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Custom 223 Bolt Gun

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 10:36
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Chief Sackscratch

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Toyed with the ideal for far to long.  Want to do something about it.


I want a 223 bolt gun on a custom action or maybe a trued factory action or maybe just a factory action.  I need opinions.

I'm set on 223.... simply because its cheap to load and shoot and I have a plethora of components for it.

Debating the way to go about it...... only real set things in my head is 20-22" barrel and ability to use AI mags with whatever stock I use, I will be adding a suppressor to is and I dont' want it crazy long and unwieldy

Do I put go full out custom action and save machine shop time from a 700 action?

Do I get a used 700 action, blueprint, etc and use that?

Get something like a Tikka with the barrel profile I like, cut, thread, and put in the stock I want?


I really would like a custom action but don't want to toss money down the drain if not practical... I want it to be scary accurate plain and simple.  


Really don't know want to start without outside perspective, and I value most of yall's opinion. Big Grin

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 11:04
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The Tikka's are indeed nice.  I am really liking my CTR in 6.5 creed. 

Greg Young (www.bugholes.com) has his BugNut that allows you to swap barrels much like a savage and use it on any action.  You could have him build you one on a Stiller or Defiant action.  He builds a very nice rifle.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 11:10
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My take on the custom vs. factory rifle debate FWIW...

If I'm going custom, I want full custom -- lock, stock, and barrel, I want everything to be to my specifications and choose all the components. You will have better resale value in the event you ever decide to sell it, and you will have greater pride of ownership with a nice custom action. By the time you buy a 700 donor action (which usually means a beater 700 complete rifle) and true it up should you decide to do so, you'll be at half to two thirds the price of a custom action, and you'll still have a 700. The custom action will be better machined, smoother operating, and look better.

If I'm going with a factory rifle, I will usually make some custom modifications -- sometimes upgrade the trigger, always do bedding/pillar bedding, and if it's a synthetic stock, I will usually repaint per my whim.

I own at least 1 specimen from most of the custom action makers today and have some experience with pretty much all of them. If you can give us an idea of your total budget for this rifle and how you want to use it, I'll be happy to give you my opinions on the matter.

The good news is there aren't any "bad" custom actions. Some have nicer features than others.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 12:45
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On the 700: don't do it.  As said above: buy an action ($500, plus a few hundred more in smith fees), and you have a $500 action.

On Tikka: the last few custom guns I have done have been on Tikka T3s.  The upsides are many (action is butter smooth, bolt handle is easily swappable, side bolt release, very rigid action,  same barrel threading as a 700, great stock trigger, I have yet to own one that needed truing) the downsides are few (regardless of caliber, it is a long action - and I don't see this as a downside, but some do.)

I love my CTR in 308, swapped the stock, barrel cleans with easy, threading on the barrel is good, and bottom metal is at least metal.  Add to that McMillan now has CTR stocks on hand.  If you want a chassis, the Whiskey 3 works great, and the barrel channel will easily accommodate their varmint barrel (from a non-CTR) ) Be aware that when I bought my Whiskey3 chassis, the AI mags needed a slight modification to work in it.

I have custom on down to box stock, it comes down to what you want out of the gun.  A tikka or 700 will shoot fine and do what you want; if it is pride in ownership, get the action you've always wanted.

Were it me, it would probably be a Tikka - and probably a 223AI.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 13:45
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I just had a custom 223 built.  It will be my practice rifle for tactical type matches. I considered both custom action and trued Remington. My 260 has a Surgeon action.  I chose to go with a Remington action for this 223 build because I don't see me selling it.  I guess it depends on who you use, but I ended up with $525.00 in a trued Remington action, about $600 to $800 less than the price for most custom actions.

Mine was built with a 1:7 twist 26" Hawk Hill barrel and Jewell RHVR trigger.  I'm using Accurate 10 round mags.  With the follower a bit modified it will handle a very long COAL.  They fed really smooth.  I already had a mini chassis Manners stock.

I shot a few rounds with it yesterday using a load that I have used for a few years.  77 grain SMK's with Varget produced 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards easily.  I intend to use 80.5 grain Bergers in this rifle when I get time to do some load development.

