Originally Posted by kc
As a good friend at Williams Gunsight told me, "if you are changing a Barrel. its very important if you are shooting for accuracy, get your Action Blue Printed"If you find a Gunsmith who runs a buisness and tells you he could do the job for $50.00, RUN! get the hell away from this guy, there is so much work to get it right there is no Smith in there right mind could do this job for that price.
you need to have the most accuracy that you can get..even one thousandths of an inch, can throw you off target at long range..it may be on at 100yards, but when you shoot to 500yards you will see the difference. You will be way off.
There are many reputable Gun Smiths that will read this post, please enclude your opinions.
I'll start by saying there's no way I could do it for $50.00. That fee doesn't even cover the programming. My rates are higher. I justify/rationalize it by being able to offer additional services/features most smiths don't have the equipment to do. I use a CNC milling center for my action work instead of a lathe. If I am asked to deliver every feature I offer on a Rem 700 it's an $800 charge. It gets the nuts n bolts blueprint portion (although with thread milling in my Haas VF-1 there's a few other little things I can do that can't be done with a lathe), a helical flute job on the bolt, an M-16 extractor, a proprietary fire control swap that converts the action to "cock on open only" (Std equipment on many custom actions) I pin the lug, TIG the bolt handle, reset the primary extraction, line hone the receiver with a (Sunnen MBB-1660 hone) and install a new PTG bolt body built to the ID of the receiver bore, and enlarge the base holes to 8-40. I also use my own in house lugs that are ground, heat treated, and drilled for pins to register the clock position of the lug on the action.
As for the statements regarding shot groups and what not.
Understand going into this there are far more opinions than there are facts when talking about receiver work. One particular subject I find interesting is the debate over bolt clearances. I own a rather robust CAD/CAM system that I use for virtually all of my gunwork. I've devoted some time to modeling receivers and bolts for the sole purpose of conclusively knowing exactly how much angular deviation there is when a bolt is in battery with a fire control loaded against the sear.
In my model (based on a std length Rem 700) I allowed for a .005" difference between receiver and bolt. This works out to an angular deflection of .054 degrees. the 12 o clock lug is less than .001" away from the receiver.
(Edit: Perhaps this would be a great experiment for my daughter's science fair project. We'll take a Rem 700 and shoot 100 rounds for record with a sloppy bolt and then we'll tune the bolt up so that it's a slip fit just to see what happens.)
To many gunsmiths in the LR and BR fraternity this amount of clearance is categorized as being excessive and unacceptable. The argument ranges from terms like "flutter" (which I assume to mean the bolt wiggling back and forth as pressure rises during the firing event, creating a vibration that travels down the barrel) to issues like inconsistent ignition because the striker isn't exactly concentric with the primer.
Part of me really questions this. Is a tolerance less than .001" really worth getting all worked up over? How many gunsmiths are truly able to hold a chamber to a TIR (Total Indicated Runout) of less than .001? Few are. For me to do it to the level needed, I had to invest in a $65,000 CNC slant bed turning center. I'd go so far to say that if 100 of the top longrange and bench rest guns were gobbled up and sent to a certified metrology lab for inspection that the bulk of them would come back with an inspection sheet that showed all sorts of discrepancies. (Including the ones I do.)
What I've come to accept is basically no one out there in gun land has a solid answer to this question. Myself included.
There does however exist another side of this. Confidence in one's equipment. If we walk into a low end department store and pick up a $20 watch chances are it'll work fine and feel extremely cheap on our wrist. Now go to a high end jewelry store and pick any marquee watchmaker. It'll have some heft to it, the fit/finish will be exceptional, and the price tag will reflect that accordingly.
Both still tell you what time it is but what would you rather have?
I venture to say most would opt for the nicer of the two.
Such is the same with high end gunsmithing. All the "bells and whistles" performed by a gunmaker with a stellar reputation serves as a booster shot to the shooter's confidence. It's a great comfort to know that if a shot does produce a flier it's a shooter/ammunition problem and not a gun problem.
That means a great deal. It's critical to serious competitive shooters and folks who work in an operational capacity.
So I'll end my dissertation by stating plainly that I'm personally not convinced that it makes the difference suggested by others. That being said it is a service I offer and I have a pretty good grasp on machine work. The equipment I use is better than most and I have some additional features I can perform that most cannot. It's certainly not hurting anything and the customer is getting what he/she is paying for.
So, until I'm conclusively shown one way or another I'll keep offering it to my clients.
Hope this helped.