View Full Version : first rifle project

June 15, 2002, 08:31 PM
Hi All,

I am about to begin my first "custom" rifle project. I'm thinking about rebarreling my Remington 721 30-06. If I choose a caliber such as 25-06 for example, can I simply change the barrel? If this is the case, what are some other calibers that I may consider? I'm ready to take the plunge into hobby gunsmithing but I don't want to get in over my head on the first project. Thanks in advance.


James K
June 15, 2002, 10:45 PM
To make the .30-'06 to .25-'06 change, you need only change the barrel. Of course, you have to make sure you have good headspace after changing. With a new barrel, that usually means both a reamer and gages to check the headspace as you go. Not a DIY job unless you have some experience and the proper equipment.

There is one seldom addressed problem in changing calibers on the Remington type "push feed" rifles. If you should push a round in the chamber and not close the bolt fully, then work the bolt to pick up another round, the bullet point of the second round can come close to the primer of the chambered round. This is seldom a problem with soft point sporting ammo and guide ribs in the receiver and magazine box. But if the caliber is changed, the guide ribs can be off, and that bullet point can dig into the primer, with very bad results. So be careful in changing calibers and check to make sure there is no problem.


Chief Jones
June 17, 2002, 06:27 AM
If this is the case, what are some other calibers that I may consider?

For starters, .308, 270, 7-08....and many more. Have fun and don't forget to check headspace!

June 17, 2002, 08:35 AM
I'd have to disagree with Chief Jones on this one. The bolt face will work with .308 and 7mm-08, but if you want the rounds to feed from the magazine without trouble, stay away from the short rounds. Since your rifle is a .30-06 now, you can consider with only a barrel change the following: .25-06, .270, .280, .30-06, .338-06, 35 Whelan. You are also probably fine with the cartridges based on the 57mm case: 6mm Remington, .257 Roberts, 7x57 Mauser, etc.

June 17, 2002, 07:15 PM
Thanks for all the input. I still havn't decided if I want to alter my 721. All of this good advice won't go to waste though because I plan to do a project of some kind. Thanks.

Unkel Gilbey
June 17, 2002, 10:21 PM
He's right when he advises you to try to stay with like length cartridges. This make the possibility of you having to monkey around with the magazine a very remote thing indeed.

Most, if not all of the cartridges mentioned are just the 30-06 either necked up or down too, so the feed rails will probably not need to be touched either - which is a good thing!

Filler plates, and ribs braised into the magazine box, can 'take up' some of the space if you do opt for a shorter round (like the 308, or 7mm-08) but in a lot of situations like this, the rifle won't function like one with a shorter action. Not saying it wouldn't work, just saying that there are better ways of doing it.

Best thing to do when deciding on a new caliber is to sit down with some loading manuals, and check out the ballistics and loads for all the 'contenders' you will chose from. Having in mind a good idea what the rifle will be used for is always a good thing to have in mind too. These two factors alone should make your decision quite simple.

For instance, I wanted a gun good enough for Eastern Moose and Western Elk - and for my money, I had a hard time finding anything that could outdo my final choice - 35 Whelen. So if you attack the problem with this in mind, you might find that before you know it, you have ordered a Shilen barrel, and are on the way to getting that thing rebuilt.

Good luck

U. Gilbey