Bigorn TL3 LTR Frankenrifle Journey Continues... Please help..

Oct 14, 2017
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#1
Hey everyone.

I was very interested the Remington 700 LTR. It seemed like a good rifle as it isn't overly long, and it's quite accurate. It has that old type of marksman feel and is very low profile.. I'm very new to shooting long range so I wanted to buy a rifle that I could grow with, and as I learn more and more and get better, I could improve with new stocks, triggers, calibers, barrel lengths, etc.

However, I was able to search and found a number of cons I might have with the LTR, such as:
- Being such an old design, there's no ideal way to change calibers and barrel profiles and lengths easily.
- Changing the bolt knob, and other customizing generally are quite expensive.
- The barrel twist rate is generally 1:12 for left hand models
- It's hard to find one with a threaded barrel in left hand
- No DBM
- Cost of initial purchase is at least $950 and customizing will be much more to end up with a rifle that will still only shoot .308.

So I could have purchased this rifle and just stuck with it until I wanted to progress to something new, but it's hard to sell left handed bolt action rifles, and I'm a minimalist in many ways, so I'd much rather have one bolt action rifle that is very modular in what I can do with it. In the future I'd like to move into some 6.5CM/PRC/SAUM shooting.

So what am I looking for? Below is my statement of needs for a bolt action rifle:
- Similar in profile to the Remington 700 LTR
- Has a receiver with a Remington 700 footprint
- Able to easily change to different calibers starting with .308 but progressing later to 6.5CM, 6.5GAP 4S/SAUM or 6.5PRC
- 20" .308 Barrel, 1:10, threaded and fluted.
- Detachable Bottom Metal
- Takes AW Magazines
- Under 10lbs

I did a lot of research, and found the best option for a bolt action might be the Bighorn TL3. It has a Remington 700 Footprint, but has an excellent floating bolt head that can also be interchanged for .223 and short magnum cases. It will also allow me to change caliber much easier than with a Remington 700.


I found it used and at a very reasonable price, and sent it to have the DLC coating and got it back just the other day, it looks great.

For the DBM I chose the Badger Ordnance M5, which I found for a low price, including a 10 round .308 magazine.
For the stock, I found someone selling an inexpensive HS Precision stock which was actually taken off of a Remington 700LTR. He actually sold it to me for a great price and included what I believe might be a 40X trigger, which comes off a LTR. He even threw in some reloading dies for free. I sent this off to be inletted for the M5 DBM.

For the barrels, I read that Savage barrels work, so I found a lightly used 20" threaded Savage Model 11 .308 barrel with a 1:10 twist rate a few months ago but actually found one from a Model 10 that is also fluted just the other day so I'm waiting for that to be delivered.

So I basically have all I need to put this rifle together properly. When I put it together though, I did find one problem. The front (closest to barrel) screw for the bottom metal was not long enough to screw into the receiver. As you can see from the picture below, it doesn't seem to be seated right in the stock. Any ideas on what it could be?


It has the Model 11 barrel on there just to demonstrate. Perhaps the marks on the receiver recoil lug are indicating that the stock needs to be inletted more?

Thanks!
 
Sep 6, 2006
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#2
The issue isn’t that the front screw isnt long enough, but that tl3 recoil lug is much bigger than the standard 700 LTR lug is, and won’t fit in the stock. The pocket for the lug in the stock needs to be clearanced on the front, sides, and possibly the bottom, but NOT the back.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#3
The issue isn’t that the front screw isnt long enough, but that tl3 recoil lug is much bigger than the standard 700 LTR lug is, and won’t fit in the stock. The pocket for the lug in the stock needs to be clearanced on the front, sides, and possibly the bottom, but NOT the back.
Very interesting! So what would happen if it was done through the back? I'm really glad I asked this question here.
 

buffybuster

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 26, 2007
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#4
The TL3 has a thicker integral recoil lug than the M700 washer type recoil lug. The FRONT of the recoil lug pocket in the stock and possibly the sides of the pocket need to be relieved to accept the TL3 lug. You do NOT want to relieve the back of the pocket because then the action screws will not line up and cause other issues. When you had the stock send out for the M5 inlet, they could have opened up the lug pocket with no trouble.

How did you headspace the barrel?

