Barrel Contour and stock choices

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bkondeff, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I am looking to build an accurate hunting rifle that my 40 yr old body can carry in the very steep mtn's of Idaho after big deer and elk. I'm looking for the right compromise in a gun so I can shoot up to 600 yds at elk and maybe 800 yds at deer with 7mm Mag. My smith leans more toward a Sendero style set-up and no flutes. I am leaning toward a smaller diameter fluted barrel, maybe a #5, in a 26" Lilja. I am leaning toward flutes, even though the argument seems fairly evenly split on wether or not accuracy is effected or not, but most seem to agree that you can practice more in a short amount of time due to the cooling benefits and I want to practice a lot. I will be starting with a Rem 700 action.

    I have also been directed toward HS Precision and McMillan stocks. The problem is I'd like to see how they feel. I went to Sportsmans and picked up an HS Precision prohunter and a Sendero, to see how their HS stocks felt. Frankly neither work. The best feeling stock I've picked up is simply the slight palm swell feel of a Sako 75 synthetic.

    With reloading I'd like to get as close to .5MOA as I can get.

    What advice can you give.
     
  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Well Luckly you can get a Sako style stock from Mcmillan that will fell just like the Sako you handled , their not cheap though. A good thumbhole also feels well to guys that like the palmswells. I have built a few guns with the Hightech Specialties stocks (which are very light) and just built up the palmswell before it was finish sanded and painted.

    As for the barrel , if your gonna be carrying it alot then you don't want a big heavy gun I'm sure , the #5 fluted will help make for a nice light weight gun , the flutes have no effect on accuracy as long as the barrel maker does them right and trust me Dan Lilja does ,I've got a fluted #7 in 260 that will shoot in the .2's all day with most loads and in the high .1's with two.

    Its totaly possible to build a light weight gun that will shoot very well , the smith work and componets have to be in order though , Kirby has built some very accurate guns on some real hot rod rounds on guns that don't weigh a ton so a 7mm Rem would be no trouble.
    As for the gun killing Elk at 600yds , well the 7mmRem mag is certainly capible , is it the best choice , well if your patient and willing to pass on some shots , sure , I personaly might opt for a little more power but it will do it.
     

  3. adam32

    adam32 Banned

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    You might also check out Manners Composite Stocks, there lead time is less then half of the McMillans. I have a MCS-T on order, so when I get it I'll report on how I like it.
     
  4. locotrician

    locotrician Banned

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    I too have a manners stock on order,seem to be great to deal with , very nice on the phone, i will let you know how i like it when it gets here.
     
  5. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    James,

    Thanks for the reply. Good to confirm my suspicions. Suprised I can't get more feedback from this crowd, but I guess it's boring to talk about something less than a .338 Edge or an allen mag. I guess I need to find Midrangehunting.com.
     
  6. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind carry a heavy gun but then I like to pick up heavy stuff as my number one hobby anyway , but light weight hunting rifles have always cought my attention , I build a light weight gun for my dad on the 338 WSM shortly after the 300WSM came out , the gun scope and all weight less than 8.5lbs , was very accurate but certainly needed a brake , I was able to get plenty of speed from a 24" barrel with the 338 bore and WSM case , could have probaly trimmed a few more ounces by using a M-7 action.

    You can build a super accurate rifle in the 7lb range ,its just gonna take a bit more effort on your part to make it shoot to its potential.
    If you scroll down to the "gun pics" forum you can see a 260 Rogue that Nathen Dagley reciently finished that guns is just over 7lbs and thats a heavy stock , you could easly drop 1.5 lbs with a differant stock and aluminum ring/base setup , and I assure you that the gun in the pic will shoot. Hes also got a full custom 6.5WSM in the sale ads that a light gun and shoots well
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Let me ask a couple of questions.

    Would you pass on a shot at a good bull because he was beyond your 600 yd limit? Or pass on a good buck because he is 100 yds beyond your 800 yard limit for deer?

    A light weight rifle will shoot as well as a heavy rifle. The difference seems to be in the pilot's abilities.

    A couple of old geezers, maybe 20 past 40 (averaged:D) carried a couple of 12 to 15 pounders up, down and across some nice Salmon River mountains and did pretty well.

    My first recommendation would be to study Shawn's video then go back to thinkin' about the rifle. It would be 40 or so bucks well spent and may influence your thinking a bit.
     
  8. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I have NO interest in a 12-15 pound hunting rifle. I don't think I said anything about a 7lb gun either as I'm not looking for a thin barreled sheep rifle. Though I do appreciate the advantages of both set-ups, I just don't like the trade-off's.

    At 6-800 yards a 7MM RM will kill any deer or elk with a 160gr Accubond coming out of the muzzle at 3000 fps. I won't play the shot placement game either. Nor will I buy into the fact that a 50BMG can take an elk out with a marginal shot. Bottom line if I do my part the 7 mag kills even an 800LB 8 year old elk in his prime, with room to spare.

    The only logical reason to carry a 12-15 lb gun up and down Idaho mtns is if you jones for those types of guns, and many do, or you are trying shots at longer distances than me and need the additional capabilities and energy that a 300 Gr SMK will carry at 1000+ yds. I appreciate the guys that are into that, but I'm not there(yet).

