help me build a rifle

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by msalm, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    I just found this site and it's got some great info! I'm planning a project for a long range rifle that I can shoot at 1000 yards for fun, and has the capability for elk at 600+ (maybe 750?). I've got it narrowed down to either the 300 or 338 RUM or go to the 338 Lapua. One suggestion was barrel it to 338 RUM, and if it didn't have enough 'snort', rechamber to 338-300RUM. I already have a very accurate 25" barreled 300WSM, so I'm leaning towards the 338's.

    Barrel length 27 or 28" sound about right?

    Also I'm still undecided on the action. I'm thinking the Stiller Tac, or a Surgeon and possibly the Lawton. With either of the actions and the capabilities of the rifle, is there any REAL advantage to the repeater versions? It will add to the overall cost and I'm wondering on the real benifit vs. action rigidity, etc...

    The Surgeon really looks quite stout and I'd imagine the repeater would be fine in that regard.

    As for stocks, it comes down to tactical vs. practical for me as to the weight and balance of the finished rifle.

    I have a very good lathe, and am doing all the work myself, and planning on an initial $2000-$2500 to get the action, barrel and stock together---I want accuracy and quality here.

    So given those thoughts, what would be your recommendations???????? Also, what weight would be a reasonable target? I want something I will be able to pack around a bit and was hoping for 12lbs or so, but can go up if it will mean an overall improvement in accuracy and shootability.


    Any and all thoughts/recommendations welcome, and thanks in advance.


    Oh, and one more thing, which muzzlebrake would you recommend and why?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  2. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Rifle Project

    Mslam, if I were you I would probably go with a Surgeon Action, 30" 1-10 Twist Krieger barrel, McMillan A-5 and one of Kirby Allens brakes. I would probably go with the 338 Lupua Magnum.

    The 338 Lupua Magnum will allow you to use really good brass + it's a really great long range cartridge. You should be able to push a 300grn bullet, out of a 30" barrel, at around or a little over 3000fps.

    Good luck

    Wildcat
     

  3. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been able to get my paws on a lawton action yet but I have gotten to fondel a Surgeon that was built to a tactical 308 and they are very nice actions.
    I haven't seen it proven that a repeater is any less accurate than a single shot when built for anything less than world class bench rest shooting . In most cases in long range hunting a realy fast follow up shot is not called for that often and a deciently skilled shooter can make several reloads to a singleshot plenty fast enough , and they are a bit cheaper , easier to bed and cheaper when it comes time for bottom metal.

    I personaly would use the Surgeon action with a 28" Medium heavy Palma style conture barrel from Broughton , Rock Creek or Obermeyer with the 5R rifling profile. I have used a few of these now and realy like the barrels alot and the 5R does offer a little bit more velocity. As for the twist I would go with a 1-9 wich is a bit fast but it will allow you to shoot some realy long VLD bullets without any trouble or question about stabilizing them , i feel its better to over spin a bullet than under spin one.
    For the caliber , well that depends alot on your budget. the 338RUM will get the job done on an Elk at the ranges you look for but its not the fastest. The 338 Lapua is a step up the food chain and offers the best brass out their with some realy good factory loadings but you looking at about $3-$5 a round for loaded ammo. then you have the 338 Edge wich is the 300 RUM necked up to 338 , its gonna be a little bit faster especialy with the heavier bullets and a good bit cheaper on the brass side , but their is no chance of having factory ammo anywhere if a problem comes up and your ammo doesen't show.

    Now if your getting a big 338 cause you think its "needed" to kill Elk at 700yds then I think thats the wrong reason their are alot of other rounds out their that will do that with less recoil and blast. But if you just "want" one then thats all the reason needed.

    You mentioned that your gonna do the work your self I was wondering have you done much gunsmith machine work?
     
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Look at the stiller TAC actions for the 338. Agree also with going for the single shot vs the repeater for what you want.

    I have the Lawton and great for the money.

    you will love the broughton barrels also.

    Not sure that the A5 is worth the money and wait compared to what else is out there. For example look at Fajen site and they have a laminated stock for $275 that works great on a LR rig. Russo and Bruce Baer also make all models of laminates.

    As for caliber and case, go with the 338 Lapua. Brass is cheapest component of this mix and the Lapua is the best. If you have to improve the case to get MV, the 338 Lapua improved leads the pack.

    BH
     
  5. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    For gunsmithing experience, I've been at it for 15 years, and have taken the local tech schools machine shop class (two sem.), and have taken the NRA rifle rebarreling short course at Murray state college, OK. I've rebarrelled 4 rifles on my own so far and know what needs to be done as far as an accurate chambering job having done it, and read everything I could get my hands on. Just recently I've finally been able to get the lathe and set up the shop I've always wanted, hence this project. I picked up a like new South Bend G26T 13X36" lathe. It has a 1 5/8" through the headstock and a narrow headstock to boot. It will work very well for setting up the barrel through the headstock.

    I also recently had the pleasure of visiting Mike Rock's barrel Shop and spent a good 5 hours poking around his place. He was a very gracious host and gave me all sorts of information for rifling barrels (I also have a hand operated sine bar rifling machine for muzzleloader barrels). Looking at all the stuff he was working on really got my urge for a long distance rifle going.

