McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

army54b02

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I just took delivery of a TAC-308 and the bolt is very sticky. The action is very "jerky" and is not smooth to operate at all. I understand the tolerances are very tight but I am highly dissapointed that the bolt is by no means smooth to operate.

Has anyone else experienced this or can offer any suggestions on how to smooth it out?

I have worked the bolt many times and pulled on angles trying to smooth it out. McMillan is currently not working due to the holidays.
 

BigJoe29

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Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

My gap Templar is the same way but I have felt a broken in one and know where it's headed many custom actions are like that and it will smooth up with use
 

army54b02

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Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

I assumed that it would smooth out with use. I guess I am looking for a "fix it now" answer.

Do you know of anything I can do to help break in the bolt quicker?
 

BigJoe29

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Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

I have heard of people using polishing compound on the lugs but I ain't fucking with my new expensive rifle in any other way then shooting it
 

army54b02

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Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

I will agree with that! I spent too much money on this thing to screw it up...
 

M855

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Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

Remove the bolt and use a flashlight and double check theres no bolt lug laping compound that was over looked,I have a rifle built on a trued rem action and it was rough and gritty feeling,
there was a shit load of lapping compound in the action,I cleaned all of it out and the problem was fixed ymmv
 

Pusher591

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    My Surgeon was tight but it was due to Cerakote I think. I got a few hundred down the pipe and it's smoothing out very well.

    My buddies gun has same Surgeon action and it got over 1500 rds through it and it feels like it's on ball bearings.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    M855- The rifle does need to be cleaned (test fire from McMillan) but I did not see any left over lapping compound.

    I took delivery of the rifle today, and I believe it just needs to be worked and shot. I've been working the action for a while now (I can't put this thing down!!!) and I can feel a slight improvement from the first time I picked up the rifle.

    I worked the action on a used TAC-50 that was for sale at a local dealer, and this thing felt like the ball bearings that Pusher is describing.
     

    Shortdraw

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    A few of my custom builds had a similar feel until break in. I found that if I put a dab of grease on the bolt lugs it helped cycle smoother during the first few hundred rounds. My Badger Ordnance M2008 was like this for about 500 rounds, now it is smooth as silk. I don't think there's anything wrong with yours.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    mnshortdraw- I don't think there is anything wrong with mine either. This is my first custom rifle and I was expecting the action to be smooth as ball bearings. I have some grease I use on my 1911s. The grease I have is PRO-SHOT Pro-Gold. Should I try this or purchase actual bolt grease?

    The bolt on the McMillan is finished in NP3. Will greasing the bolt have any ill effect on the finish?
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    The bolt lugs are smooth as can be desired. I think the issue lies within the bolt track. I'm not sure of the proper term, but the rails the bolt rides on and the top arch of the receiver.

    When I go to lock the bolt everything is amazingly smooth. The issue I'm having is when I cycle the bolt. As it slides back then forward it snags/binds a little.
     

    hiddenmongoose

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    plenty of dry firing ?!good practice and should smooth it out a bit

    edit to add, thats an awesome rifle , post some pics
     

    lonely_wolf

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: army54b02</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Should I try this or purchase actual bolt grease? </div></div>

    I've never heard of any specific product ( I'm sure they make it), but don't waste your money. Go to a auto store and pick up some synthetic grease for ATVs/Skidoos. That stuff is cheap and is designed to work in a very wide range of temperatures.

    +1 on the picture request.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    McMillan was not answering their phones at 1600 my local time on Friday the 23rd. I assume they are off for Christmas, I will contact them on Monday while driving out to the range for barrel break in.

    Pictures to follow as soon as I figure out how to upload.

    All I can see is a link to upload from the internet, how can I just upload directly from my hard drive?
     

    azslayer

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Take the bolt and mag out and get some alcohol on a cleaning patch and clean the bolt way. The build up of cerakote and dirt makes them bind up after paint. After cleaning the bolt way put some gun oil on the bolt body and slide it back and forward in the receiver for a bit. Clean the bolt and bolt way and see if that helps
     

    468shot

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: army54b02</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Pictures to follow as soon as I figure out how to upload.

    All I can see is a link to upload from the internet, how can I just upload directly from my hard drive? </div></div>

    This thread explains how to post pics:

    http://snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=53705&page=1

    You need to use another site like flickr, tinypic, etc to host them.
     

    TacBlade

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Clean it very good and lube it up. I sat watching TV and worked the action on mine and it made a huge difference after several hundred times.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    I cleaned the rifle and applied a very very thin layer of gun oil to the bolt. As suspected it just needs to be worked and broken in.

    Merry Christmas!
     

