I have a dilemma. I inherited two Win. Pre 64 model 70's, 1 on .308 and one in .30-06 when my father passed away several years ago. Both rifles were purchased by my father in 1958 and 1960 respectively and were shot in high power target matches for years. I even remember shooting them as a kid growing up in the marksmanship programs at our local club. So, there is a significant amount of sentimental value attached to these rifles and parting with them would be unthinkable.
Over the years my personal interests shifted first from target shooting to long range metallic silhouette (sp) matches in the 1980's. Still, no amount of paper punching or metal clanking could compare to knockinig down big game animals in the west. My personal favorite is hunting the deer high in wilderness backcountry of the Sierra Nevada of CA where I reside. Consequesntly, my firearms reflect my main interest "hunting". I typically hunt with one of three rifles. If I plan on a long hike I pack my custom Brown Precision Rem. 721 in .30-06 or my Remington 700 stainless Mountain Rifle in 6mm Rem. If weight is not an issue, and I really need tack driving precision for long(er) range shooting, my customized Rem 700 VS in .308 is my goto rifle. This year I took a pronghorn in WY at 625 yds, another pronghorn in NV at 359 yds, and a Coues deer in AZ at 350 yds with this .308.
Now back to the dilemma. What should I do with the two Win pre 64's????? Both are set up for "target" shooting...and honestly, I'll never use them for this. Call me crazy, but what I really would like to do is "convert" these two rifles into something that I would use. This way they dont just gather dust in the safe, and I still can feel connected to the past memories of my father while actually using them.
I already own two hunting rifles that I am extrememly happy with that are of the same calibers. Having more rifles in these two classic calibers is not a bad thing though. Makes for easy reloading! Cheaper ammo means more shots down range...and I love to practice! Still, part of me would love to play around with some other calibers. I still dont own a magnum caliber rifle...which might be nice if I ever get drawn for a good elk hunt...or decide to head north for moose or ??? up in AK. If I were to "convert" one of these rifles to another caliber, what my options even are is probably the first question. I dont think either of these actions could be used for a "magnum" caliber, right? Obviously a restocking job will be necessary too. I have used both MPI in Oregon and Brown Precision in California for jobs in the past and have been EXTREMELY happy with their work.
How about the barrels? I'm not sure of the twist on either. Maybe rebarreling would be the best option. Or, would machining the existing barrels be the better choice? One friend suggested I have one turned down and have a carbon wrap installed on it by Christensen Arms. Is that a good idea?
Above all, I want to maintain the accuracy of these two guns while modernizing them enough to where they would be funtional for my needs. Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated.
Here are some photos of the rifles as they are today: