. I think it will suffice.

August 9, 2012, 05:32 PM
Mac is sounds like you found a really nice shooter and for about $200 less than I can find Model 70's going for, good for you. I'll be awaiting your review of the TTSX's performance. I loaded some up for my cousin last season for his 7mm Remington Mag (150 grain also) and he took a nice big cow elk with one. He recovered the bullet and it was what you want to see from one, perfect mushroom.

August 9, 2012, 10:00 PM
Thanks Allen, I'm sorry to disappoint as I just sold this rifle...someone offered more more than I could afford to turn down. If I'm anything I'm just a fickle gun nut as my wife would testify. I replaced it with another new model 70 (imagine that) in 7mmRemMag (been shooting 'em since the late '50's and loading the 7mm since the 1960's and it's like old comfortable slippers). I put a Nikon 3x12 BDC on it and will be writing about this too once I have more perspective to share. This longe range combo is going to be fantastic!

Stay safe/Have fun!

NRA Life Member

August 10, 2012, 12:59 AM
Mac..I picked up one also...stainless/syn...300 wsm...I need to sight in and get ready....