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This article originally appeared at and is re-published here with permission. We will be running a new installment from the series every week.

Loaded question: What if the law of the land prevented you from shooting, training, hunting or even owning an AR-15, an AK-47, or the highly anticipated Israeli Tavor? What if semi-automatic guns and full capacity magazines got banned? Or maybe these great parts of the gun culture were simply regulated just out of reach. It’s too real of a possibility for some, too remote for others . . .

What would you do then, for a super cool, highly effective gun that is every bit as exciting as the best AR-15 on steroids? Just hypothetically, let’s say semi-autos were off the table, either regulated, hard to get, or just banned. That leaves us with a variety of older technologies like lever and bolt guns. Levers are great, but not usually not as versatile as bolt guns.

Versatility is key, along with the ability to have a high performance gun. Bolt actions are well documented as high performance guns by bench shooters and the military, so we’ll focus on them for this project. There are lots of options on the market, and you could spend plenty of time and money on them. But, think again – stashed somewhere, do you have Grandpa’s almost forgotten bolt gun?


It’s probably put away somewhere, maybe in a safe, maybe hidden under piles of junk in a basement somewhere. It’s collecting dust, and maybe rightly so. Seriously, in a world of 5.56/.223, 6.8 and 300 Blackout guns complimented by the ubiquitous .308, who’d want to shoot Grandpa’s old Remington 700? It’s a .30-06, a fantastic caliber, but relegated to “old school” by many. There’s no box magazine on it, so unloading is tedious. And that scope that’s on it… Whoever heard of the company that made it? And those thin little rings that hold the scope. No wonder the gun has only had 50 rounds in its lifetime sent downrange through it…

Well as it turns out, Grandpa’s gun might just have a ton more potential than first meets the eye. It could be a serious shooter. What if could be reborn as an amazing precision tactical rifle that caused involuntary drool every time you pulled it out and could take out clay pigeons (or hogs) at 1,000 yards?

“Prove it!” you say?

Remington 700 basic. We’re already on it. Grandpa’s Gun Reborn is an exciting project where ten or more industry heavyweights are partnering to show you what’s possible. We’re going to take our time and do this right over the coming months. SHWAT™ members will get some limited access content as we go, and be able to submit ideas and questions along the way. We’ll start small, and then GO BIG!


Not only will you see reports on this project regularly, we’re also producing a video that will document the whole process. You’ll see the progress, and we hope you get excited about what you can do with one of your guns that’s been collecting dust for too long. There are myriads of possibilities, endless options, so chime in as often as you can.

Here’s where we’re headed with this old Remington 700. Every precision rifle needs a solid trigger, so the first thing we’re going to swap out the factory trigger for a Timney 510 adjustable trigger. We need to see downrange clearly and consistently, with a rock solid optic that uses current technology. So next we ditch the old scope and rings and add a Nightforce C429, NXS 3.5-15×50 with MOAR reticle and ZeroStop in a A256 MagMount. Now it’s getting exciting, but we’ve just warmed up!

Remington .30-06. Add a Harris bipod, Alamo Four Star mounts, DRT ammo, a Blackhawk Long Gun Pack Mat w/Hawktex and we’re off to a long range class with Bill Davison at Tac Pro Shooting Center. That should prove challenging. All along the way Jordan King of King’s Arsenal will provide technical advice, quality control and accurizing.  Now we’re going to the next level with this. If we want a precision rifle, we’re going to have ditch the factory stock and replace it with something up to the task. We’ve chosen the Cadex Defense Strike Dual chassis. It’s solid, it’s versatile, it’s meant for precision, and it looks ridiculously amazing. It’s perfect. And, while we think this project is exciting enough to be loudly shared across the world wide web, SWR Suppressors’ Specwar 762 silencer will keep things quite on the hunt and at the range.

Then, we’re looking to convert Grandps’s .30-06 rifle into a .300 Winchester Magnum! Did you know that was possible? Yes, Grandpa’s gun is getting remade, reborn. Or born again – redeemed from the sin of mediocrity. Once almost forgotten, this old bolt gun might become our favorite rifle to pass along to another generation one day. And we think it will be great for taking out hogs, even if you still have your favorite 5.56/.223 black rifle nearby!

