I new here and wanting to look at building my first gun. I have been shooting for years but not really seriously (more just for hunting purposes). I am really wanting to do more long range shooting but also learn more on building a rifle also. I would like to make a gun that works good for hunting Elk, Deer, Antelope since I live in Montana, but is not joy able to shoot. I am having to look at expense a lot, so I read the article on how to build a 1000 yd. gun for under 1000 dollars. Was very interested in the Stevens action, but have always be fond of the Remington 700 action. Be on actions do not really know where to start. I am looking at going with 7mm Remington. Wondering if you guys have any advice or ideas of what products to look at. Any advice would be great.
Ok so you want to start shooting long-ish range. I will say that it is a lot of fun! I will also say that unless you are wealthy it would be exceedingly difficult to really learn to shoot Long Range unless you reload as well.
Your choice of 7mag is truly a fine choice to get started. You can buy very high quality ammo for it if you look around, but as said above it will be too expensive to enjoy shooting. That is true for most any full size centerfire. Another truly fine choice is the 7 SAUM by remington. For that one, you may wish to reload as ammo for it can be kinda hard to find at times. Not saying it is a dead round, but most walmarts or kmarts I have been to have 243, 308, 30-06, 7mmRM, 300WM, Oh and sometimes 260 and/or 7-08. Of course you can go looking for a dedicated gun shop...
Stevens / Savage = You can buy the basic hand tools and gages to swap out pre-fit barrels yourself. This saves both TIME at the Smith, and Money for a *GOOD* smith. Buy once on the tools and cry once. The bad news here is that once you buy a pre-fit barrel you are truly at the mercy of that barrel maker and how well he does his job. You could have the smoothest, best bore ever!!, but if the chamber is cut poorly you can forget about anything like real accuracy. This is the downside to DYI.
Remington, You would need to send it to a smith. Period. The good news is, a *GOOD* smith will do the job right the first time.
Only you can decide your budget, but $1000 for a for sure accurate rifle? ********. Buy a Savage Long Range Hunter, or a Remington Sendaro LR setup. I personally don't trust Remington anymore, but here VERY recently some folks I trust have told me they bought a brand new remmy and they have been good out of the box. I however, will wait a while. They burned me twice, Piss on them. Of course I am not the most patient man on earth, but over 3 months of back and forth and them trying to make me pay shipping... no thank. Bought a Savage and it was accurate out of the box. Maybe I just got lucky, who knows.
Now there are some smiths on here who are known good, and reputable. Perhaps 1 or 2 of them will chime in on $1000 for an accurate build, heck I may be mistaken.
Welcome to LRH and enjoy! Where in MT are you from?
Yes, $1K LR rig is very possible and there are quite a few folks here that are always willing and able to help out and are die hard Savage fans, I'm sure BNG (another Big Sky Country member) and others will chime in soon.
Thank you for writing back to me. Thank you for the advice. I actually just moved to Belgrade, MT from Idaho Falls. diriel I did want to let you know I do reload so that will help me keep it lower on cost. I have looked at the savage LRH, but have kind of wanted to use this gun as my learn gun for custom guns. I am wanting to learn different products and how things work with the guns. As for the 1000 dollar if i do go over a bit that is ok cause this gun will take me sometime to get going and figured I could research on-line well working to put it together. I am glad i found this website.
I have four Tikka T-3 Lights that shoot under ten inches at 1000 yards and have taken game over 800 yards now with three of them. You can get those on sale for under or a little over $500. Now that they have quit chambering the 338 winchester get the 300 winchester and you can probably kill stuff to your range ability. I shot a caribou last week at 922 yards with an off the shelf 300 winchester Tikka. One shot right through the chest.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
In that case sir, the Savage / Stevens is most likely the route to go. With it, you can do re-barrel's yourself and save both time and money. You will find savage does have things like custom bottom metal, and detachable mag systems available for it. It also has a lot of stock options.
The more I think about it, Here is a link to a place that makes wood and laminate stocks, perhaps part of your learning process might be how to finish the last couple percent points of inletting and then install pillars and properly bed the stock. The good news is you can get most styles for under $150. Later on you could save up for a Manners or McMillan which is pretty much top of the line. http://rifle-stocks.com/
By the way If you can, I would think about going Short Action because things like Picatinny Rails and stock options / bottom metal and stuff seems to be a bit easier to come by in an SA. The good news is, you can change out the bolt head yourself as well, so you can change a .473 bolt fact into a .532 mag bolt face without too much hassle.
Learning is fun if you are really into rolling up your sleeves and getting a bit dirty! There is a TON of knowledge on this site on how to get stuff done, and there are some great smiths who don't seem to mind answering questions as well. You know, the odd thing about all this is that you will end up spending more on a scope than what the rifle will likely cost!
By the way, I hate to "go there" but I would try Shilen Rifle Barrels or McGowen way way way way *WAY* before I would *EVER* consider a Pac-Nor prefit ever again. Pac-Nor will tell you "oh you are getting 1 MOA? PERFECT!! You are doing great, Good Job!" and hang up on you. Fck That!!! I didn't spend $400+ on a pre-fit barrel to get AT BEST 1 MOA... not no but HELL NO. So I would call whoever and ASK Specifically "Hey if i can only get 1 MOA will you replace it or repair it?" before I would drop the cash on a pre-fit barrel. Hey, I learned the hard way. My Pac-Nor never cleaned easy, and the chamber was not cut "square and concentric", thus getting even 1 moa was a stone bitch. Whole lotta money for something 90% ++ OEM factory Savage rifles will beat quite easily...