AR Fit is over... what next

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Mike6158, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    I'm finally over my AR-15 building phase (3 built and 2 bought). In all honesty, there isn't too much to assembling an AR-15 from a box of parts so it's not "really" like building a rifle. It's more like a really cool puzzle... for 2 year olds...

    I'm wondering:

    (1) Can I build my own long range rifle (1,000 yards target / 600 and less hunting) myself if I don't have any machinist experience?

    If yes then:

    (1) Which action would be good to base the build on? 700 Remington?

    (2) I'm thinking about 7mm Rem Magnum for the caliber. Thoughts?

    (3) Barrel recommendations? Shilen?

    (4) Trigger recommendations?

    I like HS-Precision stocks so I've got that covered unless someone has a better idea. I'll cross the optics bridge if /when I get to the point of needing something to see through.
     
  2. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    Your questions:

    1. Sure, anything is possible. Although turning a guy loose in a machine shop who has no experience has about a 99.9% chance of someone going to the hospital. First the equipment can be dangerous to operate if a guy doesn't know what he's doing. 2nd assuming you get the gun built to the point it'll at least function there are some very important tolerances that need to be spot on. To ignore this can quite possibly result in gun parts being embedded in people parts at high velocity. Not cool.

    2. Building a rifle is a reasonably simple task, it's not like a guy has to split atoms or figure out planetary orbit vectors, but if a person hasn't done it before then it's probably going to be an expensive venture. There's cheaper ways to max out Visa Cards.

    A 1K rifle for target work is kinda vague. Are you shooting competitively or having fun? The answer is important as competitive guns have to be built to observe a few rules/guidlines. A Remington 700 will certainly work. The proof is the firing lines at the US Nationals. They are everywhere at Camp Perry.

    FWIW H/S is the last stock I'd use for a 1K rifle. I refuse to use them on any rifles I produce. Different strokes for different folks though.

    Best advise is to budget yourself for about $3500 bucks and then make a deal with a reputable gunmaker who understands accurate long winded bolt guns.

    All the best,

    Chad
     

  3. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    1) The first answer about says it all for me. If I'm reading between the lines correctly, a 1k rifle cannot be built from "parts". There will be machine shop work involved ,even if it is not a competition rifle. As much as I would love to learn the craft I don't think that I'll be taking that on right now

    2) I was kind of alluding to the fact that I put my AR's together and overall I thought it was (A) cool the first time (B) not "real" rifle building. Building a rifle is a simple task if all you have to do is build the lower, attach an already machined Shilen barrel, and add a few little odds and ends to accomplish the task. In other words... AR's aren't hard to build because the hard part is already done for you (machine work). How does that compare to assembling (might be a better word for it) a 1k non-competitive target / hunting rifle.

    I don't see myself shooting competitively.

    I would like to know why you don't like H/S stocks. I have no reason to like or dislike them simply because I've never used one.

    Why not .308 btw... there was a time when the .308 was the caliber of choice. Now it's never even mentioned.
     
  4. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    I don't care for H/S Precision's rifle stocks because I don't like cookie cutter cast aluminum bedding blocks. I like rifles that are built to order and my philosophy is that if a rifle is truly purpose built for the customer then it should be treated as an individual during construction.

    An H/S stock is akin to a sport jacket bought at Sears. I'd like to think a custom tailored suit is more of the side I gravitate towards. I don't mean to sound aristocratic or stuck up, only to emphasize that I feel/think a custom gun should have some personal identity.

    The "lowly" 308. . . It's a great cartridge. In fact it's so great the powers that be have been hosting an international competition since the late 1800's. The 308 wasn't adopted as the "official" round until sometime in the 70's. It's been the standard cartridge ever since.

    It's called PALMA; iron site prone shooting from 800, 900, and 1000 yards using a 155 grain 30 caliber bullet loaded in 308 Winchester. No rests, bi-pods or other "widgits" are allowed. For the team events the ammunition is supplied by the country hosting the event. The world championships are held every four years like the olympics, although the two have no relationship.

