how hard is it to covert a 700 rem from 300 weatherby to 308 win?


January 13, 2011, 09:10 AM
i've got a friend trying to sell me a 700 in 300 weatherby ,but i would rather have a 308 , just wondering if its worth a try. the 300 is an all stainless gun with a jeweled bolt and detachable mag , the reciever is etched and is very pretty - im just wondering if i can change it and about how much i'd have in it?

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January 13, 2011, 09:19 AM
I am no expert here, but I imagine there would be problems. 300 Weatherby is a long action cartridge while 308 is a short, so right there you are losing the advantages of having a short action with the 308. I would keep looking for a 700 chambered in 308 with a short action.

January 13, 2011, 09:32 AM
for the shorter round.

January 13, 2011, 09:33 AM
That would be a lot of work. New barrel, obviously. Different size bolt-face. Need to block the magazine and possibly re-work the mag feed lips.

You could certainly buy a new .308 bolt rifle (maybe two) for the cost of the modifications.

Better leave the .300 Wthby. for someone who will appreciate it for what it is.

January 13, 2011, 10:04 AM
Just sell it and buy what you want.

Smokey Joe
January 13, 2011, 05:29 PM
JWS Racin'--If you really like the 700 in question, and it fits you well (take it shooting if you possibly can!) you might consider leaving it as a .300 Wby and handloading it down to .308 Win performance.

Sounds like a pretty rifle.

Other than that, as pointed out, the conversion from .300 Wby to .308 Win would be prohibitively expensive. If the friend is offering you a can't-pass-it-up deal, then Craig C's suggestion makes sense: Buy it low and sell it high. If what is offered is a "regular" price for the rifle, then I agree with Sam 1911: walk away from the deal, politely, of course.

Good luck, and please keep us posted! :)

Harley Quinn
January 13, 2011, 07:08 PM
OP, I have to go along with the others regarding gunsmith work to change it over, to many good ones on the used market that would fill your needs...

January 13, 2011, 07:58 PM
well he only wants $350 for it - i think its a good price - how about you guys?

Harley Quinn
January 13, 2011, 08:14 PM
The round can do it all, it is a good one to have and keep like it is...

You can really do some interesting stuff reloading the W-Mag, hopefully the barrel is still in good shape:D
Info on the cartridge for you... :)

January 13, 2011, 08:54 PM
well he only wants $350 for it - i think its a good price - how about you guys?

It is a good price for a stainless 700. It would not be a good candidate for conversion to .308 because of the price and problems.

I would suggest that you shoot it if you have not done so, as that will let you know what you are buying. Not to many cartridges are it's equal.

You could always use it for trading fodder to get what you want, as has been mentioned.


January 13, 2011, 09:14 PM
You can pick up a Marlin XS7 in .308 for about $300. You're not converting the Weatherby for less than that.

January 14, 2011, 12:22 PM
You could maybe have the barrel set back and rechamber for 30-06. BUt you'll loose some barrel channel fit in the stock, and it won't be a 308. It6 will be lot's cheaper to shoot with store bought ammo :)

But, I'm with the other folks. Get it at that price and see what it's like to shoot? If you load, just down load it to 2700 FPS and save the wear on the barrel. If you don't load, save it and when the time comes, sell it or trade it for enough to get what you want.

It's mot a bad place to "hide" some money for the time being :)

January 14, 2011, 01:28 PM
...I think you need to talk to a real gunsmith, who will straighten you out.
Please note that there are generally three lengths of receiver:


There are a few manufacturers who don't make all three, but generally those are the common lengths. Short handles cases up to about 2", long handles case length up to about 2.5", and magnum handles cases up to about 3". A few make Super Magnum receivers for very very long magnum cartridges. These are general rules of thumb, not absolutes.

In addition to being longer, believe the bolt face on a Rem magnum bolt does not even have the same lugs as a 308 Win barrel. It won't work to change the barrel. The lugs won't lock up.

