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Thread: Gun builders.......

  1. #1
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Default Gun builders.......

    I am looking at getting a "mountain" gun built for sheep and goat hunting. I have it narrowed down to these 2 calibures, 7mm mag or a 30-06. Both would be in the stainless/synthetic stock. Now here is the questions.

    1.) Can eigther of these be built to be as light as possible and deadly accurate for under $1500.00 ish?

    2.) Just for a minds idea for me, 180gn bullet shot out of both, what would a guestament FPS be between the two? I know differant powders/primers/bullets are going to make a differance.

    3.) What kind of total weight between the two can I expect?

    4.) what kind of bolt action would you use? Style/brand?

    5.) Trigger? set to what wieght?

    6.) What make and model would you use? i.e. rem, rug, win.....

    I am looking at spoiling myself with a custom rifle, what better one to build then a mountain gun. I am use to packing the .300 I had at a full weight of 11lbs .

    Thanks in advance...
    Curt
    Last edited by AKDSLDOG; 02-03-2008 at 12:28. Reason: add make and models....

  2. #2
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    Greetings Curt,

    Good to hear from you again, and I think you deserve this custom rifle after what you went through last year.

    1. Coming in around $1500 will be a result of many factors...it will be close (minus scope of course). A big part of the savings is obtaining the action you want for a good price. Also, gun smith costs can eat you up, e.g., reaming/chambering and threading the barrel, truing the action, etc. Restocking and rebarreling with custom components is pretty much set priced, although there are different manufacturers for stocks and barrels so there is some variability in prices. BTW, my personal choices for the compnents are McMillan for the stock, one of Dan Lilja's barrels, and Stan Jackson to do the smithing.

    2. I don't own a 7mm...any 7mm, so I don't know much first-hand about them. You'll have to get info from other knowledgeable folks on the forum. I don't think you can get a 180 grn bullet for a 7mm, can you? Aren't they 170's or 175's? The 7mm will likely shoot faster and flatter. However, I think you'll end up with a debate between the two that remembles the age old campfire classic .30-06 Vs .270 Winchester.

    3. My hunch is that weight difference between the two will not be a factor, assuming that they each are stocked the same, same barrel size, contour and length, and same action.

    4. Action choice...I think they're all good. Some guys really like CRF and some like push feed...check the archives for the many discussions about actions. Here again, money may be a problem...unless you fall backwards into blind luck and pick-up a Sako action for cheap. I've built a custom rifle out of a comparatively inexpensive Remington 700 action, and it is a fantastic shooter. I've also built them on Browning actions. All shoot great.

    5. I like the triggers on my hunting rifles to break at 3.5 lbs.

    Good luck with the project guy! It's a fun thing.

  3. #3
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default mountain rifle

    1. yes
    2. depends on bullet used, but...would expect 7 mag to be faster
    3. either one ready to hunt should be less than 7 lbs.
    4. usually Rem is 1st choice
    5. 2 - 3 lbs....mine are set at 2.0 - 2.5
    6. Rem ADL (blind mag)
    7. can be done for <$1500 but usu. cost is $2500 +, one of the situations where less is more!!

  4. #4
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default custom gun

    Custom mountain guns are Expensive! But I did see a Custom remington with a Christensen Arms barrel at SW (the Custom gun rack) in Fairbanks this past summer for $1800. You can check, Basner, HS precision, Ed brown, Nosler, and others and they run at least $2000-plus.

    Why not look at the Kimber Montana?

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    Liteweight rifles can get pricy but if you take your time, it can be done right and cost effectively.

    I had a 458Lott that weighed a hair over 7lbs (no scope, I used irons), had a 338 that was around 6lbs (knocked the snot out of you) and the 9.3x62 that is being built should be around 6 1/2lbs.

    I like my triggers around the 3lb mark

    give me a good M98 action anyday of the week. heavy compared to others but I'll save weight in other areas.

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    The 30-06 shoots 180 grains at 2800 fps and the 7mm RM shoots the 175 grains at 2900 fps. In factory loaded 7 mag ammo with the 175 grains, I've never seen any over 2800 fps, where the light mag 180 '06 exceeds the 2800 figure. Either way there is not any discernable difference between the two in killing power or for that matter no practical difference in trajectory at 300-400 yard with hunting bullets. I've taken a lot of animals with both.

