What are the essential 700 action mods?

Jun 14, 2017
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#1
So I have an older 700 long action that I am looking to turn into a long range hunting rig. The action is already pretty slick and certainly nicer than what Remington is putting out today. In an effort to keep costs down, what is the essential gunsmithing work I should have done on this action?
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
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#5
I would call timing the bolt handle essential if you don't have any primary extraction. Next, TIG weld the handle on. If you can't adjust the factory trigger, thats another good thing to upgrade. If the base holes are crooked 8-40 screws by someone who will cut them to the correct location. Simply enlarging the hole will leave it crooked still. If it is in a hogue or tupperware stock its nice to get rid of those if accuracy is your goal.
 

leftyk82

Son of a son of a sailor
Oct 8, 2014
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#6
Keeping costs down: If you are dead set on keeping that action and putting it to the stated use, I wouldn't do anything to it. I'd put available funds into a good trigger and barrel. The cost of any 700 action modifications far outpace the market value if you decided to sell it one day.
 
Jun 14, 2017
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#8
This was my grandfather's 700, so it's not getting sold. 8-40 screw upgrade sounds like a good idea. I plan on a bartlein barrel and probably a grayboe terrain stock.
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
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#9
This was my grandfather's 700, so it's not getting sold. 8-40 screw upgrade sounds like a good idea. I plan on a bartlein barrel and probably a grayboe terrain stock.
I would only do it if the holes are crooked. I have not had an action that needed it. I have had a couple with no primary extraction.
 

padom

SuperMod
Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
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Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#10
Have it trued, Cut rifled barrel installed, 8-40 screws with a Murphy Precision 20moa scope base installed. You really want to go all in since it sounds like it has sentimental value than you could get a PTG fluted bolt for it and have a nice bolt knob installed. Then send it out to be DLC coated.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
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#11
Getting it trued is the only thing that might get you an accuracy benefit but that also means you cant to use an off the shelf prefit remage barrel if they true the threads.

Personally I would leave the action alone and just put a new barrel on it. Since its old it probably extracts just fine and those old triggers are actually pretty nice.
 

SparkyHD1

New Hide Member
Mar 1, 2018
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#12
By the time you buy the barrel and have it chambered you'll have around $800 bucks in it
There is no since in putting a new barrel on it unless you have the action trued...just my opinion
That would be like putting new tires on your truck that's out of alignment
 
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Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#13
By the time you buy the barrel and have it chambered you'll have around $800 bucks in it
There is no since in putting a new barrel on it unless you have the action trued...just my opinion
That would be like putting new tires on your truck that's out of alignment
Lol I'm guessing you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. I have had two rifles rebarrelled that the smith didn't true the action on even though he was supposed to. Yes, I know that because I have taken them both apart for issues and measured the thread size. If I didn't pull them apart, I would have no clue that they weren't trued. Both shoot great and all that was done is have a hawk hill barrel installed. A friend is also a gunsmith and he doesn't true the actions but every one of his rifles shoot better than 1/2 moa without any issuea.
 

Sig Marine

Sergeant - USMC 1968-1970
Dec 29, 2013
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#14
There was a thread back on the "old Hide" discussing the priorities of a rifle as related to accuracy. Consensus was that the barrel accounts for over 90% of a rifle's accuracy. After that, stock, then trigger and lastly...the action. A Bartlein barrel chambered by a competent smith and a good stock will go a long ways to giving you an accurate rifle.
 
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Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#16
There was a thread back on the "old Hide" discussing the priorities of a rifle as related to accuracy. Consensus was that the barrel accounts for over 90% of a rifle's accuracy. After that, stock, then trigger and lastly...the action. A Bartlein barrel chambered by a competent smith and a good stock will go a long ways to giving you an accurate rifle.
A prime example of this is the Ruger RPR. Look at what they can do with a barrel from LRI or Patriot Valley Arms. I'm not a fan of that rifle but it's hard to argue the results once rebarrelled.
 
