January 26th, 2015

Magpul’s Hunter 700 Stock — Impressive Offering at $259.95

Magpul 700 stock Hunter polymer chassis system

Our readers wanted more information on the $259.95 Magpul Hunter 700 stock, so here it is. We got our hands on the new product. The polymer shell is strong and stiff — not like the “Tupperware” plastic stocks you’ll find on some factory offerings. The stock comes standard with a flush bottom plate. However, for $70 more you can get a polymer magwell unit that allows use of new MagPul 5-round and 10-round magazines. The stock features an anodized aluminum V-block that allows easy installation of a Rem 700-footprint action.

CLICK Photo to See Full-Screen Image:
Magpul 700 stock Hunter polymer chassis system

But perhaps the most important element of this stock can’t be shown in photos. INSIDE the stock is a metal “skeleton” that extends from the middle of the fore-end back into the grip. This skeleton, an important design innovation, gives the stock great strength and rigidity. It is sort of like a race car with a tube chassis under the body work. We suspect Magpul is working on a patent.

Magpul 700 stock Hunter polymer chassis system

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
March 9th, 2014

Greyfox Has a Cobra Skeleton for Sale

There’s a very cool rifle for sale in our Forum Marketplace. Rick F. (aka “Greyfox”) just posted a listing for his Gene Beggs-built skeleton-style benchrest rifle. What makes this rig so highly desirable is the Cobra Drop Port action. A shorter version of Jerry Stiller’s popular Viper action, the Cobra drop port is highly coveted, and very hard-to-find (people have been waiting for years for new Vipers and Cobras). The gun employs a skeleton design, with the rear triangle attached directly to the action and an aluminum bag-rider secured to the barrel. It may seem radical, but this Editor has shot a Gene Beggs benchgun of this design. I can tell you it was extremely accurate and handled great on the bags. Here is the description of Greyfox’s rifle:

Stiller Cobra Drop Port, Right Bolt. Chambered in 220 Beggs .250 NK, 1:14″ twist, Jewell trigger, Beggs skeleton stock, Beggs Tuner. Built by Gene Beggs. Will shoot in .1s and .2s (can be verified). Includes 125 pieces of formed, fired brass, and sizing die. Scope and rings in photos are not included. $1900 insured & shipped in CONUS. CLICK HERE for details.

Even if you are not a benchrest competitor, this would make a wicked Prairie dog rifle to be shot off a portable bench. Having shot a Beggs “Tinkertoy” rifle with Gene himself, this Editor can tell you the “stockless” concept can work, and the Drop Port action is a joy to use (I own a Viper-action benchgun myself). The Greyfox rifle is a .220 Beggs so it is ultra-easy to form brass from the parent .220 Russian case. Whoever buys this unique, easy-to-shoot rifle will get a heck of a lot of accuracy for $1900.00.

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle

See this Rifle in Action at the 2013 UBR Nationals
Note How Cartridge Drops Out Bottom of Action When Bolt is Retracted:

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle


220 Beggs
Simple, Accurate, Efficient
We were impressed with the 220 Beggs cartridge. It’s basically a plain 220 Russian with a sharper radius at the neck-shoulder junction. Gene Beggs has commissioned a 220 Beggs reamer with matching seating and full-length sizing dies. The little cartridge achieves 3600+ fps with a 52gr bullet, pushed by Benchmark powder.

From what we could tell during our visit with Gene Beggs in Texas, the 220 Beggs is easy to load for, and performs exceptionally well with either turned (.250″) or no-turn necks. The recoil was noticeably less than a 6mm PPC, making the gun a joy to shoot. This round, we felt, could also be an outstanding varmint cartridge. The velocity is there, and we don’t think any other 22-caliber varmint cartridge is going to beat it for inherent accuracy.

Photo shows bag-rider on Gene Beggs’s own .220 Beggs rifle that we shot in Texas.

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 24th, 2013

Forum Member Builds DIY F-Class Rifle and Belt-Drive Rest

This story first appeared last year. We’re featuring it again by popular request.
Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below to see large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle this weekend and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to .0001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »