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Best longrange varmint rifle

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Unread 11-10-2006, 07:08 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17
Best longrange varmint rifle

This is my first post here but i have been reading for about a year now. I'm 16 years old and i live in VA. I have a savage model 12 varminter in 22-250 and shoot varmints out to about 400 now. I have wanted a custom rifle for about a year and half now and i want to build it myself. I know basic machining skills and am going to purchase an old lathe. I want to build on a bluprinted rem 700 action and perhaps a rock creek barrel. I don't know what caliber to chose though. I was thinking 6.5-284 with the .292 neck and shoot the 140g bergers or the 140 a-max. I would like to shoot to about 1250-1400 or so. Mainly varmints and the occasional deer. There is a 1000 yard club about 40 miles away and i would like to join this year so accuracy would be a big plus. From reading on this board you all seem to know alot and have alot of experence. So what do you all think is the best varmint-deer-target caliber and bullet.
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Unread 11-10-2006, 07:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,084
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle

I would suggest that building a 1000yd rifle takes a lot of skill which only comes with experience. Perhaps a good option to investigate would be to contact a few of the really good Virginia gunsmiths and see if one of them would like some summer help. Clay Spencer and John Myer are two that you might contact. You can find their addresses over at 6mm Benchrest They might be willing to swap some work in return for your work. It is just a suggestion on how to learn some skills and get the gun at the same time.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 11-10-2006, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: mi
Posts: 991
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle

I would look at a .30 some thing with a 11 twist or 10 twist for what you are looking for would work on deer and varmet and 1k BR. I shoot a custom 30 based on a 338 lapua that has been shortened. A 300 ackley or bear would work good also. The VA 1K BR club is a good place to shoot.
If you think something is not possible move out of the way so the ones that are doing it can
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Unread 11-10-2006, 08:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chickasaw Point, SC
Posts: 206
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle


buffalobob offers some sound advice; there would be a lot of advantages to hooking up with a reputable smith. When I was your age I also had decent machinist skills and had sporterized a couple of surplus rifles and thought I was ready for a full custom build. Thirty years later and it still isn’t finished. Don’t be discouraged though, I have no doubts concerning your skill and knowledge, but your term “old lathe” raises some concern. A 1000 yard rifle is a very precision piece of work, tolerances in thousandth’s just won’t get it, you’re going to be dealing with a couple of tenths at most; and that means precision tooling and equipment. Worn gearboxes can create some unpredictable harmonics and leveling a tailstock at varying rpm’s can be a royal pain. With that said, live your dream and reach for your goals, but if I may add to buffalobob’s wisdom; apprenticing with a smith will teach you many little tricks of the trade and might just earn yourself some quality lathe time. Before you risk the expense of a premium barrel and action, make sure you have the right tools for the job.
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Unread 11-11-2006, 09:38 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 135
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle

A 284 win, or 280 rem (AI if you want), shoot 162 A-max (Bc of .62, compared to .55 in the 6.5) in a 30" barrel. You should get around 3000fps.. and compared to a 6,5x284 you should double the barrel life.
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Unread 11-11-2006, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle


First off, welcome to LRH. We always need more young shooters on the board and you will learn more from the guys and gals on this board then anywhere else on the web in my opinion. On top of that they are some of the best people to be associated with. Onto my comment to your questions.

As far as building a rifle that will put your bullet on the mark at 1000 yards and beyond is really not as difficult as many would have you believe. You need a basic understanding on what makes an accurate rifle and why those things result in such accuracy levels.

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Most everything has been done and redone several times in this day and age and the proper way to build a super accurate rifle has pretty much stabilized into the same basic ideas.

The process may be slightly different from one smith to another but in most cases the outcome is the same.

These steps are not difficult. What they do require is good equipment from start to finish. This means a quality lathe, top quality accurizing tooling, top quality reamers and cutters, top end measuring instruments and just as important as all this, the desire to make the rifle as perfect as you possibly can.

I am not talking cosmetically, looks are important to sell a rifle, not so for a rifle to shoot very well. Now we do not want to build ugly rifles but learning the basics to what is needed to build an accurate rifle is far more important then knowing how to make a rifle look pretty, that will come after the fact and that involves a certain level of personal pride in your work as well but that has very little to do with making an accurate rifle.

Its mainly the tooling that holds back most smiths from building truely accurate rifles. Those rifles that will consistantly place bullets in 7-8" or better groups at 1000 yards in good conditions.

This tooling is expensive but required to get the most out of your time and labor. I always feel its better to save up for awhile and get the proper tools then be in a hurry and sacrifice quality tooling.

Finally its the desire to make the rifle as perfect as you can. Its when you accurize a receiver and find out there is a variation of 0.0004" across the bolt face when there should only be 0.0002" or less and then chucking everything back up for another 2 hours of dialing in and remachining just to get those extra 0.0002" evened up in the receiver.

Its the desire to find and use that specific reamer pilot bushing on your chambering reamer that is the perfect match to the bore you are using, even if that perfect bushing is not in the set you have and you have to invest another $15 per bushing to get just the one you need instead of saying "Close enough".

Again, these things are not hard, more mental then anything and more finacial investment as well. Learn from the best and do what they do. If someone has a great reputation building accurate rifles, they have it for a reason. IF you want to be self taught in a way, there are several videos you can order in and learn alot about building accuarate rifles.

I would highly recommend you get the video set from Greg Tannel as I personally believe his system for accurizing and building rifles is the best system out there today.

You already have the basic machining skills, now you just need to focus that knowledge to a finer level. Your limits of tolerances you probably have set in your mind now are more then likely in the 0.001" range. That will need to be adjusted to think in terms of 0.0001" levels.

In rank of most important to build accurate rifles I would list the following componants:

1. Equipment and tooling quality
2. Very close second place at that, desire for perfection
3. Willingness to invest in top end componants

If you have these three things and learn the proper way to build an accurate rifle from start to finish, you will find it is not hard at all to build extreme accuracy rifles. Time consuming maybe but not hard. Just a large investment in time and money.

IF you can find someone that already has the quality equipment your more then half way there. It seems you already have the desire to do this which is very good to see!!

ALways try to learn more and always remember there is more to learn form alot of people out there. I have built ALOT of rifles that will easily take deer at 1000 yards, still I learn something new nearly every time I read through the posts on LRH. If nothing else if gives you many different perspectives and that often helps in your all around knowledge base.

Again, stick around, ask questions, read alot and you will learn very quickly from the fine people on this chat room.

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 11-11-2006, 05:16 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17
Re: Best longrange varmint rifle

Thanks for all the information. I live about 30 miles from Clay Spencer so i might give him a call. I have been saving up for a while to buy a decent lathe and am just about ready to purchase. I live on a farm so i have some metal working skills from doing small jobs on the lathe and mill.
I have learned alot from this board, 6mmbr.com, practicalmachinist.com and benchrest.com. I also have many books on machining. I also might consider one of Gregs videos, or a few more books.

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