Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#13260417 - 11/06/18 Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
After moving to Alaska from northern Maine in 2002, all I had down there was a 30-30 mod. 94. A BLR 358 was my first big game hunting rifle. Many rifles have come n gone, but the 358 being most similar to what I grew up carrying, always stayed. Whenever any hiking up elevation is involved, my 9.3x62 carbine gets a little heavy at 8.25 lbs scoped. The 9.3 would be an impossible cartridge for a lightweight rifle, as the recoil is too brisk. After 20 shots of my 300 grain handloads, I realize quickly that I wouldn't want it any lighter. So started the BLR project, as a lighter weight alternative, offering 75% of the power of the ole 9.3. A Kimber Montana is out of the question, as would any bolt action because I still need a rapid-repeating deer rifle for the thick woods of Northern Maine.

As my gunsmith buddy was carving some fine walnut for a big-bore double rifle, we did a little mindless work on an ugly rifle. There is a little over 1lb of needles bullsht on the rifle. The recoil pad feels like a lead ball, and all that over-engineered stuff in the forearm mounting system as well. From the factory, the butt stock is significantly hollowed. We took some metal off the hammer, as it's too wide. The recoil pad was replaced with a piece of EVA foam, same stuff thats the handle on fishing poles. It weighs nothing. Some 550 cord sling loops, a 2.5x Leopold ultralight, and some Talley light-weight rings, the rifle is sitting at 6 lbs 12 oz scoped. With 44 grains of reloader 10x under a 250 grain A-frame, I'm getting 2400 fps. The recoil is not bad at all. I've shot 275 grain woodleighs at 2200 fps, 200 grain accubonds at 2700 fps. None of those handloads recoil bad either. 100 rounds of any full power load, is easily done. I once rattled through 200 rounds of speer 250 grain target loads in one session, and my shoulder was fine. By the last 50 rounds, I became bored so started shooting targets at 350 yards. I ran out of rounds before I realized that the 2.5 fixed scope was of sufficient magnification. Random thoughts: Woe is the pathetic sucker who affixes a 50 mm objective belled scope to a hunting rifle.

Anybody contemplating a scope for a 358, the Leopold fixed ultralight is the best. I used to run a 1.75-5 or a 2-7. These scopes were used on 3 bull moose using a 358 win. In every instance catching a moose, the scope was on the lowest power. The simplicity of a fixed scope really adds to the allure of this gun. At 6 ounces on my scale, I can't think of a lighter scope. The ocular lenses housing is smaller, which allows better access to the hammer, a much better designed scope for any lever gun.

Having hunted and run thousands of miles of rivers and lakes in Alaska with a 358 over the past 15 years, I suppose it's my favorite cartridge. It's the ultimate canoe carbine, and a pretty darn handy mountain rifle too.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 11/06/18.
300 BP

#13260484 - 11/06/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 659
yukon254 Offline
Campfire Regular
yukon254  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 659
Yukon Terrirory
I like the way you think mainer. I had a 358 BLR for awhile but sold it when I had some failure to fire issues. I figured out after I sold the gun that it was actually my fault. I was pushing the shoulders back to far when I reloaded. It was an accurate rifle, and I love the way they look. My son in law has a stainless BLR in 308. I borrowed it a couple of years ago when I had to pack a moose off the side of a mountain by myself. That version seems to me a lot lighter than the blued version? I do know it was a dream to carry with a backpack full of meat. I am seriously thinking about selling some guns to finance the purchase of a takedown BLR in 358 before they stop making them. I have killed a lot of game with the 358 and it is a good one. Those little fixed power leupolds are the only scopes I buy. I've got two of them and they are perfect for any hunting I do and for your application there isn't a better choice. Wish I had access to a good smith like you do.

#13261915 - 11/06/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,128
Jason280 Offline
Campfire Ranger
Jason280  Offline
Campfire Ranger

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,128
Looks good!

I know what you mean about the fixed power scopes, my BLR in .358 has a Leupold 1.75-6x and it generally stays set at 4x.

#13264360 - 11/07/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
Heya Jason, nothing wrong with an adjustable scope. But when going lightweight, by gully is a fixed power scope lightweight: 6oz. Most of my adjustable scopes have been over twice that weight. Same with my burris 2.75x scout scope, darn thing is only an ounce more:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbt...ng-1895-scout-rifle-project#Post13233780

#13264707 - 11/07/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 297
mogwai Offline
Campfire Regular
mogwai  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 297
How is the fore stock attached?

Alpha

#13264741 - 11/07/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 83
Loosecat Offline
Member
Loosecat  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 83
New Zealand
Cool - I'm very curious about the forearm as well! I agree on the leupold 2.5 for sure. 1-4x20 VX2 if one cant be found.

#13266018 - 11/08/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
I just used a flexible epoxy from my boat building shop. On a savage 99 358 Winchester, I had a forearm screw strip out, so used permatex/right-stuff gasket maker as a field repair when my son and I caught a caribou and a moose. Later, when the gun smith put a new finish on the thing, he had a bear of a time separating that forearm. I cant find much reason to remove the forearm off this beat-up rifle.

