Moving forward with rifle build/fix



  • Before I bug Travis again at TS Customs, would like to get everyone's advice before moving forward. I put the call in to not attempt a headspace fix on my rifle, but haven't collected my parts yet. They are out of the shop till the 9th. Travis said he does not thread FN bolt knobs when discussing everything I would like done. So my thoughts were to send the bolt body to Short Action Customs and have them threaded the bolt knob, (I know, I know....this is what started this whole thing.....) and the firing pin bushed. Then send everything to Travis to have the action trued and a new barrel fitted.

    I am most likely going to chamber it in 6.5 Creedmoor with Berger 140 hybrids, Still need to make a dummy round and figure out what my cartridge length will be with the base of the boat tail just above the neck/shoulder junction to stay out of potential doughnuts. Travis said he has a reamer already setup for that combination. I am also considering 300 SAUM. A friend from work is going to bring me a few fired cases so I can make some dummy rounds to see if 215 Berger hybrids will feed from a 2.950" magazine, but I don't think so.

    The barrels I'm looking at are, Rock Creek, Bartlein, and Benchmark in no particular order. Target finished length with be 22", no flutes. I like the aesthetics of the standard target contour and feel its a good compromise between a heavy target barrel and a carry rifle for hunting, (page link for contours https://bartleinbarrels.com/contours/ ) but can't seem to find that contour anywhere in stock. I don't feel like waiting 9 months so the next option is the marksman contour. My idea was to try and end up with a finished muzzle diameter around .870" inches to offer good stiffness but not be a truck axle for carrying around. Any suggestions on barrel profiles or brand?

    I'm also interested in 5R profile mainly for the ease of cleaning. I know this is available from Rock Creek and Bartlein. Does Benchmark make 5r barrels?

    Probably just need to call Travis again and see if he has what I need in stock and ready to roll......

    David.



  • Don't source the barrel yourself. Let Travis supply the barrel. The barrel he spun for me is a benchmark and shoots very well.

    The custom barrels I have seem easier to clean to me than factory barrels are. I would not be stuck on the 5R just because it might be easier to clean. If you want it for other reasons than that is different.



  • I don't have the ability to test the theory so I have to rely on the expertise of others, but I do like the theories that 5r offers. Odd number lands for less bullet disruption during initial engraving. One side of the rifling sloped to deform the bullet jacket less. Less prone to carbon buildup.

    Then again I have also read numerous posts from top barrel makers that the jury is still out on whether it actually does make a difference. It does seem unanimously agreed that it can't hurt provided it is a quality made barrel.

    David



  • Sounds like you're reading a lot.

    Maybe a little too much. I remember what that was like. A guy can get spun right out with all the directions the internet will pull you. At some point you will realize, just as I did, that the only way you're going to know for sure is to try it for yourself.

    That aside, you can either follow my advice and be virtually guaranteed of success... or you can go on another path. Not that you won't find success there also, but I certainly can't help you on that other path.

    If you want a bolt knob an a bushed bolt, send it where it can best be done. I am of no help to you here because when Travis says something like that to me, I just abandon the project and shift my focus to something he DOES do. Were I in your position I would simply sell the FN and all associated parts and order a Lone Peak Fuzion from @tscustoms. That is truly as simple as I can state this. Every single time I've sent rifle work to a different shop, regardless of how reputable, they have cocked it up in some way. With TS Customs I don't have that worry.

    Regarding barrels, don't order... just let Travis handle it. He'll install a Benchmark and your chances of having it not shoot are slim to none.

    Oh the topic of rifling profile, I've shot most of them and couldn't tell you any of them made a bit of difference in any area. I've owed 3, 5, and 6 groove. Various profiles, including 5r. I've shot lots of different manufacturers. These days all of my rifles have Benchmark barrels on them. Benchmark barrels + TS Customs = happy. That's as simple as I can put it. Most of my rifles have 5R rifling. It has worked quite well for me, but I can't quantify whether it's better or worse than other rifling profiles.



  • I don't have much to add here, but I have both a bartlein and benchmark barrel on two different builds Travis has done for me.

    I'm equally happy with both, but I don't have enough through the benchmark to really comment on how well it shoots after it gets through its teen years. The bartlein is 5r on a .308 and is going strong 500 rounds in. And it cleans up with no effort.

    The one thing I noticed was it was a little cheaper (20 bucks or so) to have Travis source the parts vs finding them yourself.



  • Yep, reading a lot, I have no life. So what better way to spend time than reading about my hobby with benefits.

    Ok, wasn't sure on the best way to approach a custom gun built, my first one. So I will just let Travis source the barrel. Makes sense when you think about it. If I source the barrel and send it to Travis and should a problem arise....trueness, tight spot,...so on ....he would have to contact me, then return it to me so I can contact the manufacturer.....yep, getting messy.

    Ok so now that's decided. On to the action. I would love a true custom, but that is out of reach for me. I make ok money, but have to share with the wife. She is ok with my shooting, and supports me in my endeavors, but she doesn't shoot. So takes a little more convincing to why I need to spend this much on a rifle instead of the house. She is the is the voice of reason when it comes to finances and I have two kids. Kids come first. One is just getting done with braces and the youngest will need them in two years. So I'm sure some of you can understand the dent braces puts in the shooting budget.

    So after discussing this project with the bank manager aka the wife. I have two options. Option 1. Continue to save for the next two years with no shooting, bullets and powder cost money, and then build a full custom.
    Or option 2. Accept the fact that if I want to keep shooting I have to make the best of what I got.

    So I think I going to opt for option 2. Long run, more expensive because I will eventually step up to a full custom, but I figure experience with a good rifle now is better than no experience with a awesome rifle later. So in order to make this a reality and continue to move forward in my learning. I'm parting with stuff that matters less.

    So here's what I got.
    Action is a unmolested FN PBR XP. Sorry I like Mauser type actions. Yes I will deal with some short comings to have a Mauser action. I understand and accept it. My dream action is a Mausingfield.

    Travis said he's perfectly fine truing it up and there not to bad for a factory action. I will follow everyone's advice and let Travis also supply the barrel. Those not familiar with the FN PBR XP, it's basically a Wincherster Model 70 with some improvements.

    Trigger I'm going to have fitted is a CG Extreme mod 22. It's a fully adjustable two stage trigger. I like two stage triggers, and it compatible with Anschutz trigger shoes to further adjust.

    Stock, well I'm making do with the crappy hogue hunter style stock for now till I can afford better. Stock has a bult in aluminum block similar to a Manners mini chassis that I will re-bed when I get the barrels action back. I'm using a Triad Tactical stock pack to adjust cheek weld position. I added Grov Tec flush cups for different slings and sling positions. Haven't shot enough yet to know what exactly I want out of my sling yet.

    Next sling I'm going to try is the TAB Gear Pinical sling.

    I'm using a Atlas PSR bipod with Hawk Hill Talon feet. I swap between those and the original rubber feet depending on the shooting surface. The original Atlas rubber feet kind burry in the Florida sand if it's dry out.

    Scope mount is the stock steel NEAR manufacturing 20moa base with 8x40 screws. Scope rings are Seeking Precision. Scope is a Vortex Viper PST gen II 3-15x44 mil. Eventually I would like a Schmidt and Bender with a MSR reticle, but my savings for that are now funding this.

    Dose this seem like it's heading in the right direction for a general purpose rifle that I can shoot at a PRS match? No it's not a custom and it won't have the value of one, but is this something that will be respectable?

    David.



  • Unrelated, but I have also stepped up to Lapua Center X for the .22. Haven't chronographed it yet to chart consistency, but that's coming. Think I can ring a little more out of my cheap Savage till I can step that up too.

    I am paying attention to the recommendions you guys give me.

    David



  • PSR is a great option.

