Well, The first production suppied APS Raptor receiver is in my hands. Being a prototype, there were to be some issues that needed to be tweaked and changed along the way and as expected that was the case but in general, I am very impressed with the first prototype production receiver. Basically all of the features I wanted in this new receiver design are there and functions properly. My goal for my receiver was to offer a receiver that would fit into Rem 700 inletted stocks, offer superior strength and rigidity, offer the ability to use HEAVY, LONG barrels which we favor for our long range shooting pets but do this without the need for exotic bedding systems.
Also, this receiver was designed from the ground up around my APS wildcats based on the 338 Lapua case. There are a few full custom receivers out there in this size class that will work with the 338 Lapua sized cartridges but I wanted to design a receiver that was not just a modified Rem 700. There have been many heated debates on the topic of if the Rem 700 can handle the stresses imposed by the 338 Lapua sized cases. That debate aside, I wanted to make the arguement a moot point by designing a receiver from the ground up that was a 338 Lapua class receiver from the start. That has been done.
Not only did I want to accomplish that goal, I wanted to do so in a mannor not seen before and features in my receiver, I BELIEVE do that better then any other receiver on the market in this size class of receiver. What size class is that, The size that will fit into Rem 700 inletted stocks with only very minumum inletting modifications.
So lets first take a look at the new receiver compared to a Rem 700 Long Action Magnum receiver. My Raptor is obviously the one on top.
In this view you can see several of the features I wanted in this receiver. Most obvious to many will be the stretched section of the receiver threads. Externally, the Raptor is nearly identical to the Rem 700 Long action. Diameter for the Raptor is 1.360" compared to 1.350" on average for the Rem 700.
The Raptor uses the same triggers as the Rem 700 via a trigger hanger system as opposed to the dual press pins like is standard on the Rem 700. The Raptor also will have the same foot print as the Rem 700 so the very common bottom metal for the Rem 700 can also be used with the Raptor. That said, This initial Raptor is machined to accept a 3.990" internal length Wyatts extended mag box designed for the Lapua class chamberings.
To do this and do this comfortably, there needed to be more meat between the front of the mag well window and the bottom bolt lug recess surface just to make sure that we had plenty of strength for the Lapua based rounds in this area. This is the weak link on the Rem 700 for this class of round.
To correct this, we moved the bolt lug recesses forward a full 0.100" to add that extra steel to make sure there would never be any strength issues in this area. The feed ramp was also machined with a bit shallower angle as well to give the rounds the proper feed angle into the chamber mouth which is farther away then normal. This will also smooth the feeding characteristics with chamberings like my 7mm AM which has a sharp and very fat shoulder. For the other long magnum chamberings, will just make smooth feeding rounds even smoother!!!
Back to the extended receiver thread section, why???? Well, The Rem 700 is a strong receiver no doubt but it does have its limits as to how long and how heavy of a barrel can be used before you will start running into some consistancy issues because of receiver flex. In my opinion, the mass of a barrel that a receiver will handle is a direct relationship to the diameter but more just as importantly, the length of the barrel shank used in the system. Now obviously since I am wanting to stay in the size class of the Rem 700 so the diameter of the threads was left the same as that receiver, 1 1/16" diameter. Same as pretty much all the custom receivers in this class, even the big Nasika Bay Model M which I held as my goal mark for my receiver design. If we look at the barrel shank length used on several of the more popular receivers we can see how some receivers will be able to handle more massive barrels then others. Lets look at the numbers. These are the barrel shank length I would personally machine for each receiver listed measured off an actual receiver. A Holland Comp Recoil lug(0.250" thick) was used in the measurement for all receivers except the Nesika Bay which has its own lug(0.310" thick).
Receiver Barrel shank length
Nesika Bay M........................1.131"
The Raptor offers over 0.100 more thread engagement then the next closest and nearly 0.350" longer threaded barrel shank then any true Rem 700 clone or trued Rem 700. You will see the Bordens shank length is quite short. This is not to say the factory Rem 700 is superior to the Borden because that is simply not true. This happens because the bolt lugs on the Borden are longer then the Rem 700 which adds dramatic strength to the bolt head itself so all in all, the Rem 700 can not be compared to the Borden receiver just to make that clear.
Since we are talking about bolt heads and bolt lugs, lets look there next. Again, the goal for the Raptor was to offer the stoutest receiver possible that would work with the Rem 700 inletted stocks and still offer far more strength then needed for the Lapua class chamberings. Besides the receiver bolt lug recesses, the only other major area that makes a receiver not blow up are its bolt lugs and their ability to hold the bolt in place under tremendous pressure. Jump up to a Lapua class chambering driving a 300 gr SMK to nearly 2950 fps and those stresses increase dramatically over a standard sized magnum chartridge head.
