Rem 700 rebarreling question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gotboostvr, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    Just kind of thinking out loud about a potential project that I fully realize will be no small amount of work for marginal gains.

    I'd really like a Rem 700 in 280AI, that's the end goal.

    I could do some horse trading and get into a 270 or 30-06 pretty easily to use as a donor action. That's not too hard of a pill to swallow.

    But a custom barrel, made to order is looking at ~$400, which is a little steep for my budget. I'm sure it'd be phenomenal, but I only need minute of deer/coyote.

    I'm thinking I could pick up a factory 7mm-08 pull off barrel for not much, install that myself and ream it out by hand to 280AI.

    I feel pretty confident I can handle the work, and I may not end up with a "Match" chamber, but good enough for a hunting rifle.

    Mostly I'm just double checking that in theory the short action barrel will fit up correctly. Bolt face and magazine shouldn't be an issue I'd think.

    I'm fully aware I'd be perfectly well served by a 270win, but the heart wants what it wants.

    I may have a local Smith do the final reaming, depending on how my experience goes with some work I'm about to have done on a different 700.
     
  2. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    2,380
    Location:
    Upstate ny
    The mag box on my 700 sps is only 2.81 in long. Not sure if you'd be able to fit a 280 ai into the box, not sure of the 380 size cartridge oal, but you'd have to have or make room for it.
     
    troy fairweather and LoonWulf like this.
  3. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    To clarify, the 280AI is a 30-06 (well, 30-03 technically) necked to 7mm. And I'd be building this on a long action reciever, not a short action.

    So overall length of the new cartridge (and most dimensions) would match the original chambering of the donor action.
     
  4. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,258
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Ive reamed a 308 to 30-06AI with no issues, Id get a roughing reamer along with the finish when removing THAT much material tho.
     
  5. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    Messages:
    2,380
    Location:
    Upstate ny
    I thought you were going to use a 7mm08 donor rifle, reread your post and its clear.

    I like the ballistics ob both 280 and the air version, feel it's the perfect balance between 270 an 3006. 06 was my favorite round up until I could no longer shoot it.

    You probably could use 7mm07 barrel have to ream it out about a half in.
     
  6. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    Perfect, literally the exact same thing I'm trying to do but in 30cal.

    Did you ream it by hand as well?
     
  7. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,258
    Location:
    Hawaii
    turned it with my hand drill slowly till it was close then finished by hand
     
  8. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,817
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    That’s the downside with wanting cool toys. It’s expensive to do it right.

    As for fitting a barrel from a short action onto a long action receiver, I think that is fine. I’m pretty sure the receiver and barrel tenons use the same thread pitch.

    That said, Don’t try to hand ream a chamber. You really need a lathe for that type of work. Botching the line up on a nice and rigid lathe can open your group up a good bit. Trying to maintain concentricity while cutting a chamber by hand would be an exercise in futility.

    If you start with an already chambered barrel (or effectively a short chambered barrel) you also run the risk of losing support for the reamer until the pilot actually is able to stabilize inside the bore. So there could be a time where your reamer is essentially floating. In a lathe this can produce chatter. By hand it’s anyone’s guess as to how far off you’d be.

    You also have to deal with headspace. On a Remington 700, the headspace is set by several different measurements on the barrel. Considering you wouldn’t be using a lathe, your only point of setting headspace would be the depth of the chamber. Just the tools to measure that accurately will cost probably $200. And that is something you absolutely need to be accurate on. Generally you only have 4 thousandths of an inch between “go” and “no go”.

    So in order to save the $400 on the custom barrel (which is actually not that bad, I expect an unchambered blank to be about $400), you’d need to spend about $200 on measuring tools, and then I think PTG chamber reamers are running about $180 right now… so you’re at $380 and won’t have a chamber anywhere near concentric.

    Just get a gunsmith to do it.
     
  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    11,304
    Location:
    Up State New York
    My dad did a few 7-08 to 280ai and some 7x57 to the 280ai losts of oil and time it looks out fine. The 280ai barrel on his fn he still has was a 7-08 barrel reamed out and the reamer still is new looking and sharp.

    We understand the want for a 280ai just some 270win guys never get it, similar to some wanting a crf action. I am very tempted to pull the 270 barrel of my pre 64 m70 for a 280ai barrel. But working on getting another acfion.
     
  10. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,258
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Ive chambered about a dozen barrels by hand, havent malfed one (besides the miss marked 30-06 barrel i chambered as a .270) yet. That said, Its very possible it WILL happen. I'm also expecting MOA+/- instead of 1/2, so take that into consideration.

    The tools can be rented from a few different sources, 4D is who I usually use. I had one dull reamer from them that I ended up sending back and borrowing one from a friend, but otherwise all have been as expected.

    On the 700s, the tennon specs are all the same unless cut for oversize threads, or for an oversized recoil lug. They can also be surprisingly consistent, Ive screwed 3 "used" barrels onto actions and had the bolt nose recess and lugs to breech clearance be perfect, two even head spaced after assembling the correct parts.




    ALL that said, my local smith charges 75 bucks for a chambering job, if id didnt LIKE doing this kinda stuff id just take a prefit to him and come back to a chambered rifle.
     
