Just thinking out loud here and maybe this post won't even have a whold lot of value, but here goes.
I am getting older and I am tired of magnum recoil so I am stepping down to a quick 7mm caliber, probably a 7mm Rem or a .280 AI. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Anyhow, I am wanting a scary accurate rifle and I can get one of those from any number of gunsmiths if I want to suck it and just write the check, along with waiting a year.
On the flip side, I can buy a used Sendero for about $500.00 -$600.00, send the action off to Hart, Pac Nor, Kreiger, etc. for a rebarrel job and action truing for around $600.00 then drop is back into the HS Precision stock along with a skim bedding job.
What's your take on this kind of project? If I do it myself what kind of accuracy could I reasonably expect out of something like a Hart installed by them simply dropped back into the stock? I know it's a gamble and there are no guarantees. At least if I shell out a bunch of coin to a major 'smith I have someone to cry to is the rifle doesn't meet expectations.
You won't spend anymore to have a smith do it than with any of the routes you said. It is no differant than sending it to a smith.
Give Chris Matthews a shout. Great guy and can answer any and all your questions.
Me personally i would send it to one of the smiths on this board just to ease my mind. Their reputations around here and other places are impecable to build an accurate rifle. By sending it to one of them you can rest assured it won't be the rifle faults.
Yeah, I know exactly where you are coming from. Still, part of me wants to shoot little bitty groups with something I worked on myself, kind of like why I tie my own fishing flies. I am also impatient and I hate the thought of not having the rifle by next hunting season. My flawed logic goes like this. Buy a used Sendero in 7 mag, shoot it and if I luck out the quest ends there, if not rebarrel. I think we all know what the chances are of 1/2 MOA from the get go. Anyhow, the guy I was going to have build the rifle is Darrell Holland and the price he quoted is about double what I would have into a used rifle, new barrell, Jewell trigger, etc.
Unless it's bad form to ask, who are the 'smiths that frequent the board? I surfed around and didn't see a list.
What do you mean by do it yourself? For a Rem 700 you won't be able to get a prethreaded barrel and put it on yourself. It still needs to be headspaced, so you are just sending the same thing to the smith and it will be returned and you can drop it back into the stock.
Seems Awful high on what darrel quoted you.
Some of the smiths on here
I know i am forgetting a few.
Give one of those guys a shout and talk to them. I bet the price won't be any differant than what hart, kreiger or pacnor costs. Might be a little better and the smiths on here might even have a barrel laying around and no wait for the barrel.
I would buy the gun first and shoot it first before any changes and decisions are made.
An add on here. You won't be waiting a year or till next hunting season for it to be done with any of the smiths on this board.
If your looking for a good shooter on a budget and you want to do it your self with minimal machine work one word comes to mind
SAVAGE , yea I said it as dirty as it sounds , you canget a used gun for about $225 rebarrel it yourself with a prefit barrel and it'll shoot pretty damn good , send the action to SSS to have it timed and trued use their lug and trigger.
Or like you said , have a rem 700 rebarreled and you'll be good to go , check around and see what barrel makers have instock alot of times they may have what you want sitting their , then get it shipped out to a good smith and their you go.
the 280 Ackley is a great round you can reload it to shoot right with a 7mm Rem mag's "factory "ammo using less powder
but depending on the critters you might look at a 6.5-06 probably flatter trajectory and even less recoil no case fire forming and you can use Lapua brass. The 140gr A-max is a hell of a deer bullet and the 140 Partition should suit you well on an Elk
-)Get the 700 and a)Pick a smith and tell him what you want and get an estimated time of completion b) pick a barrel maker c) pick a cartridge (I'm w/JD on the 6.5-06), c) pick a barrel contour and length d)purchase the bbl from the maker and have him send it to your smith. e) send the action to the smith also and let him have at it.
I did above but had an Mauser action and took the barrel makers recommendation for a smith, got the barrelled action back in about a month. Re inletted the barrel channel for the new barrel and immediately went to shooting bug hole groups.
email me and I'll give the a phone number that you may contact, if you wish.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
I went through the same thing when I started down the custom/semi-custom path. Fortunately I live about 35 mins. from Rock Creek Barrels so I drove over and talked with Mike Rock and was soon on the way towards a 6.5-284. Mike did the action trueing, chambering, and barrel instalation, I bedded the stock and adjusted the trigger. It shoots very well, into the .2s @ 100, sadly I don't get enough practice to do that all the time.
Next came a .243 that went about the same as the 6.5, with Mike doing most of the critical fitting. It too shoots better than I do.
By the time I was ready for my next build I wanted to try things for myself, so I picked up a Savage action and ordered a Douglas barrel, recoil lug, barrel nut, and custom trigger from SSS. Slapped things together and dropped it into a Boyds thumbhole stock and it to shoots .4 to .7 (more .7s with me driving). Not quite as well as the two Mike Rock did for me but the barrel isn't a Rock either.
I have since done another wildcat(6.5 wssm) on a Savage action and can tell you there is nothing more satisfying than putting one together with your own hands and having it shoot well. It can also be very frustraing along the way when things don't go exactly as planned [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
I guess the point to all this rambling is do you have the time to spend getting enough practice behind a gunsmith crafted rifle to get the full potential out of it. If you can only get out once a month or so I'd do things yourself, you'll probably be pleasantly suprised.
Ignorance can be treated with education, sadly there is no cure for stupidity.