This falls under the category of fool me once shame on you, twice shame on me.
Last winter I went ahead and bought a model 70 in 270 for my daughter to shoot, she has been taking it out on the grouse with her 22 it is getting about time that she steps up to a centerfire for caribou & black bear. Here is what I tried:
Bought the rifle, she is relatively short & I found a new barrel on another site that a gun smith had removed & he agreed to shorten this and install a break for me ( relatively inexpensively), he did this and so far so good. I live here in interior AK and took this to a local gunsmith with the new barrel to see if they could be switched out (I wanted to keep the original barrel to reinstall after she grows some) – this is where the problems started – I call him up, tell him what I have got & ask if it is reasonably practical to this, he says yes, no problem bring it in and he will take a look at it. I take it in, he looks and mulls it over for 10-15 minutes, tells me all sorts of things about the new rifle he doesn’t like (it had a recoil reducer butt pad installed and some wear on the bolt from being on the shelf at the local dealer so he didn’t consider it a new rifle any longer) but anyway he looks at it says that to install the other barrel there are quite a few things he may need to do and check – he would need to check the head spacing, if the notch doesn’t line up he may need to put the barrel in the lathe and turn a thread off from it make it line up, etc. He says to make it work he would be looking at around $300.00, this seemed like a LOT to me and is a whole lot more than I paid for the 2nd barrel but I wanted it done & had the $ so I told him to go ahead. Here is were the 2nd red flag comes out & I know I should have turned and walked out right here but didn’t – he says to work on it he needs the $ now, he doesn’t do the work without getting paid up front. We agree on when he will have it done & you guessed it, a few weeks before it is due I call him and he says he has bad news, in order to install the new barrel he would need to adjust the head spacing (not sure how you do this – but then again I am not a gun smith) and there are numerous other problems, he can’t possibly do it for what I have already given him but with all the time he has into it figuring out what needs done he has spent the amount we agreed to. That was it, I told him to put it back together and I would come in and pick it up which I did.
Here is my question for the forum, from reading other posts it appears that there is a lot of fear of liability by gun smiths (he went on and on about this potentially not being a new rifle even though the box, bolt and serial # all matched and was bought off the shelf here locally). Is it possible to have this barrel installed by someone reputable & did this guy just chicken out (maybe he never had any intention of actually doing the work)? Talking with some others they indicate that many times the local gun smiths provide a conservative estimate then ship them out to someone that works on then quite a bit cheaper then pocket the difference – he may have done this and under estimated (since it took a couple of weeks for him to just put it back together). Was my thought of attempting to buy a 2nd factory barrel a bad plan from the start & is this really unpractical to attempt?