Red Mist X, Field tests of the R93 Jagdmatch, R93 Semi-weight and S&J Gun Refinishing’s Duracoat services
A red mist hung across the valley, body parts dangling from trees and the stench of death filled the air…
My life long best friend, now a Captain for United Airlines on his first prairie dog shoot coined that phrase during Red Mist I. Red Mist X certainly lived up to it’s billing, without a doubt the best prairie dog shoot I, or any of the other particitants, have ever been on. We saw a ton of prairie dogs. If we had to pay a dollar for each one we killed, the cost would have run into the thousands. It’s a good thing that we didn’t have to pay for our misses- it would have been even more expensive!
The R93 Jagdmatch
Quoting from the Blaser web site; R 93 Match version for training and competition shooting is equipped with the fluted precision barrel of the R 93 LRS (Long Range Sporter) for maximum precision. The heavy barrel provides the balance you need for shooting without support”
I could not have said it better myself. Having fired over 4,000 rounds through my personal version of the Jagdmatch in 223 Remington, I am more impressed with this rifle than I was when I fired my first group. It wears a Leupold M8-6x42mm fixed power scope with a Mil-Dot reticle by Premier Reticle. I zero it at 200 yards with Black Hills 60gr V-max Moly ammo. It will shoot everything I have tried in it into less than a half of minute of angle and if I use my own 55gr Sierra BlitzKing handloads the 200 yard zero is the same as the 60gr Black Hills V-max ammo. With the six power scope and the mil-dot, the first dot down gives me a 330/360 yard zero with the two bullets I shoot most often. It may seem that my scope of choice is on the low side of the power range, but it has been my experience that if I can’t see the prairie dogs at six power when shooting a 223 Remington rifle, it’s time to go to a caliber more suited for the longer range.
My Jagdmatch stock was just sent off to S&J Gun Refinishing to be Duracoated. If you want a unique and super durable finish with a three week or less turn around, contact Shawn at S&J Gun Refinishing at 216-346-4242, or visit their web site at http://www.sjgunrefinishing.com. While you’re there, make sure you stop by and pay tribute to Brad D. Squires, Shawn’s step brother who was a young and brave US Marine (http://www.militarycity.com/valor/907847.html), who gave his life fighting for freedom on June 9, 2006 in combat operations in Iraq.
The R93 Semi-weight provides the shooter with a relatively compact and very handy rifle with extreme accuracy potential. It has been recently offered in fluted barrel versions that trim the weight by about one pound. Bench rest shooters have long recognized the advantages of a short stiff barrel for accuracy. With the R93 Semi-weight, you can get match winning performance in a rifle that can be used for big game or varmints at a weight that allows it to be carried easily all day.
For varmints and medium game, I chose the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser in my R93 Semi-weight. With the best groups coming from a load consisting of a Hornady 95gr V-Max bullet over a modest charge of VihtaVuori N-150 powder in Lapua cases with Federal 210 Match primers. It sends them down range at a muzzle velocity of 3100 feet per second and shoots into the .30 MOA range out past 500 yards in my testing. I was able to consistently hit prairie dogs from the bench with this rifle in light and variable winds past 500 yards. The limitations of my 3.5-10x powered Leupold MK4 scope limited my ability to acquire and consistently target prairie dogs past that range this year. I have upgraded to a Leupold VX-III Long Range 4.5-14x power scope on this barrel for Red Mist XI. I should have followed my own advice on scope selection from my previous BlaserPro.com article on scope selection for field shooting, () but I really didn’t want to give up the low power side of the envelope. This barrel will carry the Leupold Long Range scope for prairie dogs and a lower powered variable scope for big game hunts in the future.
Red Mist X was conducted north of Forsyth, Montana on several private ranches. It is nearly perfect prairie dog country, with few trees to disrupt the wind and prairie dogs galore. The seven shooters and our guide easily shot several thousand prairie dogs on this three day shoot. Great food, beer and companionship shared by all and enough dead prairie dogs to send everyone home with the proper attitude to face another year.