View Full Version : New action design nearly done

Eric U
01-16-2008, 12:30 AM
Hi all,

I don't think this will satisfy all of Mr. Calfee's requirements, but it does have front locking lugs and a bottom strike firing pin. No "drop in" loading, but it does have a loading ramp to help guide the round into the chamber. It is 2" shorter than an Anschutz 54, a little bigger in diameter, but still uses an Anschutz trigger. Thread in barrel, but not 3/4" threads. Mine are 15/16"-20. I'm going to use it for international style shooting, if it shoots better than my Anschutz. Hopefully in Beijing next summer. Testing will begin as soon as I get a barrel screwed into it. Total time in the project is in excess of 5 years, from first concept sketches. Machining has been about 14 months, including a little 8 month break I spent in Kuwait last year.

Thanks for all the input and support from those who provided it.

Rob Carnell
01-16-2008, 05:12 AM
I have never been game to try to make a rimfire action. Really nice work.

Best I could do was this centrefire,


Rob Carnell
Sydney, Australia

01-16-2008, 09:41 AM
Very nice looking job, congratulations. Any projected time frame on when you could possibly start marketing your action? Please keep everyone posted.

steve b.
01-16-2008, 10:33 AM
Nice work Eric. I'm pleased to see it with the Anschutz trigger.

01-16-2008, 02:17 PM
No flies on that nice looking action!!!

01-16-2008, 02:53 PM
I can add my bolt handle and custom bolt knob.
What brrel will you use?
What stock?
Action bolts in front of trigger.?
Really a nice job Mr Eric...
Luck in Beijing

01-16-2008, 03:01 PM

01-16-2008, 05:54 PM
I like the your action (very much!). Clean and compact. For such a short action, would'nt the bolt bind when extracting an unfired round?

Fred J
01-16-2008, 06:19 PM
Looks like there is only one action screw in front of the trigger. The other is in the tang. Also appears to be a recoil grove just behind the front action screw. I'de like to see a longer action, with the bedding screw in front of the trigger as well, but let's wait and see how this one plays out. Excellent choice of trigger.

01-16-2008, 06:26 PM
You benchrest people have Larry Cook, Kirk Gaston, Dan Killough, Joe Freidrich, etc as your heroes...

....well us prone shooters have Sgt. Eric Uptagraft for our hero.

Nice stuff.


Kent Owens
01-16-2008, 09:27 PM
Nice action! I'd like to see pics of the bolt. Did you say it had front locking lugs and a six oclock firing pin? That's interesting!

Eric U
01-16-2008, 11:10 PM
To address a few questions:

By choosing to use the Anschutz trigger, I was stuck with putting the 2nd action screw behind the trigger. The trigger itself is more than half the length of the action. If I put both screws in front of the trigger, they would be little more than an inch apart. That doesn't mean I can't try something else later. I like the short action. Because it isn't cut out across the top like Anschutz/Walther/FWB/Bleiker, this action is very stiff by comparison. Also, with the front locking lugs, the overall length naturally became 2" shorter than a 54, with the loading port 2" further to the rear. This should help with junior shooters and shorter people. This feature is important for us position style shooters, where being able to load the rifle without taking the butt plate out of the shoulder can only help with consistency and score. This is just a prototype right now, and all design features are subject to change. I've already got quite the list of changes and improvements for prototype #2. Some for functionality, some to ease construction. I may revisit this later.

Can't really show the bolt design right now. If this thing works like I hope it will, the bolt is the heart of this design. Don't want to reveal those details before it is necessary.

I'm going to be shooting/testing this action for the next several months. I will then be applying lessions learned to prototype #2, #3, etc. At the same time, I'm attempting to get back into the Army and back to the AMU. With moving, training, travel, there wouldn't be much chance to even begin producing anything until next fall. This is all contingent on this action/rifle shooting better than what I've got (which is pretty good). I won't go through the trouble of trying to sell something that isn't actually an improvement on what is already out there. That said, the reason I started down this approximately $75000 path (so far) is that I can't seem to find another rifle out there that is as good as the Anschutz I've already got. And believe me, I've tried. What happens when that rifle finally loses its accuracy? I've only got about 130,000 rounds through it so far, so I'm sure I have nothing to worry about, right?

Plenty of room to extract/eject a loaded round.

I plan on using a Benchmark two-groove barrel, and an Anschutz 1813 stock, the same as what I've been shooting for the last 24 years (the stock that is). If the Benchmark doesn't work, I've got a couple of Lilja's and a Hart waiting in the wings.

