Switch barrel on Remington 700
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    Default Switch barrel on Remington 700

    I have a Remington 700 SA that I currently shoot 308 Win from using a heavy Krieger barrel I chambered for the rifle. Its in a chassis that will also take 223 magazines (AICS).

    I would like to do up a barrel in 223 Rem. I have a blank heavy 223 barrel and a new Remington 700 short action bolt made for 223 Rem.

    Is there anything special I need to take into consideration in the cartridge / barrel / bolt swap?

    Can I just take all the measurements with the new bolt in the old action and take it from there with the machining of the barrel?

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    Sounds good to me.

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    Just make sure your new 223 bolt closes on the action and your timing is working right. If yes then just measure and chamber. If not you will need to fix the closing cam extraction cam so they don't bind and they work.

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    Thanks. The project went well and I am enjoying shooting it. The AICS chassis that takes both magazines feeds perfectly. Scope needed a little adjusting, but the cartridge switch was a success.

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    I don't know how frequently you intend to switch barrels but unless you hardened the shanks, you risk moving the threads (which will effect headspace) each time you tighten the barrels. If you tighten to an index mark, that should limit headspace changes but you are likely to run into loose threads after a while. No guarantee that any of this will happen but you should keep it in mind as you move forward.

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    Thanks, I appreciate the warning. I'm not likely to be doing a lot of switching back and forth. I am enjoying the benefits of 223 over 308 at the moment. Lower reloading costs, negligible recoil, and at the distances I am shooting, no loss in accuracy. Hopefully next summer I can test it at 300-1000 yards and see how well it does in the wind. This is strictly a paper puncher. It's not a hunting rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGaskill View Post
    I don't know how frequently you intend to switch barrels but unless you hardened the shanks, you risk moving the threads (which will effect headspace) each time you tighten the barrels. If you tighten to an index mark, that should limit headspace changes but you are likely to run into loose threads after a while. No guarantee that any of this will happen but you should keep it in mind as you move forward.
    Would the looseness of the threads on the 700 affect head space? Would not the shoulder to front ring keep the headspace the same?

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    I think it would since the threads would be stretching relative to the barrel shoulder which would lengthen the chamber. I don't speak from experience here, just mental analysis. I do know that repeated tightenings of the barrel cause it to seat deeper as surface imperfections in the threads get ironed out. I do recommend (when asked) that the builder seat the barrel at least a half dozen times before setting the headspace if he is building a switch barrel.

    The details really should be trialed with at least a single barrel so we speak from experience instead of just theory.

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    I would think only changes to the shoulder, or permanent plastic deformation of the chamber would change head space. And that would be something different from wear or deformation of the threads. It would have to go deeper than that. As this is a 223 chamber, there is quite a bit of metal between the chamber and the root of the thread.

    Is there enough tension created by normal barrel tightening to achieve that amounts of stretch (ie to the point of plastic, ie permanent deformation)? Otherwise, I can't see how the tenon could undergo permanent elongation. So long as the tension created by the threads only springs or elastically deforms the tenon and chamber, it would spring back to its original length after being removed, and only stretch elastically the same length under the same tension each time it is re-installed. Or so my theory goes...

    I know that the best measure of a rod bolt's tension is not torque, but elongation. And that if it is tightened to extreme, it stretches permanently. But that tension is pretty extreme for the fastener size, say 60-90 ft-lbs for a 7/16 fastener.

    Interesting topic. I would experiment with this with a spare stub of chambered barrel I have and look for permanent deformation, but I don't want to damage my receiver with repeated barrel torqueing.

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    I'm thinking the biggest issue may be if you have iron sights. As the threads loosen the barrel has to be turned further to tighten. If it's a scope no problems.

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    I would have set the shoulders back and fit a locknut, aka the Remage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nmbmxer View Post
    I would have set the shoulders back and fit a locknut, aka the Remage.
    Are we not gunsmiths? LOL

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    The benchrest shooters build switch barrel rifles all the time. They have none of these problems.

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    G'Day Fella's,

    Grizzlepeg, I have just read your/this thread.
    FYI, most proper switch barrel rifle set ups, that I have experience with, generally start with an action and bolt/s, truing/blue printing job.
    As a result of the action threads being recut (generally + 0.010"), the original barrel tennon threads, are now under size.
    Because of this, you need to either shorten the barrel (and recut the thread), or start with a new barrel/s.
    Also, because of the close relationship between the new action and barrel threads, you need to apply some type of lubrication (I use grease), to these same threads.

    Hope this helps

    D'oh!
    Homer

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    I started with a blueprinted receiver, with internal threads re-cut. Both my barrels had the tenons cut by me for this receiver, so I cut them oversize to match.

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    Saw a guy with a switch barrel Rem 700 that hand tightened the barrels. They shot great. Hand tight will definitely NOT hurt the threads or shoulder. When I build a rifle, I tighten the barrel then loosen multiple times before measuring for final headspace. Fixes any slop. Best of luck

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