SLR15 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle Armorer Course, Springfield MO


When: February 5, 2020

Where: Springfield Missouri Police Dept

We conducted a 1-day (8-hour) Bolt Action Sniper Rifle Armorer Course that was hosted by Springfield MO Police Dept. This was our sixth time doing courses here, and we look forward to many more in the future. The training room offered plenty of table space, decent lighting, and a screen that allowed us to project some animated graphics of the weapons system, powerpoint detailed pics of gun parts, and especially when looking at finer detail things like machining, stress cracks & wear.

The weapons Officers brought to class were a mix of Remington 700's. Officers are welcome to bring whatever brands and models of rifles they wish to class, but we only have parts for the Remington, Savage, and Winchster/FN type rifles with us.

The Student base were all Law Enforcement Officers from all over Missouri.

We started with going through the course manual that all students are given. Students were supplied with their own set of basic tools that are necessary to do the work on their rifles. We also provided lots of gunsmithing/armorer tools, torque wrenches, gauges, borescopes, cleaning equipment, bore guides, vises, etc. All students were supplied with samples of Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lubricant and #725 Cleaner Degreaser, which allowed them to clean and lubricate anything that needed it. A short session of nomenclature was covered, at which time covered every feature and exterior piece of the rifles. We also went through the eight cycles of fire, function checks, and basic inspections.

Students field stripped their rifles. Once field stripped, proper maintenance was shown of where and what to clean, how to clean it, and why some areas need specific cleaning. Everyone was supplied with denatured alcohol, and swabbed out their barrels, which allowed them to borescope the inside. Everyone was allowed to up close inspect their barrels before cleaning them, which gave everyone a view of the rifling, fouling, what different types of fouling look like, areas of fouling, corrosion, erosion, etc. We discussed fouling of different types, and how it effects accuracy in sometimes a good way and sometimes in a bad way. With discussions on fouling, it is our recommendation that Snipers keep a log of their maintenance in addition to shooting log book notes, as over time they will start to see a pattern of how each individual rifle performs with what levels of fouling and maintenance, which may give them an idea of when and how to clean and to what level.

Everyone was allowed to clean their barrels if they wished, and were allowed to use different cleaning products and solvents. We showed different types of solvents, to include bore foam. We also supplied Barrett Heavy Bore Cleaner, and showed how well it works.

We showed several types of copper solvents, and showed the proper procedures for using these for fouling removal, and how to keep these from damaging things.

Note: One of the rifles in this class had been passed through several Snipers within the same agency over the last 2 decades. It was brought to class as it wasn't shooting consistent groups. I brought our new electronic borescope, which I hooked through my laptop computer and we took a look inside the barrel. This barrel showed lots of cleaning related damage at the throat/lead/free-bore area of the barrel where someone hadn't been using a bore guide. The barrel also had lots of erosion at the muzzle where someone had been scrubbing back/forth, instead of one direction of which we recommend (Slip 2000's Brush Buddy is a quick detach system for the cleaning rod, which after seeing the 2-way scrubbing damage that was inside this barrel, made everyone want to get a Brush Buddy system). The Officer who brought the rifle to class had been trying to convince his administration to rebarrel it for a long time, but administrators didn't believe him about the barrel damage. Using our new electronic borescope that was hooked into my laptop, he was able to get some great pics and video of what things looked like, with an emphasis of the damage. This barrel also was gauged for muzzle erosion, and found to be at .304".

There were a couple of rifles in this class that had suppressors on their rifles. I pulled out our bore straightness gauges, and showed people how and why to use these. I showed several examples of improperly installed suppressors and mounts, and we showed where this would cause issues. Everyone that had suppressors checked things, and found that theirs was in proper working order.

When done with the barrels, we moved into the bolt assemblies. Each type of bolt was covered for cleaning procedures. We then disassembled each type of bolt present. Firing pin assemblies were removed, cleaned, inspected, and we discussed replacement. Several different types of disassembly tools were supplied, and then we also simple field methods of disassembly. It is our belief that Snipers should know how to disassemble bolts in both the workshop and field, as if a rifle were to be dropped or something where it picked up debris like sand, that they can deal with it onsite when necessary. Firing pin assemblies were reassembled and checked for function.