So lets look at the bolt head on these actions for comparision:
From top to bottom with their bolt lug lengths in (). Top, Rem 700(0.438"), Borden Timberline (0.500"), Lawton M7500 (0.575"), Nesika Bay M(0.565") and at the bottom the Raptor(0.700"). Again, in my opinion, the two ways you increase bolt lug strength is to either increase diameter or increase shear area by making the lugs longer. Going larger in diameter has its limitations on practicality and strength as well but going longer just adds to the shear force strength of the bolt lugs and can be used in a conventional diameter receiver. The Raptor lugs are a full 0.125" longer then the next closest lug length and to be honest, the Raptor lugs are longer then those on the BAT Model M receivers I use to chamber my 408 CT based 338 Allen Magnum. Now the Raptor will not handle that size round because of its diameter but as far as shear strength, I would say without a doubt it would handle the stress imposed by the 338 Allen Magnum chamberings. TO be honest, its WAY over kill, but that was the point, make the arguement about chambering the 338 Lapua based rounds a moot one!!
So we have a new receiver with a longer receiver thread section, AS WELL as a longer bolt lug then pretty much any other receiver out there. These features go toward the strength and stability of the Raptor and its superiority over the other receivers out there in this class. So what else is different?
In this pic you can see the Raptor(top) compared to a Nesika Bay M(bottom) receiver which I hold in the highest reguards and personally feel WAS the ultimate receiver in this class. In comparision, you can see that the Raptor has a Much longer ejection port then the Nesika, this is to aid in the top loading of ammo in an internal mag boxed receiver, something the Nesika and Lawtons do not particularly like and also in the ejection of live ammo loaded with the heavy long range bullets we are all using without pulling the bolt. The Raptor will be just as comfortable with a standard length box, HS Precision DM system or the extended Wyatts boxes. I will also work with the new 3.910" DM systems that are being worked on as we speak.
You can also see one thing that I am working on changing on production Raptors. The rail base on this Raptor stops well sort of the end of the receiver. I want production Raptors to have rails that extend clear to the end of the receiver just behind the recoil lug. This is so that we have more visitility in scope mounting location as well as offering more rail space for rail accessaries if wanted. I am a firm believer in long wheel bases. Applies to scope rings as well, the farther apart within reason, the more support the scope will have.
Other new features are a bit harder to see. One is the extractor. I wanted the very best on this receiver, as such we went with the Badger Ord pinned in extractor. These are more expensive and more timely to install into a bolt but they are hands down the stoutest extractor made for a Bolt action rifle. Also, being pinned in, those concerned with extractor blow outs should have no fears with this receiver. If the extractor comes out of this receiver, I would hate to be the one holding the rifle when it happened!!!!
Here is a pic of the engraving on the receiver. As you can see I am having Extreme Machining mass produce my receivers for me. They use the newest cutting edge EDM and CNC machines to offer quality at the very top end of the receiver world today. That is why I choose them. Bob has been more then willing to work with me and I greatly appreciate that and we are really getting this project fine tuned and ready to be released to the public very soon.
This is another pic of the Raptor(top) compared to a Lawton M7500 which is another good option for a precision rifle although limited by its single shot only platform.
So what other features does the APS Raptor offer?
-0.725" bolt diameter
-0.062" diameter firing pin to handle high pressure loading with as little primer cratering as possible
-Flat face bolt nose so there is no need to machine a bolt nose recess into the barrel. Saves time in machining and also offers just as much safety as offered by a Rem 700 style barrel to receiver fitting, especially when using a Sako style extractor with a large diameter magnum chambering, in fact, much safer in fact.
-Heavy 32 lb striker spring
-Standard or Lapua bolt face options
-Single shot or repeater option.
-External side mounted bolt release.
-Bolt to receiver lock up clearance, less then 0.002" at rear contact point and 0.001" clearance behind bolt lug.
-Guaranteed square to less then 0.0002" or I send them back
Like I said there are a few things that need to be tweaked here and there but that is expected with a first production receiver. I hope to get that done this week, possibly in the evenings get this receiver built up and start testing and showing what she can really do.
The Raptor should not be thought of as only a heavy rifle receiver either. it will fit into many Sporter weight stocks, all that is needed is to have the recoil lug recess inletted forward and thats it. This receiver is really overkill for a short light barrel but that only leads to extreme rigidity and consistancy!!! Hardly bad things.
Much more to come very soon, now lunch is over and its time to get back to the shop.
Oh, almost for got, The Raptor will be running Right at $1200 which will include the receiver, 20 moa rail and custom recoil lug. Bascially $400 less then the Nesika Bay for a receiver that offers many extras for this class of chamberings.