Building custom .308 sniper


December 4, 2007, 08:34 PM
I am looking into building my own custom 'sniper' rifle over the course of the next year and could use some advice. I want it based on a Remington 700 action but I'm not sure if there are any variations of it that I should stay away from. Would I be just as well off finding a used 700 at a pawn shop and cannibalizing its action or should I order a special one?

If you enjoyed reading about "Building custom .308 sniper" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Eric F
December 4, 2007, 08:47 PM
Not to be negative but for what you would pay for a custom you could just buy a 700 off the shelf and be just as good. But that being said it would be wise to check in with remington and see what an action will cost you then decide if you could but a used gun for less.

December 4, 2007, 09:00 PM
Yeah, I understand that especially with my abilities there may not be a huge difference in performance. What I'm looking at more is setting it up exactly how I want it without throwing out brand new components from a new rifle. I also want the challenge and experience of building a rifle that is 'mine' if that makes sense.

December 4, 2007, 09:03 PM

Most guys pick up a used rifle for around $350, sell off parts such as the stock and barrel, and send it off to a gunsmith who specializes in building tactical rifles. I would suggest you check in with ( to see what the people who are into tactical rifles are doing.


December 4, 2007, 09:09 PM
Unless you just 'want' to build a rifle, you'll be miles ahead buying a Remington 700VS, VSS or PSS and putting a best quality 'scope and bipod on it. Take the money you save and buy a case or two of Federal GM match ammo and get some quality instruction.

With Federal Gold Medal Match ammo my bone-stock, off-the-shelf 700VS .308, with a Leupold 6.5-20 target 'scope on it will shoot one-hole groups at 100yds every time I do my part. Best group was 3 shots .114" center to center. I doubt you could better that no matter how much money you spend.

Luck of the draw? I don't think so. I personally know of 6 700VS rifles purchased at around the same time that will shoot that good.

If you just want the 'thrill' of building your own, that's fine, (pride of ownership and all that) but you don't really need to.

Eric F
December 4, 2007, 09:32 PM
Hey I understand building a gun on your own I bought a RIA 38 super 1911 gutted it and built it my way just to say to my StI $3000 toteing friends That I have a custom gun as good as theirs for um $500

Zak Smith
December 4, 2007, 09:43 PM
Suggest reading this
article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part I - Rifle & Equipment (
December 4, 2007, 10:15 PM
Zak knows what he's talking about.

I'd like to point out that 100 yard groups aren't "sniper" no matter how much people trump them up. I bought a Savage model 10FP -LE2 because the accutrigger is substantially better than the bone stock Remington trigger. A good buddy of mine bought a 700 and it shoots pretty well. There are a couple of things to consider, the 700's ejection port is cut to minimum which means that it's annoying to load. The magazine capacity is one round less than the Savage. The 700 runs about a hundred more than the Savage (at least around here). There are lots of accurate Remington rigs around and I'm not trying to deny it. That being said, the performance per dollar is hugely weighted towards the Savage. The major downsides of the Savage all revolve around fewer stock manufacturers out there for the Savage whereas the Remington is like a small block Chevy. While shopping, you might have a look into IOR optics. The performance of these scopes totally betray their price. I've been very happy with mine.

December 4, 2007, 11:25 PM
I've done what you want to do with about 10 Savages. It's a lot more fun than just buying something off the shelf. Start hitting the pawnshops, and reading the want ads, and find a good donor action. Projects are so much more fun than just walking in a gunstore and writing a check (And you can find all the major stocks that fit a Remington for a Savage, but use what you like).

Now if it was a perfect world, I'd be able to afford the kind of rifles Zak uses.....and glass.

December 4, 2007, 11:48 PM
Guys, just for the record, please stop referring to long range/precision/tactical rifles as sniper rifles, non members come on here and read sniper this and sniper that and it just looks bad. Not to mention it's a bad word to use around anti's and non enthusiasts.<< if everyone started using more appropriate terminology and corrected those who didn't, maybe we'd stop seeing news articles about some guy getting shot with a 30-30 lever action "sniper" rifle. Every little bit helps the cause.

Anyways, just get a nice savage, it'll do what you want for half the price. No need to go custom unless your into serious competition. Better to spend the time shooting and gaining experience so you'll really know what you want when you build that custom rifle.

December 4, 2007, 11:58 PM
Savage 10 with a 3-10x50

or a Remington 700 heavy with same scope (or i like the TWS thats just me)

December 5, 2007, 12:05 AM
"sniper"oh boy.

remington 700pss. or a savage model 10 is what i would reccomend depending on how much money you wat to spend.