You cannot set back the barrel and rechamber for 308 because the magnum bolt face is so large, the extractor won't even grab the rim.

I haven never heard of replacement bolts at magnum length and with magnum lugs but .473" bolt face for a 308 type cartridge. I don't think that exists anywhere.

Nor replacement bolt with non-magnum bolt face and lugs, but magnum length to retrofit a magnum length receiver.

I don't think it can be done at all.
Better ask a real gunsmith. He'll straighten your butt out.

The cost, if the magnum thing wasn't a problem:
To swap magnum-to-magnum (not including barrel) runs from $100 to $200 labor at most friendly local gunsmiths. Same for swapping standard cartridges IF the bolt face is already correct.

January 14, 2011, 09:01 PM
dude....youd be putting jeep Commander parts on a Hummer. Keep or sell the 300 wby. If you dont want to spend the money on another gun, I agree with the other posts, you should be hand loading that cartridge anyway, so load it down to 30-06/.308 levels. There must be literature on this, if not, call some bullet companies like Speer, Sierra, Nosler and Hornady. They will probably recommend loading lighter bullets and less powder, but sometimes using a real "heavy for caliber" bullet may slow down your bullet.

Arkansas Paul
January 14, 2011, 11:24 PM
I agree that at the price he's asking, you could buy it and use it as trade bait. You'd get more than the $350 I'm thinking.

January 15, 2011, 12:45 AM
300 Wby ammo is found anywhere from $50 to $100 for a box of 20. And it kicks like a mule (but it's accurate). That's a really expensive and painful way to get empty brass for reloading.

At auctions and gun shows, once fired empty brass for 300 Wby is about One Dollar apiece. No lie. New brass is twice that cost. 20 rounds of used empty brass costs more than a full box of factory 308 hunting ammo.

The case body just above the belt is the weak link on a belted magnum, even at sub-magnum loads the brass only lasts a few cycles. If you try to use it too many times, the case head breaks off and leaves the body in the chamber. It happens even to the best of us.

I've been loading and shooting 300 Wby for years. It isn't the best candidate for "loading down". Since the gun is built for magnum loads, and the available case volume is huge, it really isn't accurate at reduced loads. Most of my accuracy loads are about 98% of max load. 300 Wby is a beast and it is made to be shot accurately at beastly loads. You can load it light, I do it for friends often, but it's the most expensive and poorest 308 you'll ever shoot.

Don't buy it if you're not a recoil junkie.

January 15, 2011, 11:51 AM
i have no problem with the recoil - just the price of reloading and factory ammo thats got me pushed off buying. but for the price i think ill take the chance to have the trade ability. i understand the greatness of the 300 wby , i just dont need the 500 yard range round right now , i shoot and reload 308 and average .685 groups at 100 yards and thats about i need for the moment. its my fault that my original post was not clear, i didnt want to convert the gun, im kinda new to reloading and wanted to know if bringing the 300wby down to 308win specs would it be easy and would it be effective, and i guess i got my answer

January 15, 2011, 12:05 PM
I see three practical alternatives:

1) Buy it and shoot it as a 300 Wby.
2) Buy it and sell it.
3) Buy what you want (a 308) in the first place.

Converting a 300 Wby to a 308 is not a practical proposition. Reloading a 300 Wby to shoot accurately with 308 ballistics is not as easy to do as it may sound. I would also suggest that you price 300 Wby brass and dies before you get tempted to follow that path.

I suspect in the long run that #3 is the way to go.

January 15, 2011, 05:07 PM
cost of ammo is prohibitive

if you can get into it cheap enough, you can always rebarrel to a caliber of the same boltface size tht would be more common. .375 HH, 8MM rem.. 7 STW ?

the above calibers are also expensive to shoot.

just shop around and get a quality pre loved .308.. i picked up a really good.70's vintage 308 BDL rem 700 with leupold vx11 3-9 glass for $350 about this time last year. and no it doesnt go off indiscriminately.

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