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Need to lighten my hunting rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JGReed, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. JGReed

    JGReed Well-Known Member

    I've got a stainless Winchester M70 w/a 24" barrel and HS Precision stock that needs to go on a diet. Love the rifle, but it's just heavier than I'd like it to be. I'd like to get the barrel fluted and see if there's a way to lighten the stock (drilling, inletting?).

    Anyone know of a place to get this done? Preferably one that won't cost more than just buying a new rifle? Believe it or not, I can't find a gunsmith who does riflework in the Denver area!

    BTW...I admit this is double-posted at TFL. Didn't know about thehighroad until afterwards. Nice to have a new hangout.
  2. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Well-Known Member

    You might save some weight with a new stock. Do you want to carry the HS Precision stock around, how heavy is it? How about a wood or lightweight synthetic stock for hunting? Before you flute that barrel, it might be cheaper to get a lighter barrel and keep that heavy barrel for benchrest/varmit use. Just some thoughts.
  3. barnpatrol

    barnpatrol Member

    What caliber? If you go too light, you'll pay a price.

    Ditto on the alternate stock.
  4. JGReed

    JGReed Well-Known Member

    It's just an '06 so I could lose quite a bit of weight and be fine with it.

    Good idea about the stock, I'm not sure how heavy it is. I'll try to contact them and ask. It's bedded so I don't want to take apart just to weigh. Like I say, good idea.
  5. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    If it's a 30.06 it sure doesn't need a 24" barrel! You won't miss 3 or 4" and it'll be a lot cheaper than fluting the barrel.

  6. EchoSixMike

    EchoSixMike Well-Known Member

    Well, you could shorten the barrel, but I don't like giving up free velocity. It really won't hurt the 30-06 too much, probably around 80fps to go to 20", but I just prefer longer barrels. Of course, I'm a 6'2" and 200lb Marine. You can get the interior of the stock milled out near the forend, but this seems like more trouble than it's worth. Same with the butt. This will save you maybe 8-10oz with both. What scope are you using? A compact scope will save a few oz, as will two piece bases if you are using a one piece base now. What does it weigh now and what are you shooting for? S/F...Ken M
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    If you chop an '06 barrel from 24" to 20", you might as well get a .308. That four inches costs you over 200 ft/sec MV.

    Just because an action is bedded doesn't mean that disassembly will hurt anything. Shouldn't, anyway. All it is, is a tight fit.

    I'm not acquainted with the HS stock. (And I guess that if I'm gonna babble on this sort of subject, I ought pull some stocks off various rifles and weigh the suckers! :D )

    Expound a bit: Whatcha gonna do with the lighter rifle?

    :), Art
  8. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    I don't think any deer or elk on the receiving end is gonna care too much about that 200 fps.
    On the other hand, in thinking about it it strikes me that with the extra-long barrel and Brown Precision stock he's got a nicely set up long range rifle. Surely, by the time he spends money on a new stock or gunsmithing work to lighten the rifle, he might as well have bought a second-hand Model Seven or short-action Ruger in 308 anyway.
    That would seem the best solution. Have two rifles for different hunting niches - one for the woods and one for open country.

    And he can blame us when his wife complains!

  9. EchoSixMike

    EchoSixMike Well-Known Member

    I really don't think that 4" loss is going to cost you 200fps, not unless you're loading 110's with IMR7828 or something silly like that.

    24" is the old standard for full caliber rifles. Mags got 26". Sometime in the past, cheese dick manufacturers started going shorter on barrels, don't know why, and we got 22" as the new standard for rifles. Winchester seems to be pushing back to the good ole days of 24" rifles, 22" Featherweights and then 20" carbines. I guess is matters to people who are in marginal shape and of below average height;) I carry a 14.5lb 24" heavy barreled 308 in the woods, plus a bunch of other crap too. Not that I want to but it's what I need.

    I second the idea of using this as an excuse to get a second, short rifle. The Winchester 20" Classics are nice, but not available in stainless AFAIK. Same with the Featherweights. S/F...Ken M
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    ESM, ever since I started reading the American Rifleman, I've run across the occasional article where somebody goes to barrel-chopping and chronographing. Maybeso every ten years, mas o menos.

    Cartridge cases of the '06 type and the .300 Win Mag lose about 70 ft/sec/inch.

    Other tests on such as the .308 indicate 40 to 50 ft/sec/inch.

    Back 30 to 35 years ago, the factories published data sheets with the MV & ME of all their rifle cartridges. Almost all were based on 26", even though few rifles were so barrelled.

    Personal chronographs were very rare, so folks relied on data from the NRA to figure how their own rifles compared to the factory data.

    FWIW, Art
  11. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    Check over at AR15.com in the "INDUSTRY" section and give Kurt a hollar to see what he comes up with. As for custom gunwork he is very reasonable and comes up with some great ideas.

    Sounds like a sweet rifle in her original configuration. Another vote for saving up for a lightweight rifle. That way you can have a "stand" rifle and a "still hunt" rifle.

    My FAL will be relagated to that duty next hunting season. There ain't no way in hades that I'm going to pack that thing around!

    Good Shooting
  12. EchoSixMike

    EchoSixMike Well-Known Member

    Well Art, I happen to have a 24", 22" and 26" 30-06's around here somewheres and I do believe I'll chrono all of them with the same loads and see where we are at. Now, due to barrel and chamber differences(hence pressures) we'll see some variations, but if you're claiming 70fps/inch, it should be pretty evident between the 26" and the 22". I'll see if I can get out and do this tomorrow. S/F...Ken M
  13. JGReed

    JGReed Well-Known Member

    It's the only rifle I hunt with, so I haul it around a lot. Colorado and Kansas, elk, mule/whitetail deer, and antelope. The reason for lightening is purely convenience I guess. I'm 32 and in good shape so it's not that I can't handle the weight, I just don't want to. My buddy shoots a 20" M70 (Featherweight I think) and it's a dream to handle. But I really don't like giving up the barrel length. I've said the same thing to him that Art said to me: if you're gonna chop it to 20", you might as well go with a short action .308.

    Turns out I do have a spare USRAC stock for it which seems a lot lighter. I may swap to that, plus try 2 piece scope rings. It's currently carrying a Simmons 44Mag scope, but that's going to be replaced by a Zeiss Conquest after KS deer season ends.

    Kurt turned down the barrel on my AR, but I didn't think he did hunting rifles. Maybe I'll give him a call...his prices were VERY reasonable.

    Hey Ken, I'll be very interested in the chrono results you come up with.
  14. EchoSixMike

    EchoSixMike Well-Known Member

    I have not forgotten, events have just not cooperated with me. Will likely be next weekend, hopefully. S/F...Ken M

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