Feeding issue with Sako L61 converted to 7mm-300 Dakota

ralfus

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I have a Sako L61R Finnbear that was converted from 7mmRemMag to 7mm-300 Dakota. I can only feed reliably with one round loaded in the magazine, any more and the cartridges will pop out when pushing the bolt forward. Follower, rails and mag box have not been altered yet. The rechambering/bolt face conversion was done by a gunsmith 10 years ago and I inherited the project. The Dakota is about .040" wider at the shoulder.

I have never altered a feeding system for fatter cases and would appreciate any tips.
 

shortgrass

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If the cartridges are "popping out" you would not want to open the rails. You would want more of the cartridge under the rail to retain it/them in the magazine.
 

ralfus

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If the cartridges are "popping out" you would not want to open the rails. You would want more of the cartridge under the rail to retain it/them in the magazine.
While it sounds counterintuitive, modifying a rifle for a larger cartridge case often requires opening up rails. Same difference as opening up a Mauser to chamber 300winmag.

I need to remove the guide ribs in the magazine box to open up for the wider shouldered cases. When fully loaded, the stacked fatter rounds push upward on the top round as it is pushed forward. This same problem happens with 300 mag actions converted to RUM.
 

shortgrass

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I probably should have elaborated more. You need to keep the cartridges in the box before you start working on the feed rails. As I have literally converted 75+ Military Mauser '98s to magnum cartridges, I know that solving feeding problems, such as this, are not for the novice and will not be solved on an interdnet forum. With a 700 the first thing that should happen is to install an UM box and make sure you have a magnum follower. If the action was not originally barreled for one of the UMs, the feed rails will have to be opened some. As for this Sako, it needs to be in the hands of a gunsmith that can work with and adjust the feed cycle as needed for reliable feeding. Ya' get one chance when you start taking a file to the feed rails, remove too much and then you may never solve the problem.
 

ralfus

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Sep 25, 2009
Messages
45
I probably should have elaborated more. You need to keep the cartridges in the box before you start working on the feed rails. As I have literally converted 75+ Military Mauser '98s to magnum cartridges, I know that solving feeding problems, such as this, are not for the novice and will not be solved on an interdnet forum. With a 700 the first thing that should happen is to install an UM box and make sure you have a magnum follower. If the action was not originally barreled for one of the UMs, the feed rails will have to be opened some. As for this Sako, it needs to be in the hands of a gunsmith that can work with and adjust the feed cycle as needed for reliable feeding. Ya' get one chance when you start taking a file to the feed rails, remove too much and then you may never solve the problem.
Thanks for the followup and your background info. The rifle was a gunsmithing project by someone learning the craft ten years ago. It was passed on through the family knowing it needed some finishing work and I found it had other shortcomings that I have addressed this summer ( lengthening the ejector and finding out that the barrel was not recrowned after he threaded the muzzle and jammed a live-center into the bore). I can still use it as a two-shot reliably if needed.
 

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