Given my idea of this rifle’s mission, the EOTech Vudu 5-25 power was about perfect. Built to be compact, it’s only 11.2 inches long—very compact for this power range. It allows you to mount it on an AR-15 without extending out to the hand guard. Eye relief is generous, facilitating shooting from odd positions. Glass is clear, knobs are easy to read and slip, and it can be ordered with their MD3 (lined) reticle or a Horus H59. Using the Horus H59 may not be new, but getting one that’s illuminated in this power range for two grand is. These reticles come at a premium, at times adding several hundred dollars without illumination. Tube diameter is 34mm and it comes with a quick adjust lever. Mounting it in a Nightforce single-piece mount keeps it light weight.
Having tested this rifle quite a bit, this caliber readily lends itself to suppressed use. About the shortest barrel you want to garner any value is 18 inches, 20 inches is really the minimum for a comp rifle, but you can order with 22- or 24-inch barrels. That means suppressors don’t gum up the works as much and they run well. Silent Legion’s Multi-Caliber suppressor was used throughout. Built from Titanium as a .30 caliber suppressor you can use it with a QD flash hider, brake or direct thread. It comes with flash hiders and direct thread adapters in both 1/2 x 28 and 5/8 x 24. Even with the increased velocity and .224 bullets it remained very quiet. At 16-ounces it balanced well and impacted POA at zero very little. Recoil was all but eliminated, along with any barrel movement.
Velocities were trued at 855 yards (the most likely range limit for matches) using an Applied Ballistics equipped Kestrel with a density altitude of 7,802 feet. Each was confirmed at 1,000 and 1,308 yards. Federal’s 90-grain Gold Medal trued at 2,715 f.p.s. Elevation at 1,000 yards was 9.0 mils using the dials. Holding that same 9.0 mils with the H59 at the top yielded consistent hits on the top portion of a 22” x 16” silhouette target. Wind holds were between 1.5 and 2.0 mils with gusts in the 20 MPH range. Reaching out to 1,308 yards, the elevation correction was 14.2 mils. Doubletap’s load using the same bullet was impressively flatter. Hold at 1,000 yards was 8.2 mils, almost a full mil less, with wind holds about the same, maybe a couple tenths less. Trued out of the 20-inch barrel at close to 2,800 f.p.s., the difference was noticeable. It was also the most accurate, producing a .50-inch group at 100 yards, .80 inches at 300 yards. Hornady’s 88-grain ELDM was about as accurate but quite a bit slower. While amazingly soft to shoot, it trued at only 2,600 f.p.s. from this 20-inch barrel. Elevation at 855 yards was 7.2 mils, about the same as the Federal (6.9) and a mil higher than the Doubletap (6.2). It was very consistent though and wind holds were the same, maybe even a bit less. Beyond 800 yards the Doubletap rules.
Out to 800 yards the holds were within a couple tenths of my typical 6.5 CM using the Federal 130-grain Bergers—pretty impressive. Using the Doubletap 90-grain SMK they were the same as my 20-inch .260 using 130-grain ELDM. Same gains at 1,308 yards with a confirmed hold of 13.2 mils using Doubletap (12.5 for the .260). While it certainly will not supplant my 6.5 CM using 105-grain ELDX for ranges from 800-1300 yards, it holds its own out to 800 yards compared to most .308 based 6.5mm’s, and out to 1,000 yards with the Doubletap. All with less weight, length and recoil given the same suppressed configuration.