Wild Alaskan Salmon Seafood

To rebarrel or not to rebarrel, that is the question.

OntarioHunter

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I say if re-soling a pair of boots doesn't make them differrent boots, re-barreling doesn't mean a new rifle. Get a new barrel on that thing! Your dad would approve of that rifle shooting nice groups.
Yes, he would. Obviously he chose to personalize the gun and make it "better" or it'd still be GI parkerized with bayonet mount. He would be interested in improvements. Dad took me in to Les Bauska's shop in Kalispell to pick out the replacement stock. And he showed me how to glass bed it. Still have the jar of Linspeed oil he bought for me at his poker pal's local hardware store to finish the wood. I don't know if it ever bothered him that I badly abused his hard work. It should have. Seems he was always more interested in the stuff in the freezer and hunting stories. Dad was a great listener. Wish he'd given me a few more of those genes. And he did like to eat. Too much. Glad he held back on those genes!
 

ImBillT

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If money was no object, I’d definitely re-barrel. I would not however do it with a used barrel from eBay(Im okay with taking a chance on a used barrel from eBay, but if you have a deadline and a special hunt, I wouldn’t risk needing to rebarrel it a second time) I’d buy a custom blank and have a gunsmith with a good reputation chamber it and fit it. You can probably find a short chambered blank with the original profile, or have the maker contour it to the original profile if you don’t want the barrel channel in the stock worked on. If you don’t mind the barrel channel being opened up, then the gunsmith shouldn’t have any problem with that, but I’d ask him what contours he thinks will fit in the existing stock.

I’ve never hunted Africa, but I don’t know why 1MOA-1.5MOA wouldn’t be acceptable. It seems like having your dads rifle on a once in a lifetime hunt would be pretty cool.

Edit: after seeing your gun, I know you can disregard issues about barrel contour. Get a custom barrel with a contour similar to the one that’s in it.

I would not count on the eBay barrel screwing on with proper headspace, or sight alignment. It happens. I’ve shot a sporterized Springfield, but I didn’t do the work. I don’t know how common it is for swapping barrels from one to another to work without needing to be fitted on a lathe. It’s not terribly common with production actions.
 
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RaiderRich

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Like another said, the choice is yours (of course). Personally given how you seem to feel about it, I would get the re-barrel done, with one caveat. Make sure you recover the original barrel and have a nice walnut and glass case built to house it so it can be displayed proudly. I would have a plaque mounted on the walnut case calling it what it is, "Dad's Springfield Barrel" or something that conveys the sentimentality of the barrel and how it was used in the family for years.

The re-barreled rifle will be a testament to having a part of your dad with you and the original barrel will be a reminder to everyone else how important he was in your life.

Thanks for sharing!
 

F250

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Some years ago I was gifted a rifle (.300 Win Mag) from my father's best hunting buddy, and early hunting mentor to me. It had seen lots of use. I shot it... a lot. The barrel played out. I had it replaced with one chosen by a very good local gunsmith. It is my go-to rifle. The old boy is still alive, and I send him photos of the rifle with every deer, elk, and caribou that I take with it. He says it makes him feel like he's part of the hunt. I suggest that you rebarrel the rifle and keep using it.
 

1100RemingtonMan

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I would send it down the road. Look for a 1970's or early 1980's Model 70 or 700 in like new condition put the scope on you like and go hunting.
I was told a long time ago don't love anything that does not love you back. Guns Trucks Boats use them take great care of them but don't love them.
There are better actions to put good money into than a 1903.
 

deer_shooter

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Removing money from the equation, I think a rebarrel is in order, keep as 30/06 and if it were me, I'd treat it to an new Leupold. Then pick up a new rifle and take them both to Africa. All bases covered.
 

ImBillT

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I would send it down the road. Look for a 1970's or early 1980's Model 70 or 700 in like new condition put the scope on you like and go hunting.
I was told a long time ago don't love anything that does not love you back. Guns Trucks Boats use them take great care of them but don't love them.
There are better actions to put good money into than a 1903.
I’ve only shot one 03A3, it wasn’t many shots, and it was a long time ago, BUT they are pretty similar to an M98, and frankly, an M98 is wonderful. There are cheaper and easier builds, but if I was sitting on the OP’s action and stock, I’d rebarrel that thing ten times before I’d trade it for 700...And I’m a 700 guy.

With the OP’s distance from a gunsmith however, I’d buy a blank, send it however far it had to go to get to a good smith, and plan on taking something else to Africa. If it got finished in time, that’s a great bonus.
 

1_pointer

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Rebore the original barrel to 8mm-06 or .338-06.
I recommend this route, but it should lead to 9.3X62. Lapua makes brass and the chambering has more than a bit of African flavored panache.

If you really want to stay with 30-06; I'd opt for a rebarrel from someone who'll match the contour of the existing barrel.
 

MJE2083

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If I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip to Africa, I'm bringing a back up gun. So rebarrel, and get a new rifle that's something nice and reliable. That way you have your heirloom with you, and potentially a new heirloom as well that you have more faith in. Maybe even get the opportunity to take game with each gun.
 

OntarioHunter

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If money was no object, I’d definitely re-barrel. I would not however do it with a used barrel from eBay(Im okay with taking a chance on a used barrel from eBay, but if you have a deadline and a special hunt, I wouldn’t risk needing to rebarrel it a second time) I’d buy a custom blank and have a gunsmith with a good reputation chamber it and fit it. You can probably find a short chambered blank with the original profile, or have the maker contour it to the original profile if you don’t want the barrel channel in the stock worked on. If you don’t mind the barrel channel being opened up, then the gunsmith shouldn’t have any problem with that, but I’d ask him what contours he thinks will fit in the existing stock.

I’ve never hunted Africa, but I don’t know why 1MOA-1.5MOA wouldn’t be acceptable. It seems like having your dads rifle on a once in a lifetime hunt would be pretty cool.

Edit: after seeing your gun, I know you can disregard issues about barrel contour. Get a custom barrel with a contour similar to the one that’s in it.

I would not count on the eBay barrel screwing on with proper headspace, or sight alignment. It happens. I’ve shot a sporterized Springfield, but I didn’t do the work. I don’t know how common it is for swapping barrels from one to another to work without needing to be fitted on a lathe. It’s not terribly common with production actions.
The barrel is going to a gunsmith for headspace adjustment.

Unfortunately, these are extraordinary times that have screwed up supply and production for just about everything and it seems especially for anything gun related. Also, I live in Canada which makes supply options even more limited. Getting a barrel across the US border is nigh onto impossible at the best of times ... and we are in the worst of times. Turnaround is critical if this gun is going to make the trip. So I'm taking shortcuts and doing the best I can. If it doesn't fit together and shoot properly, I'll rent the CZ I shot my kudu with the last time.

Couldn't get to the range earlier because we've been snowed in. It's the occasional wild ones outside the group that are a concern. See attached. And no, that was not the shooter. The gun was rock solid and trigger is excellent. 20210413_191127.jpg
25 yards - red tape is an earlier outing
20210413_192731.jpg
100 yards first batch with reload - disregard holes in center that are from 25 yrds
20210413_195049.jpg
Second batch 100 yards factory ammo - disregard lower left from previous batch. Only four shots before stopped wasting ammo.

This is not a once in a lifetime hunt. Second time ... and I have a feeling in my bones it won't be the last time.

Any way you look at it, this won't work beyond 100 yrds. And dicey as hell at that range.
 
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OntarioHunter

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If I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip to Africa, I'm bringing a back up gun. So rebarrel, and get a new rifle that's something nice and reliable. That way you have your heirloom with you, and potentially a new heirloom as well that you have more faith in. Maybe even get the opportunity to take game with each gun.
The lodge has lots of good quality backup guns. I had to use one when my new scope went to hell on the Springfield. Unfortunately, we did not have time to take the lodge gun to the range as swap was made the night before my final day hunting. Finally late in the afternoon I got a shot at a decent bull standing at 200 yards. The bullet went right underneath his armpit. Rats! This gun is way off. Maybe 45 minutes to dark and figured I was going home without my most coveted trophy. Almost cried. PH said we should run to that hill and see if maybe some of the seven bulls doubled back. And there he was. On two tripods I was told to aim at the top of his shoulder. When I get on the gun the bull was almost facing us downhill. Again: "Aim for top of his shoulder." Okay, that's up between his horns. I was about to squeeze off when I remembered this gun was a foot and a half low at 200 meters. So I pulled WAY up between his horns. Bang - thump. "You got him." Well yes ... and no. We see the bull run downhill through a gully. "Where did you aim?" The two PHs were a little upset when I told them. "No telling where you hit him." But the way I looked at it I had to either shoot over him altogether or hit him someplace vital: back, neck, head (gawd forbid) or chest. And it was my last chance ... and they told me to take the shot. Turns out the bull running down the gully was my guy's partner we'd been waiting for forty minutes to get out of the way for a clear shot. My bull disappeared instantly with a fatal shot through the top of his neck. On the way up the hill I asked my PH what was the distance. 330 meters. "Are you SHITTING me? Why didn't you tell me?" "Because I knew you wouldn't shoot ... and I know you can shoot." Sometimes the gods ar smiling.
2019-08-28 kudu & Pat.JPG
I’ve only shot one 03A3, it wasn’t many shots, and it was a long time ago, BUT they are pretty similar to an M98, and frankly, an M98 is wonderful. There are cheaper and easier builds, but if I was sitting on the OP’s action and stock, I’d rebarrel that thing ten times before I’d trade it for 700...And I’m a 700 guy.