    As for a light weight rifle the M98 ends up lighter weight than the Ruger, Winchester M70, the MRC action or a Sako. I wouldn't build a custom rifle on a Remington 700 action if there was anything else available.

    I have two 7 1/2# rifles, including Leupold 1.75-6x32 scopes, built on Mauser M98 actions which is with the best M700 weights. One 30-06 Ackley and one 6.5-06. One was espensive the other was about $1500 before the scope and mounts.

    A 2.5 to 3# trigger is ideal for me and several trigger systems will achieve that number, not all are as durable as the Winchester or the Mauser triggers.

    I recently bought a Sears, JC higgins (FN Mauser) rifle for about $450, a Mcmillan stock which I've ordered was $420 and the barrel will be about $350, The smithing work with refinish will be about $800 which will include ghost ring aperature and post sights and a scout rail. This is a heavier caliber, yet light weight but not ultra light, I want to be able to shoot it yet still carry it and it will be about 7 1/2#. It will be $2000 complete with scope. That is probably closer to a realistic number for today, $1500 with out scope is do-able. If you buy these old commercial Mausers, you can get many good features for less money. You can add options and money to them to get three pos Winchester style safety, etc. A MRC barreled action is about $1200 but it is not light weight. I think in their very good fibergalss stock is about $1650, good price, good rifle.

    You can give up weight and features by giving up bottom metal, winged safety levers, etc, and use ultra light scope mounts and smallest scopes. I would not shave every last ounce from a barrel to cut weight, I barrel with some heft will just hold better and shoot better from the field positions. There are ultra light weight stocks also but giving up weight cost more money, in general.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  7. #7
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Great responces by all, thank you......

    I have owned both the 06' and 7mm, both are great calibures to build what I am looking for and am leaningtwords the 7mm mag. I would go to 2k for the rifle if the numbers support it. I expect to pay a total of about 3k for all, rifle,scope,sling. Keep the ideas coming. I will look into the Kimber, heard great things but never really looked at them.

  8. #8

    Default No

    Your question was "light as possible". That means a Remington titanium action, custom lightweight stock, and carbon wrapped barrel. You're already over $1500. Light yes, but light as possible, no. Weight of an '06 vs. 7mm Remington will not be noticeable, really can be built exactly the same, only diffenece is the amount of metal removed to form the chamber. I don't believe 180's are available for the 7mm except in VLD non-hunting type bullets. My triggers are all set to 2lb on hunting rifles. For your $1500 you may be able to put one together with a used Remington, quality chambered custom grade barrel, and HS stock. For a custom mountain rifle with light weight in mind, the Remington is the way to go in my opinion.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  9. #9

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    gunbroker.com had several good bruno 98 kimber actions for around $250. These actions have been drilled and tapped and have the bolt alteration already done.

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    Default Lose weight fast

    I recall a MAD magazine picture joke. Over the caption "Lose 10 pounds of ugly fat immediately." was a picture of a guillotine.

    You can lose quite a bit of weight and some length as a bonus by leaving the bolt and feed mchanism at home and switching to a single-shot.

    Then take the 7mm (opinion). Flatter trajectory and less recoil, which might be a factor in a truly lightweight rifle.

    Larry

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    Default Mountain Rifle

    I've been looking for the same thing. Personally I like the Browning's. I checked this weekend with the shop here where I buy most of my guns and they're getting almost $1300 for the Titaninum Browning. It only comes in a short action, so I'm leaning towards the 300WSM. I want to see how one feels in my hands before I plunk down my money though. I like a rifle to be a bit barrel heavy (foward weighted). That configuration just points better for me. $1300 for rifle + $200 Leupold scope + $100 for sling and miscellaneous stuff that always comes up = $1600 Close to your $1500 goal.

    Total weight should be around 6.75 lbs loaded.

    I set the trigger on a hunting rifle for me @ 2.75 - 3.0 lbs.

