Ruger Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,167 Posts
Neat to see Black Hole Weaponry offering this. It's not really a new idea, and it doesn't really save any time or money after the first time the new barrel is installed, but it's a cool option.

I have a couple switch barrel Ruger M77's, not barrel nut style. Once the threads are lapped and the headspace is set the first time, the barrels become interchangeable with the same amount of effort as a barrel nut style barrel. The only extra costs I incurred were the reamer rentals to finish chamber to set my headspace the first time for each barrel - which is cheaper than inletting cost plus barrel nut conversion cost.

Switch barrels don't make sense for most guys, because it's far easier to have two full rifles if you're using them much. But for a guy that needs a different rifle occasionally, but not often, i.e. less than once a year, switch barrels make a lot of sense.

My switch barrel rigs - the ones that aren't target/competition rifles at least - are set up to be primary hunting rifles for coyote hunting and deer hunting, then can swap up to a heavier caliber for bear, elk, moose, and cape buffalo in a matter of about 30min. I do hunt these animals, but not every season, so it doesn't make sense having a $1000-2000 rig collecting dust in the safe when I can have a $400 barrel instead to do the same job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Ruger 77 switch barrels.....

the barrel nut setup is great if you don't have or have access to a lathe and reamers. Barrels can be prechambered and then adjusted to your action with a headspace gauge if you have the barrel nut to make fine adjustments.
I have the lathe and reamers. I have several barrels fit to my action.
I would do it all over again IF I had not already done it, partly to learn how on the lathe.
However, trips to the range to RE adjust scopes for different barrels is not convenient to me like it used to be. If you can 'dial in' or recheck a differnent barrel and scope in your yard or pasture then no problem. If you have to drive an hour to the range then, problem.
I like to have a rifle/scope/barrel in READY TO GO state. So switching barrels around is more of a hassle now if I want to play musical chairs with barrels.
I like any/most rifles in my safe (or leaning against the wall in the kitchen corner) 'ready to go' with the scope and load and barrel range tested.
Learning how to fit barrels?....then a few switch barrels are fun and a learning process.
Want to quickly grab a rifle and pop the coyote or deer out in the pasture behind the house?...then you need a rifle rig that was dead on the last time you had it at the range and have not played around switching barrels and/or scopes since!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
I epoxy bed the barrel shank and receivers of my M77's because I believe this makes them shoot better, like combining stock, barrel and receiver in one rigid unit. For another type of rifle bedding/stock that uses a completely free floated barrel, this should work out fine - provided lots of time and access to a range for sighting in is available.

Measuring the barrel shanks of various rifles, all of which have my favorite barrel contour, Douglas #4, I found that the shanks of the barrels varied as much as .010 inch diameter. Barrel shank diameters would need to be carefully controlled to enable putting the works into a barrel vice and switching the barrel. I recently installed a new D4 contour barrel in a stock that once had an other D4 contour barrel only to find the new barrel did not fit and needed to be re-bedded. All these barrels are high quality, - Hart, PacNor, Lilja, and McGowen - pricy but pleasing.

I have reinstalled take off barrels in some M77's but have needed to epoxy re-bed them.

If I used the same barrel nut of about the same length as a barrel shank combined with one or more head space gauges for different calibers/barrels I guess the barrel nut would act the same as an "un-nutted" plain shanked barrel.

A good combo(s) would be .243, 7mm-08, .260, and .308 or with more gauges .22-.250, 6.5 CM, something like that.

Lots of trips to the range to sight in. Get more rifles of different calibers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Or a quality barrel....

I hand tighten my Shilen 250 Savage Ackley Improved barrel and it easily does under 1/2" with 100 gr Ballistic Tipps.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
If I was restricted to 4 rifles for some reason they would be switch barrel types - 2 barrels would be of the small rifle variety like .223 & .204R -- 3 barrels of short action .473 bolt faces like .22-.250, .243, 6.5X47 Lapua, .308, 2 barrels of long action .473 bolt face like 6.5-06, .30-06 and 3 barrels of long action magnum like 7mm RM.300 WM and .375 Ruger.

I would have 10 barrels and 4 rifles all of which would fit inside a mid size gun safe. Disassembled, they could be packed around in small containers.

Scopes would be of quick mount type and I would try to do a good job of recording sight settings to facilitate sight- ins fro barrel to barrel.

Not being restricted, at this time for any of many reasons, I have many rifles all sighted in ready for immediate use.

This is an interesting subject and I expect switch barrel rifles will become more common
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another thing a nut-type headspace system does is to allow a person without a machine shop or a barrel full of spare bolts to safely and correctly set headspace, or in other words re-barrel their own rifles. That's appearing to many of us who don't have good access to a decent smith, or only to ones who 'don't work on Rugers,' or to those of us who just find the economics more favorable to do our own.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top