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Lawton actions and barrels

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Unread 03-18-2009, 09:29 PM
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Lawton actions and barrels

Looked back at some old reviews of their actions, and was curious if any one had current info they would like to share about the Lawton products. Any opinions based on recent experience would be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 03-19-2009, 12:12 AM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

I had Kirby Allen build a 6.5-06 AI on their 7000 action a couple of years ago. Back then they were having some quality control issues. I ended up giving Kirby another couple hundred to bring that action up to other custom action standards. Since then, I seem to recall Kirby mentioning in another post that their quality control issues had been resolved. You may want to talk directly with Kirby and see what he thinks. He goes by Fiftydriver on LRH. Send him a PM.
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Unread 03-19-2009, 09:22 AM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

I have two of their 7500 models, one is a RBLP .534 BF. my local smith said he did not have to a thing to it, it is in 30 STW and is a tack driver.
The other is in Kirby's hands right now so I do not know how true it is.
Unfortunately Barney Lawton passed away recently, we can only hope that the company will continue as it did before with out him.
The last one took less than a month from order to me.
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Unread 03-19-2009, 10:56 AM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

A couple years ago, Lawton has some issues with receiver squareness. The problem was tracked back to a problem with the bolts they were using which were not made in house. Lawton was told that these bolts were match grade, basically, all you had to do was install, lap the lugs and good to go.

Well, One thing Lawton did do wrong was not check the squareness and take someones word on something. We have all been victims of that at one time or another. Unfortunately, in this case, the Lawton name took a bit of a beating for a bit.

I worked with Barney to find out what the problem was and we came to the conclusion that it was the bolts as the receivers themselves were square which is the part them made.

Upon this discovery, they decided to add to the tooling line and make their bolts inhouse. As far as I know now, they make all parts in house, at least all major parts for their receivers.

The only receivers this really effected were the M7000 receivers. The M7500, M8000 and M8500 were always square and true because them made all the parts inhouse, that being receiver body and bolt body.

Since then, I have had several of the post "problem" receivers and all have been very good quality.

For the past several months, Lawton Machine has been under control of another company or owner. Barney had stayed with them to oversee their set up but when Barney passed, the company was well on its way and seem to be turning out good work.

I received two receivers last week that are freshly made receivers and they checked out very well, ready to build on out of the box.

It was sad to hear Barney passed, he was a very good man and was more then willing to talk your ear off whenever you had questions for him and was also more then willing to try to solve any problems that may come up with his products. I remembered when I was having problems with his receivers, he told me to submit a bill for my time to correct the receiver problems, did not matter how much, he would cover my time to make it right. Just the kind of man he was. Good guy, we have lost some very good men in our sport this past year for sure.

As of right now, I would have no problem using a Lawton receiver for a build of mine personally or my customers. Their shipping times have also improved.
Kirby Allen(50)

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

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Unread 03-19-2009, 02:24 PM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

While I can't comment on there workmanship (still waiting on my barrel action). I can comment on wait times. My order was placed nearly 11 months ago and I am still waiting. And while I don't mind waiting on a quality product I think 11 months is getting a bit excessive. Please don't take this as me trying to bad mouth Lawton, because I'm not. If the finished product is of the quality I'm expecting then the wait was worthwhile. I just wish the production/wait times could be reduced.
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Unread 03-19-2009, 02:33 PM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

I bought a 7000 action and barrel from Lawton machine. When I placed the order I had talked to Barney several times. He was very helpful, but he got sick not long after I placed the order. When I first got it the bolt was not fluted, and the ejector was stuck inside the bolt face and would not eject a shell. There was also what looked like file marks on the corners of the bolt lugs. There was also some dings in the barrel and the bolt release was loose fitting. They were very apologetic and said they would fix everything. I got a new bolt the second time. The tool marks were not there but the extractor was very loose and when it did pull the brass out of the chamber it gouged the full length of the brass and would not eject it. It also would not pick up a loaded round out of the magazine. (It was the first time they chambered a 6.5 creedmoor) Once again I sent it back. This time everything looks pretty good. It shoots very well. I think if Barney had been the one overseeing the work it would have been better the first time. Some of the guys I talked to down there were not very knowledgeable. One guy told me there was no such thing as a 260 remington. I'm happy with the rifle now but I wouldn't buy another one from them since Barney passed.
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Unread 03-19-2009, 03:23 PM
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Re: Lawton actions and barrels

I have several custom rifles built on Lawton actions, and I am very familiar with the operations in the shop. Barney was a wonderful gentleman, God rest his soul.
My personal opinion is that the quality control of the finished product, and delivery times are not acceptable to me.
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