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My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up! (Read 1491 times)
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My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Sep 6th, 2010 at 12:38am
 
Some years ago I wanted to get a rifle chambered in a caliber that would fulfill my needs to be able to hunt the vast south islands animals from chamois, Thar to the mighty Wapiti.

I didn’t want a big magnum caliber as I had only recently sold a .300 WM but I did want something in 7mm as I am a 7mm fan.

.223, 7x57, .280 Rem, & 7mm Rem Mag
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After much e-mailing and discussing with "Zeeriverat" he got me thinking about the .280 Rem and .280 AI (Ackley Improved).

I liked the idea of the .280 Remington and it seemed to have an interesting past and was deemed some what of an under dog but my American friend reassured it would take anything NZ had to offer but the only way to truly be beneficial from this caliber is by reloading.

He convinced me to go with the .280 Rem as he said the difference between the standard .280 Rem and the AI isn’t that much more in performance especially after the added costs and fire forming as no one was making any brass for the .280 AI but that has now changed as Nosler now produce it which saves time if your not up to fire forming brass.

I was up at Reloaders Supplies in Auckland one day and found they stocked the .280 Rem dies and brass so I just bought them right there and the which sealed the decision on which caliber to go for, I always thought that if I wasn’t satisfied with the .280 Rem then all I would do is ream out the chamber into the AI version.

I was looking around for a project rifle when I came across a second hand Sako AV chambered in 30-06 which was sitting in the gun rack in the Taupo Hunting & Fishing store. The rifle was in good nick and it had a straight pull stock which unlike typical Sako’s are user friendly for the likes of myself who is a left handed shooter who prefers right handed rifles and yes I have tried left handed rifles but they don’t sit right.

So now I had the rifle and it was a matter of bringing everything together. I took the stock to Kevin Gaskell who is known as the Stock Doctor based out at Raglan. Kevin was so kind enough to strip the whole stock back, re varnish it with his special brew, re-chequer the four panels on the stock and put on a pachmayr decelerator pad; he also took the comb piece away seeing as it had no purpose for this left handed shooter.

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After Kevin finished with the stock, to say it looked good is an understatement, it looked like a show room stock and couldn’t even believe it was the same stock I handed him a few weeks earlier. I started feeling guilty about the prospect of taking the rifle out hunting where I knew it would get knocked around but this was a hunting rifle afterall.

The next part was with Arthur Cleland where he ordered in a MAB barrel chambered in .280 Rem where he reblued the action and barrel before rebedded into the stock.

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I topped the rifle off with a Leupold VXII 3-9x40 with LR reticle in Sako optilock rings.

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This rifle was now looking pretty classy so to top it off even more I got Kevin to jewell the bolt which is a time consuming job, this was more cosmetic than anything else!

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After trying out some various brands of projectiles that I had lying about at home and were given to me by friends I settled on the 140 grain Accubonds propelled by 56 grains of AR2213SC which gave me 1 ½ inch groupings at 200 metres. The recoil of the rifle was delightful and I would equal it to a .308 Winchester.

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Two of my mates Sakos along side mine
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For the rifles very first outing I was off to the Kaimanawas for the weekend, it was mid summer and rather crunchy under foot to be hunting but after taking a small break along a ridge I heard something coming my way which turned out to be a Sika Stag coming right towards me unaware of my presence.

After the first shot he was still on his feet so I put another one into him for good measure which dropped him but after a quick autopsy I discovered the Accubonds hadn’t performed the way I had hoped which gave me some mixed feeling but alas you can’t base your experience on just one animal being shot.

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The next hunting trip had me chasing Thar up the Whataroa where we only saw a handful of animals with me dropping one at 333 mtrs, This was a 1 shot kill dropping the old nanny in her tracks where she rolled down a good 70 metres making the climb up to her easier, this kill some what redeemed the Accubonds.

Later on in the year I was once again in the South and had the privledge of taking a good 12 ½ inch Thar at 265 mtrs and another of similar size that wasn’t able to be recovered.

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Even nailed a south island wallaby or three with it!

