Remington 30 Express rebuild

Frank Green

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OK it's not a sniper rifle but figured this was the best place to post it as it is vintage.

Close to being done with a rebuild of a Remington 30 Express rifle. It's a 4 digit s/n. Made 1921 to 1940. Remington still had all the tooling from making the 1917 Enfield rifles. So they added some minor mod's to make it into more of a sporting rifle. They modified the bolt stop lever, straightened the trigger guard where the biggest changes besides a sporter type stock and standard sporter sights. If I remember right mine was made in 1926.

Of course when I got the gun...the stock was butchered up pretty good and the bore of the barrel was junk/all pitted.

So made a new barrel (duplicated the contour). Fitted a NOS Redfield ramp front sight. Still have minor stock work to do around the rear receiver sight and still have to do the final finish work on the stock. It won't be that high gloss looking finish when it's done. It will be a satin finish. The stock.... I don't know what brand it is. I found it on Ebay and got it for a $100. It was semi finished. I sent the barreled action to Alex Sitman at Master Class Stocks and he did all the final inlet and bedding for me and did somewhat final sanding to it. So I'm doing the finish work on the stock. I installed a Timney trigger.

Just got the barreled action back from having it rust blued. Glen Rock bluing in Wy did the rust bluing work and did a real nice job.

On another thread we we're talking about all the shortages going on and I mentioned I couldn't find any 30-06 ammo to test the rifle out. Well I got ball ammo and can test it that way (which I did run a couple of rounds thru it) but don't have any hunting type bullets or box hunting ammo to run thru it. So I have to give a shout out to @

W54/XM-388 as he sent me a couple boxes of Hornady Precision Hunter 178gr ammo to help me out. So Thanks bud!!!!

So here are a few pic's for now. I also have to do some final fitting to the inletted sling swivels and then send those out for rust bluing as well.

Later, Frank
 

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rgg_7

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I have a soft spot in my heart for the Model 30 Enfield. Rugged and Reliable. BSA repurposed P14's and model 1917 Enfield into sporters in just about every caliber known.

Great attention to detail. Nice stick of wood for $100.

Keep us posted.
 

mtrmn

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    I have a 1917 my grandfather gave me, still full military except for the rear sight removed and a scope mount in it's place. Shoots a 7/8" group at 100. I later bought a "sporterized" 1917 that shoots like lightning. Never strikes the same place twice. One day I need to re-do the sporter to see if I can save it. This work you've done is top notch with beautiful results. Congrats!
     

    Frank Green

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    Thanks all!

    Most guys don’t know but all of the P17/P14 barrels are single point cut rifled. That’s the way they did it back then. If you ever look at one that’s in good shape. They usually are pretty nice. When I had my Vickers water cooled machine gun. I found a place that had/imported brand new barrels. I figured for $30 each I’ll take a chance and bought three of them. All cut rifled. Bore finish was pretty nice as well. Other than not being finished lapped. So I finish lapped them and turned out just awesome looking. I still have one of them unfired.

    Also all of the P14/P17 Enfields as well as the Brit Lee models….all left hand twist and all 5 groove. Even the P17 barrels in 30-06 are 5 groove and left hand twist if it’s the original barrel and wasn’t replaced.
     

    Average guy

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    Now I need to work on my 60’s sporterized 1917. The Bishop stock needs some serious reshaping. But it came with a cool old 3/4” tube weaver in Buelher mounts. I guess I have a new project
     

    NukeMMC

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    Beautiful work, Frank. I inherited a Model 30 (#6896), which I sold a few years ago. The quality of not only the machining, wood and assembly but also the deep bluing was amazing. If I remember correctly, some early rifles were cock-on-closing while the majority were cock-on-opening. Mine was COO.
     
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    Frank Green

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    Beautiful work, Frank. I inherited a Model 30 (#6896), which I sold a few years ago. The quality of not only the machining, wood and assembly but also the deep bluing was amazing. If I remember correctly, some early rifles were cock-on-closing while the majority were cock-on-opening. Mine was COO.
    Yes the real early guns where cock on closing. My gun is s/n 8806 is my guess with out looking at it. When I got it…it was a COO gun already. I don’t see any evidence of it being altered. I’ve done some of the COO conversions to straight 1917 Enfield guns.

