Based on conducting a very thorough and deep analysis of my buddy’s rifle recently, I think there is a potential market for this type of service. I know that I enjoy doing it and it definitely value-added from my buddy’s point of view. I would definitely like to hear from you if this is a service you think is useful, you would buy, or you think others would purchase.
I extensively researched a buddy’s rifle based on problems he had experienced. I read every review for clues as to problems others had with the same rifle. As a result of the research and his input, I was able to provide the following information.
I completely field stripped his rifle, to include removing the scope rings and scope mounting rail and cleaned everything thoroughly. When reassembling, I added blue Loctite to the scope mounting rail and the scope rings as his were loose and other users had reported these items as working loose. I also added a couple of foam pads to his neoprene cheek pad cover to help him better mount the rifle and tame the recoil a bit. A few days later I was able to take his rifle out to the range and proof everything.
Attached are 3 ballistic charts, with copies of the targets for each round, for his Mossberg Patriot “Night Train” .300 WIN MAG. All rounds used are production ammunition as he does not hand-load. The first chart is for some Remington 150 grain bullets I picked up at the gun range after struggling to group the rounds he had sent with the rifle. I included screen shots of the targets for each bullet with the corresponding ballistic chart. Also, on the first chart, I built a bullet drop chart (inches and mils), cut it out, and taped it inside the scope cap so it is readily available for reference when shooting in the field. The last two ballistic charts are for the 180 grain bullets he sent with the rifle. All targets were from 100 yards, 54 degrees, overcast, with negligible winds. I used an online shooter’s calculator to build the ballistic charts (in case he wanted to build others).
I further advised him that he should definitely get some higher quality 150-168 grain bullets (match bullets if possible) as I’m sure this rifle will group much more consistently with them. Also try a box of the Black Hills 190 grain ammo and see how they shoot since I have always had extremely good results with their ammo. I also advised him to replace the scope, rings, and scope mount (the picatinny rail) at his first opportunity.
Since this is primarily a hunting rifle, I told him to look at something with around 3x on the low side and 12x or higher on the high side. Whatever he purchased, I told him to order some Warne or Talley rings (they are rock solid and very highly regarded); and that they would likely range between $50’ish and $100’ish. I recommended he get a 20 MOA picatinny base to allow for extremely long range shooting and provided the following website as an example product: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/479865/egw-1-piece-picatinny-style-base-mossberg-mvp-762x51mm-patriot-matte
As for scope recommendations, I told him to stay away from low-quality glass (i.e. low-end Burris, UTG, Tasco, etc.). Since I had a good idea what his budget for a new optic was, I strongly encouraged him to get a Leupold VX-3i LRP, Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 or 5, Trijicon Accupower, Nightforce, Swarovski, or Vortex (avoid their low-end scopes, 2nd Gen Razor HD is a great scope). Regardless of what he chose, I told him to ensure he gets an illuminated reticle (we have old eyes). A good place to check for demonstrator scopes (used optics at a reasonable price) is Samplelist: https://www.samplelist.com/entire-sample-list/riflescopes.html
Whenever he gets the new parts and accessories, we will do a range day and get him dialed in.