Need advice on rifle

bbckfh

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Mar 12, 2017
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282
Location
Michigan
First: thanks in advance for listening...

So I need some advice. I currently have two Browning X-Bolts. One a Hunter in .308 Win and one a Long Range Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor. Both have the same action and trigger, the '08 has a 22" sporter barrel and the 6.5 a 26" threaded "heavy sporter" barrel. In truth, they're both great shooters.

But...

They don't quite fit, and I certainly don't need two such similar rifles. Specifically, I'd like a slightly longer LOP (by ~1"), a slightly more upright pistol grip, a slightly higher comb (I'm using a Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x32 and 4-12x40, both in low rings, so I don't need much), and a slightly shorter reach from the pistol grip to the trigger shoe.

I'm loath to sell because they both shoot so well (3/8"@100yds) but...

I made the mistake of going to Cabela's, and the Tikka T3x CTR seemed to meet all of those dimensions more closely. Plus the barrel is only 24", so I'll still get decent velocity yet be slightly more handy with my 8" Sandman Ti attached.

Of course, I've lusted after Coopers and their gorgeous wood for quite some time.

And the Curtis Axiom sounds amazing.

So it begs the question: I can sell both and get the Tikka, and come out ahead on cash for diapers (I have 4 under 7 who will need college savings) or ammo, or travel. Maybe less so when it comes time to buy two 5-Rd mags for hunting.

Or I can pony up for an Axiom, with a Krieger or Proof barrel, and mount it in a nice custom Neal Bauder or Joel Russo piece of wood. Won't come out cheaper, but would be the rifle to pass onto my kids.

What I really want:
- ~60• bolt throw (no desire to skin my knuckles on the scope)
- 6.5 creedmoor
- accuracy
- light weight
- great trigger
- must be threaded for a sound suppressor

What I want that I don't already have:
- 24" barrel
- better ergonomics
- lighter bolt lift (the Brownings are factory, so they're nice but a touch stiff)
- someday, an aspirationally gorgeous stock. I don't know that that needs to be today.

Intended use:
- deer hunting <500 m
- aspirational elk hunt (someday)
- targets to 1000 m

When I think about going the custom route, I am really inspired by the Axiom, and the GAP Tempest as well. Then I begin to think about weight, and Proof barrels. So, a 24" Proof in .264 in their light Sendero profile should be ~2.7 pounds, if I read their site correctly. For $900. Whereas a Krieger with the same spec in a #5.5 profile, fluted, should be ~3.3 pounds? And cost $325+$150=$475. And might be stiffer for the weight penalty, causing less POI deflection with the Sandman affixed.

So a) should I just sell both and buy the perfectly serviceable Tikka? b) should I just sell the one and buy a McM Game Scout, eventually chopping down the 26" barrel and continuing to cycle the action until it's like butter, or c) should I pony up for the custom route? And if so, Proof vs Krieger?

I know... a lot of thoughts and questions, but I'm in the research phase.
 

pburton

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Jun 2, 2012
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Reno, NV
In my opinion, go the custom route. This way you will get exactly what you want. Based on what you are looking for, I don't think that you will be completely happy with any factory rifle. I like the Tikka's and think that the CTR would suite your needs. But, if you are like me, you will want something better within a short period of time. As far as barrels go, I don't have any experience with Proof or Krieger. I have had great luck with Bartlein and Rock Creek barrels. I have not bought into the Carbon barrel trend to this point. Good luck with your decision.
 

MudRunner2005

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Oct 13, 2008
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14,709
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Alabama
I personally would go bigger than a 6.5 CM if you're hoping to use it for elk... Just my opinion.

Maybe look into something like the 7mm SS (Sherman Shortmag).
 

Frank in the Laurels

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Jul 15, 2007
Messages
778
If you got an action and time is not urgent then just go the gunsmith route and build what you want.....you may tie up a little more cash but you'll get what you want and the time will allow you to save just a little more to add a trigger or stocky's stock..
 

bbckfh

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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
282
Location
Michigan
Thanks Gents. I appreciate the opinions.

Custom is certainly attractive. I have an AR in 6.5 Grendel, and at the distances we hunt in Michigan that will be plenty sufficient. So while it isn't as pretty as a bolt with pretty wood, it will tide me over for now. That buys me time while this could be built.