    BTW, I am willing to pass up shots. Past my limits is where I believe(opinion) that I would have to start shooting a gun I've decided isn't that fun to shoot or carry. The 7MM is about all the recoil I like. I'm willing to carry an extre 2-3lbs, but not 7-8lbs. I'm not leaving my Swaro bino's/spotter behind becuase I can't kill what I can't find.

    If I do decide I need to start moving up the food chain my choise would probably be the 300RUM, In that Sendero style set-up. That would be when I want the gun for up to 1000 yards.

    While I appreciate all input so far, please NO ONE start lecturing me about how I need a bigger bullet for elk, damn that is an old argument I don't want to go through.
     
  9. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Always good to know what you want and how you want to hunt with it.

    A 27-28 inch barrel contour that tapers to about 0.65 - 0.7 inches at the muzzle will still point fairly well and swing well and can be fired off hand moderately well because it is still pretty well balanced. It will group well at long range as long as you don't get it hot which I will talk about in a minute. Such a barrel is referred to as a heavy sporter or light varmint barrel and is about a #4 or #5 Lilja contour (see his website). I just had a 27 inch #3 taken off and a 28 inch #5 put on and I wish I had gone to a #4. The #3 shot very well and was a pleasure to carry and handy in the timber. Maybe I should have stayed with the #3. Oh well, not much of a mistake.

    Barrel heating up is one of the great rural myths of the hunting world. The urban myths do not include barrel diameter so it had to be a rural myth.:D The only place that one is concerned with barrel heat is on the inside of the barrel. The heat on the outside of the barrel is of no concern to anyone who knows anything. The transfer of heat from the burning of powder to the first very thin layer of metal in the throat is what ruins a barrel. There is considerable debate and scientific uncertainty as to the exact nature of the process that ruins a throat but it is my opinion that there are two methods of ruining a barrel. High-frequency-high-temperature heat cycling and low-frequency-moderate temperature heat cycling. With the high frequency method if you fire ten rounds in two minutes the throat gets hotter and hotter and in between each shot there is a reduction of temperature in the first thin layer of metal which causes the expansion and contraction to occur at very high temperatures. If you fire ten rounds spaced over 30 minutes the temperature peaks are lower and there should be less thermal cracking of the surface of the throat. One method ruins a barrel quickly and the other ruins it slowly. Thermal checking and cracking is unavoidable but you can reduce its affects by the rate of fire. In my opinion this is much more important than barrel thickness. So, if you would like a nice handling light barreled rifle remember to treat the throat kindly and it will be accurate for many years.
     
  10. 284stak

    284stak Well-Known Member

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    If you haven't already, look at Manners stocks --- they make a very good product ---- with several lightweight versions (24oz to 2.5lbs) and their turn-a-round time is exceptional.
    For the cost of the fluting and some of the controversy surronding it, I would go with a lighter barrel contour to save weight vs. a heavy contour with fluting.
    If you go with a lighter wt scope (under 20oz), lightwt manners stock and a #5contour - you should be in that wt range.
    My buddys shilen #5@27inches, zeiss conquest, HS sporter stock weighs in at 9.5 to give you some ideas vs my #5.5contour@27in w/McMillan thumbhole, IOR scope which is 13lbs)
    As far as barrel heating without flutes - both of us have around 800 rounds in less than 2 yrs and are still getting 0.5moa consistently.
     
  11. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the informed responses. The #5 contour Lilja, fluted, for quicker cooldown during shooting sessions is what I'm leaning toward. I guess at this point the best way to learn is to start ordering. I sure hope I can get to that .5 moa mark, I've been doing a lot of reading in hopes of improving my reloading skills to match the gun. Thanks again.
     
  12. bettin

    bettin Active Member

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    You also might want to look at carbon wrapped barrels by Advanced Barrel Systems. You will gain 2 advantages:
    1) it will weigh about the same as a #1 or 2 contour barrel, with the accuracy of a heavy barrel.
    2) it will dissapate the heat created 300x faster then a steel barrel

    I routinely shoot big calibers (300 RUM, 338 Lapua mag) in 5 shot strings with no waiting between shots, and see no affect on point of impact due to heat. I shoot all the rifles I build in this manner to make sure they shoot sub 1/2 moa. I have no problem putting a 1/2" accuracy gaurantee on rifles with these barrels. Most of them shoot groups in the .2-.3"s.

    As for a lightweight stock, another good choice is carbon stocks from Lone Wolf. They have several styles available to suit one's taste. You might look at his "Rogue", it has a palm swell, and cheek peice. I find it a very comfortable hunting stock.

    I put these components together to build long range rifles that weigh under 7 lbs in long actions and @ 6 lbs in short actions, all with .5 moa gaurantees.

    Todd Bettin
    Bettin Custom Guns
     
  13. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

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    cost rifle 308 or 30.06

    gun)can Uall help me out Iam new out here I finly made up my mind going to make/build cost rifle at this point it is a rem721 30.06 allready got triger job done about 1# pull 3-9x40 scope with ballistc plx going to use a bell carlson metalits weatherby look alike stock now for the barrel should I go with a 308 or stay with 30.06 it will be a deer gun in mn (i want bragging rights)trying 2 beat friends 7mm mag please help
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    There is not much difference between the 30-06 and 308 as far as ballistics are concerned. Perhaps if you do not reload, then the plentiful supply of factory loaded competition grade ammo for the 308 would be a point to consider in achieving accuracy.