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Catch-22

Defiance / Eliseo Tube Gun

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Following a number of people asking for details about my switch barrel tube gun setup, I thought I might as well post some pics, especially as a few barrels were recently painted for me. 

Background:

The gun was about a year in the planning and took nearly as much time to assemble all the bits and bring them into the UK. 

My goal was to have only one rifle for everything. This meant I would keep the same ergonomics, same scope, trigger, action etc. The only thing I need to do is have a new barrel fitted and swap bolts and lower unit over (if needed).

I wanted the versatility of shooting any cartridge with a .308w case head - whether short or long. And I wanted a big boomer too. So I needed versatility to swap between short and long All in one action/platform.

For the boomer, I chose the .338 Norma Mag for a number of reasons. All the reading I've done suggests it has improved barrel life over the .338L and the design of it is more efficient. As its shorter, I can seat those long 300g bullets out of the powder column when using standard AI mags. The reason for using standard AI mags and not CIP, was that I could use the same long action lower (albeit with a different mag) for long cartridges, such as 300wm, 30-06 etc should I want to. So total versatility.

Action:

I ordered a Defiance Machine XL 'Mutant' action, specially designed for the Eliseo RTM tube guns chassis with a 1.450" large diameter integral recoil lug. It's like the entire action circumference is oversized at the front. I need to get a pic, but it's this which keep everything nice and tight under recoil in the chassis. 

The tennon on this thing is huge...super big and with the increased OD of the action face, it provides excellent engagement for big, heavy, oversized barrels.

The XL size is for large cartridges, comes with two bolts (.308w class and .338l class). The .308w bolt came with a reduced diameter firing pin, so perfect for the 6.5x47L. 

Both bolts and action are oversized to .750" to allow for the larger .338l bolt face.

I had action and bolts DLC coated here in the UK by Oerlikon, the only people who can do it. They made a very nice job too and can't recommend them highly enough!! With a little white lithium grease, the bolt runs like it's on ball bearings...very nice. The coating is also hard as nails, it cannot be scratched or chipped off, unlike cerakote, and doesn't alter the action tolerances like cerakote can. 

Chassis:

Gary Eliseo's RTM action is brialliant. Totally flexible and adjustable. It might look like some scaffold tubes stuck together but it is rock solid and very ergonomic. In fact, the Eliseo system has been used by shooters who've won many, many competitions and awards. It is a very good chassis and system, especially when mated to a custom action.

It comes with rails and flushcups on the forend for various attachments (I've loving the Fortmeier bipod btw). The buttstock is adjustable for LOP, Cant, offset and cheekpiece height.

I can swap out lower units, long action to short action, in minutes. Accepts AICS short mags and single stack AICS .300wm or .338L mags.

Barrels:

I had 4 Bartlein barrels shipped but only two chambered.

The 6.5mm is a 1-8 twist, 5R rifling, finished at 26" with an MTU contour.

The .338cal is 1-9.3 twist, 5R rifling, also finished at 26" and is a custom contour of my design - it mimicks a Heavy Varmint contour but is 1.35" at the breech face, straight for 5", then tapers to around 1.2" at the muzzle. The reason for 26" length was that it was deemed to be the optimum length for the .338NM during testing and trials. 

In the near future I think I'll also get a barrel with a tweaked .30-06 chambering. Barrel life will be good, with 200g+ bullets it's capable at 1000m+ and has a bit more oomph than the .308w, which I think just doesn't have the boiler room. Anyway, food for thought.

Trigger:

Huber Concepts 2-stage ball bearing trigger. I had this set to 3lbs, evenly split between take-up in the 1st stage and 2nd stage break. I chose 3lbs because it's a not an f class gun, and as it's a big boomer, I didn't want an overly light trigger. All I can say is - it's lush. No creap or over travel. It breaks and stops. Very consistent. 

Scope & mount:

S&B PMII, 5-25x56 with the H2CMR reticle. I've written about this reticle before and simply love it. It's very precise and allows me to accurately measure and correct my next shot using the .2mil hash marks. 

The mount is an ERA-TAC one piece, 20MOA QD mount. I had this before on my previous 6.5x47 and after shooting, removing, replacing and shooting again over a 10 shot string, I didn't notice any shift in POI at all. The QD is very robust (better than Arms mounts tbh) and very handy for travel and storage.

