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Old October 24, 2012, 01:18 AM   #1
ripnbst
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Building Bolt 700 vs buying and modding

I am looking into building my first bolt rifle. I recently built my first AR (in the last 24 months) and am in the process of building another. The first was a more serious build, this second one is more of a plinker for the wife and/or a loaner for a friend to come shooting carbine matches with. I now want to build a bolt rifle.

Anyway, I am looking at building a Rem 700 .308 WIN. The Short Actions are available for purchase right now from a certain vendor online and they don't always have them, so I am thinking to strike while the iron is hot. I am thinking about buying an action(only) now, sending it off for a HART barrel immediately which also includes some smithing on truing action, getting some bottom metal, Timney trigger, etc etc over time. If I go this route I will build it over the course of the next year (2013, possibly into 2014) with hopes of having it completed by winter of 2013/2014 to hunt coyote.

The other option is to buy a Rem 700 SPS in .308 WIN really soon, hope to pick up a deal around Thanksgiving or Christmas, and then buy a scope base and rings/mounts as well and get shooting. This gives me a rifle that will be usable, though not as good a rifle as option 1 but I will have something functional sooner. Which means more shooting while saving for the aftermarket stock, bottom metal, more accurate barrel and action work, etc etc but it will inevitably mean that it will be longer until I have completed the rifle that I ultimately want.

I bought a .270 WIN and shot it at the range but that caliber totally beat the hell out of me. I sold it after about 2 years of ownership because I want something that I can both hunt (up to elk)with and shoot at the range comfortably. The .270 WIN while great for hunting was a brutal target cartridge. Live and learn, so now I am all hot and bothered by the .308 WIN round. I am even thinking about going the .260 REM route(.308 bolt, .260 barrel) for target cartridge though that takes Elk off the TABLE. At least, it does in my book. The chance I will ever be able to hunt Elk is slim, but I want the .30 CAL bullet just in case my name gets drawn.

I am asking TFL, do you think it would be the better choice to buy the 700 SPS on sale around the holidays and have a functional gun right away and then tweak as time and budget allows? ORRRRR...should I slowly build and once complete it will be exactly what I want? I do have an AR-15 in 5.56 to target shoot with until the build were complete if I went that route, so it's not like I will have no rifle until the .308 is completed one way or the other.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old October 24, 2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Buy the SPS. If you buy a bare action online, you will pay about $450, and it has no recoil lug, no bottom metal, no magazine box, and no stock. If you buy a 700 SPS, you will pay about $600, it comes complete, and you can shoot it right away and start accumulating the parts you will need to mod it as time and budget allow.
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Old October 24, 2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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Another vote to buy the SPS and build it out.
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Old October 24, 2012, 02:39 PM   #4
FiveInADime
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*cough*Use a Model 70 action *cough*
Just kidding...

I know theres way more parts for the 700. I say buy a used 700 in good shape for cheaper than the sps.
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Old October 24, 2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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If you found the 270 too much for you I don't think you'll find the 308 much better. Do you have a problem with your shoulder that needs to be checked out? Perhaps a better fitting recoil pad? Or stock? Have someone observe your shooting position and technique.
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Old October 24, 2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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if you have a Dicks sporting goods near you they have the heavy barrel 700 varmit models on sale for $459 after rebate and Remingtons website is showing it available in 308 .... id choose it and mod it later
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Old October 24, 2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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I have a couple of observations for you. First the recoil of a 308 win will be very similar to the 270. You already know what that is like. Second factory guns are plenty accurate for hunting. So here is my suggestion. Buy the factory built 308 and enjoy it as is. Then build a target grade gun slowly but in a light caliber. Maybe .223 or 243 win. The lighter recoil and less expensive ammo will be worth the wait. And the lighter caliber will do a better job on coyote
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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I have a .308 700 PSS that I bought 17 years ago. I had a local gunsmith who is a legend around here, do a blueprint job on it.
It only cost me $400(back then). True the receiver, headspace after reducing freebore to match standards, muzzle crown. Boring to shoot at 100yds. One ragged hole.

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Old October 24, 2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
If you found the 270 too much for you I don't think you'll find the 308 much better. Do you have a problem with your shoulder that needs to be checked out? Perhaps a better fitting recoil pad? Or stock? Have someone observe your shooting position and technique.
I was thinking exactly this same thing. Recoil is almost identical.

And buy the SPS....
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Old October 24, 2012, 10:41 PM   #10
ripnbst
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I do not have a shoulder issue, I just dont like beating the heck out of my self at the range if I dont have to.

I have shot a friend's .308 and it was much more tame than my .270, however...his .308 was a wooden thumbhole stocked varmint barreled gun. My .270 was a synthetic sporter stocked, sporter barreled gun.

I have an AR in 5.56 that is accurate so I don't want a bolt gun in the same caliber as well, at least not now.

Everything I have read indicates .308 WIN is less recoil than .270 WIN. Going to a larger bullet that hits game harder with bullets more widely target shot than .270 with better bullet options just seems like no reason I shouldn't shoot .308 over .270.

The long term goal is actually a .260 REM target/varmint gun. From what I have read .308 to .260 REM is a simple change. That yields a low recoil and highly accurate round great for target shooting. In the meantime, I have been attracted to the .308.
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Old October 25, 2012, 03:10 AM   #11
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The SPS is a fairly light gun is it not? Unless you are getting the tactical or varmint version the recoil will still be there. I was even surprised at how much my 7mm-08 bucked. It certainly isn't a flincher but it is much more than my light weight .243Win. If you are going to buy a light rifle to build from maybe you should consider a .243Win. With a 1:10'' or 1:9'' twist you could shoot the 87gr. vmax or possibly the 95gr. VLD and be good to 500 yards easy. Still has the .308 parent case so no bolt mod. to switch to .260Rem.

I assume, since you are planning on a .260Rem in the future, that you already reload or are going to start. Not much on the shelf in that cartridge. I am planning on making my 7mm-08 into a .260 in the future.
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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In guns of the same weight I would think the .308 would kick a bit more than the .270. It's all about physics. The .308 is launching a heavier projectile at a similar velocity so the recoil should be similar or slightly more. The heavy varmint weight barrel makes it more comfortable to shoot, that would be another physics thing. The stock makes a big difference as well.
You might want to reconsider your caliber choice as I wouldn't cherish humping an 11 or 12 pound rifle through the woods on a hunt, that would get old really fast.
For hunting you should probably buy a light rifle of the heaviest caliber of which you can bear the recoil and practice alot so you are very proficient with it and use premium hunting ammunition.
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Old October 25, 2012, 07:27 AM   #13
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I have the .308 SPS 26" varmint in a B&C stock and recoil is very light because of the weight of it,i can spot my hits at 600 usually with a 20X scope.I do love that rifle.
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:14 AM   #14
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http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

16.5 lbs. for the .270 (130 gr) and 15.8 for the .308 (150 gr) according to Chuck Hawks chart. Not much difference.

A .300 Win Mag is 23.5 for comparison.
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Old October 25, 2012, 04:37 PM   #15
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A lot of variants to recoil besides caliber

I have bolt rifles in both .270 and .30-06 and shoot both. The felt recoil is very similar because the .30-06 is a heavier stocked and barreled rifle.

The Chuck Hawks recoil's posted above show the limited variation between .308 and .270. Your friend's .308 probably weighs more and thus gives you less felt recoil. Different recoil pads also affect what your shoulder feels.

If you are still set on the .308, my suggestion would be to buy one already built close to what you want and go from there. In the alternative, since you seem to be recoil sensitive, I would opt for the suggestion above to go with a .223 or .243. Either caliber will kill yotes with much less recoil than a .308 or .270.

The .243 can also be used for elk (there are many posts on this forum about elk successfully taken with it as long as you limit the range to 200 yds.)
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Old October 25, 2012, 05:10 PM   #16
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I have recently been in the same shoes as you. I was going to pull the trigger on one of these semi-custom Rem 700 SPS's but then fell into a deal I couldn't pass up.

Scout Supply Company Remington 700 Package

It's pretty impressive the work they do to true up the 700 Action for a $350 additional charge. Having the barrel threaded for Suppressor use is a nice touch too!

Point is, you can have the functional rifle with the trued action. When you are ready to upgrade the stock, barrel or what have you, just go ahead and do that later down the road. You can have a perfectly capable rifle, and if later you decide to get "serious" about the long range game, you can modify to your heart's content.
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Old October 25, 2012, 11:33 PM   #17
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270's recoil is a sharp and fast, the 308s is slower and gentler even though the recoil force is the same. Look at recoil velocity rather then ft/lbs.

