So I did a thing yesterday...

mmeehan97

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I'm new around here, but been lurking for awhile. All the posts/threads/knowledge you guys share greatly influenced my decision to upgrade my rifle. I had an old pre-accutrigger Savage 111 in 7mm Rem Mag. I just really didn't enjoy shooting the caliber. I don't know if it was just the rifle, but it kicked like a mule. I'd get headaches from sighting it in. It had a whopping $60 Sightron scope on it.

In addition about 99% of my tags are deer/antelope tags. Takes 10-15 years to draw an elk tag here in SD. I wanted a rifle that I would actually enjoy shooting and I could maybe start working to really improve my shooting through practice.

I was looking at 308, 270, 7mm-HT. I thought any of those would maybe be easier to shoot, and could still handle an elk tag - when I eventually draw it.

Traded in my old Savage for $250. Walked into Scheels and they just so happened to have Howa in Predator camo with the Cerakote burnt bronze action/barrel for $499 - regularly $649. As soon as I picked it up I liked how solid it felt when I compared it to the Ruger American or Savage Axis. And it just so happened to be in 270 caliber - which seems to be a highly recommended caliber. Then they had Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x44 on sale for $419. Couldn't pass it up.

When all was said and done I walked out with a pretty slick setup for about $800 out-of-pocket. It's a lot of money for me - but I feel like I did pretty good!

I'm both excited and worried about taking care of such a large investment (for me). Any tips/tricks/suggestions for breaking in the rifle? Cleaning dos/don'ts? Maybe any upgrades you'd recommend? I know you have to experiment with factory loads, but are there any that you'd avoid?

I'd like to thank everyone here. The info I found on this forum has been invaluable. You guys rock!
 

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The Cerakote is a great finish. "Breaking in a barrel" is a bunch of voodoo in my opinion. Stick to quality ammo. Nosler, hornady etc. Learn the gun, once you find an ammo it likes shoot as much as you can to get comfortable with it. Also know how the gun shoots at various ranges. Don't go shoot a good group at 100 yards and hang it up until hunting season. 270 is a great choice good variety of ammo and low recoil enjoy her!
 

shaffe48

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I have a pre accutrigger Savage 110 with one of the light cheap synthetic stocks. I can imagine it would be quite a handful in a magnum caliper.
 

mmeehan97

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I have a pre accutrigger Savage 110 with one of the light cheap synthetic stocks. I can imagine it would be quite a handful in a magnum caliper.
Yeah I never weighed the gun...but it was also one of the light cheap synth stocks (I'd guess 7-8 lbs). And it was pretty brutal. This new rifle I weighed tonight...comes in at 10.2 pounds. I reckon: heavier gun, lower recoiling caliber -- it'll feel like a dream compared to shooting the old 7mag. And I'm 6'5" 280 lbs so I don't THINK carrying a 10 pound gun will hurt me too bad. Only time will tell.

Those Savages are tack drivers, though. I killed a lot of deer with that old 7mag. Felt a little sentimental letting her go.
 

cahunter805

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Great rifle! Congrats. I'd suggest shoot 1 shot and clean for the first 5 shots. Then 3 shot groups until your accuracy starts to fade.
 

Gerald Martin

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My next investment would be five different brands of 130 grain ammo. You will find one that your gun likes better than the others and that will be the "best" bullet for that gun. If I were pulling the boxes off the shelf I'd try to include a box of ammo with a Nosler Accubond, a box of Vortex with a Barnes TSX, a box of Hornady Superperformance with a GMX bullet, a box of plain jane Remington Corelockts, and one of your choosing.

To be clear, I'm not much of a rifle tinkerer, I find something my gun likes and tend to stick with it for the long haul. I do prefer to shoot a premium bullet for everything including deer and antelope. If you find your gun likes a premium bullet like the Accubond, TSX, GMX, Partition, etc., you won't have to come back and ask if it's a good idea to hunt elk with "x" bullet when you do draw a tag in your home state or hunt elk in another state.
 

1_pointer

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Very nicely done!! I've read great reviews and have had very good luck with Federal Fusion ammo. For the price, it's worth a try.
 
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Great choice. .270 is one of the great do-it-all calibers, fast and flat-shooting and doesn't beat the hell out to shoot it. There are a zillion YouTube vids on breaking in a barrel. You'll get lots of theories and opinions on it. Larry Potterfield of Midway USA has a short vid on barrel break in that gives the simplest explanation for it that I've heard and he shows you some easy steps to do it. You should look that one up if you're interested in doing a break in job.
 

Ben Lamb

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My next investment would be five different brands of 130 grain ammo. You will find one that your gun likes better than the others and that will be the "best" bullet for that gun. If I were pulling the boxes off the shelf I'd try to include a box of ammo with a Nosler Accubond, a box of Vortex with a Barnes TSX, a box of Hornady Superperformance with a GMX bullet, a box of plain jane Remington Corelockts, and one of your choosing.

