A few years ago I was looking for another project gun, something I could learn on that was cheap to get into. I started looking for a Mauser, when someone suggested I look at the Savage 10/110 series of rifles, or their cheaper brothers, the Stevens 200. I decided on what I wanted, which was a Savage or a Stevens in .22-250. Shortly after getting married a Stevens came up for sale here and my wife bought it for me as a wedding gift. It came equipped with an Intensity Optics (ATK) 3x10x44 scope. I loved the rifle and decided this would be my project gun. I had plans of building a bench/varmint rifle with a heavy barrel, heavy stock and bi-pod. The .22-250 was an entertaining caliber with it's super high velocity and I enjoyed shooting it, even clad in it's crappy grey plastic stock. I bought reloading dies and the tools I need to measure the chamber and jump so I could reload just for the rifle. I was happy. Deer season came and I had a friend who wanted to go, but didn't have a rifle. I, by this time, also had a Mosin I was playing with and decided I'd carry the mosin and he could carry my 700 in .30-06. My other options was the Stevens. .22-250 is legal to hunt with in Oregon, so I started looking into reloading some rounds for deer, i.e. heavier bullets then the 40-50 gr's I had been shooting out it. It was then I found the barrel twist rate was 1:14, or NOT ideal for heavy bullets, but great for super fast and light varmint grenades. My buddy ended up getting a rifle for deer season, and I carried both the Mosin and the 700. Winter came and I started watching Rex Reviews - Sniper 101 on YouTube. For those of you who don't know its a long series of videos covering everything you could imagine regarding distance shooting. The guy who makes them isn't preachy, isn't a know it all and backs up his opinions with good data and experience. Anyway, this series of videos convinced me I needed a 7mm-08. It's a caliber I've always liked and promoted and his video was the nail in the coffin, I had to have one. I started to quietly look for one, not really seriously, then I got drawn for Elk tags. The hunt we got drawn for has the real potential of getting a shot at a nice animal. Now, I REALLY want a 7mm-08 and think to myself, "Self, what if you were on this amazing hunting trip, spent the money to get there, took time off work and away from the wife, only to have your one and only hunting rifle break, or get run over or tumble down a hill?" I had to say "Self, you're a genius! Now I NEED another rifle." I looked at a few options, something on the cheaper more affordable end of the spectrum, the Ruger American or Savage Axis series. It then occurred to me, I kind of had a 7mm-08 sitting in my gun safe already, it just thought it was a .22-250. I had already purchased the tools I needed to do a barrel swap, so why not just get a new barrel? I talked it over with the wife and she liked the idea of the barrel swap, after all, I like to tinker and it keeps me from chasing her around the house for a few days she's game. I went onto MidwayUSA and the ONLY ER Shaw or Shillen barrel they had was a 7mm-08, fate was telling me to order it, so who am I to go against fate? A few days later when I got the shipping notice, I checked the barrel stock again and now even the 7mm-08 was listed as out of stock. The barrel came about a week later. I called my Dad (not a gun guy) and explained what I wanted to do in his garage and that I wanted his help. He said he would help me and once I showed him all the tools and explained it in person he totally caught on to what I was wanting to do. I was nervous about the swap. I read everything I could find online, but there was no good step-by-step procedure online. The instructions that came with the barrel made it sound way to easy, but I went for it. And what would you know 10 minutes later I had my new 7mm-08 barrel on my Stevens action. It was THAT EASY!! Next in line was ordering a stock and I figured a Boyd's Thumbhole would suit the gun well, in their "pepper" color. Shipping from Boyds was quick and I had the stock by the end of the week. There was only one problem. I knew I needed a new metal trigger guard, the plastic piece that comes with the Stevens wouldn't work, but Midway was out of stock, Brownells was out of stock, even Savage was out of stock. So I waited.....and waited....and waited. Finally a few weeks later while at work I checked Midway and they were there. Ordered one up and it showed up about 4 days later!! I ran out into the garage and assembled my new rifle. I was able to take it out a week ago and get some time shooting it. I am a bit disappointed in the thumbhole stock, it just doesn't seem to fit me, but I can make it work. FWIW, I have smaller hands and I have to rotate my grasp in the pistol grip to get my finger in a good spot on the trigger, which leaves me with not as firm of grip as I would like. Also, the scope eye relief is off and it's too high. Those are easily fixed. Regardless of my own complaints with the stock, which are subjective, the fit and finish on it is perfect and the action dropped right in. I have 0 complaints with the actual stock itself, it's just it's fit to me. Anyway, that was my mini-project and I am rearing to go for another one. I am thinking going long action this time and doing a .35 Whelen, or 375 Ruger or .338-06 or .358 Norma or 7mm STW or .358 STA. Well as you can see the list goes on. It was an enjoyable and easy project and I just wanted to share, sorry for the rambling post.