September 11th, 2017

Modernizing a Veteran Benchrest Rig — “Old 87″ Gets Updates

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Updating a 20+ Year-Old Benchrest Rifle

by James Mock
After owning three different rifles with BAT actions, I have become a loyal fan of BAT Machine quality and customer service. Back in 2009, I traded my BAT/Scoville for the BAT/Leonard that I currently shoot. This rifle has a long history and Terry Leonard told me that “Old 87″ (as I have named it) was one of the earlier BATs that he stocked. He wrapped the stock in fiberglass and used 2-part epoxy back then. I must say that this rifle has held up remarkably well since it dates back to the 1990s. The action is a RB/LP/RE octagon Model B with .308 bolt-face.

With this gun, I have shot several barrels of different calibers (.22 PPC, .22 PPC-short .095, 6mm PPC, 6XC, 6mm Dasher, .30BR, and will soon have a 6 BR-AI). It has been an exceptionally accurate rifle in several disciplines. In the hands of previous owners, it earned several Hall-of-Fame (HOF) points, and a “middle-of-the-pack” shooter (me) even received a HOF point with this rifle.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

For most of its life, Old 87 served as a short range benchrest rifle, but I have used it for the last few years as a 600-yard rifle with the 6mm Dasher barrel. I was lucky enough to earn the Shooter of the Year award at the Prince Memorial Range in Louisiana for 2016.

After shooting my two Dasher barrels for last eight years, I have noticed a drop-off in accuracy at 600 yards. A decision had to be made — get a new barrel or sell the rifle and retire from competition. I will be 74 years old in six months and my competition days are limited due mainly to a chronic neck problem. After mulling over the decision to retire or not, I decided to give Old 87 one more year. Here is the story of how we upgraded the old war-horse.

Old 87 REBORN — Upgrading with New Components

I prefer cut-rifled barrels with four lands and grooves and have had success with .236 bore diameters and 1:8″ twist in long range rifles. I searched for barrels meeting those parameters and found a suitable BRUX at Bugholes.com (Southern Precision Rifles).

The 6BR-AI Option — Easy Fire Forming
I thought about having Billy Stevens chamber it for the Dasher, but decided to try something new. There seems to be a lot of interest in the 6BR-AI and I said, “Why not?” Well, I bought a shortened Dasher die from Harrell’s and will use my Wilson Dasher seating die. Bart Sauter was kind enough to let me use his reamer for chambering.

Fitting a New Roller-Type Cocking Piece on Older BAT Action
Since I was into the project this deep, I called Mike Ezell and ordered one of his Tungsten powder-dampened tuners. Since Old 87 had thousands of rounds since the firing pin spring has been replaced, I decided that it was probably needed. Well, I got to thinking (very dangerous) and asked Daryle Thom if it would be feasible to put a roller-type cocking piece and a new firing pin spring on such an old action.

The folks at BAT are very accommodating and they said that it would be no problem with such a conversion. While my bolt was in Idaho, the barrel with Ezell tuner arrived and I could not shoot it. However, my friend Jeff Turner loaned me his BAT bolt to see if it would work. Although the rifles differ in age by 15 or more years, the borrowed bolt worked perfectly in my rifle. This is a testimony to the great machine work performed at BAT Machine.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

New Bolt Roller Tail-Piece Makes a Big Difference in Cocking Effort
With the borrowed bolt I managed to fire-form 50 rounds and get them ready for our 600-yard match on September 16. The folks at BAT quickly fixed my bolt by replacing the mainspring and ejector spring, polishing the ejector, and replacing the tail-piece with their roller type. Pictured below is this tail piece that makes a remarkable difference in the force needed to cock the action. It is amazing what this little wheel can do… even when placed in a 20+ year old action.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Working with the Ezell Barrel Tuner — Small Increments Work Best
Also, I would like to congratulate Mike Ezell on his new tuner which contains powdered Tungsten. It is easy to set up and Mike will help a buyer get maximum effectiveness from the unit. Just give him a call. Below is a picture of the tuner. I was lucky enough to have some time to “play” with it before the match.

Talking about the tuner, Mike writes: “Our new barrel tuners…
PDT stands for particle dampening technology. The science is there, we just applied it to a barrel tuner. The advantages are a wider tune window and more efficient control of barrel harmonics…in a tuner design that actually looks good.”