To be clear, I'm not much of a rifle tinkerer, I find something my gun likes and tend to stick with it for the long haul. I do prefer to shoot a premium bullet for everything including deer and antelope. If you find your gun likes a premium bullet like the Accubond, TSX, GMX, Partition, etc., you won't have to come back and ask if it's a good idea to hunt elk with "x" bullet when you do draw a tag in your home state or hunt elk in another state.
This.

And practice! Practice field positions, offhand shooting, etc. Comfort with the firearm is a bit of muscle memory just as much as felt recoil.

As for protecting your investment, don't store it in a case, keep it secure and oiled so there's no rust allowed to form and always clean after you shoot it. Nice choices!
 

mmeehan97

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Thanks for all the replies, guys.

I saw Matt from Howa say in a thread that the break-in procedures are a "guideline," and he cleans after the first 5-10 shots, and then just starts shooting 3 shot groups (cleaning between those as well) until he's killed a box of ammo.

I've got a box of Remington Core Lokt 130 grains. I've got a bore guide. I've got a Dewey coated rod. I've got some Montana Xtreme Bore Solvent (the guideline calls for solvent with some ammonia in it, and based on the smell Montana Xtreme should fit the bill). I've got the patches.

I'll for SURE clean the bore before I shoot the gun.

There seems to be absolutely no consensus on "breaking in" rifle barrels. I guess my question would be, can it HURT the rifle if I just follow Matt's recommendation?

I'm excited to get this thing sighted in, and start seeing how the Howa groups. I've generally been a "paper plate will kill a deer" kind of guy. But I have a feeling the Howa will be able to do much more than that.

I'm probably hunting antelope here in South Dakota this October...so if I could stretch out to 300-400 yards - that would make life a lot easier!! :)
 

elkduds

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There seems to be absolutely no consensus on "breaking in" rifle barrels. I guess my question would be, can it HURT the rifle if I just follow Matt's recommendation?
No. Just clean it from the chamber end/use a bore guide so the muzzle crown does not get damaged by the cleaning rod. Shoot slowly enough that you can grab the barrel by the chamber without it feeling hot. That is why you take other guns to the range.
 
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No. Just clean it from the chamber end/use a bore guide so the muzzle crown does not get damaged by the cleaning rod. Shoot slowly enough that you can grab the barrel by the chamber without it feeling hot. That is why you take other guns to the range.
Yep. I dinged up a .270's muzzel crown when I was a kid - I was cleaning it from the muzzle down with a segmented rod. The only firearm I'd ever cleaned before that was an old 12 gague.
It never shot right again. You have a bore guide so it sounds like you're way beyond where I was at the time. You'll do fine. You can still damage the muzzle crown if your rod is long enough and you nick it on the backstroke with a brass jag or brush. Just be careful about that. You will not hurt the rifle with a bore break in as long as you're cleaning it properly.
 

shaffe48

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I used an Otis thing on my rifle for cleaning. I also saw Cabela's has on under their brand name similar but cheaper.
 

mmeehan97

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Range Update

Including the break in procedure I've now got 40 rounds down the tube. These are bullets 31-40 (my last three 3-shot groups).

Please note I was adjusting my windage/elevation between these three shot groups as well.

Not grouping too well as of yet, but a lot of that could be shooter error. Still a dead deer! Shooting off a bench with front and rear sand bags. Second group is the closest to MOA.

I find the rifle extremely enjoyable to shoot. After shooting a 7mag for so long, the recoil seems almost non-existent.

Shooting the cheapest ammo I could find, Remington Core Lokt 130 gr. That might have something to do with the accuracy as well.

Gave the gun a good solid cleaning with Wipe Out Patch Out + Accelerator last night. Ready to try some new bullets.

Next I'll try Federal Fusion, then step up to the Barnes, Nosler, Hornady Superformance price range. Gonna stick with 130 gr. for now.

Maybe once I get 100 or so rounds through it the groups will tighten up.
 

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MinnesotaHunter

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Nice setup!

If you are open to some feedback, the horizontal stringing you are getting is usually related to shooting position, torquing your rifle to get on target, and trigger pull. All of which are things you can work on; which is good news because it means that rifle is a shooter!

Spend some time experimenting with your shooting/hand position. When at the range get your cross hairs centered on the bull and then close your eyes, if your cross hairs drift off of the bull your shooting position isn't quite right and you are torquing the rifle. Also, do some dry firing, and see what your cross hairs do when the trigger breaks. They should stay pretty steady, and if they are jumping around too much it would indicate some instability in your position or poor hand position on your grip.
 

okie_hotrod

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Don't be afraid to step up to 140s if you can't find a 130gr load, my 270 prefers 140s over the 130s in every bullet I've put through it except one: cheap Remington Corelokts
 
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I don't remember if it was mentioned or not, but you should also try Hornady American Whitetail. My wife's .270 shoots half-inch groups with that ammo.
 
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