Building the last rifle I will ever "need"


Well-Known Member
Had to move this one over more for my records than anything else.

I have decided to put together a rifle based on a Remington 700 30-06 my Dad bought back in the early 80's. The plan is to come up with a rifle that can handle all the hunting I can afford to do. It will stay an 06' because every small town gun shop and general stores will have something to feed it, worldwide anywhere big game is hunted. It is no secret that I think the 308 is the perfect deer rifle. That said the 06 is better with the heavier bullets for larger game. I will never hunt the big bears - the 06 can handle everything else on this continent. I hope to make it to Africa some day, with some good 180 grain bullets it will also handle the reach of my checkbook. I know some will say a magnum would be better. I have a 300 win mag gathering dust in the cabinet. Heavy, loud, and expensive to shoot. The 30-06 has been every where in it's almost 110 years in service.

Step one = glass. I am leaving the iron sights on, knowing I will probably never use them. The option will always be there. I choose simple, strong, and light Weaver rings. Requirement here is they had to tighten with a standard flat head screwdriver (always with me on the leatherman). So many rings today attach with allen heads. I also have a backup burris scope mounted in another set of rings (probably never need it either). The main scope is a Leupold VX III with the CDS reticle. I will have the initial dial calibrated for a 165 grain bullet of some sort once I get a load worked up.

One complication with the irons is I can't use my regular flip up scope caps. Going to have to start researching alternatives.

Still to come:
stock - staying with the ADL so limited on choices in the $200-300 range leaning towards HS precision
Fluting - bolt
Cerakote - metal
Trigger upgrade - currently has the old one that locks the bolt on safe

Should be a fun project with some good sentimental value. If any of you know my wife don't put a price tag on any of this! Or that we all know why "need" is in parenthesis! ;)
I ended up winning one of the old redfield flip up ghost ring peeps on ebay. Mounted on the back of the weaver base I am using I think it could interfere with the bolt. I am going to put it on the front of the rear base. I taped it in place = very quick, like most ghost ring sights. Bad part is it came with two mismatched screws. So I am going to have to figure out what size I need. Then I either get brave and try to drill and tap myself or find someone to do it. Tiny little sight so not the best picture.

Mocked up with tape

Drill bits and tap came in today. I wouldn't say a guy should learn how to tap on a 2-56 tap but it worked. Need to try to find some black machine screws but the peep is mounted as I had in my mind. The finish is a little rough on the sight but I will have it cerakoted with the bolt.

Flipped up ready to use:

Folded down when the scope is in use. You won't see many of these I don't think.

Finding black machine screws 6-48 and bigger is no problem, but 2-56 is tough. After checking every hardware store I went by I ended up ordering off the interwebs. I ordered 4 different lengths and two different heads styles. 10 cents a piece. Total cart 0.80 plus $5.95 shipping.:mad:

Everybody needs to make a living! Overall not too bad to give the rifle a "one of a kind" feature. I think I have about $30 in the sight, drill bits, tap, and screws. And I gained a little amateur gunsmithing knowledge.

Synthetic stock is on backorder. Stay tuned.....
Stock is on. HS Precision 2000 series. Receiver is set in an aluminum block. Fit is excellent except for the magnum profile barrel channel which was a common complaint online. It is definitely free floated! Balance point is right at the front of the receiver where it should be. Weight is setting at about 8.1 pounds unloaded. Should be a well behaved 06. About time to hit the range.

First off my liability statement: I am not a gunsmith or even mechanically inclined. Cut around on your guns at your own risk.

Thanks to GonHuntin's tutorial on the first page I decided to do away with the bolt stop on the pre-82 safety on the 700.


Pull the retaining pin off the cross bolt. Lift up the cover that retains the ball bearing. Crawl around on the floor looking for the ball bearing. Put all small part in a zip lock. Removed the safety lever, 1 min with the Dremmel tool, 5 sec on the bench grinder to smooth it up. Then back together.

