My plans got changed on me, having another baby, and I was not able to do my rifle build all in one shot. So here's the question. Should I have the action trued up, and then save up for the barrel, and trigger? Or is this something that I should just save up for and have it all once?
I have a factory rem 700 in 300 win mag that I am shooting right now. It has a factory barrel that has been recrowned with a break, HS stock, factory trigger that has been worked over a bit by my old gunsmith.
My plan is a long distance hunting rifle (500 yd killer day in, and day out. With the ability to take that O MY GOD buck at 800 yds). I plan on using a hart barrel (not sure on what kind yet, need some input from you guys and some resurch on my part, but I know I want a straight flute on it), and a jewell trigger. Will be sending it to Keven Montour Coutnry Rifle. I don't have any of the after market stuff yet. Wanted to get the ducks in a rwo first, before I stated in on this project.
IMHO I would do similar to what SBruce said, I would true the action, trigger,bedding and capable optics for the goals. In most cases this will yield a sub moa rifle. I would then shoot the rifle until the barrel went south or finances allowed a barrel switch. Kevin Cram is excellent to work with. Congratulations on the baby and good luck with your gun.
Truing the action and putting the existing barrel back on will routinely change the headspace and you could end up rechambering expense for a factory barrel.
Get all your parts together first and then go to the smith. that will speed the job up tremendously. Barrels are normally the longest lead time anyway.
there are many smiths that can do absolutely great trigger jobs and you may not want or need to spend $240 for a Jewel.
Do some research with the smith and see what he has for a reamer and if it will match up with what you want to do. If not, order your own from PTG. Call and talk to Dave Kiff and see what he recommends. Cost is $150 and takes 30 days.
You can certainly do a really good scope and 20 MOA base now and just shoot what you have learning.
As far as having the rifle worked on I pretty much agree with the idea of waiting till you have the $ then do it all at once. Maybe the trigger now since that is easy, but if you factory trigger that has worked by a smith is good and can be set to #3 or less I would wait for that to.
Thing is your rifle may be just fine to get you to 500 yards, many factory rifles are. The only comment I have about the "oh my gosh" 800 yard shot is; don't go there until you are proficient at 800. Then you are an 800 yard shooter, not an 800 yard poke and hope.
I suggest you spend your money on your optics first. Rail base, good rings, the best scope you can possibly afford...... then there are rangefinders, binos etc if you don't have already.
Good optics can be great help on a so-so factory rifle..... but too often I see or hear of those who spend all their money on having a custom rifle built and put a sub-par optics system on. You would not build a great full size 4X4 truck with big mudders and such then put a tiny 4 cyl motor in it would you?