Following the recent thread regarding custom build versus off the shelf, hereís an example of what can be done at relatively minimal cost.
A couple of years ago, I bought a Sako 75 in 30.06 which had blued action, a walnut stock and a Reflex T8, topped with a Hungarian S & B 8x56 scope in Optilock mounts, and a Harris bipod. Cost me a very reasonable sum of £750! Although it was a good accurate rifle, I never really used it too much as I preferred my 25.06, so it had sat doing very little. I was also not too confident as the mod had been left on which caused some fairly bad corrosion to the threading. So, I decided it was time for a change! First to go was the stock which was sold recently on here for £75. This was replaced with a Macmillan which I got for an unbelievable £50! The new barrel was then sourced, a Lilja 24Ē low profile 7mm stainless version (£380). The moderator went back to Jackson Rifles where they did a 40% RRP part exchange which gave me £93 towards the cost of a ASE Utra SL5 .30cal leaving me £174 to pay. I sold the scope to a mate for £350.
So, stock £75 + Mod Trade-in £93 + Scope £350 = £518
£750 original cost - £518 =£232 effectively spent on remains!
The rest was in the hands of the riflesmith!
Total cost works out at only just over £1000 (not including the scope fitted!)
Here is the finished article:
A semi-custom Sako 75 actioned .280 Remington Ackley Improved! 24Ē Lilja Barrel, Ase Utra SL5 .30 moderator, Macmillan stock pillar bedded, all with a 4 colour Cerakote finish. Topped with a Swarovski 3-12 x 50 Illuminated 4N in Optiloks and a Harris 9-13 SL Bipod. Pimped!
I took it out this morning to fire-form some standard .280 Rem brass into .280 Ackley Improved and thought I might as well work up a load whilst I was there. I loaded 10 at the start load of 52 grains of IMR 4350 and a 140 Barnes TSX head (5 for a run-in and check zero + 5 for a group). I then did two more batches at 53 & 54 grains which was pretty much a compressed load in the standard case!
Hereís the results:
The 54 grainers went pretty much through a ragged hole which is not bad for a new barrel and a start load on a blustery day! Once Iíve fire formed the brass, I can go up to about 55.4 grains which may bring it in tighter and I have done all these at 50í off the lands so far. I need to shoot a few deer with it first though to make sure Iím happy with the chosen bullets. The 54 grain load is good enough for now to hunt with. I haven't chrono'd it, but load data suggests that they should be going at just under 3000 fps! Once Iíve done that and fire formed some more brass, I will have another play! Itís got the makings of an absolute Ďtack driverí though!
Very pleased with it!