From your initial posts, it sounds like you have just enough knowledge to get yourself in trouble but not enough to get yourself out. STAY AWAY FROM THE DREMEL.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#5
The TL3 has a thicker integral recoil lug than the M700 washer type recoil lug. The FRONT of the recoil lug pocket in the stock and possibly the sides of the pocket need to be relieved to accept the TL3 lug. You do NOT want to relieve the back of the pocket because then the action screws will not line up and cause other issues. When you had the stock send out for the M5 inlet, they could have opened up the lug pocket with no trouble.

How did you headspace the barrel?

From your initial posts, it sounds like you have just enough knowledge to get yourself in trouble but not enough to get yourself out. STAY AWAY FROM THE DREMEL.
Trust me, I have no intention of doing any inletting myself at all. I will get a professional to do this. Do you think the part of the stock near the ejection port needs to be taken out a little also? I wish I knew about the recoil lug thickness when I sent it off for the inletting so I could have saved myself some money. Oh well.



I haven't headspaced anything. I just put it together to demonstrate and get a feel of it. I will have it properly headspaced, and torqued down to the correct standards when I get the correct barrel to add on it in a few days time.
 

buffybuster

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 26, 2007
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#6
The relief for the ejection port is just cosmetic. While you are having the lug pocket opened up you might also check to make sure the barrel channel has enough room for the barrel nut, otherwise that's another issue. Another thing is make sure the notch for the bolt handle clears. The TL3 has a straight down bolt handle while the M700 is swept back slightly.

Lot of work for a take-off stock.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#7
The relief for the ejection port is just cosmetic. While you are having the lug pocket opened up you might also check to make sure the barrel channel has enough room for the barrel nut, otherwise that's another issue. Another thing is make sure the notch for the bolt handle clears. The TL3 has a straight down bolt handle while the M700 is swept back slightly.

Lot of work for a take-off stock.
Agreed, but I'm just an E3 in the Navy, and I can't afford one of those fancy stocks that everyone else uses.

As for the bolt handle notch. I have not noticed any issues at all with manipulating the bolt, but who knows how that might change once the inletting is done on the front for the recoil lug?

I have another question, the Remington 700 LTR is about 7.5lbs. My rifle, as pictured, is 9.4lbs. I wonder if the used Savage barrel I bought off ebay will lower that weight some given the fact that it is fluted? I'm also using the same trigger and stock as the LTR.
 
Likes: JT1178
Sep 6, 2006
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#8
If you were to relieve all sides of the lug pocket, the lug will float in air, and the action will be located fore and aft off of the screws only. The lug will not be doing it’s job, which is to oppose the bending load of the free floating barrel(and isolate that stress from the action), and to take the force of recoil. You’re screws will be taking all of that, and the action will be under stress. All very bad!


Im not a big savage nut guy, but Buffybusters point about the nut clearance is a good one. The best way to finish this is to send all the parts to someone to do the inlet adjustments.

Your bolt handle, which really can’t be tested for fit until the action can fully seat in the inlet, WILL hit the cutout. Even if it’s fitting front to back, the bottom side will hit. I’ve come across a number of rifles like this, which the owners didn’t notice. The bolt is essentially slightly out of full battery, and it isn’t obvious when the gun is capable of firing(in an extreme case, it won’t). It’s not only the straight bolt handle that will cause this, but it’s rounded bottom profile.


Edit to add: I understand that your short on cash, but what you’re experiencing here is the reason for the term “buy once cry once”. Each extra dollar you spend on resolving issues, the shipping costs, the time wasted, you’re inching ever closer to the cost of the mcmillan/manners or chassis you dream about.
 
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Oct 14, 2017
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#9
If you were to relieve all sides of the lug pocket, the lug will float in air, and the action will be located fore and aft off of the screws only. The lug will not be doing it’s job, which is to oppose the bending load of the free floating barrel(and isolate that stress from the action), and to take the force of recoil. You’re screws will be taking all of that, and the action will be under stress. All very bad!
But if we leave the rear side of the recoil lug, it should be fine?
 
Sep 6, 2006
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#10
But if we leave the rear side of the recoil lug, it should be fine?

