Making Progress on My Richard’s Semi-inlet Rifle Stock

This Richard’s Micro-fit Rifle Stock has been sitting under my bed for about a year. I finally started working on it. I’ve finished inletting the action to receive bedding compound, shaping the forearm tip, and sanding to 100 grit. I still have a lot of work to do.

To shape the forearm I cut an angle into the rosewood to match the maple spacer.  I then used wood files and rasps to carefully and slowly shape the tip until I was satisfied with the result.

My next step will be bedding the action.  I’m using the Miles Gilbert Glass Bedding Kit from Midway USA.  I really like Larry Potterfield and he has a great “How-to” Video series on finishing and bedding a rifle stock at Midway.

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A Comparasion: Savage 111 vs Remington 770

Remington 770 front, Savage 111 rear

You read a lot of opinions on rifles on the internet from people who probably have never shot the guns they are bashing.  For example the Ruger m77 is hated by many, but my Dad’s 7mm Rem Mag is one of the most accurate rifles I’ve ever seen, although a 257 that I bought used was crap.  I’ve had the ability to compare hands on two low cost rifles that are close to the same price and came with almost identical features.  The Remington 770 in 270 (a kid’s in my youth group) and my Savage 111 in 30-06.  These are both package guns that are long action, came with cheap scopes, plastic stocks, detachable box magazines (DBM), I believe the 770 is a 20 inch barrel and the 111 is a 22inch.

Savage Rifle Parts and Accessories by Amazon

Let’s start with the actions and caliber

270 vs 30-06: No I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of each.  Basically the 270 is a necked down 30-06.  Both have more than proven themselves as excellent hunting cartridges over many decades.  The nice thing for comparing these two rifles is that the bolt lengths are about the same.  The 770 is a 3-lug bolt with a shorter throw than the 111’s 2 lug bolt.  The 111 action is far superior in smoothness and solidness.  The 770 action feels plasticy.  OK that’s not a real word but the 770 does feel like pot metal to me.  I feel as though it would eventually break under use.  The Savage is nice cold, solid steel.  1 Point Savage.

Triggers:

The 111 did not come with Savage’s much praised accutrigger, but it also came at a clearance price that I couldn’t pass up.  So for the stock trigger on the 111 vs 770 the winner is the 770.  The trigger on the 770 is pretty good, not as good as some premium rifles I’ve shot, but a very respectable trigger.  The stock trigger on the 111 was heavy and I disliked it.  I spent $85 on a Rifle Basix trigger and I’m glad I did.  Now the Savage has the better trigger.  However, I feel no need to change the trigger on the Remington.  1 Point Remington.  (I should also point out that on the savage you can actually upgrade the trigger, not so on the 770, and if the Savage came with an accutrigger the winner would be the Savage.

Rifle Basix Triggers

Scopes:

The Savage came with a Bushnell 3-9x40mm, the Remington with a no-name 3-9x40mm.  I have no idea what is the better scope.  I had a Nikon on a 22mag so I put it on the Savage.  I’ll call this one a tie.

Nikon Buckmaster 3-9×40 Riflescope (Matte, BDC)

Stocks:

As you can see I’ve painted both.  Both stocks are horrible.  The advantage goes to the Savage for being free floated and pillar-bedded, but don’t count on it being free-floated with a bipod. The Savage does have metal sling studs. The Remington stock is very bad, not free floated, the action is poorly attached to the stock, the sling studs are molded in and feel flimsy.  You could improve the Savage stock by epoxy bedding, many have, I don’t know where I’d start with the Remington. 1 Point Savage

DBM:

The quality, reliability, and ease of use goes to the Savage 111.  The mag solidly locks in place the hardware is metal and solid (note: this is the newer bottom release style) It is the same system used in all levels of Savage rifles.  It’s a winner.  The Remington DBM system has shown problems in feeding and is finicky in seating properly.  It mounts through a hole in the plastic stock with a small spring loaded clip to hold it in place. Not the robust metal hardware of the Savage system.  1 Point Savage.

Accuracy:

The winner is the Savage @ 1 MOA average (1/2 MOA best ever).  The Remington gets about 1 1/2 to 2 moa.  Both have been shot of the same rest, same day and conditions.  1 Point Savage.

