Sleeper untacticool rifle Project


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atblis
February 25, 2007, 08:59 PM
Alright. Formulating a concept for a project here.

We all know what a sleeper is in car terms, Right?

Same deal but in a precision rifle.

What stock would be good? Something that looks like a hunting rifle stock, is solid and quality, but not flashy.

I need to pick out a cartridge that most people wouldn't expect. 30-06 perhaps? I really want to do a 6.5x55 AI improved, but that may be a little too exotic.

I'll probably stick to a Savagae action because of the barrel swapping thing.

I think a Weaver scope would be good. Decent quality, but not high dollar. Most people would recognize Leupold, Zeiss, Swarovski, etc.

Also, if I can keep the price down, that would be even better. THis here rifle only cost me ......

Not too thick a barrel as not to arouse suspicions. Lothar Walther is the front runner right now. Open to suggestions though. Who else does prefit Savage barrels (well).

Anything else you guys can think of?

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RevolvingCylinder
February 26, 2007, 01:32 AM
What you're asking for is a customized precision rifle that looks off-the-rack?

Zach S
February 26, 2007, 08:32 AM
I would imagine he's going for "off the rack" looks. However my favorite sleepers look worse than any four letter word (that I cant use here anyway) could describe.

Take my old hot rod for example:

Macchina
February 26, 2007, 09:08 AM
I don't know why you would want to make an ultra-precision rifle, and not fit it with excellent glass. Hunters use those great scopes too. I'd say buy a Savage 110 off the shelf in 30-06 (.308 is too tactical, you can't kill a deer with .308:neener: ). Put it in an aftermarket Boyd's laminate stock. Place a Nikon Buckmaster on top, and you got yourself a standard hunting rifle that should shoot under MOA with the right load. Now load up some high pressure .30-06 rounds with those expensive precision hunting bullets and you have a very capible gun.

B.D. Turner
February 26, 2007, 10:06 AM
I would go with a Remington 700 standard barrel with an oiled wood stock in .30-06 (vast bullet selection). Bed the action, float the barrel, tune the trigger, good set of mounts and a Leupold scope.

atblis
February 26, 2007, 11:26 AM
I've done the scope thing. Surprisingly Weaver seems to shoot just as well as anything (T series seems popular on the benchrest circuit).

I already have an off the shelf hunting rifle that's pretty decent. Tikka 695 in 270 is a 1/2" gun with the right loads. Thing is that it is too sensitive to shooter error.

EricTheBarbarian
February 26, 2007, 11:38 AM
start with a remington 710. thatd really fool them:neener:

seriously though, maybe a cheap surplus like a nagant or a mauser with a real beat up stock. they could be excellent shooters and not look like much. for the mausers i know you can rebarrel them and get aftermarket triggers and such. You could really bubba up a scope mount if you wanted to put a nice scope on it without making it look like a real nice shooter.hornaday makes some really good 8mm ammo is you look on midway, if you dont reload that is. I think that would be your best bet if you want something that looks like its been dragged through the mud and kept burried under a barn for a few years

USSR
February 26, 2007, 12:41 PM
atblis,

Just have a custom barrel turned to your factory barrel's contour. Any custom barrel would be a tremendous improvement over Savage's barrels.

Don

kjeff50cal
February 26, 2007, 01:45 PM
Just buy a Howa in your favorite COM (caliber of moment).

oldfart
February 26, 2007, 02:11 PM
A 98 Mauser with a new barrel in whatever caliber you like. A weaver KT15 scope and a Timney trigger. The original barrel would work too if you could have it set back a thread or two. Bed the action and float the barrel and I think you'll have just about what you're looking for.

ugaarguy
February 26, 2007, 03:19 PM
Just have a custom barrel turned to your factory barrel's contour. Any custom barrel would be a tremendous improvement over Savage's barrels.
How much improvement? I don't own a Savage yet, but every one I've shot has been sub MOA with factory ammo. My friend's 10FP is shooting 1/2 to 3/4 MOA and he hasn't even tweaked the handloads to it yet. I'm just wondering how tremendous of an improvement a custom bbl will be over a stock Savage bbl.

USSR
February 26, 2007, 03:43 PM
I'm just wondering how tremendous of an improvement a custom bbl will be over a stock Savage bbl.

If you ever looked down the bore of each with a bore scope, you would know why the factory barrels foul so quickly.

