View Full Version : Converting bolt rifles to left hand?

Jeff, CA
June 27, 2000, 08:27 PM

How realistic is it to convert a right hand bolt action to left hand operation? I've heard of it being done, but I've never seen the results. Personally, I wouldn't need a full job - I do alright with right-side ejection in my other long guns. Only the operation of bolt and safety would need to be moved over.

Assuming the safety is housed in the cocking piece a la Model 70, it seems like you might just have to make a cutout on the left side of the receiver to accomodate the bolt handle, along with fitting a new or reworked bolt.

I realize there are adequate numbers of lefty guns available - just wishful thinking.

Paul B.
June 28, 2000, 01:49 PM
Jeff. At one time there were several gunsmiths that did the conversion to the port side. Since Remington, Savage, and others started making rifles for lefties, there hasn't been much demand for that kind of work.
If you can find some of the writings of the Late Charlie Askins, he had a lot of this work done for him, and he may mention tghe smiths that did the conversions. His book, UNREPENTANT SINNER, however does not, as I recall.
There is some guy, I can't recall his name, that is making Mauser actions from scratch, including left hand models, but from what little I know about them, they are frightfully expensive. ($3.500 and up) That's just for the action. Considering current gunsmithing charges, conversion would not exactly be an inexpensive proposition due to the time consuming labor involved. I think Ruger makes the MarkII in a left hand version, and that one supposedly has controlled feed. If it was me, I think that would be the way I'd go. I just prefer controlled feed actions. A decent trigger job, or replacement with a Timney, and you're all set.
Paul B.

June 29, 2000, 11:18 AM
Just wishful thinking is dangerous...

I think the gentleman Paul B. is refering to is Fred Wells who mills his own Mausers-- the actions alone run about $5000. I think he has a website...

I would recommend just ordering a Classic Model 70 in left hand and have it smithed by Montana Rifleman or Arnold Arms to your favorite caliber and specifications.

Lefties generally hang on to the good rifles...