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Big Al

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About Big Al

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    Northumberland

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  1. You will see a worthwhile ballistic advantage running 180gr bullets in something like a straight .284 Win compared to running 140gr in something like a 6.5x47 or 6.5 Creedmoor. Depending on exactly what level of target shooting then dont rule out a good 6mm, potentially easier to shoot well and some of the best 6mm chamberings are seriously accurate and when shooting the 105-110gr class of bullet give up very little/nothing to a 6.5 running 140's in terms of ballistics out to 1000yds.
  2. FAC and re-barrelling of rifle

    I was told by a FLO that the only time a variation was required for a barrel change in the same caliber was if the barrel had a serial number on it and that number was listed on your FAC. Even Joe Public can chamber his own barrel and replace it if he has the skills/facilities and so long as he destroys the old barrel before chambering his new one then everything is fine. He doest have any more barrels or anything different to what he has permission for, the condition of the inside of a rifle barrel (ie new) is of no relevance to anything from a licensing or firearms law stand point. Handing the work over to a rifle builder who destroys your old barrel and returns you your rifle with a new barrel fitted in the same caliber and without need for a variation is common practice. Firearms departments dont need to be bothered with trivia like this when most of them have too long a delay on renewals and variations as things stand.
  3. Put the ear plugs in at dinner time as well as bedtime Chaz and enjoy the rest of the time with the pup. I love new pups in the house, its a great time watching them grow and fit in with the rest of the pack
  4. Building the 'Long Dog'

    In a performance related situation I guess function has to come before form. I will try to put as many curves and softer shapes into it to try and make it as nice as is practical, its never going to look like a 7lb grade 5 walnut stocked stalker but then again I expect it to shoot considerably better at 1000yds
  5. This little pup is making a better job of training you than you are of training her Im afraid, this isn't a good situation for either of you going forward. Remember all dogs are different and some can work out how to train their owners much easier than others, its not a breed thing just an individual dog thing. You have a simple problem that all of us have with new pups. You are making it complicated by allowing yours or your wife emotions to complicate things. The pup doesn't like sleeping without you guys around, you already gave it a very secure bed to sleep on during the day, the only problem by your own admission was its your lap! I appreciate your humanity and care for the pup, most of us feel that way but its our responsibility to tough it out for the good of everyone in the long run. If you let the pup sleep with the spaniel she will eventually make do with the spaniel as her replacement for you and they will cuddle up together. If the pup continually irritates the spaniel by whining Im sure there will be a canine discussion at some point and providing your spaniel isn't an overly aggressive sort it will just establish the pecking order and the pup will learn some ground rules. Every pup Ive ever had went through what yours is going through, most stop howling after 2-3 nights, some have gone a week or more but all without exception stop at some point providing you dont pander to them in any way, they come to realise that bedtime is bedtime for everyone and making a noise doesn't change that. The pup is warm, fed and watered, it wont die while you go to sleep for 8hrs. As I said to you 10 days ago, either put the pup out of earshot or buy yourself some good earplugs then you get to sleep fine and the pup will soon get tired of whining. Sorry if this sounds hard but your asking for help then ignoring it.
  6. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I managed a bit of time today so concentrated on the front end bag rider.
  7. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I though that myself but it doesn't sound mean enough That said, having looked at how its taking shape Im thinking Hammerhead would be more appropriate.
  8. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I managed a couple of ours after work today. Im making good progress and its starting to look a little more like a rifle although plenty more work ahead yet. Time to drill and tap the chassis to accept the butt section Then face the mating surfaces so that I can hide the join later Slimming down the butt section, no more visible join. I can't decide at the minute whether to run a 3" wide rear rudder plate like the Big Dog or taper the butt to use an Edgewood bag. I also need to start thinking about the front bag rider now that the forend is slimmed down. Im at 24lb as it stands but theres a scope and a few more bits to go on so 28lb might be achieveable. Its certainly looking long and low.
  9. Building the 'Long Dog'

    Not competitively Laurie. I just hope we have a nice summer with still days and balmy evenings so I can do plenty of long range testing, I have access to a bench and I can go out to 1000yds. There are quite a few things I would like to work through and form my own opinions on whats good and what isn't.
  10. Building the 'Long Dog'