Don

ugaarguy
February 26, 2007, 04:32 PM
If you ever looked down the bore of each with a bore scope, you would know why the factory barrels foul so quickly.
Ahh, thank you for clearing that up for me. Could the Savage bores be polished up somehow as a less expensive alternative to a custom bbl? Who's factory rifle bores have been the best in your experience?

atblis
February 26, 2007, 04:38 PM
Savage Long action (cheap as I can find)
Either Pan-Nor or Lothar Walther barrel Probably 26"
Chambered in 6.5x55 AI
Probably do the SSS trigger.
Stock is still up in the air. What are some good custom stocks.

The stock is probably what's going to give it away. Was considering something like this.

http://www.richardscustomrifles.com/009b.jpg

USSR
February 26, 2007, 05:21 PM
Could the Savage bores be polished up somehow as a less expensive alternative to a custom bbl? Who's factory rifle bores have been the best in your experience?

There are bore polishing routines, where you load bullets impregnated with a polishing compound and fire them in your rifle at moderate velocities, but I cannot personally attest to their usefulness. While I am partial to cut rifled barrels such as Obermeyer, Krieger, and Rock, with the Savage platform, you are pretty much limited to Pac-Nor and Lothar Walther (both of which are excellent barrels).

Don

mustanger98
February 26, 2007, 06:33 PM
Well, my old '94 .30-30 ain't considered "tactical" or "tacticool" and for the lead match I shot that time, nobody gave it much hope... nobody except me, that is. Yup, that old Winchester with the Lyman #2 tang sight turned out to be a sleeper that day on a line full of buffalo rifles. But then, to 200yds those .45-70's ain't doin' anything a .30-30 won't do. Next time there's a benchrest match, I think I'll take my '03A3 or No.4Mk2. It'll blow 'em away when they get outshot by a guy with an iron-sighted gun on a line full of scopes.:cool:

cmb3366
February 26, 2007, 06:55 PM
I'm currently doing the same thing. I like shooting in local turkey-shoots, but everyone gets pissy when I bring my 6PPC because it is very flashy, and in their mind, exotic.

I would try to keep the rifle looking as factory and low-end as possible, Blued (or gunkote covered stainless) aftermarket barrel turned to factory taper w/o fancy information engraved where it is visible, just the caliber, and keep it a factory caliber, factory stock (glass and pillars added of course), and a factory-looking aftermarket trigger( a new savage W/O the accu-crap would set off alarm bells to many). Keep the scope basic, a Weaver 36x is quality, and wont get many looks like a leupold competetion will.


Choice of base-rifle is up to you, I like Remingtons And would look for a used BDL Varmint, or a VLS. I'd get it chambered for .308 with tight dimensions.

jame
February 27, 2007, 12:02 AM
How 'bout a Swiss K31? Just buy a pristine example and have it drilled and tapped. :D

I know, I know. I couldn't do it either.....

mustanger98
February 27, 2007, 12:36 AM
Hey MJ, you got an L42A1 pic handy?

rockstar.esq
February 27, 2007, 12:47 AM
"There are bore polishing routines, where you load bullets impregnated with a polishing compound and fire them in your rifle at moderate velocities, but I cannot personally attest to their usefulness. "

Rifle magazine did an article on them which indicated that fire lapping does little more than erode the throat. Further the "roughness" of a button rifled bore is not nor has ever been a significant culprit of fouling. This myth was used against Savages & Remington's when Winchester ruled the roost. Bore lapping is typically done with a tight fitting jag, patches and polishing compounds.


"While I am partial to cut rifled barrels such as Obermeyer, Krieger, and Rock, with the Savage platform, you are pretty much limited to Pac-Nor and Lothar Walther (both of which are excellent barrels)."

ANY barrel maker can thread their barrel to the Savage thread pattern. Any barrel maker that offers short chambered barrels can therefore make a Savage compatible barrel. In point of fact it's actually easier to make the Savage system work due to the jam nut. A true gunsmith can do any and all machining tasks the barrel maker won't do. Don't discount e bay for takeoff barrels for the Savage. Factory barrels come in only two profiles, sporter and bull so that'll simplify things for you.

Personally I think a great "sleeper" gun idea would be a Mannlicher Shoenoer type stocked carbine with an uber fly receiver sight system. Chamber it in something odd like 300 Whisper or .35 Whelen.

USSR
February 27, 2007, 09:21 AM
Further the "roughness" of a button rifled bore is not nor has ever been a significant culprit of fouling. This myth was used against Savages & Remington's when Winchester ruled the roost. Bore lapping is typically done with a tight fitting jag, patches and polishing compounds.

rockstar,

It's not so much the fact that most factory barrels are produced using button rifling, as it is the quality (or lack thereof) that goes into them. Remington's barrels cost them about $20 to produce. What do you get with a $20 barrel? Short cuts, low quality, and a copper magnet. Also, barrel makers do not lap barrels with jags and patches. They use lead slugs impregnated with lapping compound.