  11. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,790
    Location:
    Texas
    I feel your need for a 280 AI. I don't trust myself to do a re-chamber by hand and I certainly don't have the tools. I jumped on a semi-custom 700 Mountain Rifle in .280 Remington a while back and took it to Tumbleweeds to set it back and re-chamber in .280 AI. I like it.
     
  12. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    I know, and I'm very jealous. I was practically drooling over it.
     
  13. JDeere

    JDeere Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2020
    Messages:
    574
    If you need a take off 7-08 barrel I have one that came off of an SPS. I had the SPS re-barreled with a McGowen just recently and your 400 buck estimate for a re barrel is close.
     
  14. lightman

    lightman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,752
    Location:
    england,ar
    Yup, rebarreling a rifle can get expensive. I just recently (yesterday) picked up 2 that I had done. The fluted Krieger barrel was $500 and the unfluted barrel was about $350. Threading, chambering and bead blasting them ran $300 or so each.

    Can you chamber one by hand? Yeah, you can. Can it turn out ok? Yeah, Maybe? A friend buys short chambered Shilling barrels when Midway has them on sale and finishes them by hand. He found out what reamers they use and buys them from PT&G. They shoot pretty good. But you take the chance that you will have a step in the chamber from the reamers not matching up. And of having an out of round chamber.

    The cost comparison of buying a reamer and a couple of headspace gauges vs the cost of having it done professionally would make me take it to a Smith. Then you also need a barrel vice and an action wrench.
     
  15. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Florida
    Take the rifle to a smith with a good reputation, be satisfied with paying for quality work. A real life lesson, if you want to dance you must always pay the piper.
     
    LoonWulf and gotboostvr like this.
  16. BWS

    BWS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    851
    From the,probably not what you asked files;

    Interestingly,I've bought two lathes capable of chambering barrels,each were 400$. One,a '47 Wade 8A with all the bells N whistles(factory taper attachment,and micrometer stop).... that one stayed here. The other was a '60's? Clausing 5914. Face planted off a forklift. Cosmetic damage mostly. A cpl Ebay replacement parts,sold to a guy who's still using it.

    Further,and with reservations on even mentioning it; in the early days,TC contenders were chambered on a drill press. More to it than it sounds,just sayin it's not as crazy as folks made it out to be at the time. Chip evac would be easy though.
     
    gotboostvr and LoonWulf like this.
  17. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    I'm having a local Smith do some work on another rifle.

    I'll inquire about his cost to rechamber a barrel if I'm happy with the work he's doing on the other gun.

    At the very least he's quoting a pretty quick turn around time, price for the work is reasonable, and comes pretty highly recommended on another forum.
     
  18. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2018
    Messages:
    720
    I shot a 280 and an Improved for years before I discovered the 270.

    I won’t try to dissuade you - my only advice is to find a gunsmith you like, talk to him a lot, like you are interviewing him, make sure he has all his fingers. Ask him tons of questions. Find out what he likes to chamber and what his preferences are - because what he’s comfortable with will make his task easier and you’ll feel better knowing you’re not a beta test for him.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    5,240
    I took 2 7x57 barrels to 280AI. I turned them by hand from start to stop. It was a tedious process. I'm fixing to do one more before getting it reground to 6x280AI.
     
  20. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    Did you use a roughing reamer, or just a finishing reamer?
     
    WisBorn, stillquietvoice and LoonWulf like this.
  21. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,285
    I've been keeping my eyes out for a lathe capable of the job. Place I worked recently was getting rid of a practically new one, but they wanted about 10K for it, which was a bit out of my hobbyist price range.
     
    WisBorn, Bfh_auto, BWS and 2 others like this.
  22. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    5,240
    I bought a finishing reamer and used it. I used a lot of tap magic and emptied the chips every 3 or 4 rotations. It was time consuming. But it worked.
     
  23. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Didn't the original .280 AI have a different case dimension then the newer Nosler .280 AI? Like the original can fireform .280 Remington ammo, but the Nosler can't without problems.
     
    gotboostvr and LoonWulf like this.
  24. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,258
    Location:
    Hawaii
    There's been a bunch of confusion about what Nosler did or didn't do with their chamber spec.
    My Christians and Ridgeline into 280AI somewhere around 300 rounds of factory ammunition with no issues though.
     
    gotboostvr and stillquietvoice like this.
  25. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    486
    I had a 280 Rem. that I'd put something over 2500 rounds through and it just lost its mojo.2 inch groups were the best it would do,and it was getting worse as time went on.I decided to go to the 280AI and I ordered a deep chambered Select Match barrel from Shilen.The barrel came threaded and chambered and all I had to do was turn a little off the shoulder and the bolt nose recess to get it set up right.The barrel was almost 600,and a Go gauge was around 50 bucks more.I set it up so the Go gauge wouldn't go if I put a .002 shim on the gauge,it would go a little too tight with a .001 shim,and just the gauge would let the bolt close smoothly.It's a heavy barrel,close to a factory varmint barrel,and it's very accurate.I love it.I shoot 168 grain Bergers in it and there's a big difference in how much my steel target swings with a 168 grainer from the 280 and one from one of my 308's.Big time difference at 600 yards,and even more noticeable at 1,000.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice