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  1. #1
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    Default My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Good afternoon ladies and gents! I would like to share my current journey with you. Yes, it's not the best story on Gunsite, and it's certainly not the prettiest build or the best rifle out there, but it's mine, and I think for the price it's worth sharing.

    So a while ago I went proper hunting for the first time in a long time. Before that I spent some time on the range with my father in law and brother in law. FIL went with his SPS Tactical in .223 and BIL with his Musgrave .270. Both rifles are not really long-range rifles, but they are slightly kitted to target shooting. So in the time I spent on the range it became apparent to me how much easier it was to hit plates at longer distances (500m) with the SPS Tac and the Musgrave. I was struggling with my old .303, and the reasons are numerous. It's original, and I don't want to hack at it. I just fitted a scope to the setup. As a result, the rifle is not the most accurate. It breaks brass like nobody's business. The trigger is incredibly hard and has a 9-mile long first stage.

    So I decided that's BS. It's suitable for hunting at around 100, 150m max, and after that I'm just not comfortable. To me that started spelling the word "unethical" in my mind, because if I can't place the shot with confidence I'll feel REALLY bad if I wound a buck in the veld. And as a result, the decision to get a proper hunting rifle started. I started doing some research to see what it would cost me and couldn't get anything set in stone.

    Until my brother in law gave me a call out of Potchefstroom. There's a rifle on special. 3 of them, in fact. If I can get him the cash, he'll buy me one. So I needed urgent money. Which I didn't have. My resulting decision, one I took with a sad heart was to let my beloved toy go - my Rossi lever gun in .357 Magnum. I decided if it's worth it, I'll sell it, and use that money to buy the new rifle.

    So I placed an ad. I'll be honest, I placed the ad at slightly higher pricing than I expected I would get, but I got a buyer. I got several. First in line, however, was a fellow forum member (who I won't mention as I don't know if he wants to be mentioned). He agreed to pay the amount I need for the new rifle over to my BIL immediately, and he'll cover the balance when he picks up the rifle from me when his licence is received. All good. He EFTs, BIL buys me the rifle.

    But that left me with some surplus cash. So again I start thinking about "things". The rifle, a Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 is brand new and all that, but I need a scope base and rings. I can fit the scope I have on my old .303 rifle, which is a Burris Fullfield II 3-9 x 40 with the Ballistic Plex reticle. It's a good scope. But bases and rings cost money. So as I'm asking around for advice on brands and all that, a guy contacts me. He has a set of Lynx bases and rings I can have. For free.

    Obviously, I accept. I'll meet up with him sometime in the future and pick them up. So the next thing starts to fester in my mind. The stock. The standard SPS stock is a, for lack of a better term, piece of shit. It's mass produced crap that doesn't even line up the rifle straight. It's very, very structurally unsound and presses against the barrel if you want it or not. It's thin, very light and I don't think it'll do well in keeping the action of the rifle solid to place accurate shots downrange consistently.

    And my mind starts wandering. I post all over and eventually someone sends me a PM right here on Gunsite. He has two stocks for Rem 700 long actions, and I can have them. For free. Hell, he even came to deliver them to my door. Damn good deal! Just one thing... One stock is a thumbhole stock, and because I'm a factory fault, I can't use it. I wanted to work the stock a bit so I can change it over to ambidextrous, but upon receiving it I decided I'll have to remove too much wood. It's not worth it. The other one will work just fine, but it's a stock for a rifle with an internal magazine box, and mine has a floorplate, so both will have to have work done anyway. And I'm in a budget, remember?

    I ask him if he's going to mind if I sell the stocks. He says "sure, good luck, I tried but couldn't get them sold". So of course I try, even here on GS. In the meantime I meet up with bases-and-rings guy, and we chat about the rifles a bit. He shares that he has a stock at home that'll work. Floorplate, aluminium bedding block, pillar bedded, 3 mounting points, granite grey laminate stock. Even has a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad on the back. PERFECT. His price? R2,500.

    So I drop the price on my two stocks to R2,500 for both. I don't want to make money. I just want to get a stock I can use.

    A few weeks go by and a guy contacts me. He has a Remington 710 Long Action. "Will the stock fit?", he asks. I do research, but find, uhm, "negative things" about the Model 710. Apparently it was made as a very budget rifle by Remington and it didn't last long. As a result, there's not a lot of comparisons, but the little bit of info I can find says "it won't fit perfectly". So I let the guy know. He says he wants to check anyway. He pays me a deposit and sends his driver to fetch one of the stocks. Takes the rifle and the stock to various gunsmiths and they all say "hell no, not gonna touch that". Who'd have thunk? I honestly believe they'd have jumped at it. It's "easy money", no?

    Anyway. He decided "screw it" and mods the stock himself. Suddenly it fits his rifle. Perfectly. According to him, with "minimal work". The stock even improves his groups as it no longer presses on his stock, and the action is suddenly pillar bedded. He loves it. Easy money gone for gunsmith. He sends his driver with the rest of the cash and collects the other stock. And I sit with R2,500 in my hand.

    I contact bases-and-rings-and-now-also-stock guy and finds he held onto the stock for me. Great guy. I pay him, and suddenly I have a stock that'll fit my rifle like a glove.

