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Creating savage switch barrels

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by docsleepy, May 7, 2013.

  1. docsleepy

    docsleepy Well-Known Member

    I know how to switch savage barrels, adjust headspace and tighten the nut

    But that sorta requires taking stock off, etc. Someone told me his buddies had 2 different barrels for different calibers (same bolt face) for some non- savage guns and they could change them at the range! (Going from short range caliber to long range higher power caliber for example)

    Could one pin the savage nut to a barrel in some way when the barrel was correctly headspaced and achieve the same effect ? (Easy to take barrel off and tighten back to exact same spot) ?

    Any thoughts?
  2. dsink

    dsink Well-Known Member

    If you have barrels done for the savage and have sholders turned on them like on a Remington instead of using the barrel nut and pin the recoil lug, you would be in business.

    All you would need is a barrel vise and a rear entry action wrench and you can leave the action in the stock while you change barrels.
  3. docsleepy

    docsleepy Well-Known Member

    My thought was to find a way to do it that I can do myself without needing a gunsmith
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I look around and will find a used rifle in a different caliber for less than the barrel and smithing would cost without having to deal with the swapping part. Just look at a lot of rifles at a lot of places and there will be deals to be had on occasion.:) Not to mention that having a complete rifle in each caliber that will function even if the other one fails for any reason while at the range is a great idea. YMMV
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Switch barrel rifles always seem like a great idea.

    But in actual practice, the ones there are most often have a working rifle at the range, and the extra barrels setting in a gun cabinet some place else.

    Any two calibers that are bolt face & magazine compatible are pretty much six of one and half a dozen of the other.

    What two calibers would you want to switch at the range?
    A bedded, and sighted in .243 Win for 400 yards, and an un-bedded and un-sighted in .308 for 500 yards??

    It's just a bad idea all the way around, or Savage would already be selling them.

  6. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    That statement seems a little myopic. Personally, I don't see much utility in a switch-barrel rifle system. But, just because Savage isn't making them doesn't necessarily mean that they're a "bad idea". There are plenty of reasons that manufacturers make decisions regarding which products they choose to market.

    Perceived demand.
    Manufacturing costs.
    Resource allocation.
    Limitations of current equipment.
    Competition between current product lines.
    Overall margins. (<--- $$$)

    And the list goes on.

    Just because a manufacturer hasn't stepped up and decided to produce a certain product doesn't mean it's a bad idea. All it means is that they either haven't thought of it, or they came to the conclusion that there's not enough money in it for them to pursue that market.

    And, even in the "end user" arena, there are plenty of firearm modifications that people spend a lot of money on that don't make financial sense. The difference is, end users don't have to answer to stockholders or a board of directors when making those kinds of decisions. If they want to do it, and they have the resources, they just do it.

    Heck, even something as pedestrian as changing a rifle's chambering is often met with suggestions to just sell what you have and buy what you want because it's more cost effective. But, plenty of folks still decide they would rather just rebarrel their current rifle. Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it wrong. It's just a project that some people decide to take on, and other's decide to pass up.
  7. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    RC is right IMO, because he is addressing the question from the perspective of an American who can own as many guns as he wants. Where switch barrel makes sense is in those countries where you are limited in the number of guns you can own a single receiver with multiple barrels would allow an avid shooter to have multiple calibers but only count as one "gun".

    Who wants to have to sight in their rifle over and over again every time they switch barrels? The chance of screwing on a different barrel and have it shoot to the same POI is pretty darned low. I understand taking on projects just for the sake of it, but not one that is a constant, never ending PITA.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Dang Nabit! :banghead:

    Now I gotta go find my old Funk & Wagnall's and find out what kinda insult you called me.

  9. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    Not an insult. It just means you're focusing on one thing without seeing the rest of the picture.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No, I'm just seeing a lot of extra barrels for shotguns, & uppers for AR-15's still setting in my gun cabinets unused, since I bought them 20- 45 years ago.

    Again, it sounds good in theory.
    But in actual practice?

    You never ever have the right extra barrel along when you need it, or want to use it.

