Bag rider forend, how long and a rest question:

Discussion in 'Practical Precision--PRS, NRL, ELR' started by Dud, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Dud

    Dud

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    I am planning to attend an URSA event in November.

    I'm building a rifle for 1,500+ yard ELR. It's a budget build based on a Savage Axis action with a clearance priced gen 1 MDT LSS chassis and a 31" barrel in 284 Winchester by X-Caliber:
    MVIMG_20191020_090043~2.jpg
    As you can see, the Forend is quite short for that long barrel.

    I am going to be machining a bolt on 3" flat bottom bag rider forend made from an 80/20 extrusion.

    I have been asking how long my forend should be in the competition forum, no real info so far.

    I'm thinking 18" which will leave about 12" of barrel extending past the front.

    If anyone has a similar length rifle with a too long, too short or just right forend, I would love to hear how long it is so I can avoid any issues.

    I was looking for a bag to use with it and wound up looking at the Bald Eagle Big 50 windage rest, extended leveling screws and soft ground feet.

    Most of my ELR shooting is going to be prone on the ground and my next project is going to be a bigger and heavier 338 RUM so I'm thinking the Big 50 with accessories is a good choice because it's only about $15 more than the standard triangle cast iron rest with similar accessories.

    The Big 50 costs almost twice as much as a Caldwell Rock BR and it's a fraction of the price of an American made joystick rest. Is it something I will abandon because I need a better rest or is something like a $30 Caldwell Rock Jr. Going to do just as well for 99% of my shooting?

    So far I have never owned or shot a gun with a bag rider forend. I usually shoot off of sand bags, bipods or a crappy plastic rest I won at an NRA raffle.

    I want to step up, not in it.
     
    Darwin likes this.
  2. garandman

    garandman Bolt Gun Bodacious Gold $$ Contributor

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    Honestly.... I wouldn't use an MDT for your intended purpose. My personal preference.

    And I can't really envision your intention of machining a 3" bag rider some 18" long and (I guess?) bolting it on to that chassis for shooting 3/4 of a mile.

    Good luck. Really. And post a pic of the finished product.
     
  3. Dud

    Dud

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    I know an MDT isn't the greatest but it was cheap.

    Here is a picture of the extrusion I'm going to make a bag rider forend from:
    s-l400 (9).jpg
    It's an 80/20 bearing profile, it's just too tall and a bit too narrow to be a direct fit.

    Chopping down the height is easy and I only have to thin about the top 3/8" for as long as the MDT forend is, then 4 holes, countersinking, cutting to length and rounding corners. It's not all that much work and nothing particularly difficult.

    My first chance to use it is coming up in November and at a little over 2,000 yards, about 8/7 of a mile.

    I'm past the point of changing my plans much and definitely don't intend to let the budget creep any more than necessary.
     
  4. garandman

    garandman Bolt Gun Bodacious Gold $$ Contributor

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    Interesting idea. A VERY solid mount to the fore-end could make it a winning idea.
     
  5. Dud

    Dud

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    It's going to have 4x 10-24 flat head Torx screws and I think I'm going to try to bed it along with my scope rail and recoil lug while I'm mixing up a batch of Devcon 10110.

    It should be pretty well attached and the extrusion should make it pretty rigid.

    One more thing to think about is bipod mounting. At some point I may decide to add an F-class style bipod so I might mill a stepped slot at the front so I can use Anschutz style mounting hardware or a sling swivel adapter. Just something to do while it's clamped to a mill.
     
  6. Bindi2

    Bindi2

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    The measurement from the bolt slot to the front of the stock is about 540mm + or -.
    In other words start long and don't be afraid to use the saw. The behaviour of the rifle will be apparent as you shorten the stock. What ever you take off the stock in weight add to the barrel if you have weight limits.
     
  7. Dud

    Dud

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    No real weight limits. My barrel is a light varmint profile but not as heavy because the Savage Pre-fit breach end is around 1.063" rather than the 1.200-1.250" of a shouldered barrel.

    I hope it is heavy enough.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    If theres no rules or restrictions against it, I would suggest going with a 4" bag rider fore end. More weight, stability, and resistance to barrel torque
     
    deepwater likes this.
  9. Dud

    Dud

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    You are probably right but I'm making my forend out of 80/20 extrusion that is 3" wide and I have already bought a matching 3" bag.

    I don't know of an easy to fit extrusion that is 4" wide. I bet 3" will be a bit less annoying to case also.

    3" works out.
     
    Ledd Slinger likes this.
  10. Bindi2

    Bindi2

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    If you have torque your stock is to long and heavy. Shorten it and add the weight to the barrel. You may need a new lighter stock.
     
  11. Dud

    Dud

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    I went for the Bald Eagle Big 50 windage rest, upgraded with the extended foot screws and soft ground feet.

    The thing is massive and unwieldy to carry. I'm going to have to build a case for it, probably with wheels.

    Now I need to decide on a fill for the 3" bag. I don't think I need a heavy fill, the rest is heavy enough but I don't want something that will be too soft, has water issues, smells or is so hard that it won't conform to the forend.

    Also, now that I have a front rest of that magnitude, it seems silly not to have a rear bag to complete the bench rest setup.

    I've seen video of a benchrest stock with an adjustable polished aluminum bag rider on the back.

    I can make the bag rider part pretty easily but is there a good low cost rear bag to go with it?

    I like the look of the Protektor Model with an eared flat top and handle but it's $135. I would like to spend less than that.

    The Bald Eagle 3" bag seems nice and was cheap but they don't have a rear bag.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019

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