My Young's Gunsmithing 338 Lapua Improved - Something a Little Different

montana_native

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Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
636
Location
SW Montana
Awhile back I received this rifle from Dave at Young’s Gunsmithing in Sand Coulee, MT. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with it so far and have been very pleased. I thought I’d share some details.

- StillerTAC338 receiver with 20 MOA rail, single shot configuration
- BartleinHV contour barrel, 32” finish, 9.5 twist that has been chambered in 338 Rogue (338 Lapua Improved 40° shoulder)
- Cooley Extra Large Brake
- McMillanA4, sniper fill (This thing was a complete mess. Fortunately, I didn’tpay much for it.)
- Young’s Gunsmithing 5.5” Light Block
- Timney Calvin Elite trigger
- ADL trigger guard
- All metal is coated in black Cerakote
- She’s a portly girl, tipping the scales at 21.2# with the scope. In retrospect,I should have fluted the barrel and not gone with the sniper fill. I certainly won’t be packing up any mountains, but I do appreciate how the weight mitigates recoil.


I’lltry and explain what is going on with this rifle…

Davecalls this particular configuration a “Medium Light-Block Rifle”. The aluminum block is used to support the barrel rather than having the weight of the barrel hanging off of the barrel thread tenon of the receiver. This drastically reduces the stresses imposed onto even the most robust receiver and really seems to help increase repeatability and consistency. This is especially beneficial when working with a flimsy standard Remington 700 action. The lower half of the block is permanently secured into the stock. The top half can be removed and is secured into place with fourteen lightly-torqued 8-40 screws. The block measures 5.5” long and only ads about 4.5oz. The receiver is completely floated and only needs to support theweight of itself, the scope, scope rail and trigger. It also eliminates the recoil lug. This rifle uses the 5.5” block but he also offers a 4.5”block that is designed for use with common “off the shelf” barrel contours like the M40, Heavy Varmint and similar. The 7” block is for 1.350” barrels and large stocks like the Tooley BR. Another nice feature is the scallop on the block to allow the scope to be mounted closer to bore.

What I find most appealing about this configuration is that it really takes a lot of the rifle out of the equation with regard to consistency for long range hits. Once I found a load for it, it has pretty much not deviated from about a 0.3-0.4 MOA performer to 1015 yards (as far as I’ve been able to take it so far). I’ve struggled in the past with rifles (even customs) shooting well under 0.5 MOA one day, only to shoot a week or two later and have it struggle to shoot under 1.0 MOA with the same load. The block seems to have minimized that response in long, heavy contour barreled rifles. In essence, the block accomplishes what a giant bench rest style action does, but with virtually any factory action and more practical options for stocks. I now find that I am forced to blame the shooter rather than the rifle for misses. As my dad used to say, “Blame the Indian, not the arrow”.

I picked the A4 stock up sight-unseen, but I figured the price was too good to pass up. Dave was able to salvage the stock which had been modified over the years by someone that must have suffered from a mental disorder. There were metal chunks bedded into the barrel channel, 4-6 coats of paint, and the bottom metal inlet was very poorly done...likely with a crude, Neanderthal, poking device. Rather than removing all of the paint, I elected to get after it with the Krylon and a sponge. It came out OK, but I think a strip-down and repaint are in its future.

Future plans are to replace the FFP scope with a SFP and a better bipod. The FFP reticle just becomes too obstructive at very long ranges… This might just be personal preference. I also plan on another one on an old Winchester 70 in either a McMillan A5, or A3-5 since any of the McMillan A-series stocks are compatible with the block. The new build will likely be a repeater since a DBM can be installed by bedding threaded pillars into the stock and using factory style fasters. It should come in under 12# without scope.

Thanks for looking!











 

300whisper

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May 15, 2012
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4,150
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Macon, Georgia
Wow...thanks for sharing! I don't like the "no hunting" sign in one of your photos but other than that very nicely done!!

EDIT: it does say no trespassing though so I'll let it slide. ;)
 

FurTaker

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May 12, 2014
Messages
124
Location
Oklahoma
Interesting concept, all you ever hear is the barrel has to be free floated and touching nothing! Have any range pics?
 

montana_native

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Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
636
Location
SW Montana
This is the only picture of a group I have. It was at 110 yards.

I think the only way he will sell a block is if it is attached to a rifle.

 

FEENIX

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Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
16,434
Location
Great Falls, MT
This is the only picture of a group I have. It was at 110 yards.

I think the only way he will sell a block is if it is attached to a rifle.


Nice, I see did animals in the future.

Dave always says, everything in his shop has a price and can be for sale except for his Karelian Bear Dog, :D
 

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