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Thread: Pre-built or build?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Pre-built or build?

    looking for some insights or thoughts. If you were looking to invest in the most accurate rifle in the 2k to 2500 range what would you get, make and model? Would you part it out or is there something that out of the box that you would go for? Say something that you could use on goat and sheep. Maybe 280 to 7mm class. What kind of performance would you expect? Also please share your logic behind your advice or choice.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    There's lots of ways to skin this cat...some better than others.

    I picked up a Nosler 48 in .300WSM in your price range. Guaranteed by them to shoot 3/4MOA with their ammo and mine will live up to it. It was only available in WSM cartridges the first couple of years but now you can get pretty much anything you'd need. Buying another I'd look very hard at the 7mag or the 280AI. I'm not sure they actually build anything on the rifle but rather assemble it from a bunch of top shelf components (which is what most custom smiths actually do...) but the result was pleasing to shoot and look at and somewhat more affordable than the "full custom" route.

    Mine is light enough to backpack with and reasonably weatherproof and I've found their CS to be top notch- I'd feel good about being one again and if it didn't perform up to snuff I'm sure they'd bend over backwards to make it right. I've only seen a few out there but without exception they are shooters.

    I've had friends that spent a bit more than that on the full custom route and ended up with a pile of parts and some that spent less and got a tack driver. Unless I just had some specific requirements I'd just get a pre built "semi custom" in a cartridge I liked and go fill the ark. Nosler, Cooper, Weatherby and others make rifles that are in this sort of middle "semi custom" category.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  3. #3

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    Buy the closest thing you can find in a Savage to what you want then have it either rechambered or rebarreled to the caliber and contour that you want. You can spend a lot more money but as a general rule you will not find any thing more accurate.

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    Thumbs up

    This is a fun topic one I just went over with a friend, and a subject that often comes up at raft shop or out on a river trip - go figure...

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    looking for some insights or thoughts. If you were looking to invest in the most accurate rifle in the 2k to 2500 range what would you get, make and model? Would you part it out or is there something that out of the box that you would go for? Say something that you could use on goat and sheep. Maybe 280 to 7mm class. What kind of performance would you expect? Also please share your logic behind your advice or choice.
    Couple things here to mull over:
    1.) I'm guessing by the mention of Sheep and Goat... something in a lighter to fly weight.
    2.) By same as #1 likely weatherproof or highly resistant.
    3.) For hunting a rifle that is rugged enough and very dependable.
    4.) You feel the prerequisite is a sizable investment at $2-2.5K perspective... on overall expenditure.
    5.) What is most precision versus accurate enough has yet to be defined.
    6.) Maybe in the 7mm class with a bit more gas.
    7.) Full-custom vs. Semi-custom vs. factory cataloged.

    How would you prioritize 1-7 may be the real question and possibly answer this yourself; but here are my thoughts.

    Full-Custom:
    This package is not going to come together all that easy or timely and not what I'd want in the 2K range (think > doubling that for base-models!)

    Semi-Custom:
    To begin --- I'd go with a custom cartridge in 7mm x .300WSM (this is not a 7WSM & there is a difference in performance with a hint more potential for accuracy). The other cartridge would be working the .284 WIN. as is.

    At first (funny I say this --- but true) I'd go out and buy a Savage 'weather warrior' in the 270WSM, 300WSM, or 6.5 x .284. This way you have an 'easy' platform to work with that's likely an accurate shooter/mountain hunter as is. I'd ask Savage, however probably want Lilja or Kreiger in a stainless sporter contour barrel fluted or maybe a special contour of (22" length). Have it set up for the Savage 16 for proper fit/installation. I would also tread the muzzle for Ross 4-port break (w/ additional top ports) matching the barrel's contour. Might add a better stock. Issue I see going this route is not much call on resale.

    Look at Echols Rifles on more classic lines if you want built a winner. Spendy tho'!
    I also like Cooper M-52 along the classic side but a sweet rimfire will run ya the >2 grand. Again spendy!!!

    As far as optics go... at 13 some odd ounces hard to beat Leupold 3.5-10x40mm Tactical. For lighter-weight simplicity, I'd go Talley one piece alloy base/ring set up. Make certain on the height.

    Get some ammunition or components and a re-loader kit --- you're hovering around that 2K mark with the package.

    Straight Factory:
    Depends what you like... fair number of good choices. I feel it would be right on target to use a Weatherby Mark V Accumark RC in 7mm WBY Mag. Price is right in your wheelhouse & keeping it in the ballpark.