While I very much appreciate the "buy once, cry once" mentality, the thought that I could allocate the funds elsewhere strikes me as fiscally more sound.
 

waltercrouse

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Jun 18, 2013
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SAN DIEGO,Ca.
Please explain Sherman, short or long. I never heard of one? But I have seen Sherman's in several articles . What is the base cartridge and where to find reloading data?
 

Outlaw6.0

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Feb 18, 2010
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Gillette, WY
A quick search will provide all the "Sherman" info you need. Rich is a super good dude as well.

IMHO, sell both your on-hand rifles and buy/built what you're after. You've already defined your wants/needs, you know what you're after. As stated above, there's a chance you could end up with a factory rifle that you aren't 100% happy with... and this dilemma starts all over again.

The 6.5 Creed is a great little cartridge. If you only intend to hunt bigger game (elk) on a rare occasion, roll with it. If you intend to make it a common affair, Mud may have a valid point. Step up a bit in bullet diameter. While I firmly believe that a 6.5 is more than adequate and that a well placed shot from a 6.5 is better than a poor shot from something with more horsepower; bullet diameter is most definitely your friend when it some to Elk.

As far as Proof barrels go; if you want to drop $900 on a barrel that won't shoot any better than something 1/2 the cost, get'er done. I really, and I mean REALLY like the looks of a carbon wrapped barrel. But I ain't paying for that... lol As to you're other question, I don't see why they wouldn't more than stiff enough for your can.



t
 

bbckfh

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Mar 12, 2017
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282
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Michigan
The 6.5 Creed is a great little cartridge. If you only intend to hunt bigger game (elk) on a rare occasion, roll with it. If you intend to make it a common affair, Mud may have a valid point. Step up a bit in bullet diameter.

... if you want to drop $900 on a barrel that won't shoot any better than something 1/2 the cost, get'er done.
Thanks a lot. Amid the ridiculous cost equation, variables like "why spend $400 that I don't need to" or "$400/__oz" can get lost.

Especially hard to argue with, considering the sterling reputations of the Kriegers and Bartleins of the world.

I wish I lived somewhere where elk could be routine, but no dice. My biggest animals on any remote sort of routine basis are deer or black bear or hogs. So I tend to think the 6.5cm is plenty. For that kind of menu, even .270 is overkill. I'd considered 6.5x284, but not sure the tradeoff is even there with that game profile, especially in light of the limited ammunition availability. Don't reload: can't be good at everything.

That makes wildcats further still from consideration. Although 7ss is nice. Frankly, 7mm-08, .280, 7wsm or 7mmRM would all be quite fine. I think I've actually seen more boxes of 6.5x284 locally than 7wsm.

And Frankinthekaurels: thanks. Sage advice. No need to rush this.

Might just buy the action and sock it away for a bit?
 

predator 22

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Go custom if you can. It is hard trying to raise a family and have money left for toys. But one word of caution, once you start down the deep dark tunnel of custom guns it's hard to go back to factory fodder. Good luck!
 

Outlaw6.0

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If the game you will be hunting most is only Black Bear, Hogs and deer; stick with the Creedmoor. By the time you do get out west for an Elk hunt you should have more than ample shooting/field experience with your new toy and will be confident in what it can and cannot do. As long as those parameters are followed, I'd have no problem whatsoever dropping an elk with my Creedmoor.


t
 

bbckfh

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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
282
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Michigan
Yea, ten years' worth of shooting at more hostile targets; I'm confident in placement. It's terminal ballistics and ergonomics that are my current concern.

Frankly, now that I am no longer shooting issued equipment, this might be the impetus for my consideration of something nicer and more fitted to myself.

To that end: I was looking at the Pierce Ti actions as well. I really want to support a Michigan (local) company, but the two-lug just doesn't have the appeal that the short bolt lift of a three-lug offers. Am I nuts?
 

Outlaw6.0

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No, you aren't nuts at all. You started this thread listing exactly what you wanted. That's why most have recommended going custom & not being disappointed with a factory rifle.

You know what you're after, if it takes a little longer to get exactly what you want; who cares? You be glad you did.


t
 

bbckfh

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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
282
Location
Michigan
Yea, kinda set myself up for a specific response, didn't I?

There's a fair bit of hesitation in jumping into the custom game... I suspect because it's an unknown quantity and I'm generally very risk averse. With a factory rifle, one knows the product and can QA it prior to purchase. That doesn't exist with a custom gun.

I have a hard time taking y'all's advice, more so than might be explained by a simple cost differential of no-matter-what percentage. I think that might be the reason?
 

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