View Full Version : Custom Rifle Build - Input Requested

11-26-2014, 17:19
The day my son was born I purchased a Remington 700 Limited Edition, chambered in 260 Remington. Recently I have picked up some glass that I liked, Leupold Mark VI (3-18), and I have the funds to get some work done on it.

I am open to any modification within reason, given the following, the rifle must use the existing action and the hinged (engraved) floor plate must stay. I would like the rifle to be a capable rifle out to 1000m, but it will also be carried in mountains so I am looking at the best blend of capability and weight.

While I do currently live in Arizona, water should be noted as a problem. I do enjoy travelling by packraft so the rifle will likely be exposed to water and salt water. I do want the rifle to have a higher aesthetic appeal due to the sentiment behind the rifle but functionality is ultimately more important as I want to hunt with the rifle.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

11-26-2014, 17:30
I would like to keep it under $3000, although this is a one time deal so the wife is flexible.

The Reaper
11-26-2014, 17:32
Locally, ROBAR used to do good work, but I have not used them for a while.

McMillan is in Phoenix, and can definitely do a great job, if you have the time.

Probably plenty of good smiths up near Prescott.

A good barrel will be the key to maximizing the accuracy potential.

Good round to work with, too.


11-26-2014, 17:56
A lot to be said for your choice of round. I would recommend a quality stainless barrel, an aftermarket trigger and a Manners stock. Add a Badger or LaRue rail mount and matching rings and you'll have everything you're asking for within budget. It helps that you already have the action and the optic. Depending on the level of custom work (primarily contouring [if you start with a true custom blank] and chambering the barrel and truing and bedding the action) most of the work can be done by any competent gunsmith.

Papa Zero Three
11-26-2014, 23:58
Check out Phoenix Custom Rifles ( http://www.phoenixcustomrifles.com ) in Tempe. They do all of my precision guns and are amazing gun smiths without the ridiculous wait times or unreasonable prices.

With that said, look at having the following done:

1 True your receiver and bolt
2 Tactical Bolt knob
3 McMillian Stock with pillar bedding job
4 Cerakote it in your preferred color(s)

11-27-2014, 09:35
Long Rifles Inc in Sturgis has had a group buy going on for the last two years and done over 2500 rifles. LINK (http://snipershide.scout.com/forums/5555-group-buys/13255388-2014-lri-m700-accurizing-barreled-action-group-buy?s=541) Chad uses a vertical CNC machine which allows him to do so many. Link to their site (http://longriflesinc.com/index.html)

Bolt & Action Truing (Blueprinting),
Machined heavy lug (but you may just want a lighter Remington lug that is ground down
threaded bolt handle with knob
fluted bolt
rebore scope base threads
chamber & install barrel
thread muzzle
Cerakote and return shipping. All for $760.

He's on a 6 week return schedule. I've had three rifles done by Chad and they shoot every bit as good as the gun I got from Surgeon rifles. The Navy sent Chad their Mk13's when they wouldn't shoot and he's also built guns for some the Olympic competition shooters.

Chad (or most gunsmiths) can pin your recoil lug so you can make a switch barrel. I have a rifle that has a 308, 6mmCreedmoor, 6.5 Creemoor and a 7-08 barrel. Switching only takes about 5-7min. You could go with a #3 contour barrel for hunting (the barrel will still get you out to the 1000m you want, but only allow you a couple shots until you need to let it cool) and then a Rem Varmint or M24 contour for times you want more shots downrange.

As PZ3 mentioned, Phoenix Rifles does good work. Another is Mark Gordon / Short Action Customs.

11-27-2014, 10:19
Building a gun is really fun.

A few years ago I had a .308 built, and am about halfway through a 7mm mag build now. It sounds like you are actually going to be carrying this rifle, so I assume you are not going to want to carry a bunch of extra weight.

