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Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

 
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  #1  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:47 PM
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Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

Hello Fellow shooters,

I have finally decided to join this forum because it seems to be the only place where long range hunters actually help each other with strong advice.
I am no newb to rifles and not so bad with a bow either but this long range rifle build has my head spinning. Before I let my self purchase a long range rifle I have decided to build two of my own so that I know exactly what goes into it. (kinda like building a hot rod rather than just buying one) Please bare with me as I will have lots of questions and am anal about accuracy.

Gear:

1.) Basic Remington 700 BDL chambered in 7mm rem mag, Bell and Carlson Thumbhole stock, Timney trigger at 1.8 lbs, Full float, block, glass, topped with Leupold Custom Long range scope w/already installed Mill Dot reticle and long range turrets, shooting factory Fed Premium ammo 140 gr accubonds, factory barrel, factory action

2.) Basic Remington 700 BDL chambered in .300 Ultra Mag, BlackHawk Thumbhole full float stock, bedded/blocked, Same Leuopold Long range scope as mentioned above, Timney Trigger at 1.8lbs, shooting factory Fed Premium 200gr Partitions, factory barrel, factory action

From reading, reading.......and reading some more I have come to the conclusion that there are three weak points in these rifles, Barrels, Actions, Loads

I have had decent success with these set ups using the Ballistics program Exbal.

Questions:

Barrels: I have looked into Hart barrels, and aside from their fancy fluting which is a plus, I have decided to go with their match grade barrels, fluted bolt and muzzle brake. So the questions go: What length? Twist? Tapper? Anything else I should know?


Action: I know I need to have these barrels trued to the actions, what exactly IS truing, what do I need to know about it? And will these factory actions suffice?


Loads: I know barrels and Loads go hand in hand, so my first question is can a newb honestly build serious long range tack drivers doing load development them selves, or is this best left for a pro? If I attempt this myself, what kind of bullet must I use? (I see every one is into Bergers these days) Grains? Dimensions, shapes? Speeds?

I hunt Deer and Pronghorn with the 7mm and Elk or bigger game with the 300 Ultra Mag. I have always believed that its not neccesarily about the bullet weight, speed, flattest shooting ect, its accuracy that kills. I have no problem putting in the bench time to get to know the rifles and build a better shot, I just want to build these guns to the point that a miss would only be the result of the shooter.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to learning the proper information needed to finish these rifles.
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 12:40 PM
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

After watching a video on here, I now realize what goes into blue printing/ truing an action.

So the question is now, how do you pick the barrel, twist, length, tapper, ect if you do not know exactly what bullet you will use (I dont care about brands and all that, im purely after the most accurate bullet out of that After looking on Bergers website they have recomended twists for each bullet, how ever I am not sure which bullet would be right for each gun?

Also, with Berger bullets, are you able to purchase already loaded rounds or must you load them all your self, which way is best for the most accurate set up?

Thanks,
Abe
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2011, 03:33 PM
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Location: Falls Church, VA
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

Abe:
You have two very nice rifles to use for a custom longrange build. As you stated, the weak points in both rifles is barrel, action and loads.

Are they shooting .5moa or better at 200yards? if so, why make any changes?

Let me take a crack at some of your general questions....

Barrels
Length: generally speaking, the longer the barrel, the more velocity you can get. If your barrel gets too long though, it can become cumbersome. Generally speaking, a longrange rig has a barrel in the 26 to 32" range.

Taper: The heavier the barrel, the stiffer it will be. Stiffer barrels are generally more accurate. Downside of a heavy taper is that it makes the overall package heavier. This is not a problem for a dedicated longrange rig where you will carry your rifle to a shooting position and set up. If you intend the carry the rifle, weight can become an issue. My carry rifle weighs 9lbs. My dedicated longrange rigs weight 14 and 16lbs.

Twist: What ever caliber you choose, use a twist rate that will allow you to shoot the heaviest bullet. In your particular case, a 7mm will generally have a 1:9 twist as it will stabilize the 180grain bullets. A 1:11 twist will take care of the the 30cal bullets up to 210grains. If you want to shoot the new Berger 230grain hybrid, you will need 1:10.

Actions
Your Rem700 actions are some of the best in the business. Many of the custom actions that are out there are just Rem700 clones.

Since you have seen the video of truing an action, there's not much more that I can add. If you do rebarrel your rifle(s), have the actions trued/blueprinted (interchangable terms)

Loads
Handload, handload, handload. By handloading you are able to customize your ammunition to your rifle and the task at hand. Handloading is something that you can do and you should do.

