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Thread: New to BR shooting - action question

  1. #1
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    New to BR shooting - action question

    Greetings, newbie here. I'm considering building a BR rifle (my first) and am thinking about the Shilen DGV barreled action on a GSR laminated stock - probably a $3000 rifle.

    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the quality and accuracy potential of the Shilen action - I like the barrel nut concept.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I would use Bat or Panda. Proven winners. Of course other actions have won and are very good. You can have any of the great smiths in bench rest chamber a barrel, with out your action in these two actions easily. If I have missed any of the other great actions---apologizes.
    Trout

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by r44astro View Post
    I would use Bat or Panda. Proven winners. Of course other actions have won and are very good. You can have any of the great smiths in bench rest chamber a barrel, with out your action in these two actions easily. If I have missed any of the other great actions---apologizes.
    Trout
    I've looked at the chambering instructions for the Panda action, and this is the type of precision machine work I am hoping to avoid by using a barrel nut. Is a barrel nut action not a good idea?

  4. #4
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    I am not aware of a single person who competes in registered 100-200 yd. group shooting that uses barrel nut. On the other hand, if you are contemplating shooting in a local score match, that has a factory class, you might find some.

  5. #5
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    Lou Murdica has said some good things about barrel nuts. My experimentation has led me to believe that they can be used to good effect BUT......... in my case I must make barrel nuts not buy them, and in any case it is my firm opinion that WHO assembles the parts is 'way more important than the choice of parts

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Greetings, newbie here. I'm considering building a BR rifle (my first) and am thinking about the Shilen DGV barreled action on a GSR laminated stock - probably a $3000 rifle.

    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the quality and accuracy potential of the Shilen action - I like the barrel nut concept.

    Thanks
    If your going to spend 3 grand, do yourself a favor and buy a Panda, Bat or Rimrock as far as actions go. Boyd is right, I haven't seen 1 Shilen action on the line in the 4 seasons that I have been shooting competition short range score. Buy the best and cry once so the saying goes.
    Last edited by Jim Pag; 11-18-2016 at 12:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    It's good to ask the question
    The hard part sometimes is listening to the answers. Speaking from experience

  8. #8
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    AS has been suggested many times on this forum to folks like yourself, the best thing to do before spending $$ is to go to at least one for real benchrest match. Look at the equipment being used and especially what wins. $3000 is more than enough for a winning rifle, but you will probably be much better served with a used rifle with a history of winning or at least being very competitive. I'll repeat what others have said, I've been competing in score matches for 15 years and I have never seen a Shilen action on the firing line. I did once own a Shilen DGA and it was a very good hunting rifle, but I would strongly urge you to choose one of the actions mentioned above for benchrest.

    Rick

  9. #9
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    I shoot score at my local club - Austin Rifle Club - and use a 6BR. I can hold my own against all those 30s and won High Score for 2015 with my 6BR. My setup is a Shilen DGV, Shilen barrel/nut, B&A trigger, McMillan Edge LV, and a Sightron 10-50 scope. I went with the DGV because I wanted to be able to change barrels without needing a gunsmith, and I have done this 3 times now. It's really pretty easy:

    1. Remove action from stock and firing pin from bolt.
    2. Place GO gage in chamber
    3. Lightly snug the barrel down on the GO gage. The bolt should close on the GO gage.
    4. Remove the GO gage and insert the NO GO gage. The bolt should close about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way.
    5. Give the barrel nut wrench a firm tap with your hand.
    6. Remove NO GO and insert GO gage. Bolt should close easily again. Give the barrel nut wrench a much firmer rap again and test the GO gage again.
    7. Finish up with the NO GO and check for 1/3 to 1/2 closure. Reassemble the action/stock and go shooting!

    Having said all that, if I were going to try my hand at national matches, I'm not sure I would stick with the Shilen, but would certainly give it a go at the beginning. As suggested, though, a used BR rifle with one of the actions mentioned can be had for a lot less than I put into my DGV!

    Dennis

  10. #10
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    That's the info I was looking for - thanks everyone

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    That's the info I was looking for - thanks everyone
    Buster. I have 10 short range bench rifles with multiple different caliber barrels for each of them. 2 Bats, a Marsh, 2 Rimrock BR's, 3 Farleys, a Panda and a Teddy. I can change a barrel in less than 5 minutes. Changing barrels in a bench rifle is a piece of cake. You don't need a go/no go gauge. Only thing you need is a good barrel vice and a rear entry action wrench.
    Last edited by Jim Pag; 11-18-2016 at 10:45 AM.

  12. #12
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    i have now built a couple of rifles on custom actions.
    i agree with the tolerances they use bbl changing is a non-issue.
    i also second going to a match or two, and look at a used rifle
    vs building new to start.

  13. #13
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    Wish I had went to a match or two
    Would have saved 5 or 6 grand in the long run

  14. #14
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    The barrel nut system is made for the guys who want to purchase pre-threaded and pre-chambered barrels and swap barrels themselves. Its so much easier if you are going to compete to have your barrels gunsmithed to where they shoulder up against the front of the action and are headspaced by the gunsmith. With the latter system, every time that you install that barrel on that action, the headspace is always the same. With the barrel nut system, every time you install the barrel, you have to headspace the barrel yourself. Most likely, you won't have the headspace the same every time the barrel is installed. That's why most of the time you won't see, especially short range benchrest competitors, shooting barrel nut equipped rifles. I'm pretty sure that Wade is not using a barrel nut on his personal benchrest rifles. Nothing at all wrong with using the Shilen action for what it was intended. I don't think they ever intended for it to be a competition action although it can be used in competition. And just because it was made to use pre-threaded and pre-chambered barrels doesn't mean that you have to use them. You can always have a gunsmith set a barrel up with a shoulder and headspace the barrel to the action. If you are interested in building a100-300 yard benchrest rifle, go to 2016 NBRSA Nationals Sporter class equipment list. I'd print it out as it's showing up sideways on my computer. If you notice in the equipment list, there are lots of similarities in the equipment used at the top of the list and at the bottom of the list. That list will give you a pretty good idea, though, of what is being used at the National's level of competition.

  15. #15
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    Well...oddly enough, my objective with the barrel nut system is not convenience in changing barrels - I don't see myself wanting to do that `til the barrel is worn out. The barrel nut system (in my mind) was/is a hedge against poor workmanship and fitment on the action, the bolt, and the barrel.

    I'm not a gunsmith, but I've been to a lot of "modern" machine shops that can't accurately measure to a tenth, much less work to a tenth. I've not been in many gunsmith shops, but I don't remember being too impressed with any of the machinery or even seeing measuring tools treated as precision instruments - and I doubt they ever got calibrated.

    This forum (and this thread in particular) has been very enlightening. I've no doubt when/if the time comes, you guys can direct me to a good smith who gives a s**t about his work

    And with all the hacks and wannabe's out there, I very skeptical about used equipment.

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