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Old 06-22-2005, 05:24 PM   #1
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle

I recently received a custom rifle I'd ordered from Jim Brockman of Brockman's Rifles (www.brockmansrifles.com). Now that I'm an older fart of almost 47 and have enough time with rifles with rifles under my belt (including one exceptionally eye-opening Randy Cain Practical Rilfe course), I knew what I wanted to build, and I started out on a quest to have someone develop a short, handly rifle to my specs. This thread is about the rifle, and let me just cut to the chase and say, "I am one happy customer!"

I thought it'd be easy to get what I wanted done, but no one seemed to want to add iron sights to a custom rifle. The usual response was, "We don't add iron sights to our custom rifles!" My unspoken (I'm a nice guy, and there'd have been no point anyway) response was, "It's not YOUR custom rifle - it's MY custom rifle!" Anyway ... 'nuf of that. At Randy's suggestion, I contacted Jim, and ... well, this rifle is the result.

In a nutshell, this is a .308 that's basically one off Brockman's Ultimate Rifles, which you can see on his web page. I added a few bells and whistles to the basic rifle.

This rifle started life as a Winchester Classic 70 Compact. Now, the receiver wears a 20" barrel, composite stock, Talley bases and QD rings, ching sling, deeper bottom metal, a tritium-insert protected front site, and one of Brockman's own rear pop-up peeps that springs into place when the scope is removed. I went with a low-powered (2x7) Euro varialbe with a 30mm tube. Each of these is addressed in a followup post with a photo.

To start the ball rolling, here's an overall view of the rifle (and remember, I'm no Ichiro Superfotoguy!
Attached Thumbnails
Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0547.jpg  

Last edited by BigJon; 06-22-2005 at 05:54 PM.
 
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:45 PM   #2
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Its awesome. That extended magazine reminds me of Jeff Cooper's Lion Scout. I looked at Brockman's website and really impressed.

RIKA (wow!)
 
Old 06-22-2005, 05:49 PM   #3
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Guess I'll start at the top and go down.

The rifle is topped with a low-powered Euro Leupold in Talley QD mounts., no glowing reticle or any other bells or whistles. Actually, I had wanted an electronic reticle, but it was either that or the 30mm tube, but not both. I opted for the latter.

I also had a first-generation M1 (the ones on which the turrets turn the opposite way from the way they turn on subsequent models) in the safe, and I had Jim screw some QDs on that too, however I expect the little scope to stay on the gun for most, if not all, the time; the rifle is very light, so light in fact that changing the scopes yields a VERY noticeable difference in weight and handling.

Here's the little Leupold, mounted on the rifle ...
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0545.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 05:51 PM   #4
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... and for no reason other than I took a picture of it, the M1 in it's QDs.
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0551.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:03 PM   #5
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Brockman's already makes a front sight that was just what I wanted. Here's a photo of the tritium-insert protected front sight. Yea, I know it's out of focus, but that's just a product of old-fartdom that we'll just have to live with. There's a much clearer photo of the unit on Brockman's site.
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0543.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:09 PM   #6
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Here's the rear scope base with its integral pop-up peep. When I first scoped a Winchester short action, I found that I had to turn the rear base 180 degrees to get the little scope I was using at the time to fit. In the intended position, the rear base left too long a gap between the rings, and turning the rear base around was the only way I could find to close the distance so that both rings would grab the tube. The Brockman rifle arrived the same way - with the rear peep turned backwards. It's not a big deal to me, because I was used to topping off the magazine with the rear base turned around backwards when this rifle was in its factory state, but I had not thought that a custom sight would also have to be turned around instead of manufactured differently for the Winchester short action. Again, though, I am not complaining; the unit seems to function well, and as I said, I'm already used to this type of deal. So, here's the rear base ...
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0544.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:20 PM   #7
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Now, here's an item that, according to Jim, he'd not tried before (and I am quite certain he was humoring me.) From what I can tell, there are three ways to run a rifle bolt after the shot. The one most of us see at the range is the careful back, manually lift out the empty, and close. With a field rifle, though, one is more likely to be crankin' that thing open and closed hard! One way, by slappinig the bolt up, back, forward, and down with the palm of the hand works well for some folks, but I have the nagging problem of getting my friggin' ring finger caught between the bolt handle and the ocular on the return stroke, and let me tell you, thwacking your fingernail on a scope hurts! Cured me, so I opt the for the third method - taking a firm grip on the knob and running the bolt.

Badger makes a great oversized bolt knob, but on a little rifle like this, it would have looked like a tumor. I explained to Jim what I was looking for, and he came up with the bolt handle on his own. Here are photos of the handle. You can see that it sits away from the stock, but not so much that it detracts from the spartan size, shape and weight of the gun.
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0542.jpg   Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0550.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:27 PM   #8
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The stock is a composite. I can't remember the manufacturer; it may be a Brown Precision because Jim and I were talking about them one day on the phone - during one of his REGULAR calls to let me know the status of the project (gooooooood customer service, folks!) Nothing unusual about the stock, except of course for the Ching sling studs, and also a little light attachment I asked him to attach over on the left side of the stock (that's just where I like it).
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0546.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:34 PM   #9
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Fit and finish were tops, as were the mechanics. The trigger would be a bit heavy for most of you sniper types - around 3.5 pounds, but again, that's the way I wanted it, since this is a field gun, and as I said earlier - it's my friggin' rifle!

I also mentioned earlier that the receiver had come from an M70 Compact I had. A gunsmith had done a "trigger job" on it, and the gun crapped out during a hard run one day, failing to cock. The smith remedied the problem, but it was never the same - and yes, I did tell Jim that when I sent the barreled action to him. When he got started, he called to let me know that he'd experienced another first - the bolt came apart on him. He was able to weld, or somehow otherwise get everything back in strong shape, and a potential trip back to Winchester with the unit was avoided.