We covered extractors, from issues to replacement. Everyone in this class that had Remington 700 rifles, had rivetless extractors. We supplied them with replacements, which allowed them to remove the ones they have and install new ones. We also covered the riveted extractors and their replacement. We went through inspection of bolt lugs and proper lubrication, with our recommended preference to a moly based lubricant on lugs and why, then people took advantage of applying some to their bolt lugs.

Next we covered the ejection systems. We had everyone do an ejection removal, maintenance, and installation using blocks, punches, and hammers. After the first time through, we supplied people with the Sully Ejector Tool, which works on the Rem 700, Savage type rifles in long action and short action, and AR10/AR308 single ejector variants as well. We also supplied them with the Sully AR308 Delrin Punches, these similar to the 5.56 version that we use in the AR15 / M16 Armorer course, they're made larger in diameter. Everyone put these to good use, making ejection replacement much easier when not using an ejector tool.

Everyone was shown how to remove their barreled actions from the stock. We discussed torque of the actions and inspected them before removal, a couple were found to be out-of-spec for torque, with several of them under-torqued, and a couple of them where the torque didn't have any pattern, we discussed how this may effect accuracy and consistency, along with stress. Everyone removed their actions from the stocks. We cleaned and inspected the stocks, pillars, bedding, lugs, hardware, bottom metal, magazine assemblies, etc. We showed different examples of pillars, bedding, recoil lugs, stocks, etc. Nobody had issues with stress on the pillars or recoil lugs. With the actions removed, we showed how the different trigger groups were mounted, their cleaning & replacement. We also showed the different adjustments of the triggers, and cautioned everyone to leave these within factory spec, and that if they are out of spec to contact the Manufacturer for service procedures. This warning is viewed from the Law Enforcement Sniper point of view of possible civil issues when something is out of factory spec.

Barrels were inspected for crowns, muzzle erosion, and headspace. We showed how to do minor crown repair, and discussed when crown damage needs to be remachined. We also showed several rifles with threaded barrels, and discussed using some type of brake, comp, flash hider, or suppressor mount, and how these do help protect crowns. We covered barrel materials, finishes, treatments like cryogenics, and barrel twist rates and how they pertain to accuracy of different bullets, loads and projectiles.

Lastly we moved into the scopes, mounts, and scope rings. We showed different types of scope bases, how these should be lapped, trued, and properly mounted (To include bedding). We showed how to properly mount scope bases & rings. This included a session on gauging for proper alignment. The misalignment of the scope rings causes stress on the scope, which can effect its performance and repeatability when dialing things around. We then showed how to lap rings, and why. We removed one scope from a rifle in class, and upon gauging it was found to be off left to right, and up to down, so this allowed us do a hands on realignment. These rings were then lapped, and found to have high & low spots. The scope was then remounted, gauged for proper alignment, and properly torqued. Lastly rifles were gauged and inspected to make sure they were in proper working order, and everyone understood that they needed to go to the range and recheck zero and function on the weapons.

Here is a brief course description:

The course covers the Precision Sniper Rifle systems of the Remington 700 series, Savage 10/110 series, and Winchester/FN 70 series type rifles. All students will have the opportunity to inspect their rifles and make any corrections in class to insure their rifle is in top working order. This is a hands-on class that will cover action disassembly & repair, proper torque of the action, extraction and ejection, maintenance, truing/lapping scope rings to maximize the performance of the rifle and optic, inspection of the pillars and bedding, and more.

This course covers:
History of the Weapon System
Cycles of Function
Armorer Disassembly & Assembly
Identification of Common Problems and Parts
Identification of Group Components
Stocks, Pillars, Recoil Lugs, and Bedding Inspections (Traditional, Synthetic, and SOPMOD)
Cleaning and Maintenance
Barrel Inspection
Ballistic Issues
Crown Repair
Parts Interchangeability & custom fitting
Firing Pin Protrusion
Trigger Removal, Cleaning, and Replacement
Chamber Inspection
Accessories and Customizing
Tool Options and Selection
Scope Base Mounting
Scope Ring Truing & Lapping

Greg Sullivan "Sully"
SLR15 Rifles
(763) 712-0123