Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Converting Match Rifle back to Hunting Rifle (Gunsmith & Scope Recommendations?)

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default Converting Match Rifle back to Hunting Rifle (Gunsmith & Scope Recommendations?)

    I'm kind of at a crossroads in my shooting life and I'm looking for some "unattached" viewpoints.

    I have an older (bought in 1996) Savage 110 (long action) in .243 Win. that began life as one of those lower cost "package guns." I was never a hunter back then, but I competed a lot at local clubs, so I took it to a gunsmith in Florida, where I'm from, and had it converted for NRA High Power Competition and had the action glass bedded. I haven't shot a match in about 10 years now, all of my equipment is in storage at my parents' home in Tampa, and, since coming to AK 7 years ago, I'm wanting to hunt more than birds.

    My original plan involved me buying a Pre-64 Model 70 in 30-06, but that's not possible in the near future. I recently looked at the newer Savage rifles and quickly noticed that their guns are no longer "low cost" at over $700, so I'm thinking of converting mine back into a hunting rifle.

    My dilemmas are thus:

    Sights: I ditched the cheap-o scope the gun came with and had an older Redfield Olympic Micrometer aperature sight installed in the rear. My gunsmith built a a rather tall sight base on the muzzle (about 3/4" high-not sure how he attached it), and installed an Anschutz magnifying hooded aperature front sight with a set of interchangeable, different size aperatures.) However, the original tapped holes for the scope mounts are still there.

    Magazine: The follower has been filed down, thinner, and some wood taken out of the bottom, to fit a fifth round in the magazine (per NRA competition rules) and a stripper clip holder attached to the rear scope mount holes for using 03A3 type stripper clips (also per NRA rules for rapid reloading).

    Trigger and Safety: The trigger breaks at just over two pounds. If you cock the gun and then smack the rifle down on the ground, stock first, it will fire every time. Add to that, the safety is difficult to engage. It works, but I need to use a 3/16 screwdriver to push it to on. (It comes off just fine.)

    So my questions/concerns are:

    Who, in Anchorage, would be a good gunsmith to remove the competition sights, bring the trigger back up a pound or so, and deal with the safety mechanism issue? (If that can't be overcome, do I scrap this idea on safety grounds or do I resolve to not load the chamber until I'm ready shoot?)

    What are the legalities of hunting with a rifle that now has a five-round capacity (six if you add one to the chamber)? I know that semi-autos are limited to 5 rounds maximum, but are bolt guns similarly limited?

    Once the concerns above are resolved, what's a decent (not top dollar, but not junk) rifle scope for Alaska? Alternatively, I like iron sights, but would the current combination of competition stye sights hold up to field carry or is there some other combination of iron sights that I am overlooking?

    I know that the 243 is a bit light for up here, but I'm mostly thinking of Caribou, although I'm perfectly confident that shot placement shouldn't be a problem for either Caribou or Moose. The rifle, as it sits, is a tack driver (I do need to build a 100 gain load with it though) and is accurate at long ranges.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Why not shoot it with the sights you have? No limit on rounds for any rifles or handguns hunting.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    Get an aftermarket trigger http://www.midwayusa.com/product/223...2-to-4-lb-blue and seems like you will be fine. Are the comp. sights fragile? If your receiver is still tapped for scope mounts, why not just get a mid-range scope such as a Redfield and go that route? I'll bet your safety issue would be easy to resolve. Post a picture.
    PS I routinely hunt with a .303 Enfeild which has a 10 round magazine.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    At the very least, get the trigger adjusted correctly.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  5. #5
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    Yeah, that safety has got to work better than that. An aftermarket trigger will solve that ill. Any standard gunsmith will be able to help you out.

    Magazine capacity is a non-issue in Alaska.

    If you once shot NRA High Power I assume you know how to get the most out of aperture sights....I'd probably just roll with them. Of course- I still hunt on occasion with a couple of aperture sighted rifles and don't feel its a significant handicap. With a .243 I'd want to be plenty close which makes the irons even less of a handicap.

    If you really want to scope it, I'd just change the barrel and the cartridge at the same time to an '06, 270, or whatnot. Savages are ridiculously easy to swap barrels on and surprisingly affordable. Unbolt your rear sight components, mount a mid priced scope and go- although before I went through all that trouble to take apart a nice comp gun, I'd just find a used '06 floating around for the same money.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    So my questions/concerns are:

    Who, in Anchorage, would be a good gunsmith to remove the competition sights, bring the trigger back up a pound or so, and deal with the safety mechanism issue? (If that can't be overcome, do I scrap this idea on safety grounds or do I resolve to not load the chamber until I'm ready shoot?)

    .

    For what its worth and just a short drive from anchorage I have gotten nothing but good recommendations for ADfields (member here) and will be having him do some work for me...

  7. #7

    Default

    The 110 is a long action rifle, your saved; it has a .473 bolt face. Look on the net and find a 30-06 or barrel of your choice; with a .473 bolt face. Take both to a smith, he'll loosen the barrel nut change out the barrels and set the head-space; The 243 becomes a 30-06. The front sight remains on the 243 barrel and all you have to add is the scope of your choice. Replace or adjust the trigger/safety and your ready for the woods. Plus at a latter date you can refit the 243 and still shoot competition.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  8. #8
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    My advice would be:
    First fix the trigger and safety, I conceder both those unsafe for any gun. Good aftermarket trigger will fix that, sounds like the gun predates the Acutrigger and could stand a new trigger anyway.


