20 Practical build - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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20 Practical build

Time to start getting ready to whack some PDs !! We do a DIY prairie dog outing every spring in WY....and I think I have a need for speed.

It's a start.......a pile of spiffy new parts. I'm LH so, I'm partial to Savage actions and this new 16 FLHSS fits the bill nicely as a donor.


S/S donor action torn down to polish.


All shiny like and ready for a new build.


Ready for base and rings

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 08:10 PM
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Re: 20 Practical build

I put together a .20P a couple years ago.


I used a blued Model 10 action though. It's one of my favorite guns to shoot woodchucks with but a little heavy at 13+ pounds. The weight makes viewing hits much easier but it's a little much for a walking gun.

What twist rate is your barrel? Mine is a 1:10, as I tend to lean more towards the heavy for caliber bullets. It just loves the 50 grain Berger's. Unfortunately, Berger discontinued those so I'll need to develop a new load within the next couple years.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 Practical build

That's awesome !!.

This is a 1:12 Shilen stainless select match.

I'll have an AR with me also (55gr Nolsers), I'm leaning toward 26gr Barnes (32gr max)so, I opted for the 12 twist.

I built a 20P on a SF 12VLP earlier in the year. It shot the 26gr Barnes great but, had problems getting them to feed.

I ran a few magazines into my 233 that's a CF, to see if that helped them chamber....it was WAY better so, I grabbed this CF 16FLHSS as the donor action.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 11:09 PM
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Re: 20 Practical build

My action is also a centerfeed, so they feed reliably as long as I'm not too gentle about it. Closing the bolt too slow will usually cause the tip of the bullet to catch on the edge of the chamber. The barrel is a 24", varmint contour, Shilen SSM.

I nearly built a 20br instead of the Practical. The ballistics of the 55gr Berger being pushed at the speeds the 20br is capable of is rather impressive. I'm pushing the velocity (and pressure) envelope for the 20P, with 50 grain bullets @ 3450 fps. I was shooting the 40 grain Berger's prior, at 3600 and change, but the 50's group better.

If I were to build another one I think I'd lean towards a walking varminter and keep the rifle weight, with optics, to below nine pounds. I'd also be inclined to go the route you're going and launch the lighter bullets. The selection of sub 40 grain bullets is much better than the 40 plus.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 Practical build

Mine is heavy for sure and we do a lot of hiking in on our PD outing but...once we're on the town and having a hoot...ya forget about lugging that log in...haha.

With my last 20P I was pushing 26gr Barnes just up over 4200fps with no pressure indications.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 Practical build

Is that a Boyd's ??
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 11:50 PM
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Re: 20 Practical build

Keystone Sporting Arms (KSA) from Stocky's Stocks.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 12:38 AM
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Re: 20 Practical build

I'm waiting to find a screaming deal on a 20 cal barrel that's a 11-12 twist and #3 or #4 contour to rebarrel my model seven. A really lightweight walking varminter is what I'm after. I have the heavies covered for long range, but that looks like a great gun for the dog patch.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 20 Practical build

Finally managed to get to the range.

Threw on bases/rings/scope I had around......don't have the base and rings I want yet.

Two shots to get it on paper, then this five using the load my old 20 Practical liked, just tweaked the seating depth to set .005" off the lands of this barrel.

Prairie Dogs beware.... .


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 11:14 PM
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Re: 20 Practical build

Lookin' good. Did you have a chance to chronograph those loads?

BTW; I think you're sitting on the wrong side of the bench...

And, as I always get told when I shoot groups, "You missed the bullseye."

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