Prices:

These prices are from Able Ammo, I shopped there when they first started and their prices are fair.  They price the Remington 770 with Scope at $338.  They Savage 111 with scope AND accutrigger is priced at $443.74.  Without an accutrigger the prices should be the same.  I found my savage on clearance and payed $300 after Texas sales tax.

Conclusions:

Total Scores: Remington 770 (1), Savage 111 (4).  I tried to be objective but my conclusion is that the Savage 111 in it’s cheapest configuration beats the snot out of the Remington 770.  It is well worth the extra money, I personally would not own the 770 the quality is just not there.  To be fair I’m comparing a budget rifle to a lower featured rifle.  This would be an entirely different comparison if I were comparing the cheapest Remington 700 to this Savage 111.  My conclusion is the 770 is just not worth buying when you can spend a little more and get a substantially better rifle.  Also the short comings of the low-end Savage 111, the trigger and the stock, are easily dealt with with the hundreds of aftermarket parts available.  For example I put in a great trigger for $85 which means that for $385 I overcame the one shortcoming of the Savage 111 to the 770 for only about $50 more.  I can also upgrade the stock when I get the money.  You may be saying “I could do the same thing with the 770?”  No, no you can’t. There is zero, zip, nada aftermarket support for the 770.  And that is the number one reason to buy a Savage 111 or a Remington 700, even the cheap ones, over the budget rifles like the Remington 770, Savage Axis, or Ruger American.  Aftermarket support, not only are you getting a superior barrel and action for not much more, you have the ability to upgrade your rifle as you get more money.  Once I spend $200 on a stock I’ll have a $585 rifle that will be of exceptional quality and shoot as well as rifles costing much more.

This isn’t written for the guys who can go out and by a Browning X-bolt, Sako, or a premium rifle when they feel like it.  This is for the guys like me who love to shoot but don’t have much money.  Guys who have to scrape together money for months to buy a $300 rifle.  I write this for guys like me who want the nice things but would also like to shoot not save for years to buy a $1000 rifle.  So if you’re a poor youth minister like me then buy a rifle like me.  One that you can enjoy shooting, and upgrade as you continue to put pennies in your pickle jar.

Peace be with you.

An Interesting Day at the Range

Today I learned a few lessons at my private range.  I went out with a friend and we shot my Remington 870 12ga (8 shot), Savage 111 30-06, Ruger 10/22, and Rock Island 1911.  He brought his Mossberg 20ga (which I love), and his Remington 770 .270.

I save milk jugs, fill them with water and freeze them.  This makes for a very fun reactive targets.

While shooting my 870 at a coke bottle thrown in the air.  I was trying to see how many times I could hit the bottle while it was still in the air.  I got to to three and on the fourth the gun fell apart.  Needless to say this scarred me greatly.  After making sure I was not injured, I don’t have a scratch.  I then observed the pieces of Shotgun on the ground.  Nothing blown up, nothing damaged.  Best I can tell the magazine screw worked its was loose and the spring pressure of the extended tube combined with recoil caused it to come apart.  I was able to reassemble the shotgun, I used channel locks to make sure that this would not happen again.  I test fired it a few times with no further issues.  This concerns me because I leave this gun loaded and available at home for defense, but I don’t think I’ll have another issue.

Now for Rifle shooting

Now most of my fellow shooters know that ammo has been hard to come buy.  I actually just got a reloader, and will do a post once I get everything set up.  So all I had for Kazeshini were some 180 grain Remington Corlokt.  My preferred load is 150 Federal Fusion for hunting.  I honestly haven’t shot any premium target ammo.  I only shot one three shot group and it wasn’t my best, about 2-inch at 100 yards.  I want to say I pulled that one shot, and that if I hadn’t I would have easily had a 1moa group.  But oh well.

You will notice on this target that there are two bull’s-eyes.  This target is set up for maximum point blank range for game hunting.  My 150grains hit 2inches high at 100yards which is where I want it.  The 180’s hit dead level with each other at about 3/4 inches above POA.  So I just recorded it in my data book so I know where a particular load hits, and I don’t try to re-zero my rifle every time I take it out.  I’ll do the same when I work up my own handloads.  I’ll make my primary load shoot exactly where I want it and everything else will be based on that zero.

So what did I learn.  One, I need to practice more. I know what my gun is capable of I just don’t have the skills to get the most out of it.  And my wife out shot me the other day with her Remington 788 .222.  And that is just not OK.

