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Thread: Looking for a gunsmith

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9

    Cool Looking for a gunsmith

    Hi folks,

    A few years ago I went on a quest to build one rifle that does "everything". A reasonable weight rifle that is crazy accurate for long range target shooting, powerful enough for handing all North American game, ad light enough to practically carry for hours. I ended up with a GA Precision Xtreme Hunter chambered in 6.5 SAUM with a March 3-24x FFP scope (https://www.gaprecision.net/xtreme-hunter.html). Hunting performance has been excellent but target performance sucks.

    Although this is a premium gun with a Bartlein barrel, I can't get consistent groups under 1 MOA. Yesterday it was shooting 1.0-1.5 MOA groups off a bipod / bench and I'm super unhappy. I should have sent it back when I first got it but was naive enough to believe I could tune a load for the barrel and now were probably about 600 rounds in to the barrel and it's too late.

    I'm looking for a gunsmith who can rebarrel this rifle. Unless there are better alternatives, I'd like to stick with the 6.5 SAUM since I am set up with dies and components. I'm willing to compromise somewhat on weight. My desired outcome criteria would be:
    1. A true .5 MOA rifle that makes me smile at long distance.
    2. I can carry this around on a hunt without feeling like I need to be 10 years younger. I am a fan of Proof carbon fiber barrels if #1 can be met with them.
    3. The VAIS brake has been replaced with a side venting brake using conventional 5/8x24 threads that doesn't throw dirt all over the place when I'm shooting prone.
    4. The stock is opened up to accommodate what I will assume to be a thicker profile barrel.
    5. The wait time is reasonable.

    Please send me a PM if any of you are interested in doing this work.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    216
    define "long range" and target size at distance.
    my 2 cents is you have limited yourself with a 6.5
    300 wsm is competitive at 1000 yards.
    i do not understand how you are sold on "proof" with no accuracy proof.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithsr View Post
    define "long range" and target size at distance.
    my 2 cents is you have limited yourself with a 6.5
    300 wsm is competitive at 1000 yards.
    i do not understand how you are sold on "proof" with no accuracy proof.
    1000 yards is about as far as I can find here in California. I'm not interested in winning competitions, but I'm completely OCD about accuracy. Small groups make me happy. Hearing the ping of a small piece of steel at long distance makes me happy.

    I have 2 Proof barrels on other rifles. One shoots fine (6.5 Creedmoor @ .75 MOA), the other doesn't (223 Wylde AR @ 1.25 MOA). I'm cautiously optimistic about them. All I really care about is getting a smith that can get me to .5 MOA - whatever barrel they choose, I really don't care about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    216
    for reference, once a guy asked about building a 1000 yd rifle. this board told him .25 moa and practice.
    .75 is ok for hunting, not for target shooting.
    take your best to ojai ca this month for a 600 yard bench match, small and friendly.
    sunday am
    Quote Originally Posted by Maldoror View Post
    1000 yards is about as far as I can find here in California. I'm not interested in winning competitions, but I'm completely OCD about accuracy. Small groups make me happy. Hearing the ping of a small piece of steel at long distance makes me happy.

    I have 2 Proof barrels on other rifles. One shoots fine (6.5 Creedmoor @ .75 MOA), the other doesn't (223 Wylde AR @ 1.25 MOA). I'm cautiously optimistic about them. All I really care about is getting a smith that can get me to .5 MOA - whatever barrel they choose, I really don't care about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9
    Would love to go to Ojai - beautiful place, but unfortunately I'm about a 6 hour drive away in NorCal and I don't have a rifle for competition. I used to have a Terry Cross smithed 6.5-08AI built on Surgeon action a that was competitive but it was crazy heavy. Have fun!

    Not going to disagree about .25 MOA being a beautiful thing. I'd be happy if I can get to .5 MOA and ecstatic if the magic formula is there for .25 MOA. I'm expecting that without adding a huge amount of weight .5 is more realistic for a rebarrel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    7,867
    Your expectations are unrealistic. 1/4 Moa is reserved for dedicated single purpose Benchrest Rifles.

    I/2 5 shot moa groups are within reach, but you have to remove as many variables as possible.

    It all starts with the barrel and the action. Any Custom Krieger, Bartlien, Shilen, etc will be capable. But then you have to have a bullet that is capable. Then there is the load. If you canít tune it, it will not perform.

    Then there is you. I have an excellent custom 3006 that I built several years back. It has all of the best components combined with my building skills. I can shoot .400 5 shot groups off of the Bench with a friend watching the flags and coaching me. There is no way I could keep it under 1/2 inch off of a BiPod.

    The truth is, there is no such thing as an All Around Rifle. The very thing that makes a Rifle easy to carry and functional in the field are contrary to extreme accuracy. In a good field rifle, feeding, proper ejection and ease of handling are as important as accuracy.

    As for the Carbon Wrapped barrels, waste your money if you want to. I have seen several, none were up to par in the accuracy department. A good friend retired last year, and his son gave him a Christensen Arms with the carbon wrapped barrel. Itís in 6.5 Creedmore, an inherent accurate chambering.

