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7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

 
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  #1  
Old 05-28-2013, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Here is a build (really product assembly) of a 7 mm STW on a Shilen DGR action. Since the action isn't too common, I thought this would be a good one to post.

It was reading posts from the lunatics err ... 7mm STW Brotherhoods that swayed me too this cartridge.





Design Principle: To build an ELR shooter for target and open range hunting. The pluses are putting high bc/high mass bullets down range with high muzzle velocity. The downsides are recoil, cost, and tricky design criteria. Also, short barrel life at 1200 - 1500 rounds? Depending on the bullet and altitude this cartridge will deliver supersonic beyond 2000 yards. Action was chosen because I am a barrel nut person. I like mixing around cartridges and the barrel nut allows me to do this. I did not go with Savage because it would have taken too much work to make this rifle a repeater without compromising the handloads. Shilen offers the ideal action in my opinion for a high quality action made to order for a barrel nut/floating bolt head. The long magazine inlet and side bolt release is ideal for long cartridges.



Action: DGR long action from Shilen. This is a Rem 700 clone built by Stiller for Shilen. It has an extended magazine box opening (3.950” vs. ca. 3.65”) and side bolt release to accommodate longer cartridges. The design comes with a barrel nut and is threaded to 1 1/16” - 20 (not standard). The bolt head is floating. The recoil lug is thicker than normal at 0.3”. A Shilen trigger, with Rem safety was installed. I installed a full 20 MOA base from Shilen. Shilen offers both short and long versions. The long was in stock when I purchased it, but that might have changed by now. I heard on the net that there is currently a wait for the short.


Stock: HS precision with aluminum block. Required opening up recoil lug space to accommodate larger lug. Harris bipod attached. Taped on some foam to increase LOP and cheek hight. Will modify both later to something more permanent. I installed an extended magazine from Wyatt Outdoors to accept longer COAL cartridges out to 3.825”. Trigger guard/bottom metal, mag spring and follower came from Brownell’s. Currently un-bedded, but will do so in the future.


Barrel: It is a 24” barrel contoured to Shilen’s S4 Savage replacement dimensions; it is their select match stainless steel version. Throated to accept 180 gn Berger VLD with COAL of 3.8” (I don’t have the dummies in front of me now). When rifle is used for hunting, I will at least test the new 168 gn Berger classic hunting. These are supposed to be very tolerant to jump while maintaing a high bc. No brake or suppressor at this point.


Scope: March F 3-24x/42 mm with illumination. Mil dot reticle and RMAD turrets. This scope is FFP. Held in place by rings from Badger Ordnance. This scope was taken off of another rifle I own.


Weight: Total unloaded weight w/o bipod: 11.4#. I was looking to hit between 11-12#. Too much lighter would probably require a brake.


Range: First day out to zero. I used HSM cartridges with 168 gn Berger VLD bullets. Easy conditions of 70 F with light winds. All shooting was done prone off of a Harris bipod with a sock of pinto beans for rear support. All shooting was done at 10x. First impressions at zeroing were that it has an acceptable kick (less kick than I anticipated), but seeing impact at 100 yards was impossible. Midway through zeroing I had to retighten action screws which had rattled loose. Trigger appears to be set to 1.5# as measured with my gauge. I typically set my triggers to 3#. I had a couple ‘surprise fires’, thus haven’t gotten the feel of the lighter trigger, yet. Will probably adjust to 3#. I neglected to measure the COAL of the HSM ammo, but it was easily cycled through the Wyatt magazine.


Collected very quick and dirty dope (limited ammo):
200 yards: +0.1 mil
300 yards: +0.4 mil
385 yards: +0.9 mil
500 yards: +1.5 mil


My chrony jumped in front of a speeding bullet last year and I haven’t replaced it yet. Using JBM ballistics and the observed dope, a rough estimate of MV is around 3300 - 3400 f/s.


I can’t really speak to precision yet. Everything else on this build has met or exceeded my expectations, so if the precision meets expectations then I will be a very happy camper. It was a good day at the range.


Shot count: 20

Last edited by jasonR; 05-28-2013 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Fix typo
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2013, 07:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Leominster mass, originally Salisbury Maryland
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Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Jason, yup, lunatics are us, , and I truly can't think of a better cartridge, to get obcessed with, yeah, I said that. That is a fine stick there dude. True, the Shilen action is a rarity for sure, but it is legendary in the bench rest world. I'm sure it shoots, or will shoot beyond your expectations, but wait til you take it hunting. Your confidence will be bigger then life before you take the shot. Once you find your magic recipe, you will ask, why do I shoot anything else! I have asked that question to myself a thousand times, and this caliber STILL gives me goosebumps. I am a multi STW owner, and I have been shooting this caliber for about 16 years. It never fails to amaze me, and if you don't get over zealous with your loading practices, it will last a lifetime of hunting years, and bring lots of memories, and when it comes to " bragging rights" , well, there's not much competition in my book. Enjoy your toy my friend, I mean lunatic, and share your info when you get it, and pix too!!
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2013, 08:49 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
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Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

That's a nice rifle! Welcome to the brotherhood. I love my STW. I hope to have another one soon, so I can quit putting wear & tear on my Sendero SF.
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"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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  #4  
Old 05-29-2013, 09:00 PM
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Posts: 22
Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Thanks 7mmstw,

I can't wait to spend more time with it. I had most all reloading supplies before Newtown except for ... powder and primers. I eventually grabbed a bottle of RL 22 (5#) and Win mag primers when they appeared on otherwise barren shelves.

I have two types of bullets on hand to load with: 168 gr classic hunter Berger and the 180 gn VLD. From looking at the Berger reloading manual it appears Rl22 will work for both. Is that your take?
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2013, 09:02 PM
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Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Thanks MudRunner

From reading these posts looks like 2, 3 or more rifles in this caliber isn't unusual

(I better keep it at one for awhile!)
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2013, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dayton, Nevada
Posts: 1,793
Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Nice looking build. I've been wondering about those actions.

It's combined all the best attributes of Savage and Remington.

The barrel thead is very close to Savage thread. Anyone confirm that they are the same or different?
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2013, 10:03 PM
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Re: 7mm STW on Shilen DGR action

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonR View Post
Thanks MudRunner

From reading these posts looks like 2, 3 or more rifles in this caliber isn't unusual

(I better keep it at one for awhile!)
I've had mine for 11 years, during the major downswing of the caliber's popularity...I didn't shoot it much b/c back then ammo got hard to find before Nosler started producing factory loads, and it was hard to find the Federal 160 Gameking factory loads, then the Federal Premium 160 Accubond factory loads got the ax, too. So I had only 1 choice....Handloading. It has been an excellent rifle, and the spur of many a conversation when at the range discussing the caliber.

RL-22 will work. I have a good load with 22 and NAB 160's. I tried the 180 VLD's with RL22 and mine didn't care for it so much...However, every rifle is different. Mine loves the Berger 180 VLD's with H1000.

I have lots of 19 & 22 sitting around that will probably last me forever since all my magnums love H1000. I have developed loads for all of them with 19 & 22 incase I have to use it during a "dry spell" like what happened after the Newtown incident. I also learned to stock up on primers and projectiles, too.

If gou want some Berger 168, 180, or Nosler AccuBond 160 loads to try, holler at me and I'll see if I can point you in the right direction.
__________________
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith

Ignore everything I say, because I have a reading comprehension and memory problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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