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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wanting a non-AR 6.8 SPCII. There have been some factory rifles in this chambering, but hens teeth are far more abundant, new or used. If I could find one I would buy it, but most are not configured how I would like it.

Besides just wanting it, I'd like this to be my walking around the high desert hunting rifle. I think it would be perfect for cous deer, pronghorn, javalina, coyote's, cougar, etc. The AR is a bit too uncomfortable to lug around on foot all day. However, I'm not really looking to build an ultra lightweight mountain rifle.

Savage says they will build any rifle in any configuration if they have offered the caliber in the past. I've had Savage build a couple custom ordered rifles, however my experience has not been the greatest with them. Mistakes on their part that were not necessarily fully resolved. I would like to go a different route this time. I am thinking about asking a trusted gunsmith to put something together for me? The rifle does not necessarily have to be Savage. However, I need it left-hand friendly and would like it old school with a walnut stock, blued or stainless, with a fixed 3 round-ish blind or trap door magazine.

I'm thinking 20" barrel heavy sportster profile with a 1:9 twist. The longer barrel for using slower powders and balance. With the push towards non-toxic bullets a faster twist should work better.

I have scoured the forum's archives to read up on other peoples experience, but I didn't see where anyone had a similar build.

Many components may not be as available in this uncertain time. I know the 224 Valkyrie is a slightly more common derivative in a bolt action and may help with some of the components like action, magazines, followers or barrels?

I'd like to keep the price below $1,700-ish before optics. I'm very certain of what I want the finished product to be, however I am not sure where to begin. Have any of you built a custom hunting rifle? Is it unrealistic to think I could get this finished for the spring hunts? Advice on this type of build will be helpful.
 
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I'm wanting a non-AR 6.8 SPCII. There have been some factory rifles in this chambering, but hens teeth are far more abundant, new or used. If I could find one I would buy it, but most are not configured how I would like it.

Besides just wanting it, I'd like this to be my walking around the high desert hunting rifle. I think it would be perfect for cous deer, pronghorn, javalina, coyote's, cougar, etc. The AR is a bit too uncomfortable to lug around on foot all day. However, I'm not really looking to build an ultra lightweight mountain rifle.

Savage says they will build any rifle in any configuration if they have offered the caliber in the past. I've had Savage build a couple custom ordered rifles, however my experience has not been the greatest with them. Mistakes on their part that were not necessarily fully resolved. I would like to go a different route this time. I am thinking about asking a trusted gunsmith to put something together for me? The rifle does not necessarily have to be Savage. However, I need it left-hand friendly and would like it old school with a walnut stock, blued or stainless, with a fixed 3 round-ish blind or trap door magazine.

I'm thinking 20" barrel heavy sportster profile with a 1:9 twist. The longer barrel for using slower powders and balance. With the push towards non-toxic bullets a faster twist should work better.

I have scoured the forum's archives to read up on other peoples experience, but I didn't see where anyone had a similar build.

Many components may not be as available in this uncertain time. I know the 224 Valkyrie is a slightly more common derivative in a bolt action and may help with some of the components like action, magazines, followers or barrels?

I'd like to keep the price below $1,700-ish before optics. I'm very certain of what I want the finished product to be, however I am not sure where to begin. Have any of you built a custom hunting rifle? Is it unrealistic to think I could get this finished for the spring hunts? Advice on this type of build will be helpful.
I bought a mossberg mvp in 224 and just swapped out the barrel to 6.8 spc ii from Columbia River arms. I think McGowan can make one faster thou. Had 500 in the rifle and about 350 in the barrel.


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X-caliber can make a barrel for you. I only hear good things about them. 1:9 should be ok, but might not work too well if you try the lighter weight bullets.
 

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DIY.

I'd start with an older Savage round top in 223 (most are internal box, and get a Boyds walnut stock, open up the bolt face and feed lips, and get the barrel you want:

 

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Built one on a Savage 110 V (early short "J" action) but just about any Savage action would do.
Don't own one or ever seen one but the Savage Axis seems to be troublesome so if it was me, I'd concentrate on/be looking for a 10/12 Model Savage. Might find something used in a pawn shop, swap barrel, open up bolt head and be more than 75% there and the price way below what you're thinking. And you're reasoning for going with the SPC II??
I wanted one so I ordered a 6.8 SPC 24" SS straight pipe chambered barrel from Pac Nor.
Went with the SPC "rather than" the SPC II because of the shorter throat and I could jam the lighter bullets and still have enough bullet/neck contact. That barrel is out getting the Octagon" treatment now. Should be seeing it again real soon. ;)
My guess is a lighter weight contour barrel would work for a pack gun very nicely.
As far as a modified bolt head? 5 minutes in a lathe with a .223 size head could be opened up get you what you need to fit the SPC case head. Takes longer to chuck it up than cut it and get it back to you.
And keep in mind that the Savage rifle is a DIY rig. Not one of mine is still chambered in the caliber it was born with.
So what it boils down to is, build it the way YOU want it and enjoy the hell out of it. :D
 

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Built one on a Savage 110 V (early short "J" action) but just about any Savage action would do.
Don't own one or ever seen one but the Savage Axis seems to be troublesome so if it was me, I'd concentrate on/be looking for a 10/12 Model Savage. Might find something used in a pawn shop, swap barrel, open up bolt head and be more than 75% there and the price way below what you're thinking. And you're reasoning for going with the SPC II??
I wanted one so I ordered a 6.8 SPC 24" SS straight pipe chambered barrel from Pac Nor.
Went with the SPC "rather than" the SPC II because of the shorter throat and I could jam the lighter bullets and still have enough bullet/neck contact. That barrel is out getting the Octagon" treatment now. Should be seeing it again real soon. ;)
My guess is a lighter weight contour barrel would work for a pack gun very nicely.
As far as a modified bolt head? 5 minutes in a lathe with a .223 size head could be opened up get you what you need to fit the SPC case head. Takes longer to chuck it up than cut it and get it back to you.
And keep in mind that the Savage rifle is a DIY rig. Not one of mine is still chambered in the caliber it was born with.
So what it boils down to is, build it the way YOU want it and enjoy the hell out of it. :D
The Savage Axis ias an imported rifle, not made by Savage. Stick to Savage rifles.
 

