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Trigger jobs and fiberglass stocks..... fluff or real stuff?!?!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by crash32, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    As some of you might know I am building a budget benchrest rifle to participate in a friendly contest with one of my friends. I have to keep the entire build under $1,000 so I plan on spending $500 on the gun and then the rest on the glass.

    Here is my question since many of you are encouraging me to buy a "donor gun" and put a nice stock on it such as one from McMillan. I just got off the phone with McMillan because I was inquiring on how their stock would actually increase the accuracy of the rifle. The lady on the phone was of ZERO help. All she could tell me was their stocks were fiberglass and heat/humidity resistant.

    Also, many of you talk about getting a trigger job. Forgive my ingorance, but I do not get it! I can certainly understand if you were trying to turn a Mosin into a sniper rifle since the trigger creep on my Mosin is horrific. But, what I do not understand is why it would be needed to improve on a decent trigger. For example, my Browning A Bolt Stalker has a factory trigger set at 4 pounds.

    I am sure that the trigger on my Browning would be considered a disgrace by bench rest gurus, but I don't understand why. I gently place my fingers on the trigger and at the slightest pressure BAMMMMM!!!! How would putting $200 into a trigger job improve my accuracy at all since there is no creep and I am certainly not moving the rifle when pressing the trigger? Am I missing something here?

    I would certainly think that most people would put much more emphasis on the barrel and action but all I am hearing is stock and trigger. Please educate me a bit fellas!!!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Fiberglass won't make your gun any more accurate. It will make it much more consistent in that it is not going to change POI as environmental conditions change. I have wood stocked rifles that aways shoot 1" or less, but that 1" group may be on a different area of the target 3 months later.

    Fiberglass will be MUCH stronger if you envision using your rifle in harsh conditions that may break a wood stock. They can be much lighter, but not always. It just depends on the individual stock. This can be a huge advantage to a hunter. In some forms of competion they have weight limits on the gun. A lighter stock means you can put the weight in the barrel.

    I changed over to a Brown Precision fiberglass stock in 1982 and haven't hunted with a wood stocked bolt gun since. Don't ever plan on going back. I've got a couple in the safe, but they have only been to the range in years.

    I'm a hunter, not a competition shooter so I currently have 3 of the lightest stocks McMillan makes on my go-to rifles as well as a factory synthetic on a Kimber. My guns get used hard on backpack hunts in any weather. The POI never changes and they are 3/4 lb to a full pound lighter than with a wood stock and will take far more abuse.

    As a hunter, I want my triggers as close to 3 lbs as possible. Too light is asking for trouble in a hunting rifle shot while wearing gloves etc. For a true competition shooter they will have triggers measured in ounces. You may not be good enough to take advantage of the lighter trigger right now, but once you develop the skills you will. I'd stay with a trigger in the 3 lb range for now. When you get good enough for a lighter trigger to help you, you'll know when it is time to upgrade.
  3. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    So now I am hearing that a stock or trigger job wont do me much good. So guess I need to put more $$$ in the action and barrel?
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    With $1000 to spend on rifle and glass, McMillan is out unless you get one donated to you.

    $200 for a trigger job is about 4 times more than what it would cost. ~$200 would cover a new trigger, ~$50 would cover getting a smith to tune yours.
  5. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    I found a new McMillan stock that fits the Savage rifle for $329 and found a Savage Stevens 200 .243 for $266 so that is $595 which leaves me a little over $400 for the glass. Perfectly doable without a donation.
    My question is not if its doable on the budget.... my question is will the stock or a trigger job be worth the $ or should I invest more money into the rifle?

  6. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    In this case, more in the rifle. Does Savage offer a heavy barreled rifle chambered in 6 or 6.5mm w/ accustock and accutrigger in your budget? If so, that would probably be the best route.

    A propery bedded, quality stock will make the rifle a better shooter. A better trigger makes it easier for you to shoot it accuratly. Get behind a well setup jewell or even a factory Rem trigger that a Real Smith has tuned, then pull a factory (off the shelf) trigger and you'll see the difference.
  7. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Does Savage offer a heavy barreled rifle chambered in 6 or 6.5mm w/ accustock and accutrigger in your budget?

    That's the ticket. Savage is known for accurate (and relativley inexpensive) rifles right out of the box. The accustock is pillar bedded (next best thing to glass bedding) with a rigid aluminum channel in the forend to eliminate warp.

    If not, buy a Stevens (Savage without the Accu-stuff), pillar bed the cheap plastic stock (kit from Miday will run about $40) and have a 'smith work on the factory trigger. Or buy a drop in if there's enough cash left in your fund.
  8. primalmu

    primalmu Well-Known Member

    Regarding trigger jobs, I've always been of the opinion that if your rifle has a decent trigger then you should hold off until its the trigger that is actually holding you back.
  9. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    the stock is going to aid in accuracy by creating a stable unit. You want a stiff foundation that prevents any flex in your action and promotes uniform action to stock fit. If you are curious how a stock can aid in accuracy slightly loosen the action screws on your A-Bolt so they are hand tight and shoot a group. You want a trigger that isnt going to cause your rifle to move. There is a delay from when your brain tells your finger to move. After that the trigger has to travel its preset distance and the sear needs to disengage and trip the hammer which has to fall and push the firing pin that has to ignite the primer that has to ignite the powder charge. Any sloppy movement during that sequence kills accuracy.