Are you excited about joining in the journey over the coming months? Good! We’re excited to share this with you as we move through 2013. You’ll want to keep up via SHWAT’s social media and newsletters, along with all of the outstanding companies that are working together to make this a reality.

Now, let’s get started…!


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  1. Huh?

    Seriously, this article is pretty rambly and it’s about modifying a Remington 700 for hog hunting. And it never specifies why a bolt action is needed for hogs. Also converting a .30-06 to .300 Win Mag isn’t hard, at least for Savage Shooters.

    • Also, why no 7600 or lever action? The 7600 is the ultimate substitute for a semi auto. Plus, what states have hogs and ban semi autos for hunting? I think it’s just PA, probably wrong. Does IL have hogs?

      • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the ol’ Mennonite Machine Gun, the 7600. Remington still makes it in .270 Win and .30-06.

        • A 760 Gamemaster was the rifle my grandpa gave me when I was 12 years old and started shooting. That rifle has killed a lot of deer and elk in it’s 60 year existence. It still works well the last time I was home and shot it. I even have 10 round mags for it.

      • “Does IL have hogs?”

        Only in the statehouse, where they feast ravenously on taxpayer funds, doing billions of dollars of damage to the state’s economy every year.

      • +1 Craig! A bolt action for hog doesn’t allow you fast follow up shots – hogs rarely travel alone. I have my grandfather’s old 1970 Rem Model 760 Carbine in 30-06. Needed a 1/4″ counterbore, but it’ll now do .75-1MOA with Federal Fusion 150/165/180gr. Topped with a older Leupold Vari-X III 1.5-5 on a weaver mount and low rings and this thing is in hog heaven … or at least the hogs are! Available 10rd mags for those who want more than the standard 4+1. 1000yrd hog rifle? Hell no, but 1000yrd hog hits are BS anyway.

  2. What’s going to be left of poor old Granpa’s gun when it’s finished? It sounds like my favorite ax where I’ve replaced the head once and the handle twice.

    • In all truth, maybe only the receiver. The bolt might get replaced if they want to go the “fast” route. The bolt could stay if a skilled ‘smith opens the bolt face for the .300WM case head and puts on either a Sako or M-16 style extractor.

      The recoil lug can be re-used. So can the stock screws.

      Aside from that… not much.

  3. So you’re going to put $5,000 into it and only going to reuse the bolt and receiver, which is worth about $350…

    At the end of the project you’ll have a $3000 Remington, a $2000 scope, and a pile of useless parts that could *almost* be assembled into a gun, had you not taken the receiver.

    Instead, you could just buy a new $3000 precision rifle, a $2000 scope for the rifle, keep grandpa’s rifle for a total of TWO WHOLE guns, and save a ton of time…and also have some semblance of resale value should you ever change your mind on any part of the project.

    • “At the end of the project you’ll have a $3000 Remington”


      At the end of the project your are going to have a Remington, that you SPENT $3000 on, but might get $1500 for, $1750 if you find a complete sucker.

  4. Hmmm, I’m wondering how hard it would be to turn my Win 70 .30-06 into a 300 Mag. I’ll probably just leave it as is, or put a better scope on it.

    Anyways, this seems like a fun project. Maybe not very practical or cost effective, but fun.

    • I’ll read this with interest. However, my Win 70 .30-06 will get the stock refinished, the trigger smoothed a bit, and a replacement for the old fixed four power scope. Period.

    • They’re both a long action cartridge, so if you’re going to shoot nominal .30 cal bullets in the .300, all you’d need to do is maybe set the barrel back one turn (as long as you’re going to re-chamber it, then get any throat damage out of there), run in the .300 finish reamer, pull out the bolt and put in a magnum bolt (which will have the .535 diameter face for the larger case head), headspace it, and then you might need to work on the feed rails on the bottom of the action.

      You’ll lose one round in the magazine on a blind magazine like the ADL.

