For starters, thanks for the replies to my other posts. I've been thinking on them for a bit and am ready to ask more questions about my specific thoughts and ideas.
First off. I'm planning on getting a 300 WBY barrel for my T/C Encore. Virgin Valley will build one with a .335" chamber which works out perfectly with the neck turned Norma brass and Redding Comp. dies I have. Virgin Valley wants to use a Shilen barrel @ 27" to do this. Would it be worth the extra $ (I don't know how much) to go with a 30" Lilja? From everything I've heard or read, they (Lilja) are the best. The other question on that subject is "do I go with a standard WBY freebore, or would you suggest I go with a more standard throat?"
I'm thinking (quite seriously) about taking my Ruger #1 in 300 WBY and having it rechambered to the infamous .338/416 R.IMP. Has anyone ever tried (and especially failed) to make a serious L.R. rifle with a #1? My thought is to have a barrel block installed (still thinking about overcoming the hanger bar) and bed the stock into the action with some overkill hardware. I'd think that because of the short length of the #1 action, it would be very stiff and potentially accurate if I can circumvent the problems associated with the two piece stock and the hanger bracket.
Any and all responses/experience will probably get on my Xmas list!
Just to answer a couple of your questions, first Shilen barrels are very good. I don't know if there is a "best" brand. Some may argue or have their on prejudeces, but most of the well know manufacturers make very good and very consistant barrels.
On the Ruger #1 issue, I have only seen this and did not own it so for what it's worth here goes: A Ruger #1 in 416 Riby was rebarreled with a heavy fluted, muzzle braked barrel. The scope mounts had to be welded to the gun because the screws kept breaking (I believe #1's mount the scope on the barrel, this is the way I remember it anyway). The mounts were not welded straight so the gun would no longer shoot accurately. Like I say this is what I've seen I'm sure others on here have seen it done and worked, hopefully they will make a post.
My opinion for what it's worth. Hope this helped.
Learn from others mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all yourself
Please, please, please get rid of the freebore in the Weatherby chambering or don't chamber with the Weatherby freebore. Weatherby advertises additional velocity because of the freebore but, at the expense of accuracy. You are basically jumping the bullet into the lands. We have found long ago, rifles don't want to shoot well if the bullet Ojive is more then .055" from the lands. 010" to .015" is MUCH better. A soft touch on the lands is even better yet, just so the bullet doesn't catch in the lands when taking out an unfired round.
As far as your Ruger #1 thoughts, I do believe you will be having an UPHILL battle.
There really is no advantage going to the big 338 unless you have a long 36" barrel (at least) to burn the slow powders and gain the needed velocity to make the 300 gr bullet work the way it should. You need around 3100 FPS to make that bullet perform well and a 26" to 30" barrel won't give you that. For short range shooting it would be all right but, for longrange you would not be satisfied.
If the barrel is still good on the #1 and if it were mine, I would have my gunsmith get rid of the freebore (If it has the Weatherby chambering) by recambering with a minimum setback and I would then shoot the 220 and 240 gr 30 cal bullets in that 300 Weatherby. You will be surprised at the results.
If your dead set on a 338/416 Rig. Imp, or a 338/378, go the full route with a custom action (A 378 Weatherby action will work), long barrel at least 36" and a ONE piece stock SUCH AS A McMillen. You then would have an ideal setup that you could mount a scope on more easily and barrel block it the way it should be.
Barrel blocking a #1 would be a challenge if not a nightmare with the 2 piece stock but, it could be done. The problem is, you need more meat in the stock to set the block.
The Lilja barrel is a fine one. Dan does a great job and will work to satisfy his customers. There are many fine barrel companys out there and to say which is best would be one persons opinion.
The Lilja, Hart, Kreiger and Shilen are the leading sellers of barrels to the 1000 yard shooters. Keep in mind, you can only get 30" Maximum length barrels from Hart,Shilen and Douglas.
That's my 2 cents worth. Good luck to you with what ever decision you make.
I should have clarified:
I am planning on a 36" tube for the #1.
Correct me if I'm wrong... A rail gun is "bedded" only by the barrel block and the action hangs into space behind it. Whether it's a bolt or falling block shouldn't matter that much since the round is chambered inside the barrel block and the action is primarily a way to get the round into position and keep it there through the firing process. I don't know here, I'm hypothisizing.... My thought is to design a one piece, 10 inch, "squeeze clamp" type of block. 10-12 screws running along the bottom left side of the block would mash the clamp together around the barrel at the bottom of the block. I think if I do it this way I can contour the inside of the clamp a little and create a channel that will go around the hanger bar but still grab 80% of the circumference of the back of the barrel. Once I get past the hanger bar with the block, I could increase that to around 98% of the circumference. I could flatten the top of the block and put my scope mounts on it, or have notches machined in that would accomidate Ruger rings. If this were anchored to a rest it would be a rail gun... Correct? If instead, I place it on a sand bag or (really heavy) tripod and attach a stock to the rear, I think I should retain some of the benifits of the rail gun, but I don't know. I don't know what the physics of firing a rail gun are that would make it superior to a stocked action. But I would think the more of that design you could incorporate into a conventionaly shaped (almost) firearm the more of that inherent accuracy you would get.
Feel free to comment and/or tell me I'm all wet!
I know you know the concept of Barrel blocks but for those reading this that don't know about them I will try to explain:
The concept of the barrel block is to let the action hang free and also the rest of the barrel that is not supported or surrounded by the block.
The block is all that is holding the Action and barrel. It in turn is all that is bolted up through the bottom af a benchrest rifle stock. The action and barrel is free from touching anything other then the block it is held in place by.
The purpose of the block is for heavy, long barrels hanging out far and to relieve the stress and loosening effect on the action threads. This crushing of the threads from repeated firing when a long barreled rifle is bedded conventionally, is the cause of uneven vibrations of the barrel, there by causing the accuracy to suffer.
For simplifacation sake, the rail gun is nothing but a barrel and action that has been blocked around the barrel (usually 6" to 8") and the block is bolted normally onto a bed of steel or aluminum.
The Sierra test lab uses a rail gun in their 300 meter underground test facility.
Your concept is approching these diminsions.
I do think it will work. The only problem I see is in the heat of battle when you have an animal out there at extreme range, your rifle is in a rest and/or sandbags and you must reload without taking your eye out of the scope and off the target. I believe it would be harder to do with the falling block action then the bolt action. It's something to consider and possibly you can work around that. Maybe it would be easier, I really don't know. I think you have to manuver your head a bit to put the next cartridge in from the rear. This is somewhat easier with a bolt action since the shells feed from the side. We always load one at a time since there are no magazine boxes on most of our big guns and the bullets are seated way out to get close to the lands. They wouldn't fit in a magazine box anyway. We need all the room we can get for powder to have to seat the bullest down in the case very far.
Regardless good luck with it and report back to us.
I don't think the "Toys R us" Humvee version will work but, it was a good thought anyway. Maybe a new atv 4 wheeler? How about the new Palaris V 750 full size version??
Your idea for the rail gun sounds very intriguing. I have never seen a #1 rail gun before, but i definately think that would work. The only problem, as DC mentioned would be having to take your eye of the target for reloading. Please keep us informed on how the project comes along. I am very interested.
Learn from others mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all yourself