The Birth of a Rifle

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz

My wife made the mistake of asking me what I was going to do with that pile of “stuff” in the spare bedroom.  I began to explain to her the value of all that “stuff” to which she countered with “well if it is worth so much why don’t WE sell it?”  Of course, I countered with “I could build a new gun from all this.”

“Like you need another gun” was the retort.

At that point I decided I’d better terminate this conversation as gracefully as possible and go lick my wounds.

As I removed an armload of stocks one of them caught my eye.  It was a Shehane Tracker thumb-hole.  A true blank stock with nothing but a rear tang screw hole and a very shallow barrel channel.  I’d won that at a Colorado Rifle Club 1000 yard match a few years earlier.  The wheels were turning, slow at that point, but turning none the less.

As I was rearranging “my” area, I found a Remington M700 Speed lock kit.  I’d just bought a M700 stainless short action with a 223 bolt face from my friend Gene and he threw in a 20 MOA base and I had Burris Pos-Align rings and plenty of inserts.

Then I remembered another friend in South Dakota who was getting out of the game and had a sold me a set of 6 Dasher dies complete with a chamber reamer and headspace gauges.  A quick look and sure enough, there they were in the die rack.

Hmm, I wondered if that speed lock was for a short action.  Sure enough it was and when I put it in with the M700 action there was a nifty competition trigger guard.  It was looking like I might have enough parts to make a rifle.

I checked my certificate file and there was a valid Broughton barrel certificate, my choice of twist, caliber and profile.  There was definitely a plan formulating at this point.
Knowing it takes a while to get a barrel, I got on the phone and called Broughton to get a 6mm 1-8″ twist in the works and always accommodating Mr. Tim North said he had a nice 30 caliber 1-15″ twist in the same profile that would make a great little 30 BR companion barrel should I want to do a switch barrel.  Well shoot, I couldn’t pass up that kind of a bargain so it got included. (The 30 caliber barrel was a little short at 25″)

By golly, it looks to me like I have enough “stuff” to make a new rifle with two barrels.

Hey, it only makes sense.

I can use the same chassis for 600 yard International Benchrest Shooters matches and the various varmint for score matches that take place around the Midwest.

With the help of several well-meaning friends, most notably Devron Huer, Gene Ford and John Meyers, caliber choices were made, they are the 6mm Dasher for 600 yard IBS and 30 BR for the varmint and score matches.

Stay tuned for: The next challenge – who to put all this together?

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9 Responses to The Birth of a Rifle

  1. David (Rupe) Ruppel says:

    Sounds interresting! I wouldn’t mind going through your spare bedroom looking for VZ24 parts for a spare 8mm barrel I have laying around. I’m thinking of building an 8x57js Mauser bolt action handgun. Anything there that you don’t want, I’ll take it off your hands? It will make your wife happy to get rid of more of the clutter. Haha


  2. Jay says:

    My new rifle was just born the other day as well. This one in 6 Creedmoor.


  3. Jeff says:

    I bet David White out in Oklahoma would do a fine job. He shouldn’t be that far of a drive from you either.


  4. If I was back in the US I’d be interested in the job , see yea soon.


  5. David (Rupe) Ruppel says:

    Nice looking rifle Jay, Congrates on the new birth!



  6. Pingback: The next challenge – Who to put the rifle together? | Sierra Bullets

  7. Pingback: A Strange Thing Happened the Other Day! | Sierra Bullets

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