    I know this isn't a custom rifle, but if you are after a light mountain rifle it's a good option. If I was after a custom or semi-custom gun I would look at http://www.bansnersrifle.com/home.html. Nice light rifles, but well over $1500.

    Woody

  12. #12

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    I have shot 7mm mag with 24 inch barrels. Factory ammo in my experience has not even got close to advertised velocity. I have not used one so I cannot make the statement but I understand that in a 22 inch barrel that the 7mm mag is barely ahead of a .280 rem. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you are looking for a light mountain rifle 2 inches less barrel will help. Gunsmithing is expensive, and seems to get more so as you get in to the project and add other things. From what I have read, Kimber seems to have a number of excellent features and may fit better in to your budget without being a lower quality option.
    As for 06 vs 7mm. The difference is trivial. I would take the 06 or maybe a .280. But with an 06 you can slide in some 220 grainers if you should have to retrieve something from slide alder or buckbrush. And that is the advantage of the 06.

  13. #13
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Light weight mountain rifle

    Ultralight Leupold 3 x 9 will be approx $350 at about 11 oz
    S&K rings and bases about $105 at 3 oz (same as Talley one piece light weight except self centering and steel) x2 for machined SS
    Butler Creek light weight neoprene sling about $20

    From here it starts to get spendy with titanium firing pins, graphite and kevlar stocks, fluted barrel, skeletonized action etc, etc depending on how thick your wallet is.....i.e. where less is more

    Final consideration: 28 cal bullets in general have a better BC than 30 cal .... depending on weight choosen and one in general does not shoot heavy for caliber bullets in mountain hunting
    Last edited by shphtr; 02-04-2008 at 00:29. Reason: add info specifics, spelling

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    Both accuracy and light weight can get real expensive. It all depends on how accurate and how light you want your rifle to be. For example, if you are concerned about shaving ounces it can cost some serious money to have a rig built you may be better off in looking at a NULA. http://www.newultralight.com/ Most truly lightweight custom builds done on factory actions use the original Remingtion 700 Titanium actions (some of these as light as 4.5lb (Rifles, Inc.) http://www.riflesinc.com/ If you can find a 700 TI (5lbs 8oz) this would be a good start (270 and 30-06 are the only long action chamberings if you want to keep it stock). These TIs are getting harder to come by and command $800 to $1000 just for the action. New Rem 700 Alaskan TIs are running anywhere from $1650 to $1800 for the complete rifle and are available in 7mmRM and 30-06 (6lb4oz). Many of the other custom lightweight rifles are also built on Rem 700 actions (5 to 6lbs with lightweight stocks and barrels). A factory option to consider is 5lb 12 oz Weatherby Ultralight (available in 30-06). In the 6 to 7 pounds category the production rifles come into play and there are a few factory options (Kimber Montana, Rem 700 LSS Mtn, etc.) I like to use a trued Rem 700 action for my custom builds as there are so many after market options available.

    My personal lightweight mountain rifle is built on a Rem 700 TI action chambered in 280 Ackley, reason being is that this action is just lighter to start with and that way I can go with a heavier contour barrel and still have a lightweight rifle. To keep it under $1500 and do it right the first time is going to be difficult, unless you can do some of the work yourself (such as the trigger and bedding). For my money, I would find a good used long action Rem 700 ($300 - 400), or buy a new 700SPS , find a good trusted smith, tell him what your goal is and have the action blueprinted ($150-$200) , rebarrel with whatever maker he likes to work with ($500 to $600), new Timney trigger installed and set at a pull weight of 3lbs ($100-130), bedded into a great stock like a McMillan Edge can get expensive ($700), you can get by with cheaper for around $400 -500. So lets see, if you rework the factory trigger and sell the take-off parts I think $1500 is doable barely. Throw on Talleys and a Leopold of your choice and you can have an extremely accurate, light mountain rifle. Or you could just go buy a Kimber, WBY, Tikka, Browning, etc. take your pick and call it good.


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    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    o.k. Lets say 7mm mag under 6lbs..... Lot's of great idea's, let's narrow it down.

    7mm mag, 2k for the rifle, let's do this!

