Do you have any plans or dreams for future rifle projects, including more uncommon/non-"traditional" stocks? (Yes, I admit, I'm spoiled with the AW stock of my issued rifle, and the TRG stock of my friends TRG-42)
Well, you may be looking for a flat shooter that kicks like a mule, but how about a flat shooter that kicks like a mouse? I was trying to hold off on info on the SC2 project until I can fully devote to getting it built. Right now I'm focusing on a couple of rifle/scope/product reviews to keep SC.com fresh. I was hoping to get going on the SC2 this fall. I suppose it depends on demand.
The concept behind the SC2 is to produce a complete system that is compact, fairly light (around 10 lbs), pleasant to shoot, and ballistically out performs the .300 Win Mag at 1000 yards (using the federal 190gr Gold Medal match round as my bench mark).
When I talk about "system" I mean the complete setup. To include the following:
scope (mounted with tactical rings & bases)
The other part of the system is that the scope will have custom marked dials (BDC) to match the round.
Recoil was not to exceed the .308.
Built on a short action
Total package price was not to exceed $2800.
Ammo had to be readily available in factory loads to match the BDC, and full reloading data would be available so users could handload to the same specifications as the factory loads.
.308 will be optional, with the obvious performance hit.
Based on the above criteria, I had my job cut out for me. I spent a considerable amount of time researching everything, but I'm 100% confident I have everything worked out, in fact, in 2 different ways! One built on a remington action, the 2nd built on a Montana Rifleman action. I'm leaning toward the Montana Rifleman action.
In order to exceed the .300 WM external ballistics I had to go with a 6.5, there simply is no other caliber that will meet the recoil, remain compact (short action) and out perform the 190gr .30 cal. So, the question became which 6.5 to use. In order to achieve the ballistics, I need to send the 139gr Lapua Scenar or Sierra MK 142gr at 2800+fps. Or, send the 123gr Lapua Scenar at 2925+ fps. The catridges I was looking at was the 6.5x284 Norma and the .260 Remington. The 260 is a beautiful little caliber, its simply a .308 necked down to 6.5. And its a sweet shooter. The 6.5x284 is exceptional and I have a writeup on it on snipercentral.com. To put it simply, the 260 can do it with the 123, but not the 140's because the longer bullets must be set deeper in the case, taking away powder capacity. I'd prefer the 140's because of the additional energy and SD they have. The 6.5x284 does it easily with either bullet. Blackhills loads a 6.5x284 at 2950fps with the Sierra 142. While amazing, frankly, these velocities will burn out a barrel quick. 2800fps is an acceptable velocity for the 142 and will extend barrel life, but yet still acheive the ballistics. I'm not 100% set on the 6.5x284 because of the cost. Ammo will be more expensive because the brass is so expensive, about 3-5 times as much as .260 brass. Anyway, I'm moving forward with the intent of doing the 6.5x284, but have left the option for the .260 open.
So, the SC2 will be compact, 20 or 22" barrel. Be short action. And will have a non-traditional stock (for those of you wanting to see something a bit more radical). Right now I'm looking at various vendors. If its built on the remington action, it will be an HS Precision stock. If its a montana rifleman action, it'll be a Lone Wolf stock. I really like the montana rifleman actions, great design, but I'm debating if a cast action will suffice. I believe so, but still doing research.
So there you go. If you would like a 1000+ meter rifle that is compact, light weight (compared to other tactical rifles) a complete SYSTEM so you can dial in the range on the scope and let the round fly with your factory (or handloaded) ammo, then let me know your interest.... oh, and it recoils less then your trusty .308.
I hope not. The SC-1 is a sweet rifle, and there are definitely people who will prefer it to the SC-2 (I mean exactly how many bi-pods, scopes, and cases do you need.) I need one per rifle, but that's just me. I'm still looking hard at your SC-1 in 300 win mag.
I'm kind of with Jeffvn. Not that Mel shouldn't keep on developing newer and better rifles, but the SC1 and the SC2 seem to entirely different prospects. The SC1 costs more than $1000 less and therefore gets my vote, also probably in .300 Winchester. By the way, what calibers is Mel now offering?
Uhm, well, the SC-1 being a sweet rifle is a matter of personal taste. That does not mean that I do not respect Mel's work on it. On the contrary, I have a lot of respect for him pulling it off, especially managing to do the tradeoff between quality and cost.
Admittedly, rifles etc are a tad more expensive over here, but my current dream custom rifle system would cost well over $4000...
Would the recoil for the kind of loads you're planning really give you less recoil than 7.62x51? I'm somewhat skeptical... Of course, I've never had the opportunity to shoot them from rifles that have the same kind of stock etc.
Yes, he can beat .308 recoil. Most match 7.62 projectiles weigh in at 165-175 gr. If the 6.5 or .260 Remington is shooting 123 or 140 gr. projectiles, the recoil is considerably reduced. I've never shot either, but I have done quite a bit of reloading, and with even a 5 grain weight difference when all other factors are equal, there is a definite reduction in felt recoil with the lighter load.
The problem is the velocities he needs, and the short barrel(A longer barrel helps you achieve higher velocities, up to a certain limit of course) means that he'll need a fair amount of propellant, especially if he wants to retain energy out at 1000+ meters.
Believe it or not, there is actually a formula that estimates this for you (though its not an exact science). It takes into account, bullet weight, bullet velocity, the weight of the rifle, and the charge of the powder.
For the 6.5x284, I used a worse case of the 142 at 2850fps using 53 gr of powder in a 10lb rifle. This produces 13.55 ft/lbs of recoil energy.
For the .308, I compared it to the 175gr at 2600 fps, using 42gr of powder in a 10lb rifle. This produced 13.49 ft/lbs of energy.
So, the felt recoil should be about identical. I felt I was fairly concervative, but either way, it should be fairly consistent with the .308. As a comparison, here is the .300 win mag:
.300 Win Mag - 190gr at 2900fps, 75grs of powder in a 10lb rifle. The recoil energy is 25.87 ft/lbs. Ouch, almost twice the recoil as the two loads above.
and lastly, if I opt for the .260 with 123gr at 2900fps (exceeds the .300 WM ballistics, though a bit skimpy on energy at 1000) the recoil is as follows:
.260 - 123gr at 2900fps, 46grs of powder in a 10lb rifle. Recoil energy is only 10.40 ft/lbs. Well under the .308.
The .300 WSM is one of the calibers on my list, but its a difficult because of the shorts action/magnum case head diameter combination. There is no factory match ammo for it yet, and I'm not sure there will be.
Yes, the SC1 has a recessed crown, 11 degree taper. No, for the price, fluting is not available on the rifle.