Sleeve Bolt or not?

Discussion in 'Gun Project Questions & Gunsmithing' started by Hondo64d, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Hondo64d

    Hondo64d

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    Having a .308 hunting rifle put together that I want to be all it can be in terms of accuracy. Going to consist of a 700 short action, #5 Krieger finsihed at 22", and a McMillan Sporter stock.

    With the listed components, would I be able to detect a difference in accuracy from a bench between having the bolt sleeved vs. not?

    Which ever way I decide, the receiver ring will be squared, lug seats squared, threads single-point cut, bolt face squared, and lugs squared.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. vmthtr

    vmthtr

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    I have all the rifles I have built sleeved. Why? Because I won't have to go back and do it to eliminate a problem later. Does it help? I feel it does. Next time I think I am going to get a PPG bolt body that is over sized so the whole bolt is one diameter instead of 2 bushings.

    Mike
     
  3. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Hondo

    I doubt if sleeving a bolt on a 308 hunting rifle is going to make any noticable difference. In a PPC Benchrest rifle, maybe. But as Mike said, if it gives you confidence it may be worth the cost as long as it's not too expensive. I do my own rifle work so all of mine are sleeved except for one 30-06 hunting rifle that I want "loose" to ensure it never binds up at the wrong time.

    Also, it's not necessary to sleeve both the front and rear of the bolt. In the case of a factory barrel, it actually COULD cause problems because the bolt nose may not line up exactly with the counterbore in the barrel tenon and COULD cause binding.

    New, custom fitted barrels are another matter altogether. One of the premier M700 Benchrest gunsmiths sleeves only the rear of the bolt and precisely fits the front to the counterbore. That's how I do mine when re-barreling. If your gunsmith is familiar with this procedure you might want to discuss it with him.

    Ray
     
  4. tightneck

    tightneck Silver $$ Contributor

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    The only way I could see reason for sleeving the bolt on a big game rifle is if it was going to be a very long range gun. And then I,d probably go custom anyway.
     
  5. Eddie Harren

    Eddie Harren

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    Ray, does this "premier M700 gunsmith" fit the bolt nose snug in the counterbore? Full contact with the barrel?
     
  6. vmthtr

    vmthtr

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    Boy, I sure hope not. All kinds of problems there.

    Mike
     
  7. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Mike

    The bolt nose is a slip fit.

    What problems? And who said?

    He has been doing this for many years and his rifles have won a lot of fake wood. I don't like posting names on Forums but you would recognize his name immediately.

    Many years ago I questioned him about this. I said the same thing you said. "I've been told this is not a good idea and there will be problems." He said to me, "What problems and who said it wouldn't work?" I couldn't answer his questions either. End of discussion.

    I do my bolts that way. They work.

    Ray
     
  8. ChrisNam

    ChrisNam

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    I've wanted to ask the question a couple of times in the past, but failed to do so at the risk of sounding ignorant.

    I understand the concept of blueprinting an action - square the receiver ring, the lug seats, bolt face and lugs, recut the threads, etc.

    What is exactly meant by a "sleeved bolt"?
     
  9. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Chris

    The bolt on a Remington rifle is a certain diameter. Let's say .690". The bolt raceway in the action is larger than the bolt itself in order for the bolt to work back and forth. Let's say that dimension is .705". Most think that a clearance of .015" is a lot more than needed and is detrimental to accuracy, a debatable point). So you install sleeves approximately 1/2 inch long at the rear of the bolt just in front of the handle and at the front of the bolt just behind the lugs. You then put the bolt in a lathe and turn the outside diameter of the sleeves to just a little under the diameter of the raceway in the action. This allows the bolt to operate smoothly but keeps it perfectly aligned with the centerline on the action and, hopefully, the barrel and chamber.

    Since the raceway may not be perfectly round and may be bigger at the front,or vice-versa) many smiths will first ream the raceway to a perfectly straight and uniform diameter and then fit the sleeves to match.

    The smith that I talked about takes a different approach. rather than ream the raceway he simply installs the rear sleeve and fits it to the rear of the receiver and then fits the bolt nose to the counterbore in the barrel tennon. When the bolt is closed everything is lined up perfectly, assuming you did the job right.

    The current trend is to ream the raceway and then have someone like Dave Kiff make a completely new bolt with a diameter appropriate to the reamed hole. Since new bolts were not available as recently as 5 years ago, sleeving was the best alternative.

    The photo is the rear sleeve on an XP 100 bolt.

