The Mountain Rifle, the PDI 260 Featherweight
One of the test rifles at PDI started life as a Tikka T3 Superlight in 260 Remington, but we quickly turfed the tupperware stock and turned it into a true hunters tool, the 260 Featherweight. Much to the annoyance of myself, the build sheet on this rifle was to keep it as light as possible but still capable as a hunting rifle for medium game out to 800m (so not rail or Atlas PSR). This was always going to be a challenge, even with the rigid Bolly featherweight stock, airtech recoil pad and Lumley Arms bedding kit. The thin flimsy fluted barrel was a major concern for long range, its rapid heating and slow cooling rate, meant load development would be slow and LR testing would have to be done in short sharp bursts (perfect excuse for disappearing from the office when conditions looked good…).
Full Build Specification:
- Tikka T3 Superlight .260 Remington
- Bolly Featherweight Stock
- Airtech Limbsaver
- Lumley Arms Bedding Kit
- Sportsmatch 30mm rings
- Vortex PST FFP 6-24×50 (MOA)
- Harris 9-11 Bipod
First up was fire forming brass, we started with the best, Lapua .260 Brass and a known regularly performing charge in a few 22 1/2″ barreled 260’s; 44.3gns of 2209 under a 123 AMAX. This load wasn’t outstanding and despite minimal vertical in a group it would regularly be sprayed up to 1.2moa in the horizontal, more than sufficient for practising with the rifle and fire forming the brass, bot not ideal for hunting. We shot the rifle irregularly as it was quick to heat up, 5 shots would have the barrel searing hot.
Once fire formed we decided to just check it was the fire forming process that was absorbing too much energy and dropping the pressure below the regular 44.3 grain node. Well the 260 featherweight lived up to expectation punching a neat 100m 6 shot group (2×3);
So when the wind was almost dead the following day, a long lunch was declared and out to the paddock with the rifle to check velocity I went, we also used this as an opportunity to further test Ballistic AE out with the Kestrel Drop. Despite not having time to chronograph, we started at 400m and we entered the velocity as 2900fps, this was in error as we where looking at 26inch barrel data where ours is only 22 1/2″. So the first 2 shots dropped low and we then punched in 2850fps, which was more realistic, Hit. So we turned our attention to the 700m gong and I did my best to record it,
But I held high and hit low, so a further adjustment was required, back to 2800fps, and unfortunately the gopro died, but the iphone and LMSS kept recording and held high, hit high twice! (we edited out the 2 minute wait for the barrel to cool).
For such a light rifle, with minimal load development this impressed especially when repainting the gong and looking back to the shooting location,
This is outstanding for such a light rifle and we are really proud of the current generation of bolly featherweight stocks, they make for a perfect mountain rifle stock where precision and weight are the main concerns. If you have a Tikka T3 or T3x, want a better stock but want it to weigh less than the plastic one? Checkout the Bolly Featherweight stock.
I still reckon you should switch to an atlas PSR over a Harris seeing as you saved weight on the stock though…