I started this project in 2005, then got very busy so the project gathered dust for 13 years.
This M700 started out as a lightweight elk rifle. Then for several years it was used to test hi-velocity cast bullets. The factory 10" twist barrel with its sloppy SAAMI chamber neck was not the best choice for hi-velocity cast so I ordered a 12" twist Shaw barrel and a PTG reamer with a tight neck.
The Shaw's quality was terrible and the PTG reamer was a little undersize, plus my newbie gunsmithing skills were not the greatest at that time. After mucking around with the Shaw for a short time I decided to write it off as a learning experience and start over with a better quality barrel.
A Shilen econo-grade with #4 "light varmit" taper and 12" twist was intended to be a compromise -- heavier than ideal for elk hunting and lighter than ideal for bench testing cast bullets, but tolerable for both uses. Somewhere along the way I found time to chamber the Shilen but then got busy again and the unassembled project gathered dust.
Then I inherited my dad's M700 and turned it into a switch barrel benchrest rifle for testing cast bullets. With dad's M700 dedicated to testing cast bullets, there was no longer any need to use my M700 as a test mule, so it could go back to being an elk rifle!
Today I turned the Shilen to a slimmer taper, similar to a #3 "sporter" taper, and whacked off the muzzle at 25" length. It's still a stout barrel that weighs one pound more than a 22" Remington sporter barrel.
-- 3 lb 7 oz Shilen #3
-- 2 lb 7 oz long action & rings
-- 1 lb 7 oz Lone Wolf stock
-- 12 oz Leopold scope (either 6x or 3-9x)
-- 8 lb 1 oz total.
That's pretty typical weight for an elk rifle.
It's been so long since I chambered the Shilen with a homemade reamer that I've forgotten the exact chamber specs , but the chamber neck seems to be about 0.337" diameter. The throat starts out at 0.310"+ and has about 0.150" freebore, followed by a 1 degree leade. That's longer and sloppier than I would prefer but I think I can live with it. Worst case I may set the barrel back one thread to snug up that long throat but I'd rather not because with my luck I would get busy again and this project might never get done!
The Shilen is crome-moly so it needs some sort of finish. Powder coat? Rattle can? Then all that will be left is to test basic functioning, maybe send a few firelapping rounds down the tube, and work up a load with Nosler Partitions.