The second thing I learned is that my rifle shoots like crap with a bi-pod.  I borrowed my friend’s Caldwell Bipod and shot about 5 times and my group was about 4-5 inches.  I felt solid behind the gun with the bipod so what was the deal.  Well Kazeshini started her life as a cheap rifle.  A cheap scope, bad trigger, and a flimsy plastic stock.  I have upgraded the scope and trigger, but I have yet to upgrade the stock.  So what was happening is that the bipod was torquing my forearm and putting pressure on my barrel. It was twisting and turning all over the place. I have a sporter contour barrel that is very susceptible to heat and any kind of pressure.

Having learned all this, getting a bipod for myself is moved down the list until I get a new stock.  I’m torn though, I want to spend my money wisely.  I can get a laminate stock for about $100 from Boyd’s Gun Stocks or continue saving for a Manners stock that is about $400.   I prefer wood and blued steel.  The issue is that I one day want to upgrade my barrel to a Shillen or an equal quality brand.  If I get a standard replacement stock it may not accept a larger barrel.  Also the ergonomics of a Manners stock will be better but I’m still torn.  I may compromise and get a hogue stock with a full aluminum bedding block, and do my own camo job on it.

The 30-06 Advantage

This is a repost from http://reasonablenut.blogspot.com/2005/02/308-vs-30-06.html

 

I happend to come across this in one of Jeff Coopers Commentaries today (Vol. 10, No. 1), thought you might be interested. It’s long, but as always, it’s good.

THE KING

Doubtless you have noted the recent tendency on the part of various gun writers to denigrate the 30-06 cartridge. The late Charley Askins demonstrated this attitude some years ago in a magazine article, and now we see that a currently active colleague has taken up the tattered banner of iconoclasm again.

The trouble with the 30-06 is that, like Julius Caesar, it is too good. It is not only too good, but it is too old – now only four years short of its centennial. People have been trying to improve upon it since before I was born (and that was a very long time ago), but without success. Its great virtue seems to be its unacceptable versatility, which is a drawback in the age of specialization. I acquired my personal 06 when I was in high school, and while I have obtained a number of other weapons since then, I have never felt a real need to improve upon the cartridge. The 30-06 is nobody’s first choice for elephants, nor is it ideal for prairie dogs, but it will suffice for either of those if that is all that is available, and it will account comfortably for everything in between – including Homo sapiens.

The cartridge was deemed too large for optimum portability after the Korean War, and was replaced by the US government with the 7.62 NATO cartridge, or 308 as we call it now. The 308 is a tad smaller than the 06, but this is a minor point to the individual owner, and with the advent of the more modern propellants any power difference between the two cartridges is negligible.

The 30-06 retains a minor, but not inconsiderable, edge over the more modern 308 in its accommodation of the 220-grain bullet, which renders it a practically perfect cartridge for the African buschveldt today, where versatility in one loading can be very useful. The 30-06/220 is eminently suitable for kudu or lion, yet will not tear up an impala or a springbok (whereas the 30-06/150 might).

I grew up on the 30-06, and that makes me a dinosaur, but I am nowise ashamed of that. In my teens I took four-for-four (bighorn through moose) with four shots in Alberta, and I have since taken a fair list of quadrupeds, big and little, with the same round.

Today I might fancy the 308 over the 06 simply because I can get it in Scout configuration. The Scout, after all, comes over-the-counter in 308. The difference in “field effect” between the 308/150 and 30-06/150 is negligible, so the handiness of the Scout favors it in high mountains and tundra. If the hunter is going to ride around in vehicles, however, handiness hardly matters.

There need be no discussion of intrinsic accuracy, since that is a function of rifle execution rather than cartridge design. Given equally fine launchers, both cartridges will deliver one-holers at reasonable ranges, and will shoot flatter than the marksman can appreciate out to where he can no longer see his target clearly.

The 30-06 (“United States cartridge, caliber 30, model of 1906”) was and remains king. If the 308 now encroaches upon it that is because of improvements in rifle design, rather than new cartridges. Let him who would denigrate the King place himself well beyond the castle walls lest he be overheard. The punishment for lese majeste can be both undignified and uncomfortable.

“But there ain’t many troubles that a man caint fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six.”

http://reasonablenut.blogspot.com/2005/02/308-vs-30-06.html