Model 70 Barrel



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  • Model 70 Barrel

    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?

  • #2
    from what I gathered and I will offer up my "opinion" and we all have them, I think what you did by getting the rifle back was good for starters. If your barrel matched your receiver by either being a push feed or CRF, all the "smith" needed to do was thread it on and adjust the headspace-normal work.
    I think "many" gunsmiths if they send out any work would be for special requirements-refinishing the metal for example. Some just don't want to get into that arena. Most in the Fbks. area or what few there are can take a barrel and do the work, I think you found someone that is a cheap jerk and was attempting to taking you for a ride.
    I have found out from one smith in Fbks. that will not rework "rails", suppose he has neither the template or the experience to do that and that was fine as he mentioned right from the start his work skills. Found another outside mauser smith to do exceptional work. Nonetheless this smith still gets to do some of the smithing chores like setting sight with a jig and rechambering.
    Can you post who attempted to do the work as that might just save someone the same con-job.
    I had one smith that worked as a "armorer" in the days gone by that works out in North[Pole that literally ripped my XS rear sight off as he did not know how it worked-huh?! He repaired his damage and I have never gone back to him again. I think by stating his past position that would clue most as to who he is.

    Look at DownUnder or Arctic Gun for your barrel work.


    • #3
      New Barrel!

      If REM. wont fix it Replace the Barrel. Action should be ok! Lucky that you did not get hurt! My .02.


      • #4
        Smithing problems...


        I don't understand some of your post but I think $300 to swap barrels and head space it ( a requirement) shorten it to your specs, and install a brake, is about right on the money. Unless you left out some details such as rechamber or the barrel came off another brand of rifle and had to recut threads, etc. Cutting back a thread to turn the barrel in is head spaceing and it sounds as though it was included in the original estimate which also included turning to align the extractor cut. Wasn't that discussed.

        What I don't understand is what difference does it make if it was a new rifle or an old one? Why would it matter if it had a recoil pad installed or not, that shouldn't change his price for the barrel job.

        If I understand what you said, he kept the rifle for a time then called and said he would need more money to do what he said he would do for $300, and you said put it back the way it was, he took two weeks to do that then kept the $300 and you picked up the rifle. Is that what I read? If so, you were robbed! He did absolutely nothing he said he would do for the $300 you gave him. (your version, because I haven't heard from him)

        Like I said I think the barrel swap, shortening, and the brake is well worth the $300, some would charge more.

        Where did you go wrong?

        1. You walked into his shop.
        2. You didn't leave when he asked for all the money up front.
        3. You didn't ask your friendly neighbor hood shooting forum first.

        Your only recourse would be to pass his name around privately, not on this public forum please, because he can't defend himself.

        Sorry for the trouble. If I have misunderstood what you said please correct it. Good shootin'.

        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5
          You are pretty much correct with the 1, 2, 3 & the being robbed part -- The barrel was already shortened and had the muzzle break on when I took it to him. It was a factory barrel same caliber (270) and was CRF. I appreciate the input though, it looks like it may be possible for ~ this $ with someone else.


          • #6
            take-off barrel

            Seems odd to me too. Some gunsmiths really dislike take-off barrels because they may already have drilled and tapped holes for open sights and will have the manufacturer stamps and caliber- those need to be lined up correctly in addition to setting headspace. Kind of doubles the time. Once for fitting the barrel to receiver for the alignment then for reaming/setting headspace. BUT, it is common, normal gunsmith work. Also, his concern about working on a new gun that has some turn marks on the bolt body seems really odd. That's what I thought most gunsmith's do most of the time- work on new and/or used guns. $ up front is not normal practice.


            • #7
              I am thinking you are talking about the gunsmith in north buddy went there to get a muzzlebrake put on his 300wsm. This guy told him that his barrel needed to be recrowned (an extra $45) and that he could have it ready for him for his sheep hunt. Well, it wasn't ready, but it was recrowned. He took it to the gunsmith with about 2 1/2 weeks to spare. Anyway, sorry to hear about the problems. I am thinking you went to the same gunsmith that my friend did. I will be going to the one up in fairbanks when I am ready to put the muzzlebrake on mine. BTW...$300 does seem a little high to swap out barrels even if he does have to rethread the barrel.


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