    It's a .30-06 though, and the thing kicks a bit. I'm not recoil shy, but wife will kill me if I hand her a loose donkey on the range. So I need to find something that'll settle this pony. Muzzle brake is out of the question as they're not allowed on most ranges and I don't want to be "that asshole" on the ranges they are allowed. Next up - suppressor. I start reading and searching and looking and all that, and find a lot to think about. I post on the interwebs about the options and find a guy who will send me his Silent Hunter Reflex for R700. We swap numbers, he sends me pics and I accept. Bargain, IMO. Threading is to be done by Danie Joubert in PTA for R850 all included. Also a great price, if you ask me. 14x1 thread on the suppressor so plenty other stuff will fit as well. And, yes, still in my budget.

    Now it's the time where I do some cost breakdown. I have to do this, as I did have a strict budget, and I REALLY wanted to stick to it. As a reminder, I sold my little rifle for R8,000. That means that's my budget I originally had for the new rifle, but now I'll get everything done, with money left over for ammo/reloading spares. How did I do this? Well...

    1. Remington 700 SPS in .30-06: R5,400, on a massive special from a shop in Potchefstroom. Brand new, still in box. Almost too good to be true, and a friend bought another one, and a friend of my brother in law also bought one. 2 days, all the stock gone.
    2. Lynx two-piece bases and 1" rings for Rem 700: Free, as above. Steel to boot, so it'll work perfectly on the .30-06.
    3. Burris Fullfield II 3-9 x 40 scope: Harvested from my old .303 hunting rifle, in other words, I have it. Ballistic Plex reticle means I can even have a drop of fun with it at longer ranges.
    4. Stocky Stocks Granite Grey Laminate stock: Through trading and dealing, free.
    5. Silent Hunter Reflex suppressor: R700, including shipping, as above.
    6. Barrel threading and thread cap: R850, from Danie Joubert in Pretoria.

    The total? R6,950. Add R140 for the licence application and we're on R7,090. For a brand new hunting rifle, kitted to where I want it now.

    Why am I sharing this? Because of two reasons:

    1. E-peen. I want to brag about my new rifle (that's still in process at CFR).
    2. Info. I want to show people that if you spend a little bit of time and effort, a hunting rifle doesn't have to be an expensive thing. Encouraging for newbies, food for thought for old time shooters.

    So yeah. R7,090, meaning I have some spare cash. A box of ammo, bullets, cases, etc. I can choose what I want to do with that, and that's just what I'm going to do. Maybe even a new sling. Or wrap for the suppressor so it looks a bit better (it has some chips and marks), and to take away the heat mirage in the scope for the longer shots. Maybe I'll buy Strelok Pro. Who am I kidding, I'm definitely buying Sterlok Pro. Who knows what the future will hold?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Nice write up.
    Thanks for the honesty in your part gathering efforts,good luck with your application and let us know how it all works out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your new rifle!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Thats fantastic. Enjoy the rifle and thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Enjoy

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Nice one Toxxyc! Hope the rifle is everything you hope it would be!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Nice one Toxxyc, I enjoyed reading that trip.
    Your 303, take it to your favorite gun shop and ask to have the bolt head replaced - Enfields manufactured many different bolt heads and each rifle was fitted by testing bolt heads till they got a good head space. In the war good head space meant it fired and was able to fire again there after. Most gunsmiths have a hand full of bolt heads that they can swop out for a better head spacing, even perfect head spacing. This will solve or improve the case breaking issue, if you reload - start neck sizing.
    Find a old fixed 6 or 8 power scope, you can usually get them for nothing or R3/400 . ( Remember 40 years ago these 6 power scopes were something only rich guys had - nothing wrong with them).
    You now have a perfect bush pig gun and a pretty usable thick stuff gun.
    If you interested in the kinda stuff - look up accurising the Lee Enfield, its a interesting trip getting down to one inch group.
    I - me?, have renamed Cody's 303 "THAT THING" and if he is not around "that fkin Thing" - was one of the most frustrating weapons I ever worked on.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    The 30 06, ya well, you know why that caliber goes on special ey ??? Guess you stuck with a 30 06 now. Your suppressor , you mention wrap ? - I use electrical shrink tubing, like you get at Midas for sealing insulating wiring joints ? just heat it and it shrinks tight around joint.
    If you go to a electrical whole sale outlet, like Voltex you can buy that same shrink wrap as thick as the silencer. Slip it over and hold over stove - it deadens the internal silencer sounds transmitted through silencer walls and it also stops the metallic ringing when suppressor touches branch's etc.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Nice write up, I thought a did a little bit of a budget rifle build but youve got me beaten by miles! Do you have some phodies of your baby?

    Sent from my ELE-L09 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Member Jpzx12rturbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Glad you got sorted with the stocks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Some People just need a high 5.............In the face................With a chair

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My budget hunting rifle build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by treeman View Post
    If you go to a electrical whole sale outlet, like Voltex you can buy that same shrink wrap as thick as the silencer. Slip it over and hold over stove - it deadens the internal silencer sounds transmitted through silencer walls and it also stops the metallic ringing when suppressor touches branch's etc.
    Can you elaborate/explain a bit more please? Does covering your suppressor in “heat shrink” plastic not cause it to over heat or damage your barrel, when shooting a lot?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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