Do I need a gunsmith?

Lofty

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I've been looking at building my own rifle.

I've built a gazzilion AR15s, I've built racing engines for both cars and motorcycles.....even nitro rc cars. I've got all the tools, including a barrel vise.

If I ordered a barrel that has been contoured, cut, crowned, threaded and chambered and I used an aftermarket action like a Stiller and I use a chassis system instead of a stock that needs bedding and such.........do I need a gunsmith?

Am I missing something? It's seems as if a custom action and a chassis system removes the need of a smith if the barrel is finished.
 

oneshot onekill

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

I'd like to be wrong about this, but I believe there's more to it than than there is to putting together an AR15. At least if you want something that will shoot accurately.
 

Lofty

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

Is it any different?

I mean after the machine work is all done to the barrel......the machine work is already done to the action, that's what you pay for when you get a custom action.

If I use a chassis I don't need to do any pillars or skim bedding, no in letting.

I've got ARs that I've built that are sub MOA.....it's all about selecting the right parts and using basic common sense when assembling.

So after the machine work is done, what else is there when putting a precision rifle together?
 

Longshot38

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

The problem is the machine work. Any monkey can screw a barrel on a receiver but that is not what a gun smith does. A gunsmith goes and trues you receiver, cleans up your threads, and head spaces your rifle off your bolt. And head spacing is the big thing. On a Remington style action you need your bolt to set this. However on a Savage style action this is not the case. So my suggestion is get a Savage if you want to do all the work yourself.
 

shooter53

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

With the items you've stated,(Stiller action and pre threaded / chambered barrel), NO, you will need a gunsmith or machinist with a gun building background to properly set headspace.



Hope that helps.

 

sirhrmechanic

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

If you have a lathe and access to headspace gauges and know how to use them well, you probably *can* put on a barrel.

Though it might be a good idea to spend some time with a qualified gunsmith and have them walk you through it. At very least, get a couple of good books and read through thoroughly.

A lot of professionals are glad to educate a hobbyist and an enthusiastic customer in many fields... An educated customer is a good customer.

But as folks have said above, it's not as simple as just screwing a barrel in.

Of note, I have a pretty good machine shop setup on my farm and do some pretty complex stuff. I wouldn't do a barrel myself. Lots of other stuff... but not a barrel swap.

But give it a shot. If you are careful you will probably get a good outcome. If not, you've sacrificed a few $, a few hours and learned something and the gunsmith can probably sort things out for you later.

Cheers and keep us in the loop.

Sirhr
 

Lofty

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

Thanks for the info and feedback.

Im wanting to do this more as a learning experience, not to save money. My smith doesnt charge me for assembly after he does the machine work anyways.

I figured head spacing would be the issue. I know with an AR its already done at the factory when they install the barrel extension.

I could just have my smith install the barrel but after that, there is not much left to do. It takes 3 minutes to install a trigger and even less to torque down two action screws to a chassis.

I was thinking now about using a Surgeon action as their recoil lug is integral....one less thing to do.
 

sirhrmechanic

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Lofty</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm wanting to do this more as a learning experience.</div></div>

Definitely the right way to approach this. You should definitely give it a try. If it goes badly, your 'smith can cut the shoulders back, rechamber and you won't be out much at all. If it goes well, you have accomplished something that few shooters will attempt!

While you are doing it, take some pictures... post them. I, for one, would love to see the process! Who knows, maybe I'd take it on after seeing it done.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

kraigWY

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Re: Do I need a gunsmith?

I'd say go for it. IF you get the barrel on tight, and headspaced, then about the worse thing that can happen is it wont shoot straight. Chances are it will.

I'm not gunsmith but I've made several rifles, including the chambering and fitting the barrel. Only had one that really didn't shoot, some, like my Model 70 300 WM 1000 yard rifle turned out to be an excellent shooter.

I'd rather have a 2 MOA gun I built then a sub min gun someone else belt. I never cleaned an NRA 1000 yard target, but you can bet it isnt the gun.

Go for it.