First custom rifle build (flood me with your suggestions or advice)

Jsmith410

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
401
Location
KY
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!
I don’t have as much experience as many on here but have a few under my belt.

I went with a Proof carbon 7.5t for my 6.5 PRC on a TL3 so I could shoot heavier if I wanted. I did a 24” but wish I had done 22” due to getting my suppressor so keep that in mind. I do like my Hellfire break and how I can switch if I want.

I am a triggertech fan and went with the Special. It has been great so far and I have several now for that reason. They’re customer service is phenomenal too.

I like MCS and McMillan both. Depends on the build for me. MCS has great customer service. They missed the mark on my last build but made it right. I am partial to the EH6a for a hunting rifle.

For my bottom metal On the PRC I went with the Red Snake Tactical for the extended length on the short action. I did have to have some Smith work done for it to work. It was not a drop in like they advertised. MCS helped me figure this out quickly and called RST to figure out what the issue was. Can’t beat that for customer service. I do prefer a BDL style bottom metal for hunting however the HS Precision dbm has worked well for me and it fits relatively flush.

For me a 7lb bare rifle is a sweet spot for hunting. I try and stay under 9.5lbs all in.

Good luck with the build!
 

Tex_Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
253
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!
Im going to stay out of the "what caliber" question that so many people ask and focus on lessons I learned from having my first custom rifle built a little over a year ago.

It can be succinctly summed up as follows, dont try and save money on little things that you will likely want to add later. You already have picked a solid action and trigger, but for your stock choices it can really start to feel like they nickel and dime you on features, but if you are ever in doubt on whether you will want something and its only $50-100 more, just do it. It's always smarter to have it done up front while everything is being put together vs. going back and adding things later unless your budget really is just that tight. If it is, then just go find an off the shelf rifle like a Bergara or a Christianson in the caliber you want, there you are at least saving $1000-2000 with the compromises you are making.

Case in point, I was on a bit of a budget for my rifle, so while I chose to add the adjustable cheek riser on my A5, I skipped the LOP spacer and having additional t-nuts added to the forend to run something like an ARCA rail later on; it saved me maybe $150 at the time. I also went with an entry level Timney Elite Hunter trigger to save another $100. However, do you want to guess where my rifle is now? Well, it's at the gunsmith getting a McMillan LOP spacer system, Area 419 ARCA rail, and a Triggertech Diamond installed on it. In the end I am paying a lot more than the $250 I saved up front having those things added now, and I am without my rifle for a month or two. That also ignores the year of competition where I was fighting my way around a rifle that wasn't fully optimized.

Its sort of like cars, I just recently ordered a new Super Duty, I spent months going back and forth on XLT vs Lariat trims, at the end of the day optioned the way I wanted them, the Lariat was less than $3000 more than the XLT. I was already planning on adding leather which is $1500-2000 right there so out the door the XLT only saves me $1000 or so and the Lariat comes with way more standard equipment beyond just leather that is either more expensive to add (leather, upgraded sound system) or just flat out not available (air conditioned seats, automatic climate control, memory for the seat adjustments my wife is a foot shorter than me and likes to drive my cars sometimes). I see custom rifles as the same thing, you shouldnt be paying $4000-5000 to make $50 compromises.

I believe the saying is, dont trip over a dollar trying to pick up a dime.
 

Chas1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
3,809
As others have said, what's the purpose? if it's hunting-then what type of game and at what distances. if it's target-then what distances? IMO a 243w is a good choice for deer sized game out to 600yds or so but, wouldn't be taking it on a grizzly hunt or shooting elk at 1000, 1200, 1400 yards. If it's for target it would be a good choice but not ELR targets.
 

Mike Matteson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,141
Look at a 6mm Remington AI, and Hammer 100gr Hunter bullets. I would go with a 26" barrel in a 7-1 twist rate. It seem that people are moving too all copper bullets, that require faster twist rates.
 

257WTBY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
307
Location
WA STATE
Well choices can be overwhelming. I build my rifles with a goal whether that be like now a fast twist 257 WTBY mag to shoot heavy bullets for hunting. Or shooting long range steel. I built one one thinking it would be a "do it all" rifle well that one definitely came up short its a nice rifle and all but do it all it is not.

