So there was this, (insert random gun here) in one of the local gun shops on consignment.... Thats the way most of my money pit...i mean projects, start. This time It was a .243 Savage model 10 from the mid 2ks. The rifle looked to be in perfect condition, there wasnt even any marks on the magazine follower. Best part, they were only asking 250! Down side? I have no interest in another .243, My wife has hers thats enough lol. In fact my last .243 savage became a .250AI. So I was good for the better part of a month, perhaps more, but week before last I was in there for something else and walked out with the rifle. Having no use for the .243 barrel I immediately went home and pulled it off to toss on ebay. Then i started cruising around looking for a more interesting barrel. Not being willing to spend a whole lot I was only looking for factory take offs, or possibly getting lucky on a custom. I REALLY wanted a 7-08, but the only one i could find looked pretty beat up. Then i ran across a stainless 6.5Creedmoor barrel never fired off an Axis. Ive found that it seems people look down on the Axis barrels as being inferior to the higher end options. Which I dont believe is true at all, im fairly sure that all the barrels savage uses are exactly the same besides the model number stamped on the side. Either way, every Axis ive ever shot has been a shooter, ugly and clunky, but a shooter. So I went ahead and ordered the 6.5 Barrel It showed up yesterday, after bouncing around Calis usps centers for the better part of a week. It looked exactly as advertised and seemed to be pretty good, as most savage tubes are. I didnt like the stainless on blue color. So i primed, painted, and baked the receiver and rear bolt parts using VHT ceramic header primer and paint. I didnt do any surface prep besides degreasing really well, as this savage has some of the nicest bluing ive seen on any savage to date. Hopefully if i decide to switch to a blued barrel in the future i can simply strip the paint and the finish will still be in good shape underneath. Now the silver receiver didnt match the barrel...again...so the barrel got the same treatment, tho i did blast the barrel to help with adhesion. I got it all reassembled yesterday afternoon. I could have set it with the lettering in the correct place and still not been able to close on the nogo, but I prefer to be tight on a go gauge as long as a sized case from my dies will close with no issues. Thus the lettering is just under the stock line. If i ever sell the rifle ill reset it so the lettering is visible. I topped it off with a newer Japan made Weaver v9 I got off ebay. Made some preliminary loads last night using 140gr midway blems, which im positive are ELD-Ms. Many of these look perfect, but the majority have crooked tips. I picked one of the good one, checked my max OAL with a split case, and went .01 under that to start with. This got me at a oal of 2.860, set with the same bullet i measure the lands with. I used the lower end of the pressure ladder i worked up for my old 6.5 using Superformance. This is a few grains over Hornadys book max, but proved very safe and functional in my Howa. I wasnt really concerned with accuracy today, mostly just doing chrono work/Quickloads correlation, and checking for pressure signs. so I didnt both to sort good tips from bad, im not likely to do that for the most part anyway lol. I shot 3 rounds of my base charge of 45gr to zero the rifle after doing a bore sight. they are labeled 1, 2, 3. I then attached my Magnetospeed and shot my pressure ladder sitting, mostly just to practice. I had no pressure signs all, and my max was 1.5gr under where i stopped with my Howa. Velocity is tracking pretty closely to what my Howa did with 143 eldxs. Interestingly enough it also correlates well to what RL-19 does in quickloads velocity wise. This dosent mean pressure is the same, or even similar, and only seems to be consistent in 2 cartridges ive tried both powders in, so i certainly wouldnt use it as a standard, mostly just interesting. I had 10rnds of my max load and fired 5 of them for groups after removing the magneto speed....as you can see I had a little bit of an issue getting a 5 round group. Turns out when i weighed the second 5 rounds i made (I had only originally intended to make 5 not 10) before I left this morning. I forgot to dump the last pan into the case. When i got home it was still sitting there on my scale. Not a great idea to decided to make extra ammo last min. Anyway, im pretty happy with how this whole thing came out, and it hasnt turned into a TOTAL money pit.....yet.