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Yesterday I stopped by a local shop to help a buddy pick out some stuff for his first AR. As he was looking things over I saw what I knew had to be a Pro Hunter Mountain sitting on a rack that is almost entirely used rifles. Dreading the price I picked it up anyway and never put it back down. It was is so lightly used that I couldn't tell whether it had been shot other than some very light fouling in the barrel. The price was close to half of retail and the caliber was .260 WIN, a caliber that I have wanted. The problem was that the funds weren't in my pocket and I have a rule against using plastic to pay for guns. Luckily for me I had a used Weatherby MKV in 7mm-08 on layaway that was the exact same price. As the shop allows for one switch on a layaway I went with the Steyr. Since then I have decided that the decision was a no-brainer. I can always get a Weatherby.

That said, I have a few concerns. As I examined the rifle the synthetic stock had a lot of flex at the barrel out towards the end. It really surprised me. I really like the stock otherwise and am wondering if that flex is normal/typical for that rifle. The barrel is free floating but there was quite a bit of side-to-side flex. Is this a stock that can be bedded to remove the flex?

Also, the rifle only comes with one detachable mag. My only other bolt action that has a detachable mag is a SIG SHR 970 and I wasn't comfortable until I had multipe mags for it, so I have to assume that it will be the same for the Steyr. Availablity (and I'm assuming price) seems to be a big problem for this rifle. As is the case with my 970, do mags for this rifle hold multiple calibers? The .260 WIN is basically a necked down .308 so I have to wonder if the same mag would be used for the .260. I really need to find and acquire the right mags. Steyr doesn't even list .260 WIN for the rifle so I'm hoping that the mag that works for the .260 includes other more common calibers for the rifle.

Thanks for any info. I hope to pick the rifle up in the next few days. The next question is what scope to put on it. I was told that the guy who previously owned the rifle owns a lot of guns and shoots them little, and based upon the 4x36 Eurolux scope on the rifle I can believe that.

Also, any idea of what the proper torque is for the action screws?
 

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Good pick on the rifle!

SteyrArms is your first best source for mags. Check their web pages.

CDNN still has some, not a lot, of Pro Hunter mags. I don't remember seeing 308s in the mix, which figures, as they'd go fast to people just like you.

Enjoy your weapon!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree that SAI will be the best chance for another mag. The .260 WIN was discontinued by Steyr so it won't be easy. I recall CDNN having Pro Hunter mags but now that I have one they don't. Figures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have communicated with my go-to dealer for magazines who has Pro Hunter mags in other calibers and he suggested (without me mentioning it first) that the .308 mag should work. It would make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just as an FYI, I acquired a .308 mag for my .260 REM Pro Hunter. The .308 mag and .260 mag are identical other than the caliber markings. I would expect the .243 mag to be the same as well.
 

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I have always been keen on a Prohunter in .260rem but by the time I had my ducks in a row it was discontinued and I could not find a used one, let alone a new one. Maybe someday Steyr will chamber in 260 again. After all, the 260 rem is picking up in popularity.

I would not worry about mag availability.
 

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Storm, I presume? :p - the .308 and .260's should interchange easy. I saw a .308 mag recently (on a .308 scout at a gunstore), it was identical to my Scout's magazine.

Oh, from the other discussion - I wound up getting a Scout in 7mm-08, then realized the pencil-barrel and light-gun was a bit much, plus the inability to find 7mm-08 at a decent $$ (Privi 7mm-08 isn't at any of my locals). So, I'll likely be putting it here in classifieds if I can't sell it off locally (live in the Gun-friendly Granite State).

SAI is your best bet for mags, otherwise check Gunbroker.com too. They sometimes have mags available...Cheers!
 

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I know this is a late response to the question but thought I would add this for future viewers benefit. The torque on a Pro Hunter stock is 7 NewtonMeters (Nm)....that equals to 62 inch pounds. I do this in 10 ip increments just because I get anal about details. The stock can be bedded and many owners have had good success doing so. Be advised the stock will be heavier and could throw the balance off if enough bedding is applied. One solution to stiffness is to add aluminum shafts down in the webb of the stock...making sure the barrel has no contact....then just apply bedding at the ends of the shaft. This will make the stock stronger with little weight added.
 

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Jester - Good to know about the action screw torque settings - most I presume have run off of Scout torque settings, which are upwards of 80 in/lb.
 

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I have the same questions on the forarm flex, is this typical or just a fluke? Can I test the flex in the store or just when you shoot? I'm in the market for my first bolt action and ran across a Pro Hunter SS Mtn in .243 for $650, is this a good deal as it's advertised as at "dealer cost". I'm also looking at a new Sako M75 in .280 for $800 so I'm trying to decide between the two. Also on the shorter Mtn barrel os the accuracy the same as the longer barrel? Any info on both would be great. Thanks
 

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From my observation this problem afflicts all Pro Hunter stocks. It is common in all composite stocks unless they have an aluminum bedding block regardless of manufacture. My HS Precision and B&C stocks are completely rigid with the aluminum blocks in them. The flex in the stock will affect accuracy the most when shooting off bipods or resting on shooting bags near the forend. I personally think guns like the two you have mentioned should come with premium stocks but in order to keep costs down some items are skimped on. Another reason the stocks are webbed inside instead of solid is to cut down on weight. I took a stock off a Remington VTR that was about equal to a wiffle ball bat. The two guns you are considering are both premium rifles at very good prices. You did not state the intended use of either caliber. I would use the 280 for large game and the 243 as a varmint/target rifle. The 280 is a nice round but not as many factory loadings to choose from.....its a great round for reloading tho. I have read the Sako 75 is a better gun than the 85 but have no personal experience with either.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think that the flexibility of the stock might be a bit less of an issue for European shooters who I am told tend to hold the rifle closer in on the forearm (as i do) which tends to minimize flex. The serios issue is with shooting with a bipod or rest, as has been mentioned. My understanding is that the black stocks have less flex. I plan on building up a ProHunter stock and have just ordered a gray one for $56. I think that the rifle (mine in .260) will be well worth the effort. There are no aftermarket options that aren't exhorbitant in price. I wish that Bell & Carlson made something for the Steyr. Of course, had Steyr put a stock on the ProHunter like the one on my SIG SHR 970, there would be no issue. Rifles like these deserve a good solid platform.
 

