I have a project in mind and I thought I would see what you guys think. I have a Ruger M77 30-06 that suffers from a poor barrel and an even worse stock, but it does have and extremely smooth action and a great trigger. I donít think it is original but since I bought the rifle used I am not sure. It has been my hunting rifle since I was 12 and it doesnít seem to want to hold a group any more.
I was thinking about having it re-barreled in a 6.5-06 AI, from Pac-Nor I could have a barrel installed and the action lapped and trued. I was thinking about a 30Ē or so, 1.25Ē no taper barrel with a barrel block. I figure this would take the stress off the action and I am not sure the Ruger action would handle the weight very well. I would be using a Benchrest style laminate stock from Elk Ridge Stocks.
I am not concerned with weight but I want a benchrest style varmint gun that is accurate. I figure with the gun work, barrel, stock and barrel block I should be into it for around $800-$1000, I would like to use a nice action but the extra cost is a concern. Do you think that the above setup would work or should I try to get a different action?
And on another note, it is great to be back reading about Long Range Hunting. School has been taking all my time and I havenít been back to this site in a long time. Glad to see you all are still giving out the good info.
Pennell, I don't think your going to get more accuracy out of a barrel with no taper, and then you got to lug that thing around, A regular Remington type varmint taper, or even slightly less of a taper, will serve you just as well in the accuracy dept. and it will be easier to carry, The Ruger action should be a fine platform to rebuild that rifle. Check into the Polygonal barrels that Pac-Nor makes. Jay
I am not worried about the weight; I am planning on building the gun for varmints and paper mostly. I figure the weight would probably be around 30lbs or so. Also with the straight tube the barrel block will be simple otherwise I have to have a custom taper cut.
I am thinking on shooting the 140/142gr MatchKing and the 140gr A-Max, any suggestions on the twist? I think the velocity would be in the 3100 fps range.
Pennell not many gunsmiths want to be bothered working on Rugers. I had entertained that very same thought and found it hard to find a quality gunsmith to make a bench type gun from one. I have a varmint/target model Ruger that is super accurate. Even after several thousand rounds the thing still shoots great. I absolutely tortured that rifle and it still is as reliable as when I first biught it. If you find a good gunsmith that will build a bench gun and find a bench style stock for it I would be interested in hearing about it. I have the train of thought that if you put a good barrel on a Ruger action that it will shoot as good as anything else.
Think you are off on your costs a little, assuming you have a gunsmith do it all:
Bedding block with barrel installed $300-400 30" Barrel chambered is $450-500
Elk Ridge stock (not sure cost) $250-350
Inletting & auto clear finish $200-300
for that reason, I agree skip the bedding block. I have a 6.5-06AI with 28" barrel and I can easily get 3000fps. Just buy standard HV taper. John Hoover has 12 new 8.5 twist 6.5 Kriegers in now for $290, PA taper that will finish 29-30" and .930 at muzzle. Just ordered one to rebarrel mine.
Go with the 8.5 twist, AMAX, or JLK
Second depending on price, look at a Bruce Baer laminated stock. You can get a LG stock already inletted for $250-275, so compare to elk ridge prices and Bruce's stocks are second to none. All colors and 25 stock patterns and can mix and match fronts and rear.
finally, I would recommend that you go with 6.5-284, the 06AI requires fireforming and only great brass is Lapua. Absolutely no difference in accuracy or velocity. No need for custom dies, get off shelf Redding comp dies. Only reason I am staying with the 06AI, is I have the reamer and custom dies already and just fireformed 100 pieces of Lapua brass and old barrel is going to be fireforming barrel.
If you are going to get a barrel block, buy the split block. Will save you big bucks later when you rebarrel. Cost on removing barrel from single block that has barrel glued in is higher.
Finally, you will find brass will last longer and accuracy better if keep velocity in 3000 fps range. 3100 fps is really pushing the 284 or the 06AI and primer pockets are first to go.
BountyHunter, I figured the cost as $500 for the barreled action, $250 for the stock, and whatever the cost of a barrel block is. I am not sure on the cost of a block but I figured a glue-in type it couldnít be that bad and a split type shouldnít be too much over $250. As for the stock Elk Ridge is here in Oregon so I could run down there and explain what I want and have a unfinished drop-in with extra wood and the barrel channel cut for approx $250, not including the cost for a barrel block cut out.
As for the dies I hadnít really thought about that. I didnít think that 06AI dies would be a problem but it looks like Redding only has 6.5-06. I will look into the 6.5-284, but I like the 06 and I have lots of brass for it, so maybe just a 6.5-06 and some Redding competition dies?? As to the quality of the brass it looks like Norma and Lapua both have 06 brass and I though Winchester brass was supposed to be decent.
This is all theory right now as the money for a project just isnít here, hopefully in a couple of months. Mostly I am just trying to figure out if the Ruger action is worth building the gun on or if I should be keeping my eyes open for a different action.
I prefer 6.5/06 because the 6.5/06 family have a longer neck and that more easy to follow the throat wear , long neck seem more smooth for throat erosion too , only problem is that regular 06 reamer have a broad base and you get large base after firing
design as 265 RCBS or 264 Williams ( midle imp case ) are very fine if you plan to go in Wildcat , reamer available from JGS
check you neck diameter too , over 0.297 that far too broad , I use 0.297 for Hunting / varmint and 0.292 for shooting , all my 6.5/06 case are made from 270 Win to get a prefect square neck when finish at right lenght
Forster die are very good and seater work fine for less money than Redding seater , you just need to find a S die from Reddind , 25.06 with minor modification works fine ( 25.06 AI too )