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I used a 110 tactical in 308 because that was all I could find. I ended up selling the fluted 20” barrel for $300. Between the cost of the new barrel and a new bolt head, it was an even swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I bought a mossberg mvp in 224 and just swapped out the barrel to 6.8 spc ii from Columbia River arms. I think McGowan can make one faster thou. Had 500 in the rifle and about 350 in the barrel.


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Thanks for the reply. How well does it shoot? Have you shot many rounds with it? Is it lefthanded? I had a bad experience with one of their rifles a few years ago. I don't know how their rifles are now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
X-caliber can make a barrel for you. I only hear good things about them. 1:9 should be ok, but might not work too well if you try the lighter weight bullets.
Thanks for your reply. I have heard good things about X-Caliber also. I do plan on shooting longer copper and heavier lead core, (115gr+) bullets, most likely 90gr would be the lightest.

I've checked on a couple spin calculators and they all show 90gr should be good with a 1:9. Xman's data indicates a faster twist can help with copper bullet expansion, too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DIY.

I'd start with an older Savage round top in 223 (most are internal box, and get a Boyds walnut stock, open up the bolt face and feed lips, and get the barrel you want:

This is the direction I think/hoping I'd go? I have a Boyd's walnut on a .243 and really like it. It did required quite a bit of fitting to get it right.

Instead of machining the bolt face, would it be possible to replace the bolt head with a .224 Val bolt head?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Built one on a Savage 110 V (early short "J" action) but just about any Savage action would do.
Don't own one or ever seen one but the Savage Axis seems to be troublesome so if it was me, I'd concentrate on/be looking for a 10/12 Model Savage. Might find something used in a pawn shop, swap barrel, open up bolt head and be more than 75% there and the price way below what you're thinking. And you're reasoning for going with the SPC II??
I wanted one so I ordered a 6.8 SPC 24" SS straight pipe chambered barrel from Pac Nor.
Went with the SPC "rather than" the SPC II because of the shorter throat and I could jam the lighter bullets and still have enough bullet/neck contact. That barrel is out getting the Octagon" treatment now. Should be seeing it again real soon. ;)
My guess is a lighter weight contour barrel would work for a pack gun very nicely.
As far as a modified bolt head? 5 minutes in a lathe with a .223 size head could be opened up get you what you need to fit the SPC case head. Takes longer to chuck it up than cut it and get it back to you.
And keep in mind that the Savage rifle is a DIY rig. Not one of mine is still chambered in the caliber it was born with.
So what it boils down to is, build it the way YOU want it and enjoy the hell out of it. :D
It is a bit difficult to find a short action donor in left hand. I am looking though. I never thought about it until you mentioned it but I do have a .243 Axis in the safe that needs something done with it. It's grouping has gone from .75 to about 2-ish". I think I paid $200 for it new. Taking it to a gunsmith never seemed worth it.

I'm thinking SPCII only because I'd probably be running longer bullets rather than shorter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bighorn origin, prefit barrel, one of the many stocks available for remington pattern rifles.
I definitely considered this option (it's still not completely off the table). The big horn is a good price, but the barreled action would eat up nearly all my budget.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Thanks for the reply. How well does it shoot? Have you shot many rounds with it? Is it lefthanded? I had a bad experience with one of their rifles a few years ago. I don't know how their rifles are now.
Not sure how the factory 224 val barrel shot, never put a round down it. Bought it and first thing I did was take the barrel off. The rifle is right handed. The Columba river barrel shot good, the only bullet I have tried so far is the 110 vmax. The trigger felt good. Here a picture of the initial hand load development I did.






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Thanks for the reply. How well does it shoot? Have you shot many rounds with it? Is it lefthanded? I had a bad experience with one of their rifles a few years ago. I don't know how their rifles are now.
Not sure how the factory 224 val barrel shot, never put a round down it. Bought it and first thing I did was take the barrel off. The rifle is right handed. The Columba river barrel shot good, the only bullet I have tried so far is the 110 vmax. The trigger felt good. Here a picture of the initial hand load development I did.






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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I used a 110 tactical in 308 because that was all I could find. I ended up selling the fluted 20” barrel for $300. Between the cost of the new barrel and a new bolt head, it was an even swap.
Pacific Tool and Gauge sells a replacement bolt head for 6.8/.224 for $69.50
Thanks for the reply. This is probably similar route I'll end up taking. I will likely have to go with the longer 110 action because trying to find a shorter action with a blind mag in the left hand is proving to be difficult.

I seen some people have had feeding issue with wider .308 type magazine and followers. I don't know if .223 or .224 followers can be swapped for more reliable feeding? Shims may also need to be added?

Very cool to see PTG offers a replacement .224 Val bolt face, thanks for the link. I don't have a problem with machining a both face, but if I can get the correct replacement part, I'd rather go that route.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not sure how the factory 224 val barrel shot, never put a round down it. Bought it and first thing I did was take the barrel off. The rifle is right handed. The Columba river barrel shot good, the only bullet I have tried so far is the 110 vmax. The trigger felt good. Here a picture of the initial hand load development I did.






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Wow, that's a great grouping. Congratulations on getting the rifle to work so well. It's very encouraging.
 

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