Yes. Once there is sufficient clearance around the front, sides, and bottom, the lug should contact the rear surface of the pocket AND the receiver screw holes all line up. If you assemble it muzzle straight up in the air, the screws should pass through the holes in the stock and screw into the receiver without fouling on the stock holes.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#11
Yes. Once there is sufficient clearance around the front, sides, and bottom, the lug should contact the rear surface of the pocket AND the receiver screw holes all line up. If you assemble it muzzle straight up in the air, the screws should pass through the holes in the stock and screw into the receiver without fouling on the stock holes.
Great, as soon as I get my new barrel I'll look for someone that can properly inlet the stock for this receiver, barrel nut, and barrel so that the barrel is free floating.

I'm actually very excited about this. Even though I don't have a scope or scope rings yet.
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#14
For the amount of money you're going to spend on inletting why not look at a KRG bravo system rather than making what you have work. In the end I think you'd be happier with it and come out about even. You could probably sell the stock and break even almost. Just an option. I hope you get it all worked out.

patriotvalleyarms.com/krg-bravo-chassis/
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#15
For the amount of money you're going to spend on inletting why not look at a KRG bravo system rather than making what you have work. In the end I think you'd be happier with it and come out about even. You could probably sell the stock and break even almost. Just an option. I hope you get it all worked out.

patriotvalleyarms.com/krg-bravo-chassis/
That does look like a nice stock, but it is more than half a pound heavier than the HS Precision stock.

Does it come in left handed models? I couldn't see one on there? Does it also fit the lug of the Bighorn TL3? I saw online that it won't fit some UTG lugs due to height so it had me worried.

Also, how much do you think the inletting will cost on my HS Precision to justify buying another stock?
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#18
PVA makes the bravo lefty friendly for their john Hancock rifle package, I'm sure if you call them they can take care of you. You'll be much happier in the end .
Would my AW magazine fit in there? Also, how much do you think my HS Precision Stock with M5 bottom metal could be sold for?
 
Dec 21, 2009
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#19
Would my AW magazine fit in there? Also, how much do you think my HS Precision Stock with M5 bottom metal could be sold for?
I bet you’d be most that stock and bottom metal pay for a good chunk of a bravo chassis, one thing to watch out for is that the bravo chassis has a small lug pocket as well, so you’ll need one with a whiskey 3 backbone, it’s a $50 upcharge.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#20
I bet you’d be most that stock and bottom metal pay for a good chunk of a bravo chassis, one thing to watch out for is that the bravo chassis has a small lug pocket as well, so you’ll need one with a whiskey 3 backbone, it’s a $50 upcharge.
This is actually a pretty good idea, providing that it can take my double stack AW magazines?

It means that I wouldn't need to upgrade to a Manners for quite some time.

How about the palm swell on the KRG Bravo? Would it feel like it's for right handed shooters?
 
Feb 17, 2017
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#21
I just finished touching up the inletting on my former 700 stock for my TL3. If you go slow & careful it’s not a huge deal.
Are you planning on bedding the stock?
 

padom

SuperMod
Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
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#24
For the cost of the stock, dBm, inletting for the dBm, inletting for the TL3 lug and bolt handle you coukd have just bought a XLR Element chassis that your barreled action would have dropped right in, accepted your AW magazine, and have all kinds of adjustability. I have 2 TL3's and XLR Element, Evolution and Carbon Chassis.

I think the element is the best bank for your buck chassis on the market at under $600. Can get it in right or left hand. Select Bighorn TL2 SA from the drop down. Same as TL3, I have one😉


https://xlrindustries.com/collections/chassis/products/element-chassis
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#25
For the cost of the stock, dBm, inletting for the dBm, inletting for the TL3 lug and bolt handle you coukd have just bought a XLR Element chassis that your barreled action would have dropped right in, accepted your AW magazine, and have all kinds of adjustability. I have 2 TL3's and XLR Element, Evolution and Carbon Chassis.

I think the element is the best bank for your buck chassis on the market at under $600. Can get it in right or left hand. Select Bighorn TL2 SA from the drop down. Same as TL3, I have one😉


https://xlrindustries.com/collections/chassis/products/element-chassis
Thanks for the suggestion. But I don't like the look of that chassis. I like it to look more like a traditional stock, which is why that Bravo does look attractive to me.
 