    I was an armorer for the US Team in 2003. We won a silver that year in Bisley, England.

    Here's a couple links:

    http://www.palma.org/
    http://membres.lycos.fr/shooter/divers/ps66.htm


    Fun stuff!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  5. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    I am not an xpert but here is what I think I know.

    I think that it indeed possible to build a good rifle without machine shop. But it cant be done on the 700 without smithwork I dont beleive.

    However if you go the Savage route, I would think it is plausable. Target actions are available, Pre turned aftermarket barrels etc...

    I am in similar boat as you in wanting to build a rifle.

    I have some machinist training but do not have the necessary expertise or equipment tooling to do all the tuning for the action and turning of the barrel etc.

    But from what I have read on this forum, it is not too much of a stretch to loacte the right parts and assemble your own Savage.

    Stevens is basically Savage, so that action would work as a starting point as well.
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Not to step on NesikaChad but sounds like like you need to put together a Savage, you can get high quality parts and put it together your self with minimal tooling. You can send the action to a couple of smiths that will T&T then you install lug, nut and barrel. Bed it down in a quality stock and go to work, want a cal change roll the barrel of and roll another one on.
    There are quite a few guys who do just what you want on this site with the Savages, I have to tinker so till I get a better set up this is the best platform for me to tinker on, just a thought:D
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice !!!!!

    Instead of trying to build your own . I would recomend that you buy a Remington Sendero in the
    calibre of your choice (For long range I would start with a 7mm Rem mag and go up 7stw,7RUM,
    300 win mag, 300 RUM or even a 338.

    With a good bedding job (Pillars,bedding and floating the barrel) and then work up some
    quality reloads the Sendero will shoot really well. They are the average length and weight of
    most customs for Long range shooting/Hunting and will give you a chance to evaluate what
    you like and dislike before you start a Custom build.

    Also when the custom bug hits hard you have a great rifle to build on.

    Of course the easiest way is to have someone of chads skills build you a rifle and you are good
    to go or buy one specially built for LR Hunting like the sponsor of this web site makes and
    delivers in 4 weeks or less. (Len Backus).

    Just my opinion
    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all the replied. I don't want to sound like a fence sitter but I can relate to all of the advice given here. I may look into a custom rifle. I've never had one (if you don't count my AR's and I don't). The funny thing is that I am picking up a 700 VTR in .308 for a hunting rifle (300 yards and under) tomorrow and as I was laying in bed thinking about that I thought lightbulb "I ought to see if he can pick me up a Sendero in 7mm mag. Then I got up and checked this thread to see the answers to this post." I must be psychotic... psychic... something... :)
     
  9. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    I figured I would stop by this thread and thank everyone for their replies. I ended up ordering a Sendero SF II in 7mm mag (the website didn't show that it was available in STW... bummer). I'm in Santa Barbara, CA and it has arrived back home in Texas. I'm going to loop through Yellowstone NP for a few days once I leave here so I won't get my hands on it for at least another week. I've got to start getting serious about optics...

    Thanks for all of the advice
     
  10. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Well... I've had my Sendero for a couple of weeks. I've checked the distance to the lands, loaded some sighting in rounds, loaded some rounds to begin the process of finding the O.A.L. sweet spot, and gazed lovingly at it often :D... but it's still a virgin :cool: Between working for a living (which allows me to make the purchases I want to and do my part for economic stimulus (groan) ), getting my VTR ready to go hunting, and waiting for freakin parts to come in (like scope mount) I haven't been able to shoot it. I'm anticipating that to happen later this week. Hopefully.

    I did want to say one other thing-

    Chad's advice-

    -considering everything that I've found out so far this is extremely good advice. $3,500.00 budget for a finely tuned rifle is pretty dang good if you ask me. Especially considering the cost of a Sendero right out of the box and the remaining work that it would require to bring it up to custom specs. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice rifle, probably one of the best made factory rifles that iIve ever bought but as I get into this more and more I can see why it's a good idea to buy a custom if you really want to get into LR shooting.

    Also- Thanks for the Palma info... That is impressive shooting!