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GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

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GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby Coyotehunter » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:49 am

GETTING STARTED
A word before I get going on this. I’m sure as hell no gun snob. Custom rifles are cool but not necessary to excel at any type of hunting. I enjoy shooting at paper and impromptu targets nearly as much as I do hunting. Taking things too far is kinda my thing. I enjoy the pursuit of accuracy but freely acknowledge it is not necessary for hunting. As you guys will see, this isn’t going to be a hunting rifle at all. It’s built exclusively for shooting of a bench. Don’t sweat it. Other than the finish and the shape of the stock the process is the same.
Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to play with quite a few factory rifles, most of which were from the whitebread gun companies like Rem, Ruger, Savage, etc. Those of you who spend quite a bit of time online have probably seen some pretty impressive accuracy claims from the owners of factory rifles. I have a hard time swallowing some of it. One way to put this into perspective is to describe what I’ve found to be the accuracy potential of most mass produced varmint bullets. Under more or less ideal circumstances, the common varmint bullets appear to be capable of accuracy in the ¼ to 5/16 inch range at 100 yards. Yes, I have seen groups in the .1 to .2 range, but we’re talking average accuracy here. It’s average accuracy that pays the bills, so to speak. I did this testing in rifles that are far more precisely built than most factory rifles will ever be, chambered in friendly, easy to use rounds such as 6br, 223rem, and 22-250 AI. So if someone tells you they have a factory gun that will average ¼ inch groups at 100 with ballistic tips or blitz kings, what they are in effect telling you is that they have a gun that is perfect from one end to the other. Not to mention the skill to steer it that straight. It is possible, but extremely unlikely. The absolute best I’ve seen factory varmint rifles do is average around 3/8 inch at 100. A good sporter is usually going to shoot just slightly bigger. By all means decide for yourselves what you want to believe, but this is what I have found to be true. I would suggest you believe what you’ve seen with your own eyes, rather than what you read online or in magazines. Enough ranting.
pic1.JPG

We’ll get the ball rolling with a rundown of the parts.
Savage Target Action
Bartlein 22 cal blank, 1 in 8 twist
Stockade Gunstocks Long Range Benchrest stock. Purchased straight out of the mold.
NightForce 8x32 NXS scope
pic2.jpg
A close up of the Savage TA.

I’ll start things out with a brief description of what we’re trying to accomplish by “truing” an action. Imagine you’re holding your gun out in front of you. Draw an imaginary line down the center of the action and the bore of the barrel. Truing an action insures that everything is as concentric with this imaginary line as humanly possible. If you were able to spin the entire rifle on this line there would be no discernable wobble in the boltway through the action, the chamber of the barrel, and the first few inches of the bore(no barrel is perfectly straight). Also, the locking lug abutments in the action and the action face will be at a perfect right angle to the boltway. The locking lug abutments are the surfaces that the locking lugs on the bolt rest on when the bolt is closed
pic3.jpg

What you’re looking at in the above pic is the TA ready to go into my action truing jig. There are two bushings in the boltway of the action. The outside of these bushings has a taper that allows them to center themselves in the boltway. The inside diameter of the bushings is ideal for accepting a precision ground ½ inch dia. rod, which you see sticking out of the front of the action.
pic4.jpg

Before I get too far, I should probably introduce you to the Grizzly. It wasn’t cheap, but if I take care of it, it should last a long, long time.
pic5.jpg

Here’s a pic of the action inside of the truing jig. The first step is to dial the jig itself in with the four jaw chuck on the lathe. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Within .001 is fine.
pic6.jpg

After the jig is dialed in, the eight adjustment bolts on the jig are used to get the action spinning true. For this, a pair of highly sensitive test indicators are used on the ½ inch rod that is centered in the boltway. While absolute perfection isn’t necessary here, I try to get as close as possible. Less than .0001(one ten thousandth) run out is a good goal.
pic7.jpg

