I was looking though the used rack at the gun shop today. They have a benchrest rifle in 6mm ppc (not my cup of tea) but it is unusual so it caught my eye. The rifle is built on a 700 rem action with a heavy Hart barrel in an ugly green benchrest stock with a nice wide forend. But what caught my eye is that the action is encased in an aluminum sleeve that is sort of octagonal shaped (the part I can see above the stock). That sleeve is flat on top and drilled and tapped for scope bases. The rifle seems to shoot fairly well. The guy at the counter there told me some about who built it, barrel twist, and he showed me several pieces of targets that had pretty nice ragged one-hole five shot groups ranging from about .25 to .40 at 100yds. Some groups had 1 flyer that opened them to .6 or so.
So my question is this: "Has anyone seen sleeves like this on actions for this type of rifle?" What is the purpose? Is it a good or bad thing? Thanks.
Sleeving was a pretty common practice years ago. It helped to stiffen the action and it created a much larger bedding area.. This was done before there were many custom actions readily available. The Davidson sleeve was probably the most popular but several custom machinists made their own. The sleeve is just epoxied fast to the action and if you really wanted to you could heat up the sleeve and push out the action.
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Thanks, Kevin. This rifle looked like it had been used quite a bit. I first saw it on that rack a couple of weeks ago, but I just kinda glanced it over. To tell the truth I thought it was a custom action. And then the more I thought about it, I decided if it were a custom action, the price on the whole rifle was less than what a new custom action would be. So I had to go back today and see if were still there. Then when looking it over closer, I noticed it was a 700 Rem action that had that sleeve on it. It is a cute little 700 action. Seems like the port is smaller than a regular 700 short action. Did they make one smaller? Like for the .223 cases? Is this something odd? 40x? xp-100? Were these ever made into bench rifles? Sorry for all the questions.
It is a 6ppc. Yeah, you're right, Bounty Hunter. Once I got a good look at it, it looked like a money pit. Really not much to start with there. It explains why it has not sold as long as it's been there.
Someday I would like to have a real capable bench gun. But unless I fall into a bunch of unexpected money, I doubt it will ever happen. There is quite a number of competitors around these parts, so I wouldn't expect too much of myself, if I could get into the game. But I always keep a look out.
if you have more ability than the gun can produce thats one thing. if not, you could have lots of enjoyment and gain experience while using it.
old benchrest guns like this are very hard to sell. i know where 2 of these things have been sitting for about 2 years now. its down to make any offer time on them.
chances are you could buy that gun for about the action value.
I've seen more than one retired bench rest rifle rejuvenated into a fine varmit rig. I knew of one chambered in .222 (yes that old) that the guy bought for the action alone (really cheap). Did a barrel set back and promptly shot mid ones with it. The rifle was about a half pound too heavy for light varmit shooting, but was a killer for P.D.'s. When he got done he had less than $1000 in the rig without sights. I might add here that it also came with the chamber reamer and two sets of dies! (.222 Remington +.050" with a 30 degree shoulder an .012" taper in the body). I wish I'd bought it, but was a day late and a dollar short!