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  • Comment on F-Class Open build

    I recently shot my first F-Class match (600yd) with my hunting rifle (243AI). Very different than hunting but had a blast and learned a lot and did alright given my setup. Now I'm contemplating a dedicated build. I'm curious as to comments on my plans.
    - McMillan F-Class stock with 3-way adjustable buttplate and adjustable cheek riser
    - Kelby F-Class Panda long action
    - Krieger 30" straight 1.250" barrel chambered in 284Win
    - Jewell BR trigger (6-9oz pull)
    - Vortex Golden Eagle scope
    - Shoot off my Bald Eagle rest, so no bipod to consider in making weight

    Looks like I'd get Lapua 6.5-284 brass and neck up. I'm aware chamber is different between Lapua and Win brass. I need to call Kelby, but my plan was to have them chamber/thread the barrel and given their line of work I have to imagine they have the appropriate reamer to chamber a barrel for Lapua brass and a 180gr Berger.

    I'm aware there are more expensive actions, stocks, and scopes to consider. My objective is to get into a rifle that will make me locally competitive if my wind reading skills improve. If I was seeking the national team (LOL) I'd probably make some different choices. So this is not a budget build, but I am making certain trade-offs in both cost and time to obtain components (ie barrel maker and wait time). My hunting rifle is a Shilen barrel capable of 1/3 MOA in a fast, wind-resistant round yet I was handily out-shot by a guy with a purpose-built 308 who simply had vastly superior skills for the game at hand.

  • #2
    You might want to go have a look at the classifieds on accurateshooter.com. There is a rifle up right now very similar to that, except walnut stock and 284 Shehane.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, that's an interesting option, but I'm not ready to deal with the extra level of complexity of the Shehane.

      Comment


      • #4
        284 Win is a good choice for F Open and probably the most widely used caliber in competition. There is a slight dimensional variance between Lapua 6.5x 284 brass and standard 284 brass. I had JGS build a 284 reamer specifically for Lapua brass. Kelbly builds very good F Class rifles and the Panda is a good action for the discipline. Make sure you have enough freebore whereby he bearing surface of the bullet is above the neck shoulder junction since there is a high probability that doughnuts will form. Those are all good components and in time you may want to upgrade your scope and invest in a SEB Neo rest. The folks at Kelbly's are great to deal with and no doubt will build you a fine rifle.
        "Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded" - F.A. Hayek

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, I'm aware of the Lapua brass issue and will talk to Kelby about their reamer before I commit to them chambering the barrel. Also aware of the donut issue; likely neck turn as well.

          If and when I shoot the wind well enough to justify additional investment, I'll consider the scope and joystick rest upgrades. I observed those rests in action at the match, the guy I shot next to set a range FT/R record using the bipod version.

          National team guy reviewed my plans tonight, the only major change was moving to a 32 inch barrel. I found a Bartlein in stock so that's already ordered.

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          • #6
            Why the long action? .284 is right at home in a short action. I suppose it doesn't matter if it's not a repeater.
            Perfect is good enough

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            • #7
              Originally posted by spaniel View Post

              National team guy reviewed my plans tonight, the only major change was moving to a 32 inch barrel. I found a Bartlein in stock so that's already ordered.
              I shoot the .284 on a Borden BRMXD. The 32" barrel is probably better than 30", but you may want to add some weight to the stock. Depending on your scope, you should be able to make weight without any problem. Mine is a tight neck chamber with .218 FB. Most guys are going around .220 FB for the 180 hybrids. Doughnuts are part of the problem when you neck up 6.5-284 brass, even with neck turning. I had a friend build a carbide cutter (plunger, not rotating) to cut the doughnut out after the initial fire forming. The problem seems to have gone away now. You may not beat a good shooter using a 6 Dasher or BRX at MR matches that knows how to read wind, but the higher BC bullets will help at LR matches.

