Gunsmithing New BR rifle


Recoil Sponge
Full Member
Aug 31, 2009
Houston TX and Hackberry LA
OK, started this project a few months ago, bought a XL Surgeon action, ordered a long heavy 338 barrel from Bartlien, and chambered it up. That went pretty good, until I test fit a round in it and couldn't close the bolt. After a few minutes head scrathing, figured out that Surgeon sent a magnum bolt, for the big Surgeon action, not the 338 bolt. So, after waiting on the right bolt to arrive, the project gathered dust for a few weeks. Rechambered barrel ( set back .15" ) and good to go.

Initially installed it in an older pull off Manners I had, just for "trying out" purposes. Shoots pretty good at 100/200 didn't bring out to the ranch to stretch it out. Meanwhile, came into a batch of stocks, one MBR stock looked perfect for this rifle and decided to put it in that, since it is intended as a test bed for a LR BR gun. I'm doing one big like this 338, and one small, in a 6x47 Lapua, learning a bit about long range BR in the process. Also have the stuff for a 7WSM sitting around, but that is on the back shelf at the moment. Have kinda settled on using rounds with better brass, like Lapua, have learned in the short range game that brass and prep has to be perfect to get competitive results.

This stock was inletted on top for something else, I think a Panda action, not sure, but it was round. This beast is square, about 9.5 " long, 1.4" wide, a real big thing. Most of the old inlet cleaned up, without having to resort to filler. I used a small end mill that matched the radius on the corners of the action to rough out the inlet.


Here is a shot before bedding, I used a much bigger end mill to finish out the cavity for the action, and hog out the holes for the pillars. Not going to go glued in on this action, not comfortable with 100 grains of powder under my nose, and no bolts to retain it.


This was one of the times I really appreciated the DRO on the mill. When roughing out the pocket, I had made a small sketch of the outline, and got dims from the aft action screw. All I had to do was run to the numbers on the sketch, less the tool radius, and repeat as needed. I did have to run a 1.5" round nose router bit thru the barrel channel to make room for this big barrel, that was pretty easy, but had to change setups, as my table doesn't have enough travel to make the pocket and route out the barrel channel. Am planning a fixture to speed that up in the future.