Zak Smith
December 5, 2007, 12:35 AM
I realize that AIs, TRGs, and custom Surgeon action rifles are out of the price range of many shooters. You don't need to spend a lot of money to make hits at 1000 yards-- you just need to spend some in the right places. Most factory rifles have the mechanical accuracy to hit an IPSC target at 1000 yards-- and can do so provided they are fed the right ammo, are fitted with a sighting system up to the task, and are shot by someone who has done his homework.

December 5, 2007, 09:58 AM
....and are shot by someone who has done his homework.

Oh crap...........always a catch.......

December 5, 2007, 11:07 AM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I have to agree whit moojpg2's point about our vocabulary.

As supporters of 2A, we are sometimes our own worst enemy. In particular with terms like "sniper" and "assault weapon".

I make a point to comment to vendors who believe that it's a wise marketing strategy to label their AK & AR accessories as "tactical" or "assault".

Our vocabulary should ring more as "defensive" not "offensive".

December 5, 2007, 12:00 PM
I'll back up what VA27 says, I had a 308 VS that was giving me 1/2 MOA out of the box. I lightened the trigger to 3 lbs, and it was just about perfect. (I only sold it because I was strapped for cash.) 100 yards is not 1000 yards, but if you can't keep it tight at 100, there is no point in getting serious about 1000 either.

About a year ago in one of the shooting shows on the outdoor channel, they rebuilt a 700 from scratch, started with a damaged rifle, stripped it to the receiver, jeweled the bolt, squared and mounted a new barrel, lapped a target crown, etc. I was fascinated, but at the same time, I realized that this is a process it takes more than a corrosponence course to learn correctly.

Keep in mind, if you're serious about accuracy, it's more than just the rifle. You have to be prepared to break in the barrel, size your chamber, try a variety of handloads until you see what that rifle shoots best. The rifle is really just the beginning.

December 5, 2007, 12:58 PM
No such thing as a sniper rifle unless you are a sniper.

I don't really have a problem with the word "tactical" because I believe that things can be tactical in their design. "Sniper" on the other hand refers to an action performed by a specific person. Any rifle can be a "sniper rifle" if the user intends to use it as such.

Zak Smith
December 5, 2007, 01:00 PM
Guys, let's cool it on ranting about the word "sniper."

We just hashed it all out over here
What would you pick for a "sniper" rifle? (

December 5, 2007, 03:51 PM
Yeah, I knew I'd catch flack for the term sniper and tried to mitigate it with quotes. To me the terms tactical, sniper, and precision rifles all conjure up slightly different weapons and uses with sniper being the mixture of an accurate precision rifle and a packable rough use tactical rifle. Thus, my use of the word.

Anyway, back to the original question, are there any variations of the 700 action I should avoid if I'm looking at pawn shops or are they all the same? And again, I understand there are some very capable rifles which I can buy off the rack. I am more interested in the project aspect and the uniqueness of building a rifle to my liking. This is a project I want to do slowly, buying parts now and then as I find them and afford them separately.

Thanks for all the great info so far. I definitely have some reading to catch up on on this topic. And, if it makes more people happy, I guess I am now trying to build an "accurized tactical long range defensive stand off" rifle. :evil: Seriously though, thanks for all the good links and help so far. You guys are always a wealth of information.

December 5, 2007, 06:01 PM
I wouldn't say there are any you specifically should avoid, except to remmeber that your intended use is for long range accuracy, so you probably don't want one with a short, light barrel, unless you're willing to tear it apart to re-barrel and re-stock it.

I've seen plenty of 700s in various varmint-barreled configurations in pawn shops, who were owned briefely until wives made husbands get rid of their toys. ANY of them would be great to start with, especially to learn on.

December 7, 2007, 03:44 PM
Read somewhere that a custom this and that action was $700, while you'd have no problem getting a 700 for $400 plus, say $200 (prolly high) to have the action lapped and true'd up to the barrel you put on it. If it were me I'd go with a Rem or a Savage action, but then again what do I know anyhow. Equally important is the barrel you put on it, I'd talk to as many people you can about a good custom barrel. For example, I happened to be in a local gun shop when a customer brought in his custom 700 action "snypuhr" rifle and was chatting about my 700P with the Rem factory heavy barrel. The shop owner said that if you plan on handloading, it may be a good idea to get a "no turn" barrel, which apparently is throated smaller so case necks will not need to be turned.

Just a thought

December 7, 2007, 04:12 PM
The correct term would have to be "sniper's" rifle.
As fitted by a sniper or to a sniper's specification.

If you enjoyed reading about "Building custom .308 sniper" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!