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Rebarrel Rem 700 SA

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Old 03-15-2002, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jackson MI
Posts: 247
Rebarrel Rem 700 SA

I currently have a Remington 700 VSSF in 22-250. I have used it primarily on P' dogs and a few wood chucks. Now I am thinking of having it rebarrelled for deer hunting. I have never done anything like this before and was wondering what all has to be changed out. Can the barrel be remachined or do I need new? Does the bolt need to be modified or swapped out? What cartridges, suitable for deer would fit this action? Would I be money ahead just buying another rifle?

I got lot's of questions, just not many answers. I appreciate any input You can share.

Rick Browning
"When working with the public, there are two things you need to remember. - 1. The public is a bunch of ignorant morons. - 2. YOU and I are one of them!"
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Old 03-16-2002, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 128
Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA


It's actually an easy job, for a qualified gunsmith. All that you should need is a new barrel. Everything else can be re-used. Expect to spend $300, maybe more, depending on what you want.

As for a new cartridge, any short action caliber with the medium (308) head size will work. A partial list suitable for your rifle, and deer, would include 243 Win, 250 Savage, 260 Rem, 7mm-08, 308 Win, etc. Anything along those lines will work with no modifications.

Emailme offline for some specifics and a good 'smith recommendation if you're interested.
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Old 03-17-2002, 12:56 AM
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Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA


Your rifle has a .473 diameter bolt face or small bolt face the actual measurement may vary between rifles but generally it is around .473.

If you have access to a lathe then itís quite an easy job.

There are many methods employed by an even a greater number of gunsmiths.
You'll need an action wrench and barrel wrench.

One way and I do not recommend this, but is to heat the action up to a light blue color and let it sit until its cool. According to the person who uses this method you do not need a wrench or barrel wrench. Just a vice and a piece of metal the thickness of the bolt ways. Problem with this method is you can alter the molecular structure and weaken the strength of the action.

The threads on a Rem action are 1 1/16-16 or 1.0625-16. You'll need to order a tap preferably a bottoming tap.

Run the tap in the action and once it is no longer easy to turn, turn 1/4 of a turn more.
Make sure to use cutting oil. This will clean up whatever imperfections may have been imparted during the manufacturing process.

I'm guessing that your not going to be shooting any benchrest matches and therefore will give you an acceptable method.

Once you have chased the threads in the action clean out with an air supply or soapy water making sure to dry completely and lightly oil.

Place the action in a 4-jaw chuck and indicate the outer surface to within .0005. If you donít have a 4 jaw make sure to check the run out on the circumference and if it is out more than .005 I wouldnít use whatever method you used to hold it.
The 4-jaw chuck is the most accurate holding device on a lathe because you set the accuracy of how close it is for run out.
You can also place the barrel between centers and perform the machining operations. If you use a good barrel company (Lothar Walther, Shilen, Har, etc.) the barrel run out (between the bore center line and outer circumference) is less than .005 for your purposes this is close enough. Benchrest shooters and fanatics will go down to as little as .0005 run out. A human hair (blonde) is about .003 thick.

Once you have indicated the action in grind or use a carbide insert boring bar, for the non carbide (HSS) version grind to a sharp point and put a very small angle or radius on it. This is so there are no sharp corners that may lead to stress cracks when shooting.

Taking care not to remove much stock clean up both the action face and where the bolt lugs seat. This should be no more than .003 to .005.

Stone the outside edge of the action as to remove any burrs and run the tap through it one more time to remove any burrs on the threads.

The bolt is a totally different story. You could just use lapping compound and lap the bolt until you get complete contact between it and the action on both lugs.

You can run a piece of 1/2-13 threaded rod or bolt in the end where the firing pin came out of. Then indicate the bolt handle end with the 1/2-13 threaded rod or bolt in. Indicate off the bolt. Use a steady rest for the front and indicate the bolt head in. Remove as little of the metal as required until it cleans up from both the front and back of the lugs.

Machining the front of the lugs gives you a parallel surface for shoulder set back.

Lap the lugs at this time to insure complete contact or at least 90% or better, use a sharpe marker and note the removed marker until almost all of it is gone.
Place the bolt in the action and lock the bolt as if you were in the firing position.
With a depth micrometer measure from the action face to the top of the bolt lugs measure both lugs the difference between them should be no more than .001 I like .0005.
Note this measurement and write it down.

Measure the thickness of the recoil lug you are using and add this to the depth measurement you took from the action face to the bolt lugs.

