7.62x39 Project Thats Been On My Mind for A While....
Reading Acelungger's thread about building a small ring .22/6mm brought to mind a project I have been considering for some time, and I though I would run it buy the group for some suggestions, and possible some specific information.
Background - quite a few years ago I was at a public auction that included a few rifles (if they dont, why would I be there?? lol) and one in particular was the "goat" of the auction, and NO ONE wanted it, so guess who bought it, for $40? Yep, you got it; moi. I knew at first glance that it was an Argentine/Lowe 91 of some sort, and it was of course "bubbaed" at some point in the past. When I picked up my $40 prize, I determined that it was indeed a 91 Arg, that had been drilled and tapped, the bolt reshaped, and a Beuhler low swing safety had been installed. The barrel appeared to be a scant 17-18" and there were no open sights. I took it home and it sat in the corner for a while, until one day I decided to fool around and see what I had. Long story short, someone had screwed a 7x57 barrel from a 93/95 onto it, and with a few more $ tossed its way over another period of a year or two, it has become and remains my go to "foul weather" ugly gun for all occasions. After a quick trip to Mel Doyle's gunshop in Idaho, the excessive headspace was corrected, a used 3-9x40 I had lying around got attached, a $2 (well, they were back THEN!) black nylon sling and a used slip on recoil pad that really had no place on anything ELSE was added, and voila - ugly but serviceable. Even more serviceable was the fact that it would shoot under 1.5" at 100 yards with Winchester factory 7x57 stuff!! My bargain all told, including the used scope, cost me under $100 and I think I would sell it LAST if I ever sold "everything!"
Up to date: The fact that the old 7.65x53 91 Arg wore a 7x57 barrel got me to thinking............like Ace, this isnt something Im gonna start building TOMORROW, but I think maybe its time to start collecting the "parts" - I have always wanted a bold action "hunter" in 7.62x39; and having step kids and step grand kids who are/will be hunting makes a serviceable light recoil bolt action in this caliber "even more sensible" (as if anything a gun nut does is actually SENSIBLE!) So...............since I am aware of the fact that 7.62x39 does NOT "mic" at .308 (as a general rule) but rather more like .310-.311, and because the reason so many 1909 Argentine .30-06 conversions arent very accurate is because 'Smiths used to ream the 7.65 barrels with an .06 reamer and "thats that" and the 7.65 is NOT .308 EITHER................I got to thinking that a 91 Argentine barrel on a 93/95 action, the opposite of my Ugly Gun might just be the ticket for a "budget build!" (Note, the same is true of a lot of old 7.7 Jap Arisakas - 'Smiths back in the day often reamed the chambers with an '06 reamer and called it a day, which created a cheap to feed, but not terribly accurate/fast combination, for the same reason - running a .308 pill down a .310-311 bore isnt exactly a Camp Perry quality idea, but it WORKS.)
THE QUESTION - who has enough experience with the caliber 7.62x39 and in particular, the plethora of cheap ammo out there, to know how close the nominal bullet diameter is on the average to .310, and also how close the 7.65x53 Arg bores (assuming that they arent corroded from years of corrosive primers; we are assuming a good BORE) are to .310 to make this a TRULY viable project, and not a "marginal one" like the old school Argentine and Arisaka .30-06 "conversions?" Anyone's thoughts and insights would be greatly appreciated. Opinions either way. FYI - I am NOT considering purchasing a Ruger 77 or CZ or anything else in this caliber. This is strictly a "project concept" using the materials indicated. I know I can BUY a new bolt action in 7.62x39 - but "I AIN'T GONNA!" lol