Home All Mongo’s Spare Parts Rifle No. 2

Mongo’s Spare Parts Rifle No. 2

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Remington 40x
Remington 40x Close up of bolt.

So its 2010 and I’m lying around in a hospital bed in a LTAC (Long Term Acute Care) facility being bored out of my skull. My leg is still being held together with externals rods and clamps courtesy of a drunk driver 4 months previously. This predicament results in my usual relief, gun shopping on the internet.

I come across the (CMP) Civilian Marksmanship Program site looking at what interesting guns they were offering. I had recently received my Garand from them and had it brought to me in the LTAC room for my inspection. Surprisingly, no one complained though not having the case of Dutch 30.06 ammunition brought in with it might have helped.

Remington 40x
Remington 40x Right.

The CMP site was showing some really nice 22LR training rifles for sale that they had received from the US military.  Unfortunately they had already been bought out but they still had some barreled actions for sale. I see that some were Remington 40x 22LR single shot barreled actions with heavy barrels. They were without sights, bottom metal, or stocks. My scheming mind started picturing at this point a duplicate build of my Remington 700 in 308 in an AICS chassis (Remington 40x and 700 short actions have the same foot print for inletting to stock/chassis systems). I was thinking it would be a great training gun with cheap ammo (relatively to 308 match). So I ordered me one and went off to Sniper Hide to read up on what other had done with their similar builds. Have you spotted my first mistake yet?

Unfortunately you did not get to select the exact barreled action when you ordered. The only method to do that was to show up in persona at the CMP store and there was several pounds of rods and clamps making sure that was not going to happen. The action I received was in excellent condition with USMC property marked (US Marines Corps) receiver, beautiful bluing, a mint bore 22inch (558.8mm) heavy barrel, a finely adjusted crisp trigger, and a bolt handle that did not sweep back. Looking at the receiver serial number showed it was one of the first guns delivered to the Marines around 1955. This was when Remington forged their bolts instead of casting them and therefore had no sweep back that they later adopted.

Remington 40x
Remington 40x Close up of bolt.

Finally I received an early Christmas gift and was released from the LTAC to go home. I still had a lot of recovering to do but at least I could play with my toys at home. Home was only slightly less boring than the hospital but with better food.  It was time to start working on all my project I had planned for while lying in that damn hospital bed.

The research I had done on Sniper’s hide had others having their 40x actions machined by a noted gunsmith to accept a magazine from different older bolt action and modifying expensive AICS magazines to be used as a spacer. Unfortunately the gunsmith mentioned had quit doing the conversions due to being too much of a pain in the butt. The AICS chassis to make the clone was also going to be much more expensive than the one I had purchased used for my 308 bolt gun. The potential cost were quickly adding up and cash intake was fixed at a much reduced amount from my normal salary for a long foreseeable time. My first mistake at starting this project was not doing my research until after I had bought the action.

Remington 40x
USMC Markings just below forward scope ring.

A trip to the parts cabinet was in order to see what turn this project gun would take. First I found I had a brand new Remington 700 ADL trigger guard. It was a left over from my first gun design, a 45ACP straight pull integrally suppressed rifle that fed from 1911 magazines. I still have a bag of parts all newly machined for that gun, too bad you can’t assemble them into a gun due to some design screw ups. I keep that bag of parts as a lesson that you might be able to design a gun fully assembled and working but at some point you need to put it together and that’s not always possible.

The spare optics drawer had a Leupold Mark 4 10X fixed mil dot rifle scope. This was the scope that the military had adopted to use on their sniper rifles for a while. I had built a sniper rifle clone with it until I wanted better glass and changed to a US Optics SN-1. Granted, the 10X fixed power might seem like a bit too much scope for a 22LR rifle, but you make do with what you have when you are going in on the cheap. Luckily the scope still had the scope covers and the Leupold Mark 4 scope base and rings. 

The stock was the next major cost hurdle to the project. Boyd’s Stocks had just the stock I needed in my price range. I ordered their Pro Varmint ADL stock for $99, one hell of a deal for a fully inletted stock at the time (Boyd’s Current cost is over double that these days).

While waiting on my stock to be delivered and Brownells bedding kit, I had my buddy cut the barrel down to 16.5 inches (419mm) and thread it 1/2X28 so I could run my AAC Element suppressor on it (another freebee from my time doing contract work for AAC). When the suppressor is not mounted I just use a M16A2 flash hider as a thread protector. My anal retentive buddy even timed the threads so the flash hider timed correctly when hand tight without having to use any shims or washers.

The bolt handle issue was not done throwing wrenches into my plans. I have used Badger Ordnance bolt knobs on my builds and that was the intention here as well. Luckily I know the owner of Badger Ordnance, after doing a few projects together, and I called him about using one of his bolt knobs on the 40x action. After telling him about the early nature of the action and the straight knob he informed me that the knobs were extremely hard due to their forged nature and it was best to leave it alone and live with it.

I bedded the action in my new stock and mounted up the optics.

Remington 40x
Remington 40x – 22 Left

 

The gun on its first outing proved to shoot sub MOA. It’s now one of my favorite 22LR rifles to shoot. The fact that it’s a single shot does keep me or the kids from burning through ammo. It’s one of those great rifles to shoot smaller targets at ever increasing ranges. When the shooting buddies get together at the range we end up taking our 22LR rifles and shooting clay pigeons at ranges of 200-400 yards (~ 180-370m) as a little head to head competition. The 10X fixed power mil dot comes into its own during these impromptu matches. 

 

 

Mongo

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Mongo