    Ray

    [​IMG]
     
  10. vmthtr

    vmthtr

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    If the bolt is touching the back of the barrel any kind of grit can cause a tight bolt or worse. Also, you are setting up vibrations through the whole works with the bolt hard against the back of the barrel. With it hard against the back fo the barrel, how do you set the locking lugs up? You keep constant pressure against bolt nose and force the lugs into the recess, would cause faster wear, I would think.

    Mike
     
  11. ChrisNam

    ChrisNam

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    Ray
    Thank you very much for the illustrative explanation.
    I, and I'm sure many other inexperienced members, really appreciate the willingness with which the "old hands" share their knowledge and experience.
     
  12. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    {QUOTE MIKE}If the bolt is touching the back of the barrel any kind of grit can cause a tight bolt or worse. Also, you are setting up vibrations through the whole works with the bolt hard against the back of the barrel. With it hard against the back fo the barrel, how do you set the locking lugs up? You keep constant pressure against bolt nose and force the lugs into the recess, would cause faster wear, I would think.Mike{Quote}

    Mike

    The bolt is NOT hard against the back of the barrel or even touching the back of the barrel. The bolt nose is a slip fit in the counterbore. So you don't have any problems with locking lug engagement, etc.

    I know some may say that the bolt touching the barrel at any point will set up bad vibrations. But when asked, they are hard pressed to back up such statements with evidence. After all, the bolt touches the receiver, the receiver touches the barrel, the trigger touches the bolt, the bolt touches the cartridge, the cartridge touches the barrel, everything touches everything. Where are the good vibrations and the bad vibrations???


    On the "grit" thing let me quote him directly. "...I don't have much patience with people who insist on shooting filthy rifles, and it is a simple matter to keep things clean..."

    There is just as much chance of grit getting between the bolt race and the sleeves or between the sear and cocking piece, or anywhere else for that matter.


    Ray
     
  13. rewinder

    rewinder Gold $$ Contributor

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    If a case happens to rupture where is the route of gasses to escape Through the FIRING PIN hole ? This is why there are clearance around the bolt nose REWINDER
     
  14. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Rewinder

    I find it VERYhard to believe that someone like Mike Walker would design a breech system that deliberatly vented gases back around the bolt face toward the shooter.:eek: The ideal system should completely contain any gas from a ruptered case and not allow it to escape from the chamber by ANY route. This is impractical in a turn-bolt action but the Remington does the next best thing and surrounds the case head with 3 rings of steel.,That's also why the Jap Arisaka is also one of the strongest actions ever made)

    There are some who think that the Remington design,with the thin bolt nose, will actually expand under pressure and further seal the breech. It's debatable whether this could actually happen but I suppose it is theoretically possible with the large case head cartridges.

    Ray
     
  15. Eddie Harren

    Eddie Harren

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    I just wondered if any problems were encountered when the barrel and bolt heated up during a shooting session. I shoot for .005' clearance on BR rifles and .010-.015" on live varmint and rifles that are used in rapid fire competitions.
     
  16. rewinder

    rewinder Gold $$ Contributor

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    Looking at my Model Seven action and noted that there is a hole placed in the reciever along side of the barrel tennon not covered by the threads of the barrel. Could this be a vent in case of a case failure AND if 60,000 psi of gas pressure is not vented in a controlled manner what you have is a bomb waiting to happen.RANDY
     
  17. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Randy

    Yes, that hole in the receiver is to help vent any escaping gas. But the best vent is that hole down the barrel.

    Ray
     
  18. rewinder

    rewinder Gold $$ Contributor

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    So, in the case of a obstructed bore,cleaning patch, 308 in a 708 chamber or 708 in a 260,it has happened,the bore as a pressure relief is blocked off,"Worse case". Safety measures are Incorporated into the action from the factory to bleed off the pressure That why factory rifles have clearance around the bolt nose.Some vent out the side,others through the magazine some have a large bolt shroud to deflect brass and gas particles RANDY
     
  19. tightneck

    tightneck Silver $$ Contributor

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    Rewinder, do you really think that if a bullet fails to exit the bore for whatever reason with a chamber pressure of say 50 or 60 thou psi, that the little hole in the side of the action is gonna relieve all that pressure? I seriosly doubt it. I'd bet a 308 pill would have a lot better chance of exiting a 7mm bore.
     
  20. rewinder

    rewinder Gold $$ Contributor

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    A little bit is better than none RANDY
     

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