Opinions on a re-barrel

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HectorFuego
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Opinions on a re-barrel

Post by HectorFuego »

In 1967 I bought my first centerfire rifle ... a Winchester Model 70 Varmint grade in .243 Winchester. As many may know .243 is something of a barrel burner and I was seeing evidence of throat erosion so the other day I ran my borescope through it and the inside of the barrel looked like a country road after a bad winter. It's time for a new tube.

Currently I reload for .243, 30-06, and .308. Note that in 1967 Winchester didn't make short action M-70's - at least not in the Varmint grade - so my rifle is a long action and could handle any of those rounds. Also, the cartridge head is the same dimension for all of them. In my mind I could have it re-barreled in any of those calibers, and I have components for all three ... especially the 30-06.

So I'm trying to decide which one.

.243:
-Pros

-- Flat shooting

-- Mild recoil

-- Eats less powder than the others

-Cons

-- Another barrel burner

-- I have components but my brass is about at the end of it's life.

.308:
-Pros

-- Accurate

-- Recoil is not bad

-- Mid range for powder consumption

-- Got lots of .308 bullets and I have the equipment to cast my own if I run out

-Cons

-- Don't have that much brass



30-06:
-Pros

-- Got lots of brass and bullets, some surplus from an M1 Garand and some unfired Winchester brass - the good stuff that was made before Winchester replaced all the quality control personnel with orangutans who will pass any thing that looks like a banana

-- Also pretty accurate

-- Can use heavy bullets with H4831 powder which produces some very accurate loads with milder recoil

-Cons

-- More recoil than the other two

-- More powder consumption than the other two

So what's your opinion on those three and ONLY those three. Don't puff out you chest and insist that those calibers are all crap and I should re-chamber it for some super-duper whiz bang wildcat that shoots flatter and faster than light and will kill Godzilla all the way to the moon. Don't want to spend the money on a new barrel and die of old age before I can find ammo or reloading components and dies to shoot the frickin' thing. Ain't gonna do it.😉

Now to go make some popcorn.

Hector

p.s. I know replacing the barrel will cost more than a new rifle but it has sentimental value so I want to keep it running.
If you can't kill it with a 30-06 you ain't in North America.
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.
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Cattus Borealis
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Re: Opinions on a re-barrel

Post by Cattus Borealis »

I think you should re-barrel it in .243. You have components and the recoil is much softer. Brass can be found but powder is harder to find now.
HectorFuego
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Re: Opinions on a re-barrel

Post by HectorFuego »

Just to follow up, I'm leaning towards the 30-06.

Not just because of barrel life, and, yes the current .243 has lost accuracy. In fact the M 70 with a 24 inch heavy barrel should be able to outshoot a Model 670 with a 20 inch sporter barrel, but it does not.

Components for the .243 are dwindling. Not very many bullets and the brass has gone through quite a few cycles and a lot of it needs to be retired.

I'm also low on .308 brass but enough to keep me happy for my one rifle chambered in that caliber.

For the 30-06 I have 150 rounds of unfired Winchester brass, some fired Winchester brass, at least 500 of once fired surplus brass, and 100 to 200 rounds of unfired surplus ammo. Add to that my excellent supply of .308 bullets plus the ability to cast a bunch more, and a good supply of H4831 for which the 30-06 is the best option, it seems like the question kinda answers itself.

Hector
If you can't kill it with a 30-06 you ain't in North America.
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.
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