Mike advised me to set the tuner by turning it all the way into the shoulder and then come out to zero or the second time zero comes up if there is not at least half of a turn between the shoulder and the first zero. It is best to start with a proven load and adjust the tuner from that load. As unlikely as it seems, a rifle can go from a good tune to a very poor tune with only 5 marks (.005”) and vice versa.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Mike cautions those who use his tuner to NOT make adjustments which are too large. As a matter of fact, he recommends adjustments of .001 inch at a time. Ezell’s tuners are screwed onto the barrel with .900” by 32 threads per inch and has 32 marks on the circumference of the tuner. Therefore, each mark moves the tuner in or out by .001 inch. There are three set screws with Teflon tips which provide friction for the tuner on the threads. Do not tighten the screws so tight as they damage the fine threads.

If you want the smoothest bolt possible for your BAT, call or e-mail Daryle or Bruce Thom at BAT Machine and discuss your needs with them. I am sure glad that I did. If you want a state-of-the-Art tuner for your barrel, give Mike Ezell a call or visit his Ezell Custom Rifles Facebook Page.
— Good shooting, James Mock

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August 6th, 2017

Learn How to Maintain Your BAT Action

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Helpful “How-To” Maintenance Videos from BAT
BAT Machine’s website features an extensive Video Archive with a selection of helpful videos for custom action owners. Among BAT’s collection of videos, you’ll find informative clips covering about bolts, ejectors, action maintenance, and other technical matters. Here are two examples:

How to Grease and Maintain Your BAT Action and Bolt:

How to Remove (and Re-Install) Firing Pin Assembly:

More Helpful Information on the New BAT Website
One thing that people might easily miss is the large spreadsheet that details the specs of all BAT Machine actions. To download that .xlsx spreadsheet to your hard drive, Right Click (and “Save As”) this link: ACTION CONFIGURATION PART LIST. After opening the spreadsheet, on the “ACTION” worksheet, you’ll find action model, body shape, weight, bolt faces available, and tenon spec among several other items. Note that there are two worksheet tabs (look down at the bottom left). Use these spreadsheet tabs to switch between “Action” and “Accessories”.

Also, on the BAT website FAQ page, you’ll find prints for barrel tenon machining, firing pin sizes, torque specs, and tons of other very helpful info. This is well worth a look. — ELR Researcher.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen and EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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September 4th, 2016

How to Maintain Your BAT Action — Tech Tips from BAT Machine

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Helpful “How-To” Maintenance Videos from BAT
BAT actions are beautifully made — but they represent a substantial investment. If you’re fortunate to one one or more BAT actions, it’s important that you understand how to properly clean and lubricate the action, and how to assemble the bolt components. To help BAT owners with maintenance chores, The BAT Machine website features a Video Archive with many informative videos about bolts, ejectors, are action maintenance, and other technical matters. Here are two video:

How to Grease and Maintain Your BAT Action and Bolt:

How to Remove (and Re-Install) Firing Pin Assembly:

More Helpful Information on BAT Website
One thing that people might easily miss is the large spreadsheet that details the specs of all BAT Machine actions: CLICK HERE to download.

Also, on the BAT website FAQ page, you’ll find prints for barrel tenon machining, firing pin sizes, torque specs, and tons of other very helpful info. This is well worth a look.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen and EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 14th, 2014

BAT Machine Launches Updated, Full-Featured Website

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

BAT Machine recently launched a completely updated and upgraded website at www.batmachine.com. The new website is much easier to navigate, and the site features more and better photos.

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Click on the Actions Pull-Down Menu for detailed descriptions of all the action types with zoomable images. There is also a helpful Action Selection Guide that can help you chose the right configuration for your next rifle build. And BAT fans can now purchase BAT rings, tools, parts, and logo gear through a secure BAT online store.

BAT Machine Actions Receivers Idaho

Helpful “How-To” Maintenance Videos from BAT
BAT’s revamped website features an impressive new Video Archive. There you’ll find many informative videos about bolts, ejectors, action maintenance, and other technical matters. Here are two examples:

How to Grease and Maintain Your BAT Action and Bolt:

How to Remove (and Re-Install) Firing Pin Assembly:

More Helpful Information on the New BAT Website
One thing that people might easily miss is the large spreadsheet that details the specs of all BAT Machine actions. To download that .xlsx spreadsheet to your hard drive, Right Click (and “Save As”) this link: ACTION CONFIGURATION PART LIST. After opening the spreadsheet, on the “ACTION” worksheet, you’ll find action model, body shape, weight, bolt faces available, and tenon spec among several other items. Note that there are two worksheet tabs (look down at the bottom left). Use these spreadsheet tabs to switch between “Action” and “Accessories”.