Likes: smoothy8500
Sep 16, 2017
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#19
This was my grandfather's 700, so it's not getting sold. 8-40 screw upgrade sounds like a good idea. I plan on a bartlein barrel and probably a grayboe terrain stock.
You don’t need to spend money upgrading the screws unless you just want to. Completely unnecessary. Everything else is solid. You will probably find out that you don’t need to bed the grayboe stock. I haven’t seen the need on any of mine. Get the factory trigger worked over. Cost effective and they are nice. All my hunting rifles are 700s with the hinged floorplate. I do have a Curtis axiom action with bartlein barrel chambered 6.5 creedmoor thrown in a graeboe renegade stock as a plinker.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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#21
like most have said if the action is working fine, dont waste your money on touching it.
get a quality barrel and bed/or chassis it into a stock that fits you.
one part i would touch is the trigger, if its a old one.
you can tune the original rem triggers to be as good if not better than most drop ins, they really are that good if done right...the original glass rod.
those couple of options will have you shooting under 1" @ 100 almost guaranteed.
 

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
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Black Hills
#22
-Time and tig the bolt handle-- Single biggest improvement to action "feel" and operation

-Have a match-grade blank threaded and chambered-- Accuracy is in the barrel

-Install an aftermarket trigger and bed a 1-piece scope base/pic rail.

-plop it in a stock of AT LEAST bell & carlson quality

I would only "blueprint" one if there is obvious issues with lug contact (like 1 isn't touching at all).
 
Jun 14, 2017
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#23
In most cases I’d say the best mod is Tikka.

But. Given it’s your grandfathers, what caliber and how does it shoot now? What do you want to achieve shooting and hunting wise?
It shoots fairly well for deer at 100 yards as long as the temp doesn't change. It is a 30-06 and has a pencil barrel and a tight wood stock, it moves around with temp changes.

I'd like to turn it into an all-rounder hunting rifle. Handy enough to carry in the woods, capable enough to take game at extended ranges. I have access to a 1250 yard range, so the occasional trip to 1k would be nice.

I'm thinking a 22" 1:8 bartlein or kreiger in 6.5x55, light palma, grayboe renegade, BDL, NF 2.5-10, threaded for my can.
 
Apr 27, 2013
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#24
It shoots fairly well for deer at 100 yards as long as the temp doesn't change. It is a 30-06 and has a pencil barrel and a tight wood stock, it moves around with temp changes.

I'd like to turn it into an all-rounder hunting rifle. Handy enough to carry in the woods, capable enough to take game at extended ranges. I have access to a 1250 yard range, so the occasional trip to 1k would be nice.

I'm thinking a 22" 1:8 bartlein or kreiger in 6.5x55, light palma, grayboe renegade, BDL, NF 2.5-10, threaded for my can.
Sounds like it already is a capable and light hunting rifle. 30-06 is one of the best all round hunting cartridges.

I’d seriously consider leaving it as is and using it for hunting like grandad did. Would definitely consider buying or building something for long range hunting/target if you going to do a full build on just an action essentially.

If the barrel is toast that’s another story.
 

Krazy_jim

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 9, 2014
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#25
Depends on the condition of the rifle.

I just went through this with my grandfather's old Winchester cooey in .243. Took it to my local smith to go over it, received a phone call and they were amazed how well it cleaned up. So I had them cerakote the action and barrel, then I just scrapped and hand oiled the stock myself.

Wanted to keep it close to original as I could, but with the pitting on the outside of the action I had to at least coat it with something.
 
Jun 14, 2017
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#26
The rifle is in pretty good shape. I plan on keeping the original barrel and stock if I ever wanted to put it back. I looked up the date code, it's a 1970 model. Is there much I can do about the wood stock, it is not helping things. I've seen the zero move with temp change.

Here's a photo, it's wearing a different scope and rings currently
 

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spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
3,508
576
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#27
Sand out the barrel channel so that it free floats and pillar bed it. Your wandering zero issues will disappear.

If you want to save the barrel to put it back on later to bring it back original then dont true the action.

