Lawton actions and barrels

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by RockyMtnMT, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Looked back at some old reviews of their actions, and was curious if any one had current info they would like to share about the Lawton products. Any opinions based on recent experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Steve
     
  2. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    I had Kirby Allen build a 6.5-06 AI on their 7000 action a couple of years ago. Back then they were having some quality control issues. I ended up giving Kirby another couple hundred to bring that action up to other custom action standards. Since then, I seem to recall Kirby mentioning in another post that their quality control issues had been resolved. You may want to talk directly with Kirby and see what he thinks. He goes by Fiftydriver on LRH. Send him a PM.
     

  3. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    I have two of their 7500 models, one is a RBLP .534 BF. my local smith said he did not have to a thing to it, it is in 30 STW and is a tack driver.
    The other is in Kirby's hands right now so I do not know how true it is.
    Unfortunately Barney Lawton passed away recently, we can only hope that the company will continue as it did before with out him.
    The last one took less than a month from order to me.
    Dave
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    A couple years ago, Lawton has some issues with receiver squareness. The problem was tracked back to a problem with the bolts they were using which were not made in house. Lawton was told that these bolts were match grade, basically, all you had to do was install, lap the lugs and good to go.

    Well, One thing Lawton did do wrong was not check the squareness and take someones word on something. We have all been victims of that at one time or another. Unfortunately, in this case, the Lawton name took a bit of a beating for a bit.

    I worked with Barney to find out what the problem was and we came to the conclusion that it was the bolts as the receivers themselves were square which is the part them made.

    Upon this discovery, they decided to add to the tooling line and make their bolts inhouse. As far as I know now, they make all parts in house, at least all major parts for their receivers.

    The only receivers this really effected were the M7000 receivers. The M7500, M8000 and M8500 were always square and true because them made all the parts inhouse, that being receiver body and bolt body.

    Since then, I have had several of the post "problem" receivers and all have been very good quality.

    For the past several months, Lawton Machine has been under control of another company or owner. Barney had stayed with them to oversee their set up but when Barney passed, the company was well on its way and seem to be turning out good work.

    I received two receivers last week that are freshly made receivers and they checked out very well, ready to build on out of the box.

    It was sad to hear Barney passed, he was a very good man and was more then willing to talk your ear off whenever you had questions for him and was also more then willing to try to solve any problems that may come up with his products. I remembered when I was having problems with his receivers, he told me to submit a bill for my time to correct the receiver problems, did not matter how much, he would cover my time to make it right. Just the kind of man he was. Good guy, we have lost some very good men in our sport this past year for sure.

    As of right now, I would have no problem using a Lawton receiver for a build of mine personally or my customers. Their shipping times have also improved.
     
  5. Longshot38

    Longshot38 Well-Known Member

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    While I can't comment on there workmanship (still waiting on my barrel action). I can comment on wait times. My order was placed nearly 11 months ago and I am still waiting. And while I don't mind waiting on a quality product I think 11 months is getting a bit excessive. Please don't take this as me trying to bad mouth Lawton, because I'm not. If the finished product is of the quality I'm expecting then the wait was worthwhile. I just wish the production/wait times could be reduced.
     
  6. rbnhood73

    rbnhood73 New Member

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    I bought a 7000 action and barrel from Lawton machine. When I placed the order I had talked to Barney several times. He was very helpful, but he got sick not long after I placed the order. When I first got it the bolt was not fluted, and the ejector was stuck inside the bolt face and would not eject a shell. There was also what looked like file marks on the corners of the bolt lugs. There was also some dings in the barrel and the bolt release was loose fitting. They were very apologetic and said they would fix everything. I got a new bolt the second time. The tool marks were not there but the extractor was very loose and when it did pull the brass out of the chamber it gouged the full length of the brass and would not eject it. It also would not pick up a loaded round out of the magazine. (It was the first time they chambered a 6.5 creedmoor) Once again I sent it back. This time everything looks pretty good. It shoots very well. I think if Barney had been the one overseeing the work it would have been better the first time. Some of the guys I talked to down there were not very knowledgeable. One guy told me there was no such thing as a 260 remington. I'm happy with the rifle now but I wouldn't buy another one from them since Barney passed.
     
  7. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    I have several custom rifles built on Lawton actions, and I am very familiar with the operations in the shop. Barney was a wonderful gentleman, God rest his soul.
    My personal opinion is that the quality control of the finished product, and delivery times are not acceptable to me.
     
  8. Alycidon

    Alycidon Active Member

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    I speced a 7500 action for a custom 20BR that has now very nearly finished. I inspected and shot it prior to proof last week,

    It certainly shoots and shoots well BUT there are bad machining marks between the front lugs and it looks like a tiny chink of metal is missing off a rear lug. Once I get my hands on it I intend to contact Lawton about it. The UK importer told me the whole batch were like that, Lawton were at the time less that interested, hopefully that may change but I have my doubts.

    A
     
  9. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    My 1 month old coyote rifle in .243AI killed a rock at 1,000 yards on my first shot 2 days ago in SD.

    It utilizes a Lawton 7000 action. It was square and true when I got it.
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

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    My expereince with Lawton actions

    April 28, 2008: I order my 400x single shot, Right Port, Right Bolt, Right eject, no-flute bolt, one piece bolt handle with handle swept back, aluminum 20MOA sight base. Estimated delivery time 3 months. I was trying to keep this rifle "made in montana" so I also planned on a Lilja barrel chambered in .284 Winchester.

    June 2, 2008: paid in full

    December 19, 2008: picked up action from local FFL. The wait was loaded with excuses and is uncalled for. Please notice the "modified" serial number. Every Lawton I've ever seen uses only digits on the SN# but this one has an "A" scratched in with what looks like a sharp screwdriver!. I just know that the SN assigned to my build was shipped off to god knows who after about three months then oops, they have to build me another one... Also notice the machine shavings in bolt , wrong bolt handle, and no sight base.

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    December 24, 2008: shipped action back to Lawton for repairs. They promise a speedy turn around. I asked them to fix the SN#, send me the sight base and the handle is OK, it's kind of growing on me.

    February 6, 2009: UPS delivers new action. Pretty nice. It is straight, smooth, tight, I like it. Still no sight base. Call Lawton and have them send me the base I ordered and paid for.

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    February 12, 2009: I get sight base delivered. Great. Try to attach it to action. This sight base is for a long action. Call Lawton.



    February 20, 2009: Again call lawton "where's my aluminum 20MOA sight base for a short action?" They say they don't have any aluminum 20MOA bases for short action, can we send you a steel one? "sure"

    February 27, 2009: I get steel 20MOA sight base for short action and try to put it on action. I'm rather disappointed that it doesn't look or fit like the one on their websight, It is beadblasted and not finished to match the action, there are no attachment screws like the long action sight base came with. Well at least I have it and can continue with the build. Starting at the front, I thread in the 8x40 screws I have in my shop. Starting at the front of the action I begin threading the screws in. #1,#2,#3 then I attemp #4, the rear most screw won't thread, hum, let's have alook to see the problem.


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    The dog gone sight base screw spacing is wrong. Can anything else go wrong? Honestly I am sick of dealing with lawton, I'm going to pay my gunsmith to fix the thing and I'm going to sell it. I have never had so many problems trying to spend nearly $1,000.
     
  11. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Thanks for all the replies. Disappointingly, some are good, and several not so good. Makes it tough to feel all warm and fuzzy about Lawton. I too want to stay in Montana.

    Thanks again guys,

    Steve
     
  12. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    I almost ordered one about a year and a half ago. My friend placed an order for one the same time I ordered my Stiller Diamondback. Delivery time was estimated the same by both companies. My rifle was up and running with a load worked up before he got his action. It got so bad his final conversation with someone at Lawton was along the lines of .
    I've heard enough excuses If you can not ship it within a week please cancel the order. Well they got it to him and it looked like poop. Tool marks all over the bolt between the lugs, it looked like they used a grinder. The rest of the action looked like it had been to hell and back. It took the smith a lot of time to clean it up and buff it out.

    The good news is after checking it out it was straight.
     
  13. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Like I said before....
     
  14. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I don't have any of their actions, but I do have a couple of their barrels.
    I was out playing a little on wednesday morning with my long-time hunting buddy Steve Hugel (sscoyote).

    We shot at 546, 730, and 799 yards.
    Here is pic of my 730 yard shooting-Target is 11"
    Shooting prone: Rem. XP-100 6x47 Lapua, Huskemaw 5-20 scope, McRee stock, Kelbly trigger.

    There are 5-shots. Conditions got me and one glanced the target at around 10 O'Clock-Wind can humble me quickly-Shooting 105 A-Max's. I haven't used this barrel very much but i really want s to shoot.

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