    Good hunting -
    Last edited by Brian Richardson; 11-28-2012 at 13:06. Reason: Custom Hunting rifles

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    The new Forbes rifle is the brainchild of Melvin Forbes and the guys at Titan machine in Maine. It is basically an economy version of NULA's (new Ultralight Arms) Model 24. They are selling for around $1500 I think and for a semi-custom lightweight rifle they are hard to beat for the money.

    Right now they are only chambered for the .270 and the 30-06 but you can do alot with either of those calibers. Under 6 lbs w/o a scope and with Melvins hand crafted Kevlar stocks the recoil is minimized and they are a joy to shoot.

    I know that all stainless models are in the works....I am on the waiting list for one of those.

  6. #6

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    For a compact light/short pack rifle that would fill your needs, consider the SS Ruger Hawkweye in 300 RCM, mine in 338 RCM is a real treat to shoot, comes w/open sights as well (about $650).
    Can't really comment on building a gun as you're the shooter and you'll need to be the judge of what you want a rifle that performs or a rifle with a resale value; they don't always go together. The rifle you want may cost 2 grand but it might not be desirable enough to fetch 2 grand once you own it and try to sell it. A custom rifle often costs more than its actual value, except to the builder. However a rifle that fits your needs and performs as desired is priceless. Most custom guns don't have collectors value unless the maker is either famous or dead.
    I do believe that you are on the right track with a 7mm though. The 284 Win would be a good choice in the longest short action available, allowing the bullets to be seated as far out as possible. The 284 nearly mirrors the 280 with 140-150 grain bullets and is about the largest case diameter that doesn't have feeding problems or require the action to be opened to accommodate. The 284 will also allow the use of a 2" shorter barrel than a long action case (280) without sacrificeing velocity. It's a good comprimise of a short action case with a long action capacity.
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    Sportsman's Warehouse has "some" Tikka T3 superlights in assorted chamberings - I have a 300 Win Mag and 308 that are absolute shooters and very very pleasant to work with, shoot and carry - I first had a 7mm Rem Mag that I foolishly decided to sell, I wish I had it back - They are all priced at $699, they are not "true" lightweights but light enough to be VERY noticeable, I ponied up the $85 ea. for the steel aftermarket bolt shroud and have not looked back .... OH, and if "I" were gonna spend my money on a true "custom" I think it would have to be a NULA (and not the knock-off)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    looking for some insights or thoughts. If you were looking to invest in the most accurate rifle in the 2k to 2500 range what would you get, make and model? Would you part it out or is there something that out of the box that you would go for? Say something that you could use on goat and sheep. Maybe 280 to 7mm class. What kind of performance would you expect? Also please share your logic behind your advice or choice.
    For $2500 I'd build a rifle that is what I want not what some semi-custom builder thinks I want. You can easily buy a top shelf barrel (Kreiger, Brux, etc.) , custom action (Stiller, Surgeon, etc.), fiberglass stock (McMillan, Bansner's, etc.) and have it assembled for less than $2500. That way, I get to make all the decisions rather than have someone else tell me what I "need" in a rifle. I'd expect the rifle to easily be capable of .5-.75 MOA and weigh around 6.5-7 pounds sans scope......

    I have a rifle that nearly fits your requirements: A Model 70 that has been trued with a Timney trigger, Wyatt's magazine box and tapped for 8X40 scope bases. It wears a 27 inch Christensen Arms barrel in 7mm STW and is setting in an Edge fill HTG stock by McMillan. That rifle with Talley Lightweight rings and a 3.5x10 VX-3 scope weighs 7 pounds 5 ounces and is .5 MOA capable with a number of preferred loads. Not counting the initial action cost, I've less than $2500 in the entire outfit and you will not find another just like it..............
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  9. #9

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    The SS Tikka T-3 light might be a good choice. Since all Tikkas are built on the same length action (I believe). You could take the 7-08 and chamver ream it to 284 Win. The bullets could be seated out to desired lengths and approaches magnum velocities with the use of RL-17. Currently the 284 launches 180 grn bullets at 3000 fps using RL-17 thats the same speed as a 7-08 with a 140 grn bullet, on a short unbelted case that feeds. AND the price allows you to choose a really nice piece of glass with the change !
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    looking for some insights or thoughts. If you were looking to invest in the most accurate rifle in the 2k to 2500 range what would you get, make and model? Would you part it out or is there something that out of the box that you would go for? Say something that you could use on goat and sheep. Maybe 280 to 7mm class. What kind of performance would you expect? Also please share your logic behind your advice or choice.
    Light weight and "most accurate" are incompatible. A better way to phrase this question would be to be specific about exactly what you want to begin with. Right now the question is too vague.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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