ANY barrel maker can thread their barrel to the Savage thread pattern. Any barrel maker that offers short chambered barrels can therefore make a Savage compatible barrel. In point of fact it's actually easier to make the Savage system work due to the jam nut. A true gunsmith can do any and all machining tasks the barrel maker won't do.

Ah, but most of the quality custom barrel makers do not offer short chambered barrels. Kreiger, Obermeyer, and Rock will not produce a "ready to install" barrel for you. They produce barrel blanks in a particular length, contour, caliber and twist rate. You then send the barrel to your gunsmith to have the barrel threaded, chambered, and installed on your receiver. And, after all, the "beauty" (if such a word can be used in the same sentence with "Savage") of the Savage system is, that you can order a barrel and install it yourself, without involving a gunsmith at all. IMHO, if you intend to have a gunsmith fit a custom barrel to your rifle, there are far better platforms to use than Savage.

Don

rockstar.esq
February 27, 2007, 04:48 PM
Well the Swede who shot that 2.5" group at 1000yds might disagree with you about Savage rifles.

Further bore lapping is absolutely not done by barrel manufacturers. Consider that they aren't mounting it into a receiver which would be necessary to chamber and fire the cartridge! This would be the reason they refer to them as barrel blanks, as opposed to take offs. Shilen's website makes specific mention of hand lapping and they aren't the only ones. Really and truly fire lapping sucks compared to handlapping. After all you're fouling the friggin bore AS YOU "LAP"! It makes infinitely more sense to lap the barrel exactly the same way EVERYTHING ELSE is lapped. That being with an abrasive paste, low speed, even pressure, and patience.

Comparing a $20.00 barrel to a custom barrel maker isn't exactly a balanced analysis. The end result is that Savage's have a great rep for factory barrel accuracy. Mine prints 1/2 MOA with factory match ammo fouled, there are lots of folks experiencing this.

The whole swap it yourself thing with Savages isn't lost by having a smith short chamber a barrel for you. Sure it might boost cost, but then again you're looking for something better than the $20.00 barrel that came with it!

The Deer Hunter
February 27, 2007, 06:00 PM
Look at Garandowner's Mosin, seems pretty accurate to me:)

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=258433

Eleven Mike
February 27, 2007, 06:46 PM
The stock is probably what's going to give it away.

It seems to me it would be easy to find a high quality synthetic or laminate stock that looks fairly plane. And isn't it the bedding that really affects accuracy, so far as the stock is concerned? That wouldn't show.

Correia
February 27, 2007, 07:04 PM
The key to a good sleeper is that it has to look like crap.

Two words for you.

DUCT TAPE.

You can have a $3,000 rifle, riding in a McMillan A4, but the second you have duct tape wrapped around the stock like it is holding it together, then people dismiss you.

Also, a nice, crappy, obviously homemade paint job. Nothing says a gun is going to suck like a really badly done finish. You can have a Shilen or Krieger match barrel, but if it is painted black, with clumpy, drippy, black Krylon spray paint, you are now considered Bubba.

Then once the guys at the range are snickering at you, offer to shoot against them for money. :)

atblis
February 27, 2007, 11:29 PM
I thought of the Krylon thing. Matte black baby!

Duct Tape, didn't think of that one.

Brass Balls
February 28, 2007, 11:58 PM
Same idea, different direction - .30-30 lever action. It's just an old antique cowboy gun right? ;)

mustanger98
March 1, 2007, 12:08 AM
Same idea, different direction - .30-30 lever action. It's just an old antique cowboy gun right?

That's my point in saying: Well, my old '94 .30-30 ain't considered "tactical" or "tacticool" and for the lead match I shot that time, nobody gave it much hope... nobody except me, that is. Yup, that old Winchester with the Lyman #2 tang sight turned out to be a sleeper that day on a line full of buffalo rifles. But then, to 200yds those .45-70's ain't doin' anything a .30-30 won't do.

I've told it before, but my old levergun kept up with- and passed- a beautifully sporterized '03A3 that day. There were at least two there who didn't give my rifle much hope against the kind of competition we had that day. But a lot of it also came down to luck and operators' nerves. I think it don't help the competition when they start seeing something they'd borderline guffawed keeping up with their stuff. I mean some of those guys... just a rear sight cost twice what my rifle and rear sight cost together.