You can use 5200 fast cure adhesive sealant, gasket maker, or epoxy or glass bedding compound. It will improve accuracy on the BLR. One little thing people dont realize on the BLR, is that stoopid piece of aluminum bouncing around under recoil, running parallel with the barrel, could RUIN accuracy. How you can tell: You get great groups when you have a tight grip in field positions, but then the rifle won't even hit a 10" pie plate off a solid rest. The harmonics of that long aluminum tube when firing from a solid rest..........silly business.

Random thoughts: That glossy clear coat is the most hideous thing I've ever seen on a rifle, geeze I wish they'd stop doing that, took me 15 years to alder-polish that sht. Another alternative is 5 minutes with some steel wool.

Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 11/08/18.
#13266071 - 11/08/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
Some observations on handloading for the 358 BLR: the throats seem to be a bit short, as are the magazines. Standard COAL will probably be your only choice. My Savage 99 358 was a little more forgiving. I've no use for a bolt action 358, so those extended length loads mean nothing to me.

On the 250 grain Swift A-frame, the cannalure is perfectly placed, so as not to impede powder capacity. You may have to trim back the necks, to use the cannalure, and have sufficient clearance from the lands and grooves. The lee trimmer tool for the 358 trims back perfectly.

On the lee factory crimp die, grind off a little bit of the shell holder, so that the die crimps exactly at the top of the neck.

On the 200 grain accubond: Same deal. Because the ogive is overly long, you'll have to trim back the brass, then crimp well.

The slop of rotating bolt lock-up, is very unforgiving to improper head spacing. I can only guess that if you bump the necks on a BLR, the firing pin won't fully engage the primer. Only seat primers with a hand priming tool, don't slam them in there with a press. Don't bump the necks, adjust your die so that it fully resizes the case, but doesn't touch the shoulder. I had failure to fire with full length redding dies, when bumping the necks. The die is fine, when adjust to not bump the necks.

My loads:
Resized lapua 308 brass, CCI standard bench rest primers:

42 grains reloader 10x, 275 grain woodliegh: 2200 fps
44 grains reloader 10x, 250 grain swift A-frame: 2400 fps
46 grains reloader 10x, 200 grain Nosler Accubond: 2700 fps

Random thoughts: I don't like slower burning TAC in the 358, no matter what any chubby, soft handed gun magazine author has to say about it.

With 10x, I've witnessed some of the lowest deviations in velocity, than any other powder I've ever used. 10x has been the powder I've used, to put away thousands of lbs of moose and caribou meat. It's very close in velocity to reloader 7x, but with far less pressure. I've used it in a 375 winchester model 94 using 255 grain barnes Originals for 1850 fps, and my 41 caliber wildcat off the 9.3 case for 2400 fps with 350 grain Swift A-frames.

Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 11/08/18.
#13267709 - 11/09/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 234
Blu_Cs Offline
Member
Blu_Cs  Offline
Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 234
Georgia, USA
Mainer, I like this thread, sage advice thanks for sharing. Am working on a similar concept for a .358W but in a bolt.


Mahatma Gandhi on 7 deadly sins: wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce or business without morality or ethics; science without humanity; religion without sacrifice; and politics without principle.
#13267776 - 11/09/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 753
abbydog Offline
Campfire Regular
abbydog  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 753
Connecticut
I hope to shoot a whitetail next week with my new .358.

Bravo

#13267780 - 11/09/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 753
abbydog Offline
Campfire Regular
abbydog  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 753
Connecticut
I hope to shoot a whitetail next week with my new Browning BLR in .358.

#13268558 - 11/09/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: abbydog]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
abby, I couldn't think of a better deer gun. Rapid repeater for tight woods, ready for the 300 yd shot across a field. Light weight for a hard day's tracking.

I'm not much into deer hunting anymore, but I've stood helpless as a 12 point, winter hardened white tail that probably weighed 400 lbs or more, leaped n bound at 50 mph away from me, in about year 1999. My 30-30 was rendered useless and I was outsmarted.

There was a 150 yd x 1 mile long stretch of cedar swamp that ran parallel with a back road and a mile-wide hay field. This would've been on the Moro Road, in Dyer Brook, Maine, about 30 mins drive from the Canadian border. It was first snow aright around this time in November, and I tracked this buck from a forested apple orchard at first light, right into that Swamp. It was one of the hardest stalks I ever put on an animal. spruce and cedar thickets so dense, you couldn't make out 5 yds in front of yah. Knee deep muck, but a very slow-hooved track. As if the gargantuan buck was teasing me, as if to say: "Welcome to my territory, no need to rush". Finally, I had this buck cornered, he broke for the field, rather than crossing a road.

I busted out of this thin stretch of cedar, lined up on em in the hay field. I was helpless, as the range was greater than 200 yds. I lowered the trigger back to half cock, lowered my rifle. I watched that buck, leap n bound for a mile of hay field, and eventually into the woods. Looked as big as a Morgan horse with antlers. I was a teenager at that time. In the moment, I was half filled with sorrow at the failure, but invigorated with respect and appreciation for the experience.

