Sometimes we gunsmiths are faced with the ultimate challenge. Revising a long-action Savage Model 112 bolt to an older, medium-action Model 112 “J” series rifle ranks among the difficult but well within the realm of accomplishment.
by Norman E. Johnson
It all began while making up an earlier Savage Model 112 single shot rifle for switch barrel use. The rifle would have two bolts, including .223 and .308 size bolt faces. Two barrels for each bolt were planned. There was, however, a major intervening problem in finding a standard size bolt face to serve two of the barrels. I searched diligently, to no avail. Numrich Gun Parts Corporation (gunpartscorp.com) hadn’t had a bolt for the old Model 112 Series “J” in some time. Parts were no longer made, as communication with Savage Arms alerted me. Other sources painted the same bleak picture.
A close comparison of the more current long-action Savage Model 112 bolt showed a striking resemblance between the two. These quite complex bolt assemblies are made up of 22 parts. Then it occurred to me to shorten the long action bolt body as a means of setting back the removable bolt head. The bolt bodies are essentially the same, aside for a 0.544″ difference in length. Cutting off from the front would just remove the laterally opposing holes for the bolt head retaining pin. This would leave a clear section of bolt body to work with in drilling a new pair of bolt head retaining pin holes. Of course, the firing pin and mainspring would also need to be shortened the same amount ( 0.544″) which I will cover later in this text.
Read more in our December 2012 issue. Back issues are available.