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Off-Topic Hunting rifle modifications

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by Odaon, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    A bit off topic, but I figured some of you might be interested...

    Hunting season (for me) is barreling down the tracks and I'm sort of rushing to get ready for it this year. I had been planning on doing some minor modifications to my rifle, but I didn't decide on exactly what I wanted until a few weeks ago.

    My rifle is a Tikka T3 Hunter in .270 win. The Hunter designates that it came factory with a wooden stock, which is what I wanted, however after shooting it -pretty well, I might add- for 3 seasons I've been hankering for some changes... I'm sure you all get it; Hi, my name is Orion and I have a 'gear' addiction.


    The first upgrade I knew I wanted was a new cheek riser. Previously I was using a leather one that secured with Velcro, but it wasn't exactly what I'm looking for. So, incomes the kydex cheek riser. There are a ton a makers of these, so I did some research and landed on a Karsten. It's adjustable, attaches via bolts through the stock, and it seems to be pretty bombproof. We'll see with use this season.

    Because it attaches via bolts through the stock I needed to get a new stock. I'm not about to drill through the nice wooden stock that came with the rifle! :eek: So I hoped on everyone's favorite bidding website and picked up someone's old synthetic Tikka stock on the cheap.

    The next upgrade was going to be the addition of a bipod. I always shoot from prone if I can, and a bipod makes that a lot easier! Previously I was having to use my backpack, rocks, my other hand, etc. Those all ended up being sufficient, but why go through the extra work? Plus, gear addiction, remember? So I started researching bipods, but before I got too far into that rabbit hole I landed on a thread about shooting from a tripod. Ah hah!

    The way I hunt leads me to always carry a tripod in my backpack. I use it to "glass" from my binoculars and spotting scope. I would rather leave my boots behind than my tripod! I'll skip all the details of the researching I did on that, just know that I landed on that as my solution and found a good way to make it happen. It saves weight and bulk on the rifle, and still provides me with a great shooting platform.

    The final upgrade is a paint job. More on that later, here are some pictures of the modification process so far.


    [​IMG]

    The tripod attachment I decided on is a general use Arca style plate made by Really Right Stuff. Keeps things minimal on the rifle, and provides and quick and solid hookup to the tripod. It needed to be attached to the stock via heavily modified t-nuts.
    [​IMG]


    This install took some drilling, Dremel work, filing, sanding, more Dremel work, and some finagling. It all worked out nicely in the end though!
    [​IMG]

    Filing to level the plate.
    [​IMG]

    All done!
    [​IMG]



    Next up is getting the cheek riser installed. I dry fit it last night with a clamp. The front-back measurement is important to get right because I want to be able to pull the bolt out without having to mess with the cheek riser adjustment.
    [​IMG]


    I'll be drilling the holes for the cheek riser bolts this afternoon. Once that's all fitted I'll pull everything off and prep the stock for painting. I'm just doing a 'rattle can' job and you can see the colors I picked in the first picture. I might have enough time to get a base coat on the evening, we'll see. Hoping to have it all done by this weekend so I can get out and shoot it! More pictures to come as the project progresses. :thumbsup: I promise to add some knives into the mix as well. :D
     
    Scotcha, M4Super90, Nbrackett and 3 others like this.
  2. RobbieB

    RobbieB Gold Member Gold Member

    69
    Jul 13, 2017
    Sounds like you made some solid choices there.. I have a Karsten check rest on a couple of my rifles; you'll really like it. Really Right Stuff makes some good, well, stuff. Their tripods are used by a lot of long range precision competitive shooters. Let's not overlook the Tikka itself. They are awesome rifles, incredibly smooth and accurate! Probably could have also gone with a HOG/PIG Saddle and skipped adding the plate to the stock. I'm not sure which would work out best in the end.
     
    Odaon likes this.
  3. TxSportsman

    TxSportsman Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Hey man, looks good. Heard only great things about those Tikkas. Anxious to see the paint. What's your scope?
     
  4. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    799
    Nov 30, 2015
    You can add a leather sling and it could double as a strop for your fiddlebacks.
     
  5. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Good to hear about the Karsten! I just need to trim up the bolts and I'll be set. I may end up with one of the RRS ballheads at some point. They looks pretty dang nice!

    The Tikka is awesome! Hard to beat at that price. The trigger is probably on of the best from factory trigger you can get.

    I looked at the saddle options, but I decided to eliminate the extra step since I use my tripod for glassing and now shooting. I can go tripod with binos right to rifle, instead of, binos to saddle to rifle. The plate also saves a little weight and space since we often hike 5-10 miles while we're hunting.

    Hoping to get more into long range shooting in the future. Very comfortable on this rifle for game out to 300-400 yards.

