Russo stocked Bubinga 338 Big Baer

Discussion in 'Gun Photos' started by jmermis, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. jmermis

    jmermis Well-Known Member

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    About two years ago I decided I wanted to build an extreme long range rifle. I did my research and knew I wanted to build a wildcat based on the .408 case. After a bunch of phone calls to different people in the industry, I felt comfortable after talking with Joel Russo. His knowledge of long range shooting, his accomplishments with the .338-.408 at extreme range, and his ability to turn a piece of wood into a killer stock, was reason enough for me to have him help me with this build.

    I decided on the .338-.408 Big Baer, which is the same cartridge Joel used to shoot that killer 3.8" group at the mile in Ohio a few years ago. I chose Bruce Baer to do the metal work, and Joel Russo to build the stock.

    I was having difficulty finding an action available in order to put this rifle together for the upcoming Elk season. I asked Joel if he would entertain the thought of selling his personal rifle chambered in .338-.408. He convinced me that I should build one to ensure the final product was customized for me. Joel offered to sell me a new TAC 408 he had that he was going to use for his next build. I accepted... action problem solved, and we're back on track.

    After I picked a piece of Bubinga from his vast inventory of wood, he started the re-saw and glue process to make the laminated blank that I requested. Baer ordered the barrel from Benchmark and we were finally making progress. The barreled action was complete, and I wanted to have some type of coating applied. I called Kampfeld Customs, and talked to Karl about my options. I decided on a two tone Cerakote finish. Karl was easy to deal with, and I knew I had another qualified person on the job.

    The Bubinga blank was finished and was ready for inletting, but I had a few major requests for the stock. I am 6'8" with large hands, and a standard stock never really fit me well. I asked Joel if he could move the action inlet forward so that my trigger finger would be in a comfortable position in relation to the trigger. After many careful measurements and a few conversations, we decided to move the action inlet forward 1". My next problem was length of pull. I wanted an adjustable system capable of 16.5" overall. I wanted it to be lightweight and flow with the lines of the stock. We couldn't find anything that would work, so Joel suggested he make a custom system.

    Timing couldn't have been any better for a business trip to the other side of the country. My project was completed except for the finish on the stock. I took a day off from working and drove a few hours to meet with Joel to shoot my rifle and do some load development. I was excited to be able to go out to Baer’s shop to meet the guy that I’ve read and heard about for so long and who was building me the once in a lifetime project. I was also looking forward after talking with Joel over the past couple years to put a face to the voice as he’s not only very knowledgeable and experienced on many levels, but he’s a down to earth nice guy that loves what he does. He had me prepping brass and turning necks before I could shoot the beast. It didn't take long to shoot a few .750" groups at 300 yards, after not shooting for seven months! I feel that I can hold my own, but to see the results after not shooting for so long you can imagine my excitement. To say I was impressed with the rifle and his guidance is a complete understatement. At least now I had a baseline for when I got the rifle back home. I was curious with how the finish of the stock would turn out because Joel had it covered in tape to protect it during our shooting session, but I wasn’t worried as I knew it would blow away my expectations. Well, the beautiful finish is evidence of his meticulous attention to detail. I’ve been in and around shooting field since I was a kid and have had to work around using a gun that didn’t always fit well. After speaking with Joel on the phone during this project I was curious to see how everything would go together. Showing up at Baer’s to shoot the final product was absolutely amazing as everything fits perfectly.

    I knew going into this project that it would require patience, knowledgeable and experienced people, and money. I was willing to be patient, I had budgeted money, but needed the knowledgeable and experienced people to turn this dream into a reality. I’m grateful for running into Joel at the start of a project that only comes around once in a lifetime. You don’t find many people these days that are trustworthy and willing to do more than expected, and am happy to be able to call Joel a friend. Thanks to Kampfeld Customs, Bruce Baer, and Joel Russo, my dream has been realized.

    Here are the specs of my build:

    TAC 408 action
    Benchmark 31" 10 tw barrel
    Chambered in .338-.408 Big Baer
    Vias custom brake
    Jewell trigger
    Graphite Black/Stainless Cerakote
    NF rings and base
    NXS 5.5x22
    Joel Russo custom stock

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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  2. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    WOW what a beautiful gun! congratulations on the new rig.
     

  3. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Man these BIG BOOMERS are killing me . What a sharp looking rifle !!

    What does Mr. Russo charge for a stock like that ? If you don't mind me asking .

    BigBuck
     
  4. jmermis

    jmermis Well-Known Member

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    Big Buck,

    hello. Thanks for the comments. This was a complete custom project with many changes that were out of the ordinary. Please reach out to Joel directly for pricing on your project.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  5. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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  6. japple

    japple Well-Known Member

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    That is a beautiful rig!

    Where in OR are you?
     
  7. jmermis

    jmermis Well-Known Member

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    japple,

    hello. just sent you a pm.

    jeff
     
  8. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Nice stick. How long did it take to complete the project?
     
  9. ROBSTER

    ROBSTER Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful gun joel does some awsome work i will have to have him do me a stock for my project in the works.
    Robster
     
  10. jmermis

    jmermis Well-Known Member

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    Trebark,

    hello. It took around 8 months to complete.

    thanks,
    Jeff
     
  11. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    That is one sweet looking rig and a real shooter to boot. Glad it turned out so well for you!
     
  12. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

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    What type of cut did he use quarter, flat .....?
     
  13. jmermis

    jmermis Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comments.

    I believe quarter, but would have to defer to Joel.

    Joel,

    hello. Please advise if i'm correct here.

    thanks
    jeff
     
  14. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Very nice Jeff, congrats! This is the 2nd Baer we've seen recently on the board. Both with amazing looking stocks from Joel.