Last summer I tried selling my Ruger Mark II VT. This 28 inch barreled factory firearm was too heavy to carry on a hunt. I have a custom Remington in the same 6.5 Creedmoor caliber that was more practical, so it had to go.
Unfortunately, no one wanted it. So after a few months on consignment, I took it back home. The store it was on consignment at had used it for weekend entertainment, and it showed. The squeaky clean barrel was badly fouled, among other things.
The side swinging safety wouldn't extend all the way back to lock the bolt anymore. The slotted screw heads were wrecked. The action had been sucked so far down that it made the wood proud around the safety lever. Torquing the screws that hard with an ill-fitting screw driver had shaved the edges of the screw slots off.
Sitting behind a locked door, that rifle bothered me for months. Finally, I came to think I should just make it my own. "Watch this!" are two words feared by parents, gun loving purists, and collectors of original art.
Shaving the wood from under the safety lever allowed it to function as designed again. The bolt was grabbing something as it was thrust forward. Overcompressing the laminated stock with the action had the rear action screw "proud" under the bolt. The screw was filed down, just short of flush in the hole.
Now that it all worked as it was intended again, it was time to make it practical for a guy who has lost much of, and is losing more of, his ability to pack more than his lunch. Ten inches came off the muzzle end of the barrel.
Many years ago I had a Remington P17 in 30-06, with a barrel that someone had hacksawed to 20 inches. The saw marks were still on it when I bought it. The first three shots at 100 yards had three holes touching. I never had a problem with a hacksaw again.
A stainless steel hose clamp was wrapped around the Ruger VT's barrel at just over 18 inches. That would keep the cut mostly straight. Then, 10 inches of stainless steel barrel was sawn off in a dimly lit basement. It came off almost square. Then, it was squared with a hand file.
No, the crown doesn't look "factory". It will touch the first three shots out of the magazine though. And that's with me shooting!
An 18 inch barreled 6.5 Creedmoor will give a 140 grain bullet a velocity of about 2500-2550 feet per second. That's right in the range of American factory rounds out of a 6.5 Swedish Mauser sporting a 22 inch barrel. I've shot a truckload of deer with a 6.5 Swede, and every one dropped in its tracks. The velocity loss isn't as big a deal as shot placement.