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Old November 16, 2012, 12:31 AM   #1
Vector187
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First custom build .223 "sniper" rifle

Ok ive finally decided to pursue my goal in long distance shooting an Id like to build my first rifle as a .223 caliber but I need some input:

Id prefer a stock that is very similar to a AICS/L96/AWP what ever you prefer to call it however I dont want to spend $500+ on a stock so I'm looking at
http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/Varmin...s-200-s/67.htm

Unless someone can recommend something better

I also think Im going to go with the savage over the Rem 700 (even though I am a huge Rem fan) but can someone recommend an exact savage model in .223 that will fit one of those boyd stocks ?

From everything Ive read savage has a better barrel (stock 1:9 twist better for heavy grain bullet for distance), trigger and action, but the rem has a better selection of after market parts. Im also told with the savage you can do more DIY stuff on the gun which is what Im looking for.

So the plan is to build a .223 to shoot 300 yards max I want to start with a custom stock and decent optic (Im thinking Leupold VX-1 Riflescope 4-12 x 40mm) then add a barrel after I start shooting and confirm that I want to continue this dream

The reason for .223 is its cheaper then .308 and it will get me started the ultimate goal <2in MOA at 1000yds with a custom self built 7mm rem mag, 300 win mag or .338 lapua. but id like to first make sure I enjoy shooting for distance


Open to all recommendations

thank you very much for any and all help
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:32 AM   #2
Polinese
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I think that except for maybe the newest savages that have the release in the trigger guard, any savage will fit into the boyds stock you just have to get the stock for your specific gun. Primarily there are the two different screw spacings on the short actions. The newer center feeds (magazine will stay in the stock when you unscrew everything) have a 4.4 and the older staggered feed (magazine is attached to the receiver) has a 4.2

Also you may want to look into Richards Microfit Gunstocks. Bunch of laminate (or walnut) stocks with lots of custom options. Might end up paying a little more than the boyds (really not much more) but you might find a shape or some options you like better to make it worth it.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:09 AM   #3
Vector187
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Thank you for the stock suggestion I definitively like some of their options would you know of anyone who makes more of a synthetic tactical style like this one
http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts...prod41088.aspx

but with a price range between 100 and 300? and for a savage?

Can anyone comment on if I'm going about this right as I wont be buying this all at once but in pieces

1 = Gun
2 = Optic
3 = Stock
4 = Barrel
5 = Trigger

Thank you
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:28 AM   #4
alex0535
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If you are not concerned about the weight of the rifle.

Choate makes some pretty cool l tactical stocks.I have never had one in my hands. Weighs 5lbs. Probably fits your savage.

http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts...208-10110.aspx

Last edited by alex0535; November 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:39 AM   #5
Vector187
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Nope weight won't be an issue
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:31 PM   #6
Polinese
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I don't think you're gonna find a chassis system for less than 700 or so, and the prices go up from there. Maybe a used one for a savage? which there aren't as many as the remington. Definitely buy the best optic you can afford.

Your list is actually in the same order as mine. Figured even though it'll look funny I can drop my sporter barreled action into the stock for the heavy barrel and still shoot it until I install the barrel. If you get an accutrigger model you might not even need to get a replacement trigger.

You can also look at the bell and carlson medalist, or the hs precision stocks. Aren't a chassis but do have an aluminum bedding block. Stockade gun stocks makes stocks for savages as well that have an aluminum skeleton.
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Old November 16, 2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Can anyone comment on if I'm going about this right as I wont be buying this all at once but in pieces

