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Looking for advice on who does the best job I’ve heard there are a few cowboys that don’t do a proper job.  

After doing a bit of research on here and other forums it seem having a custom rifle built can be a bit of a minefield. 

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Dave Wylde of Valkyrie Rifles will do you proud

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Dave Wylde has blueprinted a Remington 700 for me, very happy with his work, and turnaround 👍.

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There are blueprints, and there are blueprints. Steve Bowers did a 30-06ai for a friend including a sleeved bolt. It was better than any high end custom, 0.001” bolt/body clearance but it wasnt cheap. Some builders just true an action which is good but not in the same league. Best to confirm what is actually being done and to what tollerance.  

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36 minutes ago, lapua said:

There are blueprints, and there are blueprints. Steve Bowers did a 30-06ai for a friend including a sleeved bolt. It was better than any high end custom, 0.001” bolt/body clearance but it wasnt cheap. Some builders just true an action which is good but not in the same league. Best to confirm what is actually being done and to what tollerance.  

This is sound advice 👍 always confirm what’s is going to be done , just lapping a bolt and truing an action is not in my opinion blueprinting . It’s a fair bit more involved than that . 

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Had s look at Steve’s work a good few years back, he even said it was not worth the effort he put in but it was a very nice end product, lots of honing and grinding Bores and OD’s , nickel plating the bolt oversize and grinding back, everything was ‘square and concentric, nickel being a nice bearing matl made for a smooth feel

I sometimes  wonder though on all this, after all the action only holds the cartridge in the end of the barrel 😉😁😁

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My take on blueprinting is this.

Square the receiver face.

Re cut the threads oversize to true them up.

Re cut the lug abutments inside the action.

re cut the bolt lugs, front and back.

re cut the bolt face.

turn the bolt nose to true round [they never are ] That allows the bolt nose recess inside the barrel, to be cut to a much tighter fit than an uncut bolt nose.

That increases the safety of the bolt nose recess [one of the 3 rings of steel ]

Fit a quality custom ground recoil lug.

That is an economical blueprint, that in monetary sense, is worth doing.

You can go further and ream the raceway, and either fit a PTG bolt which is tighter to the bore, or you can coat the bolt and cylindrically grind it back to give a tighter fit.

I ran an experiment a few years ago on one of my own actions.

I had 2 bolts made. One was a "repeater tolerance" fit of around 0.005"

The other was a "benchrest fit" of 0.0015"

I ran these two bolts, side by side, with identical loads in a wide variety of loads.

They shot identically.

That proved to me that a tight bolt does nothing, but makes the action feel smoother/tighter to the customer, and most equate that with quality.

If both lugs are bearing square it works very well indeed.

A good factory example is the savage, or the Bighorn actions. Both have a removable bolt head, which essentially floats. The bolt bodies are a loose fit.

They both shoot stupidly well.

You can do no end of work to a remington action, but you will surpass the cost of a quality American custom action quite easily.

It doesn't make financial sense, much past the basics, which will improve it as much as needed.

 

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Like I said ..... blue printing an action is a LOT more than just lapping a bolt and truing. 

The above is exactly what I would expect to be getting from a gunsmith blueprinting my action.

stay away from the gun plumbers. 

Find yourself someone like the gentleman above. 

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My process is the same as Baldies 

Works just fine and I’ve produced several REM’s that shoot “quite well” 

Mind you, most other rifles I build shoot well 

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5 minutes ago, Ronin said:

My process is the same as Baldies 

Works just fine and I’ve produced several REM’s that shoot “quite well” 

Mind you, most other rifles I build shoot well 

👍

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Another key factor that’s nearly always over looked ...

you can spend 30 K on your dream rifle built by the very best but ....

if you just can’t shoot for toffee  or your shite at reloading. Save your money . You can have the same amount of fun with a set up that cost £500 as one the costs 30K . 

None of us are as good as we think we are 🤔👍

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18 minutes ago, One on top of two said:

Another key factor that’s nearly always over looked ...

you can spend 30 K on your dream rifle built by the very best but ....

if you just can’t shoot for toffee  or your shite at reloading. Save your money . You can have the same amount of fun with a set up that cost £500 as one the costs 30K . 

None of us are as good as we think we are 🤔👍

So very true

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2 hours ago, baldie said:

My take on blueprinting is this.

Square the receiver face.

Re cut the threads oversize to true them up.

Re cut the lug abutments inside the action.

re cut the bolt lugs, front and back.

re cut the bolt face.

turn the bolt nose to true round [they never are ] That allows the bolt nose recess inside the barrel, to be cut to a much tighter fit than an uncut bolt nose.

That increases the safety of the bolt nose recess [one of the 3 rings of steel ]

Fit a quality custom ground recoil lug.

That is an economical blueprint, that in monetary sense, is worth doing.

You can go further and ream the raceway, and either fit a PTG bolt which is tighter to the bore, or you can coat the bolt and cylindrically grind it back to give a tighter fit.

I ran an experiment a few years ago on one of my own actions.

