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Learning the ropes

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Old 11-24-2010, 08:18 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Learning the ropes

Hi all. New to the forum. Joined to stay "in the know" about long range hunting and shooting.

After reading and searching the web, I have a lot of questions but I will start of with a these 3:

1) Is it possible to build a "frankinstein" where you buy sepreate bolt/action combo, barrel and stock combo, and have the gun accurized? Or is it required to start with a factory gun?

2) In selecting an action and bolt what should I know and look for? Can more than one bolt work for a particular caliber? Or is there only one type of bolt that works per caliber. Example: I am looking into building a .338 RUM or Lapua. Can I get a bolt and action setup from savage, rem, and others? Or is the caliber somehow connected to the brand of action and bolt? Is the setup for the lapua compatible with the setup for the RUM? If not, then what is different? How does the chambering of the barrel affect this decision as well?

3) I looked at other custom rem 700's and there barrels seem to be rather thick. What do I need to look for when choosing a barrel and stock? How do I know the barrel will match the channel on the fore end of the stock here the barrel will be seated? If I buy a factory rem 700 and buy a long range barrel will it fit into any rem 700 stock? Or is there something I need to know in order to insure compatibility the differenct factory stock and aftermarket stock types? I also see "#5" and "#7" in reference to barrel data. What do these numbers mean and/or reference?

I asked alot, i do realize. This should help get me to the next plateau of knowledge and rescue me from some of my ignorance.

Thanks for all who can help me get pointed in the right direction.

Last edited by Navigator1; 11-24-2010 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,254
Re: Learning the ropes

1. yes - you can build a 'frankenstein'. You can buy all components separately and have a gunsmith assemble. You can also buy a factory gun and build on it as your knowledge and skills increase. Here are some examples....

My nephew's rifle is a factory that has been accurized....

Nephew's Transformed Rifle!

I did similarly with my 308...

My 308 1k Rifle - The Evolution Continues!

Then I used the action from the 308 to build a full custom 260....

My 260 by MCR

2. Bolts are not interchangable. Savage will not work in Remington and Remington will not work in Savage. Pretty much once you have an action and bolt set-up, you need to keep the bolt with the action.

You can get a bolt and action in 338 RUM or Lapua for Savage or Remington. The chambering of the rifle affects the bolt in that your bolt face has to be the right size for the cartridge you intend to shoot. So lets say for instance that the action you use was originally used for a non-magnum, the bolt-face will need to be opened up to accommodate the RUM or Lapua.

3. What to look for in a barrel and stock....you need to match them to the task you intend. You will notice that my nephew's rifle configuration is quite different than my 260. That's because nephew's rifle is all-purpose. He only has one gun so it's set up to both carry in the thick stuff and shoot long range. My 260 is a dedicated long-range rig.

#5 or #7...this refers to barrel contour. This is no 'standardization' to these numbers. If you look at custom barrel makers, you will find that a Hart #5 is not the same as Krieger #5.

Realize this doesn't answer all your questions, but it's a start.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 332
Re: Learning the ropes

The only dumb questions, are the ones not asked.

There are not usually direct fit stocks in this buisness, even for a stock rifle. You need to have experience with wood working, metal working, etc. Use a reputable gunsmith, most guys do. Keep reading here.

how much money you have to spend will tell you more what you can/can't do with a rifle.
There are only two seasons: Hunting season, and Getting Ready for Hunting season. -DAD
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:47 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Malta NY
Posts: 718
Re: Learning the ropes

Continue to pour through all the posts here and learn to use the search function to sift through the historical posts.

Note that the reason most of the barrels you have viewed are "thick" is mostly due to the ability to dissapate or take a bit more heat. Good to have for PD'ing or range work.

If you are mechanically inclined and are OK with the aesthetics or looks of the Savage, then it is probably the most cost effective and can be argued best route to take.

I myself have toyed with them but keep drifting back to Remington 700's and the occasional Winchester Model 70.

One of these days I will take the plunge and by custom Action and build a rifle from ground up but the 700's work so well I have not been able to justify the need yet.

Not sure about your question of interchangeable bolts...

Bolts can be used with multiple cartidge designs that have the same base design/diameter within the same make of rifle. Here is a lhelpful ink.... Bolt face diameter's
“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such governments. …” Jefferson

We are very close to this point now.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:29 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: Learning the ropes

The reason barrels are thick is for stiffness. This reduces harmonic vibration of the cantilever suspension of barrels from the action while the bullet is traveling down the barrel.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:09 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 332
Re: Learning the ropes

Well, maybe he's busy, reading and studying. If he is, he'll have a pile of questions to ask us.

Then again, maybe we scared him off.
There are only two seasons: Hunting season, and Getting Ready for Hunting season. -DAD
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:43 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Re: Learning the ropes

Lol. No, not scared off. Just had a bunch of after thanksgiving shopping to do.

Thank you all for the replies.

I do have a few follow ups.

I am looking at the Rem 700's and The only ones that come in .338 RUM is the XCR and the XCR II.

The SPS Tactical has a nice fat barrel but it is very short and only comes in .308 for a .30 cal option.

I am really considering the Lapua due to the feedback in performance from shooters much more experienced than myself.

This leaves me with a cross road in choice of rifle. Advice I think would be helpful here.

If I get the Rem 700 SPS Tact in .308, since it has a thicker barrel, would the idea be that I just replace the barrel and bolt for the .338 and the rest of the gun is fairly compatible with maybe some minor stock work?

If I go with the XCR in .338 RUM then I basically would need a new stock and barrel to get a thicker setup?

Lastly, if I go with the XCR and decided to go with the Lapua what if the orginal XCR would actually be compatible with the .338 Lapua parts?

Just so it makes since, my vision is a long range shooter with i thick barrel, comfortable ergonomical stock, and a precision smithed bolt and barrel setup(blueprinted). I want a quality gun that can become something that will last and I can pass down to my newborn son one day.

Thanks again for the help.
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