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European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?

14 Jul 2012
@ 11:39 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

I have read this sight and fine the information very, very good.

No my situation and research into a new rifle.

I currently have a Remington VSSF in 223 and a Ruger No1 in 375 H&H, so I have rabbits and Buffalo covered, nothing in between.

My Calibre choices are 25-06 or 284 WIN, 25-06 as I believe it is the perfect Australian Hunting round or the 284 Win for accuracy both Long and Short range, also a perfect Australian Hunting round.

In the US, they are obsessed with short action and short barrels, as I am 6'3" with large hands the pointabilty of a 22" barrel means nothing to me. I have no problem with a heavier 26" barrelled rifle. As the above calibres are best in a 26" barrel, that is the way I will go.

My budget allows for a Schultz & Larsen with Laminated stock in heavy 26" barrel in 25-06.

The S&L are cut barrels not hammer forged and they have a reputation of very good accuracy.

I do not mind buying a new Remington and re-barrelling it to 26" so I might as well make it a 284Win at the same time. The only current Remington I like is the new Mountain SS, good Bell & Carlson stock, SS.

Is the Mountain SS Action a SPS action or similar quality to the VSSF only longer? If its a SPS action, them I will pass.

The other option is a Tikka T3 Laminate and have it re-barrelled to 284Win 26".

In both the Remington and Tikka, what calibre would make the best donor rifle?

I still like the S&L for its switch barrel capability, finish etc, my only concern is accuracy.

Thanks in advance, Mark, Cairns Australia.

Photos of S&L with Laminated Stock can be found:

Its the Black non adjustable stock


14 Jul 2012
@ 12:11 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
My reasoning for these 2 calibres are the compromises of game, (pigs and Deer) velocity, energy, recoil and barrel life. I am not adverse to recoil and I consistently shoot sub MOA with my Ruger No1 in 375 H@H

25-06 with GS Custom (example only) 85 gr HV, BC 0.383 26" barrel approximate:

MV: 3680 fps
ME: 2556 ft/ld

2500 fps hydraulic short distance

430 m with 1186 ft/lb

1600 fps max distance

830 m with 487 ft/lb

284 WIN with GS Custom (example only) 116 gr HV, BC 0.468 26" barrel approximate:

MV: 3350 fps
ME: 2890 ft/ld

2500 fps hydraulic short distance

390 m with 1625 ft/lb

1600 fps max distance

870 m with 669 ft/lb

From my studies, both of these calibres give good clean kills on everything here in Australia at manageable distrances, the Magnum calibres in 25 and 7mm have a small advantage but burn out barrels much faster. If I need hydraulic shock distances greater then 400m then the only acceptable calibres are the 300 Magnums. Its all a compromise.

14 Jul 2012
@ 03:57 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
There is a better round, the 6.5-284 Norma that S&L do chamber for, but I am worried about Barrel Life.

The Ballistics are:

6.5-284 Norma with GS Custom (example only) 95 gr HV, BC 0.424 26" barrel approximate:

MV: 3600 fps slightly reduced to preserve barrel life.
ME: 2730 ft/lb

2500 fps hydraulic shot distance

440 m with 1357 ft/lb as far as I would want to shoot a Deer or Pig anyway.

1600 fps max distance, not Deer and Pigs, but Rabbits, Foxes, Ferrel Dogs & Cats etc. I am not suggesting that I am a super sniper, but the round is capable for the job, ethics aside.

910 m with 545 ft/lb

Does anyone have experience with the 6.5-284 as a hunting round and the general accuracy of the Schultz & Larsen?

Lots of questions from a newby, but as its a $3000 investment, I want it to be an informed one.

15 Jul 2012
@ 01:36 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?

Hi Mark, the two cartridges you initially mentioned are vastly different. Make your choice thus- use as much gun as you can comfortably shoot. The .25-06 is good for shooters with low recoil tolerance. But- if you can handle more recoil (and a big guy like you will have no trouble), then use more gun- this puts animal welfare first.

Do not rebarrel a long action Remington to .284 Win. Instead, choose the .280 Remington (same power as the .284). This saves you running into feeding problems and fully utilizes the long magazine. Do not use a Rem short action for the .284 as the mag is too short for the 162gr A-max, the ogive will end up in the case neck.

In the Tikka T3, the .280 rem is not an option as the COAL is too long. Use the T3 to build a custom .284. You will have to purchase a magazine in 6.5-284 from your gun store / importer. The standard magazine cannot be altered to suit.

Tikka only make one action size- long. So anything in the .308/.30-06 family will work as a donor eg .243, 7mm-08, .308, .25-06, .270, .30-06. A T3 would be ideal for your .284 project. Just make sure your importer can get you a 6.5-284 magazine (thats how guys do such a project here).

All Remington M700 rifles use the SPS action. In other words, the SPS action is an M700 action. Even the M24 sniper rifle utilizes the SPS action. My 7mm Practical was once a plain SPS rifle. The M700 is an excellent base for a custom rifle, especially a switch barrel rifle.

Try not to confuse hydrostatic shock with hydraulic shock. Hydrostatic shock (see game killing section) is like a knock out in a boxing match. With ordinary hunting bullets in the 7mm, impact velocities needs to be higher than 2600fps to effect this. Hydraulic shock referes to water particles moving away from the path of the bullet, creating disproportionate to caliber wounding. Again, this is reliant on high velocities. In the 7mm, this begins to taper off at 2400fps, then more so at 2200fps and so forth. To regain disproportionate to caliber wounding at low velocity, a frangible bullet needs to be used such as the A-max.

