Best long-range bolt-action for gunsmith class?


December 3, 2006, 11:02 PM
I'm planning to take a gunsmith class and we need to bring our own components, and then they show us how to build a rifle, and use the tools required. It sounds like a LOT of fun. I've decided I want to build a long-range rifle, as I live close to a 900-yard range. But what do you all think the best components would be, if you're cheap like me? I'll definately be reloading ammunition, so while bullet price is a factor it's not the end of the world if I should go .338 or such.

But I honestly know very little about which actions would be best for what calibres, and what trigger groups could be combined with them, and stock, etc. Basically if you wanted to spend a few hundred dollars on parts to build a bolt rifle to hit targets 900 yards away, what would you do? I don't want to pester the instructor with questions until I've got a better understanding of the situation:)

"Scott, I guess the question I would first ask is: what do you consider to be a long range rifle.
The biggest factor in building a long range rifle would in my opinion be the materials you use i.e. Action, Barrel, Stock and Caliber. These will be the limiting factors in your build-up.
If you want a 1000 meter 1/2 MOA rifle you can not use an M98 or P14/17 action with a cheap barrel blank. You must also work very slow and meticulous making sure everything is as "true" and accurate as possible.
If you want a 300 meter 1MOA rifle you can use an M98 or P14/17 action with a $200 barrel blank. And although I would strive to machine everything "true and accurate there would be a little more forgiveness in the machining tolerances in this case.

I would encourage you to "GO FOR IT"
Please give me a call at my office at SAIT during normal business hours and we can discuss the best route for you.
If I'm not in my office please leave a message and I will return your call.
You can reach me at (xxxxxxxxxx)



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December 3, 2006, 11:07 PM
I'm far from an expert on the subject, but I don't see how you could go wrong with a Remington 700. They are the most commonly used action for precision shooting, have a ton of parts available, and are cheap to boot. The fact that the 700 action has been serving the U.S. military as the basis for sniper weapons for the last 30+ years should tell you something. :)

A 700 short action chambered in .308 will get you out to 900 yards easy. If you wanted something that shoots a little flatter, a long action in .300 Win Mag might be the ticket.

December 3, 2006, 11:11 PM
308win is good to 1,000 yards, recoils less than .338Lapua magnum, and it much cheaper to shoot. A remington action would be a good base for a rifle.

Jim Watson
December 3, 2006, 11:17 PM
Agreed. The Remington 700 action is kind of basic to target rifles these days. There are some good Savages and very nice Winchesters, but Remington is the default. Consider buying a second hand or economy rifle to strip for the action, it might be less than for a bare action from Brownells and you could sell the takeoffs.

The only aftermarket match barrel I have experience with is Krieger but I have a Pac-Nor on order for less money.

Macmillan or one of the more obscure specialty stocks.

Make it up in .308, it is standard in Palma and F-T/R matches to 1000 yards and there are plenty of sources of ammunition and components.

This ain't gonna be cheap. It will want a nice scope or iron sights nearly as expensive.

December 4, 2006, 03:38 AM
go here and get some ideas;
the 6.5 /284 sounds like the long distance champ to me. build it on an old 600 688 or new 700 action, or a cz 550 action. Check this pic of a 6.5 on a 308 AI case!
December 4, 2006, 11:05 AM
One thing that I would change about the 700 action if I could would be to put a left handed safety on a right handed action. It has never made sense to me why the friggin safeties are always on the opposite side of where your thumb goes! The tang mounted safety of the Savage and Styer rifles have been my only refuge...

December 4, 2006, 11:14 AM
My 6.5 grendel loves to stretch her legs. I don’t think that you can go wrong with a 6.5mm they have very impressive BC’s and SD’s. They also buck the wind well for a light bullet. Oh, yea, did I mention recoil, or the lack thereof?:D

December 4, 2006, 11:30 AM
6.5-284 thru a lilja barrel on a remington 700 action all mated to a mcmillan stock would be my first choice.

December 4, 2006, 11:53 AM
How about triggers? Does the Savage trigger have to be paired with the Savage action? What are good choices for trigger-groups?

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