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Big Al

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Everything posted by Big Al

  1. Add to the above new load development for a cartridge you dont know. This will possibly take you longer to get the right load than it would to fine tune what you already know about 6.5x47 and again it just adds to the costs. Consumables used in load development quickly add up and at the end of they day all these shots are just a means to an end, bullets primers and powder aren't cheap. Having said that, if you dont shoot much past 600yds I would prefer a 6BR as they are generally a more pleasant caliber to shoot with noticeably less recoil. Im afraid Im in the American camp though, within reason barrels are consumables.
  2. Big Al

    New barrel breaking in

    What did the person who built the rifle advise?
  3. I finished this rifle a couple of weeks ago and is now awaiting load development. Its very much the kind of rifle I like and would be happy to own this one myself. After talking the project through with my customer and deciding on the type of rifle he wanted and the uses he would have for it he then gave me a bit of free reign as to the final spec and cosmetics. He wanted something a little different and with a classy understated look rather than blingy. We are both happy with the end result. The idea was to make a long range precision varminting rifle that was also capable of 600yd & 1000yd benchrest competitions. The rifle weighs 16.95lb as seen so qualifies as a benchrest light gun and the bag rider plates are for shooting from rests, they can be removed in seconds for field use and a bipod fitted to the Anschutz rail. The spec is as follows; Mausingfield action from the American Rifle Company Bartlein 5R chambered in 6.5x47 and throated for 140's Manners T4A carbon stock Bix & Andy benchrest trigger Tier One bottom metal for an AI 5 shot mag Anshutz rail My own design bag riders and muzzle brake IOR Terminator 12-52x56
  4. Big Al

    Mausingfield 6.5x47

    I think the article you found will cover pretty much anything I can say. From my own experience its a very well made high quality product. Most of the work I do these days is custom action builds, BAT, Borden, Bighhorn, Mausingfield, RPA and Defiance. BAT and Borden are tighter but in a field action I wouldn't want that, the Mausingfield has some clearance that allows to to run fast and very smoothly, the finish on the Mausingfield is as good as the very best and now with the option of PVD coatings as standard it is a real player in the LR Varminting and PRS type build market. Even that bolt knob which is very Marmite actually plays a good part in the function once you get used to it. I was talking to the chap who I built it for only this week and he was saying its a delight to use.
  5. Big Al

    Mausingfield 6.5x47

    I dont have a daughter... As for the target, the name of the maker is printed on it, contact him and ask him yourself.
  6. Big Al

    Mausingfield 6.5x47

    The target isn't mine, I posted pictures sent to me by the chap that was paid by my customer to do the load development. What I do know is he made the target himself in MS Word
  7. Big Al

    Mausingfield 6.5x47

    Which target?
  8. Big Al

    6.5x47L Dies

    They will be keeping the 6.5x47 dies for when the Creed barrel is finished...
  9. Big Al

    Brass shrinkage!

    Do the cases that have the shoulder at 1.624 still close nicely with minimal resistance on the bolt? If so I would leave them as is and bump the few longer ones back to match them. Trim length for the .308Win is 2.005 and with max case length being 2.015" you still have plenty of room so I would probably trim only the longest ones to match the average.
  10. Big Al

    Brass shrinkage!

    The cases have expanded to fit the chamber, the material needed to do this either has to be pulled down from the neck area or pushed up from the web - the brass in the web area is considerably thicker than the neck area, the weakest point moves first hence they have shrunk. You may not notice much if any growth on the second firing but from then onwards they will grow, the rate will depend on the charge weight and pressure you are running.
  11. Big Al

    Reprofile a barrel?