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The next trip with the rifle was this year into Fiordland where we were successful in our first attempt at the Wapiti Ballot drawing a good block. We got the second ballot and unlike the first ballot period we enjoyed splendid weather until the end of the trip.
After both my mate and myself had secured two top notch bulls and with the news of heavy rain approaching, the thought I being trapped by flooded rivers wasn’t too appealing so we decided to head out.

As the rain increased I have to say the only time I have experienced rain like Fiordland was during the monsoon seasons in Africa & Indonesia where I lived for a couple of years.

On the way out we met up with the other party who all seemed to have be armed with Tikka’s and unlike my rifle which is wood and blued and needs a little bit of extra TLC they just left them out in the open under a tree, the next day when it was still raining there rifles still looked the same however mine had a touch of rust from the damp and wet conditions.

After spending the whole day walking out with a 32 kg pack as the Wap heads do weigh a bit I ended up holding onto one of the other parties Tikkas as we all scrambled into a boat at the lakes edge, the first thing that struck me was the lightness considering that my Sako isn’t a light weight and couldn’t believe I’d been trudging around Fiordland carrying it.

After coming out of Fiordland and with a long drive home we got talking about what we’d been through with lessons learnt, changes to our equipment or what we would bring in or leave behind next time when we come to Fiordland, oh yes… we will be back!

At the top of the list was the rifle, while I loved the .280 there had to be a better way at making it lighter and more durable.

Endless hours of searching the internet made it pretty apparent there aren’t too many options for a Sako, especially for a left handed shooter who uses right handed rifles. In the end I settled on getting another Tikka especially as I already owned one in .223

The .223
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Leupold VX II 1-4x20 Scope
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The decision was made to sell the Sako and spend the money on the new project.

I had initially thought about getting a new caliber like a .284 Winchester or even a 7mm WSM but I liked the .280 Rem as it was.

Tikka don’t produce their rifles in .280 Rem so I was gonna have to make one up.

After consulting with Arthur he came up with a great game plan and instead of buying a new barrel he could just ream out the existing chamber of a 7mm-08 to .280 Rem which I thought was a great idea and besides I had nothing to loose.

I bought a Tikka T3 stainless synthetic in 7mm-08 from Reloaders Supplies, I have to say it was my first 7mm-08 I have owned and never fired, Arthur as true to his word reamed out the existing chamber to .280 Rem.

The other problem that needed attention was the bolt stop or bolt release on the rifle, that too needed to be replaced in order to be able to pull the bolt back far enough in order to cycle rounds from the magazine.

Before with standard bolt release
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After new longer action bolt release added
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Bolt release
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It seems that although Tikka use a one sized action they do restrict the bolt pull on their actions especially between the small/medium & large chambering sizes. 

Last but not least was I needed to get a “Large” size Tikka 3 shot magazine to fit the .280 rounds as the magazine which came with the rifle was a “Medium” size and only suitable for 7mm-08, .308, .243 and the likes.

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7mm-08 & .280 Rem
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I then mounted a temporary scope on the rifle in order to just get out and break the barrel in and seeing as I had some .280 Rem rounds lying about that were reloaded for the Sako I decided to use them and not let them go to wastse.

After breaking the barrel in I was away, the reloads showed no signs of excessive pressure so now I decided to put a few rounds down range for good measure only to be extremely pleased with the results of one grouping with a spread of 1 ½ inches and another grouping of 1 inch, not bad I thought as the groupings were fired out to 100 metres.

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So with the old saying of “If it ain’t broken then don’t fix it” bouncing around in my head then I’m not too fussed with load development this time round, I just want to get out and hunt.

I haven't as yet put a scope on it but it will in the next 2 months sporter a Leupold VX III 2.5-8x36 with CDS turrets... well that's the plan anyway

So what have I learnt;
I’ve learnt I can build a near new rifle out of a second hand one and also learnt that you can also take a rifle, ream the existing chamber into a caliber you favour but check with a gun smith prior to doing it.