    When it comes to the highest levels of precision I think a quality action will certainly play its part but exactly how big that part is I dont know yet. I would never say a custom action is no better than a factory one, the fact the best ones are machined to consistent uniform tolerances can only be a good thing and certainly can't hurt. There are a lot of areas to consider when building a precision rifle, things like the barrel, chamber and load development might all figure higher up the order of priority than an action, then theres the stock, trigger shooter etc. When I started building rifles a couple of years ago I had more questions than answers. Having studied closely the custom rifle building scene Ive realised that this is probably true for most. Some quote the same old dogma while others repeatedly test and/or compete until they can draw their own conclusions as to what really matters, what matters less and what doesn't matter at all. In now feel I have a few more answers than I used to have but there are still many unanswered questions, hopefully a nice calm summer this year will help me find a few more. Im using a Tikka M590 action again because I had it in the workshop and the last one worked well, its a solid lump that will allow me to mill a left hand feed port and remain rigid enough to be precise. I have a number or Borden Rimrocks on order for customers and one for myself but it wont be here for a while and because I sold the Big Dog I just wanted to build something else to play with in the meantime. I think for many shooters and some shooting disciplines a factory action is more than good enough, especially a quality one like Tikka but if your wanting to compete at the highest level against others with the best custom actions it would be a brave man who went Tikka when he had the option of a Borden or BAT. That said Ive always liked the idea that fortune favours the brave
  11. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I haven't decided. As the stock gets closer to the shape I have in mind I will weigh it and also see how and where it balances, then I will decide on the front bag riding plate size, shape and weight. This is a new stock design so although I have a picture in my mind/on paper it will evolve as I progress and may not end up how I'm imagining it now. There is a lot of material to come off the forend for most of its length, I would also like the balance point to be moved further forward by maybe 4" so it could be 4-6lb but I wont know for a few days.
  12. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I made some good progress today with the new gun project, the design is more simple than the Big Dog I made previously so Im expecting to finish this one a bit quicker. Some areas are starting to take shape but its a long way from what I have in my head yet. First I had to machine 0.250" from one side as the main chassis section is 2" x 1.75" - I left 20 thou to come from the other side just to clean it up and ensure it was parallel. Now time to drop the comb height and add a few curves. The chips are already starting to build up and I use WD40 as a lubricant so everything gets wet and slippery. Roughing out the barrel channel Roughing out the inlet. Still lots of shaping to do, the forend will be slimmed down considerably but left the same length, the butt section needs slimming down and tapering at the bottom as well as some cosmetic chamfering. The barrel is at 31" long at present. when I chamber it this will reduce to 30" - there will be a 4" muzzle brake/tuner to be added.The stock is 48" long with a 14.5" length of pull, overall I would think we will end up at 54" from butt to muzzle, hence the name Long Do The butt section will be slimmed down to blend in with the radius Ive already cut. I wont do this until both parts are fixed together. Once the action and barrel were able to be fixed into the stock I thought it would be interesting to see what it weighed. My last heavy gun was 46lb and I want this one to be considerably lighter. 28.77lb is good, I have more machining to do but also I have parts to add so at least my basic sizes and design looks to be coming in at the weight I wanted which was 26-28lb
  13. Building the 'Long Dog'

    I think it shoots better
  14. After my success with the 'Big Dog' in benchrest Heavy Gun it was time for a new challenge. The Big Dog was sold to a fellow competitor and Im sure he will continue to do well. My plan has been to build a competitive Light Gun for the 2018 season but there is a bottleneck in the supply of suitable parts, to keep me motivated and still competing I have decided to build another Heavy Gun as an interim measure. After a couple of trial names this rifle will be called the 'Long Dog'. Long dogs in the UK are things like greyhounds or often lurchers that are used by poachers, I like the idea of the new 'Long Dog' poaching a few this season. The idea behind the Long Dog is to create a significantly longer and lower profile stock to reduce the rifles overall centre of gravity and increase its stability. Weight is a great way to stabilise a rifle in the bags but I want this gun to be considerably lighter than the Big Dog was at 46lb. My target weight for this rifle is 26-28lb as it will make transporting it with a bad back a lot easier and also I feel the small 6BRA cartridge might benefit from a little extra movement under recoil to improve barrel harmonics, time will tell on that front. I have 21 days before the next 600yd benchrest competition, I built the Big Dog in the same time scale and hopefully I learned a few shortcuts in the machining set-ups that might speed things up for me. Bear in mind this work has to be fitted around my customer rifles. I will try and keep you updated with images of the build and I would be grateful if you guys would share this album around other FB pages and forums you visit to help increase awareness of my exploits. The basic build componenets;1 off 48"x2"x2" - 6082T6 grade aluminium1 off 14"x2"x2" - 6082T61 off 6"x24"x1/2" - 6082T6 Tikka M590 action Bartlein 6mm 7 twist barrel at 31" Laying out the basic configuration to look at length of pull and the general dynamics of the concept. The rifle will look very different to how it looks now, these are just basic shapes and will be very different when he is finished. Positioning the action in relation to giving me the correct eye relief for the scope, from there the length of pull will be determined. Its not just about building something you think looks right, it has to function right on the bench while your shooting it so how I fit around the gun is very important. Best to be sure of your sizes and layout before you start cutting as its much harder to put back on than take off! Setting up my No1 mill vice to tram properly, the ground parallel Im holding in the vice needs to run true as any errors over the 4" long vice jaws will magnify significantly over a 48" long rifle stock. Setting the vice up can take a while and sadly every time I reposition it the vice will again need to be trued. I will use multiple vices and fixtures to hold the parts while I mill them, every time they need to be clocked for trueness. My mill isnt a big one and jobs like this take its capabilities to the max, sadly I cant get a bigger mill through my workshop doors otherwise I would have originally bought a Bridgeport. First cuts last night, I roughed out the pistol grip area with a roughing end mill. The nearest I get to CNC is running both hand wheels at the same time! I finished the profile by using a fly cutter. The lower butt piece will be set into the main stock to remove the step and make the lines flow better He's starting to look like a gun already!
  15. The 69gr and 77gr TMKs have proven to be great long range vermin rounds, accurate and very explosive at long range even from a 223 case, Ive also heard from a customer who shot the 175TMK very well from a 308 Krieger barrel I put on his rifle out to 1000yds. It seems that they are generally good bullets but the 95gr 6mm and 130gr 6.5mm seem to let the team down, to the extent even an email with Sierra didn't see their bullet tech coming up with any solutions. Ive had feedback from a more than one very competent shooters/reloader that they couldn't get either of the two I mention to shoot repeatably. They would get a good group and then the next ones would not hold together, the pattern of inconsistency was over more than one barrel, load and shooter. Of course what constitiutes good accuracy and consistency can vary from shooter to shooter, Im sure they are useable at sensible distances but if Im pulling the trigger on small live quarry at over 500yds I want to know where my bullet is going.
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