My .308 was one of the few 700 guns that I've seen that just wouldn't shoot out of the box, so I basically had to build it. I used a #3 Lilja stainless barrel. I've carried it through a lot of rain and snow, and never had a problem. I found a black Macmillan mountain stock on the company's website that had been ordered but not picked up, so I got a decent deal. My gunsmith worked the action, then aluminum pillar bedded the gun, and installed a Schilling trigger. The gun is very light, and shoots much better than I can.

My friend liked my rifle so much, he built the exact same thing, except in a .300 Winchester short mag. That gun is lights-out for a mountain elk gun. I think your .260 is a short action. Good caliber, but you have other choices when you purchase your barrel. .260 should be fine on everything from a mule deer and down. I like my .308 for whitetail-sized stuff, but if I were building it again, I would pick a more modern caliber.

I'm presently in the process of building a 700 in 7mm mag. The gun was a tack driver out of the box. I special ordered a Macmillan "mcswirley" mountain stock. This is a process where they take your preferred colors, then mix them when they pour the stock. The colors swirl, they don't blend like school paint, so you end up with some really neat looks. They used to have mcswirley pictures at 24hourcampfire.com, some really neat looking stocks.

For the 7mm mag, I'm going to get a #4 fluted Lilja barrel. The stock is already pillar bedded. I put a Zeiss scope on, with a good drop compensator reticle. I have a Leupold on the .308, which I will probably trade pretty soon, as the model I bought doesn't gather enough light for dawn and dusk shooting.

Final note: use a good gunsmith. Since you already have the action, you should be able to get a great rifle without spending all of the money you mentioned. Just don't go to the wrong guy who will reward you with an overpriced rifle that won't shoot. If he won't guarantee his work, with similar parts like I have mentioned, walk.

The Reaper
11-27-2014, 11:06
One problem I have noted is that many smiths who get famous for their work get way behind on orders, so they try to catch up by hiring "helpers" who lack the meticulous nature of the original smith.

The end result is slapdash crap getting out with the formerly acclaimed smith's name on it. Many don't even bother to QC their "helpers'" work before sending it out. This eventually will come back to haunt them, after they put a bunch of marginal quality stuff out there.

Being able to build a tack driver does not equate to being a good businessman, or even a good judge of character/talent.

IMHO, the best stick with a very small shop and are worth waiting for.

The LRI Group Buy sounds interesting.


Papa Zero Three
11-27-2014, 12:05
Several very well known gunsmiths have been mentioned in this thread so far, you wouldn't go wrong with any of them to be honest. There are several more out there that are also worth looking into.

Since you are in Az, I brought up PCR and as Reaper mentioned, some places get backlogged and or QC drops. So whom ever you decide to go with, be sure to ask about build times.

Another gunsmith that has built a gun for me that I'd highly recommend is Marc/ Spartan Precision Rifles ( http://www.spartanrifles.com )

11-30-2014, 18:40
Thank you for the replies and the recommendations on gunsmiths, I believe a manners stock will be on order soon as well.

I do have a question about barrel contour and length. I plan on getting a 1:8 twist so I can stabilize the 140 gr rounds and I will eventually be hand loading for this rifle. I would like to be able to fire 5 rounds rapid fire without the barrel starting to warp. What would the best barrel profile and length be to try to find a good compromise between weight , accuracy and length?

12-01-2014, 08:07
I would personally call Bartlein barrels and ask them. I'd imagine a #4 contour would work. Their barrels seem to get a little more speed than some of the other manufacturers. For example I've got a Bartlein, Krieger and Rock Creek barrel in the same contour, length and twist rate. Chambered by the same person. I get more speed with the same load, same day, etc.. I think the best length for the 260/6.5 is 24".

You'll really like the Manners stocks.

Papa Zero Three
12-01-2014, 12:48
I have to agree, my Bartlein Barrel guns tend to have a higher MV than my Krieger's. You want to carry this around hunting is my understanding so I'd also agree that a #4 Bartlein or even a #13 Varmit/Sendero might be a good choice as they weigh in at 4 1/2lbs and 4.65 lbs.

A 24" length is also the longest I'd personally want to carry a gun in the woods with.