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  #1  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:50 PM
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Default Fall project completed. Shorty .308

The weather started getting ugly a few weeks ago when I started my project. It took a few months of reading about others projects and finding the right tooling for the job. It started last winter when I won a Weatherby Vanguard at our local NRA benefit dinner. It's a $400 rifle so i figured it would be a great way to test and further my knowledge about gunsmithing as a hobby. I'm very rural and the closest gunsmith is a 2 hour drive from my home. Plus the last time he did some work, he installed a muzzle break that wasn't in line with the bore. The bullet would barely strike the comp upon exit. Not acceptable.

Parts used:

Badger 20 moa rail
CDI Precision trigger guard DBM
Badger Ordnance tactical bolt knob
B&C Medalist stock
Manson Tooling for barrel cutting and finishing
Barrel channel cutter

Here's a stock picture of the exact rifle.



First step was to get the stock ready. Free floating the barrel channel was a breeze. I only had to remove a small amount of material as the rifle barrel has a Thinner profile.



Next came the inletting for the action and DBM. I used a mill for the DBM inletting and a hand dremmel to get the stock ready for glass bedding. This is after the bedding job was completed.





As you can see I needed to spend a bit more time on the mill as my inletting job for the DBM needs some practice.

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Last edited by skkeeter; 11-20-2012 at 5:26 PM..
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:51 PM
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The next thing I need to do was cut down the barrel. I contacted Manson Tooling and he set me up with the right tools. I purchased both the 0 deg and the 11 deg cutter so I could do either. I also used a 45deg cutter so I wouldn't end up with a sharp edge on the rim. I used a shot out .308 barrel to practice on before attempting it on the rifle itself. It came out so well I moved on to the real barrel immediately after.





Here's the piece I removed off the rifle itself.



And here's the finished project. I wanted to have an ultralight and maneuverable rifle for hunting in thick cover. Pigs and deer mostly. I'm not concerned about the loss in muzzle velocity with the short 17" barrel as I won't attempt to take game more than 200y away with this rifle. It came out really light and portable. Now I just need the sun to come out to see how it shoots. It's already a sub MOA rifle out of the box, so hopefully I didn't screw anything up.



I'm not sure if this optic will stay on the rifle. I'd like to add a 2-10x Vortex PST in the future. It was a blast learning and finishing the project.

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Last edited by skkeeter; 11-20-2012 at 1:02 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2012, 1:13 PM
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........ NICE!
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2012, 4:31 PM
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Interesting project, very nice results --

I would be interested in knowing the tooling you used and what, if any, professional help you used.
You did mention dissatisfaction with a local smith.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2012, 5:05 PM
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Nice work. I'm looking to pick up a set of the Manson barrel crowning tools as well.

-MRA
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2012, 5:20 PM
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Looks damn good from here man. Excellent job on the project
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2012, 5:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunboat View Post
Interesting project, very nice results --

I would be interested in knowing the tooling you used and what, if any, professional help you used.
You did mention dissatisfaction with a local smith.
I watched a couple of youtube videos and found a thread on snipershide where somebody cut their barrel down using manson tooling. Honestly the Manson tooling made it really easy to cut the barrel down. I ordered the military crowning kit for the .308. I also ordered a .22 pilot in case I ever wanted to cut down an ar barrel. I ordered two cutters, 2 pilots, and a 45* cutter. I used a reciprocating saw and an electric hand drill for the tooling. Some cutting oil and steel wool for polishing. No professional help used at all.


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Originally Posted by dzhao20 View Post
Looks damn good from here man. Excellent job on the project
The flattery is much appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2012, 6:54 PM
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Great job! Hopefully I can make one of these out of an old savage i have laying around.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2012, 7:36 PM
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Nice, hopefully it shoots the same.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2012, 8:23 PM
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All hand tooling -- and careful work.
Shows what can be done without thousands of dollars worth of machine tooling.
Though, I suppose, some of our resident professionals will chime in on the grave dangers of DIY.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2012, 9:06 PM
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You never know till you try, nice execution. Tag for range report.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2012, 10:59 PM
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Sweet bro! I have way too much ammo right now.........holler when u wanna go range testing. p.o.f lower and surgeon will be in my clutches on th' 26th
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:22 AM
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Old 11-21-2012, 5:27 PM
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Nice Job Skeeter!
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2012, 6:04 PM
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No lathe for the barrel? Im kinda lost. Good job by the way. I thought it soumded kind of silly from the title but seeing pictures, it looks good. Real good!
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2012, 6:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiferronald View Post
No lathe for the barrel? Im kinda lost. Good job by the way. I thought it soumded kind of silly from the title but seeing pictures, it looks good. Real good!

