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Lightweight Rifle Project (Part 9 of 10)

Let’s Talk Dollars: Part 9 of 10
(Check out Part 8)

by Keith Wood

Scoped Rifle

We had three goals in this project: weight under 6 pounds scoped, accuracy of 1/2 MOA for three shots and a budget of $2,000.00.

Thanks to some great craftsmen, we essentially accomplished the weight goal. Let’s see how we hard we were on the wallet.

700 Action: Brownells (Sale Price) 369.99
Misc Parts: Brownells 45.99
Bolt Fluting: Kampfeld Customs 75.00
Action Milling: Kampfeld Customs 100.00
Skeletonize Bolt Handle: Kampfeld Customs 65.00
Aluminum Trigger Guard: PT&G 25.00
Barrel: Krieger Barrels, Inc. 305.00
Stock & Bedding Work: Lone Wolf Riflestocks 900.00
Carbon Fiber Upgrade: 125.00
Average Cost to Blueprint Action & Install Barrel: 400.00
____________________________________________________________
Total: $2,410.98

OK, big shock: We spent more money than we’d planned (maybe I should be a General Contractor?). I also didn’t factor in the cost of the coating since that isn’t relevant to our weight or accuracy goals.

Building custom rifles is not cheap and never makes sense when you put pencil to paper: You build them because you get exactly what you want. A Kimber Montana at full retail is $1,300.00 and weighs under 5 1/2 pounds, which really is a bargain (especially since no one pays full retail). We spent twice as much to save another few ounces though we did use some premium components that hopefully will help us in the accuracy department.  

Used rifles can also be a great option if you know what you're buying—if you can find someone willing to part with a New Ultra Light Arms or Remington 700 Titanium at a fair price, you can't go wrong. The classified sections of internet message boards like 24Hourcampfire can be a good source.   

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3 Responses to Lightweight Rifle Project (Part 9 of 10)

Ray Kliebert wrote:
November 20, 2011

Nice project! I bought a 700 Titanium in .308 when they were first introduced. I also selected the Talley rings and the Leopold Ultralight VX-II in 3x9x33. I also added an aluminum bolt shroud, Speed Lock firing pin, and a Jewel Trigger. I absolutely love this rifle and purchased it for stalking the Swamps of Louisiana for Whitetails. I haven't spent much effort measuring groups and have only used factory ammo but I am confident it could group sub MOA with the right loads. I didn't see any mention in your writeup about the trigger...did you do anything to it? With a rifle at 6lb the trigger pull is perhaps one of the most critical components for accuracy. I chose the Jewel and love it. Happy Shooting!

KW wrote:
October 19, 2011

The cost to have a rifle coated is generally $250-300. A can of krylon will keep the rust away for $5.

Steve wrote:
October 17, 2011

Since you machined some of the steel parts to reduce weight, the coating seems relevant. Leaving the machined steel finish untreated would encourage corrosion. How much was the coating? Obviously an inexpensive do-it-yourself kit would also be an option, but I agree with leaving it to a professional on a project rifle in this price range.