Blueprinting action, what's to gain?


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bikemutt
October 31, 2015, 08:15 AM
I keep hearing I should consider having my bolt rifles "blueprinted" or "trued", then have a bolt specially made for the new action.

Let's say we are talking a bone-stock Remington 700 .308 rifle that shoots sub-MOA with quality match ammo, what is there to gain by spending another $400 plus having the above done?

I imagine that if a person was considering replacing the barrel with a premium one, it would make sense to leave no stone un-turned in the pursuit of perfection, but for a stock barrel, is it worth it?

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Walkalong
October 31, 2015, 08:39 AM
How good are you? Will you be shooting premium bullets with a carefully worked up and tweaked load? (Many, many rounds) Do you need gilt edged accuracy?

Will it help? Yes. Will it cut groups in half? No. The last small gains in top accuracy come at a higher cost than the difference between so so and very good accuracy.

The cost is exponential as the group sizes shrink by small margins after you are already under 1 MOA. Looking for .75, .5, .25? Are you up to it?

Premium accuracy comes at a cost. Do you need it? That is one reason custom actions bring premium prices, they are already "blueprinted" (Made better) and are competition ready out of the box.

Reloadron
October 31, 2015, 08:45 AM
The only reason for concern with any of that is if you are looking at a high end quality match rifle. Years ago I would take rifle smith courses at Montgomery Community College in Troy NC, these were NRA courses. The better rifle courses were taught by a Mr. James Messer a fine rifle smith who knew his stuff. He taught me how to really true or blueprint an action but consider that when accurizing a rifle you reach a point of diminishing returns. The same is true of hand loading ammunition for said rifle.

Let's say we are talking a bone-stock Remington 700 .308 rifle that shoots sub-MOA with quality match ammo, what is there to gain by spending another $400 plus having the above done?

You might get that sub MOA down a little to sub 0.5 MOA. That is a maybe. Something cool James showed me when I first began was I tore down a factory Remington 700 VSSF in 308 Winchester. I could hand screw the barrel in and out of the receiver. No big deal right? Then I trued the receiver and mating part of the barrel. With a gentle twist when the barrel and receiver mated they were difficult to unscrew. Better mating surfaces making for less stress when the barrel was screwed in. The idea was to relieve stress points. I did that rifle over 20 years ago and today it remains one of my better shooters delivering about 0.4 inch groups at 100 yards (5 shot groups). I was fortunate to have James Messer who was a great teacher, as of a few years ago he was still teaching the course. To build a rifle right you start with a barrel blank! Is the end result worth it? That is for you to decide but if you have a smith do the work make darn sure you find a good competent smith! If you are happy with a rifle and how it shoots? Don't screw with it! :)

<EDIT> I see Walkalong is up and about this morning.
Will it help? Yes. Will it cut groups in half? No. The last small gains in top accuracy come at a higher cost than the difference between so so and very good accuracy.
That would be the main gist of it in a nutshell. :) </EDIT>

Just My Take....
Ron

dubbleA
October 31, 2015, 10:58 AM
Just like in life stress isn't a good thing
Truing an action is all about improving mating surfaces thus reducing stress.
In your case using the factory barrel, it will most likely not headspace correctly after facing off the front of the action. You could set the barrel back but then you are talking about more $$. It's simply not worth doing with a factory tube.

If you were to go with a premium aftermarket barrel in the future then blueprinting the action makes sense.

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