In load development, I take a reverse engineering type of approach. Which is to say I start with the intended use (hunting big game, varmints, targets). Once that decision is made, I consider the bullet I would 'like' to shoot. Then I start to work on getting that bullet to work in my rifle.

One thing that will help the members of this forum with your projects is to narrow your focus a bit. Rather than querying about both rifles, take one at a time. Tell us about your intended use for the rifle and if you have any type of budgetary constraints.

Keep the questions coming.

As a potential point(s) of reference, here are links to my carry rifle and two dedicated longrange rigs:

My 280 - Updated!

My 260 by MCR

My 300RUM by MCR
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2011, 03:54 PM
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

trebark- Thanks for your reply! I plan on finishing these two and am not to concered about weight as I dont mind lugging around a 15lbs rifle when I can get my buddies to carry the rest of the gear . I plan on building a light weight long range/semi-long range gun or just buying one after I actually figure these two out myself. I appreciate your help and input, keep it comming! Also, what is the best way to learn how reloading pricisley works....videos? books?
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:31 PM
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHunterAbe View Post
trebark- Thanks for your reply! I plan on finishing these two and am not to concered about weight as I dont mind lugging around a 15lbs rifle when I can get my buddies to carry the rest of the gear . I plan on building a light weight long range/semi-long range gun or just buying one after I actually figure these two out myself. I appreciate your help and input, keep it comming! Also, what is the best way to learn how reloading pricisley works....videos? books?
ok - so you want to work on the two rifles you have. My first suggestion would be to consider your caliber choice. When you rebarrel a rifle, you can pretty much choose whatever cartridge you wish. The reason for my suggestion is because ballistically, there's not much difference between a 7mag and a 300rum. My suggestion would be to consider changing the 7mag into something that can kill antelope and deer at fairly longrange, but has less recoil and better barrel life.

For instance, in my three rifles, the 260 will kill deer out to ~900 yards and the 300rum will kill them at ~1500. The 260 is the workhorse and gets most of the shooting jobs. It is extremely accurate and provides very good barrel life.

Because both of your rifles are long actions, you might want to consider rebarreling your 7mag in 280Rem. With a 28" barrel, you can probably get the 168VLD going 2950+. That will easily kill deer/antelope at 1000yards and give a lot more barrel life than the 7mag.

For reloading, read, read, read. Get your hands on some reloading manuals (even older editions) and read their 'how to' pages. Check out youtube and search for reloading videos. Reloading is like a lot of things in life in that there are different ways of accomplishing the same things and often everyone has an opinion as to which way is best.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:54 PM
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

I see, awesome input! And another question....I never considered rechambering these guns but now that you got me ticking, give me your thoughts about chambering the 7mm to a 7mm ultra mag..?

Upon completion of these two rifles I was planning to buy a 30-378 WTBY but building a rifle with better barrel life sounds even better. Just to throw out a feeler I have a M77 Ruger .338 win mag laying around and a real nice TC Encore in .270, any considerations on building something out of these? Or is it best to stick with the above mentioned smaller calibers?
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:18 PM
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Re: Hungry for Knowledge and Advice-Rifle Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHunterAbe View Post
I see, awesome input! And another question....I never considered rechambering these guns but now that you got me ticking, give me your thoughts about chambering the 7mm to a 7mm ultra mag..?
When you rebarrel the 7mag, you can pretty much choose any cartridge with a magnum bolt face (.534). The 7Rem Mag and 7RUM both use the same boltface, so you can easily rebarrel to 7RUM. If you're going to leave other rifles as 300rum, then no reason to build a 7rum. Plus the 7rum is a known barrel burner.

As I said before, I would recommend building a rifle in a cartridge that would give you a lot more barrel life.


Quote:
Upon completion of these two rifles I was planning to buy a 30-378 WTBY but building a rifle with better barrel life sounds even better. Just to throw out a feeler I have a M77 Ruger .338 win mag laying around and a real nice TC Encore in .270, any considerations on building something out of these? Or is it best to stick with the above mentioned smaller calibers?
Why buy a 30-378 when you already have a 300rum?

While your Ruger is probably a very nice rifle, I would recommend you sell it and use the cash on the other two rifles. There are LOTS of aftermarket parts for the Rem700s and every gunsmith works on Rem700s. But it is difficult to find aftermarket parts (especially custom rings and bases) for the Rugers.

The TC Encore is a nice rifle but not a great platform for a longrange rifle. Because it's so lightweight, it could be your carry-rifle.
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