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An Alternative Mousetrap

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Ive used a Rem 700 in 6.5x284 as one of my main stalking rifles for the last 20 years. The action was originally a 25-06 and came to me from Scotland having seen hard use in the highlands. It has been rebarrelled four times in my ownership (by me) and proven to be a very reliable and accurate tool, along with a 6.5x47 they have accounted for, many many deer. Each barrel lasted approximately 1300 rounds. The 700 action, over the years has suffered quite a bit of use (abuse) and in the last twelve months has started stripping its Sako extractor inexplicably and also stripped the forward scope screw which had already been opened to 8/40. It owes me nothing, so this year (end 2019) I decided that the action would be scrapped when the barrel was shot out.

Having an interest in Precision Rifle Shooting competition, having my own stalking on a largish estate in the north and undertaking work culling when called to do so means I need an accurate and reliable rifle (and back up) so I started researching  what to use as a replacement.

Yes, I could simply buy another 700, get a custom clone to replace or buy a T3, but I prefer not to conform to trend and most people who know me will say if theres a hard way, I'll go that route...


Anyway, I also didnt want to use 6.5 x 284 again, as I fancied a change after 20 yrs.

The alternatives were another 6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Rem, 6.5 Skan

I decided a compromise was in order, so elected to use 260 Rem as the base 

Respective cases against the 6.5x284

L to R 6.4x47, 6.5 CM, 260 Rem , 260 Improved, 6.5x284



Many may consider a long action catridge a disadvantage, I don't, its milliseconds slower to cycle than a short action so, I started thinking 260 / 6.5 Scan as the alternative to "284"

Another consideration to my spec was to be able to feed light lathe turned solids (LTS) in the 95 - 110g range and also stabilise up to 155 g traditional bullets and feed from a mag, I also wanted to use the rifle in "conventional" format for kill work and have the ability to use it in competition in a different stock and possibly change barrels easily should I want to.


The list of possible actions suddenly becomes quite small and after some soul searching I elected to buy a used SSG3000.


These rifles were designed from the ground up as a target rifle for civillian use (in STR200 format) for use in speed shooting competition in Scandinavia, have a very slick, six lug bolt, two stage trigger and have the ability to swap barrels simply and quickly. They also come in one action length allowing 30-06 length cartridges to be used but will also feed  short action cases(with short bullets) from the clever single stack magazine with inbuilt feed ramp.

The mag will allow 22-250 AI case with 50 g to feed with the next round being a 30-06 and 180 g bullet - an eye opener.


So, with that in mind, I sourced a lightly used SSG 3000 (the difference being the SSG 3000 has integral picatinny rail) and set to work.

Comparison against L/A Rem 700 thats being retired


I had hoped to use the PSE composites E Tac stock and SSG action but a lay over conmparision shows that simply is a non starter and the SSG action will not fit as id like


The standard SSG 3000 stock on my example is the Target model, which allows easy ajustment of length, comb height and has integral lower forend rail for easy ajustment of bipod position.

In standard (308 form) the rifle from the outset shot sub MOA with cheap factory ammo, the two stage trigger is excellent and ajustabkle for both stage weights, length of pull and trigger blade angle.


During my research I came upon a company in Denmark AH Larsen, who manufacture barrel extensions - in essence the bolt lugs lock into the barrel not the action - as used in TUBB ATR / 2000 and AR15 - tried and tested  and as the Tubb system holds many records it must work,,

I had a barrel extension sent across (Anders Larsen was very helpful) and made the process seamless.

Barrel extension and bolt head engaged as they would be within the action.



I then obtained a Bartlein 6.5mm barrel and machined the barrel to fit the extension.






Some minor alteration was required to allow the bolt to close within the extension (my bolt is as new and has zero wear)

Once I had altered the extension piece to allow "bolt drop" on stripped bolt I chambered the barrel to headspace +001" in the chosen case.


I made up some cases to fireform in a separate slave barrel  using cream of wheat method and some pistol powder (those were the days)




These proved to make perfect cases for use in the SSG Chamber




Then to the range to try the gun at 200 mtrs with a development load of XY.Z RS60 to XZ.Z RS60 and some "SMK"


The results with a three grain spread of powder in .2gr increments was impressive - the three holes outside the main group were the higher vo charges, which showed pressure and will not be used at that level




I also tested accuracy at 200 mts with 143 ELDX in non fireformed cases


The rifle delivered typical accuracy using this bullet with another three groups at .400" (at 200 MTRS) with absolutely as expected velocities in the parent brass



Suffice to say, I am please with the build so far, further testing will be done with SMK and some ELDM, velocities with the SMK are very consistent with ES in low teen or single figures and vo at a speed where one may take advantage of the G7 BC...




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Andy - weighs in at 13lb as in the picture - interestingly the same weight as my 6.5/47 Coyote 

An aftermarket stock is in the offing which will make the “system” more “competition versatile “

Mike - it was never going to be a slave to trends 😀

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It hasn’t been easy and the alternative action would obviously be an AI Ax MC 

However budget and weight preclude that choice

The rifle is very much a developing project the main purpose is for deer work with steel plate Comp secondary 

Its totally sorted for that (deer) as I have a few hundred rounds to use the eldx load till I get enough fireformed brass  to develop a match accurate load to play with 

I should have the fireforming done  by the end of the month as I have a date with some ladies in a few weeks time which will produce the finished brass 

From there I’ll develop a load using GS Custom LTS and ELDX for deer utilising the increased case capacity and a target load which will optimise accuracy and push the chosen match bullet to the desired level of performance without stressing the weapon 

One thing I’ve noticed is recoil is no worse than the 47 in the fireformed case which is something I’ve noticed with improved brass. An odd phenomena but tangibly not as much perceived recoil as I would have anticipated 


