February 8, 2016 at 8:56 am #3683Ron LewisParticipant
Well guys: The 2016 season is rapidly approaching and my travel and work schedule is a mess but I’m going to try and make it to as many matches as possible this year. Last year I was on the road almost every Saturday and my shooting was almost non-existence.
Decided I would drag out an old rifle from the safe and see if I could resurrect it into a long range smoke pole.
This rifle started out as one of my old bench rest rifles. It was built by my good friend Seely Masker. Seely has since passed from this earth, been watching over me shoot now since July 1996, passing at the age of 83 yrs young. He built me a switch barrel Light Varmint( 10 1/2 lb) chambered in .222 Remington and 6×47 so that I could change barrels and shoot in both NBRSA LV and Sporter class. Seely knew that I was color blind and have trouble seeing blue so he painted the rifle the ugliest Sky blue you have ever witnessed. THe particular color was one that I can actually see but I told him that it was the prettiest gray rifle I owned. The rifle was built on a sleeved Remington model 600 with a solid piece of metal welded into the magazine well. Basically duplicating the Remington XP-100 action stiffness. I shot a lot of matches in New York at Dunhman’s Bay that I will never forget.
Fast forward 20 years now, I start shooting 1000 yds matches at Fort Benning against the Army MTU and discover that they have a service rifle class that must be either .223, 308 or 30-06. I of course take my M-14 and shoot pretty well but to my surprise most of the other guys are shooting some pretty interesting .223’s using 69 gr bullets. Colt National Match AR’s with heavy SS barrels, 1:7 twist barrels. As the only Navy guy shooting against the Army, I caught a bunch of crap shooting my WWII rifle. Never the less, I decide to build a purpose built 1000 yd .223 Remington.
I decide it’s time to drag my ole .222 out and rebarrel it to .223Rem. I called Jimmy McCollough and head over to the shop. He agrees that it’s the ugliest sky blue he has seen too and paints it flat black. I call Wally and get a 30 inch barrel in 6.5 inch twist, well that requires about 6 months lead time , said something about (rare, odd ball unusual, interesting , etc, etc) scratch the 6.5 inch twist, He has a 1:6 in the rack , heavy straight tube blank. Two days later, I’m back in Selma with the new tube. Jimmy has me ready in a few weeks.
I work up a good shooting load that has promise and head to a match in Society Hill. The match doesn’t go very well. I run out of scope adjust at about 800 yds and have to Kentucky windage the 900 and 1000yd targets. I’m discouraged, got to get a 20MOA base for a sleeved action, let me tell you now, nobody makes one.
Head over to Miracle Machine Works to visit with Chris Self. He machines a base plate for the VGM ( variable Gantry Mount). I’ll show you this contraption in a photo. It has 10 preset holdovers anywhere from 0.0 MOA to 135MOA. If you have enough horsepower you can get enough elevation to shoot about 5 miles.
Here’s the basic information on the rifle.
Gunsmith: Jimmy McCollough and Seely Masker
Barrel : 30 inch 1:6 twist Hart
Case: Old Lapuas ( hold an extract 1.5 gr of powder)
Powder: Vit 550
Bullet: 90 gr Berger
Primer: Benchrest Gold
Action: Sleeved Remington 600
Stock: McMillian Benchrest
Scope: undecided, mounting one today
More to follow in part two.
February 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm #3684Wynne EcholsKeymaster
Ron, I enjoyed your part 1. Excuse me for asking, but what is meant when you say (hold an extract 1.5 gr of powder)?? WWE
February 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm #3685AnonymousInactive
Sounds like an interesting gun with a history! Hope you make it to the match so we can see it in action. I think the OLD lapua brass holds an extra 1.5 grains of powder Wynne.
February 13, 2016 at 8:43 pm #3688Larry LinnemanParticipant
i’ve seen 3 of Chris’s gantry mounts interesting thing
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