data-csrf="1627350669,32cb75b746f6270f56d8bd5328cafdfc" DIY Custom | As Real As It Gets

DIY Custom

Hondo64d

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2015
284
7
The Big Country
I've been interested a DIY "custom" rifle for a while now and not having a lathe limits my options to a pre-chambered an threaded barrel and a barrel nut. I've considered a Savage action, but from what I read, there is much work that needs to be done to them. That left the Bighorn and the Shilen actions. I happened to stop in to see the folks at Shilen a few months back and while there, made the mistake of fondling one of their DGR actions. I didn't have the heart to leave without it. The action with lug and double pinned 20 MOA rail was about $1k out the door.

The action is on a 700 footprint and will fit in any stock inletted for a 700.





The action allows for a single or double pinned lug. It came with a PT&G lug that is drilled for dual pins, so there is no reason to not go that route.



The bolt, made for Shilen by PT&G, has a floating bolt head like a Savage. Supposedly allows for full lug contact. From the wear pattern on mine, that appears to be the case.



The firing pin and hole are small, as is the ejector hole, making it nice for cartridges that use a small rifle primer. There is no downside the a small firing pin and hole and all my rifles from here out will have that feature.



Did a bit of reading and decided to go with a varmint weight Criterion Barrel in 6.5x47 Lapua from Northland Shooters' Supply . Also got a trued barrel nut and wrench from NSS. Very happy with the CBI barrel and will very likely use another when I get my next barrel. More on that later.

Picked up a used HS Precision stock with PT&G DBM bottom metal from the 24 Hour Campfire classifieds.



Like all HS stocks, it has the aluminum bedding block.



But, this one was sent back to PT&G to be inletted for their DBM bottom metal.



The inletting was perfect and the AICS mags feed perfectly. I wasn't sure I would like a DBM setup, but they simply cannot be beat for generous COAL constraints, great feeding and convenience.

Got PT&G go and no-go gages from Midway and commenced to assemble my rifle. I wish I had taken pictures of the assembly process, but suffice it to say it is a simple process. Installed the Timney 510 narrow. Had to remove the bolt release due to the DGR having a side bolt release. No matter, I like the side release better anyway. I put the barrel nut over the barrel then put the barrel in my barrel vice, put the lug on the action, held in place by the pins and partially screwed the action onto the barrel. I then put the go gage in the chamber and closed the bolt and screwed the action on until I felt light contact on the go gage. I then attached the nut wrench to my torque wrench and torqued the barrel to the specs suggested by NSS (the number escapes me right now). Checked the headspace. Bolt closed on the go gage with the slightest of resistance and would not close on the no-go gage. Good to go...

Bolted the barreled action into the stock. Thought about bedding it, but was curious to see how a true bolt-together rifle would shoot so elected not to. Initially mounted a 16x Super Sniper in SWFA rings, but have since changed out the scope to my 3-12 LRHS in the same SWFA rings.

For load development I did a combination of a ladder and OCW method, shooting three rounds of each powder charge at the same POA at 500 yards. Was shooting 130gr Hunting VLDs, gently kissing the lands pushed by Varget. I had two consecutive charges, 37.4 and 37.8gr (6 shots) group in about 2" at 500 yards so split the difference between the charges and loaded up 37.6gr.

Here is a group I shot yesterday at 500 yards. It is about 2". It is very repeatable and I have done it several times with this load at the same distance.



Also worked up another load yesterday using the same method but different components, this time using H4350 behind 140gr ELDs. I shot three-shot groups of 4 different charges in .4gr increments. Eleven of the 12 shots went into less than 4" at 500 yards. Very wide node there. I'll likely pick the middle of the charges and drive on.

All things considered, I'm extremely satisfied with the project. This rifle is, so far, the best shooting rig I have ever had, and I've had a bunch, put together by some of the best in the business.

I encourage everyone to give this route a try. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results and save some $ to boot.

John
 

dznnf7

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2016
462
10
Great post; cool rifle.

Treat yourself to some fresh earplugs to go with it ;-)
 

tnv

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2007
682
6
TN
Looking nice. I went this route with a Salvage .260 and Criterion to see what I could do with something put together by me. I'm happy so far but still prefer a Remington.
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,606
245
Paradise
Contemplated it,for a herd of Chassis Bitches.

I'd want a longer rail,with as much inclination as possible...and a shorter spout.................(grin)
 

Hondo64d

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2015
284
7
The Big Country
A longer rail wouldn't hurt my feelings but I don't think Stiller offers one. I'd have to check with them to be sure. 20 MOA gets me farther than I can shoot on my place. In the terrain I hunt and shoot in the 26" tube doesn't bother me any but I understand your reasons.

At this point I'm a big fan of barrel nuts and Criterion barrels though! 😀

I do see an 8 twist 22-250 barrel and a .308 barrel in this rifle's future...

Might give a black hole a try too. I have one on my AR but have not tried one of theirs on a bolt gun yet.

John
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,606
245
Paradise
I've chopped too many 26" and greater spouts,to fret ANY velocity loss,especially in a chambering of said capacity. I'd lose 5-inches and bank upon the increased portability,balance and handling trumping any/all construed "performance" "loss".

A longer rail to help with zero retention and more inclination to eek more from the erector,would totally eclipse that near halfa foot of spout and then some.

Never seen a barrel not get better,when getting the chop either,if only because rigidity is increased..............
 

Oatmealsavage82

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2011
1,149
27
Alberta Canada
Big Stick said:
Better/worse? Balance?

You KNOW you wanna chop that spout.................(grin)
Don't think stick understands the prairie....... Senderos abound... ;) but thinking he's right about chopping that spout make it a little easier to get out the truck window on a running dog.
 

Hondo64d

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2015
284
7
The Big Country
With the bipod as shown, it balances at the best one handed carry point, just in front of the mag well. I don't see taking the bipod off, so will probably leave the tube length as is. We're it to do mostly non bipod duty, I might chop it.

Digging the chassis. Quality evident throughout. Especially like having a comb I can finally get a firm cheek weld with.

Never did get a weight with the HS on it, but with the BA Lite it weighs 14 pounds as shown in the pic, which also includes a full mag.

John
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,606
245
Paradise
Shot steel with Slim Shady yesterday and only fired (2) pokes to quantify a new Lot of ammo. (1) poke at the 425yd line,the other at 880yds...both in swirling winds and both connected. I've faith in a 18" Krunchenticker and a 18" 223AI slingin' 75 A-Max,ain't even fucking fair!

Shot (1) poke with the Six Twat-Six for like reason and there was no mistaking it's 8880yd audible arrival upon same.(grin)

Will gun a few others today,just to turn up the heat on the warm fuzzy,as shit will really be poppin' by mid-week,with the weather change looming.....................