Critique My Dream

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
My wife has finally given me the green light to build a "custom" gun. My objective in building this rifle is to meet these three general criteria: have a relatively light weight (sub 7.5# dressed) longish range mountain rifle (less than 750yds), consistent/accurate (no flyers from hot pencil thin barrels), and relatively "weatherproof". I feel like I am pretty close to meeting these objectives with my below listed/desired components, but need some input and critiquing on some of them from the people I trust most (Roksliders). So look at the list below, and tell me what you would do different (other than change the caliber, as I'm a 280 fanboy). So here's my current list.

Defiance Anti Action - Chambered in a 280AI
Proof Research CF Barrel with a seamless muzzle brake - 24" with 1 in 8 twist
Action, Scope Rings, Muzzle Brake, and Fluting of action will be cerakoted.
Timney Elite Hunter Trigger
Hawkins Precision Long Range Hybrid Scope Rings
Leupold VX5-HD 3-15x44

As you can see, I'm missing the stock (kind of an important component ;)), and that is where I need the most help. I would like to use a Oberndorf bottom metal if possible. Anyway, I've narrowed possible stocks down to a few that I think would be good and help meet my objectives, but would love some further input. So here are my thoughts...
- McMillan Game Hunter
- AG Composites Visigoth or Alpine Hunter
- Mesa Precision Altitude
Though they aren't identical, they share a lot of similar characteristics and are close in price. I've been leaning towards the Altitude simply based on weight. But I'm open to other ideas as well. Anybody have any other recommendations or would remove any of these from the list? This one component has given me more heartburn than I care to admit.

Anyway, please fellow Roksliders, help me make these last few decisions before I start spending money!!!! Please and thanks in advance!
 

Oregonmuley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
277
Location
Jennings Lodge, Oregon
I think your build specs look pretty much spot on. Couple things you might consider are on the trigger take a good look at TriggerTech or maybe the Bix'n Andy trigger. Also, if you are set on a carbon wrapped barrel maybe consider one of the Bartlein CF barrels, they may not be as "pretty" as a Proof but the actual barrel is maybe better overall.

Good luck on your build - who will be your smith for this build??
 
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passinggas33

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
I live in the southeast corner of Washington but will be using Diamond T Rifles in Craigmont Idaho as my gunsmith. Beyond impressed with them and the work they have done on my other rifles. Great guys down there.
 

Dcrafton

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
507
Location
Morgan utah
My wife has finally given me the green light to build a "custom" gun. My objective in building this rifle is to meet these three general criteria: have a relatively light weight (sub 7.5# dressed) longish range mountain rifle (less than 750yds), consistent/accurate (no flyers from hot pencil thin barrels), and relatively "weatherproof". I feel like I am pretty close to meeting these objectives with my below listed/desired components, but need some input and critiquing on some of them from the people I trust most (Roksliders). So look at the list below, and tell me what you would do different (other than change the caliber, as I'm a 280 fanboy). So here's my current list.

Defiance Anti Action - Chambered in a 280AI
Proof Research CF Barrel with a seamless muzzle brake - 24" with 1 in 8 twist
Action, Scope Rings, Muzzle Brake, and Fluting of action will be cerakoted.
Timney Elite Hunter Trigger
Hawkins Precision Long Range Hybrid Scope Rings
Leupold VX5-HD 3-15x44

As you can see, I'm missing the stock (kind of an important component ;)), and that is where I need the most help. I would like to use a Oberndorf bottom metal if possible. Anyway, I've narrowed possible stocks down to a few that I think would be good and help meet my objectives, but would love some further input. So here are my thoughts...
- McMillan Game Hunter
- AG Composites Visigoth or Alpine Hunter
- Mesa Precision Altitude
Though they aren't identical, they share a lot of similar characteristics and are close in price. I've been leaning towards the Altitude simply based on weight. But I'm open to other ideas as well. Anybody have any other recommendations or would remove any of these from the list? This one component has given me more heartburn than I care to admit.

Anyway, please fellow Roksliders, help me make these last few decisions before I start spending money!!!! Please and thanks in advance!

e52b5b6eb4073d3e78c6e3e6fa3ec092.jpg

Here is my 280ai,
Proof 26” 1-7.4 twist
A419 hellfire brake
McMillan game hunter edge tech
Jewel trigger
VX5hd 3-15x44 fire dot
Shooting 180g eldm’s at 2917fps
Very very accurate

So I would go with the McMillan stock


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
passinggas33

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
e52b5b6eb4073d3e78c6e3e6fa3ec092.jpg

Here is my 280ai,
Proof 26” 1-7.4 twist
A419 hellfire brake
McMillan game hunter edge tech
Jewel trigger
VX5hd 3-15x44 fire dot
Shooting 180g eldm’s at 2917fps
Very very accurate

So I would go with the McMillan stock


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
How much does your finished product weigh? And how did you get those colors on your stock? Did you just paint the black stock yourself or did you find someone? Was thinking about hydrodipping their plain black stock. One of the main reasons I haven’t gone with the McMillan is that I haven’t loved the paint options. Call me vain, but I also want a gun that I find “sexy”, since she really will be my version of a mistress.
 

