Vudoo Lightweight Carbon Fiber barrel and stock build

Tiger_Shilone

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Jan 2, 2018
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I really wanted a single small bore rifle I could use for all the different 22LR matches I shoot throughout the year. These consist of both sanctioned and outlaw matches including NRA standing offhand silhouette, ARA benchrest, Appleseed, NRL22 style and various PRS / Tac / steel type matches run in standing/sitting/kneeling/prone with barricades and/or other improvised positions.

That is a pretty tall order as it covers several disciplines I currently use at least 3 dedicated rifles for. As to ARA benchrest I don't think that I'll be able to fullfill the needs of that particular sport and be competitive (we are going to try it in at least one match next year, for fun if nothing else) but I think everything else is covered with this rifle build.

Wants and needs for the various requirements:

1) weight of 8.5 lbs or less with mag (the most challenging criteria)
2) standard "hunting" rifle look (rules out a chassis build unfortunately)
3) easy magazine changes under pressure for limited time strings of fire
4) easy operation of bolt and standard safety, no issues with feeding, ejection or extraction
5) good two stage trigger adjustable to 2 lbs or less
6) able to mount bipod, sling, and a ARCA plate
7) good cheek weld
8) tapered barrel not more than 20", 1/2" or less grouping @ 50 yards
9) able to mount a 30mm variable scope 24x or greater and still make weight
10) 20-30 MOA taper scope mount
11) tough stock that can take punishment, weather, scratches and wear


The most challenging part of this build are the limits imposed by conforming to published NRA silhouette smallbore rules as follows. All the other matches have more generous requirements, if any, so if we meet these then we are good to go (abbreviated):

3.1.1 small bore Hunting Silhouette Rifle - A hunting style rifle having a maximum weight of 8.5 pounds, including sights and if applicable, an empty magazine or clip. The intent of this rule is to describe a common hunting rifle.
(b) Sights: any telescopic or metallic sight may be used. Scopes may not be more than 1.5 inches above the rifle, as measured from the top of the receiver to the underside of the scope tube.
(c) Stock: A hunting style stock; thumbhole-type stocks are not permitted. Attachments, either removable or permanent, are not permitted. Swivels and slings are permitted, but slings may not be used for arm support in shooting.
(d) Trigger: Trigger pull shall not be less than 2 pounds.
(e) Barrel: A hunting style contoured barrel that tapers from chamber to muzzle. Maximum barrel length is 26 inches

8.5 lbs equates to 136 oz for everything, including a magazine. To complete this rifle I need these 4 items:

Barreled action with trigger (includes bolt assy)
DBM (bottom metal, detachable box magazine)
Stock
Scope & rings

BARRELED ACTION -- Lets start with the barreled action as that is the heaviest part. I have talked to vudoo https://vudoogunworks.com/ a couple times this past summer about either converting my current Kukri heavy barrel vudoo and re-barreling to a lighter profile or outright purchasing another rifle with their lighter weight "Spectre" profile barrel. A 16.5" spectre action weighs in at 4.5 lbs or 68 oz and eats up half of my weight allocation. I'm currently around almost 13 lbs fully kitted depending which stock it is installed in. Vudoos are a Remington 700 pattern on the action, so any stock that fits a remy 700 should fit a vudoo, that opens a lot of options. I was going to probably re-barrel, but then the following happened:

I am fortunate enough to live within driving distance of Mile High Shooting & Accessories https://www.milehighshooting.com/ and they are a stocking dealer for Vudoo barreled actions. I have been having the same discussions with them and I was urged to wait until late fall. Walked in their store a couple weeks ago and low and behold they have something new they want to show me --- a vudoo action with a Proof CF 18" KUKRI contour threaded barrel. "How much does it weigh?"-- "4.2lbs"-- "I'll take it!" Weighs in at 4lb 5.5 oz with trigger installed. I got the last one they had in stock, they were on the phone ordering more before I left the store.

