November 1st, 2016

Measure Your Chamber Length with Home-Made Modified Case

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

We are sad to report that long-time Forum member Frank S. (aka fdShuster) passed away last year. Frank was a very knowledgeable shooter who was always willing to help others. Here is one of Frank’s smart inventions. He devised a way to measure the length of a rifle’s chamber using a fired cartridge case. This lets you find your MAX trim-to-length for any chamber. Frank’s system works by cutting a “collar” from part of the case neck. This then slips over a bullet seated in a case loaded without powder or primer. As you chamber the dummy round, the collar will move back to indicate the full length of the chamber. (Make sure the bullet is seated well off the lands so the dummy round can chamber fully.)

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neck

The pictured gauge can be home made (for free) with components you already have on hand. Frank explained: “I used a Dremel cut-off wheel to cut the front half of the case neck off. A jewelers needle file to de-burr both rough-cut edges. The cut-off surface does not need to be perfectly square, because you are using the original straight mouth to make contact at the front of the chamber. Seat any old bullet to the approximate normal seating length. Next apply a tiny drop of oil on the ogive of the bullet, and slide the ‘collar’ over the bullet. Then chamber the dummy round and close the bolt. Extract the round slowly and carefully and take the measurement with calipers (see top photo).”

Frank’s DIY chamber length gauge works well. In a related Forum thread, Frank posted: “I’ve compared length dimensions doing it this way and with the chamber length shown on my chambering reamer drawings, and the Sinclair gauge, and they are all within .001″ or so.”

do it yourself chamber length gauge Sinclair case neckCommercial Chamber Length Gauges May Not Work with Custom Chambers

Frank did use Sinclair chamber-length gauges for some applications. These bullet-shaped gauges slip into a cartridge, but “it’s inconvenient to order that little gauge only… without spending $6 shipping for a $7 item.” Moreover, the Sinclair gauges may not fit a custom chamber with a tighter neck dimension because the diameter of the ring at the end is too large.

As an alternative to commercial gauges, the collar-type, homemade gauge will function properly in a custom chamber. The homemade gauge will work with smaller-than-standard chamber neck dimensions, as long as you use a piece of appropriately-turned fired brass that fits your chamber.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
November 14th, 2012

Shilen Custom Rem 700 Clone Actions and Complete Rifles with Savage-Style Barrel Nut System

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? Starting in 2010, after a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Shilen returned to the rifle manufacturing market. After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches.

There has been a strong demand for Shilen’s barreled actions and complete rifles. Accordingly, the waiting period is two to four months for complete rifles, a bit less for barreled actions. But some chamberings can be had much more quickly (if Shilen has a pre-chambered barrel in current inventory). If you’re interested, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com for more info.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 13 Comments »
May 29th, 2011

Check Out Remington Custom Shop Website

Remington Custom ShopAmong Remington rifles, Custom Shop products have long enjoyed a solid reputation, though the quality control has declined in recent years. Remington is looking to return its Custom division to the glory days. As part of that effort, Remington has produced a dedicated Custom Shop website: www.remingtoncustom.com. On the Remington Custom Shop website visitors can browse through series of highly-specialized rifles and shotguns: Hunter Series, Target/Tactical, Historical, Rimfire, 40-X™ Series and High Grade. Within each series, the user can click on a specific model for an overview, features, specifications and images of the selected firearm of interest. The Custom Shop Showcase features high-quality photos illustrating the hand craftsmanship that goes into premium Custom shop arms.

Remington Custom Shop

Remington Custom Shop

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 12 Comments »
March 12th, 2011

Tom’s Customized CNC-Milled Loading and Sorting Blocks

Forum Member Tom Sziler(aka Tomekeuro85) produces very nice CNC-milled aluminum loading and sorting blocks that can be customized with your name or catridge designation. These start at just $15 for a 50-bullet sorting tray or 25-round range block. The original 50-round loading blocks cost $25 for most cartridges (smaller than .338 Lapua), $28 for .338 Lapua, and $30 for big stuff like the 50 BMG.

Milled loading sorting tray
This bullet sorting tray is useful if you sort by base to ogive length or bullet weight.

Trays Are Made to Precise Tolerances and Fitted with Rubber Pads
All trays and blocks have rubber pads on the bottom for grip. Holes are all milled deep, to precise tolerances to prevent rattling, but rounds still fit with sufficient clearance. Clearance is provided on the bottom of each hole to avoid potential primer contact and to make room for debris. You want something customized? No problem. Tom says: “Custom variations of any of these items are available. Just let me know what you’re looking for.”

Milled loading sorting tray

Milled loading sorting tray

These blocks are definitely high-quality. Forum member PGG reports: “You can count on top notch work and materials guys. I bought a boat load of them for Christmas gifts [and] they were a huge hit. Super items, super service, great value.” Forum member WoolenMammoth agrees: “[I] ordered a few blocks recently and they far exceeded my expectation. Really nice work at an absurdly competitive price.” For more info, or to place an order, view this Shooters’ Forum Thread, or email Tom.Sziler[at]gmail.com.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 12 Comments »