Dcrafton

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
507
Location
Morgan utah
How much does your finished product weigh? And how did you get those colors on your stock? Did you just paint the black stock yourself or did you find someone? Was thinking about hydrodipping their plain black stock. One of the main reasons I haven’t gone with the McMillan is that I haven’t loved the paint options. Call me vain, but I also want a gun that I find “sexy”, since she really will be my version of a mistress.

Haven’t weighed it, but it is heavier than my 25 PRC that has the same stock and barrel and scope.
I had it cerakoted.
I took a few different designs I’ve seen and kinda came up with colors I thought may look cool.


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MidGAHunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
407
Location
MS
I would consider a Hells Canyon Armory or Bartlein barrel as well. Nothing wrong with a Timney trigger but I prefer Trigger Tech myself. For your scope, do you intend to dial? If so I would avoid the VX5.

As to the stock, that is a very personal preference. AG makes the Mesa stock and I have one. It is very well made and I really like it but it is a little more difficult to manage recoil when prone for me compared to other stocks. I'm eying a custom build myself and the AG Alpine Hunter is on my list. Good luck with your build!
 

Dcrafton

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
507
Location
Morgan utah
I would consider a Hells Canyon Armory or Bartlein barrel as well. Nothing wrong with a Timney trigger but I prefer Trigger Tech myself. For your scope, do you intend to dial? If so I would avoid the VX5.

As to the stock, that is a very personal preference. AG makes the Mesa stock and I have one. It is very well made and I really like it but it is a little more difficult to manage recoil when prone for me compared to other stocks. I'm eying a custom build myself and the AG Alpine Hunter is on my list. Good luck with your build!

Avoiding the VX5hd for dialing.
I have (3) VX5hd scopes, each with a different reticle and I dial with each. ZERO problems ever.
They all track well, they all return to zero every time, i have no issues with them, awesome glass, lightweight, just an awesome scope.
If we needed another scope I would look at the VX5hd all day long. This is not my opinion, this is my experience with them.


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passinggas33

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
I would consider a Hells Canyon Armory or Bartlein barrel as well. Nothing wrong with a Timney trigger but I prefer Trigger Tech myself. For your scope, do you intend to dial? If so I would avoid the VX5.

As to the stock, that is a very personal preference. AG makes the Mesa stock and I have one. It is very well made and I really like it but it is a little more difficult to manage recoil when prone for me compared to other stocks. I'm eying a custom build myself and the AG Alpine Hunter is on my list. Good luck with your build!
I’ve never shot a trigger tech so I’ll have to look into it. My Timney’s have always worked well. As for the VX5, I have one on another 280 and so far it has worked flawlessly...knock on wood.

The stock really becomes my biggest sticking point. Just not sure where to go in that direction. My guess that 50% of my shots will be prone and the rest from a sitting position. So hearing the prone drawbacks to mesa is what has me concerned.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,219
It sounds like there are high hopes for your dream rifle. Not trying to rain on your parade but some things to keep in mind:

The component list you have will not result in a sub 7.5# rifle all dressed with scope.

“Long Range” and “7.5 lb all dressed” are not really compatible concepts. Light rifles can be very accurate but they are also typically more finicky and tougher to shoot accurately.

IMO, a proof sendero lite barrel is no more likely to resist “walking” than a similarly weighted steel barrel. I don’t even believe in the idea that a carbon barrel is stiffer than a similar weight steel barrel as has been evidenced in deflection tests by folks like Alex wheeler and others. I believe the process of making a thin barrel liner and then wrapping it with carbon has potential to induce stress in a barrel that a plain steel barrel doesn’t. If you do enough looking you’ll see that there are a lot of reports of “crooked” proof barrels. There are a lot of happy proof customers but I believe the game of odds favors steel barrels. The only benefits I can see to a carbon barrel is a larger muzzle diameter for indexing a brake/suppressor without a heavy barrel and aesthetics. Everywhere else I think a steel barrel wins.

In regards to stock shape, a stock that is good in the prone is good in all shooting positions. Edit to clarify: people frequently equate a vertical grip with prone shooting because they are used to offhanding shouldering a rifle with a traditional swept/open sporter grip. IMO that old familiar feeling of shouldering a traditional sporter stock doesn't take into account a good 90 degree trigger press. A good vertical grip is going to put your hand in a better position to execute a good trigger press in all positions.
 
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passinggas33

passinggas33

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Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
I agree that “lightweight” and “long range” often don’t go together. But I’m trying to find a happy medium. And my definition of long range is probably not nearly as long as others. 750 would be my max range and that shot would be few and far between (except at the range). I already have a Kimber Mtn Ascent that is sub 7 dressed. It shoots well for about 2 shots but as soon as the barrel heats up, it’s accuracy drops. So I’m willing to add some weight to get a few more of the desires I have for this build. Anyway, I really appreciate the input. Keep it coming!!
 