TRIGGER -- Trigger is a Timney 2 stage Calvin Elite currently set at 1.75 lbs, must be set at 2+ lbs for class rules. It's a nice breaking trigger that is fully adjustable and has a long proven track record. https://www.brownells.com/rifle-par...stage-rh-black-sku883000098-83365-177697.aspx




DBM -- Also another MHSA purchase at the same shop. DBM is made by Hawkins Precision, M5 standard and weighs in at 4.4 oz with action screws. Quality fit and machining make this a very nice DBM. I would have preferred a longer straight down release lever but I can live with the 2 side tabs release style. I can still do a one handed magazine change very quickly with this set-up.




STOCK -- This is the only place I can really lose any significant weight (besides the CF barrel) compared to my current Vudoo. I had to get the stock under 28 ounces and that only leaves a couple options atm. Either a Manners Carbon Fiber or another company that Vudoo recommended, AG Composites (Proof is now also coming out with their own line of R700 CF stocks). Looking over AG Composites website I chose their "Privateer" as it would make NRA weight and look requirements. https://agcomposites.com/index

Took AG exactly 8 weeks to manufacture and deliver to my home and the price was very competitive for a custom made CF stock built to my specs. Stock weighs in at 24.7 oz and has 2 left hand sling cups, 2 sling studs on bottom and ARCA plate mounting points. One item I regret not getting was a 3 or 4 inch picatinny rail at the bottom of the fore-stock as most of my bipods are pic rail QR mount. Inlet finishing is very nice with potted pillars installed, color pattern is their "Desert Night" scheme.






So this adds up to 69.5 + 4.4 + 24.7 = 98.6 ounces for the complete rifle without optics. Add in another 3.4 oz for a mag and I'm at 102 oz of my 136 oz limit leaving me with 34 oz for the scope and rings.

SCOPE & RINGS -- Scopes are a very personal choice item. What I desire is:

1) variable mag from 3/6x-20/32x. I normally shoot silhouette with a fixed 24x and also need high magnification for KYL racks and benchrest. But I also need low power to quickly find targets in a TAC style match. I usually run 15-19x magnification for most of a tac style match.
2) MIL/MIL reticle and turrets. I use MOA for bench or silo, but I am used to MILS for everything else including ranging target distance.
3) Adjustable side focus, front AO not as easy to use in TAC/Steel matches
4) Lots of elevation adjustment 22 MIL or 75+ MOA minimum. Long ranges require a lot of drop. One match goes to 278 yards. Mandates a 30mm tube to get that elevation range.
5) Zero stop for elevation knob, hate losing points when I'm on wrong dial turn and it happens more often than I care for
6) Would prefer 10 mil/rotation, but 5 mil/rotation acceptable, less turns on a dial = potentially less screw ups per #5 above
7) Decent glass quality with a great eyebox and relief, if I cant see it I cant shoot it
8) Xmas tree reticle for holdovers with proper sized hashmarks
9) Weight under 34oz w/rings
10) First focal plane for ranging
11) short range parallax focus of 25 yards or less

Researching various scopes led me to these 3 options

SWFA 3-15x variableGreat choice that I all ready own, but reticle is bit thick with no xmas tree option, 5 MIL/rotation turrets & only 15x max mag. 40 mil travel, 24oz, 6 yd focus
https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-3-15x42-tactical-rifle-scope-3.html?___SID=U

Athlon Optics Midas Tac 6-24x Met all criteria listed above 25 mil travel, 26.3 oz, 10 yard min focus
https://cameralandny.com/shop/brand...e048-0136-3247-00163ecd2826?variation=1891359

Nightforce Optics NX8 4-32x Meets all criteria above when mounted with titanium rings, con: it's pricey. 26 mil travel, 29 oz, 11 yard min focus
https://www.milehighshooting.com/nightforce-c625-nx8-4-32x50-f1-zerostop-digillum-mil-c/

Wound up going with the Athlon Midas Tac 6-24x and it has been a great choice so far. I like the floating dot center and the hashmarks are easy to read. Scope with the heavy SWFA brand high 30mm rings weighs in at 35.1 oz. Knobs for elevation, windage and focus all have good stiffness without being to hard to move, zoom ring is a little stiff. Clarity is also very good. Need to run a tracking test still, but it tracked fine for the 60 meter changes needed for silhouette so far.