    Pusher591

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Guess we can't complain since you posted A picture but....take more/better pics
    smile.gif


    That's a nice rifle. A3-5 or A5? I can't tell by just that one picture.

    MerryChristmas
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    How were you able to post the pic directly onto the forum?

    Heading to the range Monday to break in the barrel. Will be using personal handloads with Lapua brass, Winchester primers, imr 4064 powder, and 167grn Lapua Scenar pills. The loads were for my Remington which I no longer own. I was doing some load development for the Remington and these are leftovers. Powder charge ranging 42-44 grains. Will be paying close attention for high pressure indicators, and will start shooting the lower pressure loads first. Only intention is barrel break in, but of course I will try to group them at 100M and then out to 500M. 500M is the only distance I have daily access to, looking for a place to shoot where I can get 1,000M. I live in the MID GA area. I have not yet looked into using FT Benning's ranges. I am a National Guard soldier.

    I also have some 175grn Sierra Matchkings I will be working a load for.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    A3-5 stock, with spacer system butt pad and integral adjustable cheek piece. The cheek piece is rough textured and I will be adding some padding to it.
     

    hiddenmongoose

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    i clicked on the link you posted and it brought me to your photobucket page, if you look on the right hand side of that page there is a box saying 'links', one is called IMG code,just click on that and paste it into your reply. it will enter a sentance that starts and ends in IMG.hey presto.
    now you need post a range report with pics
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Thanks for the help mongoose!

    After the range tomorrow I will post a report and pics.
     

    Brandon05_88

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Lube the bolt and dry fire. When I clean my Rem 700 bolt, I put a dab of grease on the back of the lugs. I get a little grease and rub on my thumb and index finger, I just rub that much on the bolt body. Take some some on your index finger and rub the bolt raceway on the sides above the trigger, just a light coating. Then I put some on my pinky and rub some on the rear receiver bridge (bolt raceway under where the rear of the base mounts too). A little dab on the cocking ramp too.

    I do that everytime I cleaned for dry firing in my house. If you go out to shoot, wipe down the bolt body and raceway. The grease will attract dust/dirt, and she'll get gritty. Leave grease on the lugs and cocking ramp.
     

    MD2Colo

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hiddenmongoose</div><div class="ubbcode-body">fixed it for ya !
    TAC-308.jpg
    </div></div>

    Some rifles just look 'right'...

    This is one of them. Nice gun, dude

    love the black.
     

    rasheed

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    I know from personal experience that McMillan will work with you to resolve any issues with your TAC-308.

    I think a good cleaning, little lube and working the action a while will smooth it out.

    Either way, you're in good hands with the guys at McMillan.



    rasheed
     

    Pappasniper

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    That rifle is awesome. I do not own, but I have shot them. I would let McMillian help you out. And I wouldn't settle for "its getting better with use" on a 5K rifle.

    I have a Remmy 5R 20 inch 308 and the bolt is a little sticky, well I can deal with that. The only pisser is, my Sons Remmy $500 270 win has a bolt like butter and honey. I'm like shit, thats a pisser. I want my $1,000 gun to be as good as his $500, but thats the way they come out sometimes.

    But with a McMillian, I would let them make it perfect, and I expect they will. Great company.
     

    lonely_wolf

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    A+

    McMillan rifles have a really clean design. As a previous poster said, "They just look right."
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Just got back from the range....

    Weather was overcast with temps hovering at 60. Humidity at 77% according to weather.com.

    Shooting was done off of a bench with a "rabbit ear" bag on the stock and bipod support. Did not have anything with me to weight the front of the bipod so I can lean into. The vast majority of my shooting is done prone and I can dig the bipod legs into the ground. Sorry, no range pics had a snafu I will explain later that took my mind off of picture taking.

    This range time was only for barrel break in as prescribed in McMillan's owners manual. They call for 10-12 shots with cleaning after every shot, then 20 rounds with cleaning after every 2 shots. I used the supplied Dewey coated cleaning rod and M-Pro 7 copper solvent. I usually use Shooter's Choice but decided that McMillan sent this solvent so I will try it. Either they like it or they have a deal with M-PRO 7.

    I did not have any paper targets with me. My target was plate steel. I fired a 3 shot group with cleaning after every shot at a steel plate at 100 meters. I was not able to measure the group but I will say this...This gun is a shooter! It appeared that all rounds were touching on the steel. There is no way to know this for sure due to the splash of the rounds on the steel.