1 = Gun
2 = Optic
3 = Stock
4 = Barrel
5 = Trigger
I undertook the exact same project a few years back, and here's how I approached it.
  1. I bought a Savage Stevens in 223. The Stevens action is the exact same as the other short actions, but it was exponentially less expensive. An added bonus on the Savage rifles is that if you opt to change to a different caliber later you can do so by swapping barrels, bolt heads, and magazines - all of which can easily be done at home.
  2. I purchased a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x Mil/Mil optic. I wanted to learn the mildot system, and after a lot of research settled on this optic based on what I had budgeted at the time. Optics are a whole different consideration, you'll probably want to do your own research and/or start some new threads when you get there. I did end up switching this summer to a Mueller APT, which is another budget priced mildot optic. I wanted something variable power through the summer since we were doing some varminting, and I've actually been really pleased with how the APT has worked and met my needs.
  3. I upgraded to a Bell and Carlson stock, and actually did this right after I purchased my optic. The factory Stevens stock is an absolute POS, we're talking almost not useable unless your shooting off hand all the time. I lucked out and found the B&C locally for sale used. Before I found it though, I did take the time to reinforce my Stephens stock with some epoxy and an aluminum arrow shaft. I also fashioned a little cheek riser from some PVC that helped get my eye in the correct position. Bottom line is that you can make a factory stock work for a while, but you won't want to use it for long if precision shooting is your goal. This is another reason I like the Stevens rifles for a project gun: Why pay more for a stock you're planning to replace anyway?
  4. My plan was to replace my barrel eventually, but I honestly haven't had the need yet. The factory barrel is plenty accurate out to 600 yards with my handloads, and even though it's a sporter profile it still doesn't heat up too quickly or shift all that much since it's a 223. So I might just end up staying with the factory barrel until I switch calibers, which I'm considering this Spring. If you get onto the Savage Shooters' Forum you'll also find a lot of used barrels for sale if you want to upgrade it, many of which are factory take off's in the heavy barrel or varmint profile. It's an economical route to go if you want to replace yours.
  5. I haven't replaced my trigger yet either since there are plenty of mods you can do to get a nice crisp trigger with the stock parts. There are aftermarket options, but a little polishing and change of the trigger spring have gotten me a trigger with which I'm more than happy.

Hope that helps a little, and hope you have as much fun doing this project as I have.
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Old November 16, 2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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If all you want to do is shoot 300 yards with a .223 just buy yourself a Varmint rifle of your choice, add a good scope and shoot to 300 yards. If your ultimate goal is a 7mm RM start buying the parts to build that. That way you can save the mony for a chassis system you want in the long term.
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Old November 16, 2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
If all you want to do is shoot 300 yards with a .223 just buy yourself a Varmint rifle of your choice, add a good scope and shoot to 300 yards.
IMO this is what you do . 300 yards is nothing to shoot . Almost any bolt gun will do this well . I shoot .80 MOA with my $360 Ruger American rifle @300yds .



Yes It would be fun and would help on the next build but a hole lot of money can be saved by getting someting stock and seeing if you really want to move foreward . There is SO much more to shooting long range then the gun .

I'm in no way trying to say what you want to do is wrong , cus it's not . Just want to give you other ideas to consider .
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
IMO this is what you do . 300 yards is nothing to shoot . Almost any bolt gun will do this well . I shoot .80 MOA with my $360 Ruger American rifle @300yds .
That's why I recommend the Stevens action if you want to go the route of a build. I got my Stevens for less than $200 used, and even a new one is right at $300 or less. Add to that the Boyd's stock he likes and you've got a rifle that will shoot MOA accuracy with stock that he likes, all for $400 or less. And again, the nice thing about doing this with something like a Savage is that down the road you can convert the same action and stock to a caliber suited for longer distance for a few hundred dollars or less.



I'm probably $500 into this rifle including optics, mounts, and everything else you see and I couldn't be happier with how she's performed. I was out last weekend ringing 10"x10" steel at 600 yards no problem in decent wind shooting a Hornady 68 BTHP handload. The Savage Stevens rifles flat out shoot.
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:56 PM   #11
Vector187
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Thank you for all the help so far everyone. honestly I didnt think a 223 could get out to 500 yds holding a 1in MOA or better so perhaps that will be the new target for this gun.

