I signed up for a class through the NRA Short-Term Gunsmithing program and just got the materials list. It requires a bare action, preferably a Remington 700 type, and a profiled but unthreaded, unchambered, and uncrowned rifle barrel. Since test firing is part of the class, I don't know if I should get into building anything with an AI chamber because I can't fire form and reload in class. I'm looking for ideas on what to build since I better get some parts orders in now (class is in May). I don't have a whole lot of gaps in my collection but am trying to reduce the bullets I keep on hand for precision reloading to 7mm or .30 calibers. Short of dropping a lot of money on a Stiller or Pierce action, which seem to be the lowest price of the 700 aftermarket actions, I could pick up a new 700 action for a little over $400, or use a spare Remington 40X repeater that I've had sitting for a number of years. I'm kind of leaning towards the 40X because it already has a stock that fits it, so it's one less decision I have to rush into before this class. What are some cool ideas for builds you might have? I just bought a Bartlein #3 5R 1:9 7mm barrel a few months ago that I was thinking of putting on a Winchester Featherweight .280 to convert to .280 AI. How do you think that barrel finished at 26"-28" in 7mm-08 would do on a blueprinted 40X action? Worthwhile as a medium weight long range hunter for CXP2 game? I also have a Brux 6.5mm barrel sitting around that I never had any luck with buyers following through, but I'd rather not throw in one more bullet diameter to buy. I'm not totally against cutting down the factory .308 barrel and re-cutting the chamber and crown, as well. I can't imagine the instructor would have a problem with that either. Thanks.
40X .308 #2, the one in question (not currently bedded):
40X .308 #1: