Shorter round in a Savage Long Action?


June 11, 2009, 10:09 PM
I have a Savage in 7mm Remington Magnum. I've ordered a nice Bell and Carlson Stock for it and the next step will be to replace its beat up sporter barrel with a varmint or bull barrel. I'm thinking of converting it to .308 Winchester. Are there any issues in converting a long action savage to one of the short action rounds? Does it make any difference?

If your curious the rifle is mostly for paper punching out to about 600 yards and maybe one day a little dear hunting. I'm still not convince I shouldn't leave it as a 7mm but I'm curious if I can convert it to one of the shorter action rounds without causing any drama.

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June 11, 2009, 11:53 PM
There used to be several factory rifles built on a long action only with different cartridges used in the same mag.
Or you always have the choice of installing the shorter follower and spring with a spacer made to fill the gap.
I've never done it on a Savage but I don't think you'll have any problems.


June 12, 2009, 12:50 AM
You'll need a different bolt face and it may or may not feed from the mag.

June 12, 2009, 05:52 PM
I know I'll need a new bolt face with the rechambered barrel. I;m more interested in any issues that I haven't thought of that may come up in using the longer action with the shorter round. I realize the 308 may not feed well from the magazine but normally I shoot it as a single shot anyhow. I wouldn't mind using the mag if I was to take it hunting though.

June 12, 2009, 06:00 PM
Unlike Mausers & Model 70's, the Savage feed rails are in the stamped sheet metal magazine box.

Replace the magazine box & follower with a long action 30-06 standard size and it will feed .308.
Might feed even better of you put a block in the rear of the box to hold the rounds all the way foreward.

Drawing Part #25 & #26 - Stock number 855-000-041 & 855-000-044


Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2009, 06:43 PM
The famous pre-64 Model 70 Winchester used the same standard (.30-06 length) action for everything from the .22 Hornet to the .375 H&H Magnum. Short cartridges had the rear of the magazine blocked and a longer bolt stop, to limit bolt travel. (The Hornet, I admit, had a special magazine inside the regular magazine box.)

But consider using the .30-06. The action length is perfect, you won't have to block the magazine or worry about bolt travel. And as a handloader, you can get more from the '06 case.

Uncle Mike
June 12, 2009, 07:35 PM
agree, for your application...the 30-06.

June 12, 2009, 07:42 PM
short actions have a block in the magazine for 308 etc

June 13, 2009, 12:13 PM
Looking at my reloading books there is a TON of load info for the 30-06. It would give me a lot more versatility than the 7mm. It may be easier to find a deal on a barrel too. I hate to have to get all new dies/brass/etc...again. I would only switch to the shorter rounds to bring recoil down a bit but the 30-06 has a lot or versatility to load a softer but still accurate load for plinking and still develop and accurate load for out to 1000. Or am I wrong?

btw. This is my, "big boom long range gun". I plan on using something else in the 0-200y range. But if the range is longer than that, this is my go to gun.

June 16, 2009, 07:23 AM
Are there any drawbacks if I stay with 7mm? I mean other than the recoil its flat shooting and pretty accurate.

Uncle Mike
June 16, 2009, 09:44 AM
Absolutely no drawbacks to keeping the 7 mag in play.
For the guy who hunts with, and does the occasional range session with, the 7 mag will last a lifetime.

The 7 mag is harder on barrels than say the 30-06 but that will be from numerous rounds and or heated range sessions.

Th 30-06 in all of its various loadings is an awesome round to say the least.
Most guys settle on one loading, with an occasional fling as to bullet weight for differing applications.

As for recoil... if you were to put two identical rifles in your hands, one chambered in 308 and the other in 30-06, both launching 150 grain pills, and you with all your hunting gear on, fired both said rifles... I'll bet you a cooked opossum you can't tell the difference in recoil of each of these rounds. :scrutiny:


June 16, 2009, 10:10 PM
That is a consideration for me. I tend to shoot 20-30 rounds in a range session. Maybe more. I don't want to spend a lot on a barrel just to shoot it out in a few months.

Vern Humphrey
June 17, 2009, 09:02 AM
I doubt you will shoot out a barrel in your lifetime.

June 17, 2009, 06:33 PM
Really, a lot of shooters on other forums are talking about the lifetime of these barrels. Maybe the amount of group degradation they are talking about is minute enough that it only makes a difference in BR shooting or something silly. Thanks.

June 17, 2009, 10:39 PM
You could also load the 7 Mag down to say 7x57 or 7mm-08 levels and have about the same recoil as the 308. Doing so will eliminate the need for a mag box, follower, and bolt head.

A 120 gr bullet at 2500 fps will be plenty to kill deer at 200+ yards.

In fact, the Remington Managed Recoil 7 mag load is a 140 gr bullet at 2710 fps muzzle velocity, and still has 1081 ft lbs of energy at 400 yards.*RL7MM4

But I know, sometimes a guy just gets an itch to swap stuff around :)

Uncle Mike
June 17, 2009, 11:58 PM
You'd have to work overtime to shoot out a barrel under normal usage. whatever you decide on, shoot that sucker as much as possible and have fun!

June 18, 2009, 10:54 PM
Well also the barrel on my rifle is a little on the rusty and crappy looking side. Its also a sporter contour that doesn't fit my stock. Since I wish to ditch the old crappy sporter barrel I'm just weighing my options on what to replace it with. Its seems to me it may be ahrder to find a heavy contour 7mm without paying out the big bucks for a Shilen or some other fancy barrel maker.

And, yes, plan to shoot the heck out of it. I've done a LOT of pistol shooting over the last few years bu ti really wan tto improve my skills with a rifle.

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