For a while now I had been contemplating having some work done on the bolt for my Remington 700 precision rifle. Specifically, bolt fluting. I’ve customized just about every other aspect of the rifle and it was getting to be time to show the bolt a little love. Years back I did the Tac Ops bolt knob conversion by chopping the stock knob off, drilling the handle, and silver soldering the Tac Ops stud in place. After that you just thread the Tac Ops knob on and go. Fast forward a few years the knob has taken some knicks and hits and the bolt was looking a bit weathered.
Several times I had approached a few vendors about the possibility of redoing the bolt knob and a bit of bolt fluting work. I didn’t get much in the way of enthusiastic or timely responses so the project has been on the back burner for quite some time. That is until I spoke with Paul Fakenbridge at Pro Precision Rifles. He returned my emails quickly and was eager to do business with me and do the machine work. He told me he doesn’t do bolt handle removal and replacement, but he did offer to tap one of his knobs to match the Tac Ops stud thread pitch at no cost. I found the response awesome since he was offering to do a little extra work to make one of his knobs work with my bolt and he didn’t even intend to charge for it.
Most bolt knobs in circulation are running a 5/16x24tpi thread pattern. The Tac Ops stud and knob are threaded for 5/16x18tpi. Non-standard. This limits your options once you have committed to the Tac Ops stud and its why I was trying to source someone that could remove the stock handle altogether and install a new one. Mr. Fakenbridge makes his own knobs in house and had the appropriate tap in the shop. I opted to go with his ‘4G’ bolt knob and ‘Vortex’ fluting pattern.
Quality of Work
The bolt fluting job was beautiful and the bolt looked great even uncoated. Pro Precision Rifles does offer coating services if you so desire. I declined in favor of a more affordable DIY solution that has served me well over the years. The 4G knob was also a work of art and it was exactly what I was after in terms of design and length. I wanted a knob to extend a bit farther from the stud to get my hands away from the scope when running the bolt. Particularly after adding a cat tail to the magnification ring on the scope, a little extra clearance is a really good thing.
I was quoted approximately one week for the turnaround time on the work. I’m happy to report that was quite accurate. I shipped my knob, it was received at his shop, and back in my hands in less than two weeks. Having the knob at his shop for a week or less and back in the mail is pretty impressive. When I got the bolt home and took some photos for the review I took it to the workbench, taped it up, got it coated and let it dry. Then a little bit of polishing work and I had the finished product laid out before me.
Ease of Process
I thought it came out great and given the price and turnaround time the experience was extremely low hassle and worry free. So much so that I may look into having my barrel sent to PPR as they also offer fluting services for the barrel. Mr. Fakenbridge had previously discussed his Vortex fluting with me prior to the work and I was told the flutes were cut quite shallow but still look great for a spiral design. That’s exactly what I’m after in terms of barrel fluting since a thicker barrel generally equates to a stiffer and more accurate barrel. Expect a review of those results when I get around to sending the barrel off.
I have to say for the prices that are charged for the work, it is an outstanding value. It’s easy to spend money on gunsmithing services. When tools meet your rifle in skilled hands the price tends to climb pretty quick. Pro Precision Rifles offers outstanding quality work at fair market pricing. The work and parts I purchased all look great and I don’t feel the least bit overcharged for the end product I received.