At this point, I go in with a bar and clean up the action face and the locking lug abutments. After that’s done, I set up and chase the internal threads for the barrel shank. You’ll have to forgive me, I don’t have much in the way of pictures for these two steps. Most of this is done blind. I was concentrating more on not ruining a 500 dollar action than taking photographs. Machining these areas does a few things. Chasing the action threads insures that the centerline of the barrel and the centerline of the action line up as perfectly as possible. Machining the action face insures that the barrel is not crooked on the action. Machining the locking lug abutments insures that the locking lugs on the bolt have good contact with the action. When all of this is done, the action is removed from the lathe.
pic8.jpg

What you’re looking at here is the action snuggled inside my action wrench. My POS camera just wouldn’t cooperate with me on this one. Things were just too shiny.
The next step was to begin working with the barrel. I ran the barrel through the headstock on my lathe and dialed in both ends.
pic9.jpg

Above is the outboard end and below is the chuck end.
pic10.jpg

Right now I have the muzzle end in the chuck. What I’m doing is cutting a reference point . The breech end of this barrel is too large in diameter to be set up for a Savage. Easier to show you then tell. Below is the cut that I made at this point.
pic11.jpg

You see a shoulder as well as another short section machined concentric with the bore. The shoulder is to stop my tailstock from driving the barrel into the chuck during the next operation. The other area is used to dial in the barrel as I won’t have access to the bore during the next setup
pic12.jpg

The barrel has been removed from the headstock of the lathe and is now set up between a live center and the four jaw chuck. You can see a test indicator on the far end near the chuck. It is riding on the area previously machined concentric with the bore. The shoulder I machined is preventing the tailstock/live center from simply driving the barrel deeper into the chuck. The breech end is toward you. Savage barrels lack the recoil shoulder that you have on nearly every other brand. This requires turning the entire breech end of the barrel to the same diameter of the barrel threads.
pic13.jpg


In the above pic I’m beginning to make the cut. After that process was complete, I one again put the barrel in the headstock of the lathe and started the threading and chambering. We’re at roughly the halfway mark. I think I’ll break here and answer any question you may have.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby Tbush » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:04 am

When can you start on my gun :shock:
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby bucksnbears » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:37 pm

good stuff very informative. i'll re-read it to make sure i understand it all. lead, is this a hobby or is this what you do for a living??
the more food you have in your mouth at one time, the better you can taste it!!!
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby Coyotehunter » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:40 pm

pretty nice set up for a hobby. great post.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby bucksnbears » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:58 pm

i just ordered a barrel from lilja.17-204. i should have thought of you but i did'nt :oops: . i already talked to a smith to do it. dammit :oops:
the more food you have in your mouth at one time, the better you can taste it!!!
"Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone that they have not first taken away from someone else."


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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:58 pm

just a hobby for me. It has pretty much consumed my life though. I plan on going pro in 3 or 4 years. I need to thank coyotehunter for helping me get this posted. I'm a frickin putz with computers. I couldn't have done it without his help.


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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby Coyotehunter » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:51 pm

No problem buddy, sorry it took so long. Great info and pics!!
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:04 pm

Lets see if we can keep the ball rolling...
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:18 pm

OK
After turning the entire shank down to the right diameter for the threading operation, I put the barrel back in the headstock of the lathe. What you're looking at in the above photo is what happens when I forget to order inserts for my cut off tool. It's generally considered to be a good idea to remove an inch from each end of the blank. Hand lapped barrels tend to be slightly washed out on the ends. This is from the reversing of the slug/abrasive used to remove tool marks from the barrel.Once again the barrel needs to be dialed in. Then I machined the breech end of the barrel.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby bucksnbears » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:21 pm

leadb. if you have time could you post on how barrels get fluted if you know how?? i'm just curious. thanks
the more food you have in your mouth at one time, the better you can taste it!!!
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:22 pm

After the breech end of the barrel is machined, I setup for thread cutting. Here's a pic of the machine all set up and ready to rock.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:24 pm

Can do bucks. Give me a day or so to get it done, OK?


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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:35 pm

After many passes with the thread cutting insert, the action is used as a guage to check thread depth.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby leadbiscuit » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:37 pm

A picture of the completed threads.
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Re: GETTING STARTED By Leadbisquit

Postby bucksnbears » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:40 pm

this is a great post LeadB. thanks for taking the time to do it 8)
the more food you have in your mouth at one time, the better you can taste it!!!
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