With the OP’s distance from a gunsmith however, I’d buy a blank, send it however far it had to go to get to a good smith, and plan on taking something else to Africa. If it got finished in time, that’s a great bonus.
If this rebarrel doesn't work out it will go off to be fitted with a new blank and I'll rent a rifle in Africa. I can hunt Montana this fall with Dad's 760 30-06 Papa gave him just after I was born. Unfortunately, it can't go to Africa. They only allow bolt action rifles into the country.
 

ImBillT

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Generally if you can adjust headspace on a Springfield you can chamber a blank.
 

Don Fischer

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I recommend this route, but it should lead to 9.3X62. Lapua makes brass and the chambering has more than a bit of African flavored panache.

If you really want to stay with 30-06; I'd opt for a rebarrel from someone who'll match the contour of the existing barrel.
If I were going to rebarrel between an 8mm-06 and a 338-06 it would be the 338-06 hands down. Get over 30 cal in 30-06 size case and your into cartridges for larger and maybe dangerous game. 338 has a huge bullet advantage. I think a big reason for the failure of the 8mm mag was lack of good bullet's. They were all made for 8mm mauser.
 

OntarioHunter

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Generally if you can adjust headspace on a Springfield you can chamber a blank.
Yes, but then the blank has to be turned down, polished, and blued. That's already been done to this barrel. Also it has a nice aftermarket front sight with slot for hood. Everyone knows hooded front sights are a must have for any African White Hunter worth his salt! Not sure if the gunsmith can mount this barrel with front sight in proper position but I'm sure he can readjust it if necessary. Also, this barrel cost $70 bucks. The new made barrels in the white I found on the net are about $300 US. I'm not out much if this one doesn't work out. A bit of a crap shoot I suppose but even a new barrel can be a lemon. If the rebarrel works it will add another interesting chapter to the story of a gun that's seen some pretty amazing stuff.
 

OntarioHunter

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If I were going to rebarrel between an 8mm-06 and a 338-06 it would be the 338-06 hands down. Get over 30 cal in 30-06 size case and your into cartridges for larger and maybe dangerous game. 338 has a huge bullet advantage. I think a big reason for the failure of the 8mm mag was lack of good bullet's. They were all made for 8mm mauser.
They are not legal for dangerous African game. Must be minimum of .375. Don't see much need for lunker cartridge in my future. I have taken thirteen elk and six moose with that rifle. I may shoot a couple more elk in this lifetime but probably not. No interest at all in shooting bears. The only other possibles for future years at this point are Central Asia ibex or African sable. The primitive hunting conditions for ibex very much interest me. Actually a helluva lot more affordable than North American sheep hunts. Seems flying into that godforsaken unstable part of the world is the biggest challenge ... and getting back out of there alive. The trophies are hands down the most spectacular in the world. We'll see how my body recovers from the hernia surgery ... when it finally gets the surgery. Not as easy to get back in shape when knocking on the door of age seventy. A big fat bullet is not the ticket for ibex or sable. Especially not ibex. Even 30-06 might not have enough long range gas for one of them. Might have to think about a lighter weight gun too if that trip ever comes together.
 

OntarioHunter

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I recommend this route, but it should lead to 9.3X62. Lapua makes brass and the chambering has more than a bit of African flavored panache.

If you really want to stay with 30-06; I'd opt for a rebarrel from someone who'll match the contour of the existing barrel.
Not too worried about matching contour. I have seen images of the new barrel and contours look very close. If new barrel is too tight the channel will be opened just enough to free float it. Of course the glass bedding at the back end of the channel near the receiver will have to be dug out and rebedded. Dremel tool makes very fast work of that chore.
 
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OntarioHunter

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If I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip to Africa, I'm bringing a back up gun. So rebarrel, and get a new rifle that's something nice and reliable. That way you have your heirloom with you, and potentially a new heirloom as well that you have more faith in. Maybe even get the opportunity to take game with each gun.
I am only allowed to travel with two guns and the second one will be a 45-90 double rifle to be transferred to lodge owner as partial payment for my gunsmith buddy's last trip. Have never shot it and never will. At less than six pounds that thing would tear my fragile retinas to pieces.
 

ImBillT

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Yes, but then the blank has to be turned down, polished, and blued. That's already been done to this barrel. Also it has a nice aftermarket front sight with slot for hood. Everyone knows hooded front sights are a must have for any African White Hunter worth his salt! Not sure if the gunsmith can mount this barrel with front sight in proper position but I'm sure he can readjust it if necessary. Also, this barrel cost $70 bucks. The new made barrels in the white I found on the net are about $300 US. I'm not out much if this one doesn't work out. A bit of a crap shoot I suppose but even a new barrel can be a lemon. If the rebarrel works it will add another interesting chapter to the story of a gun that's seen some pretty amazing stuff.
You don’t have to order a blank that hasn’t been contoured, but yes, you’d be looking at $200-$400 dollars for the blank, and yes it would need some sort of finish if you did not want a stainless barrel.
 
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