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benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

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Old 08-29-2008, 10:07 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: new mexico
Posts: 243
benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

well all,
i've finally received my custom bolt rifle build from BENCHMARK BARRELS.

i had a remington 700 adl built in july of 1978, that i bought from a friends dad. it was in like new condition, and shot very,very, little, under 1 box of shells.

i got it and right away started testing it, after about 5 shots or so it would start throwing bullets. investigating , chatter was found in the barrel.

so now the story begins.

i sent the barreled action to jr in the nw, a fellow member here, who works for BENCHMARK BARRELS, for a build.
i wanted something "different" than the normal -06,270, etc., so i told them i wanted a 280 ackley improved.

the receiver was blueprinted, an oversized lug pinned on, and a 26" lilja number 4 contour fluted stainless steel 3 groove barrel was installed.

i got it yesterday......

WOW! it is nice, to say the least. the fit is excellent, the fluted barrel is lined up perfectly so the o/s of the barrel diameter is even with the sides of the foreend of a stock, the bolt is trued, and the barrel seems to be set REAL close to the bolt face like i asked.

on the left side, the caliber is acid etched, and custom made for me is farther forward, on the right side is benchmark barrels, done really nice in the satin perfect finished stainless barrel.

now for the nit picking, the thing was test fired with a 280 remington round and the fireformed a.i. brass was used to make a stoney point oal casing.

jerry, you really should clean the barrel before firing as the lube is really thick and may have some effect on smoothing out. also there is some copper evident after using barnes cr10 copper solution. it is plainly visible to the naked at the muzzle as scattered spots. i would think for a lapped barrel, copper wouldn't be seen after just one round. i will lap it myself with isso paste, and shoot and clean for several round to see just how well it smooths out.

the mad machinist has a hawkeye bore scope and we'll check her out with it.

other than that, i HIGHLY recommend these guys for customer service, craftsmanship, quality of materials, and just flat out building a georgous rifle.

BENCHMARK BARRELS CREW...... thank you very, very, much... you guys so far get an A+......

now for the shooting part soon to come.

gonna run 63.5 grains off vv n165 behind a 140 gr. barnes tipped tsx. should give me about 3200 fps out of the 26" tube.

then i'll try some berger 140 gr. vld's.

now all,
some of you know me and most don't. those that do, know i can shoot, and am picky about what i own.
i am very satisfied with the quality of work and very highly recommend these guys. i paid a good penny for this build, nothing was given for free advertising, and i will be honest and not pull punches, just give an honest review of what i paid for and how it shoots.

so now all of you that aren't satisfied with your gun, contact them and they'll make you happy

thanks BENCHMARK BARRELS CREW, ya did good................

and pics soon..
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 156
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

just questioning here, maybe I did not read it right, but did you say that they used a Lilja on your build? if so, why would they? being a custom barrel builder use someone elses barrel for a build. I am a avid fan of the .280 Improved tho, great choice. Good luck, Ron Tilley
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:25 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 421
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

I believe he's saying the barrel is a "lilja contour" but made by benchmark. Each manufacture has slightly different countours available.

I would like to praise Benchmark as well. They made me a barrel for my 7WSM that shoots great! I'm still working on load development but already have a load that shoots better than 1/2 MOA at 600yds. Mine is a 3 groove, 1:9 twist, varmint countour, fluted, 26" stainless etc. and they installed the muzzle brake. I get very little copper fouling compared to other barrels I've used. It's much easier to clean. POI does not shift as the barrel heats up and I've gotten it pretty warm. The barrel seems to shoot faster than advertised MV's. I kick out 175gr SMK's at almost 3100fps! For some reason I can't get the 168gr Berger VLD's any faster without pressure signs (like I said I'm still working on load development). The guys a Benchmark are top notch, and I would recommend them to anyone. They built my buddy a 308 that shoots very well also and he has almost no copper fouling, it's amazing. Here's a pic of my WSM.


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Old 09-03-2008, 06:07 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: new mexico
Posts: 243
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

i've got 11 rounds down the tube so far and am quite happy still.

first 5 rounds i did the shoot and clean thing, by the 5th round, cleaning was down to just a few patches !
my first load was 63.5 grains of vv n165 behind a barnes 140 gr. tipped triple shock, fired by a fed. 210 match primer in new nosler brass. it is a pretty warm load in my rifle, and the group was around 1 1/2". not the greatest to say the least. yesterday i shot 2 - 3 shot groups again.
i backed off to 63.0 grains but went with a fed. 215 magnum primer, and tried 0.20 off and 0.40 off to see if there was an accuracy difference.
first groups was the .40's and they shot right at an inch, so i cleaned and 5 patches later using barnes cr-10, i had a clean patch clean bore! very nice.
then i fired the .20's and the group went right into the .40's and was right at an inch as well. so, she's got it, but i gotta find the right load for her.
cleaning is a snap, soak patch in barnes cr-10, 1st one comes out black,wait 5 minutes, push another soaked patch thru, a little blue comes out, wait 10 minutes and clean dry patch goes down. little blue and just a hint of black, comes out, another wet patch, wait 5 minutes and 1 dry. when i go to put any rifle up, i use hoppes after. i have a fear that barnes may eat my barrel if i missed any, so in MY head i use hoppes to possibly cut it, and dry patch it for 2 or so afterwards.
just my phobia....

for today i loaded 64.0 grains of rldr-22, fed. 215 mag primer, and seated the ttsx at 0.020 off. we'll see.

now a question berger vld's ? where to start at seating depth, touching like they say ? i cn but.... i know about pressure spikes, and don't like that....
0.20 okay to start ???

Last edited by splattermatic; 09-03-2008 at 06:49 PM. Reason: can't spell
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:56 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 421
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

My experince with Berger VLD's is that it's a waste to try jumping them. I start tougching the lands and back the powder charge down and work up. They seem really picky, but if you want a high BC, you got to pay to play. JMHO.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:53 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: new mexico
Posts: 243
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

well, 64.0 grains of rldr 22 shot just a touch better.
tommorrow is berger day.
i reduced the charge by 1 grain, to 63.0 and have them seated out to touch the rifling.
if these don't shoot, then i'm gonna try regular tsx's, accubonds, and partitions. all 140's.
if none shoot, then i'll start the gamett of 160's.

amyone, have a few 160's of some flavor they wanna donate to the cause for me to see if they'll shoot better than 140's ???

i don't wanna wind up with a bunch of useless bullets.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:37 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 325
Re: benchmark barrels custom 280ai build

Thanks for the heads up on Benchmark and the two builds mentioned above. I used to live just down the road from them and I have been hearing good reports.
One question, do they make barrels longer in length than 27.5"?
I have a Rem M700 VS LH in 223 that I have gotten bored with and I am wanting a 6.5 x 7mm WSM wildcat built, I am hoping for a 29" bbl, plus a brake.
landcbeitner, did Benchmark design your muzzle brake?

Snohomish Co. Washington
NRA Life Member
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