Bighorn SR3 shouldered prefit

codym

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May 11, 2018
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Southern NM
I just put a deposit down on a LA SR3 with a mag bolt face. I'm looking to have a lightish switchbarrel hunting rifle. I want to run a 300 win mag and a 7wsm or 6.5 SUAM/PRC or whatever but for sure the 300 win mag will be the first barrel. I want to use proof carbon barrels to keep the weight down. Here's my dilema, I can use a proof savage prefit. Pro's- It will come chambered and muzzle threaded, much shorter wait time, no shipping it off. Con's- I will be stuck with a SAMMI speck chamber and I want to shoot 215 bergers in this barrel, I have to spend the extra money for wrenches and go gauages. Second option is go with a proof blank and have someone do a shouldered prefit. Pro's- the blank is a bit cheaper, I get it chambered for the 215 berger, looks better than the nut. Con's- I have to wait to get the blank then ship it to a smith another wait for the work, shipping costs and work are going to be more expensive than the barrel nut/wrenches/go gauges.

I'm leaning towards the savage barrel nut route, what do you all think? Thanks!
 

jcoop

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Oct 22, 2008
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Vancouver, WA
I much prefer the barrel nut over shouldered barrel (most don't). I have chambered plenty of both myself and have seen no real world difference in accuracy. I just prefer the versatility of the nutted barrel and the ability to swap out yourself. You can always throat it longer. You can even rent a throater and do it yourself fairly easily.
 
Last edited:

hwy1strat

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Apr 19, 2016
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133
You can also buy profit shouldered(no-nut) barrels for the Big Horn actions now too. I just order one from Proof to check it out. I have no experience with them but I am anxious to get mine and figure it out. I know Altus also sells some that they make.
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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I also prefer using the Savage nut for the same reasons mentioned by jcoop, Being a Hybrid design with less sensitivity to seating depth, you may very well find the Berger 215’s will shoot quite well with a SAAMI spec 300WM chamber. I have found this to be the case with my rifle, and others owned by friends with standard chambers, and achieving .5MOA or better performance.
 

yorke-1

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Jul 5, 2008
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WA
I've used a lot of both styles of barrels on both Savages and now on an ARC Nucleus action and I'm partial to the shouldered style. It's a lot easier to just clamp a barrel vise on to the bed of the truck and just spin the barrels on the action without the nut. The barrels that I run with the nut are typically the ones that get shot the least so it's not really a big deal.

The other option is to drill and tap your barrel nuts for a set screw. Just set your headspace, tighten the nut then tighten the set screw. You can even throw a little thread lock on the nut to keep it in place. Then you get the best of both worlds.
 

FEENIX

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Dec 20, 2008
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Great Falls, MT
I much prefer the barrel nut over shouldered barrel (most don't). I have chambered plenty of both myself and have seen no real world difference in accuracy. I just prefer the versatility of the nutted barrel and the ability to swap out yourself. You can always throat it longer. You can even rent a throater and do it yourself fairly easily.

That is the route I am going when my SR2 is due for a re-barrel.
 

FEENIX

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Why not go with an ARC Barloc system?

That's definitely another option and have considered it for my current project


but went with SPR's instead ...


SPR bug nut.jpg
SPR bug nut wrench.jpg
 

John Spadaro

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Nov 11, 2018
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58
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Honolulu
Why not go with an ARC Barloc system?

The ARC Barloc I believe has been removed from the market. Some have reported that if the barrel is bumped, such as from a fall, that a POI shift will occur. I was going to use the Barloc on my custom built rifle and abandoned the idea on the advise of my gunsmith after speaking with ARC.
 

rfurman24

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Aug 29, 2010
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Kansas
Many people including SPR will chamber a barrel for the SR3 action unseen using a shoulder fit. Unless you do not have the few extra weeks to wait it is the way I would go.
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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Northeast
I have a question for the owners of the Bidhorn actions. My experience with Pre-fits has been with the Criterion barrels, using the Criterion nuts and recoil lugs. I have the headspace gauges for the variois cartridges I work with, along with the Savage action wrench, barrel vice,etc. to easily mount/switch barrels. I have been exceptionally satisured with not only the performance, but also my ability to the headspace to .0005”-.001” of a given caliber to enable the use of the same FL dye used with other rifles by matching the headspace. I have a Bighorn TL3 on order for a PRS rifle build. Having considered trying a shouldered Pre-fit, I’m curious about how close they are in terms of headspace given any variations in the torque used to mount the barrel, and how precise the action dimensions, and barrel machining precision of the shouldered Pre-fit makers are without having both in hand when fitted.
 

rfurman24

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Aug 29, 2010
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I have a question for the owners of the Bidhorn actions. My experience with Pre-fits has been with the Criterion barrels, using the Criterion nuts and recoil lugs. I have the headspace gauges for the variois cartridges I work with, along with the Savage action wrench, barrel vice,etc. to easily mount/switch barrels. I have been exceptionally satisured with not only the performance, but also my ability to the headspace to .0005”-.001” of a given caliber to enable the use of the same FL dye used with other rifles by matching the headspace. I have a Bighorn TL3 on order for a PRS rifle build. Having considered trying a shouldered Pre-fit, I’m curious about how close they are in terms of headspace given any variations in the torque used to mount the barrel, and how precise the action dimensions, and barrel machining precision of the shouldered Pre-fit makers are without having both in hand when fitted.

I am no gunsmith but I have talked to a few that said the Bighorn actions are the only ones they have seen hold the tolerances tight enough for them to feel confident enough to chamber and thread a shouldered barrel action unseen. I am aware that some smiths such as PVA are doing the same for others. As far as swapping barrels. I have shot a 6.5 PRC barrel on my SR3 and then swapped to a 30 Nosler but I have not swapped back yet to see if head space changed any perceivable amount. I have been told it will not.
 

MudMarine

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Jan 7, 2018
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Location
Utah
The ARC Barloc I believe has been removed from the market. Some have reported that if the barrel is bumped, such as from a fall, that a POI shift will occur. I was going to use the Barloc on my custom built rifle and abandoned the idea on the advise of my gunsmith after speaking with ARC.
Good info. I did not know this. I have a Gunwerks GRB action with the funny tennon thread of 1.06 x 18. Looks like SPR has what I need.
 

FEENIX

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Dec 20, 2008
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Great Falls, MT
I am no gunsmith but I have talked to a few that said the Bighorn actions are the only ones they have seen hold the tolerances tight enough for them to feel confident enough to chamber and thread a shouldered barrel action unseen.

My gunsmith build my .270 AI on a Savage 110 action without any issues. It does .5 MOA at 1K yards if I do my part. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of BHA and I like my SR2 extremely well.
 

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