So , I just got my 221 back from McGowan and am very happy with the work they did along with the cost. I have another ready to send out. This one is a 7BR that I am probably going to go with a heavy barrel 7mm-08. I have a custom shop 7mm-08 and really like it plus I have tons of supplies for the caliber and reload for it. Makes sense to me to go that route.
Want to go with a matte finish on the reciever , a 15" stainless fluted heavy barrel. Not a bull but a heavy tapered barrel. Any action and bolt trueing needed , and either fit it to a laminated thumbhole I already have or send it to Royal Arms for one of his laminated stocks along with a bedding job. I like his because of the similarity to the custom shop stocks. Im more of a traditionalist and this would be a pretty wild look for my tastes. Not that I dont appreciate some of the wild builds Ive seen since joining this site , but they aren't for me.
Now the question.
Not that Im unhappy with McGowan , but Id love to hear some suggestions on other smiths that would be able to do this work and some pictures of work you have had done by them. Plus what your opinion of the work they have done is. And how long it took for the work to get done.
Two questions: 1. What is the reason for 2 nearly identical 7-08's?
2. How custom do want this to be?
There a lot of great smith's that know the xp platform. I have 3 done by 3 smith's and a fourth getting worked over by yet another smith.
Nine gun run is currently in possession of my latest and he is about 3 months lead time as of now. Steve Roe of apache gun works does phenomenal work to xp's. But he is over 8 months right now. The out west guys will chime in with a few folks that direction. That also will do you right.
I do not possess the tech skills to post pics but all of mine are in mcmillan centergrip stocks except for an xp-r that wears the factory rear grip.
as long as your going wild with the stock you could A.I. the next 7-08 to sort the brass. those dies are not to high priced
As far as two near identical xp's...I really dont like to use my custom shop model anymore outside of target shooting and certain spots I deer hunt where I know I won't scratch it up. And I am a pretty big fan of the 7mm-08.
How custom? Other than the barrel , action work , and stock material it really wouldn't be much different than the custom shop but I do think I'd use it a lot more.
The other calibers Ive tossed around are one of the 6mmBR variants or a 25 souper since I also have quite a few 25 cals.
Yes ive thought about the ai also. Ive also thought that for the types of shooting I do anything 6mm or 25 cal can be done off the 223 case. This is the only large boltface xp i have besides the custom shop. The other chamberings would be easy enough for me off of a 221 donor.
So how about them details and pictures of some of the milder builds?
How about a 6X47? Not quite off the .223 case, but still a very accurate round and pretty mild.
Another option would be a 6mm Grendel or a 6mmX6.8 (or 25 caliber variants of either). Both would give you very good velocity without a ton of recoil. Brass is pretty easy to come by and you could use Redding bushing dies without too much issue.
1st Toadie and Captain of the Lemming Guard
Why not go with the 6 TCU?
Great little cartridge. Accurate, efficient, and low recoil.
I have taken game up to deer with the 6 TCU.
Here's one of the several that I have built. -Not too wild.
This one was set up for shooting Silhouettes for another member here on SP.
McMillan stock, PTG cone nosed bolt, Pacnor Super Match barrel.
I been really pleased w/ the 3 XP's Clarence Hammonds has worked on for me. He's built me a 22 BR and 6 BR; he also removed a factory 7 BR barrel and replaced it w/ a Shilen 25 BR barrel I bought from SP. The 22 BR was about 20 years ago and took about 6 mos as I recall, but some of the wait was because McMillan stock was on backorder. The 6 BR was 3 years ago and only had a 4 month wait. I provided action and barrel while he alredy had the stock. The 25 BR was sent to him last winter; I had the gun back in 10 days. I think his main work is in the bench rest area, but he also does a fine job w/ XP's. The accuracy of all 3 of my guns have exceeded my expectations. His prices are very reasonable. W/ phone calls, he can seem rather crotchety at first, but he's actually very pleasant and VERY knowledgable (and willing to freely his knowledge). If he doesn't agree w/ what you want done, he'll tell you so. Use the phone to contact him, not e-mail.
Clarence Hammonds Link
Good luck and good hunting.
40xmike are you excepting any builds at this time. I'm just over the border and can not seem to find a smith. thanks
I'm not taking any work at this time....
Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far. Mike , that is along the lines of what Im looking for. Im leaning towards a 6BR set up for lighter bullets after a call to Apache Machine. Steve was a wealth of knowledge and had some good information. Right now I am waiting for a friend to talk to Brux and Rock about barrels. He lives mere blocks from one and less than an hour from the other. He is visiting both this next week so hopefully that jumpstarts things vs waiting months for a barrel.
My 6 BR has a slow twist so I shoot lighter bullets w/ it (<80 gr). You might keep your eyes on the look out for a benchrest take off barrel. Sometimes you can come across a barrel that's not been shot much and still has good barrel life remaining and save some money. The Accurate Shooter Classified Ad Forum can be a good to watch.
Good luck and good hunting.
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