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Bolt gun advice

Bolt gun advice 
Ladies and Gents: To start let me state that I am just getting setup in HP and have been getting very good HM advice about setting up an AR. But I am stuck on the bolt gun idea. I also read the Precision Shooting article, HP on a Budget and like that approach, i.e., incremental and .223. Now the kicker, I'm a leftie. Questions are these, 1) what new LH bolt guns are out there that can be used as the start of a budget HP gun? I am aware of the Rem VS only. 2) I've heard bad things about Rem feeding; can these be handled keeping in the budget spirit? 3) Any used guns out there that might keep me from getting into a new gun buildup project (and stay within the budget idea)? Thanks in advance. Alan stewart natty@mindspring.com

Bolt gun advice 
Hi Alan, as a fellow lefty I sympathize with the difficulty of finding good left-handed equipment. I can tell you that if you want a new bolt-action rifle, the cheapest and best deal is a 40X. You will spend a lot more reworking a 700 in the not too long run. The 40X already has a good stock, they come glass bedded, they have a great barrel which is of a good weight, they have the clip-slot, the sight base holes, a good trigger, a rail... It's a target rifle. If you want an AR, I'm selling my Spacegun (26" Krieger). German waterwaytitle@worldnet.att.net

Bolt gun advice 
Ya, what German said. I went the "HP on a Budget" incremental route (Win. M70 HV) and with all the add-ons, smithing, and do-it-yourself stuff, wound up paying about the same as a 40X. I did learn a lot about rigging a gun up for HP, though. Now I'm preparing to take my homemade '96 Swede Mauser $100/1,000yd. gun to the 29 Palms Regional. Wish me luck. ratbolter

Bolt gun advice 
Alan: If Winchester makes the .223 Varmint rifle in left hand model, then the Precision Shooting magazine idea is a real contender. I have one that was built that way and it does work. The 1/9 twist barrel is not a detriment because it will shoot the 75 gr. VLD bullets great. I shot mine in a recent National Match Long Range course at Oak Ridge and it shot well at the 1000-yard line with 75 gr. JLK bullets (no wind conditions that day). Good luck, Alan Strachn.

Bolt gun advice 
German, Ratbolter, thanks for the response. I like the idea of not having to build a gun without knowing what it is I am building. Another one of those chicken and egg problems. Any idea what a new LH 40X can be had for these days or how long it might take to get one? Also, German, Steve Knutson has done a good job of swaying me toward the dark side, so please send me a note offline about your spacegun. Alan natty@mindspring.com

Bolt gun advice 
MNAlan, You might want to consider a M70 left handed classic (controlled feed) action with the Mauser type extractor. I shoot a M70 push feed in high power occasionally and just recently bought a M70 classic sporter. It feeds much more dependably. German is right, the only way to get one of these as a target rifle is build it. They can be had used for about $300 and you should be able to recover part of that by selling the stock and barrel. That isn't so bad as I recall Champions Choice or Champions Shooters Supply selling converted M70 Heavy Barrel Varmint rifles for about $800.

Bolt gun advice 
Alan, I've been down that road twice looking for L/H bolt guns. In factory guns, unless you're willing to limit yourself to 200 yd shooting, you're stuck with .308. (Sorry, I didn't really mean stuck...I like .308) Yes Remington does (or did) offer the Varmint Special in .223, but it has a 12" twist. No heavy bullets here. Your first problem will be in finding one. Good luck. They and Winchester only make a few production runs, maybe only one production run per year. I'm still waiting for a Winchester in 30-06, which I’m told, is supposed to be built sometime in November. Well, it's November. I heard the same thing a few years ago from Remington. When I built my L/H Rem in .223, they didn't make any small bolt face actions at all in L/H so I had a 22-250 converted. Now you're adding $$ for altering the bolt face and adding a Sako/M-16 extractor. Then you have to have the feed rails modified for the smaller cartridge. Winchester is even worse, with no short actions at all in L/H; but the action (to me) is better for an across the course rifle. I think it smoother and it has more leverage with the longer bolt handle. It also has the nice controlled feed action. My first bolt gun priced out about $2-300 more than a wood stocked 40-X, but is better in a few ways. The second bolt gun was a 40-X in .308. A real tack driver right out the box, but it still needs some tweaking. The wooden stock needs to be weighted in the rear, (and feels 'clubby') and the handrail is cheesy plastic. I don't like the fiberglass 40-XC stock, especially the hard square edges on the for end. I've heard that on the other fiberglass stock they offer its difficult to add a hand stop rail, but never looked at one myself. Another problem with a Varmint Special will be in loading 5 rounds. You need a stripper clip guide, which is available as a bolt on, the 40-X is already milled. The next problem is: is the stock deep enough to hold 5 rounds. My 40-X is barely, but it's designed to be. Not sure about a VS, maybe not. With the Remington you also will need to have the receiver drilled & tapped for a rear sight base. Not sure about Winchester as it hasn't showed up yet :-) My advice: if you really want a bolt gun, spend the $1200-$1400 for a 40-X. If you need to spend a lot less, buy an AR-15. Good luck and good shooting. Lanny R.