              You will find that a SEB or similar rest will help improve scores fast. How a well built rifle tracks between the rest and rear bag is a huge part of shooting high scores. The Bald eagle rest is entry level and will not give you the results you need with the other components you are putting together.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bolloxinaspanner View Post
                Why the long action? .284 is right at home in a short action. I suppose it doesn't matter if it's not a repeater.
                Because when loaded with a high BC projectile like the Berger 180 hybrid the COAL will be in the neighborhood of 3.2" Which would make a live round too long to be ejected due to the SA port length. My shooting buddy has one built on a SA and has to remove the bolt in order to eject a live round which seems to be a pain. Just finished my .284 build with Pierce Engineering and they would not even build one on a short action.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm still shooting a 6.5 X 284 although when I use up my last spare barrel I may shift over to 7 X 284.

                  Neck turning - I don't, I bought a bunch of Lapua brass from one lot and specified the reamer for .004" clearance on a loaded round. I do check neck thickness before first loading of brass but haven't had any rejects so far.

                  Get a long action - People used to say get a short action because they're stiffer. That was true when folks were still diddling with 700 actions. A modern single shot action with no magazine cutout and a smaller ejection port than the huge hole typically cut in a repeater is way stiffer. No sense in having to pull the bolt to remove a live round. And your OAL will be quite long compared to a SAAMI book load. Good advice to keep the bullet bearing surface above the neck/shoulder junction, it avoids donuts and allows for more room for powder in the case.

                  When starting, don't try to reinvent the wheel. There are a very few powders, primers and bullets that win most the matches, very few. Work up a good load and stick with it. Low ES/SD numbers are a must at 1,000. There isn't any magic powder or bullet that will suddenly turn anyone into a winner. Knowing range conditions and reading the wind will.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spaniel View Post
                    I recently shot my first F-Class match (600yd) with my hunting rifle (243AI). Very different than hunting but had a blast and learned a lot and did alright given my setup. Now I'm contemplating a dedicated build. I'm curious as to comments on my plans.
                    - McMillan F-Class stock with 3-way adjustable buttplate and adjustable cheek riser
                    - Kelby F-Class Panda long action
                    - Krieger 30" straight 1.250" barrel chambered in 284Win
                    - Jewell BR trigger (6-9oz pull)
                    - Vortex Golden Eagle scope
                    - Shoot off my Bald Eagle rest, so no bipod to consider in making weight

                    Looks like I'd get Lapua 6.5-284 brass and neck up. I'm aware chamber is different between Lapua and Win brass. I need to call Kelby, but my plan was to have them chamber/thread the barrel and given their line of work I have to imagine they have the appropriate reamer to chamber a barrel for Lapua brass and a 180gr Berger.

                    I'm aware there are more expensive actions, stocks, and scopes to consider. My objective is to get into a rifle that will make me locally competitive if my wind reading skills improve. If I was seeking the national team (LOL) I'd probably make some different choices. So this is not a budget build, but I am making certain trade-offs in both cost and time to obtain components (ie barrel maker and wait time). My hunting rifle is a Shilen barrel capable of 1/3 MOA in a fast, wind-resistant round yet I was handily out-shot by a guy with a purpose-built 308 who simply had vastly superior skills for the game at hand.
                    Very sound equipment list and choice of calibre. For getting into F-open this the 284 is hard to beat and very easy to tune. Definitely use Lapua brass, and unless the reamer is made for a tight chamber, you shouldn't need to worry about neck turning.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I scored for a shooter who had a rifle (as far as I could see) that was pretty near identical to what you describe at the Berger SW LR Nationals F-Class MR marches this past February. I saw him shoot a 100 for 10 shots at 600. I think you're on a a good track.

                      Greg
                      Life is more interesting when one keeps a neurotic cat... (Oops, make that two cats...), (Oops, add two Jack Russels...) Greg Langelius

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update:

                        This is all either in hand or ordered. Barrel blank is with Kelbly to be delivered on the action. Send a dummy cartridge with the bearing surface set above the neck/shoulder junction. Bought the most expensive dies I've ever purchased (Redding competition micrometer). Will be trying the 183 Sierras unless they don't shoot. I did go with the long action, pulling the bolt to eject a live round is a REAL PAIN. And with malfunctioning electronic targets last match, this would have happened multiple times.