More details: 5.75" long, 1.3" diameter, bolt is .6875" dia. Action is 17-4 stainless RC 36, and the bolt is 4141 RC 43. It has the standard Anschutz sight dovetail on top. Bolt lift is 75 degrees to clear our iron sight windage knob.

Thanks for all your comments and questions,

01-16-2008, 11:23 PM
Thanks for the info.
Maybe before your time,but the Morgan & Benny actions were both "short"
actions.They won plenty.
What size barrel are you going to use? If you would like to post on a Prone forum send me a private message.

Thanks,and good look with "your new action".:)

01-17-2008, 05:24 PM
I just read your shooting resume. Hap Rocketto supplied the info.
Out standing.
For sure you undersand what is needed in a match rifle.
I wish you luck
Larry E
TCR Forum

01-18-2008, 12:03 AM
The vertical alignment of the trigger, bolt and loading port is ideal. It is amazing that the most popular actions in use today were not designed with any consideraton of human factors. Great job.

I wish you luck getting this into production.

01-18-2008, 05:08 AM
It would be nice to be able to touch one. It does seem a lot of thought
went into it.Early on Karl Kenyon,made RF Actions...no two were alike.Always thinking. I also wonder the size barrel he will hang from this action. :)

Eric U
01-18-2008, 07:20 AM
The Benchmark barrel I have is 26" long, and tapers from 1.1" at the breech to .9" at the muzzle. Kind of a shallow Palma taper. The Lilja barrels I have are 1" straight if I remember correctly, also 26" long.


01-18-2008, 10:06 AM
Well get it put together so we can really see it.
Have you tried the 3-groove from BM or Lilja ?
. :)

04-10-2008, 09:30 AM
Any updates????

Eric U
04-10-2008, 02:55 PM
So, here we are a few months later, and still no shots fired. There has been some progress, though. As I type this, my house is in disarray, as I'm moving back to the Ft. Benning area to shoot at the AMU again. Over the last few months, I built four new actions, incorporating the lessons learned from building the first one. I also figured out the extractor issue. I knew that for at least 4-6 months I would be without machines after the move, so I put furter prototype building ahead of working up a rifle. There have been a few hiccups along the way. The guy I hired to braze my bolt handles on boogered up the job, actually melting one of the bolts. The other one didn't come out well enough to use either, so I sent the rest to Bruce Thom so a professional could braze them on. So...I have three 4140 actions, and another 17-4 one, but only three bolts after Bruce finishes them. When I get to the AMU, I'm going to have one of the gunsmiths there build me up a rifle and we'll see how things go.

There...all the update you could ask for. I'll let everyone know results when I get something more to report.


04-11-2008, 12:45 PM

Hello you would not remember me or know who I am...but I remember you as a junior shooter in Spokane....good to see another hometown shooter do so well I wish you the best in your endevors.

08-07-2008, 08:52 PM

If you action ever becomes commercially available I want to get on your list. Your action has all the features and attributes I would want in a dedicated prone rifle action. I think it is a thing of beauty.

Put me down for one.

11-24-2009, 07:58 PM
Hi Eric
I was wondering how your developments were going?
It looks excellent. Would be great to hear how things are going, understanding that a project like this is probably 2 steps forward 1 step back.

Happy shooting

PS appriciate your article in USAS

Eric U
11-24-2009, 10:18 PM
I started shooting the first prototype in late January 2009. It is set up as my prone/position rifle in an Anschutz wood stock. It is by far the most accurate .22 rifle I've ever shot, but I am biased. I've shot more 600's in prone from Jan-Sep than I did with my Anschutz in 25 years.

Getting more made has been a bit slow. ATF says that my manufacturers license should be here in a week. It has taken five months, not the 2-3 they said at the interview. I've got a new shop built and the machines hooked up. Steel is at the heat treater. I'm ready when the paperwork is.

In this first prototype I've found a few things that I will change. Adding another extractor will be the only functional change. Other changes will be for ergonomics and cosmetics.

Everything has taken 3-4x longer than I thought it would.

Thanks for asking,

11-24-2009, 10:26 PM

Nice looking action, and more importantly it sounds like it's a shooter.
Put me on the list for one when your ready for production.


11-24-2009, 10:42 PM
Hi Eric
Someone earlier on questioned, length of barrel hanging off short action.
You've obviously not had any problems. Is there much work modifing stock to take location of new bedding screws?
Personally I'd like to see a barreled action in a barrel clamped stock (would want the clamp located just forward of action).


