Many of you have read my piece on "The Rock" - a GA Precision built rifle. That rifle was designed to be an easy-to-carry 800-yard weapon that could be stretched to 1000 yards on a good day. George Gardner and I came up with that one. This next one is all George except for the name. It earned that after I tested the weapon.
Long story short I was once again BS'ing with George and said what we really needed was a Rock that was good to go at 1000-1200 yards. George answered with a question "Have you played with the 300WSM?" I said no it looks like just a short lesser capable version of a 300WM. George said he could put it in a Remington 700SA and keep it just about the same weight as a "Rock". I asked about velocities and his reply was "Around 3200 with a 175 SMK and 2900 with a 190SMK."
I asked about recoil and his reply was it felt less than a 300WM with the same velocity. I questioned that in my mind but agreed to test one. I had no prior experience with the short fat caliber so I wondered if it would fall on its face when I tried it.
We put together the order:
That's fairly close to the original Rock and still weighs about 12lbs fully ready to go.
Well, a few weeks later the rifle arrived. It looked like a Rock. Felt like a Rock and weighed like a Rock. Would it work as well as a Rock? I loaded up a bunch of rounds, per George's directions. Did I tell you he already knew what this caliber would do? I did the old fire a round and clean after every round for ten rounds to break in the barrel. I was astonished to find the ten shot break in group under one moa. As usual the Mike Rock barrel showed little fouling and break in was a dream!
I then went to shooting three shot groups. The groups where all under 1/2moa at 100 yards. Then five shot groups were called for and the group size continued to be under 1/2moa. It just pounded them in one hole! Many groups where sub 1/4moa.
After a while a friend asked how the recoil was? It took me a second to remember I was shooting a 190 grain 300WSM and not a 308 with 175's. I had completely forgotten it was a magnum!
I could not understand why it felt so much less than my 300WM 190 loads? I thought it must be a slower velocity, since George had provided the data. I hooked up a Chronograph and fired ten rounds. All the 190's where right at 2920fps at Sea Level and 70 degrees. That's the same as my 300WM loads. The funny thing is I was getting the same velocity with about ten grains less powder. I won't provide load date because my loads where in a chamber cut by GA Precision and not all the other manufacturers' chambers will be the same. Get your data from GA Precision, or from the manufacturer who builds this caliber for you.
Over the next few months I shot the combination at ranges between 100 and 1200 yards. It performed like my 300WM as long as I used 190 grain and lighter bullets. The one catch of this caliber is once you go to longer bullets you push a bunch of the bullet into the case and lose powder capacity. Over 190 grain bullets I suggest you stick with a 300WM or better yet go to a 300Ultra. That's not a problem here as this rifle was meant to be light and work to 1200 yards. It does that extremely well with 175 and 190 grain bullets.
A couple of things this caliber has over a 300WM are:
Overall the Rocket is a winner. If you are looking for a 1200-yard, easy to carry weapon, this is the answer.