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Military Firearm Restoration Corner
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Model 88 Range Report

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Who ever it was that posted their Model 88 shot like a laser beam was right on. My indoor rifle range only goes to a maximum of 35 yards. It shot a real nice cluster about 2 inches below the point of aim. Can only shoot from a standing position at that range with only one pistol range being accessible for shooting off of a wheel chair. I steadied myself by leaning against the lane divider. I was totally thrilled to say the least after retrieving the target.

Only having a half box of 308 hunting ammo I only shot a single round of the soft tip and one US GI Nat Match. The rest I shot, apx 35 rds were 1960's Spanish Santa Barbra mil-surp. What I've read on the net about the Spanish NATO ammo. Pressure wise it is on the lower end, 42-43,00 psi compared to 48-51,000 psi for US GI. The non-corrosive, Berdan primed brass was loaded by the Spaniards for use in the CETME rifle with the H&K style fluted chamber. I felt a very slight reduction in recoil with the Spanish ammo but it printed in the same cluster as the Remington 165gr and the US GI ammo.

I was a bit clumsy with the rifle at first. First thing I got jumped on by the safety guy. I mistakenly opened the hard case with the muzzle in the wrong direction. As the safety guy watched over my shoulder. I Had trouble extracting the mag the was easily fixed with a few drops of oil. After I ripped open the cardboard box the Spanish ammo was in. The safety guy immediately starting asking questions about it. "Is it tipped", "are they tracers", "sure they're not armor piercing". I finally ended it by telling him to go ahead take a look at it.

The action works well when operated firmly. I very slowly racked the second round while I watched the bolt slowly backing out and ejecting the expended cartridge. While slowly easing in the second round it got hung up a little and a bit sticky chambering it. Afterward I firmly but not real hard, racked the lever and the action worked just as smooth as butter.

In summary I'm totally pleased, its a keeper. Many years of shooting mags, boomers like 35 Whelen, 45/70 and even 06 loaded with 200 and 220 gr slugs. This 308 is pleasant and painless to shoot. I now have some real motivation to make time real soon to get it to the outdoor range. I'm anxious to see how well it groups shooting bench rested at 200 yards. Guess I need to start by clearing off my loading bench and blowing the dust off my 308 die set that I haven't used in probably 20 years.

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