    As I said earlier, there are lots of myths propagated within the rifle building business by some, I dont really understand why? I much prefer facts rather than myths and this question in particular isn't really a hard one to get to the bottom of by looking at the facts. Once a barrel has been rifled, either cut or buttoned the barrel maker may choose to perform a process they feel will relieve any stresses they feel is now in the blank. From there is is profiled and sent out to the customer. From the same 1.350" diameter blank there will be all types of profiles cut right down to the thinnest sporter. All the profiling is done in a lathe, usually with a travelling support to reduce barrel flex and improve rigidity in the cutting process, after profiling there is no further stress relieving done. The barrel then comes to me as say a heavy profile and I then carry on the profiling to whatever I want - how on earth does this differ from the process finishing in the factory? In fact I know that the cuts I take will be a lot smaller and slower than a factory profiling lathe because my machine isn't as rigid as theirs. Ive visited a UK barrel making plant, seen the size/colour of the chips lying in the profiling lathe and so know this for a fact. The only way profiling would be a problem would be if the person didnt know what they were doing during the re-profiling which I alluded to in my first post. When cutting metal there are basic principles of cutting speeds and feeds as well as the right cutting tool geometry and tool coatings that will ensure the majority of the heat created in the cutting process goes into the chip coming off rather than the workpiece. Add to that the use of flood coolant during the cutting process (be that turning or milling) and the workpiece stays cool throughout the job. We have turning tool and milling cutter technology now that allows us to even cut barrel steel dry without coolant and again the workpiece stays relatively cool, the heat goes into the chips being made not the workpiece. Ive turned barrels dry and they never got close to being as hot as they do when they are fired in a rapid fire benchrest competition on a hot summers day. Profiling or re-profiling a barrel blank is quite frankly a boring and tediously slow job on a manual lathe the kind that most rifle builders have. Turning long accurate tapers with a good surface finish will be beyond the capability of some and so its not a popular job that they will try to avoid at all costs, I think this could be where the myths come from? Lathes with copy attachments and hydraulic followers make the job easier, this is where the CNC machines come into their own, again most small rifle builders dont have this technology, myself included. I know of at least three other reputable UK rifle builders who are happy to profile and re-profile their barrels, one has been doing this for 25yrs. When I started building rifles I realised the permutations of barrel profile, caliber and twist rate would mean I would need a lot of barrels if I wanted to be able to turn around jobs quickly without constantly ordering barrels and waiting for them. The answer was to order my initial batches of barrels as blanks, this way I could profile as required, this cost me in time I couldn't charge for but made it possible to hit the ground running at a lesser initial start-up cost. Even now that Im established with a good stock of barrels I still order a lot of my barrels usually in blank form and then profile them myself, sometimes I also buy heavy benchrest profiles and then re-profile them to the spec I need. I would say in the last 3yrs I have either profiled or re-profiled about half of the approx 140 barrels I have used. There has not been one single barrel that has not lived up to expectation, accuracy has been as good on barrels I have profiled as it has been on barrels I have had supplied ready profiled. I dont do the fluting myself, I send it out to a company I trust and again never has there been a problem with regard to accuracy if you know what your doing. My rifles hold 4 of the 8 UKBRA long range benchrest records with barrels I profiled myself, I have also profiled barrels for customers who shoot at world championship benchrest level, if re-profiling a barrel hurt accuracy I and many others wouldn't do it.
  12. Big Al

    Reprofile a barrel?

    I have found with the rifle building business is it has its fair share of silly myths and superstitions.
  13. Big Al

    Reprofile a barrel?

    Sorry I dont know what others would charge for this. I dont work on customer supplied barrel blanks as I have no way of guaranteeing them. I thought you might be doing the work yourself and I would have been happy to offer some advice. I profile a lot of barrels to Tikka Varmint profile from blanks like you have there, I have never seen any loss in accuracy over a factory profiled blank but like all things there will be good and bad ways to do it. Im sure if you use someone reputable it will be fine.
  14. Big Al

    Reprofile a barrel?

    Are you planning to chamber this barrel yourself, I noticed you were looking to bu a blank recently? If so then why not profile it yourself as well? If your not planning on chambering it then get the person who does to profile it as well for you. A Tikka Varmint profile is about as easy as they come.
  15. Ferritic or martensitic stainless steel is the most common grade for knife making, both types attracts a magnet, only austenitic stainless doesnt.
  16. The 8-32x and better still the 10-50x Sightron S3's are fine scopes for LR benchrest, they may not be the very best in any area but Ive never felt they held me back any. Getting your load right, building consistent ammunition and establishing a good gun handling/shooting technique all far outweigh any optical requirements IMHO.
  17. Big Al

    Load development

    My comments were aimed at Nick but the same applies for everyone, there is a time and place for small incremental changes in powder charge and seating depth otherwise you wont consistently find the centre of a node. I would not suggest working up from 53gr to 56gr in 0.2s as that will take a long time and waste barrel life. I prefer finding where pressure starts to show then begin 1.5gr lower. I can't think of a time I haven't found a highly accurate load within 1.5gr of max for a given rifle. Max will of course vary from rifle to rifle and powder batch to powder batch.
  18. Big Al