.38 Special
March 1, 2007, 02:25 AM
Honestly, making hyper-accurate rifles isn't that difficult. Or perhaps more correctly, there isn't any magic. Accuracy 'smiths can turn them out on demand.

Start with a good action: either a "blueprinted" factory job or a custom benchrest action. Then have a "name" accuracy 'smith mount a barrel from a reputable company. Shilen, Pac-Nor, etc. Finally, slap on a good, stiff synthetic stock -- properly bedded, of course -- and any scope that will hold zero, match-prep some cases and seat the benchrest bullets out near the lands, and chances are that you will have a rifle that can be counted upon for .25" to .5" groups all day long. It can look, if you like, exactly like any run-of-the-mill sporter, and yes, Krylon can make ANYTHING ugly.

Sako, BTW, pretty much offers that gun out of the box. One of their sporters in a PPC caliber will normally deliver groups in the .25" range with their factory ammo, and the thing looks utterly unremarkable.

pete f
March 1, 2007, 03:06 AM
go to the next gun show and buy a five year old savage 110 or a rem 788, add a good piece of glass and you are done.

shark3-1
March 2, 2007, 10:14 AM
The TC Icon was built to be exactly what you are looking for. It was built with much input from the guys at GA Precision. It has all the features of way nicer custom long range bolt guns but looks like a handsome hunter. I got the whole rundown at SHOT and this will be my next purchase after my Surgeon gets here from PAI.

The reciever is machined out of solid barstock, it has 3 integral recoil lugs machined into the reciever with an aluminum bedding block in the walnut stock. I can't recall all the other things that they put into the rifle, but it is an impressive sleeper with the looks of a fine hunting rifle and the features found on much higher end custom rifles.

Airborne Falcon
March 2, 2007, 11:57 AM
Do you mean sleeper or do you mean ringer?

I tend to agree with the Savage 110 idea, with a little tweaking and a decent set of glass, you'd surprise your share of paper punchers if you can do your part.

mustanger98
March 2, 2007, 01:38 PM
Another idea, if you're not shooting beyond 300yds, is a Savage 340 or Springfield 325 (they're the same rifle under different names) either one in .30-30Winchester. Handload spitzers and when they ask, tell 'em it's "7.62x51Redneck".:cool: That's bound to not only surprise 'em with accuracy, but also baffle 'em with a nomeclature they've likely not heard.

____hoot____
March 2, 2007, 02:20 PM
Mine is a Brazilian 1936 Mauser 30-06, with a shaved down military stock bubbaed recoil pad at my preferred 12 1/2 inch pull with a take-off Husqvarna 06 tight chambered 23 1/2" pencil barrel. It is teflon black coated with an old Bushnell Scopechief 6X and homemade leather sling. Glass bedded, free floating the barrel with a honed stock trigger inside. Have surprized a few people.

Eleven Mike
March 2, 2007, 05:14 PM
The TC Icon was built to be exactly what you are looking for....It has all the features of way nicer custom long range bolt guns but looks like a handsome hunter....I can't recall all the other things that they put into the rifle, but it is an impressive sleeper with the looks of a fine hunting rifle and the features found on much higher end custom rifles.

It's not supposed to look like a fine hunting rifle, it's supposed to look plain. I don't think the Icon is handsome or plain; it looks chintzy.

shark3-1
March 2, 2007, 06:18 PM
FWIW I thought it looked better than my 700 or Weatherby. Regardless it was designed to have features more commonly found in $3k custom long range rifles in a reasonably priced gun that resembles a hunting rifle (I thought the OP was looking for just that kind of rifle).

rockstar.esq
March 3, 2007, 02:54 AM
So I just remembered that the Baikal SxS shotguns have an option to replace the choke tubes with 30-30 barrels! You'd have a seriously cool/odd gun there without anyone suspecting. Especially if you led folks to believe that you were just shooting 12g slugs at longer ranges!

cracked butt
March 3, 2007, 07:10 AM
Here's my sleeper. Its uglier than sin but I had a brand new surplus 03a3 barrel installed on it. I shoot weight sorted and carefully culled cast bullets through it- out to 200 yards it shoots amazingly well.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v635/brimic/Picture020.jpg

mustanger98
March 3, 2007, 11:40 AM
cb, Just wondering what your barrel's date is... and how many grooves? One of my range buddies shoots a sportered 03A3 with a 6-44 2-groove. (... he's the guy I talk about shooting against in lead matches. He placed ahead of me standing offhand, but I beat him in the bucket match with my .30-30.) My 03A3 barrel's 8-44 2-groove.

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