  5. You know, slightly upmodded Model 700s have been (and still are) serving on sniper teams worldwide to this very day. And I believe you can drop a water buffalo with one shot from a .30-06.

    So I have to ask: HUH?

    • I agree. 30-06 is a perfectly respectable and powerful round, and certainly more than is needed to knock down a hog, or for that matter any animal on the North American continent. Heck, even a .270 will down an elk at 500+ yards. Or we can talk about my great grandfather’s gun (well, not my great grandfather), a ’76 Winchester in .45 Government: no modifications needed. I just don’t understand the current fad for over powered rifles, except for long range precision shooting.

    • Yeah I’m not sure what they are trying to accomplish. They could have just stopped at putting in a Timney trigger, and upgraded glass (no need to go all the way to Nightforce, plenty of great scopes for half that price range). If it is really Grandpa’s gun then put it in a laminate from Boyd’s and pillar bed it.

      Also why the caliber conversion? 300WinMag in bullet weights heavy enough to justify its marginal advantage over a 30-06 (or even a 308 for that matter) is way more recoil than 90% of shooters can shoot without flinching unless they train constantly. Even if you reload, 80+ grains of powder at a time aint cheap and factory ammo is even worse and there is no source of milsurp for blasting. Milsurp ammo is a huge draw of the -06 and 308 so Im really shocked in this whole discussion that wasnt mentioned even once.

      Nothing these guys are doing is “revolutionary” “new” or “cutting edge”. Gunsmiths have been hot rodding Remington 700’s since before I and probably most of the guys at SHWAT were even born. Oh but they will use a chassis, everyone know syou aint cool unless you use a chassis.

      Like you so aptly summarized your thoughs…. HUH?

      • I think that anyone who writes off 30-06 as “mediocre” has zero experience with the round, or otherwise is attempting to compensate for a lack of shooting ability… There is nothing on this continent that a well-placed 30-06 won’t kill! As well, the idea that replacing half the rifle is necessary for a “proper” upgrade is flat out stupid. I would bed the stock, replace the trigger, and put some modern glass on it- It doesn’t need anything else to hit a target at realistic ranges!

        • I agree.

          The only reason why I’d change out of an ’06 (if that were my primary hunting rifle) would be to either:

          a) go to heavier bullets for dangerous game or hunting where there are dangerous animals (in grizz/moose country, for example).

          b) go to a 7mm bullet for better ballistics, more bullet choices than even a .30 rifle and result in a flatter-shooting rifle for the same levels of recoil.

          That’s it.

        • Yeah especially if you plan to shoot 150-180 grain projectiles all you really gain with a 300WM is a little bit extra point blank range accompanied by a lot more blast, recoil, and decreased barrel life.

          If you step up to the 180grain+ projectiles the 300WM really shines, but again tons of blast and even more recoil. Most people don’t practice enough to, or simply cant shoot that consistently without flinching. Put a break on it an it will take the bite out of the recoil, but a large part of flinching is the blast/concussion and you effectively make it bench queen unless you like humping around massive ear muffs and earplugs to go inside them.

          DG for all the shit I have given you in other threads, I agree 100% with all of your comments in this one. If they want to revive Grandpa’ old rifle then they should do some basic accuracy work: trigger job, pillar bed/ float the barrel, and put a better optic on it. Otherwise leave it the fvck alone. For the coin they are dropping on this build they could nearly build one from the ground up with a Surgeon action and a decent barrel/stock and save Grandpa’s rifle from being Frankenstein’d. I like AR’s, I like “Sniper Rifles”, I even like Glocks, but nothing gets my blood pumping like a beautiful warm wood laminate and blued steel on a hunting rifle.

  6. I think they should try shooting the rifle as is before aggressively rebuilding the thing from the ground up. It just might be a 1/2 MOA rifle as is with it’s old Weaver (or whoever) scope. If this represents the tone of the whole project, then I can only say “a fool and his money are soon parted”.

  7. The fact that you don’t intend to re-barrel, would indicate the existing 06 barrel is in fine shape, Am I right??
    If your building a hog gun, maybe you should consider re-barreling to a larger bore diameter, even though the caliber selected might necessitate opening up the bolt recess a tad. Don’t know if that’s feasible on the 700??

