When my friend let me cut up his rifle for 223 Remington/5.56 NATO, velocity versus barrel length: A man, his chop box and his friend’s rifle, I also agreed to help him rebuild it.
We used the following items from Brownells:
- Manson receiver accurizing kit (513-000-050)
- Manson receiver ring facing cutter (513-000-053)
- Manson bolt face truing tool (513-000-008)
- La Bounty bolt fixture (521-100-000)
- 3/8″ High-speed steel turning kit (080-000-835)
- High-speed steel 35 degree profile kit (080-000-836)
- 1/2″ threader (080-000-839)
- Starrett Dial indicator (749-007-761)
- Hollands recoil lug (403-150-100)
- Viper’s Venom cutting oil (100-013-368)
- Brownells barrel vise (080-860-307)
- Brownells Remington 700 action wrench (080-800-700)
- Manson 223 Wylde reamer (513-000-106)
- Shilen #7 select match barrel (787-000-001)
- Cerakote Dark Earth (100-004-736)
The rifle is a Remington 700 with the J-Lock system. When we pulled the barrel, the action needed quite a bit of work. The receiver ring was a mess, only one bolt lug made contact with the receiver lugs and the threads were severely chattered.
We used the Manson Receiver Accurizing System to square up the receiver ring, cut the receiver lugs, bolt face and recut the receiver to 1.070″ x 16 thread (.010″ over a standard Remington 700 barrel shank). The front of the bolt nose and rear of the bolt lugs were squared on the lathe.
A Shilen #7 Select Match, 1:8 twist barrel was threaded and chambered using a 223 Wylde Manson solid pilot reamer. An external bolt stop was installed. He shipped the barrel and bolt off to Kampfeld Custom to be fluted and have the caliber engraved. Upon return it was bedded in a used McMillan A5 stock in desert camouflage he scored off the internet. Finally, he coated the metal in Cerakote Dark Earth.
Heading to the range, the rifle proved its worth. Take a look at the load development groups.
Quality parts, pride in craftsmanship and great shooter came together for excellent results. He plans on shooting this rifle in local short (200 yard) and mid-range (600 yard) F-Class matches in the target rifle division (.223 and .308 rifles only). I’ll think he will do quite well.
My takeaway lessons from this build:
- The Manson Receiver Accurizing System works well. I am aware of some very well known smiths, including the USMC Precision Weapons Shop in Quantico, Virginia, who use it with excellent results. My experience with it has been the outstanding.
- Shilen barrels are very accurate. I haven’t seen a Shilen barrel that hasn’t been a shooter.
- Solid pilot reamers work. I’ve used a mix of live and solid pilot reamers on chambers, and while I prefer a live pilot, all the chambers I have cut with fixed pilot reamers have shot well. Don’t worry if you only have a fixed pilot reamer at your disposal.