It's not the bells and whistles that will be different about my rifles. Pretty much everybody does a fine job with that. It will be the machining methods that make the heart of my rifles different. There are guys who build rifles the way I'm going to, but not many. Truthfully, most shooters aren't capable of appreciating the difference, but it's there and it makes rifles built with certain methods superior.
Originally Posted by Mr. Machette
I've written about some of the concepts in other threads and I know it's boring to most readers, so I'm not going to write a long manifesto about the tiny details, but I'll list some of the broader points:
*Most so-called expert rifle builders don't know how to properly chamber a rifle. They put the barrel in the lathe and center it at both ends of the bore. They disregard the bore curvature that is ALWAYS present, regardless of barrel manufacturer. This results in a chamber that isn't concentric to the bore.
*They use the same centering process when they crown the barrel, which also results in a crown that isn't concentric to the bore.
*They also ignore bore curvature when threading the barrel shank, which means the curvature could be pointing in any direction at the muzzle. This results in zeroing issues. Shooters experience the effects of this methodology all the time but they don't understand it. This is one reason it often takes several clicks of windage to zero your scope at 100 yards. If the curvature is timed to 12 o'clock, that likelihood is drastically reduced.
People have a hard time understanding this concept. They think once they zero at 100 yards they're good. Nope. The bore line and line of sight intersect at 100 yards but begin to widen again after 100 yards. This shows up in long range shooting. Most shooters think if they always need x number of clicks of windage at 1,000 yards it's because of spin drift and other factors. Spin drift is definitely present but often the shooter is unaware that they're also having to compensate for misalignment of bore curvature. This can contribute to running out of windage on your scope at long range.
*One of the things you would think should be a simple task for a gun builder is scope mounting but it's one area where builders often fail. Most actions these days come from the factory tapped for scope bases. The holes should be precisely aligned with the receiver threads but many times they're not. This is less likely with a high end custom action but more likely with Rem 700s and the like, which are commonly accurized for a precision rifle build. In the case of misaligned holes, they should be filled and re-located to ensure your scope bases are correctly aligned with your receiver threads. Most builders completely ignore this step.
There are other things that builders could improve upon but these are some of the biggies. You won't hear discussion of these factors in any gunsmithing school in the country, including the school I attend. Rifle builders everywhere continue learning inferior methods because that's the way so-and-so has always done it and he has produced twenty trillion winning competition rifles. The truth is that excellent shooters have made their rifles look good.
Keep in mind, the factors I mentioned have nothing to do with accuracy. You can have a fucked up, misaligned rifle that still shoots tiny groups. But you're probably going to have to compensate for the inferior build practices at both short and long range.
Do I expect to get rich using a better methodology? **** no. But I already earn a living. To me, rifle building isn't about money. It's about creating something that is excellent that I can be proud of. Even if my customers don't understand the difference, I'll know I've built something the best that I can possibly do it. That's what matters to me.
Last edited by Devil; 12/18/2013 1:37pm at .
Don't discount average Joe so much. The customer might not know exactly why your commitment to craft has improved their rifle but even to a hobby shooter like me the difference is noticeable.
I kind of think of it as an "ease of use" thing.
I had a Saiga .308 that was "minute of man" if you know what I mean. It ran all day every day and could hit what you pointed at but making a small ragged hole was just not it's forte (for a variety of reasons inherent to the AK action). Hitting the bull dead center with that tank was a challenge.
Then one day I had a Tikka T3. Not the most expensive rifle on the shelf but one built with a commitment to accurate shooting. At least it had the basics. Free floated heavy barrel and built at a plant where anal retentive quality control had been the norm for generations.
That thing felt like cheating. It was so easy to nail the bull at 100 yards that it was almost boring to shoot.
So the details do make a big difference. Even to a total plebian like myself.
