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Thread: Switch barrel rifles

  1. #1
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    Default Switch barrel rifles

    It seems like there are more and more “switch barrel” rifles out there every day. Recently, there’s a new one from Thompson Center.

    What is so wonderful about “Switch Barrel” rifles?

    Is there any real advantage to owning one?

    I’ve always found them interesting, and a novelty, but frankly, l can see no practical reason to own one. Of course, that’s no different than a lot of things.

    If you’ve got one, or want one, why? And, how does it help?

    Smitty of the North
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    I kinda agree Smitty.

    I have a bunch of Savage and Marlin barrels that I can swap on different actions but a few years ago I started to wonder why...gotta change the scope or resight and the barrels must be pretty close to the same profile or they won't fit the stock....still haven't come up with the why it's better to swap barrels than just buy a new gun that is set up the way you want and is sighted in for the load you use. The Savage and Marlin are great bolt guns just the way they are...now if you NEED another caliber on the same case then it might make sense...say the magmun cases, .30-06 or .308 family.

    The Brotherhood of the Barrel Nut would disagree with me but....
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  3. #3

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    I have a Contender and a Encore and like both of them. You can sight a barrel in and replace it with another one that is ready to go. The scope or sights stay on the barrel and unless you bump it or drop it it should stay sighted in. I like both of these but will probally not buy any more of them. I will buy a complete gun from now on.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Hi Smitty!
    You bring up a good question. I had an Encore with 50 cal and 300wm bbls. I bought it as much for fun as anything - however, I was planning a fly in moose hunt many moons ago and wanted a backup 300wm to my Win 70 300wm and could buy the bbl for a couple hundred vs another complete gun at much more expense. What I found was the Encore shot very well and had at least less "percieved" recoil, than my Mod 70 - I assume due to the diff ergo design.
    I am one to run and gun, and even though it was rather easy to swap out a bbl with scope mtd on it I find it much easier for me to grab a complete gun and thus sold that outfit....
    I could see having a TC with a rifle and shotgun bbl for a dual purpose gun if you wanted to reduce travel weight - that may have more merit than simply additional rifle calibers? Several times I have had a hunt end early and I wished I had a shotgun along to shoot fowl with...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I see a place for them and have a few H&R's.My keep in the truck gun takes little room and is 45/70,22hornet,12ga rifled slug and 28" 12ga mod. it covers about anything I might need a gun for.Down side is if a firing pin breaks four guns are broke and you wonder why you don't have a spare reciver in the truck with four spares at home.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have a couple cheep Rossi with .22 and shotgun barrels. They are fun little pack guns. I will admit that I want a Blaser 375h&h though not sure if I would get multiple barrels for it but it would be a neat rifle to own. Unfortunately they cost as much or more than a northern brooks range fly out so one hasn't followed me home.

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    I also have the Rossi 22/410 youth rifle. I mostly bought it to have a lightweight packable 22, and it just happened to come with a 410 barrel too. Two guns for the price of one. In reality, I have shot more animals with the 410 than the 22 barrel. I really like how it breaks down easy and fits in my snowmachine backpack without throwing off my balance (until I stuffed 8 ptarmigan in with it). For big game rifles I think I would rather have a bolt action with 3-4 shots ready to jack in just in case. The single shot break barrel can be a bit slow to reload when you have to dig in your pockets for shells. I want to make some kind of shell holder on the gun like the side saddle on my 870.

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    I thought you guys were talking about the new TC Dimension that you can swap barrels. I have several Encores and Contenders and my share of H&R, NEF and Rossi multi barrel set ups too and they all serve a purpose for sure. My favorite is a NEF in 22 K Hornet and 28 ga barrels or the Rossi 22 LR/.243/20 ga Trifecta..very versital.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I have a couple cheep Rossi with .22 and shotgun barrels. They are fun little pack guns. I will admit that I want a Blaser 375h&h though not sure if I would get multiple barrels for it but it would be a neat rifle to own. Unfortunately they cost as much or more than a northern brooks range fly out so one hasn't followed me home.

    I have the Blaser Tactical II in 338 Lapua, and it is almost better than a flyout, it will reach out and touch something easily up to 1000 yards.

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    I have an Encore and love it. I shoot LH and it gives me caliber options beyond the 5 or 6 available to us by most manufacturers. I like that I can get some of the not-as-popular chamberings without the custom price. My right-hand shooting kids will be able to use it when they are old enough also.

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    well, ya get more bang for your buck, and form a survivalist perspective, I like combo guns, (overunder rifle/shotgun barrels and such) so if I can have a 22 mag and a 20 ga, then I can shoot most anything, or maybe a 20 ga barrel and a 30-06, or anything like that, ya know, and typically with the rossi you can but the gun for 400 bucks,and a different barrel for around 100 if memory serves.