    You look at a lot of the guns made even during WW1 time frame and or thru the 30’s and 40’s etc…and a lot of them finish wise put a lot of stuff made now a days to shame. Especially the mass produced guns.

    Thanks for the compliment by the way.

    Just got the sight and stock/sight cut out area done fitted today. Will shoot it and check for zero on the sight etc…if no other work is needed on the stock then it’s final finishing time to get that wrapped up and send the swivel bases out for rust bluing as well.

    Later, Frank
     

    Charger442

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    Yes the real early guns where cock on closing. My gun is s/n 8806 is my guess with out looking at it. When I got it…it was a COO gun already. I don’t see any evidence of it being altered. I’ve done some of the COO conversions to straight 1917 Enfield guns.

    You look at a lot of the guns made even during WW1 time frame and or thru the 30’s and 40’s etc…and a lot of them finish wise put a lot of stuff made now a days to shame. Especially the mass produced guns.

    Thanks for the compliment by the way.

    Just got the sight and stock/sight cut out area done fitted today. Will shoot it and check for zero on the sight etc…if no other work is needed on the stock then it’s final finishing time to get that wrapped up and send the swivel bases out for rust bluing as well.

    Later, Frank

    Any advantage to COO vs COC? I have an old Belgium Mauser from the 60s that was converted to COO but I'm not certain which is better or really preferred. I think I prefer the COO.
     

    Frank Green

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    Any advantage to COO vs COC? I have an old Belgium Mauser from the 60s that was converted to COO but I'm not certain which is better or really preferred. I think I prefer the COO.
    As far as ignition goes...I don't feel there is a benefit one way or another.

    I think it's personal preference more than anything else. I think most agree you can run the bolt faster with COO I will say is smoother to run but with that being said....

    Run the mad minute drill! This was originally done with the Lee Enfield which is a COC system.


    “Mad Minute” was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12″ round target at 300 yards within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits. (From WikiPedia.)

    Now myself and others I've seen shooting a bolt gun on a national match course....with Win. 70's, Remmy's and the like....you have to do 10 rounds in 60 or 70 seconds. I had to score a guy at one match that had a bad batch of primers. I seen that guy run 22 rounds thru the gun (5 round reloads on stripper clips) in 70 seconds just to try and get 10 rounds to fire and score on the target.

    So which one is better?
     
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    Charger442

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    As far as ignition goes...I don't feel there is a benefit one way or another.

    I think it's personal preference more than anything else. I think most agree you can run the bolt faster with COO I will say is smoother to run but with that being said....

    Run the mad minute drill! This was originally done with the Lee Enfield which is a COC system.


    “Mad Minute” was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12″ round target at 300 yards within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits. (From WikiPedia.)

    Now myself and others I've seen shooting a bolt gun on a national match course....with Win. 70's, Remmy's and the like....you have to do 10 rounds in 60 or 70 seconds. I had to score a guy at one match that had a bad batch of primers. I seen that guy run 22 rounds thru the gun (5 round reloads on stripper clips) in 70 seconds just to try and get 10 rounds to fire and score on the target.

    So which one is better?

    incredible. i would love to run that drill on my own. ive shot with Jacob at Rifles Only in some 60 second timed stages. its quick but still seems like a long time, especially with a reload.

    id love to run that drill with the winchester 70 USMC sniper clone with unertl on top. the limiting factor would be the reloads one at a time into the internal magazine
     

    packratt

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    Loosely related to this thread. I've got a sporterized m1917. I'm trying to find a 1 piece base for it and haven't had much luck.

    The rear ring of the receiver is mostly flat. The bases I've tried have been for a round ring. I guess I could bed the base to the receiver.
     

    Frank Green

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    Loosely related to this thread. I've got a sporterized m1917. I'm trying to find a 1 piece base for it and haven't had much luck.