  8. My .30-06 Win 70 with a Leupold scope does exactly what it was meant to do – put rounds down range in a pretty tight group at 50-250 yards. Can it shoot yes accurately farther? I’m sure it can.

    Back in the day…before tacticool…guys were using 03 Springfields and M1 Garands with iron sights or rudimentary scopes at 500+ yards firing M1/M2 Ball (150 gr .30-06).

  9. Limited as his options were, Mr. Kalashnikov’s grandfather, Alexander, opted for the Mosin-Nagant of 1891.

    Didn’t need any of that “new-fangled” 91/30 round receiver technology everybody was bandying about.

  10. My grandfather’s gun is a Winchester 94 lever gun in .32 Winchester Special, which is 30-30’s poor (and less available) cousin. So not really moddable at all. But that’s probably for the best. If it were a Rem 700 in 30-06, I’d probably just put a decent newer scope on it and call it done.

  11. That expensive scope will let you see better, but it won’t make the gun any more accurate than the barrel.
    For me, I would make sure the barrel is up to the intended task, may need to be set back and rechambered, if the the throat is shot out.

  12. So not only do we lose all our money, we turn a handy old rifle into a 15lb range toy that costs multiple dollars a shot? Cool?

  13. “Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves.”

    Unless it’s some historically significant piece or a collector’s item worth hundreds of thousands, who give’s a rat’s patootee what they do to it and with it when they’re done?? Another closet/safe queen comes out of the dark and gets a new life. The economy is boosted. Parts makers stay in bidness. Time spent tinkering is time not jerking off or yelling at the kids. All is right with the world. Have at it. Keep us advised. Those that see this as a fool’s errand; ignore follow-ups. Simple.

    • +1. Hey, this is bringing some of the AR builders along into hunting rifles, and honoring Grandpa at the same time. Me, I will stick with old school, and a new scope, as my shooting benefits more from more $$$ at the range, than on more appendages, but I get the attraction and I sure enjoy reading about it.

      Love to see how it shoots, vs an old school shooter in the field.
      Story idea- find one of the old skool M1A and Win70 guys who will take the new kids with the upgraded gun, out to the range, and then out in the field, someplace wild and windy and cold,
      say, for elk in Wyo, when its all done…

      Now THERE is a story…:)

  14. OK the stated premise is straight forward enough and has been a staple of Hook and Bullet rags since the 1960’s.
    Fair Enough
    But why is it that as soon as some bunch of “personalities” come-up with a plan to foist more Product upon the American shooter that the age old premise is as thinly disguised as ObamaCare?
    Personally I have an old Savage 270 win, my dress-up started w/a new scope, trigger, bipod and a few cans of spray paint. It shoots sub MOA as will most Savages.
    I hate PPL who think they are so smart that they try to manipulate the masses into buying pig ears, selling them as silk purses

  15. The premise is good but the execution is horrible. If you are a young guy that was just gifted grandpas old rifle you could…

    Replace the trigger, stock, rings, scope, re-bed the action and cut the barrel down to 20 inches and for a moderate price upgrade the rifle for good value.

    Putting 4 grand worth of stuff on a rufle while gutting so much of it…you should just but a new gun.

    I bet all of the above can be done for under a grand and the value remains.

  16. First, the 700 displayed is not “Grandpa’s old gun.” Grandpa’s old 700 looked a hell of a lot better than that, had a wood stock instead of the black tacti-kewl plastic, it had real blueing on the metal instead of the that POS bead-blasted phosphate finish, and is worth more today than that black “kewl” gun right there.

    If that was “Grandpa’s” gun, then I’ll bet that “Grandpa” is sexting 20-something women right now on his iPhone 6, too.

    In all seriousness, unless I get a 700 action on a seriously clapped-out rifle, for what we gunsmiths now charge, it is a better deal to go get a custom action ($800 to $1200) that you don’t have to blueprint, that will already have the magnum case head bolt face, and then start cranking a barrel onto it and putting a custom stock under it. You’ll spend about the same amount of money, because the smith won’t charge you for breaking down the existing 700, then setting up the replacement bolt in that action, etc.