    Plus, if you use it as a truck gun, then a single shot with 2 barrels would be the shizzle cause it would take up way less room.

    and again the price, if I can get 2 guns (with open sights, which I prefer anyway) for 500 bucks I'm thrilled. granted, for those who drop 4000 bucks on a gun and scope that weight 7 oz's less than last years model, well then that wouldn't really matter.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    I can see the rifle or shootgun advantage, for some applications. Travel Weight, or even Survival.

    The TC Contender, and/or Encores are certainly successful. I haven't seen anyone with one that didn't have more than one barrel.

    The Blazers and the new TCs are too expensive for my tastes. Too much engineering envolved.

    Special situations like if you live in the Old Country, and use Savage 243. Then you have a chance to come to the Greatland, not permanently, so you get a nother barrel in 308, or 358. You can switch back when you go back to the Old Country, so you've solved a caliber problem and saved money.

    Just tryin to think of a way to justify a switch barrel, other than just the fun, or learning, from messin with one.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I tend to think these are more popular in countries where the acquisition of firearms is more problematic and folks may be limited as to how many they own. Aside from the guys at TC- they almost seem to be a European product. The TC Encore seems to have more appeal to tinkerers, although they have a pretty dedicated following.

    I honestly don't see the point. So I can turn my 7mmRM into a 300WM? Big deal...I'll buy a .300 and just kill everything with it.
    I think they look interesting from an engineering standpoint, but that's about it. They don't appear to be particularly cost efficient and in the field I'd probably have the wrong barrel on at any given time. A guy could always think of a hunting scenario where he could use a switch barrel on a combo type hunt, but that would be the exception to what most guys actually do.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    But you could take a 308 out to kodiac and shoot some deer, then if you fill you tag early, ya could throw on a 12 Ga and shoot some fox and ducks to pass the time. know what I mean, vern?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    But you could take a 308 out to kodiac and shoot some deer, then if you fill you tag early, ya could throw on a 12 Ga and shoot some fox and ducks to pass the time. know what I mean, vern?
    True but I got a Mossy 500 that lives in my two gun case . . . who wants to bird hunt with a single shot.

    My Dad had a Savage brake open he called “long Tom” with 30-30 and 16 gage pipes, all us kids learned on that thing. I think it was the best way to teach a kid to hunt, single shot for safety, forces the kid to learn to pick shots because there ain’t but one and doesn’t cost a lot for a gun that will soon be outgrown.

    Smitty I have a TC Contender I picked up in the 80s and only one barrel for it, a 12” 30-30 . . . never found any need to put another caliber on it.
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    I have a TCR 87 with .270 barrel from their old custom shop and a 12 g 3" mag slug barrel. Nice little rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticmayhem View Post
    I also have the Rossi 22/410 youth rifle. I mostly bought it to have a lightweight packable 22, and it just happened to come with a 410 barrel too. Two guns for the price of one. In reality, I have shot more animals with the 410 than the 22 barrel. I really like how it breaks down easy and fits in my snowmachine backpack without throwing off my balance (until I stuffed 8 ptarmigan in with it). For big game rifles I think I would rather have a bolt action with 3-4 shots ready to jack in just in case. The single shot break barrel can be a bit slow to reload when you have to dig in your pockets for shells. I want to make some kind of shell holder on the gun like the side saddle on my 870.
    You can buy those elastic shellholders that fit over the buttstock.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    True but I got a Mossy 500 that lives in my two gun case . . . who wants to bird hunt with a single shot.

    My Dad had a Savage brake open he called “long Tom” with 30-30 and 16 gage pipes, all us kids learned on that thing. I think it was the best way to teach a kid to hunt, single shot for safety, forces the kid to learn to pick shots because there ain’t but one and doesn’t cost a lot for a gun that will soon be outgrown.

    Smitty I have a TC Contender I picked up in the 80s and only one barrel for it, a 12” 30-30 . . . never found any need to put another caliber on it.
    well some people like the challenge. if you take a fly out trip then ya cant take a hard case so it would be nice. it would definatly weigh less. Smell what I'm stepping in? I would rather hunting with a nice pump or lever action shotgun/rifle but I'd take what I can get
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    You can buy those elastic shellholders that fit over the buttstock.

    Smitty of the North
    I had one for another gun, but it would always slide around. More trouble than it was worth. I could't find one to hold 22 either. I think something hard plastic mounted to the action would work pretty well, but I will have to make it. I will post pictures if I ever get around to it.

  20. #20

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    Sounds to me like bringing 2 switch barrel outfits on a trip would be the ultimate in redundancy. If the firing pin on the rifle barrel outfit broke, put the barrel on the "shotgun" action and away you go.
    I haven't graduated to single shot hunting (but respect those who are good at it) but will go with an Encore one day just to try it out.
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