7mm STW build in progress... Budget LR Hunting Rifle Phase I

Darin Cooper

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My previous thread got lost in cyberspace!!!

I finally got all the parts to put my rifle together last night so hopefully I can do a bit of shooting this weekend - weather permitting.

It's basically an off-the shelf Remington 700 BDL barrel and action that I dropped into a Bell an Carlson stock. I'm topping it with a 20 MOA - one piece rail. I'm using a set of 30 mm tactical rings to mount a Vortex HS-LR 6-24X50 XLR Scope - The scope is a first focal plane scope with a christmas tree style tactical MOA reticle and a tactical elevation turret. First Focal Plane (FFP) means the retical size changes with magnification. This allows the shooter to use the MOA subtensions to compensate for windage and bullet drop at any magnification.

I bought a set of medium height rings - thinking I needed them for clearance, but I have already found that I could not obtain a good cheek-weld with them and it looks like a set of low rings will maintain enough clearance for the bell of the scope and the bolt so I will swap out the rings ASAP.

Meanwhile if I can't find another set of rings I may just have to level the scope and go run a box of shells through it while I painstakingly break in the barrel.

I'll get some photos and maybe a few videos up as I try to build a "low-budget" long-range rifle.

Depending on the results obtained, this build will probably progress through a few stages up to a full custom long range rifle until I achieve my ultimate goal which is to build a hunting rifle that is balistically capable and accurate enough (under the right conditions of course) to take big game (mule deer and wolf) out to 800 yards.

I think it will be a fun and educational process for me and hopefully some others will learn a few things from my mistakes. I'm not an expert in fire-arms. I'm going to learn the hard way which is how I learn best.

Wish me luck!

Coop
 

Matt Cashell

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Can't wait to see how it turns out Darin!

Looks like you are going with the higher-mag Viper HSLR, eh?

I don't worry about tedious barrel break-in too much. I just clean after the first 5 or 10, then 20, then as needed. Those first rounds are usefull for sight-in, etc. Remember, with a 7 STW you are only going to get so many rounds through that tube anyway, you might as well make the most of them. JMO.
 

Travis Bertrand

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I don't worry about tedious barrel break-in too much. I just clean after the first 5 or 10, then 20, then as needed. Those first rounds are usefull for sight-in, etc. Remember, with a 7 STW you are only going to get so many rounds through that tube anyway, you might as well make the most of them. JMO.


Fully agree. I have over 400 rounds down the barrel of my 7mm rem during load development. Plus side is I found my perfect load, down side is barrel is half way worn out!

I'd love to see photos!

What did you use to bed the stock?
 

HellsCanyon

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Can't wait to see how it turns out Darin!

Looks like you are going with the higher-mag Viper HSLR, eh?

I don't worry about tedious barrel break-in too much. I just clean after the first 5 or 10, then 20, then as needed. Those first rounds are usefull for sight-in, etc. Remember, with a 7 STW you are only going to get so many rounds through that tube anyway, you might as well make the most of them. JMO.

I swear Matt you need to quit reading my mind and posting before me... I was going to say something similar regarding barrel break in. And throat erosion really is a product of high volume shot strings thus creating heat. Keep that barrel relatively cool and you'll extend your barrel life quite a bit! Looking forward to seeing the build. Those B&C stocks are nice but dang they are heavy! Have you looked into the Manners Elite Hunter stocks?

Mike
 

Matt Cashell

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Manners Elite Hunter, Mike?

He said this is a "budget" build.

;)

those are sweet stocks though.
 

wapitibob

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My STW has been an educational experience so far. Adding forearm pressure and quit cleaning it were the two biggest factors in getting it to shoot.
 
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Darin Cooper

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Can't wait to see how it turns out Darin!

Looks like you are going with the higher-mag Viper HSLR, eh?

I don't worry about tedious barrel break-in too much. I just clean after the first 5 or 10, then 20, then as needed. Those first rounds are usefull for sight-in, etc. Remember, with a 7 STW you are only going to get so many rounds through that tube anyway, you might as well make the most of them. JMO.

