August 18, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

The All-American Rifle Build

6 min read
Custom rifle build on wood pile

Topped off with Leupold Mark 4 6.5x20X

Title photo for custom rifle build
The All-American Rifle Build

I started collecting parts to build a bolt gun. Once I had collected all the parts and was in a position to send it off to Jon at Helix 6 Precision, I realized they were all made in America. Not only were they great parts but they were manufactured and sold by companies right here in the great US of A. This rifle shoots as good as it looks. Before I run down the components that make up this build, I’ll give a description of how it shoots. That is what you want to know anyways. Even though this is a lighter rifle, coming in at 12.8 lbs without the suppressor (and 13.6 lbs after I mount the TBAC Dominus Suppressor), this rifle can stay on target as I watch my impacts. Just an example, I had shot a few different types of 6.5 Creedmoor through it and got MV for two of them. I was able to take it out far enough to true the data in my Kestrel, but not really spend much time on it. Fast forward several months, and I am teaching a long range course and I broke it out during lunch. I shot 2 rounds at 430 yards to confirm my zero and DOPE, then turned towards the 1045 yard target. First round hit, spotting for myself. I shot a second round to confirm and hit that one too. This rifle out shoots me. Having the right equipment makes it easier, Applied Ballistics Kestrel and Horus reticled Leupold optic were the big contributors, but this rifle is smooooth. I didn’t take the time to really test the grouping capabilities of this rifle, but everything while zeroing and gathering data for different rounds was sub MOA. I run a bolt gun (less often than I would like) at work and this one is so much more enjoyable to shoot. I did replicate several features off my work gun that I found just work. I will break down the components that make up the All-American Rifle Build below.

close up of Helix 6 precision carbon barrel and falkor defense 7even action
Helix 6 Precision Carbon Fiber Barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor

This build all started with a barrel, 24” Helix 6 Precision carbon fiber barrel. I chose a 6.5CM button cut with a 1-8” twist. All of their barrels are uniformly manufactured allowing them to cut the blanks down to any length without any issues. It maintains a high carbon to low resin ratio for increased thermal cooling and weighs up to 50% lighter than a steel barrel of similar contour. They focused on accuracy first then weight reduction so you end up with some of the most accurate, carbon fiber wrapped  barrels in the world. I already had a Thunder Beast Arms Corporation Dominus suppressor for my other rifles, it was an easy decision to add another CB Brake to the end of this rifle. Once all the parts were assembled, I shipped them off to Jon to be built. 

close up of flakor defense 7even action
Falkor Defense 7even Action

Next I added a Falkor Defense 7even Short Action, 2 lug 90 degree throw in black nitride bolt. There are some standard industry features and some not standard features on this action. It came with the built in 20 MOA picatinny rail that includes an Integrated Self Leveling Scope system making mounting a scope a snap. A fluted bolt and bolt knob that can be removed for other options. There are directional raceway gas pressure ports at 3 and 9 o’clock for over pressure safety. A vertical side mounted bolt release that is stronger than the traditional horizontal version. There are plenty more specs you can geek out on for you numbers types. It has been very reliable for feeding, locking, extracting and ejecting.  This is one of the smoothest actions I have ever worked. It also looks really good with the carbon fiber barrel and Typhon Kryptek Grayboe stock. It ships in a case with custom cut foam, worthy of the price and quality of this action with the self leveling tool included.

falkor defense 7even action in the case
Falkor Defense 7even Action in custom case
close up of both sides of the timney elite hunter trigger
Timney Elite Hunter drop in Remington 700 Trigger

Every good rifle needs a quality trigger. I have been using a Timney trigger on my bolt guns since 2010. I like the quality and reliability that comes with it. I like the feel of Timney’s wider trigger shoe, so I chose the Elite Hunter Trigger. This is a drop-in ready trigger that you can select the pull weight before it ships and if you want a wide or narrow trigger shoe. It does have the ability to adjust the pull weight and over travel if so desired. As expected it is a smooth pull with a clean break.

image of grayboe ridgeback stock
Grayboe Ridgeback Stock in Kryptek Typhon

I was introduced to Grayboe “the People’s Rifle Stock” and selected the Ridgeback with AICS bottom metal to run my Magpul AICS 5 and 10 round PMAGs. It comes with an adjustable cheek rest and butt stock with an embedded level bubble just behind the action. Bottom metal includes a barricade stop in front of the magazine well and ambidextrous magazine release. The forearm has a wide flat base with MLOK on each side and the bottom for attaching compatible accessories. I added a Henderson Precision universal mount ARCA rail (these are the best quality and lowest priced rails I have found) to the bottom and a QD sling adapter on the left side. This stock has a vertical grip with a thumb shelf for the most comfortable and relaxed grip while shooting. There are two flush mounted QDs on the buttstock, one on the left side and one on the bottom for attaching your sling. The oversized adjustment screw for the cheek rest can be replaced with a low profile version for left handed shooters. The ergonomics and weight create a great feel when carrying or shooting this rifle. When Jon built the rifle, he painted the action, bolt knob, bottom metal and MLOK inserts gray to match the Kryptek Typhon wrap of the stock. This speaks to his attention to detail and pride in workmanship. 

close up of Atlas bipods and Area 419 ARCA clamp
ATLAS Bipod (BT46-NC) with AREA 419 ARCA Clamp mounted

 

For support, I selected the Area 419 ARCA lock clamp mounted ATLAS Bipods (BT46 NC). This is part of their Precision Sniper Rifle series bipods with adjustable tension for pan and cant mobility, with 5 locking positions for the legs reaching a height range of 5-94”. These things are just built tough, they handle the weight of the rifle and being loaded by the shooter, minimizing movement during recoil staying on target. With the Area 419 ARCA clamp I can slide the bipod  in and out along the ARCA rail or remove them for other support options, like a tripod. 

Custom rifle build on wood pile
Topped off with Leupold Mark 4 6.5x20X

I topped the rifle off with a Leupold Mark 4 6.5×20 scope with Horus reticle and MIL adjustments. I mounted the scope using Badger Ordnance scope rings because of their reliability. Also they are sourced and manufactured in the U.S. This scope is one of their older models but continues to be a reliable scope with enough magnification to see the distances that this rifle will reach. With the Horus reticle I was able to use a holdover at the 1045 yard target without having to dial in any MILs. 

Custom rifle build on concrete wall

So far, this is my favorite firearm in my collection. Not only for quality and aesthetics, but also because it is 100% Made in America. This rifle looks good and gets the hits. The separate components all seemed to have been designed for a great fit, really being put together well by Jon from Helix 6 Precision. The approximate retail price excluding the optic, suppressor and labor is just over $4,000, putting it on par with other custom builder pricing for similar quality and features. 

 

 

I received some of these products as a courtesy from the manufacturers via Spotter Up so I could test them and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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