I too would suggest going with the full sps. I'd buy one used since its really only the action you're after and you'd save quite a bit doing it that way.

Have you considered a Tac30 action or some other custom shop action? I worked out prices and unless you already own the rifle you're planning on sending to the smiths, it works out roughly similar in price, but at the end of it you'll have a rifle worth a lot more in resale value too
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Old October 26, 2012, 02:34 AM   #18
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Go on...

And thanks for the recommendation about the Dick's Sporting Goods add, I may seriously look into that as its a varmint weight barrel model. In the same ad they also have the Savage 10 though it's significantly more money and the aftermarket on the model 10 isn't quite what it is for the Rem 700, though it's come a long way. Hmmm...decisions decisions. Well, no not really. For the money I really want the 700.

Last edited by ripnbst; October 26, 2012 at 02:46 AM.
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Old October 28, 2012, 11:23 AM   #19
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If you're not set on elk, .243 would be very easy on your shoulder. I have brought down a good sized doe with my Savage 110C at 450 yds, so .243 is a decent shooter out to some range.
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Old October 28, 2012, 11:25 AM   #20
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Buy a built gun. When you have numerous parties assemble a gun, there is no accountability as each blames the other for any problems.
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Old October 28, 2012, 04:39 PM   #21
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My $.02...

Many smiths that specialize in the 700 platform have trued actions, in stock that they can use for your build, for about six bills.

I think it's best to source your barrel, stock, and other aftermarket parts yourself- get them all together, and send them to the smith in one shot.

Most of the wait time horror stories you hear about year-long plus builds are often due to the time taken to source parts. If you get everything together, find a smith with a slot and a time commitment and then send the whole ball of wax...

Mark at SAC has a pretty good rep, just one example...

http://shortactioncustoms.com/?cat=3

I don't see any logic in buying an off-the-shelf rifle, unless you've got a necessity to shoot something (like hunting season) before you "gut it" and send off the action. You can get a few bucks for the factory stock, trigger, and barrel...but I can't see the hassle...

Now, I like the 700 platform...and I also like Savage...

Did you know you can get barrels for the 700, and install them yourself just like on a Savage (called Rem-Age..) from Criterion Barrels. Buy a trued action...stock, trigger and put her together...

Call Jim at Northland Shooters Supply if interested...


http://criterionbarrels.com/productpages/prefits.html
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Old October 28, 2012, 05:02 PM   #22
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do you require any special tools to install that barrel? and will it give the accuracy of a krieger or someting like that?
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Old October 29, 2012, 10:40 AM   #23
warbirdlover
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Read my post "out of the box magic". I can't imagine putting more money into my SPS and having it shoot better. It shoots (premium ammo) almost one hole groups at 100.

And I'm leary about buying used rifles.. Might be there because of problems.
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Old October 29, 2012, 04:48 PM   #24
tobnpr
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do you require any special tools to install that barrel? and will it give the accuracy of a krieger or someting like that?
Far as I know, it's just a barrel nut wrench like a Savage.
Criterion was "spun off" from Krieger in 1999...
http://criterionbarrels.com/about.html

Guys using their barrels on Savage builds have reported excellent results.
Criterion are button rifled, Kriegers are cut rifled. Either/both can result in very accurate barrels...

If you've got the time, and the $$, and aren't a hardcore DIY'er, have a smith build it for ya...with an accuracy guarantee.

If you're like me, hardcore DIY, with more time than money these days, they're not a difficult project. I just finished a Savage build- including making my own stock- and it's a fun "hobby". Now that mine is done, I'm going to re-barrel my son's 700 (currently .223) in a more long-range capable caliber with the Rem-Age system.
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Old November 1, 2012, 07:24 PM   #25
ripnbst
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I've found a few different guns I am considering. Decided to buy a factory 700 and mod as I go. I plan to use it for target shooting, and white tail hunting but mainly target shooting. Furthest distance i would probably shoot is out to 600 yards. I am leaning towards a varmint barreled gun with a 20" barrel. Or I could get a more typical hunting rifle contour barrel in 24". Or I can get varmint contour at 24".

Of those three configurations which would you favor? I see myself target shooting much more than hunting with it. I can target shoot all year long, hunt during season. I will use my .223 AR for varmints.
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