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Tactical Rifle Basics

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What makes a tactical rifle?

There is no single set of criteria that is required to make a rifle a tactical rifle. But there are generally "common" traits. We like synthetic stocks for immunity to weather changes, we like heavy barrels for accuracy, we like accuracy of at LEAST 1 MOA or better. We like contoured stocks that work well in the prone position. etc

Why are Remington actions so popular?

Its hard to explain the popularity of the 700 Action, it seems to stem from the back lash against Winchester for changing their actions way back in 1964. The public was not happy and simply jumped ship. Besides that, the Remington 700 is a good solid action. Every gunsmith knows how to work on them, they have a good reputation for accuracy and they have decent triggers that can be "made" nice. Are they perfect? Heck no. They have a two-position safety that many people do not like, their extractors are weak and occasionally fail, and their action sizes are odd, they don't have a "true" short action (well, the model 7 is) and their long actions do not fit the longer calibers (the .338 Lapua coming to mind).

What is a fluted barrel?

A flute is a channel machined into the barrel, traveling the length of the barrel. It is used to reduce weight and to increase surface area to help the barrel cool faster. IF the flutes are done right, there is no loss of accuracy or rigidity of the barrel.

What does lapping the lugs mean?

This is where some lapping compound is used on the lugs to "wear" the lugs smooth. What this does is create 100% surface mating of the bolt lugs to the chamber lugs. This creates a uniform pressure to be created which aids in accuracy. It's generally fairly affordable and generally does provide good results.

Square the action face? What is that?

Because of mass production, many times the face of a rifle action is not 100% square, or flat. To make a uniform and universal mating surface of the barrel to the action, a gunsmith will machine the face of the action to make it square and uniform. This is another means of improving accuracy. It does require removing the barrel.

What does "blue printing" mean?

When a rifle action is manufactured in large quantities, a certain level of tolerances is set. For instance, if the dimensions of an action are within .01 inch, it's considered acceptable. Blueprint is where someone will attempt to make an action meet the EXACT specifications as drawn on the blueprints.
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