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Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

 
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  #1  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:18 AM
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Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

I signed up for a class through the NRA Short-Term Gunsmithing program and just got the materials list. It requires a bare action, preferably a Remington 700 type, and a profiled but unthreaded, unchambered, and uncrowned rifle barrel. Since test firing is part of the class, I don't know if I should get into building anything with an AI chamber because I can't fire form and reload in class. I'm looking for ideas on what to build since I better get some parts orders in now (class is in May). I don't have a whole lot of gaps in my collection but am trying to reduce the bullets I keep on hand for precision reloading to 7mm or .30 calibers. Short of dropping a lot of money on a Stiller or Pierce action, which seem to be the lowest price of the 700 aftermarket actions, I could pick up a new 700 action for a little over $400, or use a spare Remington 40X repeater that I've had sitting for a number of years. I'm kind of leaning towards the 40X because it already has a stock that fits it, so it's one less decision I have to rush into before this class. What are some cool ideas for builds you might have? I just bought a Bartlein #3 5R 1:9 7mm barrel a few months ago that I was thinking of putting on a Winchester Featherweight .280 to convert to .280 AI. How do you think that barrel finished at 26"-28" in 7mm-08 would do on a blueprinted 40X action? Worthwhile as a medium weight long range hunter for CXP2 game? I also have a Brux 6.5mm barrel sitting around that I never had any luck with buyers following through, but I'd rather not throw in one more bullet diameter to buy. I'm not totally against cutting down the factory .308 barrel and re-cutting the chamber and crown, as well. I can't imagine the instructor would have a problem with that either. Thanks.

40X .308 #2, the one in question (not currently bedded):


40X .308 #1:

Last edited by .30US; 12-15-2013 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:10 AM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

The 40 x would be a great choice to build on and for the first rifle build I would recommend a
308 because it is a very accurate cartridge and in the 40 x it could be impressive to your instructor
and friends.

The best Ammo and dies are available for the 308 and it is a straight forward project.

Later, if you wanted to wildcat the rifle you would have a great platform to work off of.

I still have a 308 40 x after more than 50 years that has won many matches and will never be sold.

I also built a 30/338 Winchester (Almost identical to the 308 Norma magnum)on a 40x single shot for 1000 yard matches and it will do anything I want it to for long range hunting.

To be a good gunsmith you should start slow and learn the fundamentals first and understand what makes an accurate rifle. then you can build anything you want.

Just a thought

J E CUSTOM
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:35 AM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

Makes perfect sense. I'm planning on using what I learn to tear apart the other 40X .308 repeater and rebuild it with the original components for F/TR. I don't really want to cut the chamber off the barrel on the 40X I plan to take to class just so I can start fresh if it might just need a little setting back, which was my thinking on using one of the other two barrels I have on hand. Both of my 40X .308s are early '70s production ('71 and '73, as I recall). Someday, I could see that takeoff 40X barrel making a good donor barrel for a long-action caliber, too. .308 was my first instinct to build, because it is what most of my friends would like me to build for them, too. Having changed direction with my .280 Featherweight, I have a .284"/7mm barrel that isn't going to be used, otherwise. Thanks for the insight. I guess I see if I can find a trade for my 6.5mm Brux barrel for a similar .30" one.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

I'm jealous. I would love to be in your position. I am wanting to take that same class but fighting forest fires makes the dates these classes are held too late for me.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:52 PM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

I've been trying to get in for something like five years or so. It's either filled up before I saw schedules posted, or I've been deployed every time. I expect to make it home in time for this one.

On a separate note, I'm really starting to consider setting back the factory barrel and keeping it as an XTC rifle in .308. Are there any particular reamers that those with experience would recommend for use with 155gr. high-BC bullets?
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:50 PM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

Thanks for your service.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:04 PM
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Re: Taking a Class and Need to Build a Rifle

Thanks, Jcub.

After significant pondering (often a lot of time for that on deployment), and J E's advice. This project will be a .308. As my goal is to build long range rifles for others eventually, I think I'm going to start from scratch to test out my business plan. I think I'm going to go with a new 700 receiver from Brownell's, which also allows me to figure out over time what I want to do with my two beloved 40X rifles; I'm pretty sure one is going to end up a 7mm of some sort with that Bartlein 5R barrel, though. I'm looking at ordering a 1:10" Pac-Nor Chrome Moly Match barrel in a Varminter/Sendero contour, which I will finish at 24"-26". I want to shoot 180 grain Sierra GameKings primarily, as they are the most reasonably priced, relatively-high BC bullet I have found. I expect to hunt deer and hogs around 400+ yards with this rifle and punch paper, once in a while, out to 1,000. Any opinions on number of grooves in the barrel to order? I've found about as many people swearing by fewer grooves as recommending more grooves. Pac-Nor offers 3 and 5 groove with 1:10" twists. Thanks.
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