Just completed budget .308 build!

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jamesmc2, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    So I am a newbie to the long range game. Grew up hunting in southwest Wyoming and have taken several animals at longish range given the nature of the terrain. I took a hiatus from hunting and shooting while I went to college and medical school due to the demands of my schedule. However this past year I had the chance to get out and hunt with my dad in the canyons of SW Wyoming. He took an impressive 4x4 at just under 400yrds and during the final hours of the hunt I put some meat in the freezer with a 3x3. I had such an enjoyable time both hunting and preparing for the hunt that I decided to rethink my techniques and tactics in order to become a more proficient marksman and hunter. I decided that that one area I could greatly improve would be accuracy. Especially accuracy at longer ranges. I read stories and saw pics of gongs and deer being hit at 1000+ yards. While impressive, I decided that this is not where I should start. I wanted to learn the essentials with the tool that has taught 1000's of military men and law enforcement the basics of the long range game. The .308! Being just out of school and living with a family of three on a resident salary I sold a couple of older guns that I had with a plan to purchase and "accurize" a factory rifle. After reading Jerry Teo's article "Long Range Rifle on an Budget" I purchased a Savage .308 with accutrigger and lightweight varmint barrel. As I had limited funds to work with, the photo's below detail the project.

    First I bedded the action using Devcon Plastic Steel. This was my first bedding job and I used the instructions on www.6mmbr.com/pillarbedding.html

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    After bedding the action I built up the stock forend using 2x4 lumber and 5min Epoxy I also converted the grip to more of a "pistol" grip. Additional shaping of the wood was done with files and an electric hand sander.

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    I then used Bondo from the auto parts store as filler to further build up the stock. The cost of the stock build was around $30 for the Bondo, Epoxy and Paint! The Bondo was easily shaped with files and a sander to get the shape I wanted from the stock.

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    Now she is ready for some paint!
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    For paint I used Krylon outdoor matte finish spray paint in OD green, black and tan. I applied two coats of black as a base followed by two coats of green. I then used a stencil made of cardboard to break up the pattern. I used some straw with short bursts of paint to create additional texture.

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    Here is a pic of the finished stock before I dropped the action back in. Not as fancy as a high end after market stock. She may not win any beauty contests but the added functionality is just what I needed without spending much $$$! The forend is now much stiffer, its steady on the bags and I love the feel of the pistol grip!

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    Here is the finished rifle! Saved a lot of $ and I had a blast doing it. When I have some spare money my next rig will be a ground up build! Even though the rifle came with the "accustock" the bedding made an improvement in accuracy. Of the shelf with my best handload it was shooting 0.75" to 1" at 100yrds. After bedding and stiffening the stock I am reliably getting 0.5" groups at the same distance.

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    See you in the field! - James
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  2. moses42ak

    moses42ak Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the build James! Looks like you put a lot of work into it.
     

  3. ogreshooter

    ogreshooter Well-Known Member

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    Newbs, take note: THIS IS HOW A FIRST POST IS DONE.

    I really dig the "budget" rifle rest for working on your rig. Perfect.

    Nice looking rifle. Enjoy it, you have put a lot of work into it.
     
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i do not know what a "resident salary" is . i really enjoyed the post and pics. awesome job. the scope is a fixed 10X??
     
  5. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for the kudos. As I said I had a great time doing the build. The scope is a Bushnell Elite 3200 fixed 10x and so far it does the trick.
     
  6. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    Got the rig out to the range a couple of times doing some load development. got the following results.

    Gun data: Savage Model 16 stainless short action, 24" varmint contour barrel
    Load data: Win Brass, Fed Match Primer, 168gr Amax, 43.1gr Varget

    - Three shot groups @ 100yds: 0.5" & 0.56"
    - Five shot group @ 100yds: 0.6"
    - Three shot group @ 200yds: 0.5"

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  7. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished the my load work up. In the end the 1in10 twist barrel liked the heavier 175-180 grain bullets. My best load to date is 178gr Amax with 44.5 grains of Varget in Win brass with Federal 210M primers. Chrony average 2730 fps. Averages less tan 1/2" at 50yds and around 3/4" at 200yds :)
     
  8. jlamb

    jlamb Well-Known Member

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    Killer rifle! You'll like the 175SMKs or 178 AMax's more in the Savage. They are much more accurate in my Savage over the 168 grain bullets. I've also had really good like with Sierra 155 SMK Palma. All with Varget.
     
  9. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Welcome James!

    Your exactly the kind of member this site loves to have! Creative, innovative, and does his research before posting!

    Seeing how it shoots, I assume your floating the tang of the savage? Make sure there is ample clearance, pressure there torques the action real easily.

    Shooting those kind of groups at 200yard with a 10x scope.. Wow! Get out there and start working on reading the wind. I highly recommend taking a class to learn, seems expensive, but the cost is regained saved bullets, powder and barrel wear you'd use trying to figure it all out on your own.
     
  10. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I bedded the action with the tang floated. I ended up removing all the bedding from under the barrel nut and have had more consistent results. I actually took her out and shot at 600yds a couple days ago. Vertical spread of about 3" and horizontal spread of 5.5" in about 5mph wind. Shot prone off a bipod. I think a class would definitely be worthwhile and I will look into what is available locally. The 10x scope is good to about 200yds for "precision" results. Further than that and it averages about 1MOA as it is difficult to get a precise point of aim. I'm hooked!
     
  11. Larry87

    Larry87 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 23, 2011
    Killer write up man. The rifle is a thing of beauty. Reading wind gets easy once you learn how. I fortunately had the military teach me but still wouldnt mind taking a class for longer distances past 500 yards.
     
  12. froggy69

    froggy69 Member

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    great job on your build and excellent write up.:)gun)

    i just finished setting up a sps varmint in .308. i haven't even shot it yet and already want to do another rifle.was looking at building one like the budget build article and after reading your thread it makes me even more interested in doing it.

    GREAT JOB
     
  13. jamesmc2

    jamesmc2 Well-Known Member

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    Here are a couple pics of my 2011 Antelope and Mule Deer.

    Antelope was at 350 yards

    Mule Deer was 397 yards

    Both were taken using the 178 amax from the .308
     

    Attached Files:

  14. vendetta333

    vendetta333 Well-Known Member

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    just gotta say, nice! all around, nice! how do you like the scope? seems like the best deal for the money.