    To do this job what is being mentioned, we’re looking at $200+ to open the bolt face, put in a Sako extractor (because when I open a Rem 700 bolt for a magnum, the clip-in extractor has to come out), $250 for a new barrel, $300+ to put it on, chamber it, headspace it, crown it, grind the recoil lug flat, then some more money if you want the action printed (might as well, since we have it apart anyway), then we get into the stock work. Blueprinting – depends on how much you want done. At a minimum, I’d probably recommend makeing the face of the receiver true normal to the long axis of the bolt raceway. Since we’ve had the bolt in a Labounty bolt jig to turn open the bolt face, might as well bush the firing pin hole whilst we’re in there.

    Then we get into how you want the metal finished. Blued? Bead blasted and parkerized? Painted & baked?

    Already, we’re way over $500, even if we put the barrel cost and chambering aside. I’ll bet there are people already whining like sore pups about the cost of custom actions that are already printed, too. Woe is us! What to do, what to do?

    What would I recommend?

    Go into Brownells’ web site. Open up their section on “Receivers” under “Rifle parts.” Ignore all the AR stuff. Find a Rem700 LA, magnum bolt face. $500. Done. If you have a nice 700 in excellent condition from before 1970 or so, sell “Grandpa’s” rifle for $650 and up. Now start your project, with enough money to buy a new action and pay for a Timney trigger. Throw Remington’s trigger into the ‘smith’s “parts” drawer. Get a barrel of your choice and start from there.

    Second, as others indicated, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a ’06 as a hog (or deer/elk/sheep/goat or even moose) rifle. There’s lots of heavier pills available in ’06 for bolt guns. A 180gr ’06 round will take just about anything on the continent easily, with the possible exception of large brown bears. That’s where I’d step up to a minimum of a .338 WM. Going to a .300 WM just isn’t enough of a jump up from .30-06 (especially with modern powders) to make it worth the effort. I’ve been down this road – in detail. The reason why most of my big game hunting is done with a .338 is that the .338 is the first step up from a ’06 to be worth the extra powder, recoil, noise, etc over a ’06. The .300 WM, .300 WSM, .300 Wby, etc – not enough jump, and certainly not enough unless you start stretching the barrel out to 26 inches. The bullets you can shoot out of the .30 bore are just not heavier enough to warrant attention over the ’06, IMO. I want to be able to use a bullet of 250gr to justify stepping out of the ’06. You can get 210gr bullets for the ’06.

    Lastly: You want a caliber that will take down a hog? Quit with the belted magnum-itis and get back to what has worked and worked well, and you can do is cheaper on a ’06 conversion than going to a magnum (0.535″) bolt face: Pull off the .30 caliber barrel, and put on a .358 barrel. Make it, oh, 22 to 24 inches. Chamber it in .35 Whelen, than shoot some 250 to 300gr pills. This has been done to ’06 rifles, in particular the 1903 Springfield, by high-class gunsmiths back in “Grandpa’s” day, first by Griffen & Howe of New Jersey, then many others.

    OK, you want something more exotic than a .35 Whelen? Then go the German route: Go to a 9.3×62 Mauser (.366″). Same results. Same idea, only 17 years earlier than Whelen’s/G&H’s idea with the .35 Whelen. Same result: 3500+ FPE, 250gr to 300+ grain bullets, big results on big game. Both use the standard ’06 bolt face of 0.473″, both use a standard length action, both will not cost you a round of magazine capacity due to the belt on the magnum cartridge.

    OK, you don’t like these “old fart” classics. Then look at the .338-06. You have 210gr to 300gr pills at your disposal. The 300gr pills have ballistic coefficients that are incredible.

    If you’re a guy who likes classics (as I am), you do .35 Whelens on 1903 Springfield actions, and 9.3’s on Mauser 98’s. Put a nice piece of English walnut under it, and you now have a rifle that Grandpa would have lusted over more than the 20-somethings he’s sexting on his iPhone.

