How hard is it to modify a Remington 700?


August 29, 2009, 03:10 PM
I have an SPS Stainless in .30-06. I Find that the recoil is a bit much for me to get consistent groups that I am happy with. So I am thinking about possibly getting a heavier barrel with a muzzle-break, and a heavier stock. Right now my rifle only weighs 7.5 lbs. I don't do a lot of stalking for deer season and if I do, I wouldn't mind the extra weight. So I was wondering how hard and expensive those modifications might be. I am calling my local gunsmith to ask about barrels and muzzle-breaks. I might just need a muzzle break on the barrel I have and a new stock. BUT, I really want to reduce the recoil on this thing for the sake of accuracy. It is either this or trade for a different rifle. Thanks in advance.

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August 29, 2009, 03:25 PM
I'd trade it. Maybe look at a .308, 7-08 or 6.5 Swede. They'll do 99% a 30.06 will do.

August 29, 2009, 03:33 PM
hobgob, I agree with John that trading it is the best (and probably cheapest) option. You could also try a new stock as you mentioned, or reduced loads etc but you might never be happy and you'll have wasted even more money. I've had new barrels (and bolts) installed on two Remington 700s and it's not a cheap way to go.

As for the muzzle brake ... I would advise against that, particularly for a hunting rifle.


August 29, 2009, 03:36 PM
I've just been through a similar thing. I bought a .30-06 recently. I took it to the range to shoot before I even put a scope on it just to see how the recoil compared to my .243. After 2 shots I went "wow, I gotta do something to make that not hurt as much."

I had heard about limbsaver recoil pads so I decided to give one a try. World o' difference! I got a scope on it right about the same time as the limbsaver and I shot 7 shots getting it zeroed in. My shoulder felt better after 7 than it had before after only 2. That would be my first suggestion.

Another possibility would be reduced-recoil ammo. I hear that's much more comfortable to shoot. Or if you reload you can roll your own light stuff. If you don't reload, you should. It's a great hobby! I was shooting some reloads in my .243 just this morning. And startup costs to reload will be much less than a new barrel and stock. Plus you won't have the extra weight to haul through the woods.

But I'd try a limbsaver (or equivalent) first. Mine sure made a believer out of me.

August 29, 2009, 04:03 PM
I had heard about limbsaver recoil pads

Another possibility would be reduced-recoil ammo.

That's very good advice from cerberus65. Either one or both suggestions will tame that '06.


August 29, 2009, 04:28 PM
New barrels (with installation) aren't cheap. Cost almost as much as a new rifle. Last labor quote from my gunsmith: $100 R&R barrel, $25 headspace, $125 rebluing (since they use heat and action wrench and a barrel vise together, it is extremely difficult to remove a barrel without marring the receiver and/or the barrel, so your smith may insist that he will only perform the task if rebluing is included). An heavy contour Shilen barrel is about $270, which will bring the total to $500 or so. Threaded muzzle (48) and brake (98) adds another $150 to the cost.

When you trade a rifle you lose lots of value, money right down the drain and out the door. I hate trading unless I've really got to get rid of a rifle.

A recoil pad is much cheaper, either a prefit Limbsaver or the new type Remington R3 is about $35 and you install it yourself with the two buttplate screws. Most recoil pads don't do such a good job, but these two are excellent.

First install the recoil pad and shoot some factory ammo just to see the difference. Then try the reduced recoil or youth loads. As cerberus and smitty noted above, this is a very astute combination.

And don't forget the possibility of a shoulder pad, and/or shooting jacket or vest with pad built in.

By the way, be sure to use proper ear protection. Sometimes noise is half the recoil problem.

August 29, 2009, 04:34 PM
I agree with John that trading it is the best (and probably cheapest) option. You could also try a new stock as you mentioned, or reduced loads etc but you might never be happy and you'll have wasted even more money.

Why didn't I think of that? :rolleyes:


Ben Shepherd
August 29, 2009, 04:38 PM
The majority of my bolt action long guns(including ALL of my magnums) wear limbsaver pads.

You may want to use a PAST recoil pad for longer sessions at the bench as well.

August 29, 2009, 11:12 PM
All of the recent SPS rifles have the limbsaver pad from the factory so unless it is an older gun it probably already has one. If not get one. Consider the reduced recoil ammo until you get used to the rifle. Trading for a 308 will make a very minor difference in recoil, so you will have to go to something smaller to make noticeable difference.

A 7.5 lb rifle is no lightweight and the 30-06 is hardly a heavy recoiling rifle. With a little time there is no reason you cannot master the recoil. I would keep it and learn to use it.

