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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gentlemen, not exactly sure where to put this... I want to pick up a project rifle this winter for me and my dad to spend some time together with, to refinish the stock, reblue if necessary and just in general have a functional rifle. Doesn't have to be pretty, just shoot straight.

What are some rifles I should be looking for? Economy models? Beat up nicer rifles? Bolt action centerfire or rimfire or maybe a .22 semi auto sounds about right. I'd LOVE to get my hands on a cheap single shot or bolt action rifle in a smaller deer caliber like .243, .25-06, .260, something like that. Even a smaller centerfire like a .22-250. What are my options?

Cheap, and easy to obtain parts are the keys. I'm sure someone has done something like this before. I'd love to hear any ideas on what model rifle to look for.

What do I need to look for to avoid headaches (and big $ fixes)? So far I have shot out/rusted bores and cracks in the stock.
 

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For a project like you're describing, it helps to start with some kind of a budget in mind. Without that, it's difficult to give much in the way of recommendations.

The two types of projects I've done are to take a currently manufactured action, like a M700, or find an old ex-military gun with a decent barrel. Depending on which way you go, and what kind of effort you want to put into it, versus the amount of money spent, you can refinish the original stock, buy a rough-cut replacement or, go with a synthetic/composite. Then you can stick with the original barrel/chambering the gun came with or replace the barrel and have it cut to a standard or wildcat round. (This is where quite a bit of money can be spent...)

You mention a lot of different possibilities and I imagine you could do just about any of them. My project last winter was an 03A3 with a sporterized stock that I sanded down and finished. Years past, I've redone a single-shot and a bolt-action 22LR. None of these have cost more than a couple hundred dollars, but that's because the guns were already in the family.

Go to 4 or 5 gun stores or pawn shops and see what they have on the shelf. I'm betting something speaks to you and before long you're putting a little elbow grease into bringing something back from the dead. As long as you aren't expecting to get a 1/2 MOA shooter out of a $250 gun, and you're willing to put a lot of TLC into the project, you'll wind up with something you can be very proud of and use with confidence. :)
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Old .22 rimfires make a good project. Usually the bores are OK if they had not been badly abused, or cleaned improperly. Clean up and refinish the stock, reblue if needed, and you might be surprised at what a gem you come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes cheap is the key. Under a few hundred. A old .22 wouldn't be a bad idea. Have the .17 to plink with but it's loud and expensive. I think you're right I should just keep an eye on the gun shops and see what they have instead of getting set on something I might not be able to find.
 

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I would recommend you start hitting the pawn shops and gun shows when theirs one near. Find something the meets you're requirements and see if he will cut you a deal, some will, some want.

If I were you and not really sure what I was getting into, I would try to find one of the Swedish Mausers in 6.5 x 55. Sometimes you can pick those up fairly cheap, and if the barrel is still good (something you probably won't know until you try it unless you happen to own a bore scope), they make very good shooters. Sometimes you can find those that someone has already tried to sporterize and can pick them up for a very good price.
 
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