Building the perfect rifle

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ishootkittens, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, I am still on my search for a deer/elk rifle. I really like some of the factory rifles but after looking over some threads, I see alot of people "building their own" custom rifles. It definately caught my interest. I see that the accuracy is insane but is building your own rifle really worth it? Can you guys give me some pro's and con's to custom rifles. And if I do get more interested, where do I start and How much money should I start saving? I also notice that most of these custom rifles have a "tactical look". Im a hunter and am not a big fan of the "tac" look and I was wondering if there are ways around this. Im really new to this so please, be patient with me! Thank you so much!
     
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    A custom rifle has a ton of pro's. You get to pick the action, the stock, and the barrel. You can pick your own components such as the trigger and in some instances the firing pin assembly. You can build with a muzzle break or without one depending on the caliber. The sky is the limit with the custom rifle. You start from scratch and build something that most other hunters will never see in their gun cabinets.

    The cons are wait time for the build (depending on builder and components availability), cost, and you will never get near what you put into it when and if you try to sell it. Cost can be as little as $1500 if you use a tuned factory action with aftermarket parts (trigger, action bedded and low cost stock, no optics), or as much and not stopping at $10,000. The average is probably in the neighborhood of $3500 with and without optics. With really good optics you are in the $5000 range and up.

    To start you have to figure out how long you want to wait to save and what components you want exactly. You need to decide what caliber and what purpose you are exactly trying to achieve. Is it a hunter or a target? You state you want a hunter style stock, so in my opinion a Manners UltralightHunter would fit the bill. You can choose as to how much or how little carbon fiber is built into the stock.

    Then you have to decide what action. This should actually be the first step, but this also includes caliber. A medium bore caliber (.308, 243, 6.5x47, 6.5x284, 284 etc.) determines the size and length. If you want an overbore (7mmSTW, 300RUM, 338EDGE, 338 Lapua) then a larger generally more expensive reinforced action is required. This adds weight, but should you have a light stock then it is a mute point.

    Then you choose barrel manufacturer. Lilja, Shilen, Douglas, Lothar Walther, Hart, just to name a few. These companies offer different variations in the same design of rifling, cost, groove count, and material make up. All are very good barrels and some are more expensive then others, but none really give up anything to the other. Application, application, application! Can't emphasize that concept enough deciding on the build options.

    Trigger group is necessary as to what weight you want to pull each shot. Do you want an ultra sensitive trigger like a target 6-8oz or heavier (preferred) 1.5-3lbs. for hunting. The latter would be the proper application for a walking hunter. Then we move into bases for your optics. This is important for the action party because some actions of integral bases built into the action. So when you figure all of this out, then the scope comes into play, but I'll leave you to wrap your head around this info first.

    Tank

    P.S. $3500 should be the goal for rifle alone to save for!
     

  3. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    damn, thats pretty expensive for a college student working for minimum wage lol. This may have to wait afterall. I was looking to get a Browning X-bolt for around 800 and 3500 sounds awful compared to that. The pro's you described sounds awsome and I love making things custom. Any time I can add my personal touch or personality into something Im all for it. But damn.. i just dont know about the price right now. I gotta get through school!
    thanks tank!
     
  4. BlackSS

    BlackSS Well-Known Member

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    If you want a good shooting factory rifle you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't look at Savage.
     
  5. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    I have had excellent results accurizing a number of diffrent factory rifles simply with stock work and good hand loads. Customs are the best but i have worked with InterArms (the same as Howa, Wby Vanguard), Remingtons, Weatherby Mark V's, Husky's and Savages. I've never had difficulty getting any of them to shoot .8 MOA and the ones I've really worked on will shoot .5-.6 MOA all the time. I would suggest picking a caliber that tickles your pickle and go with a mid-line model. Pillar bed, free float the barrel, do proper barrel brake in, and use good optics.
     
  6. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    yeah now a days, i hear it is really hard to get a rifle that DOESNT shoot MOA with the proper break in. What is the best way you all have found to break in your rifles?

    Ohh and thank you guys so much
     
  7. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Break in is a personal preference. If you do a search you will get all kinds of methods. Here is one suggested to me.

    Barrel Break InSTEP 1 (repeated 10 times) * Fire one round * Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore 1 ____ 2 ____ 3 ____ 4 ____ 5 ____ 6 ____ 7 ____ 8 ____ 9 ____ 10 ____

    STEP 2 (repeated 5 times) * Fire a 3 shot group * Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore 1 ____ 2 ____ 3 ____ 4 ____ 5 ____

    STEP 3 (repeat 5 times) * Fire a 5 shot group * Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore * Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction) * Push dry patches through the bore (2 times) * Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore 1 ____ 2 ____ 3 ____ 4 ____ 5 ____

    Tank
     
  8. ubettcha13

    ubettcha13 Well-Known Member

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    This would be your best option as you can change barrels yourself. Lots of prefit match barrels and the floating head doesn't need to be trued to work well. The accutrigger is good to go but aftermarket is available.
    When I worked in a shop that accurrized rifles I shot more one hole groups with the 110 savage than all the other factory rifles we didn't change barrels with. If you take the time to search around you can find an old canoe paddle 110 for $200-$250 dollars. New shilen select match for $341 from the barrelman. A stock from stockys for under $200 then cry once for your glass. I have a 3x12 SB from the early 1990s that was $950 look at the prices today. I now use nikon on all the other guns but the SB goes on for load development on ever gun I own.
    If I were going to start over I'd do a savage. I have a trued model 70 but the barrel is still the one that came with it. This wisa 26" I went to a 243ai douglas XX when it was trued burned it up and put this one back on for my wife. If I had a savage I could have done it myself saving $400
     
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    my first choice would be a rem sendero in 7mm( or your preference). however the savage have a big following. tikka also. roninflag
     
  10. JeffP40

    JeffP40 Well-Known Member

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    Good job Tank :), you're going to scare the poor kid with that hocus-pocus break-in . Whoever does that is way past OCD. He spends more time wearing the barrel out with a rod than shooting. Time would be better spent learning the rifle and load.
     
  11. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    A blind monkey can make one heck of a shooter with a Savage!! If you want to get as close as you can to a full custom build get a timed and trued action from Sharp shooter supply, that will set you back around 500-600 depending on options. Prefit barrel form one of many great sources for 300-400, then stock it out with the P-dog special from Stockade stocks in the money saver for 235 and finish yourself or get a Hart stock from Stockys Stocks in wood for under 200. All you need to add is a head space guage, wrench and some bedding and your into a rockn rig for 1000-1200 bucks!!! You can score a Stevens action for just over 200 dollars and roll the rest of the parts on and have nearly as good a rig but with a little less of the refinements, that puts you in the 800-900 dollar range.:D
     
  12. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    heck yes! i love getting so many ideas and so much feedback! I do like that Idea about the savage, but i really dont like the way they feel, but I hear they shoot excellent! Thank you all so much, you have made my decision that much harder!
     
  13. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    there is a complete guide to barrel break in ; go to riflemans journal by german salazar. excellent read. roninflag