I had 2 bolts made. One was a "repeater tolerance" fit of around 0.005"

The other was a "benchrest fit" of 0.0015"

I ran these two bolts, side by side, with identical loads in a wide variety of loads.

They shot identically.

That proved to me that a tight bolt does nothing, but makes the action feel smoother/tighter to the customer, and most equate that with quality.

If both lugs are bearing square it works very well indeed.

A good factory example is the savage, or the Bighorn actions. Both have a removable bolt head, which essentially floats. The bolt bodies are a loose fit.

They both shoot stupidly well.

You can do no end of work to a remington action, but you will surpass the cost of a quality American custom action quite easily.

It doesn't make financial sense, much past the basics, which will improve it as much as needed.

 

Now that is a good honest answer and explanation 👍👏👏👏

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2 hours ago, Orka Akinse said:

So very true

+1

I'm a little mystified as to why someone buys an ordinary tool and then spends a shed load on making it better (excepting those that do it for themselves out of interest & learning). Isn't it simpler to buy a better rifle in the first place?

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Yep I would agree Popsbengo - spend all that money getting a Remmy blueprinted and when you come to sell it, the work isn't obvious, so it's just a Remmy and you get nowt for it.  However - it does let you put 'blueprinted' in the sales ad which might baffle a few.............

As Baldie says, the sloppy bolt-to-body fit is the biggest difference between a Remmy and a custom action but a new PT&G bolt will cost you even more. 

But, again quoting Baldie - you won't see much difference - unless perhaps you build it into a 6PPC benchrest rifle - then you will struggle to get a blueprinted Remmy to compete with a decent custom action.

With its massive ejection port and mag cut-out there's very little 'meat' left in the Remmy action to keep it rigid and there is an excellent article showing one rigged with strain gauges flexing when fired.  It makes sense to start off with a decent custom action in the first place if you are seriously chasing accuracy - cheaper in the long run.

But - what's this '30K dream rifle'?

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Back to OP - it is all down to your Gunsmith if you are building something from scratch - you first have to decide what you want from the rifle (it is after all only a tool) and how much you have to spend on the whole package - that includes the scope. Talk with your chosen Smith and listen to them.

Also talk to different shooters you know, get behind a few different rifles, if you are looking to spend serious money you want to end up with what you want?

Bit off subject Re. The ‘fun with a £500 rifle’ and ‘£30k dream rifle’ (had to re-read that after Vince pointed it out), I cannot think of a rifle that fits either end of the spectrum, beginners at local club level are spending around the £1000 +/- on new rifles then adding a scope, I warn them off used unless they really know the history. As to a £30k rifle, I’m struggling to think of £6-7k including a very nice scope, but I’m not much of a dreamer😁  caveat - talking range rifles, you can add £££ for nice wood and bluing in some cases. 

I’ve found the ‘fun’ bit is more related to where you shoot and who you shoot with IMHO?

Concur if you cannot shoot or reload it’s all pretty moot - but you can at least shoot in style?

T

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You could easily spend 30 k plus on a bolt action “Mauser action” from an English or US named gunmaker.

I think the point about a blueprinted Remington will have limited increased value pertinent - especially when having bought the action for 350 (ish) as a donor the owner then spends another 250-350 having it blueprinted (by someone who does it properly) 

 

For not much more one could buy a custom action and have this hold its value if you were to consider selling 

Ive built hundreds of rifles in the last twelve years on high end customs and “thrown away” donors 

Non have failed to shoot accurately but some are far more pleasant to shoot and use than others 

 

A loose rattly Remington appeals less than a slick custom made action every time 

 

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Thanks for all the replies, I think I’ll keep shooting factory rifles for a bit longer and then either go full custom or get an AI.

ive priced up a full semi custom build using a blueprinted remmy and it works out about the same as an ACCURACY International AT. 

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Wow

 

thats spendy, one would anticipate a custom action could be supplied with the build for that price (though of course you haven’t specified what your spec  was for the quote ) 

 

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Recently had a blue printed remmy action with a custom barrel from a local rifle builder in the workshop. We could not make up our minds how to bed the rifle in our stock... barrel was 9mm off to one side and pointed 2-3mm upwards. Didn't shoot either. Charged a good sum for blue printing... some people should not be allowed to go near rifles...

edi

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On 8/23/2019 at 10:39 AM, The Gun Pimp said:

...t a new PT&G bolt will cost you even more. ...

and don't assume a fancy after-market bolt will always be better. My gunsmith got a PT&G in for a guy - that bolt had 1.5thou runout across the face. He suspects the bolt wasn't mounted correctly in a VMC for this to happen.

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14 hours ago, Soggy biscuit said:

Thanks for all the replies, I think I’ll keep shooting factory rifles for a bit longer and then either go full custom or get an AI.

ive priced up a full semi custom build using a blueprinted remmy and it works out about the same as an ACCURACY International AT. 

😧 Gosh! (Caveat - have not seen the built list)

Nowt wrong with good factory rifles these days.

T

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