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Old March 23, 2013, 03:57 PM   #1
Machine
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Building or Buying a Precision Bolt Rifle

I would like to start looking at getting or building a precision rifle. I talked a little about some generalities at the range several months ago with a top shooter, but need more knowledge on how to best put together a precision rifle.

So far, I think I am interested in a mag-fed Remington 700 platform in .308 and put it in a JAE stock: http://www.jallenenterprises.com/jae700_overview.htm

I have alread bought 2000 match grade BTHP 178gr match bullets for loading. Should I look for a 1:10 twist for it or not worry about it?

Any recommendations as to whether I would buy a custom action and barrel from someone or how would you recommend that one go about doing it? I would like to have something that is capable of 0.5 MOA I think. Any pointers are appreciated.
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Old March 23, 2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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My buddy purchased a .308 Sako TRG with Nightforce scope for $4K. I doubt a custom build will be much more accurate. The thing about a custom build is you can do things over time rather than shell out the money upfront. If I were going to use a Remington M700 I'd just buy a custom action like Stiller. Since it has the same footprint as the M700 but all the work is done to the action already that you'll be paying to have done to a M700. So unless you already have a M700 donor you'll probably save money just buying a custom action anyway.
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Last edited by taylorce1; March 24, 2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: fixing auto correct
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Old March 23, 2013, 05:25 PM   #3
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Every couple of months this subject comes up. Use the search function to see what has been said before.

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Old March 23, 2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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Building or Buying a Precision Bolt Rifle

Thanks, Taylorce1. I appreciate the input. I have no donor parts.
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Old March 23, 2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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Since this is one of the things I do professionally, I feel I can give some unbiased advice on the subject.

* Any custom build should be able to deliver 1/2 MOA as long as they use good quality components and do good machine work. The machine work is the critical element here, and too many people try to cut corners when doing the machine work.

* A trued action is critical. Factory Rem 700 actions are a good place to start, but if you are going to pay for the action and then pay to have it trued, then you are almost better off $-wise just buying a custom action. I don't care what action you use, you will end up at about the same dollars whether you true your own or buy a custom action. many custom actions can use Rem 700 components like trigger, etc, so availability of components is not a consideration.

* If you go with a custom action, decide what game you want to play, benchrest or tactical. Surgeon makes very nice actions, as do Stiller, BAT, Panda, and many others. The larger, stiffer actions are for serious benchresters and target shooters, repeaters are for tactical shooters. The folks who make these actions are full of advice about what to look for and choose, ask them first.

* Pick a good barrel. Do not just go out and buy a name, almost all makers make a premium line of barrels that you will pay a bit more for than their standard run-of-the-mill barrel. That said, most premium grade barrels are capable of delivering the accuracy you are looking for. Heck, most Remington factory barrels will deliver 1/2 MOA, so no big deal there. I will not ship a rifle to a customer that will not shoot a sub-caliber group with the loads I develop for the rifle. Last rifles I shipped were a 223 bolt action that shot .210" at 100 yds, a 22-6mm that shot .180" at 100 yds, a 6mm-06 that shot .217" at 100 yds.

* Pick a good stock. There are many on the market, some are really cool and radical looking, some are just plain-Jane and boring, but how they hold the action and allow the shooter to address the rifle are critical, so pick them for performance and not looks.

* I will only say this about scopes: pick a good one and mount it well. Expect to pay $1,500 or more for a good scope for real precision shooting. Can you get by with a $300 Weaver or Nikon? Sure, but you will never see the true potential of the rifle if you do.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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* If you go with a custom action, decide what game you want to play, benchrest or tactical. Surgeon makes very nice actions, as do Stiller, BAT, Panda, and many others. The larger, stiffer actions are for serious benchresters and target shooters, repeaters are for tactical shooters. The folks who make these actions are full of advice about what to look for and choose, ask them first.

* Pick a good barrel. Do not just go out and buy a name, almost all makers make a premium line of barrels that you will pay a bit more for than their standard run-of-the-mill barrel. That said, most premium grade barrels are capable of delivering the accuracy you are looking for. Heck, most Remington factory barrels will deliver 1/2 MOA, so no big deal there.

* Pick a good stock. There are many on the market, some are really cool and radical looking, some are just plain-Jane and boring, but how they hold the action and allow the shooter to address the rifle are critical, so pick them for performance and not looks.


============
Scorch - your detailed professional response is much appreciated! I have a few follow-up questions if I can...

I am more interested in tactical gun, but that can still do okay on a benchrest. What are you giving up with a repeater? I know they generally add cost.

Is it possible to purchase an action+barrel assembly that can be dropped into a stock with a trigger assembly? Can it be that modular, or not really?

What do you think of the JAE stock? I haven't seen any claims that top shooters use them, but they just look so ergonomical and cool. Plus, there is no bedding. Any comments for or against? I would like a stock that can really fit me well without having to add pads or tape or anything.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
What are you giving up with a repeater?
Alittle bit of action rigidity, but not much. Benchresters want the most rigid action they can get. Keep in mind that benchrest matches are won and lost on as little as .001".
Quote:
Is it possible to purchase an action+barrel assembly that can be dropped into a stock with a trigger assembly?
Sure. Any of the custom action makers will sell you a barreled action with whatever trigger you want. Buy it, put it into a stock, and you are good to go.
Quote:
What do you think of the JAE stock?
Is that the one you posted the link to? Looks cool. I have never put a rifle together using one, so I have no knowledge about how well they work. But it does look cool! If that's what you want, get it. Most aftermarket stocks are designed as bedding platforms with a free-floated barrel. Most are very similar in performance, regardless of the claims by each maker. The difference is in adjustments, modularity, and flexibility.
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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i spent 5k on a H&S rifle built off a 700 platform....im no gunsmith,i leave that to the professonals, and for my gunsmith to build me a rifle capable of what my H&S is would have cost more.. and the HS is more accurate than i will ever be, long story short i will never need another long range rifle
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Old March 28, 2013, 07:11 PM   #9
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Take a look at the match rules for rifles and pick a class to compete in. maybe that JAE stock is not the right choice. You can also buy a rem 700 SPS DM or up to a savage LRH and take that first year to learn the game , buy the rifle rest you need an or other accesories it takes to compete.

I have a rifle thats my custom heavy hunter thats capable of 1" at 400 yards with the one handload i tried and it pass's for just a hunting rifle to most people.
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Old March 28, 2013, 08:14 PM   #10
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Scorch is right. If you start with a Rem chances are good it will need reworking unless by accident you find one with a dead center striker indent. I guess I have seen five in last 40 years with a dead center hit.

The custom actions he mentioned will in all liklihood do the job.

I would look at a McMillan stock.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:44 PM   #11
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Buy a Weatherby Vanguard S2 for just over five hundred. Put another 300 in a scope. Then develop some accurate loads with the bullets you have purchased. The S2 is guaranteed for 3 round sub .99 inch groups with good ammo.

In a couple of years, if you are good, you will be able to outshoot the S2 and by then you will know exactly what you intend to move on to and drop 4 or 5 grand on.

Said another way, if you can't outshoot a production gun like the S2, you will be wasting your money on any high end custom.
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Old March 29, 2013, 05:51 AM   #12
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Precision

Quote:
* If you go with a custom action, decide what game you want to play, benchrest or tactical.
What happened to High Power Rifle as a game to play?
Even though the OP has expressed an interest in tactical shooting, HP deserves a mention as an alternative....lotsa very accurate match rifles out there. Iron sights only, though, for HP. Easy enough to drop on a scope if need be.
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