So how did it all turn out? Not to bad, I just barely made weight with an ounce to spare, but I then added on a couple Tenebrauex scope covers and that put me over .5 oz



Took it out for a silhouette match the next day and scored in the upper end of my classification after a quick and dirty sight in period. Balance is very neutral and the big mag was not a problem with the hold as I spread fingers in front of it and thumb on trigger guard, so I am not using the mag as a holding point (which would be against the rules). Vudoo also just announced that they are coming out with smaller size 5 round mags so I can save some weight and size there. They also announced 12 and 15 round mags coming soon.

I am happy so far, but actually using it showed a flaw for the scope. 2 of the 3 silhouette ranges I shoot at face south and with the sun low in the winter I was getting considerable sun glare and had to put on a shade and that adds another 1.5 oz, so the front scope cover had to come off to make weight limit for now. I can remedy this by getting the lightweight Nightforce rings and it will shed almost 3 oz but that will be in the future. Yes I do realize that the scope is mounted way high and clearances would allow me to mount it with lower rings and save some weight. However It is deliberately mounted high as that is how I like for silhouette matches as I have less head tilt. I'll use it for the other matches and see how much of a compromise it will or will not be in other shooting positions and make adjustments if needed.

Cheek rest is one area that I am not happy with. I have to live with it like this for silo rules and I knew that going in, but every other match is going to get either a slip-over cover (Beartooth or similar) or a Karsten's type rest installed.

Pic with the sunshade installed and front scope cover removed:

 
Last edited:

Tiger_Shilone

Enthusiasts Smallbore
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Jan 2, 2018
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Reserved for updating

Update Jan 2020

Tall SWFA scope rings did not work out with the low comb of the stock, just to unstable to be consistent. Got a set of 30mm 1" medium Nightforce ultralight rings from MHSA and installed them. They weigh 3 oz less than the SWFA rings and that dropped my total weight back to below 8.5 lbs.

SWFA 30mm high rings weight

Nightforce 30mm 1" medium rings weight

med lightweight rings installed, note weight with empty mag inserted 8 lb 6.7 oz


If needed I could go another .150" lower as the limiting factor here is the magnification zoom ring is the closest part of the scope to make contact against the pic rail. Nightforce makes .885" low rings that would still leave me with .035" clearance. Had to dump the front tenebraux cover as the Athlon shade extension isn't threaded. MHSA didn't have a tenebraux that would fit it and had to go with a butler creek cover for now.

Alas this did not solve the cheek weld problem. I could just install a Karstens style kydex cheek riser and be done with it, but this is a CF stock and I'd like to preserve the CF shell's integrity without drilling any holes in it at this time, plus that would add noticeable weight from the bolts.

So that leaves me with non-permanent options to build up the comb. Going to have to be either a strap-on or glue-on item. For glue on solution I could get a piece of wood or plastic and stick a sheet of sandpaper on the stock and hand sand until it fits, that would probably work pretty good as far as getting correct shape, but I'm too lazy to go that route. I could also 3D print up a light riser block and that is still a possibility for the future. For now I decided on the quick & dirty strap or sleeve route.

Tried out 3 different strap/sleeve items:
Beartooth Products comb raising kit 2.0 $25 https://www.beartooth-products.com/.../comb-raising-kit-2-0-no-loops-model-in-brown
Tourbon leather buttstock pad $32 https://www.amazon.com/TOURBON-Leat...&qid=1579046750&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-1-fkmr0
Tourbon Neoprene sleeve riser kit $15 https://www.amazon.com/TOURBON-Neoprene-Adjustable-Stock-Raising/dp/B00YXZI02S/ref=sr_1_8?crid=TIDNXHXIDHDW&dchild=1&keywords=tourbon+cheek+riser&qid=1579046992&sprefix=tourbon,aps,195&sr=8-8

Beartooth sleeve; did not give enough height adjustment for what I wanted and get ready for a wresting match when putting it on or taking off. Put it on a factory Anschutz stock and it worked better there. Used one of the leftover Tourbon foam inserts from their sleeve kit and a single beartooth foam insert as it fit better than just the beartooth inserts alone.