    The need to sight in again every time you change barrels on a bolt-action rifle would make the whole thing even less practical then it already is with shotguns and AR-15's.

  11. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    I also agree with RC's post, right up to the statement that something is a bad idea just because Savage isn't selling it.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The OP ask about a switch-barrel Savage rifle.

    So that is what I answered about.

    However, few other rifles have the easy change barrel capability of the Savage 110 design.
    And that also would make it a logical choice if a company thought there was a market or a reason to do it.

    Savage hasn't, and I doubt they ever will.

    The switch-barrel rifles out there are made in Europe, and priced up there with low end BMW & Mercedes cars.

    Because only in Europe is a switch barrel rifle a good idea if you can only own one rifle due to government regulations.

    Here in the good old USA?
    You can buy another decent rifle cheaper then a new good barrel for the one you already have.

  13. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    I understand what you're saying, RC, and I don't disagree with your opinion. Typically, re-barreling a rifle isn't cost effective either. But lots of folks spend perfectly good money to do just that. Same with re-blueing, or any number of custom modifications that people regularly perform. And if the OP want's to experiment with making a switch barrel rifle out of his Savage, we may not understand why, but who are we to say it's a bad idea.

    The OP didn't ask our opinion about whether or not the idea is good or bad. He asked a specific question (in the gunsmithing forum) about the technical aspects of a project he's considering. That question has yet to be answered.
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    dsink described the method used by benchrest shooters who want to use the same action and stock to shoot in different classes.
    ONCE PROPERLY FITTED, the barrels are not screwed in all that tight and can be changed out with CORRECT hand tools.

    But the OP wants to DIY.
    Unfortunately he does not acquaint us with his level of expertise and available tooling.

    Pin the Savage barrel nut to give the equivalent of a shouldered barrel shank?
    Maybe, but that sounds like a pretty blunt instrument.

    I think I would try to design a wrench and maybe a modification of the nut that would let me tighten it without taking the action out of the stock.

    But as rc says, Murphy's law dictates that if you have a caliber convertible firearm, the barrel in place will be the caliber you did NOT want to shoot today.
  15. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Well-Known Member

    I kind of like the new colt AR that can be changed from .223 to .308 by changing the magwell and the upper. Makes one rifle for big game and varmint a viable option.
  16. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Well-Known Member

    I pinned my Rem 700 actions recoil lug and only bedded the action to be able to switch barrels. I chambered two barrels for it, .260 and a Palma .308. I have never shot it with the .308 due to concentrating on across the course shooting. I even built a barrel vise that attaches to my bumper.

    A switch barrel is appealing to someone that wants to use the same stock and action to shoot both MR and LR without investing in two setups.

    This setup sounds better than it actually is and the only times that I actually witnessed switch barrels were before the .260 got popular and heavy .243 bullets came out.

    Simply stated, there is no reason to use two different calibers to shoot prone highpower competition today.
  17. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

  18. docsleepy

    docsleepy Well-Known Member

    Sorry, guys, for not paying attention. Didn't realize anyone was commenting on this thread.

    I'm not sure exactly what calibers my friend was using, but I think it might've been 6BR. With the .472 head, he then has access to any number of higher power cartridges for long-distance work. I'm not sure, but it might've been 6 x 47, or even 30 ought six, I think these have a similar head dimension, so no bolt change needed

    These guys had to have both rifles shouldered and installed by a gunsmith, and they merely kept track of the change in the scope settings. Probably fired a sighter or two as well. They were pretty good at it, so I bet this was a difficult for them.

    I've changed several savage barrels, so no sweat there. The idea was to pin or glue Savage nut to create an effective shoulder. I've even seen people mill a flat or two on the muzzle in for a simple handtool.

    Almost seems to me that you could put some JB Weld on the threads, headspace the gun, and then it would be a switch barrel. have to be sure to keep the JB under the nut end and not into the receiver. Or pin it.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  19. docsleepy

    docsleepy Well-Known Member

    These guys had access to a range that went all the way to 800 yards. So I think they did 100 and then 600
  20. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    "B-flat", switch Carol"? Are you a musician using Dragonspeak or some other voice to text program? :)

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