    Now for the SNAFU....McMillan's break in cleaning calls for 1 dry patch to be run through, then 1 wet patch, then a wet brass brush run 20 times, and finally dry patches until they come out clean. For the first 3 shots the dry patch had zero issues. After the fourth shot I ran the dry patch in. I encountered some resistance after a few inches. I gave a little more pressure and the spear tip jag I was using (also supplied with the McMillan rifle package) broke through the patch. The jag a patch decided to become stuck inside the barrel. No amount of push pull would free it. My spotter took hold of the rifle and I pulled on the cleaning rod, nothing. We decided the stand the rifle up and pour some CLP for my M-4 down the muzzle to soak the patch and get everything slick. We fired some other weapons we brought along. After the McMillan sat soaking for 30 minutes we gave it another try. The rod came out leaving the patch squished inside the barrel. I ran the rod back in and gently tapped the patch through the barrel. I finished cleaning the rifle and it was time to leave the range.

    I will be out of town for a while so the rest of the break in will have to wait. I am going to contact McMillan and ask them why they want to run a dry patch through the barrel first. It didn't make sense to me but I followed their instructions....after all it is McMillan.

    With the rest of the break in I will be running a wet patch through first!!!!

    The bolt is smoothing out very nicely!!!!

    The only issue I have with the rifle is the thread cap does not fit entirely flush with the crown and lets some fouling get into the cap and threads. . .
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    I zeroed the scope at 100 meters. When I come home from vacation I will be running her out to 500 meters. Still will be in the break in process but I will shoot it for groups at distance.
     

    hamstur

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Re: break-in ... though the manual prescribes barrel break-in, it's known that industry folks like Kelly McMillan and Mike Rock say it's a waste of time. The barrels on your rifle today was made with utmost tolerances and hand-lapped.

    Re: the sticky bolt ... every new McM rifle I ever handled feels a little rough on the way back up to a sticky spot about half way open. You feel the same spot closing the bolt, but then it slides forward smoothly.

    The best analogy is it's similar to when I resize a shell -- the arm lowers, then when the shell touches the die, I get resistance, give it extra push, then it's smooth to the top. It's a smooth resistance -- not chattery and loose like shoving the bolt closed on a Ruger Gunsite Scout.

    The tolerance of the G30 action is tight. Your bolt is unfinished, but your receiver is finished. Just work the bolt more and you will smooth out the finish where the bolt contacts the receiver.
     

    army54b02

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Hamstur, you described the bolt resistance perfectly. It is not gritty nor does it wobble. It is just a very tight fit. The bolt is smoothing out and I feel less resistance.
     

    fdkay

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    Wasn't Gale Mcmillan the author of an article that stated that barrel break in procedures were created by barrel manufacturers inorder to generate more barrel sales?

    http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html

    It is a hand-lapped barrel. The break in was done as part of the process.

    Will a barrel "break in" from shooting. Almost certainly, yes. Do you have to do anything special to accomplish this? Absolutely not.
    Especially with a match grade hand lapped barrel.
     

    gstaylorg

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    It sounds like you've got everything on track. However, for future reference, I think you made it a lot harder on yourself than it needed to be. For you're next new precision rifle, here's the simplest way to make everything work:

    1) Shoot it.
    2) Clean it when you get home.
    3) Put it away.
    4) Repeat steps 1-3 as often as possible.

    The bolt issue will work itself out with use and as mentioned, a lapped barrel doesn't need a break in. This procedure will allow you to enjoy your time at the range or wherever a lot more. Hope you got everything squared away and enjoy; that's a nice looking rifle you've got there.
     

    hamstur

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: gstaylorg</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    1) Shoot it.
    2) Clean it when you get home.
    3) Put it away.
    <span style="font-weight: bold">4) Repeat steps 1-3 as often as possible.</span>
    </div></div>

    The school of thought on this has been highly debated lately -- folks are tending toward cleaning every 200-300 rounds, or when they begin to preceive loss of accuracy.
     

    hamstur

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: army54b02</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hamstur, you described the bolt resistance perfectly. It is not gritty nor does it wobble. It is just a very tight fit. The bolt is smoothing out and I feel less resistance. </div></div>

    Btw ... if it's not far out of your way, I had a great time taking my rifle thru the complimentary 2-day McMillan course conducted by GPS. I live 20 miles from their range, so it was a no brainer for me.
     

    MacM11

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    Re: McMillan TAC-308 bolt stick

    A word of advice: "Don't ever,ever mention 'barrel break in',on this site. You'll get multiple comments, some of them highly controversial (sp). Do read and come to your own conclusion.
    Me, I did what McMillan said to do with my TAC-308 and what GAP said to do concerning this subject.
    Sticky bolt-- I've not had an appreciable issue unless it got full of grit, sand, grass,etc (like in S Texas at RO).