The 260 Remington has gained quite a following in recent years. Adopted by SAAMI in 1999, this flat shooting 6.5mm cartridge housed in a necked down .308 Winchester case and affords the shooter, especially the reloader, a wide range of quality bullets and barrels. With higher ballistic coefficient bullets, the round shooters flatter, with less wind drift then the .308 Winchester.
We are building a custom rifle to compete in tactical rifle matches as well as mid range (600 yards) and 1,000 yard F- Class competition. Since the rifle is not a .223 or a .308, we would not be limited by the 18.0 pound weight limit from T/R rifles, however, we plan on shooting tactical matches with it, so the weight needs to be reasonable. We selected a standard Palma contoured barrel to keep the weight down. The contour is similar to the Remington Varmint, with a little more meat on the chamber end.
The Blackheart International action has the following specifications:
CNC machined from 416R stainless steel and hardened to 41 Rockwell
bolt bore raceway is wire EDM’ed with the rails to ensure exact tolerances are held
rails have an anti-bind rail for smooth operation when cycling across ejection port cut out
bolt is spiral fluted and clearance through bolt bore is held to .004 -.006
bolt handle is straight with a black knurled tactical knob and black bolt shroud
action has a standard Remington 700 magazine cut out
includes one-piece 20 MOA Picatinny rail with four 8-40 mounting screws and two 1/8 dowel pins to ensure rigid mounting
recoil lug is surface ground and pinned
front and rear of action is the same diameter to provide for greater rigidity
M-16 style extractor
bolt stop is on non firing side above stock line
We ordered the following supplies from Brownells to complete this project:
- Blackheart International custom bolt action receiver (100-005-690)
- Krieger 264 caliber standard Palma contour barrel blank (749-008-391)
- Manson 260 finish reamer (513-050-215)
- 3/8″ High-speed steel turning kit (080-000-835)
- 1/2″ High-speed steel threading tool (080-000-839)
- Starrett dial indicator (749-007-761)
- 60 degree center gauge (345-778-060)
- .308 Winchester “go” and “no go” gauge (513-100-260)
- McMillan A3 stock (513-050-215)
- Jewel HVR trigger (100-002-559)
- Marine Tex epoxy (904-303-114)
- Acra-Release release agent (081-028-000)
- Spuhr Unimount scope mount (100-011-207)
All lathe work is conducted on a Grizzly 4003G lathe with a Bald Eagle spider attached to the faceplate.
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There are quite a few ways to align, thread and chamber barrels. Normally, we “dial in” the chamber end of the barrel (see our chambering article for a detailed description of this process). On this project, we decided to “dial in” the muzzle and chamber end of the rifle.
We use a floating reamer holder to chamber our barrels and have had good success. The depth of cut is controlled with a PTG Lambeth-Kiff adjustable reamer stop. The stop allows precise, .001″ adjustments in the depth of cut. Utilizing the stop, we have regularly been able to control headspace to within .001″ or better.
We run our lathe on its slowest speed, 70 rpm, and use plenty of Viper’s Venom cutting oil. The reamer is advanced .025″ at a time, the lathe is stopped, the reamer retracted, cleaned, coated in oil and reinserted into the chamber. This process takes a while, but produces nice chambers.
The barrel is removed from the lathe and reinserted with the muzzle facing the tail stock. We use the same process of “dialing in” each end that we did for the chambering.
We selected the McMillan A3 stock for rifle. The stock we had was provided with a inlet for standard bottom metal, we shipped it back to McMillan to have it changed to a Surgeon bottom metal inlet. In our experience, it is faster, easier and cheaper to have the stock maker adjust the inlet. While wait times vary, in this case around 8 weeks, we find it is worth the wait.
The stock and metal are off to paint. The stock will be coated in Duracoat, and the metal, Cerakote (check out our articles on finishing). Once finished, the rifle is reassembled and looks great!
Even though this rifle has a 27″ barrel, the relatively light Palma contour makes for a fast handling and relatively light rifle.
We were limited by a poor selection of powder on hand due to the current shortage. We are confident this rifle will prove to be a solid sub half MOA performer.
We will be providing updates on the rifle and the cartridge in the future.