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Thread: My new sheep rifle build

  1. #1
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Default My new sheep rifle build

    After all the mountain hunts I have been a part of over the last 10 years I decided it was time to work on a new project rifle. I picked up a severely beat up old .270 Rem 700 village rifle from a trooper auction and got with Derrick Moffitt from Last Frontier Custom Guns, LLC. I had been trying to decide on a good medium to long range caliber that packed a punch. There are hundreds of choices so it was pretty difficult, but I went with the .280 Ackley improved. The goal of this rifle wasn't necessarily to be the lightest rifle ever made, but to be a perfect balance of very light weight, accuracy, durability and functionality. I will update this thread as the build progresses.




    This old rifle was beat! Every part was rusted, the stock was cracked and the barrel had been chopped off with a hacksaw. It was the perfect donor for the action and the price was right!







    The weight of the rifle to start with was 6.5 lbs as is with no scope, rings or sling. I am hoping to get it to 6.5 lbs with the scope and sling but retain the #2 barrel contour for durability and accuracy. We will see how close we can get it.
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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    The barrel is a Bartlein #2 contour and will be fluted.



    The stock is a McMillan ultralight and will be modified slightly and dipped in a camo pattern of some sort when its finished.



    We stripped the original rifle right away and this is the only part that will be used in the new build. It weighed in at 14 1/4 oz before any machining.



    We started with a little lightening right away! Sure looks different than the beat up broken piece I dropped off!





    New ultralight fluted Gre-tan fluted firing pin along side the old one.







    And the new fluted ultralight bolt with some further lightening work done.



    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    The barrel was cut down to 23" and then ported, for 22" of useable barrel length.



    And then Fluted to shave off a little more weight.



    We also shaved down bolt shroud for a tad bit more weight savings and a custom look.



    And both sides of the receiver were ported and shaved as much as safely possible. There isn't an oz we could lighten it up any further without going to a #1 contour barrel and sacrificing a little too much in my opinion...

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  4. #4
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    She is about as light as she could ever get without going with a pencil thin barrel. Derrick has shaved everything that can safely be shaved!

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  5. #5

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    I just love that some people get fully immersed into projects. It is not all that important what is the project, but that they are passionate about the goal. Nice project.

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    Really nice.

  7. #7
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    The lightweight Talley's were able to shed another half oz. Should be mounting the scope tomorrow.

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  8. #8

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    I would be interested to know more about what machinery, Derrick Moffitt from Last Frontier Custom Guns has available, and any thoughts you have reference your experience with him.

  9. #9
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    https://www.facebook.com/Last-Fronti...c_location=ufi

    Here is a link to their Facebook page. Derrick and his Dad Marty have been building custom guns of all types for a number of years. I have not talked to anyone that has had any work done by them and wasn't 100% satisfied. He is going way above and beyond for me on this build!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice project Kevin. ? - why even keep the receiver off the donor? Couldn't you buy a new receiver for cheaper than what you paid for the donor rifle?

    I think your boy is going to tip a sheep with that rifle - ????

  11. #11
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Looks like a nice project Kevin. ? - why even keep the receiver off the donor? Couldn't you buy a new receiver for cheaper than what you paid for the donor rifle?

    I think your boy is going to tip a sheep with that rifle - ????
    I think you have me confused with someone else. I'm Cory, and unfortunately my son moved out of state to go to college and has no desire to move back up so far. Hopefully that changes soon! My daughter on the other hand is my hunting buddy right now. And I would love to see her tip over a sheep one day!

    As for the donor rifle, I picked it up for about 1/3 less than even a used action would have cost. Before I found that rifle I was leaning the direction of going with a custom action. So that was an easy decision!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Sorry - yep - I am confused

  13. #13
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    Very interesting build. Let us know how it shoots.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

  14. #14
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Definitely will. I will be breaking in the barrel tomorrow and then we are shipping it off to have the barrel and action melonited. Then I will be spending some time working up the loads.

    In the meantime, Paul Reed of Alaska Hydrographics worked his magic on the stock today. He started off by prepping and sanding the stock.



    The base coat applied



    Prepping the tank with the film



    And dipping the stock



    And here is the finished product drying

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  15. #15
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Awesome build!! Should be nice and light. That stock looks great
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

  16. #16

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    Wow! Your doing it up right! I would say your builder certainly knows his way around his mill.

    I remember Murphy from this forum a few years back saying that the only cartridge made off the parent 30-06 cartridge that was actually better than the parent cartridge was a 338-06. Smitty of the North has turned me into a .284 fan in the last few years and I have pondered the 7mm Express AI more than once. I even went the route of a 7mm WSM for a while but it did not feed smoothly. I am going to anxiously await your final numbers but am thinking that there might be two cardtridges built off the parent 30-06 that trump dady 06 and you are working with the second one.

    You could start a fad!

  17. #17
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    7mm is a round I have never had, but always wanted. I did, and still do want to get ahold of or build a rifle around the 7 stw chamber, but this is the other one I have wanted to try for years. I also almost went the 7 wsm route, but after struggling with a .325 wsm a little bit I decided against it.
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  18. #18
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    Timney Calvin Elite trigger adjustable from 8oz to 2.5lbs





    And the finished rifle ready for scope mounting





    This thing is a work of art as well as a precision tool!



    And finally the finished product heading to the range to break the barrel in and see how she groups before we tear her back down and send it out to be melonited prior to final assembly and her first hunting trip in Apr!

    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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  19. #19
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    First off, I will state the obvious... That is one awesome looking rifle! That said, I gotta ask the other obvious (to me) question. Why would a guy need to buy a piece of junk rifle, then tear it apart piece by piece, only to reassemble an entirely new rifle with new separate parts from around the world to come up with such a magnificent piece of hardware? What am I missing?
    Forgive my ignorance, but may I ask, what are the original parts left from the old rifle? And, how much is the final cost?
    Hope im not out of line with these comments/ questions.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  20. #20
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    The action is left. Up above in this thread he addressed similiar question.


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