I built a 243 win for my daughter and tried to keep it on the light side. It is based of a old arnold arms action and rock creek CF barrel only 20inches. It shoots 80 gr hammer hunters outstanding. Rifle ready to hunt is just over 8lbs with scope sling and mag full. She has killed about everything with it several deer 2 cow elk and 2 black bears and it just shuts their lights off. She did neck shoot both elk (DRT). She uses it for rock chucks and coyotes too. My point being if i build a rifle to hunt with it needs to fit that role. If I build a long range bench gun I want the looong barrel I dont care what it weighs to a point. Does my daughter shoot it to 500 yards alot well she loves too. Longest big game 324 yards on deer=bang flop.

You said Mule deer. I agree they are harder to kill than antelope a little more hardy lets say. The fact is tho any caliber you mentioned will kill them quite handily if you put one in the boiler room.

Enjoy the process cause the outcome will likely exceed your expectations. Quality components and smith will make you a happy new rifle owner.

Post up when you finish we all like to see new rifles :)
 

JDD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
167
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!
 

Subzero

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
78
Location
AZ
Thanks. Good feedback. From what I have researched the 6mm seems unmatched in terms of load development precision and bc. Guys that have these swear by them. I agree though I need to do some digging on bullets. Still a long way to go. Any thoughts on barrel-contour, manuf. stock or must do’s?
Thanks
I would move up to 6.5 caliber. It's better than 6mm in every way for your uses. 6.5 bullets have a higher bc than 6mm. 6.5 creedmoor has tons of load data and reloading components out there. I would choose it all over again.
My favorite contour is Remington varmint, and I use hs precision stocks.
 

Tex_Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
253
IMHO I would go 6mm Creedmoor over the 6-47, but that’s just me, I think is more sensible option over the 6-47, weather for target shooting or hunting.
Agree 100%, unless you are just hung up on the name "Creedmoor", its identical performance and you get the benefit of factory ammo plus Lapua small rifle primer brass if you reload.
 

ntsqd

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Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,080
Location
Upper SoKA
In today's circumstances, many components tough to get and could continue for a while - being your interest is in 6mm and muley and antelope on the menu, I'd consider a fast twist .243 Win. If that is too mundane, .243AI?
I'd go with a .243AI for the brass and throat life, not for the performance gain. But then again I'm biased as a .243AI is my next rifle build and that is why I've chosen the AI over the Win.
 

slickyboyboo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
414
Location
Clinton, MS
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!

I am currently working on a 6.5x47 Lapua at the moment. It is more geared towards the lighter weight side, and obviously some different components, but here is what I settled on.

-Bighorn Origin
-WTO SwithLug
-APA RTG
-ACIS MAG
-TriggerTech Special
-Proof 22" 6.5 1:8 barrel (could go faster if you want to shoot longer bullets)
-McMillan Game Hunter Edge
-Hawkins LR Hybrid Scope Rings
-VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Impact-
-Reamer 6.5x47 Lapua .123 FB .293 NK (for shooting 130 gr Berger Hybrids or 123 gr Absolute Hammers).
 

SSG Graybush

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
90
Location
Winchester VA
Good point. These components are definitely a factor. I do like the 243. I will definitely put 243 on the menu. Just curious - how much difference between the 2 243’s? Certain limits on either? Who knows when / if I will build another so want to consider everything and no need to settle for this build - will explore all thoughts. Any preference on remaining build components

