Building a rifle on a Military Boltaction.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by kc, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    The cost far exeed its worth you can dump about $600.00 on this project and not begain the job.
    I have been in debt doing this for over 20 years, what did I proove? I could have bought a Weatherby for what I spent on this job..My wife of whom I accuse of being in PlayBoy in the 70s
    Is sick of it. When I tell her I am buying a barrel and its $400.00+ I start looking for the door and I duck. This is the last Springfield I will be Sporterising. just like the cigaretts, this is the last one.

    It just not worth it.you can buy a good Remington for under $500.00.
    A Savage for about the same.
    You may think you have a Rifle that cant shoot? change to a quality scope and you find it needs no changes..Add the costs before you start. Its not worth it.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    You are probably right.

    Some of them make nice rifles but in the end you spend enough money to buy or build a custom
    rifle.

    When they were cheep( Under $150 dollars )you could do pretty good. But now you can find a
    good modern donor and build a real nice rifle.

    But there is something about turning an old rifle into a real show stopper.

    Fortunately I have not been infected by the bug, so good luck with your wife and the "Last" build.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

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    I must be a LOT OLDER than you as i paid $10 dollars for my Springfield packed in cosmoline, shot it for two years before changing the barrel to a Douglas groups halved in size .75 inch and hold the X ring at 600 yards.
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think anyone was older than me. HA HA

    I started with the Mausers and by the time I bought my first Springfield they had gone up.
    you could buy a beater for $60 to 70 dollars but a nice one was double that.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    If you are building a rifle on a milsurp action for the purpose of doing it on the cheap, you are most definitely barking up the wrong tree.

    If you are doing so for the satisfaction of building a nice rifle for yourself, in a classic style, at a price competitive with an off the shelf Remington, then you are more likely to be satisfied with the end result.

    I built both of my milsurp mausers for a little less than it would cost to buy a Remington CDL off the shelf. For that money, I assembled rifles with good barrels, good stocks, and good triggers. The locking lugs are lapped and the barrel has been mated squarely with the action. If you get any of those things from a factory rifle, you got lucky.

    My personal skills are nowhere near the same level as the fine craftsmanship one can expect to find on a custom rifle. However, my builds have features that are seldom found in factory rifles and, dollar-for-dollar, they will easily outperform most factory rifles.

    Where custom rifles are concerned, one of my builds costs about the same as a basic custom action. Will my personal builds outperform a custom rifle? Unlikely. However, I am not doing anything with them that would justify 3x or 4x the money for groups that are .3 inches smaller @ 100 yards.

    That level of performance, combined with the personal satisfaction that I derive from learning, building, and shooting make it worth every penny for me.

    Whether or not someone else would consider it worthwhile is entirely subject to their own budget, expectations, and motivations.
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    I agree if one is starting with an unmolested mil-surp.
    However, if you look around in the pawn shops and budget row of the "used rack" in gunshops, you can usually find an old M98 or Swede that someone else "sporterized." These make great donors, and can often be had for $100-125.00.

    My 6.5x57AI is a rebarreled 8x57 M98 that had a decent aftermarket stock, reforged bolt, Timney trigger, and had been full-length bedded. Purchased for $125.00. I cleaned it up, floated the new heavy sporter barrel, did some stock shaping and refinishing. Now I have a "custom" rifle that gets great comments from other shooters, and is more capable of shooting bug-hole groups than I am.
    I think I have <$500.00 in it.
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Those on the 'used' rack that have already been 'sporterized' can be nothing but alot of trouble, too. Are the scope mounting holes drilled on the center line? Was the bolt handle forged tastfully or welded on by a skilled welder? Did they control the heat when they did the bolt handle work? Or 'egg shape' the rear end of the bolt body when they forged the handle? All things that should be considered when thinking of buying a 'sporterized' Springfield or Mauser off of the rack at the pawn or gunshop. I've seen some real good lookin' "classic custom" rifles that weren't worth having because of the mechanical problems their 'builders' gave them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  8. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    My father in law had a '03 Springfield sporter built for each of his 4 children back in the 1958 time frame. This one is my wife's.

    [​IMG]

    She's had it since she was 14 and has never fired it. It was fired with corrosive primer military surplus ammo by somebody (nobody has ever admitted doing it), not cleaned, and the barrel was destroyed by the time I first saw it in 1968. She kept it, hauled it from MI to CA and then to PA. It has sentimental value but it bothers her that it won't shoot. It put bullets sideways through the paper at 50 yards.

    So for my 43rd anniversary present to her I'm rebarreling it.

    I'm almost done. I chambered, crowned, and polished the new barrel (CrMo) - that involved some challenges including my first square threads, first time cutting an extractor groove (did that yesterday). All I have left to do is put on a front sight, blue the barrel, and test fire it. I may also bed it and install a new recoil pad. The new barrel is a slightly heavier taper and 2" shorter to make it work better for her. She's 5'3", 130 lbs. I left it chambered in .30-06. I can make her some reduced loads for it.

    This is it with it's new barrel installed:

    [​IMG]

    It's a work in progress, but I have till June 22nd to get it done so I'm in good shape.

    The wood in the stock is really pretty,

    [​IMG]

    the action was polished and blued when it was originally sporterized, so I think it's going to look pretty good. With any luck at all it will be a useful PA brush country deer rifle. It has the Williams peep sight on it and those work quite well. I can use it even with my 68 year old eyes.

    All that said, I wouldn't start out to build a sporter based on the Springfield or Mauser actions. The Springfield was a lot more challenging to rebarrel than a Remington or Savage, or even a Pre '64 Winchester. I'd be OK with a pre '64 Winchester action as the starting point, but good luck finding one of those for less than the price of a custom action.

    Fitch
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    That's a nice piece of Maple. The Springfields are challenging in more ways the the square thread. The first stock I made by hand from a blank, 18 years ago, was a Rock Island. They have some curves on the bottom that make inletting quit "challenging". Unlike the Mauser, they're not flat from recoil lug to rear tang. The Rock Island had been sporterized, professionally, at an earlier time. It still wears the 'antique' Lyman receiver sight and soldered band front sight.