Better on this rifle I use for NRA silhouette standing offhand matches

re-inforced sewn cut-out for sling stud



Tourbon leather pad; to blocky/square shaped to fit on stock properly, slides to one side, straps need to be shortened and rear strap cut. Sides flaps are too long to properly fit and would block side QD cup. Stuck it on a stock Tikka T1x for now and it works better there, but worst solution of these 3 choices.

looks nice, bullet holders work ok, but had to cut rear strap to get it forward enough to be of any use

cheek pad is square on bottom instead of round, flops to either side:

side flaps too long, little tension on forward elastic strap. Need buckles instead and shorter sides

Tourbon Neoprene sleeve kit: after modifications, wound up using this as best temporary cheek weld solution. Kit comes with 3 different height semi-rigid foam inserts, and a neoprene sleeve with a pad sewn in the top. As it arrives, it is too long and does not have a sling stud cut-out on the botton like the beartooth pad did. Also covers the side QD. So out come the scissors for modification with angled cuts at the front and rear. I wish it didnt have the stupid pad sewn in on the top ridge as cutting that area would expose the foam and probably look half-assed. Still need to trim the front a bit, but using one insert gave me the desired cheek weld height.

tourbon neoprene sleeve pad kit with cuts applied:

For those curious to what the Barreled 18" CF action with trigger, scope and NF rings weighs in at 6 lbs 6.4 oz



Quick 50 yards results for SK+ SKRM Center-X Midas+ and Eley Edge. This was done off a bag front rest and single small squeeze bag at rear, did not have cheek rest installed yet so eye placement consistency was an issue. Point of aim is the center of each bull for each column. Sighted in with 10 rounds of SK+ on a separate target. When switching to Eley edge for last group a separate 10 rounds was fired first at sight in target to foul barrel with different lube. The love/hate affair with Edge continues to this platform as it seems to always perform great then just drops some complete turds out of each box in a random order (more than likely it's me)
 
Last edited:

Tiger_Shilone

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Jan 2, 2018
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Is there a reason for not maxing out ring spacing?

Yes,

1) rail space for either a SendIt or rail mounted Dope card holder in front of forward ring, two slots. I am off the tube radius coming from the scope center housing so there is no scope tube damage
2) all shooting has been standing offhand or bench so far, prone position might require scope movement forward to eliminate image vignetting. This is a recent set up, I'll move or modify as needed. Rings will be relocated if needed.
 

Hellbender

Gunny Sergeant
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Apr 23, 2008
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Lebanon, Missouri
Wow! Great write up with lots of good info. I plan to do a similar build.

I haven't seen the weights on the new billet mags, I hope the 5 round is as light as the plastic mag, but I don't see how.

I built mine with the 10 lb 2 oz limit in mind, and I am very close. I have a mill and will swiss-cheese my new 5 round billet when it gets here.....if i have to, LOL!
 

Tiger_Shilone

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Jan 2, 2018
427
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Adding in updated target after cheek rest sleeve installed, felt a lot better shooting. Clean barrel fouled during sight in of new scope rings.