  16. #16
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default lite mountain rifle

    If you are set on a 7mm and if you handload, then you might want to peruse the external ballistics of the 7mm Dakota - with 24" barrel and 160 gr. bullet, 3100+ fps is easily attainable with multiple powders (AA 8700 for instance) while staying within reasonable pressures - there are currently no SAAMI specs. The cartridge seems to be inherently accurate. Good luck with your project.

  17. #17
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Buy a kimber montanna 7mm wsm, get talley lightweight ring/bases and plop in a leupold 3.5-10X vxIII.

    You'll have to spend a bunch more to get a better package, and it won't be better by much. You could also spend more and get less.

  18. #18
    Member Timber Smith's Avatar
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    AKDSLDOG,

    To meet your criteria of 7mm mag under 6 lbs, less than $2K, will most easily be accomplished with a short mag like a WSM or SAUM. Paul H. gave good advice, to avoid any hastle and to get shooting a whole lot sooner, you could go with a Kimber Montana in 7WSM which weighs a bit over 6lbs or possibly you might want to take a look at a Browning Titanium (5lbs 8oz) available in 7WSM. The Kimber is a decent rifle, can't vouch for the Browning A-bolt, they do have their supporters though.

    If you are determined for a long action 7mm mag, to meet your objectives, will require a custom build, most likely on a Remington 700 action and preferably a Titanium. A regular 700 action can be lightened a bit (can get costly), remember oz=$, much like <.5moa=$, your choice how light and how accurate do you want it! A TI action is already spendy but, it can also be lightened a little. Either action, rebarrelled with a No.1 contour and dropped into an extremely lightweight stock like a McM Edge, Borden Rimrock, Brown pounder, MPI, Bansner High Tech, etc. and you will be there.

    It may seem like I'm pushing Remingtons but for custom lightweight builds they really are the easiest way to go. It is not impossible (but darn near) to meet your goals using an action other than Remington. Rem actions are readily available, lighter, plenty of aftermarket parts, and most any gunsmith can work on them. I have all the weights of the various configurations for custom lightweight builds, as I have been through this process a time or two. I've had plenty of time to try different ways to reduce weight as I started having lightweight rifles built before the mainstream rifle manufacturers began to produce their own. Nowadays, there is nothing wrong with some of the factory offerings, but, I can definitely relate with the appeal of a custom build, especially if you prefer a rifle setup exactly the way you want it. I would definitely check out the latest production offerings before going to talk to a smith. Who knows you might just find your dream rifle over the counter!

    If you decide to build, find a Gunsmith that has experience building what you think you want and discuss your options with the smith. It is important that you understand each other, so your visions are in synch, and your rifle turns out the way you imagine.

    I'm assuming you want a bolt action rifle, I believe somebody already mentioned a single shot. I have seen a few lightweight builds on Ruger No.1s. That may be a consideration, if your not adverse to a single shot.


    "AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE."

    JOHN VIII - XXXII

  19. #19
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Timber thanks for the links NULA and RIFLES INC. now you got me lookin in the 2k-3k range! ... They do look like nice guns. I am keeping them on the list. Bansners look like a real nice rifle too. The more I read the more I think I don't know what the hell I want now. Have been cruiseing the web all day, wound some great info and some not so great info. Was really suprized to see alot of bad reveiws for the KIMBER rifles, was concidering one first thing this morning but it sounds like your playing a crap shoot of getting one that doesn't have issue's.

    My main concern is weight, I have never spoiled myself with a "nice" rifle and would like to now since all my guns have been stolen, and figured why not a mountain gun? I am pretty much stuck with the 7mm. Not sure about the short or long, will probley deside to go with the short. I do see myself spending more then $1500.00 now after all the reading. I think window shopping is in order now.

  20. #20
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I have a co-hort who has had alot of custom rifles built, from featherweights to heavy tactical rifles, and he dotes on practicing at long range, ie out to 1000 yds in field conditions. He said the more he shoots his 7wsm kimber montanna, the more he likes it.

    After having hefted several montanas, I'm always left thinking gosh this thing feels perfect in my hands. I just haven't been able to choose what I'd want it chambered in, as the 7-08, 7 wsm and 300 wsm are all very appealing.

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