A question about custom actions.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Murphy's Law, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law Member

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    Hi All

    This is my first post although I have been lurking for a while. There is heaps of good info here for a LRH novice like me - thanks.

    I've been hunting and shooting all of my life but only just recently realised the need for a long range weapon after a Tahr hunting trip to New Zealand. I took my little Blaser K95 single shot rifle and did considerable damage to it in the rough conditions.

    So I have decided to have a specialist rifle built that will be reasonably light weight for mountain hunting, can be used as a walking stick and be capable of hitting and killing goats and deer at 600 yds.

    I'm currently looking for an action and am considering either the Borden Timberline or the Surgeon. My gunsmith tells me that the Surgeon is quite a bit heavier than the Borden and because its tolerances are so tight may not be the best choice for a hunting rifle (dust, dirt etc in the action tending to interfere with bolt travel, smooth feeding etc).

    I was hopeing someone here might be able to compare real life experiences with both actions to help me make up my mind.

    Cheers. :)

    M's L.
     
  2. 300R

    300R Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mate,i have two surgeon actions and they will be a bit heavy for what you want,go to elk's hunting and fishing website they are in Albury, there is custom light weight built on a rem action in 280 ackley improved,might be just what your after built by a good aussie gunsmith too.
     

  3. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    I would crawl home, to camp, or the truck, before I used my worst no good shot up rifle for a walking stick. Let alone a custom boom stick.
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take an aftermarket action to function after mis-treatment, nor to hit goats at 600yds.
    Given that you care so less for your equipment, I assume you don't actually put any efforts into load development, reload, or practice at distance.
    So your best solution IMO, is to buy used guns from forum classifieds. Look for what will perform with factory ammo, and after destroying it, just toss & buy another.
    This will be cheaper and more reliable in the long run, than building custom guns with all unknown.

    Basically, I'm describing what the 'Anti-Mikecr' would do....
     
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Very Nice Response....
     
  7. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    An AK-47 would be the closest to standing up to your use. It will shoot MOH at 300 meters (Minute of Hillside). Ammo's cheap, and just about overkill for goats. Best part: No Cleaning Required
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  8. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that the Surgeon has tollerances any tighter than the borden, it is not a tight target action, it is a field capable action from what I have seen.

    Personally I would get a used remington model 7, have the trigger tuned, install a say a #3 contour match grade barrel (7mm-08 possibly) and bed it in HS stock with the aluminum bedding block. The HS recoil pad is a harder piece of rubber, and if you are going to use it as a walking stick it will last much longer than the new gummy pads that everyone likes. Put on talley one piece lightweight rings/bases as they are light and tough.

    Personally I mounted my rifle using sling swivels and a short piece of webbing with fastex buckles on my pack straps. The butt is attached to the location where the shoulder strap hits the bottom of the pack, and the forend swivel is hooked high on my shoulder strap. The rifle hangs tight to your body, and is easily controlled. Pop two buckles and it is reay to go. No more using your rifle as a walking stick and it is still very handy. A set of $75 dollar hiking poles will save hundreds in wear on your rifle.
     
  9. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law Member

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    300R – thanks for the heads up re the .280 AI. I’d really prefer a custom build from the ground up however, using one of the 700 clones.

    Do you hunt with the surgeon action rifles or are they range guns? If you hunt with them how have you found they handle the dust etc that inevitably finds its way into the action? My gunsmith believes the bolt body to action clearance of the Surgeon is so tight it may bind if muck gets into it in a hunting situation.

    Boss Hoss, Big Sky GP, Mikecr, Long Bomber – clearly I have got off on the wrong foot due to my unfortunate choice of words in the original post. I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. I can assure you I am not a rifle (or anything else for that matter) abuser. With the exception of a HS Precision .223 all of my rifles are either classic or custom bolt actions and single shots featuring beautiful walnut stocks, rust blueing, colour case hardening and engraving etc. I also own a couple of doubles. I hunt with all of them and won’t own a rifle I am too scared to hunt with. They are all in excellent condition and all show that patina that only comes with careful hunting use.

    Having said all that I recently did a trip to New Zealand to hunt free range Tahr on public land in the alps of the Southern Island. I had been warned that the hunting conditions would be very harsh but I didn’t expect what I experienced there. I took along my Blaser K95 single shot in 7x65R using 162 gn A Max projectiles – it is a lovely little light weight rifle designed, I thought, for such mountain hunting. What I experienced there was definitely the most physically demanding hunting I have ever done. Once an animal is spotted from the river bed a hard climb up the mountain side is required. I reckon the hills were anywhere from 45 to 60 degrees, covered in tussocks, rocks hidden by long grass, creek crossings, scree slopes, bluffs to climb around etc. No matter how careful I tried to be with my Blaser it still got some bumps and scratches. That was ok because I considered that to be fair wear and tear. It was when I fell off an 8’ drop onto a slip and slid to the bottom and hit a rock that cracked the fore end and snapped off one of the QD mount levers that I decided I needed a more suitable weapon. That and the long ranges involved in hunting these things.

    So………what I would like to end up with is a nice looking and practical stainless/synthetic hunting rifle capable of accurate shots on up to elk sized animals at up to 800 yds. It will also need to be light enough to carry all day in these NZ mountains – so a finished weight of < 8 lbs if possible.

    My thoughts so far are to use one of the custom actions, Jewell trigger, 26” fluted barrel, McMillan edge stock with blind mag, Talley light weight mounts and a compact scope with turrets (NXS 2.5–10x32 Perhaps??).

    As per the original post I am chasing some input from you guys on the actions mentioned – Surgeon vs Borden.

    I’m also not sure on the chambering. I’m torn between one of the 7mm’s and the .300’s so any recommendations there would be much appreciated.

    I hope this clears the air guys.

    Cheers.

    M’s L
     
  10. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    Now that was funny.
    mike
     
  11. 300R

    300R Well-Known Member

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    I use mine for hunting, the surgeon actions actually are designed to work in most conditions which is basically everything you can throw at it, they are designed as a tactical action,they have more bolt/raceway tolerance than most aftermarket actions but can also be ordered to to really tight specs too if that's what one preferr's.
    A 1086 surgeon action in 280AI with a #4 or #5 fluted barrel and a mcmillan htg or h-s precision stock would be nice,a set up like that should be close to 4kg.
     
  12. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law Member

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    300R

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Did you import the Surgeon actions yourself or can someone in OZ supply them? I must admit I do like the idea of the integral recoil lug and picatinny rail, not to mention the bolt being machined one piece.

    Who did you get to do the 'smithing?

    Cheers.

    M's L.
     
  13. greener280

    greener280 Well-Known Member

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    If this helps any I just had a rifle build by Shawn Carlock finished last week. Specs are:

    7mm Remington Magnum
    Stiller Predator LA
    Krieger 5.5 Contour 26in Fluted Barrel
    McMillan Rem Sporter Stock
    Jewell Trigger
    PTG Bottom Metal
    DE Rings and Bases
    Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14X40 LRT

    This rifle weighs in at right about 9#. A little more than what you are looking for but could be easily fixed with a smaller contour barrel.
     
  14. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    Murphy,
    I sincerely apologise, for making fun at your expense.

    Thank you for your explanation. You did leave yourself open for that one, maybe a little to do with Downunder/Yankee slang.

    I feel for you, on your fall, I'm happy that YOU survived. No rifle is worth more than human life.
    Matt

    P.S. 308 Win will go 800yds easy.