Semi-custom factory rifles?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Sid Post, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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    I did some searching online today looking for 280AI rifle options. I ran across the Nosler and Cooper Arms rifles specifically which appear to be very good rifles at reasonable prices.

    Who else makes good semi-custom or premium rifles in the $1500 to $2,000 range that are top quality hunting rifles? Or, am I better off just sending a stock and barreled action off to someone like Hart or Pac-Nor?

    Best Regards,
    Sid
     
  2. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

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    Sned it off

    If it were me I would send it to gunsmith and get what you want. I am not saying the Copper or Nosler are not good guns..I just prefer haviung it built the way i want it.

    Time Line--If you want it ASAP you might be better off just buying a off the shelf.

    Willys
     

  3. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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    Cooper Firearms

    At $1595 MSRP, it's hard to come close to the same price with a true custom rifle. A Stiller action alone will cost $700, add $540 for a McMillan Hunters Edge stock, ~$350 for the barrel plus all the extra's for chambering and smaller parts and labor.

    I've read many good things about the Cooper Arms rifles so, it looks attractive to me. If I wanted something really different then what was already built, I could see the extra money being well spent though.
     
  4. adam32

    adam32 Banned

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    A Cooper Jackson Hunter in .280 AI is my next purchase. I've never shot one, but from what I hear they are pretty awesome rifles. Another option would be a HS Precision, but they are more money then the Cooper.

    But, if I had a donor action laying around, I would just do a custom.

    I thought the Noslers only came in WSM's?
     
  5. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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  6. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comparing stiller actions ,mcmillan stocks ,and $350 barrel to a cooper sure ain't comparing apples to apples !
    Aren't all coopers single shots ?
    If you like nice wood etc. coopers will be appealing.
     
  7. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing wrong with a trued remmy or a Savage action with a shillen barrel.
     
  8. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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    • Model 52
    • Caliber 280 Ackley Improved
    • Barrel 1.150 x .630 x 24'' stainless steel
    • Twist Rate 1 in 10
    • Action 3-front locking lug bolt action magazine fed repeater
    • Magazine 3 round
    • Extraction Sako style machined from solid bar stock
    • Receiver Length and Width 1.3'' X 8.75''
    • Ejection Retractable tab ejector machined from solid bar
    • Trigger Fully adjustable Single stage
    • Trigger GuardMachined aluminum
    • Grip Cap None
    • Metal Finish Matte
    • Stock Synthetic
    • Cheek Piece Roll Over
    • Checkering Pattern 2-panel on grip
    • Butt Pad Pachmayr rubber
    • Sling Swivels std screw-in
    • Length of Pull 13.75''
    • Avg. Weight 7.75 lbs.
    • MSRP $1595.00
    This Cooper isn't an exact apples to apples comparison but, it has all the core qualities I would get with a true custom rifle. For another ~$1,000 I could tweak a few things here and there but, it wouldn't really change what's at the core of this rifle.

    Heck, the McMillan Hunters Edge stock is a third of the price of this rifle. The action would be over half the price of this rifle when you add a trigger, recoil lug, etc. Regarding the barrel, as long as it is a premium match barrel, who turned and lapped it isn't that critical to me ... Hart, Krieger, Lilja, Boughton, etc. would all suit me just fine.
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    A cooper's a solid investment..
    Just cut a check and be done with it. You'll have a standardized gun that Cooper has worked the bugs out of.

    This is actually just opposite of a 'custom' (that YOU have to work the bugs out of).
    The same could be said for something like a GA Precision in 308, but they are too heavy for real use in many areas. Such is the case with most 'customs'..
    And if you put together a higher quality custom, there is no tellin how it will perform, no matter how much you spend.
    Coopers hold their value because they are built 'good enough', and don't have to be modified at all.


    The only thing to watch out for with Coopers, is twist rate. For some cartridges, they've chosen twists too slow for long range bullets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  10. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Custom guns built by the "right" person with the right components will hold it's value very well but you pay more and the market is much smaller for resale. All of that being said I build all of mine from the ground up. That way I know exactly what I am getting. Am going get one next weekend (a very sexy mannlicher in 6.5x55 on a true exhibition stick of English)! Currently have more 3 in process including a barreled action I got from Ken Howell, a Hagan and a old Sako Forrester being redone with a 3 position safety in 257 Roberts Improved, checkered bolt in a piece of Russian Circassia or a piece of English I have -- still thinking about that one .

    For example, on my wood stocked rust blued rifles Chuck Grace builds all of those and Speedy or one of his select students do the rest including my competition rifles. Works for me and I am an accuracy fanatic and will accept nothing less than perfect. Be careful who you choose to perform your build – some smiths are good and others are blacksmiths!
     
  11. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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    Which ones should be avoided? Is 1x10 appropriate for the 280AI?

    Thanks,
    Sid
     
  12. adam32

    adam32 Banned

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    A 1/9" would be better for VLD type bullets.
     
  13. Sid Post

    Sid Post Member

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    I don't think I would go heavier then 160gr. The 160gr hunting rounds seem to work pretty well at 1x10 from what I have read. So, other then not being able to run the 175gr VLD's, am I missing anything? My barrel will be between 22 and 24 inches and a #3 contour so, obviously this won't be a precision bench rifle for long strings at long distance.
     
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    So if your confident the desired bullets will stabilize, then you can focus on things like wood grade, rings(get the Talley one-piece base/rings), and dies.

    I don't have any experience in 28cal. My caution with twist stems from their 22 & 24cals at 1:14. This leaves only light/flatbase, short range bullet potential.
    Of course they do this to increase probability of meeting their 1/2moa at 100yd guarantee, and their guns will do that. Pay no attention to the test group card attached to the gun. It's just merchandising(deceptive), and not actually a 100yd group at all.

    But I watched my son nail a woodchuck at 512yds a few days ago using his M21 in 223rem.
    This was a single cold barrel shot, representing as much as anyone could expect from a 50gr Blitzking, and a bipod in the dirt. He got 6 over a couple days >380yds, with no missed shots. So the gun will shoot.
    Yours will to
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008