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The A-Bolt Is Done

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Unread 06-12-2006, 05:25 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Posts: 1,092
The A-Bolt Is Done

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.
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Unread 06-12-2006, 05:53 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 177
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done

That is a great looking rifle I love it!
Im a fan of the A-Bolt action and something similar to that is on the cards for a future project.

Good shooting you lucky duck.
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Unread 06-12-2006, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: El Reno, OK
Posts: 1,922
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done

Your much more of a man than I if your shooting groups like that w/an unbraked RUM!!!! Nice bedding job as well.
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Unread 06-12-2006, 10:40 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alberta
Posts: 868
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done

Wow, I never knew an A-Bolt could look so nice. Congrats. I have one of the same era as what yours was previously. Awsome looking groups. Have you thought of powdercoating it?
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Unread 06-13-2006, 06:09 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bend, Oregon
Posts: 1,524
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done

Great looking unit and it looks to shoot like anything that has APS scatched on the barrel. (like a house a fire!!) Short of the scope and mounts, what do you have in something like this financially?

Question #2. What was Kirbys turn around time?
NRA Life Member and I vote.

Only accurate rifles are interesting.

Gordy and Brady.
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Unread 06-15-2006, 03:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Posts: 1,092
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done

Thanks Bill, but I consider it more determination than manlyness. With the added weight it really feels pretty mild to me now with 200's. The 240's require concentration though....

Slopeshunter, maybe someday on the coating. It's not something I'm in a hurry for at the moment but that's partially because the finish on my rifle seems to be pretty durable. Browning seems to have used many different flavors of blueing over the years and I have heard of some being more prone to rust. I guess I lucked out. It is something I'll keep in mind for a rainy day though.

Hired Gun, the stock was around $400, the barrel was a bit more than that (fluting adds quite a bit to the price). The trigger was a little over $100 which is nice but isn't necessary for many rifles that came with a better trigger than mine did or a good smith can work over the stock one and make it pretty good for less. Kirby's bill will depend on how much work you want/the gun needs obviously and could vary widely depending on options. In my case it was less than either the barrel or the stock.

So I figure somewhere around $1300 + my action into the rifle when you add in bedding compound all the various shipping, etc. I saved some by doing the bedding myself and not going to crazy with the work I had Kirby do, not getting a brake, etc. About the only item I consider "extra" was the fluting on a #5 instead of getting a straight #4 which would weigh about the same. But I like that choice. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

There was quite a wait on the barrel and for Kirby to have an opening, but when he finally had the barrel and said he was clear to do it I think it was less than a month turn around.
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Unread 06-18-2006, 05:06 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 752
Re: The A-Bolt Is Done


Man thats a sweet looking rig for sure. I will bet that you will be happy with it for many trips to the field and range.

The only thing I hesitated about when I saw your post is that every time I look at something new or improved, it stirs something in my subconsience and I get to wondering how I can squeeze this and that to save up for something else. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Mike / Tx

My Photo's

"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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