Switch barrel build: Long action flexibility with short rounds

nksmfamjp

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Jan 5, 2004
Messages
1,148
I’m pondering a rifle build that would ultimately be a DIY switch barrel rifle. That said, at the time work is done, it may just go to the smith.

I have been pondering 2-3 things that I’d like to come together as one.

First, I want a 22 PPC, 222 Rem, 6PPC, 6BR for local benchrest and just playing with extreme accuracy. This is kind of the priority today, but I’m looking at $1000 - $2000 used rifles just to get a try at it. Also, I need a RB/RP action anyways due to personal issues.

Long term (5yrs maybe), I can see divesting myself of my 300 WSM and/or 6.5x55 and wanting to add a 300PRC, 6mm Creedmoo, 6.5-06AI or similar to this rifle.....maybe even ending/reinventing the benchrest rifle long term. So this action would change to switch barrel for a while and then to a long range hunting rifle.

Is it reasonable to think a Bighorn Origin long action can grow with me through this process and provide truly match accuracy along the way? Is there another interchangeable bolt head actions I should be considering? If running a long action with shorter single shot cartridges or even something like 6mm Creed going to be a nightmare for feeding?

Thoughts? I know I should build 3-4 rifles, but that is not in the cards and I’m already backlogged maturing what I have!
 

Jud96

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Jun 30, 2013
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3,020
Location
Michigan
If you want to run a rifle for short range benchrest up to long range hunting, I would do a short action. The Bighorn actions are solid and they have interchangeable bolt heads like you mentioned. I would have an extended mag box installed right off the bat and run either a PPC or 6BR for Benchrest and then run a magnum bolt face and do a 6.5 PRC or 7mm SAUM for long range hunting on the same action.
 

SteelBanger

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Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
404
Location
IL
I’m pondering a rifle build that would ultimately be a DIY switch barrel rifle. That said, at the time work is done, it may just go to the smith.

I have been pondering 2-3 things that I’d like to come together as one.

First, I want a 22 PPC, 222 Rem, 6PPC, 6BR for local benchrest and just playing with extreme accuracy. This is kind of the priority today, but I’m looking at $1000 - $2000 used rifles just to get a try at it. Also, I need a RB/RP action anyways due to personal issues.

Long term (5yrs maybe), I can see divesting myself of my 300 WSM and/or 6.5x55 and wanting to add a 300PRC, 6mm Creedmoo, 6.5-06AI or similar to this rifle.....maybe even ending/reinventing the benchrest rifle long term. So this action would change to switch barrel for a while and then to a long range hunting rifle.

Is it reasonable to think a Bighorn Origin long action can grow with me through this process and provide truly match accuracy along the way? Is there another interchangeable bolt head actions I should be considering? If running a long action with shorter single shot cartridges or even something like 6mm Creed going to be a nightmare for feeding?

Thoughts? I know I should build 3-4 rifles, but that is not in the cards and I’m already backlogged maturing what I have!
If you're set on the interchangeable bolt head then the origin is your best bet, but to make your barrel changes easier I would think about putting the WTO switch lug on it. I was in your same boat recently and went with the Terminus Zeus. It's a much better action but of course a little more money, and you'd have to purchase complete bolts vs the Origin bolt heads, but the switch barrel design is awesome and if you had the WTO lug put on the Origin the price difference isn't all that significant.
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
1,148
Wow! That WTO lug is pretty amazing! I really like that I could coat my barrels then.
 

jrock

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Joined
Mar 12, 2014
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1,242
Location
Idaho
I've been debating a similar idea off a Rem SA 700. Obviously I would need a separate bolt. I have a 6.5 Dasher with an AICS DBM that works great. For the longer cases, an extended box mag with a BDL might be used. It also depends on the feed ram width to still accommodate a DBM. Could be very limiting there. The major downside is that all these added parts are not cheap. Money I might rather have in a sperate LA action. I find when I build a gun, it shoots so well I don't want to touch it, even for a switch barrel.

On the bighorn, I think it uses a fixed post for case extraction. Others use a side bolt release. These would limit how far back the bolt would go. On a rem 700, you could just swap out the bolt stop to shorten or lengthen your throw. There are lots of moving parts with this idea. Consider how you plan to feed your rounds and COALs you may plan on using.
 

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