Aug 21, 2011
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#26
You're worried about the stock fit when you bought a tomato-stake for a barrel? So much face-palm...
This thread is a cautionary tale. If you really want a rifle that is gonna shoot, throw out everything but the action and DBM and send it to a good gunsmith.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#27
You're worried about the stock fit when you bought a tomato-stake for a barrel? So much face-palm...
This thread is a cautionary tale. If you really want a rifle that is gonna shoot, throw out everything but the action and DBM and send it to a good gunsmith.
Are you saying that the barrel won't work on my rifle or that it is somehow otherwise incompatible? Are also saying that even with inletting, the stock won't work?
 
Aug 21, 2011
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#28
I am saying that you are setting yourself up for failure by trying to save money. I am not one of the guys on here that always say "but once, cry once" but your trying to save money in all the wrong places. You may spend the same amount of money on trying to get that used stock to fit properly that you originally invested in the stock. Even if everything comes together, your barrel, arguably the most important part of the gun was a throwaway savage factory barrel. If you really want an accurate gun, and since you are here I assume you do, spend the money on quality components and have a professional build it for you. Cut your loses now. These are custom rifles, not ar's, it takes skills, knowledge, experience and tools to make a good rifle.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#29
I am saying that you are setting yourself up for failure by trying to save money. I am not one of the guys on here that always say "but once, cry once" but your trying to save money in all the wrong places. You may spend the same amount of money on trying to get that used stock to fit properly that you originally invested in the stock. Even if everything comes together, your barrel, arguably the most important part of the gun was a throwaway savage factory barrel. If you really want an accurate gun, and since you are here I assume you do, spend the money on quality components and have a professional build it for you. Cut your loses now. These are custom rifles, not ar's, it takes skills, knowledge, experience and tools to make a good rifle.
Sure, I want an accurate rifle. But right now, on an E3's salary and while I study at school, I can't really afford a $400+ barrel and all other expensive chassis and equipment.

I have a lot to learn about shooting, and I'm quite sure that this Savage barrel, even if it is used, is well made and will be far more accurate than I am for the time being while I learn more and until I have more money to purchase other equipment, like when I move into the 6.5 GAP 4S or PRC arena.

So thank you for your time, and your advice, but I'll be just fine.
 
Likes: Afkirby
Dec 21, 2009
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#30
I am saying that you are setting yourself up for failure by trying to save money. I am not one of the guys on here that always say "but once, cry once" but your trying to save money in all the wrong places. You may spend the same amount of money on trying to get that used stock to fit properly that you originally invested in the stock. Even if everything comes together, your barrel, arguably the most important part of the gun was a throwaway savage factory barrel. If you really want an accurate gun, and since you are here I assume you do, spend the money on quality components and have a professional build it for you. Cut your loses now. These are custom rifles, not ar's, it takes skills, knowledge, experience and tools to make a good rifle.
I say get out and shoot it, if he can get it shooting MOA or better I’m sure it’ll suite his purposes just fine. Barrels are consumables anyway.
 

jetmd

Sergeant
Jan 17, 2010
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#32
To the OP:

1) Thank you for your Service!

2) Weather you are an E3 or an E9 Master Chief none of us are born with all this knowledge about the subject matters covered on the Hide.

3) This will be a good learning experience for you along this journey to constructing your new rifle.

4) Sometimes the most expensive lessons are the ones you remember best.

5) If possible find a good Smith near by your current duty station to help you with this project.
Yes you can send it off to one of the many very capable shops around the country, but many times you can find someone within driving
distance to accomplish the task. This person or shop should be able to sit down with you to formulate a plan, explain what will be done,
and hopefully offer sound advice and pointers which will help you not only with this build but also for future projects.

6) Good Luck!

Chet
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#33
Gentlemen, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them. I am very new to long range shooting and very much look forward to learning as much as I can from you all.

I too figured that barrels are consumables, and now that I have two used 308 barrels, I think that it should last me for some time until I'm ready to move onto different calibers etc.

As for my service, it is truly my pleasure to be serving. Supporting and defending the Constitution is the greatest privilege and honor I could have imagined.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#34
I spoke to PVA.

