Letter Re: Synthetic Rifle Stocks and Sporterizing Military Bolt Actions

I have a couple of questions regarding rifle parts for you and the “SurvivalBlog.com” community. This is mostly from a hunting standpoint, as my dad and I are winding down from this last deer season and planning next. I am planning on replacing the wood stock on my .30-06 and going synthetic. Do you, or any of the SurvivalBlog readers, have any other resources for synthetic stocks? I have looked long and hard at McMillan and others, but wanted to make sure there are no others I am missing.
Next, what resources are there available for Mauser receivers and Enfield receivers? We have a surplus Enfield that serves as a camp gun/coyote control, but have thought long about building up either a Mauser or an Enfield receiver in maybe a .300 Win. Mag, .308, or .30-06. I have a couple of small books on the subject and have Googled ad nauseam on the subject. And finally, are there any other hand loading resources available that I am not thinking about? Something that should be obvious to me? I have all the usual suspects bookmarked on the home computer. Dad has been looking for Norma cases for a while. He can’t seem to get enough of them for whatever reason. Thanks for the help. Peace. – “Shooter”

JWR Replies: In my opinion, the either the McMillan Brothers stock or the H-S Precision stock would be great choices. The inherent accuracy provided by a Kevlar-Graphite stocks with an integral aluminum bedding block is almost legendary. I have my Winchester Model 70 .30-06 (my primary deer, elk, and bear hunting tool) in one. That H-S Precision stock transformed a “decently accurate” rifle into a veritable tack driver.

If your goal is primarily just weight reduction and weather resistance rather than absolute peak accuracy, then you might consider some of the less expensive plain fiberglass stocks made by makers like Brown Precision and Bell & Carlson. An even less expensive option is to get one of the Dupont Rynite stocks made by Choate. These are categorized as medium weight and are relatively “Plain Jane” looking (although they now come in several colors). However, Choate stocks are zero-warp regardless of the weather and are very easy to inlet–if for example you have installed a bull barrel. Just use a Dremel tool set to low speed. (Higher speeds get a carbide cutter too hot and then you’ll start “melt inletting.”)

As for military surplus bolt action rifles/receivers for sporterizing, I recommend the Turkish contract pre-1899 (no FFL) Model 1893 Oberndorf (German) Mausers that are sold by The Pre-1899 Specialist. These are ideal for building a .308 or .30-06. (But not a belted magnum–you would need a Model 1898 Mauser action for that.) This is your chance to get a high pressure 8 x57 Mauser delivered right to your doorstep without filling out a Form 4473. There is no paperwork required because these rifles are Federally classified as “antiques” and hence entirely outside of  Federal jurisdiction. (Of course consult your state and local laws before you place an order.) The last I heard, The Pre-1899 Specialist still had a few M1893 rifles with cracked stocks available for just $169 each.  Those would be perfect  for building a sporter, since you will be discarding the stock anyway. OBTW, synthetic stocks that fit Model 1893 Mausers (the same and a “Model 1895” stock BTW) are available from Bell & Carlson and Choate.