I did go over to gandered mountain today and they had a used Savage Stevens 200 with a BSA "Sweet 223" 6 x 18 x 40mm optic for $299.99
any thoughts? Is this a good deal to start this build? is the optic a POS?
The action felt nice on the gun so did the trigger
Stevens 200
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/14603
Sweet 223 scope
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/225...-reticle-matte


I looked at both rem 700 and Savage M11 while I was there as well (Couldnt test triggers because they all had trigger locks on them)

Remington 700
Likes:
-The name (Own a rem 597 lr 22 and 870 express both are outstanding)
-The Safety design and placement (not a huge deal nor a deal maker)
-The vast majority of aftermarket parts
Dislikes:
-The action felt "gritty" and stiff
-The 1:12 twist on stock barrel (Ive read ill need 1:9 to get to desired distance goal)
-Less you can do yourself when it comes to customization and tuning

Savage
Likes:
-The action
-Stock Barrel twist 1:9
-The ability to do more customization to the gun with out gun smith
Dislikes
-Not familiar with the company
-The lack of aftermarket parts


The stocks Im looking at (recommendations)? Also want to mount a bipod not sure boyds or the silhouette will allow that (comments)?

http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/VT-SAV...-p/630-219.htm

http://www.rifle-stocks.com/silhouette.htm

http://www.riflestock.com/store/do/product/SPS/22-06-05

http://www.riflestock.com/store/do/product/VMS/24-06-04

Scopes thoughts:
-I want a Mil Dot
not sure about the rest

Also while I might be able to buy a setup to do what Im looking for... Im a DIY guy I enjoy new projects and learning from them =) why Im starting with the 223 and not a 338 lapua haha

Thanks again for the help so far
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:03 PM   #12
Vector187
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Add this to the considered stocks

http://www.rifle-stocks.com/straightlinethumbhole.htm
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:10 PM   #13
Vector187
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Ok one other thing apparently I miss understood the definition of MOA

where
1in MOA at 500yds is actually a 5in group so let me rephrase

I want to hold 1in group at 300 to 500 yards with 223 (if this is possible at 500yds with 223)

with the ultimate goal being

a 2in or better group at 1000 yards with a much bigger caliber (7mm, 300 win mag 338 lapua)

sorry still learning the terminology (cut me some slack im a computer science major =) )

Thanks again
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:35 PM   #14
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Lots of aftermarket stuff for Savage. If you want a decent scope on a budget check the Bushnell 3200 Elite 10x40 mildot
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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not likely . @ 300 yards 2 shots would have to be touching and the rest would have to be inside the first 2 holes . 3 or 4 inch group at 500yds is great shooting .

Have you ever shot 300+ yards ? It's hard to keep your rifle still because of your heart beat .Your heart beat will make your reticle move 1/2 MOA or more every time it beats . ( ok now fill your puls thats how much your crosshairs are moving )Thats part of the reason you need to control your breathing . You need your heart beat nice and slow . Where you place the rifle on your shoulder can make your heart beat more noticeable .
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:48 PM   #16
scsov509
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Both the Remington 700 and Savage are exceptional actions, both have an abundance of aftermarket parts, and both will build exceptionally accurate rifles. So you really can't go wrong either way in terms of choosing between those two actions, and if you ask around you'll find plenty of people with nothing but good things to say about both of them.

As far as accurate range of the 223, with heavier bullets the 223 is a quite capable 600 yard rifle as evidenced by the 1000's of shooters that use iron sighted AR's in High-Power Service Rifle Matches. The 1:14 barrel is far too slow a twist to stabilize anything but small, varmint bullets. Optimally a 223 barrel for those distances would be a 1:8 or 1:7 twist to stabilize the heavier bullets, although 1:9 will still do quite well with a variety of loads and many guys who measure their 1:9 twists find that they're actually a little faster. Still, with 1:9 barrels in a variety of rifles I've had good results with the Hornady 68 BTHP, the Sierra 69 MatchKing, and the Hornady 75 BTHP. Each of these have relatively high BC's for the caliber, and will do well to at least 600 yards. The Sierra 69 MatchKing is a favorite for high-power shooters, and has been an exceptionally accurate round out of most everything I've ever shot.

