Do it your self or write the check?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Ankeny, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

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    Just thinking out loud here and maybe this post won't even have a whold lot of value, but here goes.

    I am getting older and I am tired of magnum recoil so I am stepping down to a quick 7mm caliber, probably a 7mm Rem or a .280 AI. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Anyhow, I am wanting a scary accurate rifle and I can get one of those from any number of gunsmiths if I want to suck it and just write the check, along with waiting a year.

    On the flip side, I can buy a used Sendero for about $500.00 -$600.00, send the action off to Hart, Pac Nor, Kreiger, etc. for a rebarrel job and action truing for around $600.00 then drop is back into the HS Precision stock along with a skim bedding job.

    What's your take on this kind of project? If I do it myself what kind of accuracy could I reasonably expect out of something like a Hart installed by them simply dropped back into the stock? I know it's a gamble and there are no guarantees. At least if I shell out a bunch of coin to a major 'smith I have someone to cry to is the rifle doesn't meet expectations.
     
  2. Matt27

    Matt27 Well-Known Member

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    Ankeny

    You won't spend anymore to have a smith do it than with any of the routes you said. It is no differant than sending it to a smith.

    Give Chris Matthews a shout. Great guy and can answer any and all your questions.

    Me personally i would send it to one of the smiths on this board just to ease my mind. Their reputations around here and other places are impecable to build an accurate rifle. By sending it to one of them you can rest assured it won't be the rifle faults.
     

  3. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

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    Matt:

    Yeah, I know exactly where you are coming from. Still, part of me wants to shoot little bitty groups with something I worked on myself, kind of like why I tie my own fishing flies. I am also impatient and I hate the thought of not having the rifle by next hunting season. My flawed logic goes like this. Buy a used Sendero in 7 mag, shoot it and if I luck out the quest ends there, if not rebarrel. I think we all know what the chances are of 1/2 MOA from the get go. Anyhow, the guy I was going to have build the rifle is Darrell Holland and the price he quoted is about double what I would have into a used rifle, new barrell, Jewell trigger, etc.

    Unless it's bad form to ask, who are the 'smiths that frequent the board? I surfed around and didn't see a list.
     
  4. Matt27

    Matt27 Well-Known Member

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    Ankeny

    What do you mean by do it yourself? For a Rem 700 you won't be able to get a prethreaded barrel and put it on yourself. It still needs to be headspaced, so you are just sending the same thing to the smith and it will be returned and you can drop it back into the stock.

    Seems Awful high on what darrel quoted you.

    Some of the smiths on here

    Chris Matthews
    Kirby Allen
    Shawn Carlock

    I know i am forgetting a few.

    Give one of those guys a shout and talk to them. I bet the price won't be any differant than what hart, kreiger or pacnor costs. Might be a little better and the smiths on here might even have a barrel laying around and no wait for the barrel.

    I would buy the gun first and shoot it first before any changes and decisions are made.

    An add on here. You won't be waiting a year or till next hunting season for it to be done with any of the smiths on this board.
     
  5. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    If your looking for a good shooter on a budget and you want to do it your self with minimal machine work one word comes to mind

    SAVAGE , yea I said it as dirty as it sounds , you canget a used gun for about $225 rebarrel it yourself with a prefit barrel and it'll shoot pretty damn good , send the action to SSS to have it timed and trued use their lug and trigger.

    Or like you said , have a rem 700 rebarreled and you'll be good to go , check around and see what barrel makers have instock alot of times they may have what you want sitting their , then get it shipped out to a good smith and their you go.

    the 280 Ackley is a great round you can reload it to shoot right with a 7mm Rem mag's "factory "ammo using less powder
    but depending on the critters you might look at a 6.5-06 probably flatter trajectory and even less recoil no case fire forming and you can use Lapua brass. The 140gr A-max is a hell of a deer bullet and the 140 Partition should suit you well on an Elk
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I'd recommend two choices, not in order:

    -) What JDJones said,

    -)Get the 700 and a)Pick a smith and tell him what you want and get an estimated time of completion b) pick a barrel maker c) pick a cartridge (I'm w/JD on the 6.5-06), c) pick a barrel contour and length d)purchase the bbl from the maker and have him send it to your smith. e) send the action to the smith also and let him have at it.

    I did above but had an Mauser action and took the barrel makers recommendation for a smith, got the barrelled action back in about a month. Re inletted the barrel channel for the new barrel and immediately went to shooting bug hole groups.

    email me and I'll give the a phone number that you may contact, if you wish.
     
  7. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    Ankeny
    I went through the same thing when I started down the custom/semi-custom path. Fortunately I live about 35 mins. from Rock Creek Barrels so I drove over and talked with Mike Rock and was soon on the way towards a 6.5-284. Mike did the action trueing, chambering, and barrel instalation, I bedded the stock and adjusted the trigger. It shoots very well, into the .2s @ 100, sadly I don't get enough practice to do that all the time.

