Switch barrel build update...new questions

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by sanjuanfly, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. sanjuanfly

    sanjuanfly Well-Known Member

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    I posted a while ago about building a switch barrel Remington. Well with all of the advice I decided to go the two rifle route. So I ordered a Rem. XCR II in 338 RUM. Between that and my 7 mm Rem Mag I should be able to cover anything in the western US.

    So now I have a few questions on first steps to improve both guns and getting into reloading.

    As a starter I was planning on getting each action blueprinted at a cost $225 each. Is this the best place to start on improving rifles performance?

    Second, I plan on hand loading. Should I work up some loads for each rifle and see how they perform before I spend money on gunsmithing services? What is a great starter reloader? Also, any recommended literature would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. Joaquin B

    Joaquin B Well-Known Member

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    If you want to blueprint a switch-barrel rifle, you should also ask your gunsmith to true-up the flatness of the recoil lug and pin it to the action, as part of the $225 he is charging you for the blueprinting job. While you are at it, ask him to also hollow-out the back end of the firing pin to remove some weight and to replace the factory spring with a Tubb extra power spring. This will cut-down on the lock time and also contribute to improved precision.

    Also, you want to punch a timing mark on the face of the recoil lug opposite the receiver, about 1/4 inch from the barrel shank hole, to use as an alignment mark for torquing your barrel, which does not have to go on as tight as the factory installs them. Once you get the barrels tight just past snug, punch a mark on the barrel, opposite the mark on the recoil lug, so you will always have them aligned and at a consistent torque.

    As far as handloads go, you will always achieve better precision with any load you develop out of a blueprinted rifle than a 'factory standard' one.

    Best of luck,
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I would at least shoot the rifle first before doing anything. It may be plenty accurate for your needs.

    If/when you're ready to blueprint, you may also want to get a top notch aftermareket barrel at the same time. The whole point is to get bore, chamber, reciever, bolt, etc... all concentric and trued up. Having one end perfect and the other caddywampus just doesn't make sense to me.

    -- richard
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    If you plan on hand loading, then look into a Redding press and dies.

    Tank
     
  5. sanjuanfly

    sanjuanfly Well-Known Member

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    Joaguin...thanks for the reply. What do you think of the PT&G firing pin assembly with a fluted pin and aluminum bolt shroud? I'm also looking at their aluminum bottom metal.
     
  6. Dean2506

    Dean2506 Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to reload then take the 450 you would spend on blueprinting and invest in good reloading supplies. You dont have to buy the most expensive equipment to do a good job. I would get a top of the line single stage press. For dies I have used rcbs, lee, and redding and i have to say that lee do as good a job or better than the other for a lot less cost. I would be willing to bet with a good handload you will get your rifle to shoot well enough to take care of any shooting needs you have. After reloading if you cant get the gun to shoot then you can rebarrel and blueprint at that time. I would suggest you get a chronygraph when you start reloading they are very useful when working up a load because the book listed velocities are usually off in my experience.
     
  7. sanjuanfly

    sanjuanfly Well-Known Member

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    Dean...that sounds like very good advice. Thanks.
     
  8. Joaquin B

    Joaquin B Well-Known Member

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  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Scott,

    I am going to give you my straight up honest opinion. The XCR is not a good LR platform. The only thing worth keeping will be the 700 action. Don't expect sub MOA accuracy out of it, although, if you're lucky, you might get it. That will be a roll of the dice. If you accurize the action, you still have the factory synthetic stock and the factory barrel, neither of which will be conducive to a good, reliable, consistent LR precision platform. I would never consider using that stock in a heavy magnum for precision shooting. IMO, you would be better off buying a 700 action, good stock, and match grade barrel and giving it to a good smith to put it together.

    This weekend I picked up an old Vanguard for $300 at the gun show - solid Howa action. A Timney trigger will cost about $100. I will be ordering a B&C Medalist full aluminum bedded stock from Stock'ys on sale for $205 plus shipping. A good Broughton 5C barrel will cost me $350 plus shipping. The smithing for barrel and action will probably cost me about $500 by a quality smith. For about $1500-$1600, I will have a rig that will be nipping at the heels of any full out custom LR rifle out there.

    Just something to think about. :)

    BTW, My Senderos shoot factory loads just about as well as handloads which is about .5 MOA. Handloading does give you some advantages, in what you want to shoot, some improvement in accuracy and consistancy, but the platforn you're shooting on is the top priority. A really good rifle will shoot anything well.

    -Mark
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  10. sanjuanfly

    sanjuanfly Well-Known Member

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    Mark,
    Thanks for the input. I'm not expecting a tack driver out of a stock XCR, but I thought at least this way I can take my time and build it over time. Those B&Cs look pretty nice, especially for the money. Would you have to bed the Medalist?


    Scott
     
  11. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with mark, let me also say this, forget the 338 rum, with modern bullets especially the monometals I really don't see a need for the 338 bore at all. the larger bores with heavier bullets used to work great because it meant there was enough lead core to do the job if the bullet failed. these days thats not a problem if you choose the right bullet.

    I say just build a 7 mag and be done with it. a 7 mag will handle anything that moves in north america. or split the difference and go with a magnum 30 cal. also just buy a custom action that is a remington clone, there are a ton of them out there. a mcmillan stock of your choice and have a good barrel put on. or pimp out a factory gun.
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it would be good to skim bed the Medalist. You'll get some varying opinions on the Medalist vs some of the other higher end stocks like McMillans, etc., but IMO, from handling a few, they are a good stock and a lot of good rifles have been built on them and they cost half what a McMillan would and about 1/3rd what a Lone Wolf would. If I didn't have a limited budget, I would get a Lone Wolf.

    Anyway, IMO, any stock should be bedded to the action for the best possible fit, stability and repeatability.

    With the XCR, the first thing I would do is swap out that stock and put a Medalist or better stock on it. I would do this before I even shot the rifle. You could probably get a few bucks for the factory stock on Gunbroker or right here. At that point you can start shooting it and see how it does. At that point you can decided if you want to accurize the action. Something to consider is you may want to upgrade to a beefier recoil lug and have it pinned to the receiver before you bed the stock, especially with a big boomer the the 338 RUM.
     
  13. sanjuanfly

    sanjuanfly Well-Known Member

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    Cowboy...thanks for opinion but the 338 is already ordered. I do have a 7mm for mule deer and antelope. The 338 is for elk and oryx (hopefully one day I will draw). I just like the bigger bore rifles.

    Mark...those Lonewolf stocks are impressive but since I'm now fixing up two rifles I will be looking at good value components. What do you think of the B&C Alaskan? Has the same full length alum bed, but weighs 6 ounces less? Also can I bed a rifle and eventually change barrels? Would I need to rebed if I make any changes.

    I really appreciate all of the feedback and imput.
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I've never handled the Alaskan but as long as it has a full aluminum bedded block it should be OK. Just make sure the fore arm will accept a new barrel in the contour you want whenever you decide to upgrade barrels.

    If you get your action trued up I believe it will affect your recoil lug fit which would affect your bedding. So you might want to get that done before bedding your action or the lug reinletted and rebedded. Best to discuss this with a smith.