I was leaning toward the 4-16X and got talked into the higher powered scope after talking to a good friend at Vortex. It was a toss-up between the 4-16X and the 6-24X. I realize I am going to sacrifice low-light performance and the cross-hairs get really fine at lower powers. I had to really look at my intended use. This is not a deep timber rifle. It's meant exclusively for open country, long-range work and almost exclusively on wolves with the occasional coyote thrown in. I do not hunt deer or elk with a rifle so I didn't think low-light performance was much of a consideration. I think for most rifle hunters the 4-16X would be a better choice. It may turn out to have been a better choice for me too, but I assumed I would be able to find someone wanting to trade or buy it down the road if I'm not happy with it. Also, I can see a big, nasty, heavy, ultra long range 338+ somewhere in the future that will be targeting ranges in excess of 1200 yards so I think it will find a home one way or another.

I'm just going to clean it every shot for the first 10 or so, then every 2 - 3 shots for the next 10.

I'm hoping to be able to get Berger 168 or 180 grain VLD's to shoot well. I realize the factory twist rate is borderline, but since I will shoot almost exclusively in colder, low humidity, higher elevation conditions I think they should stabilize. I'm also not concerned with 100 yard groups. I want to see what it will do at 300+.

I have already found the B&C stock I used does not have adequate comb heigh for my face. I thought lower rings would help, but I'm still way off. So now I'm looking at options to add some comb height - may actually try a DIY adjustable comb kit which would be a fun project. Not sure if the B&C stock is hollow though. Might be a great way to ruin a pretty nice composite stock. I'm going to make a few calls and see what I can find out. I've only seen it done on wood stocks - there's probably a reason for that.

Coop
 
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Darin Cooper

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On second thought... I should probably just swap out the "Alaskan" B&C stock for another with a high comb like the 1001 - but those I think are cut for heavy contour barrels. Maybe I should be looking at the Manner's Elite?

DC
 

wapitibob

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I'm using 73 gr RL25 for my 180's. The 25 was just a little better than Retumbo for me. If you don't already have it, send me your email and I'll forward Bergers load tables.

Manners new stocks or Precision Stock Works are a cpl nice ones.
 

Ryan Avery

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I'm using 73 gr RL25 for my 180's. The 25 was just a little better than Retumbo for me. If you don't already have it, send me your email and I'll forward Bergers load tables.

Do you have any problems with POI with weather change with RL25. I have used it for my ultra and had a bunch of trouble with outside temp change.
 

wapitibob

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I had enough trouble just getting a load to shoot that I couldn't really tell you. I'm not seeing any negative comments from the STW guys I talk to on the longrange forum.
 

fire arrow

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I swear Matt you need to quit reading my mind and posting before me... I was going to say something similar regarding barrel break in. And throat erosion really is a product of high volume shot strings thus creating heat. Keep that barrel relatively cool and you'll extend your barrel life quite a bit! Looking forward to seeing the build. Those B&C stocks are nice but dang they are heavy! Have you looked into the Manners Elite Hunter stocks?

Mike

Ever think of Meloniting the barrels to decrease throat erosion, and double barrel life. I tried getting a company in AZ to melonite the Brux barrel I am waiting on. I don't have enough tech training to get the meloniting company to take my barrel. On top of the fact that Brux said it would void my warrenty. They said because custom barrels are softer than factory barrels, don't know if that is true, they wouldn't take it, especially one barrel.
 
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Darin Cooper

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Here's a couple pics of my rifle
attachment.php

attachment.php
 

Ryan Avery

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Nice looking rig Coop..... Are there any Vandal fans in Southern Idaho??
 
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Darin Cooper

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Nice looking rig Coop..... Are there any Vandal fans in Southern Idaho??

There are quite a few Vandal alumni roaming the valley. We're outnumbered 10:1 by the bandwagon Boise State fans, but for actual alumni only about 3 to 1 I would guess. We're not that hard to spot though... We're usually the ones that sign their paychecks... BSU alumni might know us better as "boss". :)
 
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