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GUNS Magazine September 2010 - Page 30
RANGING SHOTS • CLINT SMITH • DO OVeR If you shoot a rifle enough, it will need to be rebuilt. am a bit odd as I use my guns, have them rebuilt and use them I until they need to be rebuilt again. It isn’t because the original build is bad, but if you shoot ’em hard and daily they do in fact wear out. Being a rifle guy at heart I have been fortunate to be able to run my rifles hard the last few years because I have the ranges to press the precision rifles I shoot to the limit. I just had two rebuilt because I don’t need nor want a new rifle, I just wanted the ones I have brought back up to speed. The two rifles were Remington 700s as base guns years ago with one being pretty much a Remington 700 LTR with a cool greenish skull-covered stock paint job. The second rifle is the original Flame gun built by Robbie Barrkman’s shop. That thing has been “rode hard” over the years with Robbie putting at least two other barrels on it over the last decade. Do What? The “do what” was easy, since I just needed the rifles rebuilt, rebarreled and brought up to speed. It was time to add a few mechanical upgrades and just clean up and repair or replace stocks. I made the list of what I wanted and why and then sent it where it needed to go, so we’re off to Kansas and Master OB-1. I sent the rifles to George Gardner at GA Precision to have them done over. George—to his Mom, OB-1 to many of his clients—is a pretty quiet monster rifle builder in a world with its share of technical and tactical blowhards. Simply put, George’s GAP rifles work and his rifle work is exceptional. The Flame Turns Tan The Flame is an old rifle and it has been shot a lot over the last decade plus. It has always been solid, but the stock was starting to get shaky at the bedding, the rifling was worn and it was tired. I had George spin a new 24” Bartlein barrel into the action and finish off the end of the barrel with a FTE muzzlebrake. We added the great upgrade of the Badger detachable magazine system and triggerguard. The Badger metal completely solves one of the most significant flaws of the Remington 700 in general and specifically in the case of the Flame rifle, it takes out the factoryissued and always poorly-functioning internal magazine. On top, OB-1 added a 20 Minute Of Angle base for long-range shooting to which was set a pair of Badger 34mm rings holding a Schmidt & Bender 4-16x50 PMII acquired with the aid of Mark Cromwell from Schmidt & Bender USA. I have a short rail and regular detachable sling swivel forward to attach a Harris bipod. In the clean it up department, I had a large bolt knob replaced with a more The rebuilt rifles (above) came home with the the original Flame now becoming the Tan rifle (left), and the redone Skull rifle (right) in a new Manners thumbhole stock. The rebuilt Flame (below, left) now lives as the Tan rifle with new Badger detachable magazines topped with the hot Schmidt & Bender 4-16x50 PMII. Other parts of the rebuild on the old Skull rifle included new Badger bottom metal and the new Schmidt & Bender scope (below, right). 30 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER 2010