This measurement is the amount you need to set back your barrel, subtract .005 from this total amount this is the clearance you will need for debris.

Measure the depth from the bolt face to the top of the lugs. This dimension is how far you need to counter bore into you barrel for the bolt face. Add .005 for clearance both for the depth and the diameter. This will ease the action motion when cycling the bolt.

Turn the barrel shoulder to the dimension of the action face to bolt lug plus the recoil lug. Donít forget to subtract the .005. The diameter of the barrel should be 1.062 +.0000-.001. Ensure that the recoil lug fits over the barrel, if it doesnít sand until the barrel shoulder accepts the recoil lug taking care not to remove more than .005 as it may become out of round at around .005 removal.

Thread the barrel taking care not to go to deep with your thread depth as it will have a sloppy fit in your action. Continuously check fit between barrel and action, you can go about .045 deep before you need to check fit. Once your action begins threading on the barrel take .0005 cuts until it takes a slight not over whelming force to turn it on. Place the recoil lug on the barrel and fit the action on next. Tighten the barrel as tight as you can get it by hand. Notice the bolt play. Make sure that it does not bind, if it does remove the barrel and face the barrel end by .001 thou increments until the bolt no longer exhibits contact.

Chambering your barrel.

4 jaw method while in head stock of the lathe. Use a floating reamer holder to hold your chambering reamer.

Pre drill the chamber with a drill bit appx.. 025 to .05 smaller than the shoulder of the case. Drill to a depth of within 1/4 of the shoulder. Depending on caliber selected and barrel material lathe should be set to around 200 rpm.

Remove the tooling holder on the compound rest, as it will help with space while chambering. With the tailstock retracted as much as possible before jutting out the drill chuck run it up until the face of the reamer is flush with the barrel face. Move the carriage until it contacts the tailstock. Lock the carriage. This will help for relocating the tailstock when removing it for chip removal of the reamer. Run the reamer in until it barely contacts the cutting edges and the barrel. Note or place and mark on the tailstock hand wheel for reference when reaming.
USE COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CUTTING OIL AND REMOVE THE REAMER ABOUT EVERY .025 TO .050 THOU AND CLEAN USE AIR TO BOLW OUT CHIPS TOWARDS THE TAIL STOCK. Ream the chamber making sure not to over ream as it will entail huge amounts of rework and probably tools being launched through the air fights with the wife and severe drinking (if this applies go see a gunsmith).

Using a headspace gage (from reamer maker) place the recoil lug on the barrel, screw the action on (tight) insert the headspace gage as if it were a shell and see if you can lock the bolt down. If you cannot lock the bolt down take a feeler gage and measure the distance between the recoil lug and barrel shoulder, this is the amount you need to ream. CAUTION; do not take anything for granted always check and recheck. And make small cuts until the bolt has a very very slight sign of tightness when closing on the headspace gage.

Polish the chamber with emery cloth of 600 or better grit use a wooden dowel with a cut down the middle and run the lathe at about 1500 use water in you want to help remove the sanding debris.
You are almost done. I have heard many different torque values and set mine to about 200 foot pounds and have never had a problem. You may wish to go a bit less if desired.



[ 03-18-2002: Message edited by: daveosok ]
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Old 03-17-2002, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 128
Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA


Lots of good, detailed info, but the 22-250 is built on a .473" bolt face (case head size commonly referred to as the 308 sized family), not .373".

The small bolt face that you describe is the 222/223 family of cases.
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Old 03-17-2002, 10:42 PM
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Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA

Oh man for some reason I had a major brain fart their!!! Was thinking 222, I'll be more careful next time when reading.


[ 03-17-2002: Message edited by: daveosok ]
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Old 03-18-2002, 03:25 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 128
Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA


Done it myself. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Other than that one detail though, like I said, lots of good info.
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:30 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jackson MI
Posts: 247
Re: Rebarrel Rem 700 SA

Last week I sent the same question to Remington and they said that it would require a new barell and bolt and that both were "controlled items". I think that means that they aren't in the aftermaket parts business and have no interest in selling the parts.

I desided to come here, where it sounds like some folk change barrells as often as some people change their underware, and ask the same question. What a difference in the responses! The factory say's it can't be done and you guys tell me how to do it! It really shows the difference in motivation from someone who is afraid of a lawsuit to someone who wants to help a fellow sportsman.

Thanks for your advise. I, not being a machinist, won't be doing the work, but I do plan on having it done.

"When working with the public, there are two things you need to remember. - 1. The public is a bunch of ignorant morons. - 2. YOU and I are one of them!"
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