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The action will take any .473” bolt face cartridge (short or long) with the exception of 284 based case variants which are slightly too wide to fit in the magazine though feed singly easily 

As the mag is steel it would be relatively simple to split, widen by a few thousandths and re weld together - something that’s been done in Skandinavian countries with users who are pushing the envelope in 6.5 mm

Or use the magnum sauer 202 magazine which I believe also fits the SSG action (5 round) 


Barrel swap takes about three minutes 

Two stock bolts- action out

Loosen three barrel clamp screws removing forward most then slip out barrel - Re fit new barrel and engage tab washer in slot in barrel confirming correct orientation, close bolt, tighten three clamp bolts to specified torque

refit action to stock 


Very very simple to do 

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4 hours ago, Brummy Mark said:

So this can be with short .308 barrel and also switchable to a 6.5 calibre barrel? Could be just what Im after, as currently looking at Blaser...

Basically any rifle can be a switch barrel - you don’t need an action with some special chamber extension or unique quick change feature. Just have yourself a couple of barrels spun up and get a barrel vice & action wrench and have at it.

I do just this with my Defiance and plan to do so with my soon to arrive Impact Precision 737R. Takes minutes to do and repeatable when using a torque wrench, per Ronin’s earlier comment.


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You can , but a conventional barrel requires 60-100 ft lb torque which is doable using hand tools and a action wrench and barrel clamp with a couple of g cramps on a work mate 


Not something you can do in a few minutes in field conditions 

Easy on the bench in the workshop


The SSG can be changed in the field should one wish to with hand tools and a torque wrench no need to have barrel vice or action wrench 


That’s the difference  / advantage 

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  • 1 month later...

So, to continue the steep learning curve of SIg Sauer (SSG 3000)

The rifle has shot very weel under testing with the standard stock in field and paper conditions.

Since the last post I have now a few hundred fireformed cases, using 143 ELDX at Max 260 Rem load (circa 2700 fps) the rifle delivers pin point accuracy clean humane terminal ballistics.

I have been watching several Skandinavian manufacturer developments for the SSG for a while, as the only aftermarket stock available used to be laminate or Mcmillan, the Mcmillan offering wasnt to my taste, so in late November 19 I ordered an alloy chassis from Ulfhednar / Syktterlinken (Norway), who have developed the Vision Chassis.

This required export licence arranging Norway side, this was duly arranged and a week ago I recieved a care package from Norway

The chassis is extremely well made, machining and tolerances as good as anything ive seen from other chassis suppliers.

The parts used are very high quality.


After some alterations to the oversize (Outside diameter) of the barrel extension and tenon on the 260 AI barrel (to allow a .010" gap in the barrel inlet of the chassis), I fitted the barrelled action and a MDT straight grip.

I also swapped over the Kahles K525i from the Coyote.


Test loads using 150 SMK are quite promising, delivering suiatable velocities, with no pressure sign circa 2900 fps and .450" (sub quarter MOA) at 200 mtr


Still getting to know the rifle but its a very good start.


The next job is to spin a lighter barrel for cull work as the all up weight as seen in the images is 14.5 lbs


However its quite manageable for Precision Rifle Shooting and also static or vehicle mounted work which is the reason for the build



The chassis, has full length Anchuitz rail underneath, a full length ARCA rail, spigot for RPS type bipod (I have picatinny mounted in the UIT rail), ajustable for LOP, Cheek Height, and has skid type ajustable rear mono pod, the butt plate is alos ajustable for cant and height.


Pretty much perfect for my requiremets


Further testing to follow with 147 ELDM, which will hopefully give similar results to the 150 SMK


Some images:












200 Mtr Testing





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Yep, it will be interesting to see how it performs under competition conditions

Its been frozen, wet through and performed faultlessly so far


Accuracy is perfectly adequate I think 

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It does tick the boxes David 

Shoots very well - similar to The 205 Panther used many years ago at Strenla range by one of the competitors - think that was chambered 6mmBR

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When you spin up the lighter barrel will you use another barrel extension or thread the barrel into one common extension? I look forward to being beaten by such a fine looking stick 😂

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I have more barrel extensions and will machine a lighter profile tube for day long stalking / culling ventures or just use the coyote which is slightly lighter 

I could always spin up a 7 twist 6xc barrel to compliment the 260 Ackley 

Not entirely sure 

Dave, yes it is unique here in the UK, but commonly used in this guise in Skandinavia (maybe not in 260 ) 

Ive really just followed a rested route that’s been followed over there that works 

Been fun making it though 😃


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The Kahles is really good 


Left ajust too - this has the MSR2 ret 

Not quite as robust as S&B but very close 


Glass is perfect 

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  • 3 months later...

Out with the rifle today for more load "confirmation and tweaking"


Barrel settled in after a couple of hundred "cycles" earlier in the year case forming


Altered seat depth slightly on the SMK's and after some virtual load development using P-Max, I took the same loads to the range.

Ive swapped out the original Badger rings for a 6MIL Tier One Unimount which is very solid (as were the Badger Rings but no incline)

The Kahles boresighted - and found not to be too far off.

So first three of five groups shot sub half MOA comfortably with two shown .2 and .3 " (at 100 yards this time)

The two higher loads showed sign of pressure - flattened primer no more, but it was 20 degrees, so have settled on the lowest powder charge which gives easy bolt lift and best accuracy.

Will test / confirm at 1000 and beyond tomorrow if weather permits, which will enable confirmation of AB program

Vo is comfortable at just sub 2900 fps which will allow full utilisation of the 150 SMK BC (I hope)

Sorry no pics of the rifle in situ today


The Squares are in inch across for an idea, my phone camera is not ideal and im getting used to Ballistic X programme which isnt as nice as On Target,,,






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