August 29, 2009, 11:17 PM
Get the limbsaver and at the same time have the pull length (stock length) fitted for you.

If the 30.06 recoil is a problem then it is often the guns stock does not fit your build. This is an easy fix.

Try 150 grain loads, there is a difference in the felt recoil from a 150 verse a 180.

Also try shooting the rifle standing up/ not on the bench or prone.

Last do not fight the guns recoil, let the recoil flow through you. If you ridge or tighten up when you pull the trigger you will hurt in short order.

The idea is to roll with it.

Good Luck

September 3, 2009, 08:13 PM
Ya, The rifle came with a limbsaver recoil pad already installed. I normally shoot 180 gr but I will try lighter bullets. The problem isnt that it hurts to shoot the rifle. the problem is that I just can't shoot as accurately as I would like with this one. I have shot .308 before and it seemed like it had a lot less recoil so that was why I was thinking about switching to a different caliber rifle.

September 3, 2009, 11:24 PM
unless you are antisipating the recoil and flinching it shouldnt matter. the bullet should be long out the barrel before you feel the recoil. this was really illustrated to me the other day while i was sighting in a 22-250 with very hot loads i spotted a bird about 100 yards out past my sighting target and when i shot it i saw the bird explode through the scope before the recoil moved the gun off the target

September 3, 2009, 11:35 PM
After I placed a limb saver on my 30.06 I felt a HUGE difference. Try that first because its a cheap fix and could be your answer. It increased the stock length to just enough where I could really shoulder it in properly, before that I didn't even realize that the shorter stock was smacking that badly.

4v50 Gary
September 4, 2009, 10:27 AM
I concur with others. A good recoil pad is a cheap fix.

September 4, 2009, 07:19 PM
From what position are you shooting? Since you are shooting for groups, I assume from a bench? Are you using a bipod? Give us a bit more info.

In my experience, bipods are great shooting from prone (heavy recoil, but accurate); from a bench, they tend to bounce irregularly, negatively affecting accuracy. I shoot from a padded rest. Make sure you rest the same contact point on the fore stock on the rest each shot. I use a set of bean bags under the buttstock ... and often throw one behind the stock, between the butt and my shoulder ... when shooting heavy recoiling loads; also helps. Follow through on the trigger ... etc., etc.

I wouldn't start by modifying the rifle. Work on good technique first, then test all the basic accuracy-robbing things: barrel touching the stock; loose action screws; loose base or rings; etc. How's the trigger?

October 10, 2009, 07:42 PM
I just purchased A VBL Remington 700 30-06 and went to buy a new scope for it today. I took a few shots before hand and was unpleasantly surprised that the recoil knocked my shoulder up pretty good. They didnt have the LimbSaver in the size I needed so I bought a quick fix slip on butt cover. Didn't help too much. I agree it hindered my ability to get the gun sighted, but I managed to still get a tight group at 100yds. I may have problems hoisting a cold one though tonight with my right hand...
I was shooting my own loads (150 gr, 49 gr) which give me no problem in my M1.

October 11, 2009, 01:22 AM
I know looking into cost is a good question and i've solved this problem with the axiom V/S stock however its appx 445.00 at L A POLICE GEAR and is almost as much as a new 700 sps but i've got one on my .308 and .06 the felt recoil is nothing due to the recoil reducing system I do enjoy mine and can shoot it all day its feels no more than a 20 gauge shotgun recoil they do how ever sell the lighter version the U/L and is half the cost of the V/S the V/S weighs 7 lbs by its self and together makes for a overall great feeling weight system and this is another suggestion for you in your quest for a .06 that is accepted by you otherwise it will just lay in the guncase at the house. By the way the knoxx axiom is a free floating barrel and thats a plus always I do use my for bench target accuracy level to get knowledge on my all of my tools/for hunting/home protection/hobby and such.... you have read others on accepting the recoil as allow it to be a part of your being and do allow it to flow through you and loosen up when you shoot don't anticapicate the recoil just know the round your shooting will do the job you want it to do

one eye joe
October 11, 2009, 10:56 AM
Stock design makes a big difference. I cannot shoot a Remington design stock much without recoil bothering me. Even my .25-06 would bother me, aand I regularly shoot .300 Win Mag, and .35 Whelen in other makes. While not cheap, a different stock may solve your problems. Talk to a good gunsmith or stock builder. You might even try a cheap stock like the Butler Creek, or a Boyds laminate in the JRS pattern. If you can shoot some other makes in .30-06, you should be able to find a stock that fits you better.

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