    Load development

    Accuracy comes from two principle places, powder charge/suitability and seating depth. Once you have found a stable powder you then vary the charge in small increments you will see stable accuracy nodes appear then disappear if your shooting is consistent. Once you settle on a stable powder charge then again changing the seating depth in small increments will show you the nodes where they tighten then open again. This is basic load development, you can't just bung 56gr in and expect it to shoot. You must do a methodical structured series of comparisons test so you can see exactly where your barrel harmonics are optimised. Any other way and you might just get lucky but usually loads developed like this dont stay in tune for long or aren't repeatable. Even for FClass where wind reading plays a big part I would still feel more confident on the firing line with a rifle shooting consistent 0.25" groups rather than 0.5" ones - the more accurate you can get your load the better, all other things being equal.
  19. Big Al

    George Balfour (gbal on this site)

    George died on the 13th May.
  20. Big Al

    6mm Swiss Match

    Ive got a 6 SMACK resizer Vince if you fancy making your own or are you wanting to keep the original shoulder?
  21. Big Al

    Opinions on Sightron scopes?

    Defining the context of competing would be fun. If you shooting is limited to daytime use then a Sightron 6-24 or 8-32 is more than good enough, I would expect a nice S&B to offer you an extra shooting time at dusk but only you will know if that matters in your case? I shoot 600 & 1000yd benchrest with a Sightron S3 scope, every month I check out other peoples scopes on the firing line that range from £3000 March scopes, through S&B and Nightforce. For sure some will offer a slightly better sight picture at 1000yds but not that much better than mu groups would be smaller. I think Sightron S3 scopes are good honest scopes that offer excellent value for money, especially in the second hand market.
  22. Big Al

    changing a bolt face size

    Yes its possible, I have done it and it works perfectly, no need to source a .308 bolt at all. Its not difficult to make a few measurements/comparisons as you have done to see how Tikka originally did it, there is no need for welding or anything other than relatively simple machining and the fitting of a new .308 extractor claw. Open the bolt face to the required diameter and then replace the .223 extractor claw with a .308 version, the claws are a different depth to give the correct offset to engage the rim. The extractor claw slot in the bolt is the same width and depth on both bolts and it is the extractor claw thickness that differs to give the required offset. You can buy .308 extractor claws from GMK although you will need someone with an account to get it for you. GMK sell it as a kit with both a .223 and .308 claw as well as a new plunger and spring, RRP is about £50 if I remember correctly. The bolt can then be re-proofed along with the new barrel. Its a simple machining job and if your rebarreling the rifle at the same time you can also take a small cut from the bolt face if required to clean it up before chambering and setting the head space.
  23. Big Al


    I guess 100, 200, 600 and 1000 are internationally recognised distances that fall into the categories of short and long range benchrest. Personally I dont see how things would be any more interesting or challenging by adding other distances with the exception of 300yds which will happen at Diggle in 2019. Anything else would just be adding for the sake of it. 300yds will be very interesting because in theory the short range PPCs will still have the legs but the more recognised heavy for caliber long range bullets from the more recognised LRBR calibers could also challenge for honours.
  24. Big Al

    Rifle for offhand shooting

    I think out to 300yds you dont need a fast twist, I would be happy with a .223 or even a .222 shooting bullets in the 40gr-55gr range. Considering your unsupported shooting positions I doubt the inherent accuracy of the rifle will be the weakest link. T3 or an older M590/595 with a 20" varmint barrel is manageable if you choose your moderator carefully. The CZ 527 varmint is also a good choice, if you can find one with the set trigger it would go well and with a 9 twist barrel as standard would cover you from 40gr to 69gr which is more than plenty of choice.
  25. Big Al

    Getting head around headspace

    Are you having any problems chambering once fired Lapua cases? If not I would measure a batch of say 20 and record the length, its very rare I see a difference of even 0.001" between 20 twice fired cases. Sorry I dont have any experience of Blaser actions or how to feel for an exact case fit. I think your initial measurement with the PPU case is throwing you off the scent a bit, if your fired Lapua cases are coming out consistent then thats where I would be taking my measurements from. I assume you are rotating the case while in the comparator so it settles before taking a reading?

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