I have a lathe on the way, but tons of measurements and careful planning with the hand tools made due for the time being.
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2012, 8:13 PM
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You sir are talented! I appreciate it more. Im a machinist too, by the way.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiferronald View Post
You sir are talented! I appreciate it more. Im a machinist too, by the way.
Ha, I'm far from a machinist, but thanks for the praise. But I'm eager to learn and have the patience for it. I've got tons to learn and would love to be able to chamber my own rifles someday. Im waiting for my lathe to arrive so I can tackle threading a barrel next.
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:41 PM
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Threading should be easy. Its all about patience. Three wire method or a go and no go too
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:43 PM
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I really appreciate metalwork that doesnt require state of the art equipment. When im not on the job, i would rather cut my own bits just for that old school feeling.
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:44 PM
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And brine solution heat treament- so cool. Hardening metals by eyeball is so awesome too.
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2012, 9:26 AM
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Very cool!! Looking forward to the range report.
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Old 11-22-2012, 9:33 AM
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Very kool -

How much PBR to shorten my .338 Win Mag...?
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  #24  
Old 11-23-2012, 4:58 PM
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I finally got out today and put a few rounds down range to see how she shoots. I was using Fed 168 match @100y and my Nightforce for groups. It's nothing special, and I think I was a bit off today. Regardless, it's plenty accurate for what I want the rifle to accomplish.



First group after sight in,



Second group and it's obvious the flyer was my fault!



After I shot these groups I put the 2.5-5X Leupy back on it and sighted it in again. I proceeded to take out every clay, beer can, and a few of my dogs soup bones with every shot. It's plenty accurate for hunting purposes. I also brought out my Chrono and ended up getting an average of 2390fps out of the Fed's. Not to shabby for a shorty



Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyInSoCal View Post
Very kool -

How much PBR to shorten my .338 Win Mag...?
Just a long *** drive to where I live, the price of a new pilot, and a 12er would be fine!
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Old 11-25-2012, 9:09 AM
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That's the coolest shorty I've seen in a long time!
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Old 12-14-2012, 5:49 PM
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Very nice man. I want to see this thing in person. It looks SOOOOO short compared to what it started out life as. Was that a 24" bbl or what did it start as? Either way cool rifle, and it looks great.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombadillo View Post
Very nice man. I want to see this thing in person. It looks SOOOOO short compared to what it started out life as. Was that a 24" bbl or what did it start as? Either way cool rifle, and it looks great.
Yeah, it was 24". This was the rifle I won at the NRA dinner we went to. It doesn't even resemble the original rifle at all. Ill bring it next time we can shoot together.
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2012, 2:13 AM
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Did you cut the crown using a tool turned by hand, or did you use the drill to turn it?

It turned out great!

I've used a hand crowning tool from Brownells before- it works, though it leaves machine 'chatter' marks in the metal. It doesn't affect accuracy at all, but it does visually bother me a little.

-Dave
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Old 12-15-2012, 9:03 AM
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If you're feeling up to it sometime, maybe I'll give you a 1911 to practice on and see if you can flush cut a barrel. I wouldn't mind having a flush cut, beveled barrel. I'd buy a new barrel to practice on, and have larry mears fit it in redding at some point. Last work I had done by him was TOP NOTCH stuff and its the best 1911 trigger I've ever felt.

I was trying to get out today but between my daughter and the weather, its just not gonna happen.
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Old 12-15-2012, 9:43 AM
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Congrats on your win and your accomplishments! She's a beauty!
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  #31  
Old 12-15-2012, 3:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombadillo View Post
If you're feeling up to it sometime, maybe I'll give you a 1911 to practice on and see if you can flush cut a barrel. I wouldn't mind having a flush cut, beveled barrel. I'd buy a new barrel to practice on, and have larry mears fit it in redding at some point. Last work I had done by him was TOP NOTCH stuff and its the best 1911 trigger I've ever felt.

I was trying to get out today but between my daughter and the weather, its just not gonna happen.
Sure, I would give it a try. I would have to order a new pilot for the .45 caliber. I'll try to remember to give you a call next time I head up in your direction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by saki302 View Post
Did you cut the crown using a tool turned by hand, or did you use the drill to turn it?

It turned out great!

I've used a hand crowning tool from Brownells before- it works, though it leaves machine 'chatter' marks in the metal. It doesn't affect accuracy at all, but it does visually bother me a little.

-Dave
I did use a drill. Very slow and very careful. The Manson cutters leave very fine tooling marks. I do want to get a polisher from them so I can leave a mirror finish though.
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