At this stage and for at least the next three months, PVA won't do any stand alone left hand Bravo stocks and when they do, it will end up costing about the same as the KRG X-Ray. What a pity.
 
Mar 17, 2017
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#35
I spoke to PVA.

At this stage and for at least the next three months, PVA won't do any stand alone left hand Bravo stocks and when they do, it will end up costing about the same as the KRG X-Ray. What a pity.

From a fellow lefty (and navy guy), I would consider just selling all the parts you have now and just getting a lefty John Hancock from PVA. About 2k, it will be a known-quantity, and designed from the start to all function correctly. You could recoup a huge chunk of that cost by selling the TL3. No dicking around with parts, gunsmith fees, shipping, issues in the future - and then trouble shooting a poor shooter.

As a lefty, ive decided its between a PVA JH or a AI AT (with a 6.5c barrel). Ive tried to figure out cheaper/better/faster way to get what I want, but i can tell I would never have been happy in the end - just need to save longer (and find shit to sell).
 
Mar 17, 2017
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#36
Forgot to mention, there's no good off the shelf options for a lefty, hence why I just came to the conclusion I need to step up to a JH or AIAT. If we had options like the rpr, bergara HMR, or tikka CTR, then my decision matrix would change.

Although, bergara might be coming out with a lefty HMR, so we'll see.
 
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man32ahan

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 2, 2018
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#37
I am a lefty and went with a JH. For the money, I do not think it can be beat.
I also have a HMR Pro on preorder (in RH) to see if I like it in hopes of Bergara releasing Left hand models soon.

Like @bulldozer3 mentioned in the above two posts. PVA is making the bravo in lefty, but only for complete JH rifles right now and Bergara has mentioned that by the end of the year they will have lefty models so we will see.
 

man32ahan

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 2, 2018
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#38
Also, there is a Left Hand sales section in the PX on here. I have found some deals in there and would also be a good place for you to try and recoup some of your money if you decide to sell. Just FYI.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#39
Thank you gentlemen. So far I'm thinking that I might stick with the TL3, for two reasons. Firstly, due to Zermatt's customer service. They've just been phenomenal. Secondly, I just like it better.

I wonder how much it might cost to alter a KRG Bravo for left handed use?
 
Mar 17, 2017
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#40
you should just need to inlet the left side for the bolt handle - I think I recall KRG saying that. But would be worth an email to them to check.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#42
TheLionHearted, what ever became of the Frankenrifle project?
Hi Jetmd! Thanks for your post. Well, I gave the stock over to my gunsmith to mill out the recoil lug pocket to fit the TL3. He's also going to assemble the rifle for me. I also purchased a Nikon FX-1000 6-24 MRAD Illuminated reticle scope to mount on it and I'm trying to figure out which rings I'm going to need to use.

I'm very excited about it.
 
Likes: Codiekfx400

Codiekfx400

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 29, 2018
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#43
That’s great you got someone to help you with it hopefully in the end the rifle will shoot great. Here is a great barrel if you ever decide to switch calibers https://www.eabco.net/Savage-Accura...r--Varmint-Contour-18-Twist-Blue_p_15624.html. It is a budget barrel but will get the job done better than a used take off it includes bore paste which I would just throw away it will probably ruin your barrel more than help it good luck.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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#45
For the amount of money you're going to spend on inletting why not look at a KRG bravo system rather than making what you have work. In the end I think you'd be happier with it and come out about even. You could probably sell the stock and break even almost. Just an option. I hope you get it all worked out.

patriotvalleyarms.com/krg-bravo-chassis/
Due to some great advice from Prcomte, I have decided to bite the bullet and go with the KRG Bravo Chassis. It arrived last night so I'll take it to my gunsmith for inletting on the left side for the bolt and receiver etc. I made sure that I ordered the W3 backbone with it so as not to have a repeat of the HS Precision stock issue.


My left hand HS Precision Remington 700 BDL Short Tactical Barrel Stock with Badger M5 Bottom Metal will be listed online in the near future for sale.
 

jetmd

Sergeant
Jan 17, 2010
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#46
Awesome! Good for you.

Thank-you for keeping us updated.

So many time a post is made with a call for help. Advice is given and that is the last you see or hear from them on the Hide.

Continue the good work and I will watch for further developments in the future!
 
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