11-25-2009, 06:22 AM
Do you mean like this:


Eric, how do you think it will turn out, price-wise? Comparable to Anschutz (I know they don't sell actions separately) or more expensive, like a Bleiker?

Walter, a prone shooter in England

Tom C.
11-25-2009, 06:26 AM
nice action eric, what's the bolt look like,
any pictures of the bolt and of the inside of
the action, thanks.

12-02-2009, 12:40 AM
Hi Eric
Great to read of your successes with the new action and progress towards production
Will your action be sold as an action with trigger or do you need to provide your own?
Will your action be exportable
Have you a price indication?


Blind Kiwi

12-02-2009, 12:27 PM
Nice work on your action.

Eric U
12-02-2009, 03:50 PM
I got my manufacturers license last week, so I'm good to go from the government side of things. Steel isn't back from heat treat, so I'm putzing around the shop doing other things right now.

I'm still reluctant to publish pictures of my bolt face and inside of the action until I'm actually in production. I know some guys took pictures of my rifle with bolt out at the PSL match I shot in February. I guess they haven't surfaced yet...

Price wise...I'll need to do a production run to see what they cost cost me to build before I price them. I sent enough steel to the heat treater to make 28 actions...so I guess that would be a production run. Actually, 20-25 would be more accurate as I'm sure I'll screw up some parts working out my programs. They will cost more than Anschutz, hopefully less than Bleiker.

Another change that I didn't mention in the earlier update is that the bolt handle base will be integral machined into the bolt instead of brazed on. This will complicate the bolt machining but will be better in every other way. The handle itself will still be screwed into the base.

Exporting is another hurdle that I haven't even looked into yet. I will export eventually, but it will take some time.

Thanks for the interest.

12-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Are you taking orders or putting people on waiting list?

01-31-2010, 11:49 PM
so that the actions can be exported by a proper exporter licence holder or is this a thought for next year 2011


02-01-2010, 07:06 AM
Any update on availability and new pictures of a actual production action?

02-05-2010, 07:06 PM
Please add my name to the waiting list. Thank you.

02-27-2010, 12:34 AM
Hi Eric how's progress on your action and what is needed to get one?

Blind Kiwi

Eric U
02-27-2010, 09:38 AM
Sorry for no update in a while. I don't hang out on this board much.

Progress is slow. One step forward, three back kind of thing. When I made the prototype, it was not anything resembling production. Now I'm trying to get set up to make these actions efficiently. As I go I've got to make jigs and fixtures and have to acquire tooling and machinery for all the myriad processes necessary to make an action. Anyway, it takes more time that I like to admit. The fact that I have a day job and travel a lot doesn't help either. I am making progress on the first batch of actions, though.

I've just completed about 13 months of shooting my rifle. After some early adjustments, it has been working nearly flawlessly. My scores have continued to rise. In the first eight months of shooting my rifle, I had 10 600's in practice and two in a match. In the 25 years of shooting my Anschutz I had maybe 7 or 8 600's total. I know this doesn't mean much to the benchresters, but for the international prone crowd it might. Maybe I just got lucky and got a good barrel on the first try?

I'm going to want to get a few production models into operation and make sure everything is working properly before I foist them on an unsuspecting public. I'll let everyone know when they are ready to go on sale.


03-01-2010, 12:42 AM
Thanks for the reply Eric; terrific shooting in the last 8 months wish you well for any ISSF competions this year

Blind Kiwi

05-31-2010, 09:39 PM
Well done Eric at Fort Benning. Watching the final on ISSF TV it looks like you used your new action can you confirm? Also Micheal McPhail mentioned he had tried your rifle a few weeks earlier and was really impressed. How are you developments coming along Re new action. Look foward to hearing from you.
New Zealand

steve b.
05-31-2010, 10:37 PM
Eric did infact use his own action, and his newly designed bloop tube / tuner system. I have a few of his actions here, and they are impressive.

We are gonna try to get one into a BR stock and see what it can do. Just working out some minor details and such.

Eric did some great shooting, beating Matt Emmons and many other outstanding shooters.

Eric U
05-31-2010, 10:57 PM
Yes, I used my rifle at the USA World Cup. I've been using it for about 15 months now and it still shoots pretty well. The day that McPhail and I switched rifles was a little more than a year ago, so it wasn't that recently. His rifle also shoots very well, mind you.