My good hunting mate is now rubbing in the fact the rifle is now lighter so therefore I can carry more gear.
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Jakewire
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #1 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 4:21am
 
Great post Seventenths, that Sako was a truely beautiful rifle  Smiley, good luck with your new one.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #2 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:12am
 
Really interesting post Cool Can't beat a wood/blued Sako.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #3 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:32am
 
Great post seventenths. Kevin Gaskell sure did a top job on that Sako stock.   Cool

If you don't mind me asking, how much was it (rough estimate) to get the bore reamed out to .280 Rem + bolt stop + mag?.  Pm if you like.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #4 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:44am
 
Jakewire wrote on Sep 6th, 2010 at 4:21am:
Great post Seventenths, that Sako was a truely beautiful rifle  Smiley, good luck with your new one.



+1 Smiley
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #5 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 8:21am
 
A great read for sure, how about a pic of those Wap Bulls?
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #6 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 8:58am
 
Great stuff and =1 for the bull pics.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #7 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 9:48am
 
Nice one mate. That Sako is an awesome looking rifle. Wicked wood  Cool
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #8 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 10:21am
 
Raging Bull wrote on Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:32am:
Great post seventenths. Kevin Gaskell sure did a top job on that Sako stock.   Cool

If you don't mind me asking, how much was it (rough estimate) to get the bore reamed out to .280 Rem + bolt stop + mag?.  Pm if you like.

+1 and what sort of velocities are you getting out of it
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #9 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 6:06pm
 
To answer some questions;

1. Going to write an article of our trip into Fiordland so will save the pics for that.

2. Unsure of velocities as i haven't chronographed it yet.

3. Costs: I can't remember how much Kevin charged me for the stock so i would suggest phoning him as i beleive he bases his prices on what needs to be done.

- To ream the 7mm-08 to .280 cost... i think it was $120-140
- Beretta charged $120.00 for the 2 bolt stops (1 x medium & 1x large action), they don't sell them individually
- New mags cost around $160.00
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #10 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 6:11pm
 
seventenths wrote on Sep 6th, 2010 at 6:06pm:
- To ream the 7mm-08 to .280 cost... i think it was $120-140
- Beretta charged $120.00 for the 2 bolt stops (1 x medium & 1x large action), they don't sell them individually
- New mags cost around $160.00


Thanks seventenths.  

I look forward to reading your Fiordland story/article when its published.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #11 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:09pm
 
Awesome job on the Sako,how much did he charge to jewel the bolt?
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #12 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 7:19pm
 
sorry if this sounds stupid but your Leupold VX II 1-4x20 Scope looks like its on backwards.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #13 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 9:33pm
 
Thanks for the story on the Sako .280 I am looking at doing a simular build on a older AV Sako, I was thinking about doing a parkerized or mil-spec action, stainless barrel and oil finish stock, but after looking at this rifle I may have to change my plans.
Can you tell me what length was the MAB barrel and also which contour did you use.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #14 - Sep 6th, 2010 at 10:11pm
 
Excellent post, thanks for that! Like the others I look forward to reading your Fiordland write up.

cheers
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #15 - Sep 7th, 2010 at 12:31am
 
Badshot - nope, the scope is on the right way!

Azdog - I can't remember off the top of my head but it was around $100 and very much worth every dollar, jewelling is a tedious and time consuming job.

Catslayer - I don't remember what contour the barrel was as I wanted to keep it to the original barrel specs... I think it might have been a no.4 contour... again not sure.
The barrel however was 24 inches and I was very happy with that barrel from MAB
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #16 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 9:21pm
 
Did you manage to sell the sako?
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #17 - Jan 7th, 2011 at 9:53pm
 
Interesting write up. Thanks Cool
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #18 - Jan 8th, 2011 at 3:53pm
 
Great write up I considered doing the same to a tikka as I love the .280rem. But giving another brand a go in a different calibre. thanks for putting what it cost up.

Shame kevin didn't clock the barrel enough to hide the original stamping on the barrel, but thats just my opinion.
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Re: My Sako & Tikka .280 Rem builds - warning dial up!
Reply #19 - Jan 9th, 2011 at 10:01am
 
Kevin did the stock abnd jewelling on the Sako.

ALL the work to the T3 was by Arthur, as for the stamping on the barrel... i'm not too fussed as it shows what it previously used to be.
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