LRH - single "do it all" rifle or 2 gun battery?

SteelBanger

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Dec 4, 2019
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83
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IL
Hey all, I've been sitting on an old Rem 700 long action with a standard bolt face for years, dreaming of eventually turning into a custom build. Quick background: live in IL, just started bow hunting a couple years ago and love it. Don't have a money tree in the back yard but I plan to start doing some hunts out West within the next 3-5 years and am slowly in the planning stage and putting gear lists together, and I'm starting the rifle part.

My plan has been to turn the Rem 700 action into a 280 AI. My thought is that the 280 AI can pretty well handle most anything I would ever want it to do, from loading lightweight 120gr rounds for varmint hunting, 140gr -150gr for deer sized game, and up to 180gr for elk which is likely the biggest game I'll ever get the chance to go after.

Like I said, logically I feel like this caliber can accomplish pretty much everything I'd ever need, but, I can't shake the thought of going with a 2 rifle battery with something like a 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC. That setup would also do everything I need, but maybe a bit better?

One last question, is it really worth trueing the 700 action when I can get something like the Gunwerks GRB or APR G2 for $850 and have all the features I want but can't get with the trueing job unless I spend roughly the same $850 on the custom work? I figure if I sold the 700 action and put that on what I've already saved for the action work I'd have more than enough to get a budget custom action like those mentioned above.

Thanks for your thoughts and tips!
 
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SteelBanger

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SteelBanger, how “long” is the range are you considering? It may help me give my “very biased” answer! ;) memtb
Sorry I should have included that, to begin my initial range would be in the 400-500 yard range, then as skill improves I'd probaby set my max around 800-900y. That's one reason the 280 AI is appealing to me, I don't really NEED to get into the mags to do what I want / need to do.
 

Elkeater

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Dec 3, 2017
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My opinion is that a 6.5PRC and .300 PRC are filling the same spot. I’d say a .300 or .338 something and a .223 or something is more like the two rifle stable. If you want one rifle build a nice 280ai, 7rem mag, .300 of some flavor and shoot the heck of it. While I enjoy lots of guns sometimes there’s something to be said for knowing one gun really well.
 

Slick8

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Aug 13, 2012
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The Republic of Texas
If you keep the old 700 it will always be a good backup.

For a little more money the APR gen II or similar is a lot of bang for your buck. Plus you're unlimited in cartridge choices.

If you decide to true the 700 it will certainly work. I'd recommend the 280 or 30-06 AI to gain the most from the standard action.

You can go a step farther and do a 300 sherman which is based on the 30-06 family. In talking to rich I don't think there's much advantage in the 280 sherman V. The 280ai. The 280ai was possibly PO's greatest contribution to shooting so it's hard to improve upon. Plus you can get formed brass and loaded ammo for the 280ai.
 

Pulpwood

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Aug 7, 2016
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314
Nothing wrong with the idea of building a 280ai with your rem action and later on if you decide you need something else get yourself a 300wsm or 300wm and call it good
 

dogbuster0006

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Dec 6, 2011
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222
Location
Western KY
You can go mild to wild on all the above I'm soon to order a MC3 stock and give Mcmillian's "budget" stock a try I'm not concerned in saving every ounce on my latest rifle. The 280ai will crush deer and be plenty enough gun for elk within the range you talked about. Pick a bullet or bullets and research the twist rates needed to sling them. My 7rem with 9.25 twist loves the 154 interlock and 162sst from Hornady, they're a little much for deer here in KY but they are what my gun likes best and kill them just fine out to 500yd. I'm finally to the point in life I can buy once cry once on things like glass and stocks so I suggest starting with a good stock, glass and trigger all three can be reused. Take your time search the forum and find a good deal, someone is always upgrading or deciding to change a build you've got time to get everything together. Search for a reputable builder that'll true the action and install your barrel, lots of good reviews of benchmark and rock creek lately it shouldn't cost you anywhere near $850 to get an action trued and barrel installed. Not every action needs much truing, my factory rifles after bedding are all shooting moa or a little better and are plenty enough for 600yd rifles. My personal favorite is a rem700p in 308win used when I bought it no clue on the round count but I've fired an honest 2500rd and it still shoots dime sized groups at 200yd. I swapped the trigger for a jewel and have ran the same leupold vx3 for 10yrs no reason to fix what ain't broke.
 

SteelBanger

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Dec 4, 2019
Messages
83
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IL
My opinion is that a 6.5PRC and .300 PRC are filling the same spot. I’d say a .300 or .338 something and a .223 or something is more like the two rifle stable. If you want one rifle build a nice 280ai, 7rem mag, .300 of some flavor and shoot the heck of it. While I enjoy lots of guns sometimes there’s something to be said for knowing one gun really well.
I had the same thought and considered maybe something like the 6mm creedmoor and the 300 PRC. A 7mm running fast lands right there in the middle of the 6.5 and the 300 which is kinda why I was thinking it'd be a great "do it all" round ... but I also know that if I got a "do it all" round it wouldn't take me long to find a reason I need another stick in the safe! :D
 

SteelBanger

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Dec 4, 2019
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IL
You already have the action so just true it up and rebarrel in the caliber mentioned. Trueing the action will not cost you near the money you think.
With the quote I have for the action work I'm at $525. That's includes trueing the action minus recutting the threads (so I can keep the rem threads and have the option to go with a remage build), adding a .25" double pinned recoil lug, and sending the whole thing off to be nitrided (it's currently an old blued and beat up action so it could use a refresh). They charge $600 to thread (both ends) and chamber a barrel and that doesn't even include the cost of the barrel so that's why I'm considering a remage barrel. They would charge $75 to install a remage barrel so I'd be all in $600 to have the action fixed up and remage barrel installed. I would install the barrel myself but $75 is cheaper than buying go / no-go gauges and an action wrench.
Does that sound reasonable?
 
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SteelBanger

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Dec 4, 2019
Messages
83
Location
IL
Here's my Rem 280 AI build list if I go this route:

  • Rem 700 action trued ($600)
  • Carbon 6 barrel, 1:9, Sendero profile, either 24" or 26", may just go 25" ($700)
  • XLR Element 3.0 Magnesium Chassis ($750)
  • TriggerTech Special Trigger ($160)
  • Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 (already have it)

Puts me around $2,200 - $2,300, a little less if I wait for good sales on each item. Any other suggestions or things I should think about?
 

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