    • Might I suggest going the other way than up to bigger? If I was going to spend the money for the parts and a smith I would seriously consider the 7mm Mauser for my lower 48 hunting rifle.

      If I ever hit the lottery a pair of custom european metrics. 7mm Mauser and 6.5mm Mauser.

      I had an 03 springfield that was sporterized in my youth. 30-06 is an excellent round. Add that to my wish list and there’s the tri-fecta.

      • I maintain that with today’s modern powders (eg, Re17), the 7×57 Mauser, used in modern rifles and loaded to modern pressures (mid-50K PSI), would make most of the ballistic developments for hunting rifles in the last 100 years superfluous.

        A 22″ barrel on a small ring Mauser action in 7×57 would make a nice, light(er), handy little rifle.

        • RE17 has made a lot of larger rifle cartridges completely unnecessary for the majority of hunters. Heck, forget the 30-06, you can shoot 210grain bullets out of a 24″ bbl 308win at around 2650 fps with 50-51 grains of RE17 and pressure stays below 60k. The only downside is that they wont mag feed from a short action.

          Plugged that into my ballistics calculator using a high BC bullet like a 208 Amax, 210 Accubound LR, or Berger 210 VLD and thats 30ish MOA to get to 1000 yds and it is still supersonic by about 200-300 fps and has around 900ftlbs of energy! So basically it would be like getting shot point blank by a full house 10mm handgun.

    • D.G.
      That feller I told you about the other day (Mic) specializes in re-working certain year Marlin lever guns, I believe in fairly hefty calibers. Not sure, but I think he pretty much “blue prints” them, to shoot well under MOA.
      Can’t remember the details, but I would imagine he could come up with a pretty good hog gun for not too many sheckels.

  17. You know, if y’all are looking for ways to literally piss away money, we’ve got some hospital bills that we could use some help with.

  18. My grandfather’s gun is a .44 magnum revolver. He just uses it to protect his neighborhood after tsunamis. I guess I’ll slap a scope on it.

  19. In answer to the question posed.

    I would refuse to comply with said law.

    read some frederic basiat.

    thanks have a nice day

    Josh H

  20. I agree with the majority, here:

    1. Try Grandpa’s gun AS IS, to get a baseline.

    2. Put new glass on it, achieve sub MOA (if you haven’t already) and;

    3. THANK “Grandpa” for letting you borrow it. See, my father has a period-correct Remginton 700–with beautiful, wood furniture under it.

    My father is about to be 92 y.o., and is a decorated, WWII COMBAT vet. He fought in the Philippines (the invasion of the Island of Leyte–the largest naval invasion of WWII and, by some reports, recorded history) and HE HAS a beautiful, 1960’s Reminginton 700, in 30.06. With a large (for the time) Weaver scope with a “Post” recticle, with “tip off” mounts, so that the iron sites are still available, if needed.

    The only thing he doesn’t like about it is the weak magazine spring, and for a time, he was considering having a gunsmith fit a box magazine in it’s place.

    I think the author is being insulting (and not a little bit), not to mention AGEIST, to assume that “Grandpa” isn’t around to use his own gun, or at least be consulted re: any intended mods–to HIS gun. My father has restored and shown a number of full-sized, semi-tractor trucks, and still takes his 1948 Mack FJ to truck shows, as of last year. IOW, if he wanted to step outside his back door, and knock off a deer (shooting “offhand”), with his 30.06, he could do so.

    And being born in 1925, growing up with 9 brothers and sisters, in The Great Depression, he’d find the sheer waste of money this author is suggesting to be just, plain shameful–as do I.

    And has been already mentioned–WTF is up with a “tacti-kool,” plastic stock,on what is allegedly “Grandpa’s” gun?

    While the comments in this thread were EXCELLENT, unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the majority of the daily emails I’ve been getting from TTAG. Can anyone tell me how to reduce the number of emails I receive, on threads I am NOT subscribed to, without disabling the updates, entirely? (I tried this myself, today, but without success.)

    Thanks–and I say “Hands off ‘Grandpa’s Gun'”!



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