6x5 targets @ 50 yards SK+ SK RM SK FLat nose Match Center-X Midas+

left column was SK+ initial sight in after scope ring change, 2nd column was 10 round barrel foulers when changing ammo,
columns 3-5 are RWS-50 Eley EDGE and CCI standard velocity


Config as it is right now, ready for both bipod and sling

Results are amazingly consistent, even for the CCI which I was sure was going to suck way more

Midas + .324" average center to center
RWS-50 .388
Center-X .437
SK+ .452
SK Flt Nose .454
Eley Edge .514
CCI SV .539
SK RM .655 .436" EDIT UPDATE 2.24.2020 wrong math on SK RM should be .436" average



I need to do a tall ladder test of this Athlon Midas Tac. I've shot this rifle 6 times now on paper and 4 of those times I've had to adjust windage .2 Mils both directions to zero. I'm starting to lose confidence in this scope. This is the second set of rings (SWFA high and NF one inch standard height) that this has happened. Have a NF NX8 4-32 enroute anyway, so this just might get removed.
 
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10ring1

The Zohan
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 9, 2012
887
363
Thanks for the update and the very informative post. Your weighs about 50% less than my Ridgeback. This rifle is on my short list. Looks like groups are shrinking with each outing. The last set looks solid.
 

Cuzz

Amory Ms
Full Member
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Jun 29, 2018
421
184
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North East Mississippi , near Amory
Adding in updated target after cheek rest sleeve installed, felt a lot better shooting. Clean barrel fouled during sight in of new scope rings.

6x5 targets @ 50 yards SK+ SK RM SK FLat nose Match Center-X Midas+

left column was SK+ initial sight in after scope ring change, 2nd column was 10 round barrel foulers when changing ammo,
columns 3-5 are RWS-50 Eley EDGE and CCI standard velocity


Config as it is right now, ready for both bipod and sling

Results are amazingly consistent, even for the CCI which I was sure was going to suck way more

Midas + .324" average center to center
RWS-50 .388
Center-X .437
SK+ .452
SK Flt Nose .454
Eley Edge .514
CCI SV .539
SK RM .655



I need to do a tall ladder test of this Athlon Midas Tac. I've shot this rifle 6 times now on paper and 4 of those times I've had to adjust windage .2 Mils both directions to zero. I'm starting to lose confidence in this scope. This is the second set of rings (SWFA high and NF one inch standard height) that this has happened. Have a NF NX8 4-32 enroute anyway, so this just might get removed.
That’s a great hunting rifle! But i wouldn’t expect it to shoot like a 20 lb bench gun.
 

Shooter1960655

Private
Minuteman
Oct 12, 2019
61
33
Thank you for this post very informative as I am wanting to build a lightweight vudoo also. Right now I have one on a MPA chassis. Thinking a ravaged next and then a lightweight. Have you had any trouble? With CCI chambering hard Thanks.
 

AirGunShawn

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 2, 2019
779
332
Reserved for updating

Update Jan 2020

Tall SWFA scope rings did not work out with the low comb of the stock, just to unstable to be consistent. Got a set of 30mm 1" medium Nightforce ultralight rings from MHSA and installed them. They weigh 3 oz less than the SWFA rings and that dropped my total weight back to below 8.5 lbs.

SWFA 30mm high rings weight

Nightforce 30mm 1" medium rings weight

med lightweight rings installed, note weight with empty mag inserted 8 lb 6.7 oz


If needed I could go another .150" lower as the limiting factor here is the magnification zoom ring is the closest part of the scope to make contact against the pic rail. Nightforce makes .885" low rings that would still leave me with .035" clearance. Had to dump the front tenebraux cover as the Athlon shade extension isn't threaded. MHSA didn't have a tenebraux that would fit it and had to go with a butler creek cover for now.

Alas this did not solve the cheek weld problem. I could just install a Karstens style kydex cheek riser and be done with it, but this is a CF stock and I'd like to preserve the CF shell's integrity without drilling any holes in it at this time, plus that would add noticeable weight from the bolts.

So that leaves me with non-permanent options to build up the comb. Going to have to be either a strap-on or glue-on item. For glue on solution I could get a piece of wood or plastic and stick a sheet of sandpaper on the stock and hand sand until it fits, that would probably work pretty good as far as getting correct shape, but I'm too lazy to go that route. I could also 3D print up a light riser block and that is still a possibility for the future. For now I decided on the quick & dirty strap or sleeve route.