    It is hard to beat a factory A-Bolt if you already have one. Spend your money on a reloading kit and you will be way better off.
  10. del4

    del4 Well-Known Member

    Are you trying to be a real benchrest competitor or just shooting against a friend off of a bench.
    The real benchrest guys dump tons of money for minute gains. They are shooting against people who are doing the same. They spend lots of money just on the benchrest itself .
    If you are just shooting against someone like me... Well, you can come in well under a grand.:p
    Modern factory rifles are a lot more accurate and have better triggers than in the past. If you can find a used savage with an accu-trigger, you are 90% there. If not, most bolt action hunting rifles have triggers that are plenty good enough .

    Look at Boyd's stocks. They have good lamanate stocks (many br shooters use lamanate stocks) that fit all common rifles and will free-float your barrel. The bedding you can do yourself.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I don't know a thing about benchrest.

    But I am learning about triggers.

    I shot service rifle for decades, used to think a six pound Garand trigger was just fine as long as it broke clean. The lightest trigger I had was a 1.5 pound trigger on a bolt match rifle. At the time I would trip the trigger off in rapid fire if it was less than 1.5 pounds.

    Life has changed significantly since I started shooting small bore prone. I started off with three pound triggers, got to a one pound trigger, on my Anschutz rifles, I am currently running 6 ounce and eight ounce triggers.

    I believe that my scores are better with lighter triggers. It is not all due to triggers, but they make a difference. I don't dare attempt to touch the trigger till everything is perfect. Before I could ride the trigger with my finger as I shuffled around, got the perfect sight picture, but with six ounce triggers, you keepa da finger off till you are ready to fire!

    In a precision sport where the trigger pull can move the gun, yes, the trigger and the pull weight will make a difference.
  12. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

    I would search high and low for a Savage 11/111 in 6.5 Creedmore or used Savage 12 lrp in .260 Rem or 6.5 Creedmore (they are also out there in 6mm NBR but unlikely to be under $800) and the best used glass I could find. That combo will give you the best equipment with which to win your bet within your budget. Good luck.

    Here's a 16 SS NIB with accutrigger and accustock, for example:

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=318170529 $650
  13. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    I am NOT competing to be a real bench rest shooter at all! This is just strictly for fun!!!! It is also fun learning new stuff in the process and trying out different things. I think my best bet is holding out for the perfect Savage Long Range in either a 6.5 or .260 and a .243 would be nice!
  14. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Well-Known Member

    If going with a a Savage/Stevens, you are gonna want a SSS Competition or Rifle Basix SAV-1 trigger...about $100.

    Until you try a good aftermarket trigger, you won't know what you are missing. And for a target rifle, it WILL help accuracy.
  15. pseudonymity

    pseudonymity Well-Known Member

    If it was me, I would just buy a Stevens 200, some Lapua brass and quality match bullets. I would pull that action right out of the stock and have a local machine shop fabricate me some type of steel rail system and weight it out to 50# or more. Fabricate some type of head and cheek rest to make sure parallax is not an issue and fire away.

    Not a shoulder fired gun by any means, more of a poor mans bench rail gun. Maybe that is why I do not have many friends. :eek:
  16. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    The rail system sounds cool, but I most definitely want a shoulder fired gun! That way I can take it hunting if I ever feel the urge to.
  17. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    Buy a savage , Stevens rifle. Look at a bobby hart LR/t stock. That's about 550 total. A rifle basis is 89. You can get a vortex pa 6.5-20x42 30mm tune new for 429 fromebay or optic planet. Could turn out like this only a savage
    I put CDI precision bottom metal on it now also from the original stock it came with
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  18. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    Get a Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44 with a plex reticule from Cameraland for $279. Mount it with a basic Ironsighter base and get a set of the Warne Maxima permanent mount rings currently on sale for $35 from Midway. From there find a donor Savage or Stevens action on the used gun rack or at a pawn shop and mate it with a quality barrel. Caliber isn't that important for punching holes in paper. If the action that you find has the Accutrigger, you can forgo the upgraded trigger to free up more budget for the barrel. The barrel will make the biggest difference anyway. Mount it in a Bell and Carlson stock and go shoot. Easily doable for under $1k.
  19. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    It seems like the Stevens 200 is the best affordable "donor" action that is out there. I like that I have a couple choices as far as the stock goes. Now for the barrel.... what type barrel do you guys recommend..... any particular company?
  20. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    What's your timeframe? The problem that you'll run into is that you're going to be limited to what's on the shelf at the various guys that stock Savage prefits if you want it in the next six months. I'd recommend a Shilen if you can find one in stock and you have room in the budget. Midway has several barrels in stock right now in the $320-370 range.

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