The makeover on my faithful hunting companion for the last 16+ years is finally complete:
I'm sorry if some of this is repeat material, but I figured it might be a good idea to put most of the info into a thread that the search function will turn up easily. Every now and then somebody asks here about A-Bolts and many more are likely afraid to ask after all the internet rumors about pressed in barrels, potmetal parts, no gunsmiths touching them, no aftermarket parts, etc.
Well, if you like them and want to build something, here were my results. Here are the specs:
16 Year Old Browning 2000+ Round A-Bolt 300 Win Composite Stalker Action
McMillan "Browning Classic" Stock, 50% Black, 35% Dark Grey, 15% White "Swirly," Medium Fill, Stainless studs, Thick Decelerator
26.7" Lilja #5 Contour Fluted Stainless Barrel, 3 Groove 1:9" Twist
Moyer's Steel Trigger (Totally adjustable for Sear Engagement, Weight and Overtravel) Installed by Me
Bedding Work Done (or at least, attempted by) Me
Barrel Work done by Kirby Allen, Allen Precision Shooting
The finished rifle weighs but 7 lbs 10 oz bare (it was only 7lbs 7 oz before I bedded the barrel channel). With a light scope and mounts it could easily go under 8.5 lbs with scope. With my heavy IOR (4-14X50 Tactical) and steel Badgers, it's just a touch over 10 lbs--but scope swaps are a 30 second deal, unlike barrel/stock/action swaps so I always have the option of losing well over a pound quickly if I get tired of carrying it.
My basic goal with this rifle was to have as much horsepower as I could shoot accurately (without a brake) from a rifle I wouldn't mind carrying. 240's at 3000 at this weight, I can handle, 300's from a big 338 at 3000...I'd need more weight and/or a brake.
Some more pictures:
The bedding job:
I've only had it out a couple of times with the new barrel, but it's enough to tell me accuracy isn't going to be a problem with this rifle. Kirby did well.
Working up a load for 240's:
A couple 240 groups:
It shoots 200 AccuBonds OK too:
That should eliminate any fears that a 1:9 twist won't shoot "normal weight" bullets well.
That's all just in the first couple trips to break it in. I'll get some results at much longer range soon. But with the results so far, if I can't hit at LR I'm thinking it's probably not the rifle's fault....
Big thanks go out to Kirby, as that's obviously where most of the accuracy is coming from. He did an outstanding job.
So, if you like A-Bolts, see a good deal on one, etc, they might not be a bad choice--especially if looking to build a light/medium weight rig as the actions/ALUMINUM
bottom metal are very light (but for a "heavy rifle" there are better choices). Bed it well into a good stock, have a good Smith screw on a quality tube, and you will likely be very happy with the results. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
In short, I'm pretty damn happy with it. Hopefully this info will be usefull for some contemplating the same path.