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View Full Version : Magic Actions: Your thoughts



JRinCo
05-16-2009, 01:50 PM
As I prepare for another shooting season, I'm having an epiphany. I have BAT actions, Nesika actions and Remington actions. Most have worn numerous different barrels in calibers ranging from .223 Rem. to .338 RUM. Some have had different stocks. All of the work was performed by top rifle smiths, names that you would all know and respect.

Conventional wisdom suggests that if your action, bedding, scope and bases are true, that all you need is a good barrel and ammo.

Here's what's interesting. I have kept a very good records of the performance of all of these configurations. What I'm seeing across the board is that an action that would shoot at specific level with one barrel would shoot close to that level any other barrel that I had on it. My first Nesika would shoot in the .3's using either target bullets or hunting bullets as did the next 2 barrels that I had on it. I have 3 BAT actions, 2 of them will only shoot in the .5's and #3 is a drill. The best example is a short 700 Remington action. I started shooting rifle silhouette in 1987 with this action, it has worn an honest 7 barrels and 3 stocks. Calibers .308 Win., .243 Win. and .260 Rem. With this action, 100 yd. groups are never worse that .35 and with its best ammo it will shoot .060. These barrels have a reverse taper and a stock that has a high comb that is designed to be shot off hand.

Does anyone else have any thoughts?

Pete Wass
05-16-2009, 01:59 PM
have you had on the Drill?

JRinCo
05-16-2009, 02:06 PM
It's a 1K rifle, wearing it's second barrel in .300 WSM.

virg
05-16-2009, 02:17 PM
The best example is a short 700 Remington action. I started shooting rifle silhouette in 1987 with this action, it has worn an honest 7 barrels and 3 stocks. Calibers .308 Win., .243 Win. and .260 Rem. With this action, 100 yd. groups are never worse that .35 and with its best ammo it will shoot .060.

Now...I have just one question; is the .060 group consistent, or a one time thing?:rolleyes:

virg

JRinCo
05-16-2009, 02:43 PM
No this particular gun will shoot very consistently. I'm wondering why, that I don't reconfigure it and make it my 1000 yd. light rifle.

alinwa
05-16-2009, 05:13 PM
I believe in magic actions.

I believe that the action is a LARGE part of the equation.

al

big k
05-16-2009, 06:19 PM
Conventional wisdom suggests that if your action, bedding, scope and bases are true, that all you need is a good barrel and ammo.

H

Does anyone else have any thoughts?

are all of the barrels for a particular action the same length?

JRinCo
05-16-2009, 06:44 PM
Maybe 50% of them have been the same length. But I have changed lengths in most of them enough that length doesn't seem to be a factor. There are 4 different brands of barrels that I have used and I like them all.

One of these more expensive actions I mentioned didn't want to shoot. I tried 3 different barrels in 2 different calibers, you couldn't tell any difference in the performance of the whole bunch. Tried rebedding, didn't help. Finally Greg Tannel went through the bolt and tweeked it a little. I can see that there has finally been some improvemet, next week I'll get to shoot a match with it. Stay tunned!

Hal D.
05-16-2009, 07:15 PM
I don't think there's any magic to it necessarily. If anything, there is the occasional action out there that just won't shoot. I have five BAT's...four three lugs and a 2 lug. In the last 3 years or so, I've been able to swap barrels on them and all four of the 3 lugs perform the same with any given barrel. The 2 lug is a different animal all together. It never shot. No matter what barrel I put on it, it was doomed to be inconsistent. I've trued it up, re-bedded, restocked, and even had it in my rail. I find it very difficult to give up on something as expensive as a BAT action, but that action is now set aside for a future PD rifle or some such thing.

Wilbur
05-16-2009, 11:25 PM
Magic actions are prerequisites to hummer barrels.

That said, if your action shoots .060 consistently you really ought to reconsider that deal you made with the Devil.

HFV
05-17-2009, 12:03 AM
No this particular gun will shoot very consistently. I'm wondering why, that I don't reconfigure it and make it my 1000 yd. light rifle.

Is this rifle for sale? How many K's for it. You should put this rifle on auction, I'll bet she will go for more than $12,500. I dreamed of something of that nature, after watching 12 hrs. of re-runs of "meet the press" and 1-1/2 days of 'Mary Poppins" w/over a bushel of buttered popcorn under my belt.

alinwa
05-17-2009, 02:17 AM
I don't think there's any magic to it necessarily. If anything, there is the occasional action out there that just won't shoot. I have five BAT's...four three lugs and a 2 lug. In the last 3 years or so, I've been able to swap barrels on them and all four of the 3 lugs perform the same with any given barrel. The 2 lug is a different animal all together. It never shot. No matter what barrel I put on it, it was doomed to be inconsistent. I've trued it up, re-bedded, restocked, and even had it in my rail. I find it very difficult to give up on something as expensive as a BAT action, but that action is now set aside for a future PD rifle or some such thing.

Hal,

Is the trigger properly timed?

al

Hal D.
05-17-2009, 07:07 AM
Hal,

Is the trigger properly timed?

al

It sure is. I've done everything imaginable to make that action shoot. I know of several other actions that are afflicted with the same thing, Farley's, Panda's, etc.

wlb
05-17-2009, 08:40 AM
I must have found a magic Remington 788. Several years ago, after an eye operation, I needed a light recoiling rifle. A friend had given me a neglected 788 Remington with pitted bore and action so I decided to rebarrel it to .25BR. I ordered a threaded, chambered barrel from Pac-Nor and fitted it to the action, stoned the trigger the best I could, glass bedded the action, and refinished the stock.
I made my own loading tools to expand and reduce the thickness of the necks (notice I did not say turned), and to seat the 100 grain Sierra HPBT. With the only load I have ever tried, 29 grains of 748, this rifle consistently shoots 3/8" 5 shoot groups when I do my part. The trigger is the weak link on this rifle but I've never found anything to replace it with.

JRinCo
05-17-2009, 09:11 AM
Hal D.
"It sure is. I've done everything imaginable to make that action shoot. I know of several other actions that are afflicted with the same thing, Farley's, Panda's, etc."

It's not my intent to malign any manufactuers quality control, I'd just like to be able to figure out why some of these S.O.B.s will not shoot!

One of these non shooters is on my 1000 light rifle. After doing everything else to it, I called Bruce Baer a couple of months ago. After telling him my story, I asked Bruce if he would sell me a new stock. To his absolute credit, Mr. Baer's reply was, that he would be happy to sell me a new stock, but the problem is not in the stock, it's in your action.

So if that's the problem, then what do you do!

eww1350
05-17-2009, 10:50 AM
alinwa...
I recently started a thread about my Hall "M" action about my trigger timing and bolt closing...
the only feedback I got was to....
contact Alan Hall which I did his response was
" does it go bang.!...if you don't have miss-fires there is nothing wrong with it don't mess with it"...
Now I am at a quandry...no-one thought my Hall needed to have the trigger timed...but an action that is not shooting well needs the trigger timed.????

whats the deal...

Tony Shankle
05-17-2009, 11:55 AM
didn't Harold Vaughn find that about half of the accuracy problem were in the action/receiver???

Bill Ohio
05-17-2009, 12:03 PM
The best example is a short 700 Remington action. I started shooting rifle silhouette in 1987 with this action, it has worn an honest 7 barrels and 3 stocks. Calibers .308 Win., .243 Win. and .260 Rem. With this action, 100 yd. groups are never worse that .35 and with its best ammo it will shoot .060.

Does anyone else have any thoughts?

"Never worse that (sic) .35"..." and screamer groups with "its best ammo".

Wow, sounds like you should take that silhouette rifle to benchrest matches and mop up those boys with your 700.

Sounds like magic to me. "Never" a group worse than .35" at 100y...

JRinCo
05-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Bill Ohio, I'm not going to get suckered into that. The point that I'm trying to make is what Tom Shankle posted. "maybe half of the problem is in the action."

