light weight rifle build

WSM

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Apr 1, 2008
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
was just wondering if anyone has had any light weight rifles built? Can you list specs and were they as accurate as you had hoped? I'm thinking of using Darrel Holland or Mike Bryant to do the work.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,726
Location
Texas
was just wondering if anyone has had any light weight rifles built? Can you list specs and were they as accurate as you had hoped? I'm thinking of using Darrel Holland or Mike Bryant to do the work.

I would recomend talking to your smith of choice and telling him what you want and
your accuracy needs to get his input as to what he would recommend.

That way both of you would be on the same page with the build.

Different smiths have different ways/philosophies to reach the goals of the customer
and if they can acheave what you want you are on your way.

J E CUSTOM
 

WSM

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Apr 1, 2008
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
10-4 on that. I was just wanting to hear from others who might have done the same thing and/or used these gentlemen before for the same type of build.
 

J E Custom

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Messages
10,726
Location
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10-4 on that. I was just wanting to hear from others who might have done the same thing and/or used these gentlemen before for the same type of build.

I have built many Light weight rifles from .223 dia. bore to .338 dia.bore and as long as
the barrel is 22'or less they seem to be very accurate.(Light weight contours have a tendency
to whip more and also twist more than heavier contours).so the shorter the barrel the better.

There is however a point that you lose to much velocity depending on the cartrige/caliber so
I normally stop at somewhere around 20 inches and max length is around 23 Inches.

Some calibers can do ok with 18.5 Inches (Anything less is near pistol length).

Most of the lightweight rifles are built on short actions and this keeps them short light and
handy.

My last lightweight rifle to build was a 338 RCM on a 23'' #4 contour Lilja and a Model 7
Remington action. and it will consistantly shoot under 1/4 MOA (It,s best to date was .212 @
100 yards.

J E CUSTOM
 

J E Custom

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Messages
10,726
Location
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do you think a #2 contour 24" for 7 rem mag is too long?

I personally would not use a #2 for anything larger than a 223.

A #4 weighs only 8oz more than a #2 for the 7mm xxxxx I would recomend a #4 @ 24" and
a #3 for 22''

If you are looking for something like a 7mm Rem Mag (Long action) a 7 WSM or a 7 SAUM
would be the ballistic equal in a short action and a 22'' or 23'' barrel would be fine and the
shorter cartrige would give you a little more bore length with the same overall barrel length.

Because of it,s case length the 7mm Rem Mag needs and can use a 26'' barrel. The Short mags can do with less barrel because the powder collum is shorter and uses slightly faster powder.

: Note = I am using the Lilja contour charts for size and weights.

J E CUSTOM
 

WSM

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Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
Thanks JE for the reply. I was thinking #3 in a 24" for the 7 rem mag.
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,726
Location
Texas
Thanks JE for the reply. I was thinking #3 in a 24" for the 7 rem mag.

The 24'' barrel will work but it has been my experance that the lighter barrels are more finicky
to reload for.

If you go this route you may have to do more load testing to find the best load.

J E CUSTOM
 

WSM

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Apr 1, 2008
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
I was told that for 7mm rem mag. you don't want to go any shorter than 24" what do you think?
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,726
Location
Texas
I was told that for 7mm rem mag. you don't want to go any shorter than 24" what do you think?

That is correct if you don't want to give up any velocity.

That is why I recomended the #4 @ 24'' for the 7mm Rem Mag for a "carry rifle" normally
for accuracy and ease of loading I would recomend a #6 or heavier for any magnum.

Light weight rifles are handy but they are not as forgiving as heaver barreled rifles, so I
also try to reduce weight in non critical areas like Scopes, actions and stocks and use heavier
contoured barrels.

Unless you are going to shoot beyond 600 yards I would give some velocity for a short,forgiving
barrel.

This is just an opinion and others may disagree so build what you want and be happy with
it. That's what Custom rifle building is all about.

J E CUSTOM
 

WSM

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Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
Thanks for the good info. That's why I like this site people are so helpful. I'll discuss it some more with my smith. My backyard is at 6500 ft elev. so a 13 lb rifle gets heavy.
 

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