Progress on action making is going very slow. Problem is I am traveling and competing so much that I don't get much time out in the shop. Steve B is putting together a couple of the original prototypes. I'd like to get another shooting real soon and have at least one backup before I go to Munich for the world championship. I'm working on another batch of 28 right now, but as I said I haven't made much progress.

Eric U

06-08-2010, 11:44 AM
Hello Eric,

This is my first post.
What do think is an advantage of the front locking in .22 rimfire rifle?
It seems that a share of Bleiker Challenger small bore rifle among finalists in ISSF competitions is increasing gradually. I guess this is because it shoots better. I am also a Bleiker user and have been feeling this rifle (or should I say MY rifle?) shoots more X's than my other rifles. However I am not sure this is because of the barrel or the design of the action or any other reasons.

You have chosen the front locking configuration for your project since I believe you have found some advantages with the design even it causes a loading difficulty (you have mentioned it is not drop-in but you added a ramp).
I appreciate any input from you, and I am rooting for your success in the WCH in Munich.

Eric U
06-08-2010, 04:21 PM
Building great shooting centerfire rifles is a science. Building great shooting rimfire rifles is an art and a mystery. So, my first task in designing an action was to copy as many centerfire features to a rimfire action as I could. Front lugs was the first priority. Making it easy to load with front lugs was the 2nd priority, and by far the more difficult task. I believe that a front lug rimfire action has certain accuracy advantages. The lugs lock up a lot closer to where the base of the cartridge is, making exact alignment a little easier to achieve. With the lugs up front you also get away from issues with bolt flexing and compression that can exist with rear lugs. This is all my hypothesis. There is no proof that a front lug action is any more accurate than those existing rear lug machines, but I sure like how my rifle shoots. Allan Hall says there is no advantage to a front lug action, and he has much more experience than I do. Our opinions differ is all. I really think that the rear lug actions came into being and have hung on because of manufacturability issues and little else. Another side benefit of a front lug action is that the bolt can be much shorter than what you get from a rear lug one. With the shorter bolt, you have a shorter reach to load the gun, and that is an advantage for nearly everyone who shoots prone or position.

On to your question on why the Bleikers shoot better. My answer is Lilja, Lilja, Lilja. As far as I know, Bleiker is the only international position rifle maker that is using a "custom" rimfire barrel made in the US. Also, Heinrich Bleiker has a pretty innovative action design. Very short bolt, easy loading, extremely fast lock time. I like mine better though, but then I'm biased.

Eric U

06-10-2010, 04:40 AM
Would you be able to post a picture of your new action?

04-30-2011, 09:10 AM
Hi Eric

Is there anymore updates are you actions availabe for purchase?


Eric U
04-30-2011, 12:35 PM
I guess it's been almost a year since my last update. The good news is I've qualified for the 2012 US Olympic team using my 1st rifle. I've now got my #2 gun working and it seems to be shooting quite well too.

The bad news...I really don't have the time right now to work on actions. My competition schedule is pretty busy and the Army keeps me busy when I'm not competing. The time I do have to work in the shop I spend making bloop tubes and tuner tubes which are doing very well.

Eric U

Butch Lambert
04-30-2011, 03:50 PM
Congratulations Eric! The rest will work out.

Pete Wass
04-30-2011, 06:26 PM
Looks like there is only one action screw in front of the trigger. The other is in the tang. Also appears to be a recoil grove just behind the front action screw. I'de like to see a longer action, with the bedding screw in front of the trigger as well, but let's wait and see how this one plays out. Excellent choice of trigger.

Just out of curiosity Fred, Why would you want a third screw? I am ignorantr of bedding RF rifles but in CF, most actions do not have a third screw in the middle and often those that do, the third screw is not torqued down as tight as the front and rear, from my experience anyway, and most of them seem to shoot very well. How would a RF differ?



Fred J
04-30-2011, 06:44 PM
I like to bed in front of the trigger, with no tang screw.

Eric U
04-30-2011, 07:45 PM

If you only wanted to bed in front of the trigger, the bedding would be just over 2" long on my action. Again, the Anschutz trigger is more than half the length of the action. I've got mine bedded full length and that seems to work well. A bonus with the rear tang screw is more moment arm to react a heavy barrel/bloop tube combo. I'd love to have two screws in front of the trigger, but having two action screws an inch apart is pretty pointless.

Eric U

Pete Wass
04-30-2011, 10:24 PM
Thanks Fred.