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switch barrel savage

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Unread 06-26-2012, 07:36 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
switch barrel savage

A few months ago an article was posted by Norman E. Johnson about 2 model 12 savages rifles he made into switch barrel guns. I have called,e-mailed, and talked to over 20 gunsmiths about doing the samething Norman has done and I cannot find anyone to do it. I have a new model 12 lrp in 260. I am trying to make a switch barrel using the orginal barrel to start with. I don't have thousands of dollars for gunsmithing. If anyone has anyone in mind that can help I would greatly appreicate a reply.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:51 PM
KRP KRP is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kuna, ID
Posts: 594
Re: switch barrel savage

What do you need a gunsmith for? That guy is just JB welding the nut to the barrel.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
Re: switch barrel savage

I am not a Gunsmith but my guess is for safety reasons they do not want any part of relying on JB Weld or Loctite to hold proper headspace on the factory barrel.

My personal advise is to learn how to set your own headspace with prefit barrels, in My opinion it is easy to change barrels on Savage rifles.

If you are not comfortable setting your own headspace I would save until I could have "nutless" or shouldered barrels installed. I just looked on a smiths website, you should be able to get two top quality barrels chambered and your action trued for $1100

One other thought is to see if a local welding shop could spotweld your factory barrel nut to your factory barrel.
Buy a precision recoil lug, take rifle and lug to a local smith and have them install the lug, then take the barreled action to a local welding shop and have them spotweld the nut to the barrel while it is installed on the action. this should be more reliable than JB Weld. Always use that recoil lug for that barrel. Depending on where the weld is located you may have to sand or cut relief into the stock.

Buy a 308 win (260) no go gauge and always check to make sure the bolt will not close on it when you install that welded factory barrel. You will also need a barrel vise and action wrench.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 12:10 AM
KRP KRP is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kuna, ID
Posts: 594
Re: switch barrel savage

Originally Posted by Dano5001 View Post
but my guess is for safety reasons they do not want any part of relying on JB Weld or Loctite
I'm sure that's a major reason a gunsmith wouldn't want to do it. A gunsmith has a reputation and liability to be concerned about and aren't going to want anyone spreading the word that they used JB weld to hold the barrel on your rifle. As ridiculously litigious as our society has become you may have a problem getting someone to weld the nut to the barrel for the same reasons.

I don't doubt that this could work but it's likely a DIY project, and cost less as such. Your going to need the appropriate tools to remove and replace barrels anyway, JB weld costs ~$5, and labor costs whatever you feel your time is worth.
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Unread 06-27-2012, 08:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,231
Re: switch barrel savage

From a gun smith point of view, If the person needs the work done why would you assume
He/She would properly assemble the rifle correctly and not get into trouble.

I know it can be done but when you have someone chamber your barrels ,someone else
bed the action, install the barrels, Torque the barrels/barrel nut,head space the different
cartriges.the recipe for trouble is there and out of there hands.

The guys that have had success with this are all fairly knowledgeable about what it takes to
have a successful switch barrel setup.

I believe that you can build a rifle that will do everything that you want, if not two are better
than one that you have to take apart each time and re zero every time you change. And the
cost is not that much more for two rifles.

This is just my opinion, based on my experiences with pre-chambered barrels and unskilled
people setting up a rifle.

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Unread 07-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: switch barrel savage

Most really good switch barrels that I've used (e.g. Blaser and Sauer) are more expensive than owning as many decent rifles.

Thompson and a few others make inexpensive factory switch barrel rifles.

Savage is by some definition a "switch barrel" because a guy can do it himself with a few hand tools. Shortcuts like JB Weld may not be a good idea. If you go that route, you'd be wise to purchase the headspace gauges and re-verify everytime you switch the barrels.

Good luck!
-- richard
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Unread 07-01-2012, 12:19 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dayton, Nevada
Posts: 1,970
Re: switch barrel savage

The whole idea of sticking the nut to the barrel is rediculous. That's what shouldered barrels are for. Then you'd never be able to swap them to a different action.

It takes about two extra minutes to set the headspace correctly. That way you can swap them amongst other actions or sell them to someone else with a Savage action.

It's a shortcut that doesn't save anything.
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