I am looking to build an accurate hunting rifle that my 40 yr old body can carry in the very steep mtn's of Idaho after big deer and elk. I'm looking for the right compromise in a gun so I can shoot up to 600 yds at elk and maybe 800 yds at deer with 7mm Mag. My smith leans more toward a Sendero style set-up and no flutes. I am leaning toward a smaller diameter fluted barrel, maybe a #5, in a 26" Lilja. I am leaning toward flutes, even though the argument seems fairly evenly split on wether or not accuracy is effected or not, but most seem to agree that you can practice more in a short amount of time due to the cooling benefits and I want to practice a lot. I will be starting with a Rem 700 action.
I have also been directed toward HS Precision and McMillan stocks. The problem is I'd like to see how they feel. I went to Sportsmans and picked up an HS Precision prohunter and a Sendero, to see how their HS stocks felt. Frankly neither work. The best feeling stock I've picked up is simply the slight palm swell feel of a Sako 75 synthetic.
With reloading I'd like to get as close to .5MOA as I can get.
Well Luckly you can get a Sako style stock from Mcmillan that will fell just like the Sako you handled , their not cheap though. A good thumbhole also feels well to guys that like the palmswells. I have built a few guns with the Hightech Specialties stocks (which are very light) and just built up the palmswell before it was finish sanded and painted.
As for the barrel , if your gonna be carrying it alot then you don't want a big heavy gun I'm sure , the #5 fluted will help make for a nice light weight gun , the flutes have no effect on accuracy as long as the barrel maker does them right and trust me Dan Lilja does ,I've got a fluted #7 in 260 that will shoot in the .2's all day with most loads and in the high .1's with two.
Its totaly possible to build a light weight gun that will shoot very well , the smith work and componets have to be in order though , Kirby has built some very accurate guns on some real hot rod rounds on guns that don't weigh a ton so a 7mm Rem would be no trouble.
As for the gun killing Elk at 600yds , well the 7mmRem mag is certainly capible , is it the best choice , well if your patient and willing to pass on some shots , sure , I personaly might opt for a little more power but it will do it.
Thanks for the reply. Good to confirm my suspicions. Suprised I can't get more feedback from this crowd, but I guess it's boring to talk about something less than a .338 Edge or an allen mag. I guess I need to find Midrangehunting.com.
I don't mind carry a heavy gun but then I like to pick up heavy stuff as my number one hobby anyway , but light weight hunting rifles have always cought my attention , I build a light weight gun for my dad on the 338 WSM shortly after the 300WSM came out , the gun scope and all weight less than 8.5lbs , was very accurate but certainly needed a brake , I was able to get plenty of speed from a 24" barrel with the 338 bore and WSM case , could have probaly trimmed a few more ounces by using a M-7 action.
You can build a super accurate rifle in the 7lb range ,its just gonna take a bit more effort on your part to make it shoot to its potential.
If you scroll down to the "gun pics" forum you can see a 260 Rogue that Nathen Dagley reciently finished that guns is just over 7lbs and thats a heavy stock , you could easly drop 1.5 lbs with a differant stock and aluminum ring/base setup , and I assure you that the gun in the pic will shoot. Hes also got a full custom 6.5WSM in the sale ads that a light gun and shoots well