Also, on the BAT website FAQ page, you’ll find prints for barrel tenon machining, firing pin sizes, torque specs, and tons of other very helpful info. This is well worth a look. — ELR Researcher.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen and EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 26th, 2014

Competition Machine’s New BX Rifle System with 3-Lug BAT Action

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine has developed a new BX Series Tubegun system, designed for an impressive new BAT action, with a smooth, short-throw 3-Lug bolt. The new action is machined with an integral, ring-type recoil lug, which works perfectly in a tubegun installation.

Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis Rifle BAT Action F-Class 3-lug

Gary tells us: “We’re very proud of the new BX. We worked closely with BAT Machine of Rathdrum, Idaho to develop this outstanding system. BAT Machine took their excellent three-lug 3LL Action and re-designed the outside to fit in a special tube chassis we designed specifically for it. Two years of development and testing went into this program — we’ve had great success with our F-Class test rifle. The accuracy has been phenomenal!.” This new chassis is available in both F-Class and Long-Range Prone versions. For pricing information and expected delivery dates, call (714) 630-5734 or visit GotXRing.com and click the email link.

Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis Rifle BAT Action F-Class 3-lug

Angled Bag-Rider Allows Elevation Adjustment
Note the angled bag-rider or “keel” in the photo below. The angle (higher in front, lower in rear) serves an important function. This allows the shooter to “fine-tune” elevation by sliding the rifle forwards or backwards. This is very effective, and the gun stays nice and stable in the ears of the rear sandbag. No bag-squeezing required.

Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis Rifle BAT Action F-Class 3-lug

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 14th, 2013

Monster BAT Discovered at Bruno’s

BAT .50 BMG — Now That’s an Action!, by GAS
A while back, I stopped into Bruno Shooters Supply for a jug of powder and looked into the display case where the new actions are kept. Amid the usual array of BAT Machine, Stolle and other actions, there was something unlike any action I’d seen before — all I can call it is the BIG BAT. I wasn’t too surprised at the weight (a beefy 13.7 lbs.), but until you lift it it’s hard to appreciate how solid, chunky, hefty, massive (pick your favorite adjective) this thing really is. The action is a 2.5″-diameter, 12″-long BAT for the .50 BMG cartridge. It is simply the biggest, slickest custom action on the planet. In order to give you some sense of scale, I photographed the action alongside a conventional BAT action for short-range Benchrest shooting and I put a .220 Russian case and a .30-06 case into the picture. I’ve handled and fired other .50 BMG actions/rifles before, but this BAT puts them all to shame, as far as fit and finish go.

BAT 50 BMG Action

BAT 50 BMG Action

The action is actually quite conventional in design and execution. The bolt is fluted and has two front lugs with a conventional, although super-sized, firing pin assembly. Any Remington-style trigger will mount by way of a normal trigger hanger, allowing for simplified maintenance or replacement in the field. The loading port is 5.5″ long and the barrel threads are 1.5″ x 16 tpi — nothing about this beast is small! There is a conventional rocker-type bolt release on the left side of the receiver body and a recoil lug is built into the bottom of the receiver. In reality, the action is very similar to any other BAT except for the size and it adheres to all of BAT’s high standards for quality of design, manufacture, fit, finish and just plain good looks. Slide that bolt back and it feels as tight as a small Benchrest action!

Given the BIG BAT’s $3,285.00 sticker price (2011 pricing), not many of us will ever have the opportunity to own or shoot one of these beauties (I certainly won’t). However, it is nice to know they exist and can be bought and enjoyed in many places.

BAT 50 BMG Action

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
January 31st, 2013

CigarCop’s .284 Win BAT-Action Beauty from Bob Green

Forum member K.W., aka ‘CigarCop’, has spotlighted his handsome long-range F-Class and Bench Rifle in our Forum’s Show Off Your Bat! thread. This is built with a BAT Multi-Flat action, Brux barrel, and a fiberglass McMillan F-Class stock. As you can see, it’s one handsome rifle. Be sure to click the image below to see the much more impressive wide-screen image!

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

The smithing was done by Bob Green and CigarCop was full of praise for Bob’s work: “I can’t really say enough about Bob Green, his attention to every detail and his ability to build an awesome shooting rifle… but once again he turned a pile of parts into a masterpiece! Picked this one up yesterday and enjoyed a Cigar with him as well. Built on a Bat MB Multi-flat in .284 Win with a Brux 1:8.5″ twist barrel. I put ten rounds through her today to get her up and running! It’s almost identical to my 6.5x47L that [Bob] also built. Once again, thanks Bob!”

