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Thread: My ongoing quest for a 'perfect for me' 327 rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy JohnSmiles's Avatar
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    My ongoing quest for a 'perfect for me' 327 rifle

    Some of you have seen some of my posts asking questions and posing options to get a custom 327 federal rifle made.
    I have considered stubbing a handi, rebarreling a 340 savage, a Ruger M77 or even a highly figured Ruger #1.
    So far, I have acquired all the dies to reload all 5 of the cartridges this would accommodate.
    I have also acquired a Beretta Tomcat in 32 acp, another gun I have wanted for some time now.
    Today in the mail I received 200 Hornady 32 ACP cases, 100 Starline 32 magnum and 100 Starline 327 Federal.
    I have plenty of primers, and have some other brass and bullets coming soon.
    And man I looked FOREVER to find what I did!!!
    I also put my name down on the current .312 mold group buy.
    I have plenty of 2400, Unique, Blue Dot and Lil'gun, which should cover all 5 cartridges.
    I have acquired everything BUT the rifle I want.
    Now, here is the question I should have asked to begin with:

    To all of those experienced in such things(I am not), if you wanted to have a 327 rifle made, in either a bolt action, break open or falling block, with fancy wood and good potential accuracy, crisp trigger(or even double set triggers) and a fairly decent scope, with a total price tag of $1500 or less, what gun would you start with, why, what barrel would you choose and who would you trust to do the work?
    All suggestions are welcome.
    As are any reasons NOT to use any of the actions I listed as potential projects.
    Thanks,
    John
    "Your rights are no greater, nor are they any less, than those of your fellow American."
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I would be looking for something that fit the scale of the 327, size and weight. Wonder if a Remington 591 would be long enough? I have a CZ 527 in 22 Hornet, that would make a nice one, might even get it to feed. The TC Contender carbine is the obvious first and most economical option. Most all the other break opens, HR, Henry, and even the TCR84 are just too big and bulky for my tastes in this. Doing the work to a 340 kinda falls into the category of custom leather interior in a Vega. The 340 was a fine cheap rifle, but that’s not what you are building.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I would think this calls for a baby rolling block. A real baby modeled after the #4. I would want the smaller lighter action. Uberti makes one but not in 32. I like actions that don't have an under lever and don't break open. I don't like to have to reposition on the bags between shots when shooting from a bench. It you don't need a repeater then a rolling block will be lighter than any bolt gun and shorter and handier too.

    Tim
    Last edited by dtknowles; 11-22-2020 at 10:27 PM.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Perhaps something along the lines of this.Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    John,
    First I wish to apologize for being a bit too frank on your original post. Must be cabin fever.

    I am struggling with a similar desire, but mine is for an accurate.357 rifle. It seems the Ruger 77 has not been very accurate so be cautious of taking that route

    I have a Howa mini-Mauser in .223 and that may be a possibility. Maybe one of the little CZ rifles. Not sure if the magazines can be made to work but I am ok with making it a single shot. I know the mini-Mausers will shoot. And they are light.

    I have been trying to find a Martini action but none are reasonably priced. I shot a Martini International many years ago in small bore and it was superbly accurate with a sweet trigger.

    I will follow your journey with interest.

    Again sorry for being blunt and good luck!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold Captain Wheelgun's Avatar
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    Back when I first started looking at doing this, one of the ideas I kicked around was starting with a Ruger American in .223, the older version with the rotary magazine, not the one that takes AR magazines.

    My thought on that was that since the rotary mag holds each round separately, it may be able to feed .327 length rounds OK. I doubt it would work with shorter rounds, though. At worst, it would work as a single-shot.

    Now that I have some experience with the Ruger American, (in 7.62x39), I still think this would be a workable option. I really like that rifle design.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A Stevens #44-1/2 would be a nice one, but would require careful shopping for a donor to keep to the budget. A small frame Uberti rolling block, or a Martini Cadet could be nice as well. The Ruger #1 would also be a careful shopping endeavor, but probably doable with patience.

