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Carrion_Zombie 09-03-2012 08:31 PM

How do you upgrade a bolt-action rifle's caliber?
I'm looking to change my Remington 700's caliber from .270 to .308. Can this be done by simply getting a different barrel that can handle such a caliber or is it more complicated than that?

Dillinger 09-03-2012 08:37 PM

You'll NOT need a new bolt face, but essentially you are correct. However I believe if you are talking about the .270 Winchester, that is a magnum EDIT: "length" cartridge, which the .308 is not. The internal box magazine would need to be modified as well.

I don't have the math in front of me, but I do not believe you can re-chamber from .270 to .308 directly, so re-barreling would be easiest.

Do you have a competent gunsmith?

Carrion_Zombie 09-03-2012 09:03 PM

Yeah, mines a .270 Winchester. So this leaves me with having to deal with the internal magazine if i ever plan on upgrading it. I do have a reliable gunsmith who would be more than willing to do the job.

SSGN_Doc 09-03-2012 09:08 PM

Both the .308 and .270 use the same bolt face. Both cartridges were originally based on the .30-06. The .270 was necked down, and the .308 was shortened. A barrel is what you need, and a gunsmith, who has the tools to do the barrel swap, and headspace the new barrel to your action.

You may also need to modify the magazine a bit becasue you are going from a long cartrideg to a shorter one. The REmington 700 long action will be a bit of an over length bolt operation, but other than that you should have no problem.

( for clarity, .270 is not a magnum cartridge unless you had a .270 WSM or WSSM.)

Dillinger 09-03-2012 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc (Post 926723)
Both the .308 and .270 use the same bolt face. Both cartridges were originally based on the .30-06. The .270 was necked down, and the .308 was shortened.

Is that right? Huh, I stand 100% corrected. My bad and I apologize, I could have sworn it needed a new bolt head. :o

Egg. Face. No assembly required.


Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc (Post 926723)
( for clarity, .270 is not a magnum cartridge unless you had a .270 WSM or WSSM.)

The .270, due to length, comes in a long action but is not a "magnum" round per say. Yes?

cottontop 09-03-2012 09:59 PM

My question is why would you want to make this change in the first place? The only real advantage of the .308 over the .270 is the short action length of rifles originally chambered for the .308. You would be defeating that purpose by rebarreling the long action .270 to a short action cartridge like the .308. I would prefer a .270 over a .308 any day. If you have to change it to a .30 caliber, then you would be better off to rebarrel it to a .30-06 as then you would now have a cartridge more suited to the longer action length.

Correct, no change to the bolt face would be necessary as both the .308 and the .270 are based off the same case. And, the .270 Winchester is NOT a magnum cartridge, so no magazine alteration would be necessary. I personally would keep the .270 as is and put the money I was going to pay for the rebarrel job toward a .308 if I really wanted one. Or, just trade the .270 for a .308.

hardluk1 09-06-2012 12:13 AM

I wonder also why you would want a 308 over a 270. With the bullets out today the 270 will do anything the 308 can do but at longer ranges with no more recoil. If you just have to have a 30 cal you can buy a 30-06 barrel that will use the same box mag you use with the 270. You will need a smith or someone thats a hobby smithwith the tools to help pull your barrel and then you can buy barrel kit from Northland Shooter Supply and get a kit you can install at home just as people do with savage rifles. The post below will have contact info.

Axxe55 09-06-2012 12:47 AM

true the 270 and the 308 share the same size bolt face, but the 270 is a long action cartridge the same length as the 30-06 and the 308 is a short action cartridge. so essentially you will need a new barrel and some magazine work to make the conversion. yes it can be done, but i have to wonder why? the 270 is an excellent cartridge, and i really don't see where you will gain anything.

personally, myself, for what you will spend on parts and labor, you could end up buying another rifle in 308 and then have two very nice rifles. that would be the route i would go before spending money on converting and not really gaining any advantage over what you have already.

hiwall 09-06-2012 01:15 PM

I have known people that switched barrels on their 700's many times. These guys never checked headspace, as they said as long as they were using factory barrels there was no need. One of the guys had 6 different barrels for his one gun and none had any problems. I would not recommend this, I'm just reporting. Used factory 700 barrels can often be bought pretty cheap.

303tom 09-06-2012 06:25 PM

How do I upgrade a bolt-action rifle's caliber?

I just buy another rifle................

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