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541-X BR50 Gun's Done!


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#1 Patrick N

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:15 PM

Well, almost 14 years later and my BR50 gun is done. LOL!

As I've posted before, I'm just coming off a 12 year break from shooting so it really didn't take me 14 years to finish the rifle. When I bought the rifle in '94 BR50 was the game and I had read that there were people customizing the 541's due to their accuracy capabilities and light weight because BR50's handicapping gave the lighter guns an advantage. So, I thought I'd see how well it can be made to shoot.
I received the rifle back from Brian Voelker a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Voelker had originally told me that he had a 6 week lead time but he had it done much sooner than expected. The work that he does really is an excellent value. I had him do the works on the rifle including incorporating the parts from a broken 3-screw trigger, that I had found in an old parts box, into the stock 581 trigger. The trigger left at 10 oz and returned at a consistent 6 oz. Although, I tested the trigger when I returned home from shooting today and it's now letting off at 8 oz. I'm going to have to look into that. It may just be my cheap RCBS pull gauge. I always make sure that I zero the gauge before testing but I don't think these gauges are that accurate especially with light triggers. Anyway, the barrel ended up at 22.5". I had specified that I'd like it around 24" but also told Mr. Voelker to cut it where he thought was best. I also really wanted him to install the recoil lug but he said he only had 10 lugs left and he would prefer to save them for customers who wanted to put larger diameter barrel on their guns. But he did put a nice bead of bedding compound at the rear of the receiver to help keep the little round action in place.
Today was the first day that I could shoot the rifle due to a combination of weather, limited range hours, and family obligations. My company has recently given us all 5 days off without pay per quarter due to the economy. So, since our club is open Tuesday mornings I took the opportunity do a little shooting. The rifle and I shot ok considering that I haven't seriously shot groups in 12 years, and the springy benches at the club that I shoot at are not very good for accuracy. It certainly didn't like the cheaper ammo's that I've tried so far that's for sure. Remington Eley Target Rifle grouped around 3/4". The old Eley Standard (brown box) did ok and the old Federal Match (900) looks promising. Which is good since I have almost a brick of it. I shot two groups of Remington/Eley Match EPS (machine 1) that looked pretty good as well. One 5 shot group was just under 3/8" but the other was closer to 1/2" in a horizontal string. I'd really like to try some of the Wolf/SK stuff I really need to watch the extra spending since my paycheck is now smaller so I'll need to use what I have on hand for a while. Next time I'll focus more on some of the higher dollar brands that I have from years back (Old Eley Tenex & Match, RWS R-50 etc). I know I need a lot more trigger time with all of my guns so, while you're always hoping for little teeny groups, I know better than to expect too much right away (especially without flags).

I'll keep you posted and hopefully you'll see me entering the USBR online matches. Is there anyway we can work out a handicap system that'll give an 8 1/2 pound rifle a little edge? LOL

Best regards,

Pat

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#2 Guest_TONY Q.C.I.S._*

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:05 AM

Nice rifle, I have a 541 on my to get list; I wonder if Danny might sell me his biggrin.gif . Try you a box of Eley Target (Yellow box) it is 1 of my practice ammos for my Eley EPS guns and it works great and is reasonably priced around $30 a brick. "T"

#3 Carl

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:20 AM

I shoot Eley Match (black box) off the #1 Eley machine and 1056 fps. I have pretty much the same set-up as you have, except for the nice stock work and I have Leupold bases and rings instead of Weavers. Brian uses a winchester 52D chamber reamer which is the shortest match chamber made. I bought ammo from Bob Collins and he said tight chambered rifles tend to shoot Eley best, either Tennex or Match, off the #1 machine.

I have also added a Fudd tuner to mine. Instead of re-working the forearm like you have, I have a 3" wide "accuracy assist plate" mounted to the short rail. The rifles that have consistantly beaten me in our club are a 40X and an Anschutz (don't know the model), but the guy with the 40X bought a street rod and got into "rod runs" this year so maybe all I need to beat now is the guy with the Annie biggrin.gif .