Now I can work the bolt with the safety on, kind of nice with an ADL where you have to move all the cartridges through the chamber to unload. The lever will go off with the bolt for cerakote.
Finally made it to the range. Sighted the peep roughly at 50 yards. As I expected the ghost ring isn't for driving nails. Able to manage about 4 - 5 inch groups. Good enough to brain a hog at 15 - 20 yards. Then I put the Leupold back on and moved over to the 100 yard range. With factory Remington 165 grain core lok's she is right around a 1 to 1 1/4 MOA rifle. This group was after 10 or so sight in shots. I am a little rusty on my bench shooting so I think it is capable of sub MOA. The 165 CL is one of my favorite deer bullets in my 308. I need to start working on some handloads, can probably tighten the groups a bit. As of right now I would call her good enough.

Well my self taught class of home gunsmithing continues. The front sight is finally off. A week of marinating in Kroil. I bought a set of left hand drill bits, drilled out a pilot hole, and used 1/8 inch LH bit to turn the screw out.

Luckily I have another screw!

Bolt and parts back from Kampfeld Custom. Graphite black cerakote and Remington TI fluting on the bolt.

Dropped the receiver and barrel off yesterday at Dynamic Finishes. Went with Tactical Grey, they had a whole deck of color samples and were able to match the grey webbing on the stock pretty well. Turn around time is about 4 weeks, just enough time to get her put back together and sighted in for deer season (the 308 is waiting patiently just in case).
That moment when you are wondering if you remember how everything goes back together?

Pressed the sight in

Hood to protect the fiber sight I probably never use (and if kind of gives it that dangerous game look)

The grey is coming out a little shinier in the pics than in hand. Tactical grey cerakote is a perfect match for the HS stock

Time to hit the range and get it sighted in. Hopefully get some blood on it come November. Been a fun project thanks for following along and helping out.

Before and After


Looks like I landed on a decent load out of the gate.

165 grain Hornady Interlock boattail in front of 56 grains of IMR 4350

She's now sitting about 2" high at 100. Should work on a deer or two next month. I also loaded up some Nosler 180 gr Accubonds with the 4350 they were around 1.25 MOA. As of now I don't have any reason to go heavier than the 165's. Might try some 150's out of curiosity but I bet the group above will be hard to beat.
It is now officially a deer rifle! Another pic in the Happy Hunters forum


Well the new rifle went 2 for 2. 285 yards heart shot, pretty predictable performance out of the 165 interlock = knocked her down on a shoulder and she bulldozed 25 yards off in the brush. Should be great meat, she had 3/4 inch of back fat.

The well worn old Butler Creek Neoprene sling that I switch between a bunch of guns didn't really go with the new rifle. So sticking with the DIY theme of the project I ordered one of these:

Not being overly crafty I had to read the instructions a few times.

First layer. Tie knot, repeat until your hands hurt.

Second layer goes over that. 60 feet of paracord involved in total. Probably 1.5 hours while watching TV. I think it came out alright.

I need to get back to the range when it warms up. I have some Hornady SST 165 grains I want to try out. Then I need to pick a load, chronograph it, and get the CDS scope dial information sent it. The wife asked last night when I was going to be done with this project = I asked how many more shoes she needed and it went from there!!!
Nice job. Always good when you can breath life back into an old friend.

If you don't mind me asking, what did the cerakote job cost you?
$55 for the small parts and bolt in graphite black, $140 for the rest tactical grey. Money better spent than a simple dipping job IMO. Go to the cerakote website and watch some of the videos, pretty impressive stuff.
The 06 couldn't find a buck that suited it this season. Did shoot a quartering to doe with the 165 interlock. Ran 15 yards and fell over. Never have tried out the SST's that I loaded up. 1 - 2 bullets a year this is a slow process!
Looks good and I like the CDS. My AR sports a Leupold that came with a dial and I can send it back to get get it corrected to my load. So far, it has been spot on out to 300yds with the ammo I am using. Cant beat a good rifle with good glass on it. If you are in the mood to play with loads and have some 7828 handy, give it a try. It produces some spectacular loads.