    What the smith charges and what barrel blank you choose will also be major factors in the budget as well. Smith's are all over the place price-wise for this kind of work, as are barrel blanks.

    Depending on how you want to use the rifle, some actions might be better than others as well, so that should be a consideration.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I like the idea of a custom 327. It's one of two possible futures for my old Savage 219 with a worn 22 Hornet bore, the other being a 25-35.

    Used to have a Uberti baby rolling block carbine in 357, which, as Tim said above, would have made a dandy 327. None of these donor rifles are easy to locate any more.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    The Cadet Martini is well-scaled to the .327 cartridge size, but getting those smaller cartridges into the chamber under a close-mount scope might be a challenge. A lower-power IER or Scout scope, mounted down the barrel, would help here.

    A better action for convenience would be the Winchester LowWall. Strong enough, and easy to get any cartridge in and out, even a .22 Short, under a telescope sight. For many years, this was our “best” easily available single shot action, as they were relatively common and much lower priced compared to a HighWall or Stevens 44-1/2. Prices have gone up, and availability down, over the years, but they still show up. Aftermarket parts, like SST and DST trigger subassemblies and levers (and the actions themselves, for that matter) are available from several new manufacturers as well. People also make partial-inlet stock blanks in any grade of wood for the model.

    Barrels; I don’t know. The only .32 for me is the .32-20. I typically line the shot-out Winchester barrels that come on wrecked LowWalls with TJ’s liners. I think they’re 0.312” groove for .32-20. I don’t know what the .327 groove diameter is.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master JoeJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    The Cadet Martini is well-scaled to the .327 cartridge size, but getting those smaller cartridges into the chamber under a close-mount scope might be a challenge. A lower-power IER or Scout scope, mounted down the barrel, would help here.

    A better action for convenience would be the Winchester LowWall. Strong enough, and easy to get any cartridge in and out, even a .22 Short, under a telescope sight. For many years, this was our “best” easily available single shot action, as they were relatively common and much lower priced compared to a HighWall or Stevens 44-1/2. Prices have gone up, and availability down, over the years, but they still show up. Aftermarket parts, like SST and DST trigger subassemblies and levers (and the actions themselves, for that matter) are available from several new manufacturers as well. People also make partial-inlet stock blanks in any grade of wood for the model.

    Barrels; I don’t know. The only .32 for me is the .32-20. I typically line the shot-out Winchester barrels that come on wrecked LowWalls with TJ’s liners. I think they’re 0.312” groove for .32-20. I don’t know what the .327 groove diameter is.
    I know I am fighting against the waves, but I would be interested in a decent single shot in either 32 S&W Long, or 32-20. But with the waves going from 32 H&R Magnum to .327, thence on to something else that is 1/10" longer than that next time; I figure there is not a chance at all.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I would consider converting a 580-series Remington .22 bolt action to center-fire. The action is quite strong enough and the .22 LR barrel can easily be relined. Requires making a new bolt head and firing pin, fitting suitable extractor on the new bolt head.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    If I were going to the trouble and expense of building a “dream gun” for the 327 FM, I would seek out a Ruger #3 carbine, preferably a 45-70, which is a total non-starter as an actual shooting gun. I would order a 223 extractor from Ruger or one of the parts dealers and a premium barrel in .313 bore diameter from Douglas, then put it all together. Alternatively, I might order a pre-profiled octagon barrel from Green Mountain instead of the Douglas unturned blank to save a step. The end product with original wood would be nicely scaled for the caliber, and as with my 327 revolvers I could shoot everything from 32 S&W (“short”) to 327 FM in the same chamber.

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    I would consider converting a 580-series Remington .22 bolt action to center-fire. The action is quite strong enough and the .22 LR barrel can easily be relined. Requires making a new bolt head and firing pin, fitting suitable extractor on the new bolt head.
    The 580 action might end up being a little bit short, as the bolt stroke is only 1.350" and while you could probably elongate that to a hair over 1.5" in the milling machine, you'd also have to enlarge the ejection port, as it's only 1.500" and the barrel impinges upon that a hair. It would be a very tight fit. Then the receiver really should also be threaded, as the slip fit/cross pin arrangement won't stand up to much abuse, as I found out with one in a .32 based wildcat with significantly less bolt face thrust than factory .327 ammo.

