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View Full Version : 1000m Long Range Target Bolt Action Rifle from Scratch


smith629
02-02-2013, 4:51 AM
I'm looking to get into long range steel plinking and will be starting from scratch, having no inventory of old bolt actions to start from (I do have a high power vortex scope on order so my optics are covered). I've been researching a ton of different cartridges and I'd like to go with the 7mm rem due to the excellent ballistic coefficients of bullets like the Hornady 162g amax. I also like how it doesn't have too much recoil. I will be hand loading ammo for this rifle.

I'm totally new to precision bolt actions and it seems a bit overwhelming. I'd really like to skip the whole fiddling process of buying a remington 700 and tearing it apart and replacing everything bit by bit while selling all the old stuff. I also don't want to play around with glass bedding and all that. Instead, I'd like to go a minimal-mod route and get a rifle with good accuracy out of the box, maybe replacing just the stock. That said, my budget won't permit 5k for a new a Surgeon rifle right off the shelf. Plus a lot of the nice rifles I see like say the HD precision are 5k+ and chambered only in the popular .308/338 rounds, and they market their rifles more towards duty rifles vs. purely target shooting.

Here are my requirements:
-Heavy barrel that is threaded so I can add a muzzle brake
-Quality stock like a mcmillan or so
-Ability to use a picitanny mount so I don't have to buy a new scope mount
-Crisp/clean target trigger, or ability to drop in a better later (I am a trigger snob).

What would you recommend for a $1500-2500 budget?

StraightShooter
02-02-2013, 5:17 AM
For that budget and for the caliber you want to shoot you are going to have to buy either an action or donor rifle and build it up. I don't see any way around that. I don't know of any companies that sell a 7mm rem in factory configuration set up properly for long range shooting. If I were you, I would keep an eye out on the for sale section on Snipers Hide and try to pick up a used rifle. You will save a ton of money and time. You will have to probably be flexible on caliber though. For long range, there are a lot of calipers that perform well. In 7mm the 7SAUM is probably your best bet. There's the .243, .260 and 6.5's that are also excellent.

CrippledPidgeon
02-02-2013, 6:10 AM
You know you can buy Surgeon short actions starting at $1200, and start putting together the pieces from there. There are other manufacturers out there, but since you mentioned Surgeon up front, I figured I'd might as well let you know.

Grnjeep1
02-02-2013, 7:32 AM
Probably a Remington 5R. About $1200. Comes with a decent stock, and a heavy barrel but they only come in .223/.308/300 Winmag. 300 Winmag will definitely get you to a 1000, but not for the recoil sensitive, at least without a brake.

Jeepway
02-02-2013, 8:00 AM
Have you ever shot a 7MM Rem Mag?

Switchbarrel
02-02-2013, 1:26 PM
I've been researching a ton of different cartridges and I'd like to go with the 7mm rem due to the excellent ballistic coefficients of bullets like the Hornady 162g amax. I also like how it doesn't have too much recoil. I will be hand loading ammo for this rifle.

Here are my requirements:
-Heavy barrel that is threaded so I can add a muzzle brake
-Quality stock like a mcmillan or so
-Ability to use a picitanny mount so I don't have to buy a new scope mount
-Crisp/clean target trigger, or ability to drop in a better later (I am a trigger snob).

What would you recommend for a $1500-2500 budget?

1) I would add the .284, .284 improved and 7 RSAUM to your list of researched calibers. They still shoot your 7mm bullet but, do it more efficiently (saves you money on powder and shoulder pain). They are all very accurate for what you want to do.

2) If Remington still makes the Sendaro, that might be your only option for your list of requirements. That being said, I bought a Savage action from Jim Briggs at Northland Shooters' Supply, sent it to Kevin Rayhill at Stockade Gunstocks and for ~$1100 more, received a complete heavy barreled 6BR in return. This included a Sharp Shooter's trigger, Benchmark barrel, Long Range BR stock (bedded). Only work on my part was ordering everything and shipping the action off. In your case, add about $200 (depending on the brake you choose) for the muzzle threading and brake.