Bolt gun advice 
In response to question about Winchester bolt .308 rifles holding 5 rounds. I shot one this year. Mine is a heavy barrel Varmint with the synthetic aluminum bedded stock. (H&S supplies this stock to Winchester) I have had no troubles loading 5 rounds with a stripper clip. Instead of a bolt-on stripper guide, my rifle has been milled on the rear receiver ring. I do not think you can load maximum length cartridges with the bolt-on clip guide. If the 'smith is not versed with this modification, take him a mauser and have him copy the design, the mausers worked perfectly. I also have a relief area (.095 deep) on the back of the front receiver ring to further aid the use of long cartridge OAL. This worked well enough that 3 of my first place medals at Camp Perry were rapids, the events a .30 bolt gun is supposed to suck for. I have a Remington bolt gun also and believe the Winchester bolt works easier when time counts.

Bolt gun advice 
Suppose you were looking for some property and came across two suitable sites. One of the lots had an expensive mansion, while the other had a bare-bones shack of a house. If there is an excellent possibility that, to be satisfied, you will eventually tear down the existing house on whichever piece of land you get, in order to have your own custom home built there, which site ends up being the more economically sensible purchase? So it is with buying a factory target rifle. The shooter with a 40-X pays a bundle of money for a piece of equipment, which is merely adequate, only to (if he seriously sticks with the game) ultimately have much of it redone in the long run anyway. On the other hand, the individual who finds a used Model 700 or Model 70 sporter at a rummage sale or in Gun List and sends it to a top-notch gunsmith can, for relatively little additional initial investment, get a gun which is done to his personal tastes and done right. (Deer season is next week. The need for Christmas cash begins shortly thereafter. Early December isn't the worst time to try finding a second-hand rifle.)

Bolt gun advice 
Pit Viper makes an excellent point, which should be considered by anyone wanting a "no excuses" rifle. Of course this discussion started with Alan seeking to use a relatively standard rifle in the matches. In any event, the key item for a relatively new shooter wanting to get a good high-end rifle is the gunsmith. He must pick a good gunsmith with lots of Highpower experience and listen to him. The smith knows a lot more than the new shooter who often has spent more time reading and dreaming than shooting and fixing problems. My best advice along these lines is to develop a good working relationship with a good gunsmith and don't try to re-invent the wheel. I have work done by Alex Sitman and Alan Warner for bolt guns; their work is beyond reproach. There are others. Geography and the experience of friends will often play a part in the selection. The point is to hook up early, as that will really put you on track with the most effective use of your money. A good gunsmith is also very often a good source for finding a good used target rifle since his customers keep him informed about what they're selling.

Bolt gun advice 
German is right. This is Gary Singley. Pick some one with a good reputation, tell them what you want the rifle to do, NOT how to build the rifle, and you will be satisfied. Ask for their opinions, they can help you avoid some pitfalls.

Bolt gun advice 
Alan & German; You guys might check with Earl Liebetrau and see if he is still converting bolt guns to LH. I know he has done some. Check his web site at EKLEnterprises.com. Dave Hickey

 

 





 








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