    Now caliber, itís a Savage 110, they have a barrel nut and adjustable headspace. You can buy a barrel, wrench, and a go-gage and change it yourself. Anything with the 308/30-06 case head will work in it since it is a long action with a 243 bolt face. However Iím not sure about the magazine, it may or may not take some new parts to fit 30-06 length ammo. Being itís already modified changing parts in there could open a new can-o-worms.

    So what Iíd do is buy a 338 Federal or 358 Winchester barrel. Both are 308 family just like the 243 and very capable of taking Alaskan big game. Buy a 308 go-gage and a Savage barrel wrench and you will be able to change it out with a little education on the subject. Or any smith can do it for you and then you donĎt need the tools. The beauty of buying the tools and going DIY though is you can toss that 243 barrel back on there anytime if you want a varmint gun for the winter or something.

    If you reload or are at all interested in starting go with the 358 Winchester. If you donít reload or donít plan to 338 Federal is your better choice for factory ammo availability.

    Sites, scope whatever are a personal thing. I like irons for my kind of hunting, you donít need an optic. You will extend your range with a scope but usually acquiring a target a bit more slowly is the trade off for it . . . Up to you, go with what you like.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Wow, thanks you guys! I had never considered a caliber change. I wonder what my costs would be on that-have to start researching it. As for caliber, I'm pretty much married to the idea of 30-06. I dislike the higher prices of the more exotic calibers, and I can find 30-06 ammo everywhere, even at the corner drug store in Albania.

    I reloaded when I shot competitively, and I still have about 500 pieces of 243 brass, thousand or so primers, and a few hundred projectiles (nothing heavy enough to hunt with), but I've been out of that so long, and most of my gear is gone, so, for at least the next several years, I'm probably shooting cup & core ammo from Sportsman's or Freddies.

    Anyone recommend a particular manufacturer of of triggers and barrels for the 110? My dad's 243 had a Douglas barrel, maybe I'll start there. Guess I'll start out over at Brownell's.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Wow, thanks you guys! I had never considered a caliber change. I wonder what my costs would be on that-have to start researching it. As for caliber, I'm pretty much married to the idea of 30-06. I dislike the higher prices of the more exotic calibers, and I can find 30-06 ammo everywhere, even at the corner drug store in Albania.

    I reloaded when I shot competitively, and I still have about 500 pieces of 243 brass, thousand or so primers, and a few hundred projectiles (nothing heavy enough to hunt with), but I've been out of that so long, and most of my gear is gone, so, for at least the next several years, I'm probably shooting cup & core ammo from Sportsman's or Freddies.

    Anyone recommend a particular manufacturer of of triggers and barrels for the 110? My dad's 243 had a Douglas barrel, maybe I'll start there. Guess I'll start out over at Brownell's.
    Check "gunbroker" or "gunsamerica" both auction sights. Lots of NEW take-off barrels (maybe triggers too) usually as smiths are always making comp guns for people in exotic calibers, then they list the take-offs. You could get a SS barrel for your blued action, and apply Duracoat if that's your desire (I have). There is in some cases a spacer in the short action magazines that holds the ammo in the proper area for the bolt to pick it up. The magazine shell follower may have to be replaced with a longer model and the spacer for short ammo removed. All Savage parts are available and the firearms are some of the easiest to work on.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Yeah, looks like $200 for a barrel kit and $155 for a trigger at Brownell's. One thing I just realized is the action has already been bedded; how wil that affect replacement of the trigger and fitting of a new barrel?

  12. #12

    Default

    As long as the barrel has the same contour as the one currently on the rifle the bedding should not be affected. As only the action should have glass under it and around the screws as a pillar for support. The trigger area will have been shaped by play-doh and won't be affected either. IF however the barrel is larger in the chamber area than the current one the glass could have to be removed with a dremel tool in that area. If the barrel has less taper than the current one the barrel channel may have to be sanded with some sandpaper wrapped around a wooden dowel to open it up so the barrel floats.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  13. #13

    Default

    your best bet is to take it into Wild West Guns, 7100 Homer Drive in Anchorage, and have The Kid take care of it.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default Converting Match Rifle back to Hunting Rifle (Gunsmith & Scope Recommendations?)

    I just picked up a 110 youth savage in7-08 for $500 with a decent Nikon scope. Bet you could sell your match setup and get a new rifle faster cheaper and easier.

  15. #15
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    um... Wasilla...
    Posts
    826

    Default

    With as much as you are going to spend converting your match rifle back to hunting configuration, I'd just sell what you have and buy what you want. You may have to look around for a good deal, but they are out there. It's not like hunting season opens tomorrow. You have plenty of time to make the right deal happen. I just picked up a brand new Tikka T3 Lite in 270win for $350. Darn good shooter, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Meh. I was kind of coming to that conclusion after just some cursory shopping on the internet. I don't think I would sell my rifle; I doubt there would be much interest in it in this area for all of the reasons discussed, and I would never come close to recouping the money spent on it this far (about $1500 all in), so yeah, a used rifle would be my best alternative. What I will probably do is just use it as is. Toss a scope on it and call it good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    With as much as you are going to spend converting your match rifle back to hunting configuration, I'd just sell what you have and buy what you want. You may have to look around for a good deal, but they are out there. It's not like hunting season opens tomorrow. You have plenty of time to make the right deal happen. I just picked up a brand new Tikka T3 Lite in 270win for $350. Darn good shooter, too.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •