I'm finally ready to start my .257 roberts project, and as there has been some interest in this topic I thought I would post the details of my progress.
The goal is to put together an economical medium weight sporter in .257 Roberts. I'm not looking for benchrest accuracy or stunning display quality looks but rather a gun that can be counted on to deliver hunting grade accuracy in a durable and rugged platform.
I have chosen to use a gun that I bought specifically as a donor rifle. It is a sporterized VZ 24 action that has had the charger hump removed, drilled and tapped, new bolt handle installed and argentine bottom metal installed. It is in an older Fajen walnut stock and the original 8x57 military barrel has been recontoured and shortened to a sporter profile. I purchased this gun from a pawn shop for $200 including a tasco World class scope which I sold on ebay for $50. I also have promised the takeoff barrel to another member for $25 so I have a total of $125 in the donor.
If you plan to do this as economically as possible is advisable to search out a donor that has a lot of the work already done, but any of the commercial guns like an interarms mark x will also get you to the same stage and you can probably recoup a little more money from the takeoff barrel than I got.
I chose an Adams and Bennet f14 chrome molly barrel for the project. I ordered it from http://www.midwayusa.com/
on Thursday of last week and it was on my doorstep on Satuday. $93 total including shipping and a 3 day delivery is pretty impressive service.
The barrel has a bigger shank than the existing barrel so a little stock inletting will be in order but should be no big deal.
Out of curiosity I inserted a factory .257 roberts in the short chambered barrel and with it pushed in against the shoulder of the case it protruded from tha Barrel .19". That is probably useless information, but I thought some of you guys that plan to hand ream the finished chamber might want to know.
I'm going to ship the gun tomorrow to: http://www.skaggsgunsmithing.com/
I've never used Mark before, but he advertises on ebay and has a ton of positive feedback. I also talked to him on the phone, and he said all of the stuff I like to hear from a guy that is a hunter and understands where I'm trying to go with this project.
The total for squaring the action, installing the barrel, finish reaming the chamber and recrowning the barrel is $55 and $35 will cover the shipping and insurance to and from. Mark suggested the recrown as the barrel comes with a rather strange crown that is basically flat with the outer edges rounded off.
If you add all that up it comes to $308. The remaining steps will be to inlet the barrel channel to fit, bed the recoil lug area (this will be interesting as I've never done it before), install a low swing safety and cold blue the barrel with Oxpho blue. I might also recontour the military trigger guard a little.
I'm pretty excited to finally have my .257 bob under construction.