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Bob Green told us: “There was nothing really unusual about this build — this is the quality we try to maintain on all our guns. The barrel was chambered with the client’s reamer to a min-spec SAAMI .284 Win. The Multi-Flat BAT is pillar-bedded and bolted in, with no extra weight added to the stock. CigarCop provided the nice metal spacers on the buttstock and I polished them up. The finish is plain black but it looks good.”

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Bob Green .284 Win BAT manners

Based in York, Pennsylvania, Bob Green is one of AccurateShooter.com’s recommended gunsmiths. To learn more about his Bob’s work visit GreensRifles.com, email Bob [at] Greensrifles.com, or call (717) 792-1069.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
October 3rd, 2012

New BAT Machine 3-Lug Actions for Eliseo Tubeguns

BAT MachinesIf you’re looking for the newest, hot tubegun set-up, check out BAT Machine’s new 3-Lug tubegun action. This new action, created with design input from Gary Eliseo of Competition Shooting Stuff (CSS), is designed to work perfectly in Eliseo’s modular tubegun chassis systems. The new BAT “tubegun special” action features a smooth, short-throw 3-lug bolt along with an integral, large-diameter recoil lug precision-machined as part of the action. The new BAT tubegun action will mate perfectly with an all-new tubegun chassis kit Gary Eliseo has “designed around the action”.

BAT 3-lug tubegun action Eliseo

Gary Eliseo is excited about the BAT 3-Lug and he will be offering a new chassis for this “tubegun special” action. The new BAT 3-Lug action is shorter than Remington-style actions and Barnard actions, so it will NOT fit in existing Eliseo tubeguns. Accordingly, to use the new BAT 3-Lug action you will need a new chassis kit. Gary may, at some point in the future, offer a retrofit kit, but for now, you’ll need Gary’s new chassis if you want to run the BAT 3-Lug. Gary hopes to deliver BAT 3-Lug-capable chassis kits in about six (6) months time. That sounds like a long time, but remember that it will take you about six months to get your BAT 3-Lug action once you place an order with BAT Machine. The action is currently SINGLE SHOT only, and fits short-action-length cartridges (e.g. 6BR, .243, .308 Win). Price for the new action is roughly $1200.00. Both right-hand and left-hand versions will be offered in both stainless and chrome-moly. Extra-cost options will include fluted bolts and dual ports (as shown in photos). The new chassis kit will initially be available for standard RB/RP or LB/LP configurations.

BAT 3-lug tubegun action Eliseo

Gary believes the new BAT 3-Lug action, when fitted to his new chassis, will be ideal for Palma, Long-Range Prone, and F-TR Shooters. Gary says: “This new action is stiff and smooth, with a fast 60° bolt lift. It offers many of the best features of a Barnard action, in a more compact, American-made design, available in stainless steel as well as chrome-moly.” (Barnards are chrome-moly only.) BAT Machine is currently accepting orders for the 3-Lug Tubegun action and you can order the new Eliseo Chassis designed around this action from CompetitionShootingStuff.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
February 5th, 2012

From BAT: New Bolt Knob, Barrel Extensions and Muzzle Brakes

BAT machine tactical bolt knob handleBAT Machine in Idaho is now offering some new products, plus some new options for its popular actions. For tactical guys and those who prefer a bigger bolt knob, BAT now sells an optional threaded, tactical-style bolt knob. Cost is $35.00 on top of the regular action price. Buyers of two-lug actions should also note that BAT is now Tig-Welding the bolt handles on two-lug actions.

If you’re building an AR and what a precision-machined barrel extension, BAT has added AR10 and AR15 barrel extensions to inventory. These are completely machined after heat treating in only two setups. According to BAT: “This allows us to manufacture the extension with more consistency and tighter tolerances than others on the market.” AR10 bolt extensions cost $55.00, while AR15 and M4 bolt extensions cost $30.00.

BAT machine tig Weld bolt

Last but not least, BAT is now offering canon-style (horizontally-ported) CNC-machined precision muzzle brakes in two sizes. The smaller size, for barrels with muzzle diameter between 0.675 and 0.800 inch cost $115.00. The large size muzzle brakes, which fit barrels 0.800 inch and larger in muzzle diameter, run $125.00. For either size, you need to specify caliber when ordering.

BAT machine tactical bolt knob handle

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