This was pre-Savage Target action days and pre-threaded barrels weren't as abundant. Today, I would use both.


Here's a couple groups from a .284 Shehane-

100 yards doing some load testing with muzzle brake on (below left) and off - upper left (some sighters off to the right side w/different charges).
http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/Rickduncanforsale/DAE4606C-E10D-4A0B-B7E0-6BC71CE048D2-2692-0000038A0469DC3D_zps13f791c1.jpg


600 yds. Measured @ 3.839" for 10 shots. Not my best, not my worst...
http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/Rickduncanforsale/E8B43DE0-B4A5-4089-A5E8-09ABFD86A179-2692-0000038A0047EB20_zps83bdde79.jpg

-Rick

RobG
02-02-2013, 2:17 PM
You are unlikely to find a target/heavy barrel version in 7 RM. While the big 7 is splendid at long range, it isn't necessary for banging steel and punching paper. Powder burnt is more than needed and barrel life is short. I rechambered my 7 when the barrel went south to .284 Win. It does all I need only with less powder, less recoil, and longer barrel life. The straight 280 or 280 AI are also great ones to consider.

Just today I was talking to a gent shooting a factory heavy barrelled Savage in 6.5 Creedmore. Great gun, great cartridge, and awesome Hornady match ammo available. It will do all you need without needing any tweaks. Another option to consider.

smith629
02-02-2013, 4:24 PM
Sorry guys in my original post I meant to say 7mm-08. I don't want the heavy recoil of the magnum.

The .284 winchester looks attractive. Less recoil and longer barrel life seems like a win-win. Especially with 180g VLDs. I will start scanning the remington catalog for actions in .284.

Is this article accurate on 7mm loads (http://www.6mmbr.com/7mm284.html)? Check about half way down on "Comparative Ballistics". It shows the .284 with the 180g Berger significantly outperforming the 168g Berger 7mm-08 at 1000 yards.

ar15barrels
02-02-2013, 4:51 PM
Where are you located?
A custom rifle in 7-08 could be built from scratch with really nice parts for right around $2500.
$900 defiance action
$325 Bartlein barrel
$700 Manners stock
$150 Ptg bottom metal
$125 timney trigger
$300 gunsmithing

SuperX
02-02-2013, 7:20 PM
RWSnyder built my rifle.. will build you a trued Rem action w/ Krieger or Brux barrel in your choice of chambering, threaded barrel, tuned trigger for $1400

-threaded muzzle with thread protector
-20 moa base with four 8-40 screws
-.250 thick pinned recoil lug
-Tuned remington trigger
-cerakoted finish

+- other misc details of your choice. Add your stock, done!

http://www.rwsgunsmithing.com/catalog/base-custom-rifle/

smith629
02-02-2013, 7:46 PM
I'm in Orange County. I like option of the gunsmith route. How long does it normally take to have a rifle smithed for you? Are we talking a month or a year?

After thinking about it I may opt for a higher quality action like a surgeon for $400 more since it will up the resale value, then maybe skimp on my trigger and forgo the muzzle brake until I can afford it later. I've also been finding that a lot of the money that go into these precision rifles are the chassis. Why the strike 30 chassis is $2500 on its own...

SuperX
02-02-2013, 7:59 PM
He is in Iowa, not sure how long these days.. Dependant on his current backlog. Mine is a 7/08 so I am a fan of the 7mm's . If you go short action have him mill the ramp so you can use the alpha type II 10 rnd mags for a 2.985 Oal.

ar15barrels
02-02-2013, 9:27 PM
I'm in Orange County. I like option of the gunsmith route. How long does it normally take to have a rifle smithed for you? Are we talking a month or a year?

