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Ultra light rifle project

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Peddler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:01
Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but how do you find the paracord slings? Do they tend to hold water?

Scrummy


Scrummy, Sandstorm Custom Rifle Slings in Texas is one source.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:09
Ilya,
NULA folded in 2015 and Barrett bought the remaining assets and intellectual property of Forbes/NULA, though I believe Melvin Forbes may still be building custom rifles. As stated above, the Barrett Fieldcraft is the latest incarnation of the NULA rifle. It is very similar, but not exactly the same. The action is slightly different. The barreled action is stainless and Melvin’s rifles were chrome moly steel. Barrett uses a different barrel supplier, and I believe they get their stock blanks from a different supplier as well. The Fieldcraft stocks are made by AG Composites; it’s essentially the same stock as their “Carbon All Terrain.” I have a Fieldcraft rifle, and it is indeed very nice. Yes, you are getting a rifle that fills the same niche as the one I built with a NULA or Barrett Fieldcraft. But mine is even lighter. The stock used on a NULA / Fieldcraft is 6-8 oz heavier, and they of course don’t have a titanium action. The NULA / Fieldcraft short action weighs 20 oz, whereas the Pierce Featherweight weighs 15 oz. I know of no other bolt action available that’s lighter. Titanium is more corrosion resistant than SS, and it has a certain supernatural allure to me. All together, my rifle weighs nearly a pound less than a NULA or Fieldcraft. Plus, as Jason said, I just like building rifles and owning something entirely unique to me.

Edited by RifleDude - October/31/2018 at 05:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:18
Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but how do you find the paracord slings? Do they tend to hold water?

Scrummy


Not sure honestly. I don’t recall ever being in a heavy rain with one yet. I used it for this rifle because it’s pretty light and the color blend complements the colors in the stock.
Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:37
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but how do you find the paracord slings? Do they tend to hold water?

Scrummy


Not sure honestly. I don’t recall ever being in a heavy rain with one yet. I used it for this rifle because it’s pretty light and the color blend complements the colors in the stock.

Cheers RD!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:37
Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but how do you find the paracord slings? Do they tend to hold water?

Scrummy


Scrummy, Sandstorm Custom Rifle Slings in Texas is one source.

Thanks Peddler, we have makers in the UK too but will check out those guys for inspiration

Scrummy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 05:38
Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Very nice looking rig and I'm not surprised about your scope choice. I do find the mount choice interesting.


Doug, I have used Talley LWs and DNZ Huntmaster mounts on previous lightweight rifles. I’ve also used the S&K mounts on a few rifles in the past as well and have been pleased with them. Due to how slender the S&K rings and bases are, the all-steel S&Ks are about the same weight as the aluminum Talleys and DNZs. With no screws in the rings, there is nothing available that is as sleek looking, and that fact enables the rings to be plenty strong without any additional material needed to accommodate screws. Conetrol mounts are similar looking and also have no screws in their rings, and I have some of their mounts as well. However, they are thicker/ heavier, more expensive, and the rings are 3 piece whereas the S&K rings are 1 piece.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 06:16
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Very nice looking rig and I'm not surprised about your scope choice. I do find the mount choice interesting.


Doug, I have used Talley LWs and DNZ Huntmaster mounts on previous lightweight rifles. I’ve also used the S&K mounts on a few rifles in the past as well and have been pleased with them. Due to how slender the S&K rings and bases are, the all-steel S&Ks are about the same weight as the aluminum Talleys and DNZs. With no screws in the rings, there is nothing available that is as sleek looking, and that fact enables the rings to be plenty strong without any additional material needed to accommodate screws. Conetrol mounts are similar looking and also have no screws in their rings, and I have some of their mounts as well. However, they are thicker/ heavier, more expensive, and the rings are 3 piece whereas the S&K rings are 1 piece.

I have Conetrols on my .257 Roberts build and I do like them

Scrummy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tejas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2018 at 07:46
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Sure, Tejas.

First, the Brown Kevlar stock comes VERY "unfinished" and rough. It has a prominent seam around the center line on the sides. Since Kevlar doesn't cut or sand cleanly -- it is tough and tends to "fuzz" up when sanded/ground on -- you have to fill the surface with epoxy to harden the fibers prior to sanding. Fill, sand, fill, sand, and repeat the process several times. Then, I evened out the seams and voids in the stock with a mixture of West Systems epoxy and micro-balloons to thicken it. Micro-balloons is a powder consisting of tiny glass or polymer hollow spheres, so when added to epoxy, it not only thickens the mix, but it makes the resulting epoxy fill lighter. I spread the epoxy/micro-baloons mix out with a knife, much like you'd do for body work on a car. The micro-balloons are brown colored, so the fill mix is the brown areas you see in the photos.