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#4 Arjay

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:48 AM

That is one beautiful rifle, if I may ask what did Brian's work set you back? I'm assuming your groups were shot at 50 yards, is that correct? All I can say is I'm jealous. I tried to print a few nice targets this weekend with my 541, the weather was wonderful in Mich but just as I had a good one going those ***** no seeum bugs would fly up my nose or betwix my glasses and eyeball and screw it up. Guess I never would have made a good sniper.

Good Luck With Your Quest
Rich

#5 Patrick N

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:35 PM

Thanks for the nice comments guys.

Tony,
Is the Eley "Target" that you refer to the same as the Eley Club that I see on their web site? Would you know what the Eley equivalent is to the Remington/Eley "Target" that shot so poorly in my gun. I was really surprised at how bad it shot. I'll try the second box that I have in my 513T to see what it does.
I've seen the paint job on your 40X and I can say that it puts the spray can job on this gun to shame. It looked better when I first did it years ago but up close it's just ok now. I may need some advice in the future on how I can touch it up without having to do a lot of sanding. For now I just want to shoot and enjoy the rifle for a while before working on it any more.

Carl,
I have an accuracy assist plate made by Hart that I use on my Remington 700 (.222 Rem) and it works great. However, it doesn't open up wide enough to fit around the sides of the forend on this stock. That's why I flattened the forend. I know that it's kind of a hack job but it actually serves the purpose very well. I also have a Tuner for this rifle. It's one of the early Time Precision tuners that I bought when tuners were first becoming popular. I've read that this type is not very effective but I'm hoping that won't be the case with this rifle since the barrel isn't what I consider a true heavy barrel. I wanted to test different types of ammo to see what it likes and then I'll put it on the gun to see if there's any improvement with the better ammos that shoot the best.

Rich,
The work by Brian Voelker was $390 total. The basic rework (cut & recrown, lapping lugs, true up the end of the receiver, thread receiver and barrel, & rechamber) was $195.00, $75.00 to pillar bed the stock & float the barrel, $30.00 to install the second action screw, $65.00 to install the 3 screw trigger parts, and $25.00 for shipping. Which is a lot of money to me especially since I only paid $150.00 for the rifle 14 years ago. Was it worth it? Only time will tell. Again, I need a lot more trigger time before my skills are back to where they were years ago. However, I do have the satisfaction of knowing that, short of rebarreling, almost everying that can possibly be done to help accuracy has been done correctly. If I feel that the rifle still isn't shooting as well as it could I still have another trick up my sleeve before I would even consider spending any more money on the gun.
Where are you at in SW Michigan? Growing up my I'd spent many summers and winters (snowmobiling) in SW Michigan. My parents had a cottage on Indian Lake just north of Dowagiac for years. I have a lot of great memories of that area.
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#6 Carl

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:46 PM

Brian's prices have increased very little since I had mine done... re-build was $180, pillars $65, trigger $65, second screw $23, D&T for scope bases $20, etc. I had no shipping because my mother was alive at that time in a nursing home about 10 miles from him. How do I remember?.... list is pinned on the bulletin board right above the computer desk.
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#7 Arjay

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:32 AM

Pat
I'm sort of a bi-city guy, I work in downtown Chicago and live in Michigan. We are almost halfway between
Kalamazoo and South Haven which puts us about 34 miles north of Dowagiac. I may have to seriously consider sending my 541 over to Brian, guess it's time to start saving a few dollars here and there. I have shot a few really nice targets with it the way it is now tho.

Thanks
Rich[attachmentid=1129]

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#8 Danny Creasy

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:39 PM

QUOTE(Arjay @ May 7 2009, 07:32 AM) View Post
Pat
I'm sort of a bi-city guy, I work in downtown Chicago and live in Michigan. We are almost halfway between
Kalamazoo and South Haven which puts us about 34 miles north of Dowagiac. I may have to seriously consider sending my 541 over to Brian, guess it's time to start saving a few dollars here and there. I have shot a few really nice targets with it the way it is now tho.

Thanks
Rich[attachmentid=1129]




I would like to see some 50 yarders but my first impression is to leave it alone.



