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Custom rebuilding a pre 64 H&H?
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June 7, 2019 - 9:17 pm
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On my looking for a 375 H&H or a 300 H&H I have come what for me will be a very nice 1950 375 if it turns out to be what it is presented as when I get to inspect it.  Price was a little more than I was wanting to pay but over the course of negotiation the chap I am buying it from mentioned he had an old shooter 300 H&H M70 from 1952 that he offered to add in at a very cheap price if I was interested.  A little more back and forth and I now have both rifles coming to me for inspection for a price that I am quite happy with. 

Will post 375 when it gets here.  300 will take a bit as he has to get it out of storage from his move, but I have seen some pics of it.  By all accounts and appearances the finish on it is very thin to non existent, wood is gouged heavily, metal has very little if any bluing remaining on it, and has an old redfield scope. 

I won’t know until I actually get it what I have, but he maintains the action and the barrel are in good shape.  The stock is beet up enough that I am contemplating possibly going the custom route with the gun.  Make me something that can reach out there and play with the fancy composite 6.5s and such that everyone is using.

Problem is, while I am fairly familiar with smiths for custom work on 1911s and Parkers, I don’t have a clue who I would use for a custom build m70.

It would be a long range hunting rifle. Wood stock-I hate composites and laminates. It would be leaning towards a classic style gun, something that is as much beauty and romance as it is rifle, something Jack O’connor or Townsend Whelen would have espoused.  It will stay a 300 H&H but it will be interesting to see what can be done. 

This has just occurred to me since we reached an agreement on this deal so I haven’t found much info on custom builds other than verifying that G&H is way out of my price range for a custom rifle.

 

As always, advice and suggestions are readily appreciated.

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June 8, 2019 - 12:07 am
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If all you are looking for is a stock replacement try Macon gunstocks. They are a large supplier of semi-inlets but I know they also do finish work. You can go as fancy or simple as you want.

 

Erin

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June 8, 2019 - 12:21 am
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No idea, have read about people blue printing their actions.

 

I have read less than stellar reviews about macon gunstocks from parker collectors.

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June 8, 2019 - 1:40 am
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Look on eBay. There are often pre 64 stocks. I have seen some nice ones for $250ish. It will be cheaper than custom. Harrod and others make wood replacement stock.  

You might find a local gunsmith with a Hawkeye Borescope to look inside those barrels to access wear. 

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June 9, 2019 - 4:10 am
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I’ve had limited experience with Boyd stocks and was quite pleased with the results. Minimal inletting and the glass bedding process is pretty simple and painless. Checking the chamber dimensions, bore condition and metal refinishing are well within the realm of most decent ‘smiths as is a trigger job, if needed. 

 

Mike

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June 10, 2019 - 3:53 am
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First to note, considering a Forum of collectors here. I do agree that many fine old “pre ’64 Model 70 rifles, languishing between not capable/worthy of restoration and not exactly either ‘pretty’ or field-functional in contemporary sense. On that basis, I believe your inquiry legitimate here and that these genre rifles particularly worthy of custom guns where converging stars of ‘condition & chambering’ make it so. That said…

Plans really depend so much on where you are – beginning with the rifle and where you intend to go with it. And also, if as most of us, very much upon budget. First you refer to blueprinting the action. Why; what to be achieved? Target rifles, perhaps. CRF field rifle – other animal to my mind. Particularly in the quality of the pre ’64 Model 70. Such for what it already is and its intended function. I don’t see what to be achieved in terms of returns.

Bore condition perhaps quite predictive of barrel ultimate fate. IF mediocre, I’d not mess with it. Simply to replace and there too, opportunity to express your own tastes. Again, if me, I’d probably just seek a pedestrian exact Win replacement in nice shape, reblued within spectrum. (*See a reference below.) The rifle you’re acquiring, if original, I believe should have an integral front sight ramp. I very much admire this feature. A trimming of length would remove that, but the 26″ barrel length was purpose-designed and suggesting you keep it. The action itself, as a factory product, is about CRF perfection to my humble opinion. A blend of best quality obtainable at a standard manufacture price point, as particularly, labor costs still comparatively low. We today, are the beneficiaries of all this and a rifle which would cost a tidy sum were it being now manufactured in the true pre ’64 mold. Just the 4140 Chrome Moly steel employed in the several principal components, seldom to be found in any mass production rifle nowadays.

A restock could be about as pricey as to imagine. But a quite decent gun for taking into the field; from what you say, I envision a basic form akin to the Super Grade lines. Quite possibly an acceptable stock to your liking is even yet lurking within the existing stock. I don’t know and getting beyond my comfort zone, only to suggest as possibility.

One of my absolute nicest stocks factory and surprisingly on a 458 Winchester chambered Zastava Whitworth mauser set up as classic “Express Rifle”, right down to the “dress parade”, multi-leaf express sights! Figured walnut in absolute classic lines right down to shadowed cheek-rest. Not a huge Zastava fan and no intention to buy until unexpectedly finding several to my liking! The quite decent, classic stocks on each that sold me. Pix below.

Sights. Just to mention, though not particularly popular nowadays and especially within precepts of such as 300 H&H, I like such as Lyman 48 receiver sight. One on my .338, vintage 1960, pix below too. Super Grade stock (perhaps custom shop rifle). Especially if your action is not receiver bridge tapped, perhaps to leave it so unless you deem “scope necessary.”

Sounds like an exciting project. A have several 300 H&H Model 70s. One prewar & two fifties era. None outstanding, but I enjoy them. The notation that such chambering with classic gentle sloped cartridge shoulder an ‘easy feeder’ and to my mind, slightly more reliable.

Well, now just to begin my descent… from the soap box!
Best of luck to you. I’d like to hear how it all turns out!
John

(* https://pre64win.com/ A shop which offers components and potentially useful if only as baseline reference. No personal reference one way or another.)
R296-2.jpgImage EnlargerR296-4.jpgImage EnlargerR421-2.jpgImage EnlargerR421-3.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 10, 2019 - 3:35 pm
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Thanks for the feedback. Those are some very nice rifles.  The one I am getting appears to have very plain grain stock but we shall see what lurks below the grime and marks.  It has a 26″ barrel and the integral sight ramp I am told.  Don’t know for certain on the bore, am told it is good, but we will just have to see.  

 

I have looked on pre-64 and that is where I saw the info about blue printing a pre 64 action and I know little about customizing a rifle other than replacing the stock.

 

I like the supergrade stocks, but I have never quite seen the need for the black tip on the end of the stock but we shall see.

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