Later, closer to rut, the neighbor caught that 12 point buck right from the road, standing around a herd of does, 300 yds off in a hay field. Stepped out of his mini-van with a scoped 30-06 after running the kids into school. Off to the left of this photo, is where I'd enter those woods n stock those bucks right into the cedar swamp:
[Linked Image]



Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 11/09/18.
#13268585 - 11/09/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
The boots and attire is more important than the rifle though. Wool, for the quietest of stalking. Maine guide shoe, for the softest of foot over a twig. All boots dressings are worthless. Dress those soft soled guide shoes with toilet bowl wax ring, softened with bear fat, colored with a little brown leather polish.

The north country was always the back yard for many ah southern new Englandar. An 8 hour drive for the flat-landers down Boston way. They always came in "real tree camouflage", or some other outrageous pattern. Remembering the scoffing from uncles, father n grandfather, to this day, I can't bring myself to wear that new age sht, for fear of ridicule!

#13341247 - 12/07/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,366
RJM Offline
Campfire Tracker
RJM  Offline
Campfire Tracker

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,366
Rochester, N.H. USA
Several years ago a friend was taking a flying trip to Alaska and needed something "discrete" but powerful enough for bear while camping at remote airstrips....

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


These had been discontinued at the time but found one on line... Believe he is using Hornady 250 round nose.....

Bob


If you can not deal with reality, reality will deal with you....
#13365269 - 12/16/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,331
Rustyzipper Offline
Campfire Regular
Rustyzipper  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,331
Misery
Never had a BLR but aways wanted one. Only in .358 Winchester and takedown. Similar to the one above. Thanks for the info in this thread. It gave me some insight into the BLR that is gained only through experience. Rusty


DRSS
Eagle Scout '70
Annual NRA
NMLRA Life
Corrections Ret.
BWA










#13366558 - 12/16/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,399
M1Garand Offline
Campfire Regular
M1Garand  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,399
Central Michigan
I've had my .358 BLR for 15+ years now and it's one of my favorite rifles and cartridges. I just picked up some 200 AB's and loaded them up with MR2000 as the data shows some decent velocities, I won't know until I run them over the chrony. I've had pretty good luck with TAC and last thing I shot using it was a doe at about 200 yards with a 200 Hornady around 2550 fps. In one side and out the opposite shoulder. I've actually had pretty good results, maybe better, with Xterminator in it and my 356 Win. I've never had a misfire in mine.

#13371061 - 12/18/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
mainer_in_ak Offline
Member
mainer_in_ak  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 111
M1, I've run mr 2000 in the 358 with 200 grainers, and it was too slow of a powder for the 358, being slower burning than even rl 15. Most i saw was 2200 fps with a full case.

Find a reliable burn rate chart and pick powders similar to reloader 10x

#13372039 - 12/18/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,132
pete53 Offline
Campfire Ranger
pete53  Offline
Campfire Ranger

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,132
I own now 3 BLR`S all 3 shoot wonderful,i do not own a takedown BLR yet but I think for the new year I will order a new BLR take down but I might get a s.s. 30-06 BLR takedown just because ammo is easier to find in the bush. nice post great pictures guys ,thank you,Pete53

#13377630 - 12/20/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,399
M1Garand Offline
Campfire Regular
M1Garand  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,399
Central Michigan
Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak
M1, I've run mr 2000 in the 358 with 200 grainers, and it was too slow of a powder for the 358, being slower burning than even rl 15. Most i saw was 2200 fps with a full case.

Find a reliable burn rate chart and pick powders similar to reloader 10x

Do you remember what kind of velocities you were getting? I have 10x but both IMR3031 and Xterminator have done well for me and TAC has been hard to beat with the 200s. I haven't seen much data for 10x in the 358. I saw some with the 338 Fed and 200's with the max around 38.5, so 46 seems like quite a jump so I plugged into Quickload to get an idea of what I'm looking at. Adjusted for velocity, your loads got this FYI:

200 AB 46 grains - 2702 fps at 64,426
250 Swift 44 grains - 2409fps at 69,711
275 Woodleigh 42 grains - 2210fps at 55,847



#13380428 - 12/21/18 Re: Ultralight BLR 358 Win Project [Re: mainer_in_ak]  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 96,097
Steelhead Offline
Campfire Oracle
Steelhead  Offline
Campfire Oracle

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 96,097
TAC in a 358 worked just fine for me. We can't all be Maine smart I guess.


"Dear Lord, save me from Your followers"
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  RickBin, SYSOP 

AIH 160
Who's Online Now
435 registered members (1234, 163bc, 12344mag, 007FJ, 57 invisible), 1,365 guests, and 595 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod









Fish & Game Departments | Solunar Tables | Mission Statement | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | DMCA
Hunting | Fishing | Camping | Backpacking | Reloading | Campfire Forums | Gear Shop
Copyright © 2000-2018 24hourcampfire.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.077s Queries: 15 (0.004s) Memory: 1.0722 MB (Peak: 1.3501 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2019-08-17 17:46:11 UTC