The action is very smooth, and the bolt turns down sweet, soft, and snug in the recesses.

The finish is black T. Jim called one day to let me know that the rifle would be delayed a couple of weeks because they'd used a third party to do the finish, and Jim said that there was a small place on the barrel that was not perfect. "Perfect" ... Cool. I came to the right place!

Every post has had a photo, so here's another. The engraving is sharp and, again perfect; the photo's blurry because of unsteady camera hand - solely.

The photo is also gratuitous - no purpose other than because, hey, this is my thread! My name's engraved on the other side, but I can't post a photo of that on the internet, or all the chicks will be hammering at my door.

Yea ... right.
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0549.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:38 PM   #10
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Finally, here's a photo of the bottom metal. The extended belly allows the mag to legitimately hold 7 rounds.
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Brockman "Practical" Rifle-dscn0541.jpg  
 
Old 06-22-2005, 06:44 PM   #11
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We'll head to the range soon, and I'll let you know how she performs. I can already tell you this, though - I would wholeheartedly, and without reservatio of any kind, recommend Brockman's Rifles to anyone who appreciates quality work and excellent customer service.

And now, only one more thing....

You may have noticed that a "B" is engraved on the bottom metal (foregoing photo). That doesn't stand for "Brockmans".

I actually had Jim build two rifles for me, identical in all respects except the lengths of pull and the names engraved on them. I did this because I owe a friend of mine my life. In some ways, he owes his to me. I am not a soldier, or an operator, and I have never been to war in the military sense. However, I have most certainly been engaged in the tough battles life throws in the way of us civilians from time to time, and my friend has always been there to back my ass up, as I have his. For this reason, I had Jim build an indentical rifle for my friend, and I gave it to him a dinner a couple of weeks back. He didn't know what to say. I told him he didn't have to.

Oh, and what does the "B" on the bottom metal stand for?

Brothers. And yea, there's a "B" on his rifle too.

Last edited by BigJon; 06-22-2005 at 07:01 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2005, 07:36 PM   #12
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Fine looking rifle you got back Jon.
 
Old 06-23-2005, 04:02 AM   #13
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Hey Jon, top notch rifle there.
It's nice to get EXACTLY what you want eh?

Oh, and a BRAVO on repaying your friend. A lot of people don't bother, and that's the difference between good friends and "brothers".
 
Old 06-23-2005, 07:02 AM   #14
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That's pretty. I like a lightweight bolt-action .308; it can do a whole lot of things awfully well.
 
Old 06-23-2005, 11:56 AM   #15
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Have had a couple of folks email me asking the same question, and I thought I'd follow up with the question and my answer. The question is, "Why didn't you just go with one of Brockman's stock scout rifle offerings?"

One reason (the lesser) is that I wanted some extras that didn't come on Brockman's package rifles, such as the modified bolt handle mentioned above. The other (the main reason), though, is that unless I have a picture hanger that's falling out of the wall and needs to be hammered back in, I have no use for a scout scope. It's certainly a very subjective thing, and I know that a certail Colonel and his disciples might think me nuts, but hey, I just can't use one any more quickly than a scope in the standard position, provided the latter is of low power - 2.5 probably pushing it on the high end. Light gathering is another problem with scout scopes, but that's not a big deal to me, at least not with this rifle's intended purpose - the little Leupold I have on the rifle doesn't gather much light either, with it's tiny objective, but it does do better than the scout scopes I've tried.

So, the bottom line is that this rifle is basically just one of Brockman's Universal Hunter models (which has the scope atop the receiver and no base on out on the barrel for a scout scope), with the aforementioned bells and whistles added.

Best,
Jon
 
Old 06-23-2005, 03:37 PM   #16
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Hey it's your rifle, you don't have to justify it to anyone but you.

I happen to disagree with the Colonel's idea of a scout rifle also. I don't particularly like scout scopes. Only use I found for one (Leupold 2.5x) is on one of my Mosin Nagants (M38) for hunting purposes. Reason for the scout scope is it doesn't interfere with the use of stripper clips, and it can be mounted without doing a hack job on the rifle.
 
Old 06-23-2005, 07:34 PM   #17
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nice rifle bigjon. i got only one question why 7 rounds? most states restrict you to 5 when hunting. like texas if you have room for seven, you have to block the magazine to only take 5 rounds. cool rifle though i like the irons on it.
 
Old 06-23-2005, 08:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neolithic hunter
nice rifle bigjon. i got only one question why 7 rounds? most states restrict you to 5 when hunting. like texas if you have room for seven, you have to block the magazine to only take 5 rounds. cool rifle though i like the irons on it.
Hi, neo. The rifle will be multi-purpose, and I always try to top off when safe and practical to do so during a course of fire, and the extra two rounds is nice to have in case that gets delayed.

Best,
Jon
 
Old 06-24-2005, 03:50 AM   #19
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Neolithic. . .is that restriction for manually operated guns? Most states only have a 5 round limit on semiautos.

I always thought it'd be cool for varminters to have a bolt rifle with a nice, sturdy built-in bipod and a 75 round drum. . .
 
Old 06-24-2005, 09:40 AM   #20
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they haven't put the restriction in the new tpw books, but on discussing it with some of the tpw dept folks i know, it's a 5 round limit for all firearms, excluding handguns and shotguns, even if its not in the book. they say there is talk going around tpw to dis-allow all firearms smaller than .243 for deer and other hunting. so it looks like some of the guys i've talked to, and they tell me how well there 22-250 works on deer will have to use a larger caliber to hunt with. i think this will actually be for the better. as most states aready dis-allow anything smaller than .243. there is nothing worse than a slob hunter, unless it's a slob hunter using a .22 cal. rifle.
 
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