Originally Posted by Mr. Machette
I don't assume my customers won't understand the difference. After all, I plan to explain it to them via some type of advertising. My point is that it's of secondary importance to me if they can fully appreciate it and I can translate that difference into sales.
That's an advantage of not having to make a living doing it. I have no reason to compromise my vision for anyone. I can afford to be a snobby gun artist. I'd rather build two rifles a year the way I want to build them than 200 rifles a year the way somebody else wants me to build them.
Some pertinent videos for Firearms Month. First, Ted Nugent on gun control. I like Ted, he has a certain charm and speaks well for the 2d Amendment, even if he does have a gray ponytail.
British wanker Piers Morgan should go back to making trouble in England instead of coming here and trying to promote his career at the expense of our Rights.
When we look at the stats, in spite of Mr. Morgan's rants, and in spite of their gun control, Brits are not so well off after all:
Gun control reduces crime? Bullshit.
The history of gun control; long video, but worth watching.
Lastly, some favorite quotes from my favorite patriot:
"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms."
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? "
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” (Quoting Cesare Beccaria)
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
Agreed. Also I have been hunting with a tikka t-3 lite stainless synthetic for a while and have found it to very accurate even against other off the shelf bolt actions.
Originally Posted by Mr. Machette
That's very cool. wish there were more people out there with your knowledge. Good luck in your endeavor.
Originally Posted by Devil
mr machete, never try to wise up a chump.
I wish there was a video of Jeremey Clarkson slugging piers morgan.
I'm interested in what you guys consider accurate. For me it's 1MOA, 10 inch circle at 1,000 yards. I have a ton of shooting experience with an M40A1. Other than that, out to 500 yards with the ol' M16. 100-300 yards is a bit of a joke, but whenever I talk to people about rifles who weren't in the military those seem to be token distances that qualify a rifle as "good."
I'm just trying to gather some perspective on how awesome these rifles that will be made are supposed to be, and understand the perspective of people's comments when they talk about accurate.
Originally Posted by Ero-Sennin
Accuracy expectations depend on the rifle. An off the shelf M4 for instance - a couple MOA is plenty respectable. The M40 series are great rifles but the best custom bolt rifle builders can do better. There are custom builders who guarantee 1/2 MOA and are actually getting more like 1/4 MOA with proper load development. They're using machining methods superior to the builders at Quantico and they have a better fit and finish. I've written about my thoughts on the machining methods here if you're interested in digging it up. I'm tired of writing 5000 word essays explaining it to people, to be honest but if you want to dig through my posts in The Armory and talk about it, I'd love to. It's one of my favorite subjects.
To give you perspective on my frame of reference - I've been shooting since I was a child. I was a Marine Infantryman. Not a sniper, although I've outshot some of them in division matches and lost to some of them as well. I was in for four years and was a 4th award Expert. Pistol Expert as well. I'm probably actually a better shot with a pistol than a rifle.
My rifle score in boot camp was 235 back when it was on a 250 point scale. I would've been platoon high shooter but I put a round in the black on the target next to me (oops) that would've made my score 240. Lost by one fucking point. I was invited by the Scout Sniper Platoon Sergeant to take the indoc about half way through my enlistment but my Platoon Sergeant wouldn't let me go. Bummer. Probably better off though since I would've most likely re-enlisted and might be way too dead to write this right now.
I'm 3/4 of the way through gunsmithing school now and my plan is to focus on building bolt guns. I've studied pretty much everything I can get my hands on and I have some pretty strong opinions about the way things should be done to wring maximum accuracy out of a rifle.
I don't get to shoot as much these days as I would like to. I have a full schedule and most of my range time is spent plinking with the kids and making sure the wife can put holes in home intruders. I've got my eye on a shooting club nearby with a thousand yard range. Hopefully I can make time to get out there and sharpen my skills when I'm done with school. Anyway, that's where I'm coming from. I try not to talk out of my ass if I can help it.
I like shooting the **** with serious shooters. Look forward to some lively discussion.