Preferred Barrel Blanks? Anyone here used them?

Lowlander

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
55
Location
WV
So I'm going to put together a, "Precision Trainer" type of rifle for myself and family to use. Mainly for building fundamentals, without excessive recoil and cost. I've been wanting to build one for a while and now I'm getting things together to finally do it.

I know there's tons of better, more expensive actions out there to build this rig. I even have a spare 700 action at home that I could use, but have other plans for. I picked up a Savage Axis action from the classifieds here and figured this would be a perfect candidate to build on.

But, I enjoy building the rifles as much as shooting them. It's a different platform and I'll get to learn from building it. I wanted to build this in a low recoil, cheap to load cartridge and I landed on the 223, possibly the 223AI.

I picked up an Axis bolt with 223 bolt head from eBay. So I have the action covered save for the trigger. I am going to machine 3/16" from the action face and do away with the factory Axis recoil lug setup. That will allow me to run a standard Savage recoil lug, much better setup in my opinion. After Christmas I'll be ordering an Oryx chassis for it and a barrel.

So I've been looking at Savage pre fits. I've been giving Preferred Barrel Blanks a pretty hard look. They are pretty reasonably priced, they can chamber it for the 223AI, they offer 1:7.5 twist rate, which is what I would ideally like to go with.

This rifle will pretty much only be for shooting heavies, 75-90gr range. I have 100rds of Lapua 223 brass that I can put toward the fireforming to 223AI. I have tons of other 223 brass, bullets, powder, etc. Hopefully SR primers will come back around by the time I get it all together and ready to roll. I have some, but like many of you, wish I had some more right now.

Anyway, my apologies for the long post... I was curious if any of you guys have tried Preferred Barrel Blanks? I have used NSS Criterion barrels before with great results and they are in the same price range. But I like to try out other barrels and haven't heard much on these?

Thanks for reading...

ETA: Any input on barrel length is welcome too... I have never ran a 223 in anything but a 20" AR for precision work. The contour will be Varmint to Heavy Varmint. I am thinking 24", but would that be a hindrance to the 223AI?
 

nwmnbowhunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
202
I have a shouldered pre-fit for a tikka on order.

On sniper hide there is a very positive thread that is pretty long. Of course after ordering i see mixed reviews.

Tagging...
 

Savage 12BVSS

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Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
1,057
Location
Maine
Sorry no experience to share with you. Hope someone posts up that does, NSS criterion prefits however are very accurate and very easy cleaning from personal experience. Good Luck
 

VLD Pilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
1,786
Location
Northern, Mi
Just put one on a buddy's rifle in 280AI. Seems to shoot fairly well. It's early in the process. Sporter barrel on a Browning A- Bolt. Ran into problems when he changed scope bases and put too long of screws in his front base and screw broke off. Screw was into the threads of the barrel so had to remove barrel to remove the broke off screw. Removing the barrel caused the threads of the barrel to get damaged severely. He had to have a gunsmith fix the problem. Not sure that problem will actually get fixed properly without chopping off the threads and re-chambering. Been a PITA ever since this project started. Barrel seemed ok but he never finished breaking it in before this problem occurred. When he went back out to finish breaking in the barrel, the barrel came loose from the nut. I think the threads are so chewed up, the barrel won't stay tight after a few shots. His experience isn't good right now but the problems began from his error in using wrong screws in his bases. The work looks good from PBB but too early to say completely. Price was about the same as a NSS Shilen pre-fit set up. He purchased the PBB wrench but nut can be tightened with a conventional wrench if the jaws are narrow enough.
 
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