MColeman
05-17-2009, 05:45 PM
alinwa...
I recently started a thread about my Hall "M" action about my trigger timing and bolt closing...
the only feedback I got was to....
contact Alan Hall which I did his response was
" does it go bang.!...if you don't have miss-fires there is nothing wrong with it don't mess with it"...
Now I am at a quandry...no-one thought my Hall needed to have the trigger timed...but an action that is not shooting well needs the trigger timed.????

whats the deal...

from Allan Hall. He has the attitude that if he built it there's nothing else that needs to be done.

Big Al
05-17-2009, 06:10 PM
from Allan Hall. He has the attitude that if he built it there's nothing else that needs to be done.

I wonder if that comes from making actions for decades? A fellow might get the idea, eventually, that he knows something about the subject. But this is only a wild guess.

MColeman
05-17-2009, 07:04 PM
I wonder if that comes from making actions for decades? A fellow might get the idea, eventually, that he knows something about the subject. But this is only a wild guess.
Partly, but mostly it's arrogance. I know him very well.

SCOTTY CRAWFORD
05-17-2009, 07:44 PM
Ok, Maybe I should ask this on another thread. What is considered a perfectly timed trigger and How does it make an action shoot any better?

Pete Wass
05-17-2009, 08:01 PM
I must have found a magic Remington 788. Several years ago, after an eye operation, I needed a light recoiling rifle. A friend had given me a neglected 788 Remington with pitted bore and action so I decided to rebarrel it to .25BR. I ordered a threaded, chambered barrel from Pac-Nor and fitted it to the action, stoned the trigger the best I could, glass bedded the action, and refinished the stock.
I made my own loading tools to expand and reduce the thickness of the necks (notice I did not say turned), and to seat the 100 grain Sierra HPBT. With the only load I have ever tried, 29 grains of 748, this rifle consistently shoots 3/8" 5 shoot groups when I do my part. The trigger is the weak link on this rifle but I've never found anything to replace it with.

If you ask on here you might find a CANJAR for it. They made them and I have one on mine! ;)

alinwa
05-17-2009, 09:47 PM
Partly, but mostly it's arrogance. I know him very well.

;)

:D

al

alinwa
05-17-2009, 10:12 PM
In my limited experience actions can be simply maddening. Guys like Borden, Bryant, Walley, Stiller, Scott etc actually have a SYSTEM for diagnosis... they actually understand the dynamics.

I have no freakin' clue beyond the obvious.

I know how to clean up the engagement surfaces and fix the timing handoff. I can check for alignment issues, smooth up the threads on the bolt shroud, polish the firing pin and all camming surfaces and then I'm about out of stuff..... I do rework the cocking ramp sometimes and spend some time checking the inside fit of the firing pin in the bolt.

I wouldn't DARE to opine here about real timing issues, the few bolt handles I've modified and bolts I've assembled were just set to jigged specs. But I can say this, certain 'smiths turn out a remarkable higher proportion of shooters while using the same components. :)

I went to gunsmithing school. I fiddle with some of my own stuff. I've got a lathe and some opinions :D

I know enough to PAY ONE OF THE GUYS LISTED ABOVE for real work...... I'm deadly serious. If I had an action right now that didn't shoot, AND if it was an otherwise good action, I'd send it off to Jim Borden.

"A man's gotta' know his own limitations"

al

wlb
05-18-2009, 10:51 AM
on the Canjar trigger. Another reader emailed me and said Timney also made a trigger for the 788 and I ordered a 1.5 pound one yesterday. I have Timneys on several old bolt action military rifles I built eons ago so I expect it to be a lot better than what is on it now. Is your 788 Canjar a 2 ounce pull?

gt40
05-18-2009, 12:12 PM
on the Canjar trigger. Another reader emailed me and said Timney also made a trigger for the 788 and I ordered a 1.5 pound one yesterday. I have Timneys on several old bolt action military rifles I built eons ago so I expect it to be a lot better than what is on it now. Is your 788 Canjar a 2 ounce pull?

If it is their set trigger like I have on my old Winchester it is 2 to 4 ounce adjustable set and 3 to 4 pound not set. I love it!! 2 triggers in one.

"Aim small miss small", :D

gt40

PS: For sure not the cheapest trigger on the market.

JRinCo
05-18-2009, 03:49 PM
alinwa: You are the man!