Bolt Action Rifles.
i have wanted to start a thread about bolt action rifles for while. i want a thread that we can discuss bolt actions, with photos of your favorites, a discussion with tips and pointers on how to maintain or modify them. tip and tricks on repairing them and where to find parts and accessories for them.
we can discuss what are some the best features of a particular brand, but no brand bashing. i want this thread to focus on commercially made rifles, sporterized military rifles, target and hunting rifles, and of course custom built bolt actions either you or a gunsmith has built.
i shoot and own more bolt action rifles than any other type. i enjoy their inherent accuracy, their simplicity and their timeless design.
hopefully this thread will also help give some much needed information to those who are new to firearms, or those who are new to rifles and want some tips and recommendation on bolt actions in general.
so lets see how this goes!:D
I have two stainless steel bolt action rifles a Ruger 77/22 and a Sako 6.5x55 both are excellent and as you say a simple reliable design which is a joy to use, the satisfying sound of a round being picked up by the bolt and engaging it's like built in expectation !!
good idea axxe.
i run about even with my bolt vs semi collection... however i wish i had more bolts.
my first was a marlin .22, my second a .win 70 .308. and so on and so forth.
i love both, as far as features go i think my preferences for them are as follows.
the safety inline behind the bolt, not attached to the rear of the bolt.
thumbhole stock if you can, if not its still shootable.
at least a 3x9 scope.
an inside stock mag, not detachable. often the detachable ones need to be played with for proper insertion.
a sling for the end of the day.
and accurate of minute-of-deer.
Got caught up in all the Mosin madness a while back and picked one up for $99. I took it shooting and found that it grouped like a shotgun, (Nearly 10" groups at 100 yds.). I took it home and did a more thorough cleaning in good light and found that the stock was cracked under the receiver. you can also see that the rear area of the stock where the tang sits is uneven and makes for a poor contact area to bed the action. This may have contributed to the cracking in the first place.
I took this as an opportunity to try some stock repair techniques and see what kind of accuracy I can wring out of the rifle.
Here I put some epoxy in the crack and then used some wood clamps to clamp the stock together, then drilled the stock and put ins some brass screws to reenforce the stock and prevent the crack from traveling under recoil.
After cutting the screws off close to the stock, I used a fine file to take them flush to the wood.
Next I decided to try to take care of the bedding surfaces for the action and the recoil lug area to not only make a secure bed for the action, but to also help make a solid fit that would prevent future cracking. I used JB Weld as my bedding compound and paste wax as my release agent when bedding the action.
As long as I had it apart I figured I'd check the barrel channel to see if there were any tight spots for the barrel that could put uneven pressure on the barrel, affecting harmonics and shifts as the barrel would heat up. I slid a piece of paper under the barrel to identify tight areas where the paper would drag, and marked these areas with a pencil. Then I used a deep well socket and some sand paper to locate and smooth out the tight spots. I did this through the barrel channel up to the area about two inches forward of the flare in the barrel near the action, until the paper would travel smoothly down the barrel channel.
Some rifles will do ok if the barrel is floated for the full length of the barrel channel, while other like to have some upward pressure in the last couple inches of the barrel channel. Thin cork was used by the Finns when they accurized Mosins and placed in the end of the barrel channel to apply this pressure. The Finns also used metal shims in the tang area and lug area as well as under the trigger guard to provide a bedding surface for the action.
After the repair work I took the rifle to the range with several loads to see if I had made any headway, as well as find out if the rifle had an ammo preference.
Russian Surplus 147 gr light ball ammo. This was the first load fired and is showed that headway had definitely been made.
TulAmmo 148 gr.
Czech Surplus 147 gr, and the Winchester 180 gr load which is actually made by Sellor and Bellot.
Brown Bear "Match" 174 gr
So, I went from a rifle shooting 10" to 1-3" groups depending on ammo and shooter. I also found that the rifle did like a pressure pad in the barrel channel for the last inch toward the muzzle. I used buisiness card stock until groups tightened.
Sako TRG-S 995 in .30-06
great posts guys! very nice indeed.
well being as i started this thread, it's only fair that i share as well! it would be rude not to!:o
these are pictures of my Marlin XS7VH in 308. i ordered this rifle with the intentions of making a budget target rifle out of it. it's the third X7 that i bought and had such good results out of the other two, that i decided to do this project.
i bedded the stock and added weight to where now it weighs in at a little over 13.5 lbs. i modified the one-peice scope base to a two-peice. i polished the trigger parts and have it adjusted to just under 2 lbs. did my own camo paint job and then mounted the Swift Premier 8-32x50 scope. i have been using this rifle to work up some pretty incredible and accurate loads. this rifle is still a work in process and a good learning tool. it's so far has been very rewarding and showing some really good results. enjoy the pictures.
here are pictures of a Remingtom M700 in 270 that i picked really cheap at pawn shop a couple of years ago. this rifle was made in 1969 according to the date code. the stock is an aftermarket walnut that when i got it, it looked like it had been painted by someone using a paint brush! i stripped the finish on the stock, and also sanded dow all the checkering as i had no way of saving it due to the finish someone had used in the past. the stock when i finally got it stripped was some beautiful walnut. i glassbedded the stock, cleaned all the metal and used a SS epoxy paint on the barreled action. soaked the trigger assembly in some mineral spirits overnite and then cleaned it very well as it was full of gunk. then adjusted it to just under 3 lbs. mounted a 3-9x40 scope on it and it shoots very accurately. also replaced the buttplate with a Pachmyer recoil pad.
I prefer older bolt guns. Not to say I don't have more modern models, but tend to stick w/ pre 1962. The two "modern" rifles are a Howa 1500 in .308 and a Savage 110 Sierra lite in 7mm Reminton Mag. I am not a fan of big bell scopes,
42mm is as big as they get on my rifles. One of my favorite hunters in 6.5x55 a 1962 Husqvarna 1900 small ring '98 wears a simple 4x32mm scope. I love the set up and it is a perfect 300 yard rifle. I often set up my rifles with a scope that works well at 1500fpe for the cartridges distance. My .308 is the odd one out in that respect. I used this rifle for 700 yard paper punching and at the time I had a 6-24x40mmAO on it. I changed that out for a 3-12x42mmAO to make it more practical. Still can reach out to 700 yards, but these days I don't shoot distances like that. The oldest bolt rifle I own is a 1907 Carl Gustav M96 in 6.5x55. It is very accurate. As far as suplus rifles it is a toss up between the M96 and M38 Swedes and the Swiss K31 as far as which is more accurate w/ iron sights. I did leave out one newer bolt gun, a CZ527 Varminter in .223 topped w/ a Sightron SII 6.5-20x42mmAO. I love the rifle. It has a CIP chamber so surplus 5.56x45 is no issue. I guess I own about 20 bolt guns, all for different purposes.
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