I contoured the ejection port relief so that the lines followed the ejection port on the action nicely. Again, since the Kevlar doesn't sand well, I brushed epoxy on the surface, sanded to shape, then repeat until I got the sharp, well-defined surface transitions I wanted. The bolt handle slot was way too large for the size bolt handle on this action, so I filled it in with the epoxy/micro-balloons so it would be a nice tight, clean fit to the bolt handle. I wrapped the bolt handle with electrical tape, applied release agent to the tape-covered handle, added the thickened epoxy to the slot, then swung the bolt handle into the epoxy, letting it squeeze out proud from the stock surface. Once it cures, remove the tape and you have clearance between the bolt handle and bolt handle slot. Then sand the epoxy level with the stock surface for a nice sharp slot edge.





The front action screw counterbore was really large, so to make it minimalist and fit the action screw tightly, I wrapped the screw head with a little tape, stuck a piece of tight-fitting aluminum tube over the taped screw head to center it into the counterbore, then filled the gap between the counterbore and the aluminum tube with epoxy/micro-balloons mix. Then, I filed and sanded the aluminum tube and epoxy fill level with the stock. After bedding the action, I wrapped the barrel with tape, added release agent to the outside of the tape, then filled the barrel channel with epoxy/micro-balloons so I got a close-fitting barrel channel with the barrel still free floated. Then, sand down the top edge of the barrel channel so it's flat and sharp.





I did the same for the trigger guard inlet, as it was excessively large for my trigger guard.




Anyway, after I had prepped and filled the imperfections in the stock with my "body work," I brushed epoxy over the entire stock. I let the epoxy set up a little so that it was a bit tacky, then I took a piece of sea sponge and blotted the epoxy surface to give it a mild texture.

Once that was done, I did the camo finish. It's pretty simple. First, I mask off the inletting and the buttpad, then spray a couple coats of a base color coat of Duracoat onto the stock. In this case, my base coat was burnt bronze. Then, for the "sponge camo," I just mix up a little Duracoat in a paper plate, dip a piece of sea sponge in the Duracoat, blot off the excess onto a paper towel, then press the sponge onto the stock in a random pattern. I let each color cure for about 30 minutes, then repeat with each additional color until I get the look I want. The sea sponge gives it a "blotched" pattern that I think looks really cool. I let the sponge-applied colors cure for a couple hours, then I spray the whole thing with matte Duracoat clear to even out the sheen.










You obviously put some time and effort into that rifle, and it shows. Thanks for the explanation. Was wondering how you got that particular camo pattern. I understand why you built it yourself, it’s one of of a kind. Thanks again for sharing your your method.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tejas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2018 at 18:30
One more question. You obviously were wanting to get as light as possible. Why no flutes in the barrel?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2018 at 18:40
Tejas, I didn't flute this barrel because it was already a #1 light contour, and fluting light barrels sometimes causes stress relieving that causes warpage in the steel that hurts accuracy. I don't mind fluting heavier contour barrels, and can honestly say I've had no ill effects from doing so. I also like the looks of fluted barrels. In this case, to maintain a margin of hoop stress safety, I wouldn't have been able to flute this barrel very deeply anyway, so the flutes would've been more cosmetic than true weight savings. I doubt very shallow flutes would have removed a significant amount of weight to justify the risks involved. I may have not had any problems, but I just didn't want to take the risks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2018 at 18:52
I did however remove some extra material from the magazine follower. Haha!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tejas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2018 at 19:27
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I did however remove some extra material from the magazine follower. Haha!





That’s cool! I’ve never seen that done. Good explanation on fluting the barrel too. I wasn’t aware that it could cause stress but I did know that it would be six flutes max and they would be narrow and shallow. No need to risk it for maybe an ounce. Really cool rifle. That would be perfect for aoudad hunting in West Texas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 05:56

 Ted, that is beautiful work.  The finish work and pattern on that stock is excellent.  Impressive is not a big enough word. 

So... just "WOW"... beautiful and I expect supremely accurate... WOW

A hunting piece for the ages...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 09:51
Thanks for the kind words, gents! KB..."for the ages?" Wow! I dunno about that, but I do like it.

As most of you know, "gun nut" doesn't adequately describe me. It's fun to discuss and share in this hobby we all enjoy.

Firearms deer season opens tomorrow here in Texas, so tomorrow, she goes out for her maiden voyage...assuming I can find a single acre of ground above water after the torrential downpours we've had here the past several weeks! One of my hunting properties is located in the Sabine River bottom, and half of it has been under 2 feet of water 3 of the 4 weekends in October when I was trying to bow hunt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Farris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 10:56
As a lover of super light hunting rifles, I am jealous.  Please send me a picture of picture of its first successful hunt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2018 at 13:50
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Thanks for the kind words, gents! KB..."for the ages?" Wow! I dunno about that, but I do like it.

As most of you know, "gun nut" doesn't adequately describe me. It's fun to discuss and share in this hobby we all enjoy.

Firearms deer season opens tomorrow here in Texas, so tomorrow, she goes out for her maiden voyage...assuming I can find a single acre of ground above water after the torrential downpours we've had here the past several weeks! One of my hunting properties is located in the Sabine River bottom, and half of it has been under 2 feet of water 3 of the 4 weekends in October when I was trying to bow hunt!

That's an heirloom, 'Dude' (get it??? RifleDude... 'Dude'...).  Really, looks awesome, something to pass along.

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