March 5th, 2019

Complete 6.5×47 Benchrest Rifle Build — Start to Finish on Video

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Argyle, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

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November 8th, 2017

Great Video Shows Custom 6.5×47 Lapua Rifle Build by S&S

S&S Precision 6.5x47 Custom Rifle gunsmithing Texas Stick Starks

Here’s one of the most popular videos from the Daily Bulletin archives. If you’ve ever wondered how a top-flight, custom rifle is built, watch carefully….

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Denton, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

We’re told that the founder of S&S Precision, the inimitable “Stick” Starks, is retiring from full-time gunsmithing duties. This video is a nice tribute to Stick’s dedication to his craft for so many decades.

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June 26th, 2015

Amazing Air-Brush Paint Job on McMillan 50-LBR Stock

Ronnie Smith McMillan Benchrest Stock S&S Dallas Airbrush Rifle

Benchrest shooter Ronnie Smith had the folks at S&S Precision craft a barrel block benchrest gun with a McMillan 50 LBR stock. While the metal work (and block installation) is impressive, the rig’s jaw-dropping feature is an amazing paint job applied by artist David Tidwell of Dallas Airbrush. Ronnie wanted a stock that didn’t look like anything else you’ve ever seen. Working from Ronnie’s concept of a junkyard-sourced rifle, Tidwell created a masterpiece of airbrushing. The finished stock looks like it was hammered from old beat-up metal, complete with dents, grind marks, hollows, Bondo, and wire-mesh patches. Watch the video below to see how this amazing paint job was applied, from start to finish. (Definitely worth watching!)

If you have a stock you’d like painted by David Tidwell, visit DallasAirbrush.com, call 214-529-4410 or email: david [at] dallasairbrush.com. Dallas Airbrush currently sprays out of Texas Body Works, 2415 Midway Rd Suite 111, Plano, TX 75025.

Ronnie Smith McMillan Benchrest stock S&S Dallas Airbrush Rifle

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September 3rd, 2013

World F-Open Champion’s 7mm RSAUM Rifles by S&S Precision

Kenny Adams S&S PrecisionAmerican Kenny Adams is the new F-Open World Champion, winning the individual title last week at Raton, New Mexico. ‘King Kenny’ rose to the top through with skill, countless days of practice, and great determination. He put in the trigger time, including many long days at Raton. But when we cornered Kenny after his win at the Worlds he was quick to give credit to his gunsmith, Stick Starks of S&S Precision Rifles in Texas.

Kenny told us: “I want to thank my gunsmith, Stick Starks from S&S — he got me going in this thing in the right direction four and a half years ago. Working with Stick has probably shaved a couple of YEARS off my learning curve.” Kenny’s world-beating rifle features a Panda F-Class action placed in a Robertson F-Class stock. The Krieger barrel is chambered for the 7mm RSAUM.

Kenny Adams S&S Precision

Kenny Has Four Red F-Class Rifles All By S&S
What’s interesting is that Stick Starks made Kenny three other F-Class rigs, all with red Robertson stocks and Panda F-Class actions. So, counting the championship 7mm RSAUM, Kenny owns a fleet of four fire-engine-red F-Class rigs, all built by Stick at S&S. These three other red rifles were originally chambered in 6.5-284, 6mmBR, and 6.5×47, but Kenny switches barrels (and chamberings) to suit the venue and course of fire. In Raton, Kenny had two (2) of the red rifles chambered in 7mm RSAUM and two (2) chambered for the .284 Winchester. However, in the Individual World Championship he shot just one rifle, a 7mm RSAUM (shown below). He used the second 7mm RSAUM-chambered rifle in the F-Open Team Championship. This second RSAUM (used for team shooting) is the one pictured above, but his other RSAUM is identical in all respects. He did not shoot either .284 Win during the Worlds.

Kenny Adams S&S Precision F-Class Championship

Kenny’s World-Beating 7mm RSAUM Load
For his 7mm RSAUMs Kenny loads Hodgdon H4350 powder and Federal 215m primers into Nosler or Norma RSAUM brass. In the RSAUM he runs Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets seated “just touching” the lands. For his .284 Winchester-chambered rifles he loads necked-up Lapua 6.5-284 brass with 180gr Hybrids pushed by H4831sc powder and Federal 210m primers. Interestingly, he is very precise with his charge weights. Using a Sartorius Magnetic Force Restoration scale, Kenny tries to hold his powder charges to within 1-2 kernels charge-weight consistency.

While Kenny praised S&S for building great rifles, Stick is quick to say that Kenny deserves the credit: “He’s the man that pulled the trigger. He’s the man that beat the world. You can’t believe how dedicated Kenny is to his sport. He spends so much time shooting and practicing — true dedication. Kenny hung in there, never gave up, did the best a man can hope to do. Yeah you have to have good equipment, but you do have to have dedication in this sport. Buy the best equipment you can and the rest is up to you — learning how to read conditions. That’s all there is to it.”

