Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Making Your Semi-Custom Rifle Look Custom
After talking with Nathan and looking at his website (Straight Shot Gunsmithing), I saw that he offered bolt fluting and would install Sako or AR15 type extractors along with oversize tactical bolt knobs to many factory bolts, including Remington. It just so happened that I own a 300 ultra magnum that had a very tight factory extractor and many gunsmiths told me that a Sako style extractor wouldnít work on the large magnum and were offered no solutions to fix my problem. Living with the factory extractor was not an option. It was too tight and I am sure it was causing accuracy problems by pulling the case sideways in the chamber. Nathan agreed that the Sako style wasnít the best option, but unlike everyone else he said he had a solution, which was to install an AR15 type extractor. Nathan said this had worked well in the past and that it would work great for the ultra magnum, and he was right. While he had the bolt, I had him flute it and install an oversize bolt knob. Both of these options make the bolt work faster, smoother and truly make it look custom. As of now, Nathan isnít taking in fluting work, but as soon as he does I highly recommend having it done. The fluted bolt along with the oversize bolt knob will really get you spoiled.

Custom Rifle Looks
Custom Rifle Looks
These two pictures are of Nathanís work and it definitely makes the 300 ultra magnum look and function more like a true custom rifle.


The final two options are all about function, and involve the bolt and firing pin assembly. There are several upgrades that can be made to a Remington firing pin assembly and to me these two really go hand in hand. A weak spring or a firing pin assembly that is rough inside the housing can cause poor primer ignition which in turn causes vertical stringing. Generally the shot will fall low and there is no consistency of when it happens. In my opinion the most fail safe bet is to replace the entire assembly with a Gre-Tan assembly that is lighter and has a stronger spring. Lock time will be faster and smoother, which will help accuracy, and if youíre having vertical problems hopefully that will be cured as well. The other option is to have a bushing installed in the firing pin hole and the firing pin turned down to .062 or.068. This will help with primer ignition as well as primer cratering and misfires. The reason is that the smaller hole handles pressure better than the large factory firing pin hole. This will allow you to shoot high pressure loads and not washout or blank primers. These two options put together will make for consistent primer ignition reduce vibration and improve accuracy.

Every option listed here will help accuracy and function to a point. Add them all together and your rifle will be more accurate and handle pressure better than before. It will definitely look custom and will be something you can be proud to own and shoot. More than likely these products and services are offered by other companies and gunsmiths, but these are the people and products I have personally used. PT&G, Straight Shot Gunsmithing and Gre-tan all have websites that I recommend checking out. There are several other services and products offered, and they can explain everything mentioned here better than I can.



Bryan Chatwell is a firefighter paramedic in West Texas and a father of two incredible children. Long range hunting is something he enjoys, as is shooting F-class matches. He personally believes that F-class matches are a great way to learn almost all the skills needed for long range hunting.



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