Muzzle brakes & moderator:

Area 419 Sidewinder, self-timing muzzle brakes in .30cal and .338cal. Beautifully machined from PH-4 steel with a melonite finish. The adapter goes on the muzzle, then the brake screws on with a LH thread onto the adapter. As you screw it in, you align the ports and 'push' the brake into the adapter. The adapter is cone shaped which creates a solid lock up when the brake is pushed onto it. The locking ring then holds it in place. Very solid, doesn't move and abnoxiously loud 😁

The moddy is a .338cal, end of barrel custom unit by OLC. It's good, though I wasn't overly impressed with some of the external cosmetic finish to be fair. It'll get a suppressor wrap at somepoint but still...for a custom unit I was a little disappointed. But it works and is quiet, so it is what it is.

Grip:

A lovely solid walnut grip by Nill Griffe in Germany. Very ergonomic and comfortable with the adjustable shelf. I can use the standard 'wrap around' grip or place my thumb over to the right side and rest it on the thumb 'nipple' on the side of the lower receiver. This gives a more vertical grip and is very comfortable.

Other stuff:

Ive the Fortmeier bipod, which is great. I also ordered about 500x of 6.5x47 brass and 400x .338NM brass, which I figure will last both barrels in both calibres if I anneal them properly. I've also several thousand bullets in both calibres, for lot consistency but primarily in anticipation of post Brexit price hikes. 

I also have the .338NM and 6.5x47 reamers for future barrels.

I'll be coating both bore and bullets with HbN in an effort to preserve the throats a bit. Every little helps. 

Anyway, here are the pics. Feel free to give me a shout if you want any specifics on parts.

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

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Very nice indeed, be interesting to see how it shoots?

T

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Thanks! Yeah pretty chuffed with it tbh.

I also forgot to mention the rifle smith who made it all happen. Whilst I figured everything out, exported/imported all bits, I simply wouldn't have this wonderful gun without Pete Walker of Walker Rifles Europe.

I had previously reached out to another smith I had used before but needless to say I was led a merry dance for over a year and given a whole bunch of BS along the way. 

As fortune would have it, I received a call from Pete who informed me he had all my bits (still in bits after a year of waiting!!) who graciously took the job on.

I cannot thank Pete enough. Not only did he do a stirling job on the barrel work (that's all that's really required for the tube gun), but what impressed me most was his communication and availability. Every time I sent him a question, he'd respond. He would also proactively involve me in the decision making along the way. He double and triple checked everything with me before proceeding.

Pete Walker is a master gunsmith and a true gent. I cannot thank him enough for completing my dream build.

To Pete - cheers pal! 👍

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Catch-22,

You just had to add multiple bile 🙁, shame really as it detracted from the constructive phrase for Pete, who is a very good Smith and anal on the detail.

T

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Nice build , love the pistol grip, but a shame it doesn't have a matching adjustable walnut shelf!!

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On 2/19/2019 at 9:07 PM, Bob57 said:

Nice build , love the pistol grip, but a shame it doesn't have a matching adjustable walnut shelf!!

Thanks Bob. Yeah the Nill grips are very nice. The camera doesn't do the colour justice though, it's lovely in person.

Not sure what you mean about matching adjustable shelf...are you referring to the cheapo folding pine kitchen table it's all sitting on? Yeah...I wish that was walnut too 😀

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The adjustable base on the grip, 12th pic down, could be the camera/light but the grain looks very similar to sapele or similar hardwood, but not walnut!! Anyway, not anything to worry about,still looks good👍

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On 2/21/2019 at 9:54 AM, Bob57 said:

The adjustable base on the grip, 12th pic down, could be the camera/light but the grain looks very similar to sapele or similar hardwood, but not walnut!! Anyway, not anything to worry about,still looks good👍

Yeah I'm not sure tbh Bob, they don't state anything on their website/brochure.

I've emailed them to find out for curiosity sake. I agree that it does give off a sapele vibe about it.

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20 minutes ago, Catch-22 said:

Yeah I'm not sure tbh Bob, they don't state anything on their website/brochure.

I've emailed them to find out for curiosity sake. I agree that it does give off a sapele vibe about it.

Sorry mate, i probably shouldn't have mentioned it as it'll bug you now and you'd have never taken any notice, but if I had to put a bet on it being sapele I'd stake a fair bit.

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18 hours ago, Bob57 said:

Sorry mate, i probably shouldn't have mentioned it as it'll bug you now and you'd have never taken any notice, but if I had to put a bet on it being sapele I'd stake a fair bit.

Ha - don't worry about it.

Nills replied saying that it is indeed walnut. I agree with you that it doesn't entirely look like walnut, but that is what they state it to be.

Likely to be a different type/grade from the main grip itself.

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6 hours ago, Catch-22 said:

Ha - don't worry about it.

Nills replied saying that it is indeed walnut. I agree with you that it doesn't entirely look like walnut, but that is what they state it to be.

Likely to be a different type/grade from the main grip itself.

👍 That's good then.

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