Tried out 3 different strap/sleeve items:
Beartooth Products comb raising kit 2.0 $25 https://www.beartooth-products.com/.../comb-raising-kit-2-0-no-loops-model-in-brown
Tourbon leather buttstock pad $32 https://www.amazon.com/TOURBON-Leat...&qid=1579046750&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-1-fkmr0
Tourbon Neoprene sleeve riser kit $15 https://www.amazon.com/TOURBON-Neoprene-Adjustable-Stock-Raising/dp/B00YXZI02S/ref=sr_1_8?crid=TIDNXHXIDHDW&dchild=1&keywords=tourbon+cheek+riser&qid=1579046992&sprefix=tourbon,aps,195&sr=8-8

Beartooth sleeve; did not give enough height adjustment for what I wanted and get ready for a wresting match when putting it on or taking off. Put it on a factory Anschutz stock and it worked better there. Used one of the leftover Tourbon foam inserts from their sleeve kit and a single beartooth foam insert as it fit better than just the beartooth inserts alone.

Better on this rifle I use for NRA silhouette standing offhand matches

re-inforced sewn cut-out for sling stud



Tourbon leather pad; to blocky/square shaped to fit on stock properly, slides to one side, straps need to be shortened and rear strap cut. Sides flaps are too long to properly fit and would block side QD cup. Stuck it on a stock Tikka T1x for now and it works better there, but worst solution of these 3 choices.

looks nice, bullet holders work ok, but had to cut rear strap to get it forward enough to be of any use

cheek pad is square on bottom instead of round, flops to either side:

side flaps too long, little tension on forward elastic strap. Need buckles instead and shorter sides

Tourbon Neoprene sleeve kit: after modifications, wound up using this as best temporary cheek weld solution. Kit comes with 3 different height semi-rigid foam inserts, and a neoprene sleeve with a pad sewn in the top. As it arrives, it is too long and does not have a sling stud cut-out on the botton like the beartooth pad did. Also covers the side QD. So out come the scissors for modification with angled cuts at the front and rear. I wish it didnt have the stupid pad sewn in on the top ridge as cutting that area would expose the foam and probably look half-assed. Still need to trim the front a bit, but using one insert gave me the desired cheek weld height.

tourbon neoprene sleeve pad kit with cuts applied:

For those curious to what the Barreled 18" CF action with trigger, scope and NF rings weighs in at 6 lbs 6.4 oz



Quick 50 yards results for SK+ SKRM Center-X Midas+ and Eley Edge. This was done off a bag front rest and single small squeeze bag at rear, did not have cheek rest installed yet so eye placement consistency was an issue. Point of aim is the center of each bull for each column. Sighted in with 10 rounds of SK+ on a separate target. When switching to Eley edge for last group a separate 10 rounds was fired first at sight in target to foul barrel with different lube. The love/hate affair with Edge continues to this platform as it seems to always perform great then just drops some complete turds out of each box in a random order (more than likely it's me)

Pretty wood on gun in photo #412. You may have a new brake made from aluminum and not what
appears to be brass.
Given the way that you modify things to suit you needs, you may look into 3M Dual lock. It is limited only by your imagination. You can pick it up at Lowes, Home depot as shown it photo #4

McMaster Carr has it too but call it "snap together". You can buy it from them with and without sticky backing. McMaster Carr also has lots of other type Velcro that you may want to sew , glue or iron it on. Fabric glue is cool stuff too. Since your reinforcing things, you may look into carpet thread at Walmart.

My very rough estimate is that the poly magazines will weigh about 80% of the aluminum mag.
Or aluminum will be 130% of what your poly is.

Good to see some creativity going on.
you mentioned your DOPE holder. What about something like the one shown in DSC00111?
I have one hanging on every rifle that I own.

Shawn
 

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Krob95

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    When you get that NX8, can you shoot some groups at 100 with some center x?? I’m looking at buying a CF vudoo from MHSA and putting it in a AIAX chassis