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Some advice for my first custom build

 
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  #1  
Old 01-19-2009, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 153
Some advice for my first custom build

So first off I've never owned and have actually only shot one custom rifle.

I now have 864 rounds down the pipe on my remington sendero II in 300RUM. The rifle has always treated me very well and after practice with it, and thousands of rounds (with long range learning the focus) through my .223, and 30-06 I am finally able to make confidant shots out to 700yrds (that's the point at which I no longer trust my skills to make a clean one shot kill). This past season I was four rounds fired with three kills - pronghorn on a rare non-windy day at 687 (something I am really proud of!) muley at 511 and an elk right at 550yrds and 15 degrees uphill; the elk took two shots :( i screwed up the wind the first shot

I have most of my time behind the rum attempting to find a load that shot well. to be honest the best groups (3 shots) i have ever gotten have been right at 3" at 300yrds, however i can consistently shoot 3.5-4.5" at 300yrds. I really thought that I just was never going to be nearly as good as many of you guys out there (now I know that most people are stretching the truth a bit when they talk about their 1/2 and 1/4 moa everyday), but I had a chance to get behind a friends custom built 300rum and found myself shooting a lot better - two groups at the same 300 yrd range that were under 2" and my "largest" three shot group was 2.75". Now, I am sure that there were a few factors that led to my personal best shooting; better trigger pull, a DE break, better rifle with a better load? something else?

Over the past 6 months i have been floating the idea of making a big purchase and going for a custom rifle, while saving and saving for the project. I am ready to send away a couple months mortgage payments and I really think I am leaning towards getting a .338EDGE. I am really looking for everyones suggestions of what direction to go with this build...

thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2009, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 210
Re: Some advice for my first custom build

Hard to go wrong with one of Shawn's builds. I have seen 4 up close and all shot extremely well! Perhaps you could talk to him and get his ideas. You might even like one of his lighter weight versions....good luck, building a custom can be a lot of fun. With your attitude toward practice I can confidently predict you will stretch your distances going to the Edge! 30-338
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2009, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,059
Re: Some advice for my first custom build

The rifle you have does what needs to be done. If you just want a custom rifle that is fine.

Being as you have at least two rifles to practice with you do not need to worry about burning out the barrel of your custom rifle and can get as exotic as you wish of as normal as you wish.

You have two choices at this time: 1. get a custom action or 2. Rebuild off of your Sendero action. It is a little late in the year to be sure to get a rifle built for next hunting season so you would need to check with the gunsmith on his ability to build it before the next hunting season if you use your existing action. One option would be to spend this year gathering up funds and parts and to start the build immediately after the 2009 hunting season is over. Usually a custom rifle is easier to develop a good load for than a factory rifle but it is not always the case. So load development will probably not take a lot of time once the rifle is delivered and if you get an Edge then the recipes are pretty well known

A persons style of hunting pretty well dictates, stock design, barrel length and scope choice. If it is a carry gun then you have to keep the weight down to some reasonable amount. If you plan to hike up to some ridge line and set up and wait, then you can have it be pretty heavy.

As far as stocks go I have a MacM A5 which is well designed and a pleasure to shoot and I have a Joel Russo laminate thumbhole which is wonderful to shoot and really beautiful. I doubt I will ever get another synthetic stock being as the wood is just so much more appealing as far as looks and feel. A lot of people speak highly of the Manner stocks but I have no personal knowledge of them.

There are a lot of good barrel makers. Most of them make barrels that are better than I can shoot. For a person like me it really makes not much difference which barrel as long as it is right for the cartridge of choice.

Triggers is about the same thing. Most of the after market triggers are good enough for me. The one rifle I shoot in competition has a factory Rem trigger that is worked over. It feels as good as any of the aftermarket triggers that cost $200 to me.

Optics is a place to spend a lot of money. This is the one place where I really know the difference between good and bad hardware. I hunt hard and I do not take it well if an animal walks away because of a bad piece of optical gear. If I choose not to take a shoot because of bad angle or bad wind that is my choice but I detest bad optical equipment that lets an animal walk.

Gunsmiths is a critical choice. Chose one that has a reputation for building long range hunting rifles and has a history of happy customers. While you did not mention Shawn as the gunsmith you did mention his gear. I have one of his brakes and two of his cheekpieces and he is a nice guy to deal with and certainly knows how to build long range rifles.


I will just say one more time. Put a lot of money into the optics. Its important.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2009, 11:57 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 153
Re: Some advice for my first custom build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post

I will just say one more time. Put a lot of money into the optics. Its important.

I've got a nightforce scope on my sendero right now and will be putting another one on any new rifle(s) i get!!!
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2009, 12:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
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Re: Some advice for my first custom build

When you join the ranks of a custom rig owner, you will understand why we "stretch" the truth a bit with our 1/2-1/4 MOA daily capabilities.

I dunno, maybe I have been lucky in the accurate rifle department?
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Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2009, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 153
Re: Some advice for my first custom build

Quote:
Originally Posted by meichele View Post
When you join the ranks of a custom rig owner, you will understand why we "stretch" the truth a bit with our 1/2-1/4 MOA daily capabilities.

I dunno, maybe I have been lucky in the accurate rifle department?
I'm not saying that anyone specific is lying - I'm just pointing out that much of the crap people post online about how they can shot 1" groups at 600 yrds all day are full of it. That is the number one reason why I like this site; people aren't just turing their dreams into a typed story they are pretending to be true!
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2009, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Re: Some advice for my first custom build

I'd just build off your Remington. It will handle a 338 edge nicely.

338 is a pricey round to shoot.

Here is what I would do, not that I know what I'm doing.

Get a Mcmillian A5 or a Manners MCS-T4, or a Russoe if you like wood better.
Badger Bottom Drop Mag.
Custom barrel (Krieger, Shielen) in Varmint contour 1:10 twist to shoot the 300 gr Bergers whenever they release em. A good smith will tell you how ong to make it. Depending on the weight of your stock it is nice to have it cut to wherever to balances properly, especially on a hunting rig. Barrel heavy is fine on benchrest rigs, but its hard to shoot in the real world, I find anyways.
Whatever muzzle break that you prefer.
Badger Rings and 20 MOA picintiny base.
Keep your NF scope of course.
Give it all to your buddy the gunsmith and get him to put it together and true the action, bed and pillar the stock and inlet the magazine.

Or you can keep it simple and cheap and just buy a new barrel and get the smith to twist it on your action and see how that goes and build up from there.
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