    Next came a .243 that went about the same as the 6.5, with Mike doing most of the critical fitting. It too shoots better than I do.

    By the time I was ready for my next build I wanted to try things for myself, so I picked up a Savage action and ordered a Douglas barrel, recoil lug, barrel nut, and custom trigger from SSS. Slapped things together and dropped it into a Boyds thumbhole stock and it to shoots .4 to .7 (more .7s with me driving). Not quite as well as the two Mike Rock did for me but the barrel isn't a Rock either.

    I have since done another wildcat(6.5 wssm) on a Savage action and can tell you there is nothing more satisfying than putting one together with your own hands and having it shoot well. It can also be very frustraing along the way when things don't go exactly as planned /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    I guess the point to all this rambling is do you have the time to spend getting enough practice behind a gunsmith crafted rifle to get the full potential out of it. If you can only get out once a month or so I'd do things yourself, you'll probably be pleasantly suprised.
     
  8. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    Chris at Long shot Rifles turn around time is about 8-10 weeks that's including the barrel time getting made. I sent my rifle in the end of March and had it back in the Middle of May. The biggest wait time was for the barrel after Chris had that he kicked it out real quick. I would give him a call. The other thing you could do is buy a 7mm Mag in a Sendero bed it yourself and go shoot little groups. I have yet to see a Sendero not shoot 1/2 MOA.
     
  9. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

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    By do it myself I mean have one of the barrel makers true the action and install the barrel. I would install a trigger, do the bedding, etc. Essentially I would be saving the cost of a new stock by using the old one and I would save some labor.

    There is a 7 mag Sendero on one of the Websites for sale and the owner claims sub half MOA accuracy, 450 rounds down the pipe, etc., for $500.00. Yeah right, what's the chances of that? I could buy the gun, do some load development and see if the rifle is satisfactory. If not, $600.00 and I have a new barrel. Or I could just stop messing around and buy a new rifle and be good to go.

    When I get right down to it, the question is really one of do I want the satisfation of tinkering around myself to produce a tack driver or do I want to have the pride in ownership of owning some of the finest gear in the world being produced by one of the finest gunsmiths on the planet.

    It's odd that I get price consious on a rifle, but as an IPSC competion shooter, I'll drop three grand on a racegun without a second thought. Time to rethink my priorities. Afterall, even though I don't make a lot of money, I could come up with a couple of grand for a decent long range hunting rifle.
     
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    When I get right down to it, the question is really one of do I want the satisfation of tinkering around myself to produce a tack driver or do I want to have the pride in ownership of owning some of the finest gear in the world being produced by one of the finest gunsmiths on the planet.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I hear ya on the self satisfaction. Been doing that for years.

    What I'm expecting to find is that the custom rifle from one the world class smiths start where mine begin, as far as accuracy goes. Example is fire forming loads reported here are more consistently accurate than the finished product on my project rifles. On mine, overall accuracy looks great at 100 or 200 but goes down hill after 750 or so. And this is after a couple of hundred development loads. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    On the really good custom rifles, I expect load development to be maybe 1/10th of the development necessary for a factory barrel.

    However, the action I sent off and got a quality barrel fitted by a quality smith with bedding done by me, load development was less than 30 rounds, including break in. The only problem is that it is a poopy cartridge LRH.

    Now I have both an own project rifle for personal learning and satisfaction and a fully custom rifle on the way that all I expect to do is show it off with pride and learn to shoot it at far away things.

    BTW, I've never had a fully custom rifle before and figured I owed myself one......
     
  11. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Dang Roy, you sound like me. The only custom work I have ever had is my AM. I figured that after 35 years of hunting, and shooting straight factory rifles, I deserved one as well. THe only problems is, now it takes a whole lot longer to save up for the next one. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  12. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    Ankeny,

    Start shooting some 3 gu matches if you want to see a serious equipment bill. I will say this, if you do it yourself or if you have it done, get what you want the first time and don't cut corners. When the project is done you will be much happier with the result.
     
  13. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Mike,

    I don't quite have the first one yet and am planning on the next, only bigger /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  14. Coyoter

    Coyoter Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw in with JDJones on this one. My shooting buddy (Wyojeeper) is an avid Savage fan. He's gotten .5MOA out of all but a few of his guns and honestly, those few he hasn't tinkered with much. He buys a gun that interests him, often rebarrels with some sort of match barrel, installs a trigger, beds the action and shoots groups from .25MOA to .5MOA with nothing having ever been to the gunsmith. Heck, one of his best shooters is a used Savage Tactical (FP110?) in .308 that shot 5 into 1/2" with a called flyer. Without the flyer it measured 3/16" for the other 4.
    Personally, I'm finding I enjoy knowing that my gun shoots and it's because I picked out the accessories, installed them myself and then loaded up the rounds that produce the groups...
    Coyoter