If you gather up all the parts yourself, I can chamber the barrel and assemble the gun for you in an afternoon.
I don't do full bedding or paint work, but I have guys in Southern California that I can refer you to for those if you need them.
It's completely possible to build a rifle with bedding and paint in a couple weeks with me and my sources.
Most famous gunsmiths have a 6 month to 2 year lead time.

smith629
02-02-2013, 10:03 PM
If you gather up all the parts yourself, I can chamber the barrel and assemble the gun for you in an afternoon.
I don't do full bedding or paint work, but I have guys in Southern California that I can refer you to for those if you need them.
It's completely possible to build a rifle with bedding and paint in a couple weeks with me and my sources.
Most famous gunsmiths have a 6 month to 2 year lead time.

Thanks for the offer but I am pretty confident I would order half the wrong parts. I don't even know where to get a surgeon action (their website says they are unavailable).

ar15barrels
02-02-2013, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the offer but I am pretty confident I would order half the wrong parts. I don't even know where to get a surgeon action (their website says they are unavailable).

I can help you with specifying the parts.
I have an ffl in riverside that gets us surgeon receivers.

sigstroker
02-03-2013, 12:38 PM
All of the above is unnecessary for plinking, which is what the OP said. You can get a new Weatherby Vanguard sub-moa for a little over 800 bucks. It comes in a bunch of calibers, but I would choose the .300 WSM. Even though OP seems to be recoil sensitive, he'll get used to it over time, and the .300 WSM works really well even when it's downloaded to .308 ballistics. I used to have a 7mm-08 and couldn't really feel any lower recoil than a .308, probably because the standard bullets are almost the same weight.

Also, some of the requirements in the OP are silly. Picatinny rail? That's dumb for a rifle like this.

rksimple
02-03-2013, 2:21 PM
All of the above is unnecessary for plinking, which is what the OP said. You can get a new Weatherby Vanguard sub-moa for a little over 800 bucks. It comes in a bunch of calibers, but I would choose the .300 WSM. Even though OP seems to be recoil sensitive, he'll get used to it over time, and the .300 WSM works really well even when it's downloaded to .308 ballistics. I used to have a 7mm-08 and couldn't really feel any lower recoil than a .308, probably because the standard bullets are almost the same weight.

Also, some of the requirements in the OP are silly. Picatinny rail? That's dumb for a rifle like this.

By your recommendations, you have no idea what it takes to reliably hit something at 1000m. OP-do not listen to this advice.

How much experience do you have shooting at long ranges? If its not much, I'd recommend getting a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in 308 if you plan on upgrading the stock. If not, go for the 700P if you like the HS it comes with. The problem in going with a higher dollar custom right off the bat is you don't really know what you want just yet. After you've put a couple thousand rounds down the tube you'll have a much better idea of what you want in terms of performance, optics, reticle choice, stock features, etc.

Another downside to the custom if you're just starting out is that you'll be learning many fundamentals by burning up a very expensive barrel. I killed my last 260 barrel in about 2k rounds, granted it was a lot of faster pace competition shooting. If you don't mind burning up an expensive barrel learning things you could easily learn just as well with a remmy 308, then go custom.

For a custom, I'd do just what Randall said and get everything on his list. If you don't want to mess with bedding just get an AICS, XLR chassis or the like. Do it up in 260 Rem and hit the loading bench. Then get out and practice. After you get through your first barrel you'll know what you'll want to do for the next one. Want better barrel life? Try a 7mm08. Want less recoil? Move to a 6mm. Want ultimate performance? Go for a 6.5rsaum. It's all just trade-offs and your options are endless.

RobG
02-03-2013, 3:29 PM
RK, I am sure sigstroker was being sarcastic/facetious.

The 7-08 is a great cartridge. A little light on powder for 180's, although it could be done, but works great with 162/168's. You'll get good barrel life, good magazine feeding, light recoil, and quality components available.

BLR81
02-05-2013, 11:03 AM
Sorry guys in my original post I meant to say 7mm-08. I don't want the heavy recoil of the magnum.

The .284 winchester looks attractive. Less recoil and longer barrel life seems like a win-win. Especially with 180g VLDs. I will start scanning the remington catalog for actions in .284.