Good feedback sir. Appreciate it. Being new to this I feel 500 yards is a long shot but I know that can and will change as I learn and push myself. Again I am new to this but I don’t mind something pretty solid because I will be doing a lot of bench shooting with this first build to really fine tune, fundamentals, etc but I do plan to book either Muley or antelope hunt in 2022 and use this build for that. (Or something along that line welcome to suggestions). I am not worried about it needing to be super light for packing as I don’t want to sacrifice rigidity for that - don’t mind lugging around. (Curious what weight you target and distance you feel comfortable with as well). Thanks
You dont have to sacrifice rigidity for weight. But weight makes a good target rifle steady. For a hunting rig you should try to stay in the 8.5 to 10.5 # range for weight. Leupold makes the lightest scopes with a mil or moa reticle that are under $3000. I am going to get the Mark 5 hd 3.6x18 or 5x25 in the new PR2 reticle when they get in stock. I would go with a OMR CF prefit 6x47 24" 7T and a McMillan ultra-lite Game Warren. And Ive heard the Jewel triggers are not good for field work due to dirt causing them not to function. Their better bench triggers. A TT or Timney would be my choice.
I have a OMR prefit 7mag 8T 26" and it shoots .4 to .5 consistently. If you want a SS barrel a #3 contour would be my suggestion.
I just put together a 6XC and I really like it. The case capacity is slightly more then the 6x47 and less then a 6 CM. David Tubbs has a great 6XC FB page for help if you need it. Either cartridge pushing a 108 gr Berger at 2975 fps should be able to go to 1000 yards at 7500 ft altitude for deer and goats. I would go with a newer 30 degree shoulder 6mm cartridge with at least a 7 twist to shoot the heavies. You could do a 243 but only with a 7T. But I would go with a 6mm CM over the 243 if you want more case capacity, the steeper shoulder should give better barrel life, they say.
 

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D$tring

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
59
Location
Idaho
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!
Once you start down the custom rifle path, it is a slippery slope!! I remember the old potato chip commercial: “nobody can have just one”
welcome to the club of gun addicts!
 

JDD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
167
First off I am an avid hunter, absolutely new and green to the reloading process and long range shooting. I have a cousin that is a genius at this and have talked much with him on suggestions / feedback which has led me to start shying away from standard rifles and delve into custom.
my question is: based on the wealth of knowledge and experiences present here I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how you would conduct the build - any details are appreciated.
I have a Defiance Deviant (short / medium) action with a jewell trigger. I am between McMillan or manners stock and all but sold on nightforce optic. My goal is 6x47 lapua.
barrel preferences on twist, make, style, anything welcome. Fire away 😃
Thanks in advance!
Unless your are building a rifle for prs competition I would avoid the 6mm47

. It is a fine accurate round that launches high bc Bullets. It’s chosen for prs because of minimal recoil and the ability to allow a shooter to recover quickly from recoil during a timed event

If you want a rifle that it would do it all look at 6.5 mm as a minimal and possibly a 7mm.

First your build a precision rifle! You will out grow your 500 yard statement in no time especially if you choose a better suited round.

The secret to a 1000 yard rifle is 3000 FPS sending the heaviest high bc Bullet you can handle recoil for. BC or ballistic coefficient is a way of grading a Bullet ability to resist wind and loss of velocity. It’s related to shape , diameter, weight! A 6mm and a 338 cal Bullet can have a similar BC . If sent at the same speed the should resist conditions about the same in theory.

The difference is the 338 projectile will require more energy to start at the same speed, therefore there will be more recoil!

The 338 Bullet will be easier to see Bullet trace for, see impact marks/Bullet holes and in the case of long range misse impact off the target.

the 6mm makes a fair antelope whitetail round. The 6.5 will handle elk with proper Bullets ! 7mm hits much harder and has enough bc to be of use.

With the bolt face you have I would look at the 6.5 prs , or 260 ackley improved or one of the sherman wildcats. The both will get you 3000 with 147

With the 7mm the 7/08 improved or a 7mm prs wildcat will get you close to 3000 FPS , or have the bolt face opened up the the saum case and shoot the 7saum.

I love the bartlien barrels, their new steel is supposed to have a extended throat life. Get the fastest twist you can to shoot heavy high bc Bullets.

get some good rings , I like Burris extreme with moa adjustable inserts.

jewel trigger

Speaking of barrel unless your going to suppress it go no shorter than 26” while your having it built get it threaded for a suppressor /break.

let’s talk about rifle weight. Unless you hunting style is long walks in don’t build a light rifle! Light rifles just are not user friendly. More recoil, more sensitive to bench set up and follow through errors. If you 4 wheel in and sit in a shooting house a 9 lb rifle is not a liability
 

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