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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
If you want a project rifle in a small caliber varmint round you might think about building one on a Savage action. They have that barrel nut set up that makes changing barrels and chamberings fairly easy and simple to do in a home workshop without a lot of specialized tools and machine tools. Outfits like E.M. Shaw make drop in barrels for that action and Boyds makes good stocks in laminate or solid hardwood. Several of our members have built nice rifles on Savage actions and out of the box Savages shoot pretty darn good too. I think @slayer has done a couple of them, perhaps he will chime in and clue you in on what Savage actions make the best donors for a build.
Thanks Grizz. I've watched Cavedweller1969 do a few Savage rebarrels on YT and he uses E M Shaw bbls quite a bit. I 'llhave to keep my eyes open for one.
 

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A few things to consider are, is barrel swapping something you want to do multiple times or is it a one and done situation? How much money do you want to spend?
If it’s a one and done scenario, take the 03 to a gunsmith and have it rebarreled to something you want. There are plenty of short action cartridges built on 98 Mauser actions so there’s no reason a 243 sized cartridge won’t work on an 03 action.

If you want a rifle chambered in a not so common cartridge and you want to build multiple rifles, then investing in the tools to do a savage barrel swap would be the way to go. E. R. Shaw barrels start just under $250. There are other savage, ruger, Remington prefit barrel manufacturers that are more expensive but they offer chamberings that Shaw doesn’t.

if you just want a common cartridge then rebarreling the 03 or just buying a whole new rifle chamberered in the cartridge you want is the way to go, honestly.
 

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I would like to re-barrel my sporterized 1903 to 7x57. That would give new life to the old girl and be easier on my shoulder too.
 
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