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#9 Patrick N

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:42 PM

When I first saw the target I thought the same thing. Then I remembered that when I sighted mine in the other day I had to use the 25 yd range because all the 50yd benches were taken. Once the scope was adjusted I started shooting groups and had very similar results as Arjay with some old Fiocci Maxac that I had. I was really excited. Unfortunately Once a bench opened up at 50yds I moved and started shooting more groups and there was a night and day difference between the two yardages. But, at that point I was out of the Fiocci ammo so the gun might've really liked that ammo. Who knows?
I'd still like to see some 50 yd groups from Arjay's gun as well. Regardless, Good Shootin' Arjay!
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#10 Arjay

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:10 PM

I just built another target stand and now have 25 and 50 yard set ups. So if it's not raining I'll try my best to
punch a few nice targets. I'm just getting to the point where I realize how every little thing matters when your trying to make one little hole for all the bullets to go through. I used to shoot pistols when I was in my 20's
then sort of fell out of it. Now the kids are on their own and I thought I'd take up shooting again and with the price of ammo decided .22 rimfire was the way to go. I had some $$$$ saved up to have the 541 worked on then stumbled into a CZ 452 in .22 mag and was smitten.

Later
Rich

#11 Guest_TONY Q.C.I.S._*

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE(Patrick Nolan @ May 6 2009, 10:35 PM) View Post

Thanks for the nice comments guys.

Tony,
Is the Eley "Target" that you refer to the same as the Eley Club that I see on their web site? Would you know what the Eley equivalent is to the Remington/Eley "Target" that shot so poorly in my gun. I was really surprised at how bad it shot. I'll try the second box that I have in my 513T to see what it does.
I've seen the paint job on your 40X and I can say that it puts the spray can job on this gun to shame. It looked better when I first did it years ago but up close it's just ok now. I may need some advice in the future on how I can touch it up without having to do a lot of sanding. For now I just want to shoot and enjoy the rifle for a while before working on it any more.



The green box Sport is branded as Target (yellow box) in the USA; it is a true Eley round nothing like that Remington crap. I bought 2 boxes of it to try when I first started shooting USBR and still have 1 unopened, which tells you my opinion of it biggrin.gif . I shoot Target if I can get it Club when I can't for my practice, I shoot Club for practice and Match (black box) for a match in my Suhl and TeneX and Match ONLY in my 40X. I appreciate the complements on the paint but I have an image in my mind and if I can ever get time and money allocated I am ordering another Don Stith BR Classic Stock and have a local Tattoo/airbrush artist go crazy on it and put it on my Suhl. I'm thinking black candies and pearl with Mystique Blue Ghost Flames and skulls or Mystique Midnight Blue with True Flame, soooo many choices w/ soooooo little room to put anything else in my Apt. Anyway back to the ammo I can shoot a USBR target w/ Club and then w/ Match and only be off by 4-5 points Max from Match to Club and for a modest price. I can only give one true ammo recommendation and that is my most expensive rifle (40X) shoots nothing and I mean nothing except Match EPS or TeneX, but my most expensive pistol a honest to goodness 1946 Hammerli 103D Free Pistol that was used in the 1948-52-56 Olympics and won both silver and gold loves Federal 510 $1.47 a box at Wally World. How any ammunition that wont shoot to my liking in anything I like or shoot in competition but will in a $2000 pistol that looks cool but is hard to shoot, and has no business on a range as a every month pistol match shooter. Eley makes it worth my while to push their products but ask anyone who knows me I am to egotistical to shoot anything less than what shoots the best for me when it comes to my USBR or any BR game for that matter. Eley just happens to work the best in my rifles I shoot in BR, but I have had great luck with Federal 711B and Fiocchi SM340 at 100yds then I tried Eley Target first then Club and made it to my first Master and Grand Master in our Raptor 100yd match. Gl, "T"

Theese are the 3 I use the most of, I do like the Yellow Box Target (not pictured) when and if I can get it. Club (orange) is 1 step up in quality control and $2-3 more a box in cost (around $5-6 a box) but well worth it if your serrious in a match and on a normal budget (whatever that is these days).

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