I received my Montana in the mail the other day, and had a chance today to get the scope mounted and put a few rounds down range. I am very pleased with it. I like the color of the stock, and the texturing in the paint. It is actually grippy enough that for doing load development off the sand bags, I have to put a strip of duct tape on the bottom of the stock to keep from grabbing to much on the bags. Having said that, it's not so abrasive that it chews up your cheek or hands. The weight of the whole set up really amazes me. The bare gun weighs 5LBS-7oz. With my Talley lightweight rings and a Leupold VX-3 3.5-10x40 the complete package weighs 6LBS-6oz. It balances a little better than my Kimber 84L Classic 30/06. With the little load development I did with it, I'm happy with the results so far. I still haven't settled on a bullet to use yet, but it sure seems to like 150gr Ballistic Tips, and 180gr Ballistic tips. I plan on trying some 180gr Partitions as an all around do everything load. Recoil is surprisingly not bad. I think it's due to the lightweight of the rifle not having the momentum in recoil to hit you hard, even muzzle jump was minimal. Overall I'm very happy with the rifle, and scope. Now to find more time for more load development and trigger time.
What powder do you use with the 165s? And how do they shoot?
I use H-4350 and they shoot exceptionally well.
Mine is a Classic. I did my usual check list and then skim bedded it before I ever shot it. It is very easy to shoot 3 shot .75" groups or better at 100yds.
Had a good day today doing load development. I got 2 loads to shoot great, with both loads shooting some amazing groups. I realize that these are only 3 shot groups, but being such a light barrel, it warms up to much when shooting 5 shots. I plan on using the 150gr Ballistic Tip load as a plinker/practice load. The 180gr Accubond load will be my do everything from deer to moose load. I am posting a couple of the amazing groups as well as the more typical results I was getting from both of the loads I settled on. I think that the flyers in the groups are caused by poor shooting technique. On the groups that had 2 tight shots, then a flyer I felt the difference in how the rifle came off the bags during recoil making me think that my hold, or cheek pressure, or something else was off. At under 6.5lbs I expect the gun to be touchy on how it's handled.
WOW!!! This Montana keeps on amazing me. I went out today to do a final zero at 250 yards with the load I settled on. My very first cold bore group measured .625". Sort of thinking it might be a fluke, I made my scope adjustment and let the barrel cool. I played around with a couple other rifles for a half hour or so, then I grabbed the Montana to check my scope adjustment. 3 shots later and a group of .920" at 250 yards, my work here is done. Bring on hunting season.