    It shoots 3/4 to 1 inch groups at 100 yards with his best loads.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Oriental, NC
    Posts
    960
    If you insist on a CF barrel go Bartlein.
    I'll add finding a .5 MOA hunting bullet can be challenging.
    Last edited by Dave Tooley; 07-03-2020 at 08:41 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
    Posts
    6,178

    From my experience

    and I've had a couple, light rifles are good for 3 to 5 shots before they string the following ones. Light rifles are for a particular purpose and it's very important to know where the first shot out of a cold barrel goes.

    Pete

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    763
    The "Delta" range near Morro Bay shoots out past 1000 yards.

    Your problem may be the "bipod"

    Berger makes great bullets.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    216
    you take an easy drive down saturday, spend the night in ojai or and close costal town, drive to the range and shoot. have lunch after and drive home.
    i do a similar trip all the time.
    its all of 20 bucks for the match

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ca.
    Posts
    684
    As Jackie clearly pointed out. That also begs me to ask if you live in Ca. are you trying to get lead free bullets to shoot up to these expectations? If so the best of luck none of them are capable of being up to that task by any means.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9
    So many great thoughts & comments

    1. On Carbon Wrapped / Bartlein Barrels - Sounds like I will pass on that route given the general negativity and my own observations that these don't shoot much below .75 MOA. No offense to Bartlein, but that's who made the current barrel that won't shoot well. I also have a 308 Bartlein barrel chambered by Dave Tooley on my Q Fix rifle that does about 3/4 to 1 MOA (it is a light barrel). Based on my observations, I don't see the magic in the Bartlein brand.

    2. On the trip to Ojai and elsewhere hours away - I'm not old enough that I can ditch the family and hit the road whenever I want to. Maybe in a few years Would love to meet great folks like you in person.

    3. On accuracy expectations - I agree that .25 MOA is outside of expectations - I never said that was an expectation. I believe on this platform .5 MOA is reasonable.

    4. On the lack of love for bipods - I've shot this same rifle off a heavy rest with rear bag (my old benchrest gear). No appreciable difference in accuracy than when I shoot it off my Atlas bipod.

    5. On bullet accuracy - I totally agree that the 127gr Barnes LRX that I use for hunting won't get much below MOA and I'm not looking for that from hunting bullets. Most of the time I range shoot. Have tried Lapua Scenars, Barnes Matchburners, Hornady ELD-M, Bergers, etc. None are much better or worse.

    I think I may just have to get a heavier barrel for target work and switch back to the lighter one for hunting.

    That still leaves me with the problem of finding a gunsmith. I did reach out to Mike Bryant based on a recommendation but he unfortunately doesn't have the 6.5 SAUM 4S reamer. Any other recommendations or a reamer that Mike can borrow?

    Thanks guys.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    7,867
    Quote Originally Posted by Maldoror View Post
    So many great thoughts & comments

    1. On Carbon Wrapped / Bartlein Barrels - Sounds like I will pass on that route given the general negativity and my own observations that these don't shoot much below .75 MOA. No offense to Bartlein, but that's who made the current barrel that won't shoot well. I also have a 308 Bartlein barrel chambered by Dave Tooley on my Q Fix rifle that does about 3/4 to 1 MOA (it is a light barrel). Based on my observations, I don't see the magic in the Bartlein brand.

    2. On the trip to Ojai and elsewhere hours away - I'm not old enough that I can ditch the family and hit the road whenever I want to. Maybe in a few years Would love to meet great folks like you in person.

    3. On accuracy expectations - I agree that .25 MOA is outside of expectations - I never said that was an expectation. I believe on this platform .5 MOA is reasonable.

    4. On the lack of love for bipods - I've shot this same rifle off a heavy rest with rear bag (my old benchrest gear). No appreciable difference in accuracy than when I shoot it off my Atlas bipod.

    5. On bullet accuracy - I totally agree that the 127gr Barnes LRX that I use for hunting won't get much below MOA and I'm not looking for that from hunting bullets. Most of the time I range shoot. Have tried Lapua Scenars, Barnes Matchburners, Hornady ELD-M, Bergers, etc. None are much better or worse.

    I think I may just have to get a heavier barrel for target work and switch back to the lighter one for hunting.

    That still leaves me with the problem of finding a gunsmith. I did reach out to Mike Bryant based on a recommendation but he unfortunately doesn't have the 6.5 SAUM 4S reamer. Any other recommendations or a reamer that Mike can borrow?

    Thanks guys.
    You can rent reamers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    216
    and reamers come in DIFFERENT SIZES.
    IMHO if you stick with 6.5 you are stuck.
    owning a yugo/chevette and wanting to date models....just dreaming, it aint gonna happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    You can rent reamers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Greenwood, Ca
    Posts
    217
    I do a bunch of Proof CF barrels on Fuzion titanium actions. Iím not completely sold on the CF barrels, but people seem to be happy with that combo.

    Iím a few hours from you if youíre in the Bay (Iím about an hour east of Sacramento). Iíll pm you with my contact info if youíd like to discuss your project.

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