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I have black and grey stocked Steys. The black stocks are much stiffer, but also weigh more. In my experience I've seen no difference in accuracy off of sticks in Africa, nor at the bench. I have seen it when shooting from a bipod and what gave it away in the first place was the first time I cranked down on the gun in a Hasty sling and saw everything move. See the post just below on Stiffenening these stocks. McMillan makes a stock with adjustable cheekpiece but it is quite pricey and only good for the mid (.308) length cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hairbol, thanks for your comments. While I plan to be strengthening a gray stock I am beginning to wonder why I would even bother. Honestly, with the unusual swivels I'm not even sure what kind of bipod would attach in the first place. The second stock that I have acquired doesn't even come with the swivels. As it looks now this rifle will be be shot without a bipod and at most using a bench rest, so I wonder if accuracy will even suffer enough to justify the effort of stiffening up the stock that is on the way. I suppose that I could install conventional swivels that would allow the use of the bipods that I'm familiar with. Which bipods could be used with the factory swivels, assuming the bipod attaches via the swivel point?
 

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Millet (who makes the swivels/sling holders) sells adapters to use standard QD attach hardware. Frankly you may be right. The only reason I even found out about the stock issues was that a stock I had developed a crack after 2X trips to Africa and lots of hours being flexed riding next to me in the truck muzzle down and hard against my leg. It was replaced no questions asked with a black stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm thinking that one way or the other, even if I never use a bipod, I will go ahead and strengthen the new gray stock that will be delivered on Tuesday. BTW, the stocks are available from Numrich for $56. Bipods are nice, but when I bench I tend to use a single point rest so it can be placed further in on the stock even with an unmodified stock. The stock mod should be a fun project. I found some photos of one stock mod that may be more extensive than what I'm willing to do. I think that laying two steel rods (Titanium would be great) into the structure inside of the stock and locking it in with bedding compound would be adequate. Anchoring it into the structure around the front pillar might be the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My ProHunter stock arrived yesterday. I hadn't pulled the action from my rifle so I wasn't sure what I would have to work with inside in terms of installing the steel rods. As it turns out it is very narrow in there with two segmented "channels" running down each side. After opening up the segment walls the rods will fit perfectly. I was originally going to use .25 inch rods but noticed how much flex they had. I decided to go with 5/16 inch rods. It should be interesting. My only concern is the added weight to the front of the rifle messing up the balance.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yesterday I did the mod to the second stock. It turned out to be a fairly easy project. The 5/16" steel rods fit in beautifully into the channels cut into the horizontal ribs running off the midline rib running the length of forearm. A Dremel was used and the cutting tool was pretty much created a U-shaped 5/16” channel. I eyeballed it to make sure the rods sat at the same depth and could be encapsulated in the bedding. The rods fit snug between the interior sling attachment fixture and the rear wall, the back one of two rear walls. There was no way to extend the rods any further back or further forward without eliminating the sling attachment mount. I had intended to use Devcon Plastic Steel to set the rods but instead opted for JB Industro Weld which is shop sized supply of JB weld. The surfaced of the rods were roughed up and the as well as the interior of the stock to aid in adhesion. The stock interior was washed with denatured alcohol to degrease and/or remove any releasing agents. The weld was laid into the channels/recesses with the rods then pressed in the weld oozing up around them. The fit was snug but there was enough room for the weld to seep down the sides of the rods if there were any gaps. More weld was then laid on the top covering the rods making sure to stay below any level that would cause contact issues with the barrel. Masking tape was used to protect areas of the stock where the weld wasn’t to go and the exterior of the rifle. It was just a bit of a messy job. The weld cured for 20 hours.

The result is a stock where the flex has been reduced by 60% or better. It's really hard to say, but it's one heck of a lot better. It will certainly be good enough for a bench rest and possibly a bipod, but a bipod really isn’t planned for this rifle. I didn’t shoot the rifle before now so I won’t be able to say anything about accuracy improvements short of putting the old stock back on. No matter, when I originally saw the flex when I bought the rifle I decided that it wouldn’t stand and that I would do something about it. I’m not sure how I could have eliminated the flex entirely. I don’t think that running the rods all the way forward would have mattered or been advisable.

So, the total investment was $56 for the stock, $3 for the rod, and $20 for the weld, and three hours of my time on a day off. To me the improvement is well worth the investment. Unfortunately the only photo that I was able to take was the stock masked with tape ready for the Dremel. BTW, multiple layers of tape also protected the stock from times when the Dremel slipped and would have marred the finish where it would have been visible. In retrospect a final overlay of Duct tape would have been a good extra precaution that fortunately wasn’t needed.
 

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It sounds like you have done an excellent job. There is nothing like taking pride in a job well done. As far as your cost....you did what a gunsmith would charge $150 to do. I also found if you have any drips in the barrel channel just use a wooden dowel the size of the groove wrapped with sandpaper to smooth it out. Don't sand down the contact point unless you intend a full bed job tho.
 
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