    I have a sling for each rifle But don't use them for shooting. I quit using them for carrying the rifle when I bought an eberlestock pack.

    I would look at Tangent Theta as opposed to Schmidt and Bender.

    As far as the mark II goes...my brothers could not shoot the difference between $6/box ammo and center x. Your savage might...but his wouldn't.



  • Sounds like you've decided on a path. Travis will take good care of you. :)

    We've got Atlas PSR bipods in stock if you are in need.



  • Well I’ve been away from the forum for a bit working on life and my lack luster shooting and thought I would update this.

    I was going down the path recommended to have TS Customs rebuild the FN. While saving my pennies American Rifle Company had a pre order for the Nucleus action. So I decided to cancel rebuilding the FN and instead invest in a ground up true precision rifle. I figured by the time I got done truing the action, modifying for a detachable box magazine, and various other little tweeks I’d be three quarters the cost of a true custom action. The Nucleus uses a Remington 700 foot print so that opens up a world of possibilities on component selection.

    Still planning on Travis spinning up a barrel once a get everything in hand.



  • I have had great results out of both benchmark and bartlien, I have no experience with rock creek so I can’t comment there. You might look at the Palma contours either heavy or medium not exactly sure which one would work best at 22 inches to give you the muzzle diameter your looking for.



  • Trying to balance thicker barrel for rapid firing strings and weight, I’m strongly leaning towards a medium Palma contour. I really like the idea of a Proof Research barrel, but that is probably going to be out of my budget.



  • Save yourself a whole lot of headachs and have a long talk with Travis,he will walk you threw the whole process of getting a custom rifle built.I have had a couple of custom rifles built and travis was by far the easiest gunsmith to work with.I know ga precision does bolt work on fn bolts, they told me the metal on the fn bolts were a lot harder and it would cost more to have done.Good luck with your project.



  • @steelbanger said in Moving forward with rifle build/fix:

    Save yourself a whole lot of headachs and have a long talk with Travis,he will walk you threw the whole process of getting a custom rifle built.I have had a couple of custom rifles built and travis was by far the easiest gunsmith to work with.I know ga precision does bolt work on fn bolts, they told me the metal on the fn bolts were a lot harder and it would cost more to have done.Good luck with your project.

    Yes, FN SPR/PBR aka Winchester Model 70’s are a one piece bolt handle that’s hardened. I’m skipping rebuilding the FN completely for now. I put my money down on a ARC Nucleus action to build on instead. So for now I’m just shooting he FN as is. It’s still trigger time to learn on while I wait.



  • @drandi

    I agree talking to Travis is gonna be your best bet. Just for reference I measured a heavy Palma and a light Palma I have at roughly 22in the heavy was .936 and the light was .800 sounds like the medium is going to fall right in there pretty close to what your looking for.

    The heavy Palma is a 6.5x47 that gets double duty in Fclass and PRS matches. It sees long strings of fire usually between 22 to 25 rounds in about 4-5 minutes in Fclass and has no issues and has won its fair share of matches.

    The light Palma is on a 223, I haven’t had it to long but have fired some 25 round strings in pretty fast order with no issues either.

    Hope this is helpful, and listen to Travis he knows what he’s talking about.

    Good luck in your new build.



  • @drandi said in Moving forward with rifle build/fix:

    Well I’ve been away from the forum for a bit working on life and my lack luster shooting and thought I would update this.

    I was going down the path recommended to have TS Customs rebuild the FN. While saving my pennies American Rifle Company had a pre order for the Nucleus action. So I decided to cancel rebuilding the FN and instead invest in a ground up true precision rifle. I figured by the time I got done truing the action, modifying for a detachable box magazine, and various other little tweeks I’d be three quarters the cost of a true custom action. The Nucleus uses a Remington 700 foot print so that opens up a world of possibilities on component selection.

    Still planning on Travis spinning up a barrel once a get everything in hand.

    I was reading through your earlier post was going to bring these thoughts up. Glad you got it figured out.


 

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