25-243AI Wildcat Build


This project started off with me wanting to make a somewhat personal Deer rifle for my son.

I started with the best match bullet I could find, of course these were Berger 115 gn bullets

I then started tinkering with various changes to the Lapua .243 cartridge trying to optimize this for a .257 bullet.

The final design was sent off to Dave Kiff

Custom Wildcat reamer from Dave Kiff (Pacific Tool and Gauge )

The first version of this rifle was built with a Gaillard 1:10 twist .257 medium wt bbl, finished at 24 inches (Gaillard Barrels.)

The first action was a Stiller Tac 30 that I obtained from Robertson Composites, the stock came from Stocky's stocks and is a beautiful thumbhole Laminate.

Robertsons Composites (Nepean, Ontario)

Stillers Precision Firearms

Stocky's Stocks

Jewel BR trigger set to 3.5 lbs

All gunsmithing, including the design and bedding of the barrel block (F-Class version) was performed by Francisco Abusaid of Omega Custom Guns (Omega Custom Guns ) . Francisco and I have been shooting IPSC together for several years and he is well respected in Toronto as an expert custom pistolsmith. Francisco is a master machinist and intuitive gunsmith the results were outstanding.

After working up hunting loads, and spending considerable time learning how to prepare match brass for this cartridge, I was impressed by its inherent accuracy potential. The next step was to perfect brass forming, and create a F-Class version of this rifle


The F-Class rifle has the following components:

Shilen .257, 1:9 twist Match bbl., 1.25 inch straight tube (no contour), finished at 30 inches

This was imported by Jerry, at Mystic Precision

Mystic Precision


Barnard Action, Trigger (P08 in .308 boltface), and stock supplied by Robertson Composites

Barnard Precision

Seb Coaxial front Rest, with F-class feet and heavy pegs by Bob Pastor at Viper Rests

Viper Rests

Seb Coax Rests

Nightforce Benchrest 8-32x scope on High TPS rings, despite the rings, we still had to chamfer some of the barrell block to get it to fit.

NightForce Optics ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Some pictures of the rifle in the workshop

On the Range

On the first day at the range I developed 3 loads, the best results came from the following:

Reloader 19, 48.2 gn

Berger 115gn VLD

Lapua formed cases, with necks turned.

Bullets just touching the lands

Mvel 3200fps

Here is the first group at 100 yards, after the final sighter the scope was zeroed to centre and 4 shots fired, after subtracting for the bullet diameter the groups size was measured as 0.25. These shots represent the 6,7,8,9,10th shots ever fired thru this bbl.

This group is at 300 yards and measures 1.1 inches

Some Range Data