It took a couple of years, but I finally settled on a handload recipe for my M38 scout. This 1942 Izhevsk M38 showed signs of genius with iron sights which made me curious as to how accurate this rifle really is. The M38 is my favorite and the most practical (IMHO) of the Soviet MN rifles in terms of a working / hunting rifle, a cabin gun or truck gun. Scoping a MN presents a host of problems but the simplest way of over coming them is with a scout mount, which also preserves the integrity of the rifle. I went with Darrell's M38 scout mount and a NC Star 4X pistol scope. The 4X LER scope seemed a good compromise of improved sight picture vs. keeping costs down. 4X is way better than iron sights. I paid $230 for what you see here and now I know what it shoots best. From this day forward, this rifle will only be launching Hornady 174 grain FMJBT (.303") bullets, crimped in the cannalure and seated over 46 grains of 4064. It has a muzzle velocity of 2551 fps and generates about the same number in ft / lbs of energy - enough to flatten just about anything out as far as the eye can see. If I needed a hunting bullet (I don't), this rifle shoots 180 grain Sierra Game King PSP bullets over 45 grains of Varget (mv = 2350 fps) just as well as it does the Hornady bullets, but they cost more. Both of these loads have shown the potential to shoot consistent sub minute of angle groups over the years. I shot these two targets two days ago: one of the targets (both shot at 100 yards) shows two 5 round groups with the 174 grain bullet. The first 5 round group was tight but low, with 4 of the shots measuring 0.75" and a flier opening it up to 2". The next 5 round group had 2 big elevations adjustments after 2 shots, hence the stringing. I fired the next target with 10 rounds of the 180 grain loading, getting a 5 shot cluster that again measured 0.75". The 4X scope is challenging as the cross hairs cover much the bullseye at 100 yards which makes precise shooting difficult. My eyes are the weak link; this old Russian army rifle, enhanced with a great American made scout mount, precision bullet and a Chinese scope combine into an amazingly accurate weapon system in a cheap, rugged and compact package. If I had my 4 - 16X scope on it, I think I'd have a clean 5 round 0.7" 100 yard group in no time at all, but a scope swap isn't going to happen, so I might be at it awhile. At least now I can stop adjusting the scope and just fire for effect. (2" high at 100 yds; zero at 200 and minus 9" at 300 yards.). If you were wondering what to reload, there it is, or at least its a good starting point - give it a try!