I have finally received all the parts I need to assemble my new long range hunting rifle (for Saskatchewan whitetails). The project started in November 2008 and the first part (McMillan Stock) was ordered December 1st. The inspiration for the build was Charales Ballard winning the 1000yrd F-Class Nationals using a "staight" .284 win. To me, the .284 sounded like an ideal long range hunting rig. Awesome BC's for bullet diameter and weight, very little recoil (comparatively), and a light weight short action receiver. Here came the first obstacle. I did a lot of research and found that if I was going to shoot bullets no longer that Honady's 162gr A-max out of the short action, I would be able to get enough powder into the case and still fit mag length while not hindering velocity. The second obstacle was the apparent feeding problem when feeding the fatter .284 cases from the mag. So, I knew I had a few challenges ahead of me to get this to work. What I decided was that I was going to go with a quality, very tight tolerance bottom metal and magazine to hopefully help alleviate some of the feeding problems. Badger makes the best in the business and I quickly had one on its way with a five round Accuracy International magazine. What I can say is that I can only get four rounds in the five round .308 mag (again because of the fatter cases), and that, sure enough, they did not feed properly. Because the feed lips on the magazine hold the fatter cases lower in the mag well, the bolt would pick one up but quickly push it down below the bolt and jam. I very simple bending of the feed lips to raise the cartridge in the well eliminated the problem and now feed smoothly and reliably like any badger/AI system. Another bonus using the AI mag is that it fits 2.88 COAL rounds, helping me get a little more powder in the case.
Dave Kiff helped me with my reamer specs. The reamer is set up for Win brass shooting both 140gr and 160gr Accubonds (same ogive) and should shoot the 162gr Hornady A-max's for target shooting. It has a freebore of .090 which will allow rounds of 2.88 COAL to just kiss the lands with the steeper 1degree30 leade. My virgin loaded Win brass necks measured .313 to .315. I brought them all to .313 loaded which cleaned up about 80-90% of each neck. A few, maybe 20 per 100 allowed for a full 100% clean up. Dave cut my reamer with a .317 neck which gives me .002 per side of neck/chamber clearance which is ideal. It has been said by a few respected builders/shooters that too tight tolerances in neck/chamber create accuracy problems with the .284.
Surgeon SA Repeater
Kreiger 1:9 #5 SS 24"
Badger M5 & AI 5 round mag, 2.88COAL max
Dave Kiff reamer .317nk, .090fb, 1 degree 30 leade
Leupold Mark4 30mm aluminum rings.
Will be Cerakoted mate black
Everything less the barrel weighed 4lb 10oz. The barrel, still 30" long, weighs 4lb 6oz but will have 7" cut off of it plus will get a bit lighter after threads and chamber. So, before scope it will weigh approx. 8lbs.
So now a little more waiting for it to be assembled then some load development. I'll be sure to keep you updated with pictures of it assembled and range reports.
Looks like a really nice rifle you are putting together there!
You will love the 162 a-max. I use them in a 7mm mag and they are my goto proj past 350 yds. Only ever needed one, all shots 358 -638 yds were one shot, DRT. Inside 350 yds I use 160 accubond, probably the only proj to use if you could only use one, IMHO.
Thanks for your reply Stu.
I keep hearing it over and over that Hornady's 162gr A-max's are the awsome 7mm bullet. Jerry Tierney over at 6mmbr.com says that they are the most accurate bullet he tested. And yes, the 160 AB have an amazing BC of 0.531 for a 7mm hunting bullet. Can't wait to test them myself. What twist barrel are you shooting the 160's with?
Any other comments on the .284Win or 7mm bullets greatly appreciated.
I'm using a 1-9 twist 26" No5 barrel, the barrel manufacturer calls it a "special geometry", but I have no idea what is special about it!
The hornady box says the a-max need a 1-8 twist, but most people I have heard of use a 1-9 and get good results.
Nice build. Who is putting it together for you, and why did you order the barrel 30" long to then cut 7" off it. Where you unsure as to what length you were going with or did it have to do with wanting a certain muzzle diameter and needed to carry the profile out to 30"?
All I did was order a #5 contour that I wanted to finish at 24" from Krieger. They just sent it to me like this, I know their blanks are 30", and this one measures 30" exactly. There is a light scratch on the barrel at 24" where the guy doing the contouring made a reference mark.
I'm in Canada. A guy named Grant Schick in Manitoba is doing the smithing. He primarily builds competition PPC's. In fact he built my friends gun who holds a Canadian BR record.