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One for the gunsmith's - mod for .308 rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by DeanMk, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Thinking it would be nice to have a newer bolt action in .358 Winchester.
    Granted I could search the used market for an old Model 70 (I think Remy did a 700 for a while in .358, too), but I was thinking something along the lines of a Ruger, or maybe even a CZ, but really, I'd be happy with anything.
    For the gunsmith's out there, could any .308 be easily modded into a .358, or are there certain things I should look for in a donor rifle?


    Dean
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Check out JES reboring. They are in Oregon and are apparently really a good source of information. I would avoid ultralight barrels to make sure there is enough meat on the barrel for the larger bore. I would generally check with the reboring company for the best info...
     
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  3. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking in the direction of a rebarrel, but is that all that is required?
    What about the rest of the gun?
     
  4. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    A .358 Winchester is simply a .308 necked up to accept a .358 diameter bullet. The action length is the same, the bolt face is the same, and the mag length is the same. The benefit of reboring is that is can be cheaper in the long run (when you add up new barrel and installation/chambering service) and the barrel profile remains the same, so you don't have to change the stock inletting.

    A quality barrel is around $250+, and the installation service can run another couple hundred. Reboring is about $250 plus shipping costs.
     
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  5. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Speculation but the barrel is stressed from the original boring and rifling,won't the rebore change that?
    Seems a rebarrel job would be besto_O
    But I'm not a metalergisterminger,however you spell that:confused:
     
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  6. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm just a humble gunsmith. Most decidedly not a metallurgist either. But there are several companies with good reputations with rebore services offered.

    As a gunsmith, I will say if the rebore performs adequately, it will be cheaper than the new barrel. The cost of the barrel, cost of installation, and cost to inlet the barrel into the stock or to install a new stock will outpace a $250 rebore quickly.
     
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  7. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    As I remember,rifling the barrel is last,so maybe rebore and rifling isn't a problem
     
  8. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I don't know yet. I have a few rebore projects planned, but they are well down the list. One is a .35 Whelen on a 1903 Springfield and the other is a .358 on a Savage 99.
     
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  9. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Thanks Mountain Bear.
    It appears there's nothing more to consider in this conversion past a new barrel or a rebore.
    Any of those companies you mentioned that have a good rep for doing rebores, located in Washington state?

    Dean
     
  10. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    No, but JES is in Cottage Grove, not too far away. Worth contacting them to ask some questions.
     
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  11. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    You da man!
    Thanks! =)
     
  12. Xaevian

    Xaevian Thurston County, WA Member

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    If you haven't decided on a donor rifle yet, Savage 10/110 (including axis/axis II) actions can be rebarreled without a lathe. They use a barrel nut. You can resell the used barrel to help with cost. Just another option.
     
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  13. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Just what I was thinking. Aren't there now also other guns (Marlin?) that use the same system Savage does?

    There are a lot of companies selling Savage barrels.

    I have a .358 Win Browning BLR. It's about the most thump you can get with reasonable recoil in a light weight gun, and the cartridge lends itself to shorter barrels too (18" or 20" should be about perfect). You should see what a Speer 250gr Grand Slam does to lined-up milk jugs. :)
     
  14. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
    250 gr. bullet out the barrel at around 2300+.
    Looking for 3K ME.
    I'm sure more powerful loads exist, too.


    Dean
     
  15. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about that; I never got that high. But then, I didn't really try that many loads either. If you have any good documented loads, let me know.
     
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  16. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I've tried, but I just get used to the ugly damn barrel nut on the savage (etc.). I understand the appeal of letting everyone with a kitchen table feel like a gun builder. But it's just ugly. Functionally ugly to be certain, but fugly is still ugly.
    Just my $.02
     
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  17. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Agreed, I just had one in from a very nice fellow. He forgot a small detail of using headspace gauges. He decided to used the scotch tape method to headspace his .338 Ultra Mag. It didn't work to well. And luckily he is still all here.

    I have sent off several rifles to J E S and have never been disappointed! Figure a new barrel is $225 or so, then my labor to chamber, etc etc etc..another $250+

    http://www.35caliber.com/index.html
     
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  18. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Well, the .358 and the old .35 Winchester share performance figures with a 250 gr. bullet, so I'm not really pushing it that much harder.
    Seems doable, but you're right, I haven't researched any loads in earnest yet, either.


    Dean
     
  19. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I think that barrel nut is beautiful. A much smarter way to build a gun. I'd have my Remingtons and Winchesters with barrel nuts too if I could. :p Might look a bit strange on my 1885's though...

    Anyway now Savage makes them smooth. They don't look any worse than the Rem recoil lug now.
     
  20. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with it being a smarter way to make a gun. I would guarantee that Savage never had kitchen table "gunsmiths" in mind when they designed them that way. It was a way to make the gun cheaper. Same as the Rem 700 barrel lug (I agree, also not my favorite aesthetic feature), and the post-64 model 70 changes. But beauty is in the eye of the beerholder, as they say. To each their own.

    Like Velzey, I have also had instances of people thinking they were more capable than they were trying to make switch barrel guns on their Savages and having issues. As gunsmiths, we often see the aftermath. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes just so incredibly dumb that you just have to shake your head...

    Rather ironically, since you mentioned not liking the Rem 700 sandwiched recoil lug, did you know that Savage did that over 40 years before Remington did it to the 700? Look up the Savage model 20 or 1920. An excuse to look up gun porn!
     
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