NorCal Precision's 300WM

06 August 2006
By Mike Miller

This is my first article on the 300WM but my second run at building one. The first was built by NorCal Precision and shot many three shot groups at 1000 yards under .50 MOA. It was a fantastic shooter but I spec'd it just too heavy for the field. It had a 28" heavy barrel and heavy fill on the McMillan Target stock. It weighs more than a USMC M40A3 so my old rear end does not want to drag it out on other than static ranges. Great weapon but has not seen as much use as it should have. My fault. This weapon was built about five years ago and I have not done much with the 300WM since.

Recently I was thinking, and that's a dangerous thing, what caliber offered as much smack and high BC potential as possible for the least amount of money? And one more thing - it has to be offered in factory form as a true match round. So I went down my list:

Now that I had a caliber I needed the parts and a smith: The smith was picked as Jerry Rice of NorCal precision. He had built my last tack driving 300WM and the 300WM is one of his favorites. I knew his reamer and work would work with my loads already. This was a big help in load development.

The Parts were easy. Jerry had a KxP 26" flutted 1x10 twist, #7 taper barrel in stock. The same twist and brand as my last 300WM. KxP no longer exists but if you can find the barrels you will be happy. They are truly excellent. Jerry only works on Remington receivers so a Remington LA Magnum was picked up off the internet. Now this turned out to be a real money saver as the receiver was already clip slotted and included a DD Ross One piece scope base and DD Ross Floor Metal. I would have preferred Badger metal but I just about stole this receiver and parts at 550.00 shipped!

The stock was easiest of all, as the McMillan A5 has become my standard stock. It's simply the best design I have ever used for all around precision and field work. I picked standard fill with Flush Cup swivel attachments and one bipod stud. Jerry bedded this with his unique way of turning stainless steal pillars and Marine Tex. He feels the SS Pillars are tougher than the industry standard aluminum. I can't say one way or another as both have worked great for me.

With all the parts Jerry assembled the rifle in a couple of weeks. I took this time to get some 190 Grain Match ammunition from Black Hills ammo. This is the ammo I have used many times to shoot sub .50 moa in my 300WMs.

The rifle arrived and I put a Leupold MK4 M3 fixed 10 power scope on it. Remember this was designed for field use (I also have a sweet 3.5-15x50 NXS with MLR Reticle and Zero Stop for this). The whole package weighed in at about 14lbs.

Assembled I rushed to the range. I did the "fire one round and clean for twenty rounds" break in. Then started firing groups. The rifle shot under .50 moa with Black Hills 190 grain ammunition to 600 yards (farthest distance I had that day), with ease. I had to call it a day after around 100 rounds but found myself shooting it again a few weeks later. It was easy to carry and fun to shoot. Groups have stayed under .50 moa with factory ammunition. The barrel cleaned up easy and the whole thing felt like a standard 308 class rifle to carry.

The only things I would and will change are the One Piece Scope Mount and Floor Metal. I would use a Picatinny Rail next time as the one piece is a pain in the rear to move optics around. It's solid but old technology. The Floor Metal is solid as hell but these days I prefer to use Detachable Magazines and Badger makes the best I have used.

Since KxP is no longer in business I would just go with one of the other big names, if you wanted to build a similar rifle. There are so many great barrel makers out there I would not be able to pick what I think is the best right now.

Once I knew I had a great shooter I painted the whole thing with Dura Coat. This was simple and cheap. It's a two part system that requires an air brush, paint mask and well ventilated area. Pain in rear but tough and fairly cheap (about 25.00 in paint)

I saved money on this build by finding parts and doing the Dura Coat Paint myself.

Jerry builds a great rifle. Give him a shout if you need some work.

Jerry Rice can be reached in the following ways:
Postal / Shipping Address: NOR-CAL Precision
2004 Elliott Dr. American Canyon, CA 94503
Telephone: 1-(707)-552-3810
Fax: 1-(707)-558-8977

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