I do agree that if you are concerned about resale value to go with a custom action.  A trued Remington action really doesn't maintain the value of custom.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2017 at 14:14
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I am one of those weird people who like to have action length matched to the caliber, so I would like lean toward a custom action of the specific length I need (if such a thing exists for 223 length cartridges).  By the time you are done configuring and building the whole thing, the difference in the cost of the action is not that significant.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 08:50
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Now let me get this straight G; you want to build a custom 223 bolt rifle to burn up 223 components laying on the shelf. Other than that, what purpose is the rifle going to be used for?

If it was me, I'd get one of the heavy barrelled savages with the Accu-trigger. Throw the Hackyou stock away, drop it in a Bell&Carlson stock with what ever tweaking it needs, like bedding or skim coating the barrel channel. Send it off for bottom metal. Slap a good scope on it. Then go to the range and embarrass the guys with expensive custom rifles. But I'm low budgetWink



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 09:44
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http://www.opticstalk.com/uploads/7592/supertool_challenge_VI.bmp
Here's an example.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 09:51
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http://www.opticstalk.com/uploads/7592/supertool_challenge_III.bmp
This was in response to a challenge Supertool offered. it was to shoot 20 rounds at 200yds as fast as you could make hits, and keep them under 2 inches.
It was a factory vs. custom challenge. I didn't make it, but I came close.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:06
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http://www.opticstalk.com/uploads/7592/supertool_challenge_II.bmp
Missed it by less than a half inch with a rifle and scope I had less than $1500 in.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:08
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I've had a couple of 223 bolt rifles.  First was a Savage Model 10FP and the latest was a Remington 700 SPS Tactical.  Both shot 69 and 77gr bullets consistently inside of .7" with the factory barrel and probably could have done better if it wasn't me behind the rifle.

I went the full blown custom route with my 6.5CM with a Big Horn TL3 action, Jewell trigger, Mark Chanlynn barrel and Manner's stock.  It is a sight to behold and shoots as well as it looks.  I was pretty satisfied with the decision, but recently shot a Tikka T3X TAC A1 in 6.5CM that performed just as well for 1/2 the price.

Don't regret going the full custom route.  It was nice to pick the parts I wanted to use and Mark Chanlynn is a great guy to work with.

Not sure if I would do it again though, particularly in a production caliber.  I'm just not convinced the cost benefit analysis pans out.

Now here is my hypocrisy.  I won't buy a production 1911, but only purchase semi-custom/custom 1911s.  Guess I choose to ignore the cost benefit analysis when it comes to 1911s.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:09
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Honestly this will just be the gun that gets tossed in the truck with the AR and gets shot the most of my bolt guns.    I'll use for hunting to varmint to whatever comes up.     I've looked at the Ruger Precision in 5.56 but not sure how they are, still researching.... also looking at a Tikka T3 then cut and thread how I want and put in a chassis.... both cheaper than going full out custom and both may prove to be 1/2 MOA so I could be happy with that......


Budget isn't been set in stone but total I'd like to stay around $2K for the gun alone... optics later.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:20
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My favorite part of a custom barrel vs a factory is how you need to clean less often and when you do clean, it is virtually just cleaning up carbon as there is very little to no copper fouling in a good hand lapped barrel. 

My first so called precision rifle was a 700 VS.  I could get maybe 50 rounds and my groups would start to open up and I would have to clean.  And it took a lot of cleaning to get out the copper.  Replaced that barrel with a Lilja and I could now shoot easily 400 rounds and not need to clean.  And when I did clean, 1 or 2 patches and the copper fouling was gone.  Same with my Obermyer, same with my Seekins barrels. 

Factory barrels can indeed shoot excellent, but I have yet to own one that doesn't copper foul pretty bad to terribly bad.  I have not owned one that could go over 100 rounds without accuracy suffering.  In some cases/rifles/uses its not enough to really matter, but on a precision rifle I think it does. 

IMO that a lone can make a custom barrel worth it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:22
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

Honestly this will just be the gun that gets tossed in the truck with the AR and gets shot the most of my bolt guns.    I'll use for hunting to varmint to whatever comes up.     I've looked at the Ruger Precision in 5.56 but not sure how they are, still researching.... also looking at a Tikka T3 then cut and thread how I want and put in a chassis.... both cheaper than going full out custom and both may prove to be 1/2 MOA so I could be happy with that......


Budget isn't been set in stone but total I'd like to stay around $2K for the gun alone... optics later.


