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 Post subject: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:12 am
Posts: 2
Fella's;

Please let me introduce myself. I found this site when looking for a custom gun discussion forum. I also found that the niche is a small one, most of the google sites are from manufacturer's themselves. I was gratified to find an open general discussion forum & surprised to find that the field is so limited.

I'm a very early boomer, now retired, & refer to myself as living in Outer Montana. I've lived most of my life in the Northern Rocky Mountain West. My hobbies are skiing, firearms, and motorcycles. And one of these days now I'm gonna get back into model railroading, but that's another loong story. I'm also left handed & left master eyed, which has a bearing on my custom guns, of which I own two. Had to make 'em myself as it were.

The first was the result of getting my son his first centerfire hunting rifle for his, now long past, sixteenth birthday. That's also a bit of another story & I may get to it down the road. The gun was a modern action bolt gun in 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser. As we began getting to know it, and reload for it, I realized I wanted one of my own. When he produced some very nice results from the hunting, it became a pretty strong itch. Trouble was, scratching it was none too easy. I looked for at least a decade thereafter for a left hand bolt gun in the caliber. I'm told that an extremely few Mannlicher-Schoenauer lefties in the caliber were imported in the late 40's or early 50's, but could never track one down. Don't know that I could have gotten one even if I had found it either!

Therefore, I decided to make my own. I obtained a left hand bolt Tikka for the donor action & gave it to Dave Young in Tracy Montana. He then trued the action, replaced the funky floating recoil lug with a Remington type, and fitted the Lilja 22" hunting weight barrel. In the meantime, Rob Smith gave me my choice of three stock blanks he'd obtained from his supplier. I picked one and he proceeded to start on the stock. He prefers not to machine inlet, this stock is 100% handmade. The wood is very nice, but not jaw-dropping, and that's OK, this was always meant to be a hunting gun. Tom Stevens of Great Falls did the checkering and final finish. The metal went to Dennis Erhardt in Helena for bluing, twice, but that's yet another story. Dennis also exactly matched the flats of the new recoil lug to the receiver. I was amazed that he was also able to match the matte finish and color of the Zeiss scope, Talley rings included! The scope is a Conquest 3.5-10X 44mm with the Zeiss #43 reticle and I'm very satisfied with it, now have more than one.

When working up a load for this gun, I was told to check out an article in an older magazine that featured the Swede. I did so & found myself using essentially the same ingredients but at a slightly lower powder charge. The load is: Winchester cases, Sierra Gameking 140 grain #1730 bullet, CCI std lg rifle primer, and 52.6 grains of Ramshot magnum. This gives 2725 fps muzzle velocity and excellent, IMHO, accuracy. The gun has repeatedly put three shots at 100 yards into .4-something" groups. The absolute best it's ever done is a single .261", 3 shots, 100 yards.

The accessories are a Turner Saddlery 1907 pattern sling in Outdoor Connection Titan model 1.25" sling swivels, and common old everyday flip-up scope caps.

I've hunted this gun for a few years now & have no problems using it on elk without feeling in the least under-gunned. It's well and truly blooded, with the minor O.S.'s! to match, but that's what happens when you can hunt both sides of the same acre, if you know what I mean.

Thanks for reading, 900F


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:30 pm
Posts: 3825
Location: MI
Well, three into under a half inch and less, I reckon that'll have to do :mrgreen:

Nice story and welcome! Sounds like a darn nice rifle, what is the floating recoil lug on a Tikka? Have handled a few but never had one apart.

Your handloads are I suppose on Norma brass? Does Lapua make it too? I have some Norma in 7.5X55 but probably won't get into that until the leaves are down.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 65
Location: South Carolina
welcome sir. Good to see ya'.

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J. Timmons & Sons Custom 1911 Pistols
South Carolina
864-558-1911
www.jttimmonscustom1911pistols.com


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:12 am
Posts: 2
Fella's;

Thanks for the welcome, it's appreciated.

The Tikka T-3 line utilizes what I call a floating recoil lug, and I'm sure they designed it that way to cut manufacturing costs.
The bottom of the receiver has a cross slot, the stock has a matching one. The recoil plate itself simply fits in both slots loosely, but connecting the two. If you pull the barreled action from the stock, it'll frequently fall out. The guns themselves are known to be nicely accurate on the whole, but neither Dave Young nor I felt comfortable with the arrangement. Therefore, it got replaced with a much more conventional Remington style lug.

The brass for the load are Winchester. All-in-all, I've found Winchester to be both available and able to meet my accuracy standards. I do have a box of Lapua for this gun, but I've never cracked it open since I've not seen the need. One-a these days I imagine I'll get bit by the curiosity bug, but for a hunting gun where's the need?

The nearest town of a size to have at least a decent selection of reloading supplies is Great Falls. I've never seen Norma brass there, regardless of caliber. Not gonna say there's never been any, but I sure don't think it's a common sight.

I do apologize for being a techno-ninny, but attempting to post pictures on a couple of other sites has done very bad things to my blood pressure in the past. I've learned the hard way that when somebody says: "It's easy! All you have to do is". I should run like hell itself was after me. However, I also realize that people want to see what I'm talking about, so I'll attempt to find and coerce, blackmail, or inveigle, some teen to take and post them here. Don't hold yer breath, you'll probably turn blue, fall down, and be mistaken for a Smurf.

900F


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