Is this article accurate on 7mm loads (http://www.6mmbr.com/7mm284.html)? Check about half way down on "Comparative Ballistics". It shows the .284 with the 180g Berger significantly outperforming the 168g Berger 7mm-08 at 1000 yards.

What do you mean by outperform? I'm not trying to put down the 284, but you have to look at the difference in loads and bullets. Because of the 284's size it has a max capacity of 66 gr to only 55 for the 7mm-08. I don't have a Burger loading manual, but my Lyman manual shows the max load of the 7-08 pushing a 168gr bullet using Varget is 40 gr with a MV of 2540 fps. The max load for the 284 pushing the same 168gr bullet is 47gr with a MV of 2736. It can be loaded to almost 10-15% more powder then the 7mm-08, but at the cost of increased felt recoil and powder usuage. And, in the test the 284 was loaded with 180gr Burger with a BC of .684 while the 7-08 used a 168 gr bullet with a BC of .643.

I don't think you can just compare the drop chart results since the rifles didn't have comparable loads or bullets. What you can do is see if the cartridge as tested meets you planned usage.

If your planning to shot Elk at 1000 yds, the 284 would be my choice. But if your after smaller game, or hunting inside 500 yds, or just shooting silhouettes out to 500 meters , or paper out to 1000 yds, my choice would be the 7-08. Using a high BC 160 gr bullet the 7-08 is a transonic rifle out to 1200 meters, with a max load that won't beat up your body.

smith629
02-23-2013, 12:01 AM
Well guys after a lot of research I ended up ordering a new Savage rifle in 6.5 creedmoor. I researched this cartridge and the ballistics are excellent. I plan to shoot the .585BC 140gr Hornady a-max bullets. I think this rifle will help me really get started in LR shooting and then I can do a custom build later.

http://70.182.142.97/dump/savage.jpg


My only concern right now with this rifle is the factory stock. I've never been impressed with any factory stocks so I am basically buying the gun for the action/trigger/barrel. I do have my eyes on a Manners T5A (thumbhole). How much work does it take to drop in a factory barreled action into one of those? I've never bedded a rifle or whatnot before. Not opposed to doing it, but I don't want to screw it up. Maybe I should have a smith do it? In that case, which smith?

LynnJr
02-23-2013, 3:52 PM
smith629
I am pretty sure the rifle described by Switchbarrel is a good shooter.I think he set 2-3 world records with it last April.

Switchbarrel
If you get a chance post a picture of your gun and by the way I like your car as well.
Lynn

james758
02-23-2013, 6:20 PM
I got RW Snyder to build mine also.
I bought all the parts and sent them to him and he put it all together for me.
Surgeon action, HEAVY 308 barrel, Jewell trigger, Surefire brake, AICS.
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/J700.jpg
and here is the view of the "stop sign" and "man sized target" out to 700 yds (which is too easy to hit with this rifle)
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/0440798a-436f-491b-a994-c0a7a144af26.jpg
Rob Snyder did a good job on my rifle. Sent him a few bottles of wine from Paso when I went wine tasting with the little lady.
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/RWS.jpg

ddindetroit
08-17-2013, 9:20 PM
I got RW Snyder to build mine also.
I bought all the parts and sent them to him and he put it all together for me.
Surgeon action, HEAVY 308 barrel, Jewell trigger, Surefire brake, AICS.
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/J700.jpg
and here is the view of the "stop sign" and "man sized target" out to 700 yds (which is too easy to hit with this rifle)
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/0440798a-436f-491b-a994-c0a7a144af26.jpg
Rob Snyder did a good job on my rifle. Sent him a few bottles of wine from Paso when I went wine tasting with the little lady.
http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/jamesrmat/RWS.jpg

That's a nice set up especially with the H59 reticle. You must spend a lot of time behind that scope. It really gets better if you spend regular time behind it. I am guessing if you are in pismo, you are using the Avenal steel range to shoot those distances ...

Detroit