Is this action any good for building on? I'm not looking for benchrest competition level accuracy, but sub 1 moa would be nice. I saw a rifle today in 300 HH going for $199, and thought with a little work on the action and a re-barrel, maybe it would be a shooter. Is there anyone on the 'net that specializes in older remington actions?
I have a prized 721 chambered in .270 Win. A 721 Magnum is a very good action. It can certainly be made into an excellent benchrest rifle. Thousands of people have done it. At the time it was built Julian Hatcher considered it the strongest action there was.
721's were introduced in 1948 and were made until 1962 when the Model 700 took its place. First chambered in .270 Win, .30-06, and .300 H&H and later other calibers, they were based on the Model 720 that was made for only a few years starting in 1940. (720's were presented by the Navy for trophy rifles for decades until the supply ran out.)
**Edited to clarify that the 721 Magnum action is longer than the standard 721 action in order to accomodate the .300 H&H Magnum cartridge.**
Anyway 721's were slightly redesigned to use lessons learned by War2 production and use the better machine tools acquired for wartime production.
721's are made of War2 ordnance steel. By the late '50's the supply of this high-grade steel was diminishing. So Remington adopted a newer metal that worked more easily. It lowered production costs, allowed different manufacturing techniques and we got the Model 700 in 1962. The less expensive 700's are what drove Winchester to cheapen their Model 70's to push-feed etc. in 1964 to remain cost-competitive with the Rem 700.
Does the 721 Magnum have a hinged floorplate? Is it the higher grade ADL with checkering on the stock? Both are desirable.
One thing to keep in mind...where once there was a wide selection of aftermarket parts for the 721 today there are almost none. Several years ago I bought the last piece of good 721 walnut from Reinhard-Fajen before they closed their stockmaking business. I want a hinged floorplate for my 721 and have looked unsuccessfully for years.
You might want to evaluate the barrel before you swap. I would be tempted to go to a heavier barrel for extended session shooting but a 721 is such a pleasant weight to carry and inletting the stock would be irreversible.
But a 721 Magnum is a very nice action.
A .300 H&H magnum 721 for $199?
I would be pulling the little plastic card out so fast the damn thing would be melted and useless.
Seriously, if it was in decent shape I would not even hesitate to think about it.
Thanks for the great replies. The only reason I was hesitant, is because it has seen some use. The finish is about 60%, but the action seems alright, and locked up nice. The stock has been carved with animal scenes on four places, they look alright, but not outstanding. And honestly, I was getting a 10/22 at the time, so I didn't even notice if it had a floorplate or not. Oh well, I'll have to go back today. I'd still like to find a steady supply of parts before starting a project like this. Also, what other cartridges could this rifle be re-barreled in? Since it has the longer action.
OAL of the .300 H&H Magnum cartridge is 3.600". This in comparison to 3.340" OAL of .30-06 and .270 Win among others.
Case head diameter of the .300 H&H is .532" where the other's is .473".
A partial listing of possibilities are:
.270 Weatherby Mag
7mm Rem Mag or Weatherby Mag
7mm STW (GOOD Cartridge!)
.300 Win Mag or Weatherby Mag
.308 Norma Mag
8mm Rem Mag
.338 Win Mag
.340 Weatherby Mag
.358 Norma Mag or STA
.375 H&H (BTW all these are based off this cartridge)
.375 JRS or Weatherby Mag
.416 Rem, Taylor or Hoffman Mag
.458 Lott (my favorite) or Ackley
.470 Capstick (OAL 3.650")
I am sure there are others. The 721 Magnum action is plenty strong for any of these cartridges.
Arock, you're the man. Thanks again. One last question, if you're still reading the boards. Would this action hold the new 300 ultra mag? I know the magazine size for these is supposed to be 3.7, but the oal of the case seems to be between 3.58 and 3.6. This is the load I'm really hoping to build a rifle for.
Don't have case head diameter for that cartridge memorized yet. But minor OAL differences can be accomodated by relieving the ejection port and/or bolt stop. Shouldn't stop you if that's the cartridge you want.
Replacement stocks and some parts are still available thru Gun Parts Corp. and a few others. Just search for "721 Remington parts".
Well, this is what I get for trying to remember things and not write them down. I went back to the shop, and turns out it was a 300 Win mag, it has a floor plate, but it's permanently attached to the trigger gaurd. The condition was probly about 85-90% on the finish, but the stock has to go. I didn't grab it today, maybe next week. It'd still be fun to play with in 300 win mag. We'll see. Thanks for all the help tho, and I know I'll be watching for a good old 300HH to turn into an ultra mag.