S&S Can Build You a ‘Kenny Clone’ for $3800.00
By the way, if you want a gun just like Kenny’s, Stick told us: “I’ve got barrels, Panda F-Class actions, and I have one last Robertson F-Class stock left. Just one — these aren’t made any more you know. A complete build, with barrel of your choosing and Jewell trigger, will be about $3800.00.”

S&S Precision Rifles is a leading gunsmithing operation based in Argyle, Texas. Stick Starks and the crew at S&S build very accurate rifles, that also exhibit superb craftsmanship. While S&S built a championship-winning F-Open gun for Kenny, they can also built short-range benchrest rigs, as well as varmint and hunting rifles — all with hallmark S&S quality. S&S can handle every aspect of gunsmithing — chambering, bedding, even stock-painting.

In the video above, the folks at S&S put together some tack-drivers for their customers. There are some nice glimpses of bedding work, and barrel finishing. Watch carefully — at the 40-second mark you’ll see a sub-1/4″, 10-shot group that S&S co-owner “Stick” Starks shot at 200 yards with his 6.5×47 Lapua rifle. That’s serious accuracy. Half-way through the video, Stick offers advice for shooters looking for a super-accurate fun gun for club shoots: “If you want to shoot [at] 100 and 200 yards, I’d get me a 6BR or a 30 BR. It would be the most fun gun you ever had… and the barrel will probably last three or four thousand rounds.” If you want a gun to shoot at primarily 500-600 yards, Stick recommends the 6.5×47 Lapua chambering: “Run it with the Berger 130s and Hodgdon H4350 powder. That H4350 works great with the 130 Bergers.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
October 2nd, 2012

14-Year-Old Sets Jr. National Record in His First F-Class Match

Here’s a story about a talented youngster with some serious trigger-pulling skills. Middle-schooler Glen “Pudge” Morris recently started competing in F-Class (Open) with an S&S-built 6.5-284. This weekend, 14-year-old Glen shot a pending 600-yard F-Open Junior National Record of 200-13X at the Tulsa Red Castle NRA Mid-Range Prone Regional. If that’s not impressive enough, consider that this match was Glen’s first-ever F-Class competition.

Setting a record is always impressive. But it’s even more amazing that a young shooter could do that in his first-ever F-class match! That’s quite a debut… who knows what the future holds for this young man. Forum member Rick Jensen has high praise for Glen’s character as well as his shooting abilities: “This has to be one of the most humble and polite young men I’ve ever been around and he was very thankful for his dad and all he has done for him getting him started.” Shown below are Glen with his mother and the record-setting rifle.

Glen Morris F-Class Record Junior

Rifle Specifications and Build Info
The 6.5-284 rifle features a Robertson Composites F-Class stock, Kelbly Panda action (topped by 10-60X March), and a 1:8.5″-twist Brux barrel. The rifle was built by Stick at S&S Precision in Argyle, Texas. Glen’s load consists of 142gr Sierra MatchKings in Lapua brass, pushed by H4350 powder and CCI 215 primers. Glen’s father Bill Morris has high praise for barrel-maker Norm Brux — Bill can’t say enough about how great this barrel is. Bill also wanted to thank Stick and his crew for building such a beautiful, great-shooting rifle.

Story and photo by Rick Jensen. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 23rd, 2012

S&S Precision — Building Tack-Drivers, Texas-Style

S&S Precision, Argyle TXA while back, we featured the East Texas Benchrest Shoot-out in Huntsville, TX. That match was co-sponsored by S&S Precision Rifles of Argyle, Texas. In the video below, the folks at S&S put together some tack-drivers for their customers. There are some nice glimpses of bedding work, and barrel finishing. Watch carefully — at the 40-second mark you’ll see a sub-1/4″, 10-shot group that S&S co-owner “Stick” Starks shot at 200 yards with his 6.5×47 Lapua rifle. That’s serious accuracy. Half-way through the video, Stick offers advice for shooters looking for a super-accurate fun gun for club shoots: “If you want to shoot [at] 100 and 200 yards, I’d get me a 6BR or a 30 BR. It would be the most fun gun you ever had… and the barrel will probably last three or four thousand rounds.” If you want a gun to shoot at primarily 500-600 yards, Stick recommends the 6.5×47 Lapua chambering. He told us: “Run it with the Berger 130s and Hodgdon H4350 powder. That H4350 works great with the 130 Bergers.”

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May 11th, 2011

Stolle Panda Drop Port Conversion by S&S Precision Rifles

The Drop Port is a great feature for benchrest shooters. You can run a bolt without an ejector, yet your cartridge will extract smoothly and reliably each time you pull the bolt back. Stiller’s Precision Firearms pioneered the Drop Port design, and Jerry Stiller offers this as a popular option with his Cobra, Viper, Python, D-Back, and Diamondback actions. The Drop Port is amazing in its simplicity (watch video below). As you pull the bolt rearwards, the fired case slides downward into a funnel. As it tilts nose-down, the case rotates free of the six-o’clock extractor, falls nose first down the funnel, and finally exits through a hole in the bottom of the stock. Gravity does all the work.

