Action in a Sleeve?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by gr8whyt, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    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.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  2. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    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.
     

  3. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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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.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    they made them out of XP-100, 660, 721, 40X and 700 actions.

    Cartridge was probably 6PPC as that explains the smaller port, and yes as Kevin said they were routinely used before a lot of custom actions came on board.

    The groups you saw, explained why it is being sold for one thing. .4 will not cut it today in the SR BR game, you had better be at .1-.2 max.

    Plus the custom actions are faster and smoother.

    BH
     
  5. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Thanks for the info, guys.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  6. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    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!
    gary
     
  8. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    You guys got me thinking again (damn you). This gun might be as capable as my tired old eyes are. And the guy behind the counter did say "Make an offer on it". I'm about to set off on a junket to Las Vegas. If I have any money when I get back or (perish-the-thought) win a few bucks, I might talk turkey with them. The guy that built the rifle works at the gun shop in the store, and is supposed to be a pretty good smith. I may talk to him, and see if I can get a sense of the rifle's capabilities or what it would take to make it into something. As you said, Gary, it might make a killer prairie dog rig. We'll see.

    -- gr8whyt
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  9. Hntbambi

    Hntbambi Well-Known Member

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    If you need a decent varmint gun, they are very capable. Sleeving was a way of making a Rem 700 or 40x a competitive BR gun. The actions are too flexible with the big tubes to shoot screamer groups consistently so they glued them into pipes.

    Is this gun a glue-in or does it use standard bedding? It is or at least was common practice to glue the action into the stock using bedding compound on BR guns to make them more consistent. It does not hurt the gun but if you want to remove the stock from the barreled action, it makes it a bit more work.
     
  10. Sighter

    Sighter Well-Known Member

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    I built this sleeved Remington and have taken a lot of dogs with it.

    It is chambered in 6BR and shoots really well. It has a pawn shop action off a beat up 700, a sleeve I got from a buddy, a used BR stock and one of my old 6PPC barrels rechambered to the 6BR, I call it my "junkyard dog":

    http://www.wassdesign.com/bo/Cousin Hunt Pics/2009 Marathon/6BR.jpg
     
  11. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    For a comp gun, I would not go with a sleeved action, but for the right money the sure do make one hell of a varmint gun

    Plan on 1-14 twist on the barrel that is on it.

    I have been eyeing a sleeved XP-100 that has been on consignment for 3 plus years. Figure about time I can get it for a steal.

    BH
     
  12. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    Nice, Sighter!

    I think I'm gonna talk to the builder of the old bench gun that's on the used rack here. I got some ideas, but I also have some questions. I don't think I'd ever see it (or me) in competition, but as several have pointed out, it could make a hell of a p-dog shooter.

    -- gr8whyt