Installing an External Bolt Stop/Release on a Remington 700
The factory bolt stop/release mechanism on Remington 700 rifles is sometimes considered a weak point in the design. If the stop mechanism binds in the narrow slot that houses it, the shooter can accidentally remove the bolt under stressful situations like competitions and afield hunting. Adding an heavier duty, external bolt stop provides a rugged upgrade to the system.
While we were able to find examples of installations by some high end gunsmiths online, we were unable to locate instructions, or even measurements on installation. We did have access to a custom receiver equipped with one so we took a look at a Blackheart International Short Action for inspiration. The BHI action has the bolt stop at approximately 10 o’clock to prevent interference with the stock. While we liked the location away from the stock, we didn’t like the part of the bolt lugs it impacted.
The stop used here is a “Lawton/Nosler” style bolt stop from Pacific Tool and Gauge.
The action is held in a specialized sine bar/ lug drilling fixture from Holland’s Gunsmithing. This fixture allows the action to be milled at the 9 o’clock position and the step to be milled and pin drilled from the top. Alternatively, the action could have a flat, zero cant, rail or scope base attached to the top of the action to index it in the vise. This would also allow the step cut to be made in the bottom of the action, which may be preferred.
We ordered the following supplies from Brownells (part #):
- 3/16″ Solid carbide 4 flute center cut end mill (317-111-312WB)
- 1/16″ drill bit (891-201-160WB)
- #1 Solid carbide center drill (317-402-001WB)
- Do-Drill cutting oil (083-007-016WB)
- 1/16″ x 3/8″ roll pin (080-519-375WB) (for test fit of bolt stop)
- 1/8″ detent spring(080-820-125WB)
An ample amount of time was spent planning the installation. Planning is necessary to ensure that the bolt stop has ample room on each end to function (we used .040″ on the front, .060″ on the back), stop doesn’t impede functioning by stopping the bolt too early, pivots in the correct location, and has appropriate support on the front and rear. Some of the measurements we used will be shared, however, if you plan on installing one, you should develop your own calculations and proceed with caution. Keep in mind, if the bolt stops too short it may not extract a loaded cartridge or feed from the magazine.
The following documents our installation of external bolt stop and is should not be considered instructional advice.
This is one of two methods we devised for external bolt stop installation on a Remington 700. The method shown here involves milling a 3/16″ diameter cut into the side of the receiver. In another post, we will show a method that doesn’t require the step cut.
The bolt stop works great and replaces what some would argue is a weak point in the 700 design. We learned a lot from the installation and developed another method to install an external bolt stop on a 700. Our next installation will have less space on the front end of the stop and doesn’t have a notch above the stop.