I actually like the wood stocks, they are just classy.
I didnt want to adulterate my first rifle too much either so I just had a new barrel spun up at pacnor and made the wood work for me, a bit of sanding, some pillars and a little devcon. This is my dads used-to-be-matching rifle next to mine. Shoots great and has gotten me a coyote out past 500 yards. Used to never imagine it being accurate enough for that in its original form and I can still go and put my original barrel back on if I felt the need.

1520964835244.png
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#28
The rifle is in pretty good shape. I plan on keeping the original barrel and stock if I ever wanted to put it back. I looked up the date code, it's a 1970 model. Is there much I can do about the wood stock, it is not helping things. I've seen the zero move with temp change.

Here's a photo, it's wearing a different scope and rings currently
If you want to possibly reuse the factory barrel then don't have the action trued. The threads will be opened upon the action and will be too big for the factory barrel.
 

LongRifles Inc.

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 14, 2010
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www.longriflesinc.com
#29
If it were me: First, define the problem and the application.

I am probably considered old school and maybe a jerk for saying this. Here goes: The idea of cobbling a bunch of stuff together so that I can "build" it like an erector set and confront any threat/need, like what's done in the movies, is something I personally find repulsive. Its a bolt action rifle...

Guns should be elegant and have something resembling class. That is my opinion and its based on pure emotion. I am guilty.

So, define that cross road first as it cascades on where you end up.

Other than this rifle being in your family for a very long time, there's absolutely nothing special about it. That is powerful. The need to butcher it into something else isn't really a constraint you have. It's just as easily done with an RR prefix bought ten minutes ago from Wal Mart. So, if that is indeed the case, factor that in. Might be kinda cool to show the kids what GG Grampa laid hate with on the deer population. -Just a thought.

As for particulars:

Older gen M700's have the PE issue solved. It wasn't until later that the wheels fell off. RR's being the worse. I've actually consulted with Remington corporate about this at length.

Most Any domestic production class action will benefit from well executed forensic machine work. Cleaning up threads, base holes, lug surfaces, etc... It all helps. Go into though knowing this: 95% of how a gun shoots starts and ends with a well made barrel installed by someone who understands accurate gunmaking. The last 5% is the work I just described along with bedding, lapping, triggers, blah, blah. If the budget constraint prevents both, go for the barrel every time. Otherwise your just putting shitty makeup on a pig's lips.

I've invested well into 6 figures making an M70 and M700 just as capable as 90% of the "boutique custom" actions. State of the art machines, processes, and (now) the experience (a decade+) of having done literally thousands of them. You get better with repetition. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Its very possible to make this just as capable while preserving the legacy it's earned.

My advice would be to chew on that before you chew on this rifle.

Good luck and happy to help.

C.
 

BigJimFish

Full Member
Jul 24, 2011
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#31
1) I don't think that action trueing, lug lapping, different extractor systems, different ejectors, etc. are worth doing to a factory action. A custom action can be had pretty commonly from $750 - $1k. Very quickly you get to that price trying to make a factory action act like a custom one (which as some have noted, can certainly be done). It is not 1985. Custom actions are very competitively priced now. Nobody should be wasting time trying to straighten everything out on a factory one.

2) Your rifle is not shooting so you either should sell it or make it shoot. Your theory about the wood stock that is not free floated sounds pretty plausible to me. So you could either buy something like a Grayboe stock and just have that solved for yourself or try opening up the barrel channel, putting some pillars in the stock, and bedding it (though it would be hard to cut on that pretty stock). I would probably just buy the Grayboe. This leaves the factory stock intact for possible eventual sale and is a lot less work.

3) If the stock dosen't fix your wandering zero problem my next thought would be the barrel and whether or not you want to spend the dough to rebarrel would be another question as you can sell the Grayboe if it doesn't fix things and be out nothing. With a new barrel though you are essentially committing to the gun. This is what it sounds like you want to do. If it is about keeping you grandfathers action that makes some sense I guess but you are also basically cutting the rifle into pieces.

All told, I get the suspicion that we may be dealing less with questions of what is cost effective and more with questions of how to make a long range hunting rifle that connects you to your grandfather. If that is the case do the barrel and stock thing you talked about. I would try just the stock first though.
 
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