It was the last day of October, a nice fall Sunday, when we began testing the rifle at the National Shooting Grounds in Colle Val d’Elsa.
Riccardo Ranzani decided to start using an Anschutz 6805 diopter with 10 clicks and a Centra Score front sight tunnel, all mounted on Centra Club elevation blocks.
The rifle needed a rigorous sequence of rounds to be properly broken in. Riccardo followed the instructions he received from us at SABATTI to the T. He fired the first 10 rounds stopping after every round so that the rifle could be cleaned. Then he fired a sequence of 5 rounds followed by cleaning and another sequence of 10 rounds and cleaning.
After the very first 10 shots and cleaning (Carbon Remover- Copper Remover – and Losso Paste), the rifle was zeroed in at 100 m. with competition loads Riccardo had prepared ahead of time.
Once the rifle was fully broken in, it was time for Riccardo to start some serious shooting at 300m. He began from the prone position, which generally gives the best indication of how precise a rifle is going to be. Riccardo said: ”The first thing I noticed was how simple the gun really was. Being used to free rifle shooting at 50 m (3×40 shots) and to the last generation of C10, firing a lightweight (5.5 Kg) and very essential rifle, where hardly any regulation or adjustment is possible, felt very different. At first, I was not sure how strong the recoil was going to be on such a light rifle in .308 Win., with 56-cm Multi-Radial barrels and a firing line extended by 15 cm. I was concerned that the recoil would be heavy”.
Riccardo shot the first test rounds using the Lapua Scenar 167 grain, which the FS immediately seemed to like. Riccardo added: ”Despite being brand new, the action quickly became smooth to close and chamber; actually it felt smoother than my free rifle (that features the same 308 W action, but 69-cm barrels with a diameter of 28mm)”.
Riccardo’s rifle features a Sabatti Three-Lever Match trigger, which we set at 1.5 Kg at the factory, as prescribed. This is what Riccardo had to say about it “I generally use lighter trigger pulls, from 100 g. lighter in the C10 and CL to 450 g. lighter in the free rifle at 300 m. Shooting a 1.5-kg trigger pull with no pre travel felt definitely different”.
The first few groups were shot just to find the position. This is what we saw: the first two shots were very high (see blue circle in the picture) with barrels that had just been cleaned. Then Riccardo started to adjust the clicks lowering the group and he also fixed the strap. He shot three more rounds and the group moved down slightly right of the 10 (red circles). Riccardo fixed the pad and cheek piece, 4 more clicks left and 5 rounds: the group was barely wide under the 10, on the left (orange circle). That was the position. Riccardo adjusted the strap one more time and, to prevent the groups from getting mixed up (there was nobody there to do the marking), he gave 5 more clicks up and shot 5 rounds without ever stopping to look at the target. All rounds ended up high and left with a nice grouping (see yellow circle).
It was a nice day of shooting indeed! And we cannot wait to tell you about the next chapter in this wonderful new adventure