I have an old Model 70 in 30-06. It was my first ever gun that I bought about 12 years ago. However, 2 years ago when I was on deployment, my buddy had his basement flood where his safe was and now the barrel is pitted and it can't hit the broad side of a barn now (I shot another one of my rifles that same day to be sure it wasn't operator error and rebuild my confidence). I was going to sell it off, but I really wouldn't get crap out of it. So my next option would be to keep it and upgrade it. After finding this site, I am wanting to upgrade to a larger caliber long range rifle now. What are my options for caliber? Could I turn it into a 338 lapua? I want to keep it for sentimental reasons, but am I just wasting my time and it would be cheaper to just buy a custom rifle from scratch? Also, I am in Eastern NC and when I google gunsmith it gives me pawn shops and local gun stores so there really isn't a gunsmith around here either so I would have to send the gun away for everything. Price is also a consideration as I want to keep it as cheap as possible, obviously I know I won't be getting it for around $500 :P Thanks for the help!
I've seen some bone stock factory actions shoot realy well (considering) when a cheap Adams & Bennit barrel was fitted to it. Granted you won't be getting a custom barrel that will shoot many rounds before having to stock and clean but 95% of the time they are better than a factroy tomato stake.
Alot of smiths won't barrel an action for a build unless they true the action and use a good barrel , nobody wants to put their name on a gun thats not built to shoot tiny groups. your cheapest bet maybe to send it to sombody like ER Shaw or Pac-Nor who offers decient barels forma bit less than the typical match grade tube and they will barrel it for you , I've seen a few guns come from Pac-Nor that shot great.
as for a smith in your area I don't know of any off hand , Eddie Harren is in Maryland. Most likely thow you may have to mail if off.
First off a couple things. a 30-06 Winny in a control round feed is going to take a ton of work to turn into a 338LM. The 06 has a .471" case rim and the LM is almost .600. The claw extractor is going to really play hell with making this work.
If its a push round feed Winny then the sliding extractor on the side will need some serious attention.
My advice. You have a good action. Winny's have some advantages because the trigger is open architecture. They typically won't fail if they get water/ice/snow/dirt in them. You have a three position safety which is very cool as it takes the load off the sear when engaged.
I suggest you look at other high velocity cartridges. If you are willing to fork out the cash to shoot a Lapua Magnum in 338 (I have two of them and they burn up a Visa card very quickly when buying ammunition or reloading components) then other cartridges will actually produce a bit of a cost savings while offering great performance.
the 6.5-284 is a phenominal cartridge that is easy to load, easy to shoot, and very, very accurate if the shooter does his/her part. This was once the premier 1000 yard target cartridge used at Camp Perry. It is still very competitive and it takes wins all over the US. It also makes for a great hunting cartridge when loaded with the appropriate bullet. I've shot deer with this round at long distances and its always delivered.
Your right Chad , I was thinking in the area of 280 Ackley or 30-06 Ackley , either of which would cleanly kill deer to 1000yds with the correct bullets , woulden't cost a ton to reload , don't require a brake to shoot and you can shoot factory ammo if you get in a pinch.
I'm thinking about my next rifle being a light weight 280 Ackley set up to shoot the 162gr A-max , it should be a good deer gun out o 1k if I can hold it and change to the 160 Accubond for elk out to 500.
While I certainly advocate the performance of the Ackley line of cartridges I also caution those who want them in a sporter type rifle.
Magnum velocity cartridges accelerate barrel throat erosion. That is a common denominator that a guy can't get away from. All the fancy shoulder angles and neck lengths in the world won't make up for the increased heat and pressure these cartridges produce. Fireforming cases causes about the same amount of wear. This is also a truth unless a guy is willing to endure the nausea of the cream of wheat fireforming method. (I'd rather suck start a 1911 personally). . .
A second barrel could be chambered, but then you have added expense. Is the slight increase in velocity worth it? That's a personal decision.
I guess I have little room to talk as I own a wildcatted 338 Lapua Magnum set up to shoot 30 caliber 125 grain bullets at a peak muzzle velocity of 4375fps out of a 34" barrel. I'm betting I'll be lucky to get 500 rounds out of the thing. 102grains of RL25 a shot does not make this very economical either. It is quite graphic and the rifle will produce a sinus headache rivaled only by the really big boomers.
I had McGowen Precision barrels convert the same rifle last summer. I had it re-barreled in 6.5-06. Fantastic caliber. They trued the action, lapped the lugs, and did the re-barrel for under $600. This was a 24" stainless fluted barrel. Give them a call, talk to John, he'll take good care of you.
To hunt... or not to hunt...? What a stupid question.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I literally just got reloading equipment this past Xmas so I'm just getting into the reloading addiction as my uncle calls it. Right now just waiting on brass and primers to come in which hopefully will be a couple of weeks. I've never heard of the 6.5-284, or the 6.5-06. Are these strictly reloading rounds? I've never seen them on a factory ammo box. I wasn't set on the 338, just want a good flat shooting long range rifle. Chad, are these another round(s) that will be expensive to shoot? Steve, I'm going to look them up and see what I can do, thanks for the information. How does your rifle shoot now? I've always been told you get what you paid for, but under $600 for a tack driver would be awesome!
BTW, wasn't set on the 338, just seen a lot of people on here use the bigger rounds for long range shooting so I figured I'd see what was out there. Thanks again for all the advice/information!!!