Congrats Sestoppelman on an exquisite rifle and if it should shoot half as good as it looks, it will be bug holes! I've had a romance with the 7x57 since 1981 and have found it kills all out of proportion to it's modest size.
Got up today, weather was nasty, about 40F, sideways rain. I thought hmmm, perfect day to get acquainted with my new rifle! Off to the range I went. Half hour drive each way.
I had a box I had loaded for sighter/fouler loads that consists of 130 gr SMK's with 40 grs of AA2520 that I just pulled out of my hat. This rifle likes them, put several in the same hole while doing a modified shoot and clean process. I wont call it barrel break in because I don't really subscribe to the theory however with a brand new rifle and barrel, I am OK taking it easy to start with. I did 3 shots slowly, clean with #9 about 3 times, then again but added copper cleaner to the process to get whatever may be there, which was very little.
I then tried 4 rounds of Noslers 140 gr AccuBond load which my Nosler M48 rifle doesn't like at all despite its reputation for accuracy. Well, sad to say this rifle didn't like it either, put 4 in over 2"! Use it for expensive sighters!
Running out of time now I had 4 rounds I loaded just before I left home using 46grs of Hunter behind the Hornady 162 gr. BT bullet. Put 4 in a fat one inch! I like this kind of shooting on a first go round!
So for the first time out I couldn't be much happier, looks like it will be easy to find loads for and it functioned perfectly in all ways. Mag holds 5 down though book says 4+1 but I wont tell them. I discovered something interesting that other owners may know. The floorplate when released doesn't open very far, in fact just enough to allowed the follower to start out. I thought that's odd, why do that? So loaded 4 rounds in the mag, dropped it, and I think it was by design. When you open the floorplate on many rifles, you can easily end up with your rounds on the ground or in your pants cuffs. This way, you have time to reach down and just push the follower out of the way and your rounds fall into your hand. So if that was the intent, its pretty slick.
Will shoot it again on Monday, unlike so many of the guns I buy, this one might follow me to the hereafter!
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...