    I've been an armament tech for the last 13 years, and pretty much eat, sleep, and breathe guns, esp. accurate rifles and hunting....maybe in a few years after I build enough toys for myself I'll get around to getting the FFL and hang out a shingle.

    I'm thinking the single shot action will do, and in building such a beast I'm wondering how much difference the 30"vs28" would be velocity wise. Also, with that long barrel hanging out there, what would most of you do for bedding? Just a good pillar bed and 2-3" of barrel, or with those solid actions would you just free-float the works? Most of my experience has been all sporter and varmint guns to this point, and I've not had to bed a rifle with a 28+" heavy barrel.

    The Stiller Tac looks like a good option to me as far as price and quality.

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  6. oso

    oso Well-Known Member

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    This will be like a delayed echo but here ya go.

    I personally would go with the 338 Edge as a cartridge due to costs of components. If money was no object then I would have to have a 408 Cheytach at about $5 a case and 2nd would be a 338 lapua improved at about $2 a case. Or better yet gettcha a Allen Mag and call it done!!

    Action I would pobably go with the Stiller Tac (more knowledge base) even though I have been known to lean towards the Surgeon... there is just something about that intergrated scope base!!

    Barrel would have to be 30" of working barrel and it would also have to be a Broughton!

    Stocks, well I have been leaning towards a Joel Russo and if it is anything like his XP stocks I will have to restock 2-3 of my rifles!!

    Good luck with your search and your LR project!!
     
  7. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    So what would be wrong with going with a standard 338 RUM, and IF that proved to be too slow for my application, rechamber it to 338-300RUM? Is that basically the 338 Edge?

    A 338 Lapua, as long as it's in a good strong action like the stiller or the surgeon would probably an equal no???

    Also, why Broughton? I thought cut rifled might be a better choice.

    Thanks,
    Matt


    Also, I'd like to know the average weight of a long range rig such as I'm describing. What kind of weight do you feel comfortable with on a 600+ yard shot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    The 5C, 5R type rifling is seen to be about 50-75 fps faster than normal flat rifling in most cases

    BH
     
  9. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Well so much for listening to opinions, but I was shopping around the internet and saw that Nesika had a few actions in stock... I had a friend with an FFL order one of their V model actions. Long action, RUM bolt-face with a solid bottom single shot. He just received it in the mail today.

    SO, I have an action, and I now have to decide between the 300RUM, or either the 338RUM or 338-300RUM. Any other thoughts? I suppose there's no perfect answer, but my thoughts are I should see a better barrel life (possibly?) with either of the 338's. With a good bullet would you feel comfortable with a 700 yard (max) shot on an elk, or would the 338's have an advantage?

    So given that info, what caliber would you choose, and what chambering reamer would you select? Do any of you set up tight-neck chambers that require neck turning, or are you satisfied with a minimum headspace chamber and a no-turn neck diameter.

    Another thought was can a standard 338 RUM chamber reamer be used for the 338-300RUM by chambering to a deeper depth? I was wondering if the shoulder diameter and neck length was the same, and taper of the case at the base close enough that this could be done.
     
  10. oso

    oso Well-Known Member

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    Well i might get flammed here due to what I am about to say but here it goes. I used to keep up with all the ooh's and awe's of the Nesika actions and normally would have been one of my first choices. With in the last months Nesika seems to have a QC problem and that was the only reason I did not mention them.

    As far as tight neck or not would be soley up to you. Do you turn necks already? I have to turn most of my calibers so its not out of the ordinary for me but that is just me.

    What round would I choose out of the ones mentioned I would go with 300RUM and then neck up to 338 and probably go ahead and improve it to. While I was doing that I would have decided on what weight of bullet I would want to shoot and set the throat accordingly.

    BH has answered your question "why Broughton" and on top of that they are very accurate.
     
  11. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Well let's hope this action is a good one. What kind of QC issues should I check out on it? I would assume concentricity and squareness would be the major items.

    FFL guy says it looks real good, and I should be quite happy with it.
     
  12. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Well I've got my action, and also the barrel, a 338 cal Rock 5R, 28 inch that's just over .9" at the muzzle, about a heavy Palma contour.

    Now I'm looking at stocks, and like the looks of the McMillan HTG with the adjustable comb, in fact I just ordered one, but would change the order if someone gave me a good reason to do so. Pro's, con's or otherwise? I want a hunting rig that would be suitable for some long range shooting and that HTG stock is more on the side of 'hunting' vs. bench.

    Any thoughts?
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    338

    The 338 is the weapon of choice for elk size game and bullet
    selection is great in my opinion.

    The 338 RUM is in the middle of the 338s in power and is a standard
    factory loading making it a good place to start.

    It has the standard mag bolt face making it easy to find a action
    and minimise cost of a biuld.

    The fact that they are slightly shorter helps if you want to shoot longer
    bullets like the 300gr match king .(you dont have to seat them as deep
    to get them in the magazine).

    Sounds like your on the right track and after you shoot it you may not want to change it .

    Good luck
    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  14. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Will I be able to get any more out of the case with longer OAL seated bullets? Just curious since I do have a single shot action and I'm thinking about throating it so the bullet would be seated at the base of the neck, vs. deeper in the case. If I knew I could get enough speed, I would consider throating it for the 300gr Sierra. What would be a reasonable expectation for velocity with the 338 RUM and the 300 Sierra MK seated to the base of the neck?