Optics and stocks are both really matters of personal choice and intended application. I'd say the best thing to do is handle several different styles of stocks on various rifles before you settle on anything. The nice thing is that aftermarket stocks for both rifles are readily available at all different price points depending on what you want to spend. Scopes too will require some additional research, and will depend largely on your budget. A 223 isn't going to be too awful hard on optics, which means you might be able to get away with some of the more budget priced optics more than on something of a larger caliber. Still, the place where a good optic is really going to shine is in repeatedly returning to zero and maintaining good calibration as you dial up windage and elevation adjustments on the range.

The Savage Stevens and BSA optic you mentioned at $299 isn't a bad deal, but it's not necessarily stellar either. $300 is about the going price for a new Stevens 200, and the BSA Sweet 223 is about a $60-70 optic. The BSA Sweet 223 you mentioned will get you out shooting on the range, but it's not anything you'd want to keep long term if distance is going to be your objective. So if it's in good shape and you could sell if for $40-50 then $250-260 for the used rifle is not bad at all.

So there are some thoughts for consideration. Hope that helps push you a little further in the research and decision making process.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:51 PM   #17
scsov509
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Lots of aftermarket stuff for Savage. If you want a decent scope on a budget check the Bushnell 3200 Elite 10x40 mildot
+1... The Elite 3200 10x is an awesome scope for the money. I love too that they make it in a Mil/Mil version, which I much prefer for any serious shooting.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:57 PM   #18
Vector187
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Thanks so much SCSOV yea I didnt think that used stevens was a good deal nor did I think the BSA optic was really that good either

alot of people are suggesting the Elite 3200 10x

anyone have any thoughts on VX-1 Leupold 4-12 40mm

Just curious

Also where is a good place to look for used guns in michigan or online Ive looked on gunbroker.com but they have nothing used for a reasonable price

Thank you again
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:59 PM   #19
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a 2in or better group at 1000 yards with a much bigger caliber (7mm, 300 win mag 338 lapua)
If you hit a 10"x10" target at 1,000 yards you are a better shot then most . Little lone shooting groups at that distance .
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:04 PM   #20
scsov509
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If you hit a 10"x10" target at 1,000 yards you are a better shot then most.
Yeah, I've gotten to a point where I can manage consecutive hits on 10"x10" steel at 600, and even that is no small thing. You're talking below 2MOA on consecutive hits at distance, which is something that takes a little skill.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:22 PM   #21
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Well I want to be better then good haha =) thats why I like long range shooting because its more then just the gun and pulling a trigger, having to calculate everything from wind, spin drift, humidity, elevations, wind direction, all the properties of your ammunition, gun, and the human effect breathing heart rate etc

=)
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:31 PM   #22
Metal god
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I've gotten to a point where I can manage consecutive hits on 10"x10" steel at 600,
IMO that is fantastic shooting a 10 mph wind @600yds will push a 77gr bullet 40" / almost 3.1/2 feet . The bullet will drop about 80" 6.1/2feet and I don't even know what the spin drift would be .
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:34 PM   #23
Vector187
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Im not saying its not =)
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:57 PM   #24
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Im not saying its not =)
Yea sorry if it looked that way . I started to reply to one of the post and had to stop and do something . When I finally got back and finished my reply there was 3 or 4 more replys posted and mine came in out of order I intended it to be in . It made it look I was commenting on someting I was not ,00ps sorry
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Old November 17, 2012, 03:27 PM   #25
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I don't think there are many rifles that can do a 2 inch group regardless of shooter at 1000. If i'm doing my math right (very possible that I'm not) that'd be a .2 moa rifle correct?

I had a bushnell 10x mildot mil/mil adjustments mounted on my 308 for a while I really liked it. Bushnell actually fixed it when i had problems with it (which surprised me and I've yet to remount it) but I don't think I've heard of anyone else having the issue I did. I think barrett puts the bushnell 10x on their 50 cal packages so that's an endorsement in itself.

I personally prefer fixed power scopes but there is nothing wrong with a variable.
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