Do not use GS custom bullets at long ranges, it is inhumane to use a homogenous bullet at low velocities as they do not fragment. At best, they can only expand and render an expanded caliber sized wound.

The 116gr HV bullet is flawed in its design and suffers pin hole wounding at all ranges. Its 130 grain counterpart is the better bullet, works best above 2200fps.

I generally try to avoid (but don't seem to be able to completely avoid) modern high end European rifles like the plague- especially switch barrel rifles. The trouble is, while the rest of the world is trying to get on with their lives, there is a horrible element of elitism creeping back into European hunting. OK it was always there but certain factions are pushing this really hard now. This is in turn effecting rifle designs. The more complex the rifle (more moving parts), the greater the kudos to the designer. The more expensive the rifle, the more kudos to the hunter (look how big my c--- is). It is its own form of stupidity I am afraid. People are paying up to 15k for rifles that are no better than the T3. We have a local gun store owner who has collected Shultz and Larson from day dot. He has many nice rifles and they all shoot straight. I just don't like where things are going in general in Europe at the moment, especially talking to Euopean friends and readers who have confirmed my suspicions Its all about status.

Just remember, if you are going to be bombing swags of pigs etc up in QLD (which no doubt you will), you'll be up for re-barreling in a few years, so keep it simple and affordable.

Nice spot Cairns, I have many fond memories of the area and the climate.
15 Jul 2012
@ 09:45 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
Thanks Nathan, just the advise I was after.

I lived in Luxembourg 20 years ago and you go into a gun shop in that part of Europe and the rifles are all out the back. In the show room are the clothes one has the wear. They must be bought first and only if you have a hunting licence and member of the hunting club, well over $10k 20 years ago before you even get to shoot!

I was driving down the local lane one weekend and a properly dressed guy jumped out from the bushes and shot his shot gun over our car as we drove passed. Incredible arrogance.

Anyway I spoke to my local gun store owner yesterday and he said to buy a Tikka T3 Varmint in 7mm-08 and ream the chamber out to 284 WIN or better a 284 Shehane. I only then have to buy a 300 WIN MAG magazine and change the bolt stop to a longer action one. Easy job.

Thanks also for the info on the GSC bullets, I only used these as an example for ballistics and if I do used them at long distances it will only be if they are very accurate and on small animals, Rabbits, Ferral Cats and Dogs.

I asked the question about the SPS action because I have VSSF and its action is without tolling marks and very smooth. I looked at an SPS model and it was covered in tooling marks and moving the bolt felt like sand paper. A better question would be: Is the new Mountain SS action comparable to the VSSF or a lower cost SPS? If the quality control is up to VSSF standard, then yes I would consider it a good choice as a donor.

15 Jul 2012
@ 09:51 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
My other choice is build a proper custom using a Barnard SM action, match barrel and custom stock. The only problem is being restricted to 308 based cartridges, 260 REM Ackley Improved 40 or 7-08 AI 40.

17 Jul 2012
@ 09:01 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
OK, on the high end M700 rifles the finish is usually higher. The finishing work consists of buffing out tooling marks and either bead blasting or finishing to a Scotchbrite Readybuff finish.

But for donor actions, none of the above really matters as the smith can apply a fine finish if there are any remaining tooling marks that you wish to have removed. But more importantly, the action can be blueprinted, all of the critical faces re-machined to match tolerances.

Short of buying something like a Borden Rimrock or Barnard, the blueprinted M700 is propbably the most popular basis for a custom rifle as the platform is so simple for smiths to work with, so reliable, no hidden surprises.

However, your gun store owner has a good idea, taking a 7mm08 T3 varmint and rechambering to .284 would be productive. Be careful with the magazine though. The correct magazine is the 6.5-284 unit which Tikka already produce.
24 Aug 2012
@ 08:11 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
Nathan after reading all I can on your site and others, I finally ordered a Remington 700 Mountain SS in 7mm-08.

This model is the premium 700 Stainless action with Bell and Carlson Stock. The only draw back is the very light 22" barrel.

Overall it feels very good and well balanced. I will shoot it for the next 12 months then re-evaluate the barrel. If it shoots well, I will keep it standard, if not, I will put a slightly heavier 25" or 26" barrel in either 7mm-08 AI or 260 REM AI.

I already have a Leupold VX-HOG 1" tube 1-4x20 scope and will probably get a Nightforce 2.5-10x33 with NP-1 reticle for everything except scrub pigs. A Jewell Trigger is on the way as well.

Once again thanks for the advise.

04 Sep 2012
@ 12:40 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: European Switch Barrel Rifle or Custom?
Hi Mark, sounds like a good set up. The Jewel trigger is a very good upgrade.

Your rifle is most likely pressure point bedded, hopefully it will shoot well with the bore kept cool. If it shows promise, you might want to go ahead and bed it.

The barrels on the M700 light weight rifles (button rifled barrels) are 50/50 of late. If the bore produces heavy fouling, lap it as described in the barrel break in article. Its just one of those things that as you say, has to be worked through and then evaluated after each effort.

If later on you want more power, do not muck around with improving the 7mm-08 case because it already features minimal body taper. If you want more power, build a .280.


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