S&S Panda Drop Port Conversion
Until recently, if you wanted a Drop Port, your only option was to purchase a Stiller action or engineer a conversion yourself. Now the owners of Kelbly Panda actions can enjoy drop-port functionality via a conversion performed by S&S Precision Rifles in Texas. The folks at S&S will mill a slot in the bottom of your action, and then install a drop funnel in your stock. The conversion work is done so well you’d think the Pandas were originally made as Drop Ports by Kelbly. Drop Port conversions will be available for popular small match cartridges including 22 PPC, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRX, 6 Dasher, 6.5 Grendel, and 30 BR (plus other wildcats in the BR family).

Conversion Will Be Costly — New Actions Are Best Candidates
This conversion will not be cheap. Because Drop Ports require a six o’clock extractor, you’ll probably need a replacement bolt for your Panda. S&S is in discussion with Pacific Tool & Gauge to provide these bolts. You can probably resell your existing bolt, but the upfront conversion cost could approach $400 with new bolt and labor. S&S hopes to announce firm pricing in 4-6 weeks. Don “Stick” Starks, S&S’s lead gunsmith, also cautions that this conversion is most cost-effective with Panda actions that have not yet been installed, or which are set up with pillars (as opposed to glue-ins). Stick explained: “If your Panda is already glued in, then we have to remove the action, mill the port, install the funnel, and then re-bed the whole thing. That’s going to substantially increase your cost. It’s more logical to do this on a Panda that has not yet be put in a rifle.”

In the video above, you can watch S&S Precision convert a Stolle Panda action to a Drop Port, and then see how the converted Panda functions. The rifle is a 30BR owned by FORUM member Truckincars, who also created the video.

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August 24th, 2010

East Texas Championship Benchrest Fun Shoot

A Texas shooter put together a great video covering the East Texas Championship Benchrest Shootout, held August 20-21 in Huntsville, TX. This match, the first at the new Huntsville Range, was co-sponsored by the Pine Valley Benchrest Shooters Association and S&S Precision Rifles of Argyle, TX. On the Friday before the main match, there was also a 500-yard Egg Shoot.

In the video you can see Don ‘Stick’ Starks of S&S piloting a 6.5×47 Lapua long-range varminter he built on a candy-red Robertson Composites ‘Speedy’ F-Class stock. Stick and other competitors were shooting at large (120mm), medium (90mm), and small (60mm) clay birds at 400 yards. Over the course of the day, competitors fired 50 record rounds at the targets. Each shooter came to the line five times to shoot 10 rounds per stage in seven minutes or less. The ‘top shot’ who nailed the most birds took home $600.00 in cash. There was also a team challenge with a $430.00 winning payout.

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Thirty-six competitors attended this fun match with $1300.00 in total prize pay-outs for the top four bird-busters. Jason Leavelle won the $600 first-place prize with an 810 score, while Dr. Darrel Martin earned $400 for his second-place finish, 50 points behind Leavelle. Tymn Combest was third, earning $200, and Arthur McMeans took home $100 for fourth place. Pudge Morris was the Junior Division winner. We congratulate all the money winners — it wasn’t easy. According to Mike Cockcroft, who helped run the match, “it was 100 degrees, the winds were strong, and the mirage heavy.” The only wind indicators are range flags at the targets and a couple of standard benchrest flags out at about 100 yards.

Match Winner Used a 6.5×284
Forum member Joe Duke reports: “Jason Leavelle shot a nice 810 out of 1000 (possible) points. He is the winningest shooter on our circuit (fondly known as the ‘Redneck Circuit’) and is always tough to beat. He shoots a 6.5-284 crafted by Sam Duke. Jason’s rifle is built on a Stainless Steel Viper action and sports a Krieger 8.5-twist barrel. I can’t think of one of our shoots that was won with anything other than a 6.5-284 in the last three or four years.”

Rules were fairly “wide-open” for the Saturday Shoot-Out, so you saw everything on the line from varmint rifles to 40-pounders. Most guns are custom bench rigs weighing 17 to 30 pounds. All shooters competed in the same class with these basic rules:

S&S Precision Rifles

  • NO RAIL GUNS OR RETURN TO BATTERY GUNS
  • 40 POUND MAX WEIGHT LIMIT
  • NO SIGHT OR SCOPE RESTRICTIONS
  • NO CALIBER OVER .30
  • NO ONE-PIECE RESTS OR GUN-VISES
  • NO Shooter-Supplied WIND FLAGS
  • NO SPOTTING EXCEPT DURING SITE-IN ROUND
  • NO TANK OR CLAM TYPE MUZZLE BRAKES

You should definitely watch the video. It is extremely well made and there are some seriously nice rifles on display. Plus it sure looks like the new Huntsville facility is a beautiful range (even if the Texas winds did blow in the afternoons). CLICK HERE to download Match Rankings and Scores (PDF File).

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