Range Report: NDM-86 Dragunov
Rifle: NDM-86 in .308
Ammo: Georgia Arms "Canned Heat" (168gr match load in once-fired Lake City brass): http://www.georgia-arms.com/canned.htm
Mods: Russian SVD furniture & 8x42D scope courtesy of Tantal:
Trigger job: 1.5-2lbs, smooth & clean 2-stage pull courtesy of Larry at Shapel's Gunshop in Boise, Idaho.
"Delta Max" Ballisticard: http://www.ballisticards.com/deltamaxintro.htm
Weather: 30F, clear, sunny and wind gusting 10-15mph from the left (was 25mph when I left). With the range scheduled for use later today and tomorrow it had to be this morning or wait another week to shoot.
With limited time & poor weather conditions I decided to settle for familiarization firing, a 100yd sight-in & the 500m gong.
Recoil: Recoil was surpringly light even if the recoil cycle was faster/more abrupt than I remember the Romak-3 being. Made for quick follow-up shots (more about that later).
Reliability: Appx 50rds fired, reliability was 100%.
Scope: Easily dialed in and while the caret is not as accuracy-friendly as traditional crosshairs it was more than adequate for the job at hand. Visual quality/brightness were good w/no discernible flaws or distortions.
Sight-in: Once I was on paper sight-in was quick & easy. 3 3-shot groups gave me a coarse zero (I'll wait for better weather for a precise zero). All 3 groups were just under 1" and what was interesting to me was that in all 3 groups there were 2 shots touching w/the 3rd expanding the group to just under an inch.
Ballisticard & 500m gong: With the coarse zero established I decided to find out how accurate the info on the Delta Max Ballisticard was. For 30F temp at 550yd (500m) range it indicates 14.7 MOA elevation adjustment needed. With the PSOP 8x42D elevation clicks equal to 1.1 MOA I dialed in 13 clicks for 14.3 MOA of adjustment, 2 clicks windage and held the caret right at the bottom of the 18" 500m gong... I got hit after monotonous hit! The only time I missed the gong at that range was at the very end when I attempted my last 5 rds rapid fire (testing for quick followup capability) and I missed 1 shot out of the 5. The ScopLevel anti-cant device (visible on scope in picture below) was very useful in preventing cant.
Amusing sidenote: Just before I left a couple of guys showed up to shoot. One was very interested in the NDM-86 so I filled him in a bit about it and let him fire 5 rds at the 500m gong. He hit it all 5 times and was very impressed w/the NDM-86's accuracy. He even had me take a picture w/his camera of him shooting it so he could brag to his son that he'd shot a Dragunov. His buddy had a custom 30-06 w/Shilen bbl & handloaded match ammo. He fired at the 500m gong at least 10 times before I left and he only managed to hit it *once*...
Conclusion: So far I'm *very* happy & impressed w/the NDM-86. Especially w/a coarse zero, bad weather & using "budget" match ammo. When the weather improves I'll obtain my precise zero and use my limited supply of Black Hills Moly Match to shoot for group size out to 500m & I'll post the results & pics.