                        I shoot a 3X1000yd match tomorrow with the 243AI hunting rifle. This should really get interesting. I'll pull the sling studs this time. And I temporarily installed a 5-25XTR II I had on hand for a 338 Edge build instead of the 4-16.

                        I know the Bald Eagle is entry level. But so am I. When my wind skills get to the point that the Bald Eagle is limiting I'll replace it. The rifle was enough of a hit on the budget for now. Should be shooting it by sometime in August.

                        Thanks for the replies.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Spaniel: Good luck with the rifle and no doubt you will be pleased with a Kelbly build. If you ever have any questions send me a PM and will respond.
                          "Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded" - F.A. Hayek

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry to butt in on your thread, but I am also in the process of wanting a custom F-Open rifle myself.

                            What are the thoughts on a full build like this from Kelbly?: http://www.kelbly.com/arcas-f-open-rifle.html

                            Looking at roughly $5k. Could I do much better assembling parts myself and sending them off to a reputable smith?
                            A complete F-Open Rifle package designed with our recommended specifications and components to help you achieve a Higher Level Of Accuracy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike402 View Post
                              Sorry to butt in on your thread, but I am also in the process of wanting a custom F-Open rifle myself.

                              What are the thoughts on a full build like this from Kelbly?: http://www.kelbly.com/arcas-f-open-rifle.html

                              Looking at roughly $5k. Could I do much better assembling parts myself and sending them off to a reputable smith?

                              Depends on your trust in your skills and what you want. I think I'll have about $3500 into the gun, without glass. So parts-wise you can do it cheaper. Whether it's worth the labor to you is up to you. I'll be bedding mine myself, I've lost count of how many rifles I've bedded and accuracy at the end has never been an issue.

                              Regardless of what you decide, Kelbly's gets a big +10 from me. I now have my barreled action in hand about 2.5 months earlier than what was originally quoted, so now it's a waiting game on the stock to finish the rifle. They kept me informed every step, sent me a tracking number, and the transfer went without a hitch. The Panda action is beautiful.

                              I got a Stiller action the week before. They're nice on the phone and all and it's a great action, I'm extremely happy with it. But I had to have the FFL sent twice, I lost a week because I gave them my credit card info and they never ran it nor called me back so I had to call them and do it all over again, I was not given tracking info on the shipment so I had to call them again to confirm it actually went out, and once the action arrived they didn't send their FFL info so my FFL was tweaked because they had to spend a lot of time trying to contact Stiller for the $25 transfer fee.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by spaniel View Post
                                Update:

                                I know the Bald Eagle is entry level. But so am I. When my wind skills get to the point that the Bald Eagle is limiting I'll replace it. The rifle was enough of a hit on the budget for now. Should be shooting it by sometime in August.

                                Thanks for the replies.
                                If you haven't already bought the Golden Eagle the Sightron SIII 10-50x60 is a great scope. It got me to Long Range High Master. You can find them for under $900. That's $400-500 to upgrade your trigger to a Bix and Andy.
                                Perfect is good enough

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  been looking at getting into Fclass as well

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    How's the rifle build going? I love dedicated target gun builds, it's like the pure racecar build of guns.
                                    Get a second barrel on order quick. You'll need it soon. 284 is one of my favorite cartridges. But I'm stuck with 308 in F tr.
                                    Shoot tell your better than the gun, then try to make it better.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by moosemeat View Post
                                      How's the rifle build going? I love dedicated target gun builds, it's like the pure racecar build of guns.
                                      Get a second barrel on order quick. You'll need it soon. 284 is one of my favorite cartridges. But I'm stuck with 308 in F tr.
                                      The barreled action is still sitting on the counter; I already have 100 rounds through the 338 Edge for which I got the action in the same week and put together myself. I ordered the trigger tonight (Jewell .5-3.5lb). I expect an email any day telling me the stock is done and shipping. Brass has been neck turned and components in for quite some time.

                                      Hurry up and wait....

                                      Next match will with the Edge as it's a 1200-2000yd one. No more F-Class until the 284 is done as there is no way my heavy sporter 243AI barrel can take a 23-24 shot string in summer heat.

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