G, I just don't know where to beginPoker
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:41
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In many cases, you can get a factory rifle that will shoot with a lot of custom rifles for a lot less, without a doubt. Shooting precision vs. $ spent in rifles is a lot like engine horsepower, optical image quality, and multiple other buying decisions in life...at some point you reach the law of diminishing returns where it takes a LOT more money to eek out increasingly miniscule gains in performance. If all you're looking for is precision shooting, you don't need to spend a lot to get it, though you'll stand a better chance of getting it with a custom rifle with a good barrel, as factory rifle precision is always somewhat of a crapshoot. But of course you already know this; I'm preaching to the choir.

All that being said, there's way more reasons for building a custom rifle than just gaining greater precision, just as there are many reasons for building a custom hotrod, or anything else custom/bespoke. With a custom rifle, the options are endless. You can get the components, barrel length, twist, weight, finishes, balance, proportions, ergonomics...everything exactly as you want. This all leads to greater pride in ownership and something more pesonalized. To my way of thinking, having something tricked out just for the hell of it is all the justification I need to proceed with a project. I'm not looking to impress anyone; the journey in getting exactly what you want is half the fun. With a factory rifle, these decisions are all made for you, and you take what you get. Your rifle will then be just like tens of thousands of others, and whether that's a good or bad thing is a matter of perspective, depending on whether you're looking for a utilitarian tool like a Crescent wrench, a unique personalized piece of equipment you take pride in and extract a lot of enjoyment out of every time you use it, or somewhere in between.

...And of course, you already know this too; I'm preaching to the choir again. But it's always good to remind ourselves of why we wish to pursue something before spending $.

If you just want a rifle you can toss in the truck and not care if it gets beat up, buy a Ruger American or a Savage. Either will usually shoot pretty well, especially in .223. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:45
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I've never built a true custom rifle so that itch wants to be scratched and part my reason for wanting to put it together piece by piece......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:50
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

I've never built a true custom rifle so that itch wants to be scratched and part my reason for wanting to put it together piece by piece......


scratch that Mofo on something other than a 223.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 10:57
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Or...scratch that itch with a .223 AND something else, as having 2 custom rifles is always better than 1.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 11:03
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after the first itch is scratched more itches poop up... you know as well as I, they move from side to side and round and round....


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 11:13
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

I've never built a true custom rifle so that itch wants to be scratched and part my reason for wanting to put it together piece by piece......


Wait,wait wait; you just moved the goal posts.

This is the first custom gun?

First this was "custom vs 700/upgrades", now it is "first custom ever' AND "truck gun to beat up."  There are a few competing concepts here.

Everything I said previously, I stand behind; and I'll add a point: first custom can be something you keep for a lifetime, or can be the learning experience that quickly leads to your second custom.  In that light, 223 is either a great thing or a bad thing. 

At this point in the conversation, to proceed, I need a forced rank listing of needs/wants.  "Truck gun" usually does not equal "custom build."  I'm just say'in.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 11:21
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

This is the first custom gun?




I have lots of guns I've customized.... but never a ground up built starting with a custom action

To me it would be both a custom and a workhorse.... I'm not going to baby it or care if it gets some knicks and scratches on this gun.... adds character.   Sure I could build a benchrest gun and never take it out but I want a true 'workhorse" that I can pull out shoot, and toss back in the case for then next time....  I don't ever forsee selling it honestly.  a 223 bolt gun works for many uses, teaching recoil sensitive folks to shoot, all the hunting I'd need it for locally, shorter matches i do with some friends, precision urban tactical bolt gun.
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Chief Sackscratch

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I guess a better proposed question would be -


Would yall spend 2-3K setting up a custom actioned 223 bolt gun


or


Buy a factory rifle and change the parts I want changed and wait to built a custom on something else later and spend about $1500 tops.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2017 at 11:34
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Truck guns get stolen or damaged, a custom won't do any differently than a stock gun in those regards.  It might be a bit tougher, but I don't think I'd go full custom for a 223 truck gun.

Opinions will vary.
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You could always buy a used savage for $200, screw a Critierion prefit barrel on it, and put it in a $300 stock and it would do all your asking.  You would be into if for $1000 and have a real nice shooter. 
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Originally posted by Bigdaddy0381 Bigdaddy0381 wrote:

after the first itch is scratched more itches poop up... you know as well as I, they move from side to side and round and round....



Tell me about it, brother! I've got full tilt head to toe poison ivy rash!
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