762Gunner

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
308
Location
northwest
I agree that “lightweight” and “long range” often don’t go together. But I’m trying to find a happy medium. And my definition of long range is probably not nearly as long as others. 750 would be my max range and that shot would be few and far between (except at the range). I already have a Kimber Mtn Ascent that is sub 7 dressed. It shoots well for about 2 shots but as soon as the barrel heats up, it’s accuracy drops. So I’m willing to add some weight to get a few more of the desires I have for this build. Anyway, I really appreciate the input. Keep it coming!!
Wind Gypsy nailed it with CF barrels, you can get a lighter stiffer barrel with a spiral fluted #3 contour.
Its gonna be tough braking 7.5lbs scoped, I have a very similar build (AnTi LA, 22" fluted #4 barrel that weighs 2lbs 12 oz, and an Alterra Arms CF stock that tips 28 oz) its 6.5 lbs naked so with a vx5 and rings it'd be around 8 total.
Still pretty damn light, I shoot for sub 10 scoped and suppressed for my LR mountain hunting setup.

I've owned the Mesa Altitude and it's a poor design with the negative drop at the butt, makes it tough for sure to manage recoil prone.
The McMillan Game Hunter is solid but the absolute best I've used is the carbon hunter from Allterra Arms
 

406Smith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
641
Well, because you asked.....

General advice: build the rifle for 90% of its use. Think about it when deciding weight, barrel contour/length, stock, etc.

If you’re looking to nail a weight, start a spreadsheet or write down weights and add em up. Your list isn’t gonna be 7.5 pounds all done up.

VX-5HD 3-15 = 20oz (add a couple oz for scope caps)
Hawkins hybrid rings 4 oz
Trigger 2oz
Anti l/a 22 oz
Stock ~30oz
PR Sendero 24” ~48oz
Bottom metal, spring & box ~5oz (ish)
Pillars?
Bedding compound?
Brake ~3oz?
Sling?

Unless you’re going with a 24”+ barrel that needs to be lightweight AND you want to shoot suppressed, get a steel barrel. If you’re adamant about CF, get the full sendero over the lite (or M24 from bartlein).

I’d pay the extra few dollars to get the action nitrided from Defiance instead of cerakoted by a smith.

Lose the brake. It shouldn’t be needed for that build.

For an occasional, up to 750 yard shot, I’d go 22” or maybe 20” barrel. A 20” #4 barrel will weigh ~3.3 pounds, and you should have a MV of ~2750 for a 162 ELD-X. Depending on environmentals, that should get you to about 750 yards.

Avoid any Monte Carlo style stock. Of the options you listed I’d go with the AG Alpine Hunter.
 

eoperator

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
354
Location
wisconsin
16187084606695116265596522064128.jpg
very similar build
anti 280ai
triggertech special
proof lite 24" 1:8
Hawkins hybrids/x5i
ag alpine hunter

If I could do it again (as others have stated) I would go with steel barrel (cheaper), a longer throat for monos and hawkins bottom metal.
Very happy so far but I need to ream throat for hammers.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,219
If you’re adamant about CF, get the full sendero over the lite (or M24 from bartlein).

I’d pay the extra few dollars to get the action nitrided from Defiance instead of cerakoted by a smith.

Why go heavier than the #4 bartlein? The bartlein carbon #4 is heavier than a proof sendero I believe because of having more steel. Basically weigh the same as a Bartlein #3 steel.

Agree 100% on the nitride. OP, do that and if you must cerakote just don’t cerakote the bolt/inside of the action.
 

406Smith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
641
Why go heavier than the #4 bartlein? The bartlein carbon #4 is heavier than a proof sendero I believe because of having more steel. Basically weigh the same as a Bartlein #3 steel.

Agree 100% on the nitride. OP, do that and if you must cerakote just don’t cerakote the bolt/inside of the action.
The weight difference from bartlein CW #4 to the CW M24 is about 5oz (everything else equal). The difference from a Sendero Lite to a Sendero is about 3oz (everything else equal). For me, that’s a pretty easy weight penalty for added stiffness. If I was trying for a super mega ultra lite build and 5oz was going to be a huge deal, I wouldn’t be considering any carbon wrapped barrel.
 
OP
passinggas33

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
Eoperator
View attachment 283396
very similar build
anti 280ai
triggertech special
proof lite 24" 1:8
Hawkins hybrids/x5i
ag alpine hunter

If I could do it again (as others have stated) I would go with steel barrel (cheaper), a longer throat for monos and hawkins bottom metal.
Very happy so far but I need to ream throat for hammers.
What does your total package weigh? Looks extremely similar to what I was trying for.
 
OP
passinggas33

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
375
Location
Pullman, WA
After reading through many of your thoughts and much appreciated opinions, I’ve come to realize that getting to that 7.5 pound gun is not to happen with my wants for this specific gun. Getting to 8 pounds doesn’t even seem feasible at this point. I added up my list and I was closer to 9 than I was to 8. And that was me being conservative on some of these items.

It seems many people are suggesting to go away from the carbon fiber barrel. Maybe I’m misunderstanding some of the talk as barrels is not something I’ve really focused on. I was looking at them more to help dissipate heat and allow more shots before it heats up and accuracy fails (at least that has been my experience with my kimber). Is this an inaccurate thought process?
 

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