    It could be done, and would yield a very light and handy rifle, but it would be a lot more work than some of the other discussed conversions, and even with the extra work would limit you in cartridge OAL.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy JohnSmiles's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input guys.
    Of course now I have even more ideas to mull over! lol
    I have noticed, in researching this, that some are using a .308 barrel blank instead of .312.
    I want to use the .312 bore, just for peace of mind. And not many suppliers for that particular bore that I have seen.
    But like I say, I am patient.
    And still looking for names of who you would trust and vouch for to do the actual work when the time comes.
    John
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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy JohnSmiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    John,
    First I wish to apologize for being a bit too frank on your original post. Must be cabin fever.

    I am struggling with a similar desire, but mine is for an accurate.357 rifle. It seems the Ruger 77 has not been very accurate so be cautious of taking that route

    I have a Howa mini-Mauser in .223 and that may be a possibility. Maybe one of the little CZ rifles. Not sure if the magazines can be made to work but I am ok with making it a single shot. I know the mini-Mausers will shoot. And they are light.

    I have been trying to find a Martini action but none are reasonably priced. I shot a Martini International many years ago in small bore and it was superbly accurate with a sweet trigger.

    I will follow your journey with interest.

    Again sorry for being blunt and good luck!
    No problems here, but thanks.
    What is meant is often lost in translation anytime you reply to someone on a forum.
    Quite often I come off as far more direct than I intended to be when I reply to someone.
    Unless it is political.....then rest assured I mean exactly what I type...lol
    "Your rights are no greater, nor are they any less, than those of your fellow American."
    "While I understand I may not be right, you need to accept the possibility I may not be wrong either"
    "It is only America as long as government is controlled 100% by the People"
    "Do not allow yourself to become so Open Minded your Brains FALL OUT"

  16. #16
    Boolit Master





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    I'm thinking more along the line of a TC Contender in 327 or 32 Magnum. MGM can make the barrel in .315 or .312. yep more to think about.
    Last edited by SSGOldfart; 11-23-2020 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Window's spell check thingy messed up the post
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    https://www.cparifles.com/pages/cpa-44-1-2-action Would be in your price range only if you used a Green Mountain barrel blank, a no cost stock blank, and did all the work yourself.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    I too have considered options for a .327 FM rifle. Two have floated to the top: as previously mentioned, a Martini Cadet (specifically, the takedown, which will minimize the pain of a barrel swap), and a Ruger 77/22H. I believe a surplus SKS barrel can be rechambered to .327 FM and will have sufficient meat when the previous chamber is removed to allow use in the Cadet; bore/groove diameter is a question mark for surplus barrels but should be nominally correct. I investigated the Ruger 77/22H as the cartridge dimensions are very similar, and even went through the trouble of purchasing a magazine to see if the .327 FM case would fit; alas, with no taper the feed lips would need to be modified in a non-trivial fashion. Still, the 77/22H should have the right dimensions elsewhere, so it could easily be turned into a single shot while feeding was figured out.

    Re: other barrel options, there were a number of .30 and .303 caliber blanks on closeout from Sarco this year that would cover both bore options for the .327.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy JohnSmiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    https://www.cparifles.com/pages/cpa-44-1-2-action Would be in your price range only if you used a Green Mountain barrel blank, a no cost stock blank, and did all the work yourself.
    Whoa....nice!
    "Your rights are no greater, nor are they any less, than those of your fellow American."
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I would look at a barrel for a Contender first as that would be the easiest, second would be a Ruger #1. Tim at Malcolm Ballistic Tools re-barreled my #1 and did a great job. Third would be a Thompson TCR ('83 has double set triggers) and have "Assassin" here do a stub job on it. Don't forget the Handi for a stub job too. I am thinking of going that route.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check