I have a Rem. 243 BDL that I'm thinking about having re-barreled, any ideas on barrels and a good gun smith that can do this work, hopefully in the northeast.But I don't a problem sending it some where else.
I'll assume it's a hunting rifle.
I had a Douglas premium airgauged barrel put on mine and had the work done by a local smith.
The whole project was less than a buying a good factory rifle from their custom shop.
Are you going to stay with the same round?
If your planning on something different. The 260 rem is formidable and accurate and fits the action and bolt without any alterations.
I had a 270 wsm barrel put on mine. It ended up being a lot of work. If I had it to do again. I'd go to the 260 rem. It's just a matter of a barrel change and head spacing.
Don't get me wrong. The 270 wsm is everything I expected and it shoots better than I can but, the 260 rem would have been plenty enough.
As far as a smith. Ask around, at the gun shops etc.. about the locals.
If it's a matter of a barrel change and head spacing. Find someone local your comfortable with.
If you want some major work done or are looking to have a target rifle built. You'll need to determine what you want to have done and find a smith that specializes in that.
We've got a couple of smith's around here that have built some winning 1000 yd rifles and stocks or rails but they don't work for a six pack and a hot beef sandwich.
Determine what you want done first and find a smith that does that kind of work.
Find a gunsmith first and see what he has around his shop. Most smithys have a crap load of factory barrels they keep when replacing with custom barrels. It will cost you a lot less and be fine for a hunting rig. The only way you will get out of having more work done to it would be to chamber (were talking factory not wildcats) it in the 260, 7mm08, 308, 358. With the Win.Short Mags you have to do more work than the gun it worth. Any of the above rounds will knock the crap out of a deer including your 243. Best of luck.
If you go to a gunsmith. The first thing you will be asked is. "What do you want?" It's best to have some idea of where you want to go, before you talk with the smith. Chambering, barrel, barrel length, barrel weight or match existing contour, metal finish, type of crown, jewel on bolt or not, new stock or fit new barrel to existing stock, stock finish, checkering lpi or redo existing, add stock cap, add grip cap, type of mounts. I'm sure I left a few out.
You may just want a replacement factory barrel. That doesn't mean they are available. I spent a year looking for a factory barrel only to find out it was cheaper to buy a new gun. Remington hem haws at changes to their rifles. In most cases they will tell you it's cheaper to buy a new rifle.
The short action calibers that will fit that action are
22-243 wildcat, faster than the 220 swift
243 win, existing
250 savage, good
260 rem, excellent extremely accurate
7-08 rem, excellent extremely accurate
308 win, excellent extremely accurate
338-08 wildcat, best for big game
358 win, very very good
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