    The rear ring of the receiver is mostly flat. The bases I've tried have been for a round ring. I guess I could bed the base to the receiver.
    I’ve made/modified a Win Model 70 base from Brownells. I’ll get the base number and what I did to it. There are not many options out there.

    I’ll take a picture of a sporterized 1917 that I have laying around. I’ve done it a couple of times.
     

    Frank Green

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    I used the Brownell's scope base p/n 080-000-397. It's for a Win. Post 64 LA model 70.

    The front of the base the diameter of the receiver is the same or pretty close to a Model 70. So no need to do anything to the bottom side of the front end of the base. If anything the radius is slightly smaller than the 1917. Which is fine with me then the base edges will rest/press down against the receiver and not teeter totter at all. So all you have to do is use the existing holes in the base and drill and tap the receiver. My first D&T hole I make is .390" from the receiver face. This way when you put the 2nd hole in your not drilling into the large bolt lug of the receiver. The spacing between the front two screw holes is .860".

    Your going to have to do a little math and figuring out the back of the base. As with most sporterized 1917 Enfields how the receiver was cut down, contoured etc...varies from gun to gun. Some where done really nice...some are total hack jobs.

    I figured out how much I had to mill down the bottom side of the base so it sat flat and mine is flat on the back receiver bridge. I had to add add one or two holes in the base (I can take it apart tonight and see what I did on this one) and then D&T the receiver to match. I also cut the receiver ejection port opening bigger on the base to match as close as I could to the 1917 Enfield receiver. As the ejection port opening is smaller on the Model 70. Also some guys when they sporterized these receivers cut that rear part of the receiver ejection port opening back more and I've seen them squared off. Why I don't know but seemed like it was a common thing. When you do this though you also expose the rear end of the extractor which to me doesn't look right and you lose that nice contoured back part of the opening of the ejection port as well when you do this.

    You can use that one existing hole in the receiver on the rear bridge and tap that then you just have to do a second hole if you want for the back. Dimension that I measured is in the attachment below. It's measured from where I put the second hole on the front of the receiver. So first hole in the front is .390" from the receiver face, second hole is .860" back from that. Then the dimension from the second hole to that existing rear hole on the rear receiver bridge is 4.658".

    I hate drilling anymore holes in a receiver than what you need. I hate hack looking jobs.

    This is the easiest way that I know of. Yes I've made mounts from scratch but that's more work and more time. Yes you can make it look better by doing it that way. This version is functional and looks o.k. I call this gun my loaner/beater gun. Still want to get a nicer stock on it. This stock was on it and totally sucked. So I spray painted a texture finish on it and bedded it. It works. Caliber is 7x57AI.

    Later, Frank
     

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    Last edited:

    Frank Green

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    Had an unannounced inspection. Guy came in dressed like a biker and wearing sunglasses like those pictured.

    So we took the picture and I sent it to him and told him we all wanted to be like him!
     

    VJJPunisher

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    Love me a Remington 30 express, mine is sn 13129, has had a smith put red field sights on it at some point but nice original blueing and stock. Don’t love the cartridge but love the rifle
     

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    sirhrmechanic

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    A lot of these actions got reworked in building sporters of all different calibers. As like with others you have to watch the magazine box length and the round you want to run thru the gun.
    Indeed. Had to bend up a custom well box for this one, IIRC.


    Here's the project... it's out being blued now. But ran into an unforseen problem which is that it had a Stainless Barrel fitted. Didn't see that coming. So we are doing a cerokote to match rust bluing. It should be done any day.

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
     

    Frank Green

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    Back in the 60's when Winchester made SS barrels and Remmy did as well....they way they blued them was thru some sort of process where they would bond iron particles to the outside of the barrel. Then do the bluing but if I recall correctly looks more like a flat blue type finish. Not that high polished blue finish. I forget what the process was called.

    They had to do that in order to get the bluing to take as bluing doesn't as we all know take on a SS barrel.
     
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