    The Tikkas can't be beat in my opinion! Paint should happen over the next couple days.

    I'm currently running a Vortex Viper 4-12x40.


    Not a bad idea!
     
  6. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    whelp.....if you miss.....no excuses
     
  7. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    I haven't missed yet! Haha.

    Not completely true, last year my buck took more than a single shot to kill. Technically I missed my mark on the first shot, but still. He's in the freezer at least.
     
    VANCE likes this.
  8. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Got the holes drilled and all sorted out. Still need to shorten the bolts a hair so they tighten down correctly, but it's getting there! Paint tomorrow!

    Needed to sharpen a pencil before I got to work on the stock. ;)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    hasco and Horsewright like this.
  9. M4Super90

    M4Super90 Biochemical Superfreak Platinum Member

    956
    Aug 26, 2008
    I snagged a Tikka T3 .270 synthetic on sale a few years back at Cabela's as a demo. With a coupon I had, it came out to about $375. Can't be beat for that price. I took a rattle can to mine as well, plus some broom straw and a mesh gym bag.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    That looks great! I hope mine turns out as good! Though I'll be going with a slightly different style.

    $375 is a smoking deal! I would buy another one at that price just to have around.

    Has that paint job held up for you? I was researching and considering doing a matte clear coat over the top, but I wasn't able to come up with anything solid. I will probably just try without it and see how it does.
     
  11. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Interesting wip Odaon, very cool. Really like the paint job M4Super90, which is surprising cause blued steel and walnut is my flavor of choice. However that is cool!

    Odaon I know nothing about painting rifles. However I do use a matte clear spray on all my elk sheds I process into scales for knife handles and I also use it on a specific damascus knife that does not have a handle. Deft brand has been head and shoulders above other brands I've tried. I have never noticed any flaking or wearing off even in very tough outdoor use. The others were leaking dye off the elk even under construction of the knife and dipping it to cool it down.
     
  12. M4Super90

    M4Super90 Biochemical Superfreak Platinum Member

    956
    Aug 26, 2008
    It dings and scratches as expected, but not as bad as you would think if you do a good degreasing job and surface prep before painting. I actually like the worn/beater look. However, the great thing about krylon is it takes about 2 minutes to touch it up if it bugs you. Personally, I don't bother. It just adds to the camo.
     
    Odaon likes this.
  13. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Thank you! I will likely try without the clear coat, mostly because of how much time I have. If I'm noticing it isn't holding up as well as I'd like I'll go back in after hunting and give it a coat.

    Hoping to get a good chunk of the painting done this afternoon!


    I'm planning on putting a bit of attention into de-greasing and prepping. From what I've read people suggest wiping down well with acetone or isopropyl, lightly sanding with 220, and wiping down again. Any other additions you would suggest?

    When I was looking into painting I saw a thread posted by a guy who painted his stock with Krylon and then recorded its wear over a period of time in which he was shooting a ton for competition. It wasn't too worn, mostly the griping and comb areas. He said something like, "Watch out for the guys with the ugly rifles in competitions", hah!
     
    Horsewright likes this.
  14. M4Super90

    M4Super90 Biochemical Superfreak Platinum Member

    956
    Aug 26, 2008
    No, that's it pretty much it. I did isopropanol, 200-ish, isopropanol, 320, isopropanol. Sandpaper only on the plastic. :D
     
  15. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Perfect. I'll only be painting the stock, everything else will be pulled off/out of the stock and gets to stay black. That'll add some masking tape work as well, but I think it'll turn out pretty cool.
     
  16. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    I hit everything with 2 coats about half hour to 45 mins apart and leave overnight. Ready to go. The alchohol will work better for prep, acetone leaves a residue.
     
    Odaon likes this.
  17. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Got all my sanding and de-greasing done last night. We had some company over which ate into my painting time. Planning on doing the paint job this afternoon.
     
  18. swonut

    swonut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 1, 2007
    Read the instructions on the paint can and follow them. Paints today are much less tolerant of mis-application than they used to be when the amount of VOCs were high enough that they could be used almost over any surface and stick to it. Not so today. Recoat times are very important and need to be followed closely. Good luck!
     
  19. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Good advice Swo, thanks!

    The process has started. I'm between coats right now, figured I'd give a quick update.

    Got everything masked up, hung it in a makeshift painting booth, and got to work!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More to come this evening and weekend.
     
    M4Super90 and hasco like this.
  20. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Here it is! Just needs to sit for a few days before I get to put everything back on it. I'll post up some glamour shots when I get it all back together.

    This color combo and pattern is a rip from one you can get on a Manners Composite Stock. I was considering buying one of their stocks, but figured I'd put that money towards my next rifle instead, so now I can sort of pretend I have a Manners at least. :D

    [​IMG]
     
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