Do it yourself tikka tx3 barrel swap

Jpron

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Feb 10, 2019
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Wi
Has anyone done one themselves? What did you use for an action vise? Can you reuse the original barrel nut?
 

LuvDog

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Nov 13, 2020
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New England
I'm waiting on a barrel vise, but from what I've heard the stock barrels are on unbelievably tight. To the point where many people give up and have a smith do them. Some smiths mill relief cuts to allow them to be removed.

As for action wrench, the action has flats, so any external wrench with flat sides should work.
 
D

Deleted member 115654

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I have found in swapping 8 barrels on modern rifles that modern machining is so good that barrel swaps go together with no headpace issues.

a 721, 5 700s, 1 Abolt and 1 Xbolt.

Applying heat to the receiver ring has always eased bbl removal.
 

Elkeater

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Dec 3, 2017
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916
I’ve been wanting to convert my rem 700 .308 to .260 AI for awhile but have always been hesitant to try it myself. Maybe I need to try it.
 

25WSM

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Oct 17, 2011
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New Castle PA
With a proper barrel vise and wrench the factory barrels come off no problem. I have never needed a relief cut in any barrel to get them off. A smith won't charge you very much to just do the swap and they will probably have headspace guages to check your chamber when complete. If you take the rifle in unassembled already it's a 10 minute job. If you plan on doing a bunch of them it would be worth buying a good vise and wrench but for a few of them just go to your local smith. Call ahead and he might be able to do it while you wait.
Shep
 

Jpron

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Feb 10, 2019
Messages
101
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Wi
With a proper barrel vise and wrench the factory barrels come off no problem. I have never needed a relief cut in any barrel to get them off. A smith won't charge you very much to just do the swap and they will probably have headspace guages to check your chamber when complete. If you take the rifle in unassembled already it's a 10 minute job. If you plan on doing a bunch of them it would be worth buying a good vise and wrench but for a few of them just go to your local smith. Call ahead and he might be able to do it while you wait.
Shep
There’s only one guy within a couple hours of my place and he wants a minimum of $100 plus I have to pay for the gauges if I go to a 6.5 prc but he keeps them. That’s why I’m looking at trying it myself.
 
D

Deleted member 115654

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Buy a Wheeler vise and Wrench from Brownells. Changing spark plugs on a 911 is much harder !

When you put the new bbl on clean all threads, in and out, with a bronze brush and put some antiseize on the threads.

I use a pipe on the wrench to insure it's tight.

My last 2. 243 AI and 22-250. Both takeoff bbls bought on Ebay.

IMG_4097.jpeg
 

Jpron

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Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Wi
Buy a Wheeler vise and Wrench from Brownells. Changing spark plugs on a 911 is much harder !

When you put the new bbl on clean all threads, in and out, with a bronze brush and put some antiseize on the threads.

I use a pipe on the wrench to insure it's tight.

My last 2. 243 AI and 22-250. Both takeoff bbls bought on Ebay.

View attachment 227505
Thanks man, great info. I’m actually looking for a Christmas gift/ project I can do with my 12 year old daughter. I think I’m gonna go for it. She loves shooting and reloading. This could be a rifle she has the rest of her life and thinks about working on it together every time she shoots it.
 

Buano

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Nov 28, 2009
Messages
933
Now you have me intrigued! What barrel are you looking to install? I have a Tikka T3x in .204 Ruger that came with a 20" barrel but I have been thinking about a 24" barrel to maximize the speed from this cartridge.
 

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
Messages
1,358
Location
Central AZ
The biggest trick is to keep the barrel from turning in the vise. I bought a Viper. It is a good design and really allows you to tighten down the nuts. The problem with most barrel vises is that their contour cannot possibly fit every barrel. This results in only a small area or ring where the vise has purchase. I try to increase the amount of contact by wrapping some tape around the barrel and then adding another wrap or two to compensate for the amount of taper. The tape helps protect the barrel in the vise. I next wrap some 400 grit sandpaper around the tape (rough side facing tape) to help keep the barrel from turning. Finally, I place some thin pieces of cardboard to help cushion the tape and sandpaper from the steel vise. Then I slowly tighten the nuts like you would when putting on a tire. When think you have it tight, slide a cheater bar (conduit, steel pipe, etc.) over the wrench handle and really begin to torque down on it. Continue until each bolt/nut creaks and groans - then it is finally tight. Insert the action wrench and then use a large hammer (dead blow) and 'shock' it loose. You can heat the receiver, but that may mar the finish.

Tikka receivers do have flats on the side, so a regular wrench can work. Just be sure to use the flats closest to the barrel. There are tremendous pressures exerted in removing a barrel. If you clamp on to the rear of the receiver and hit it with a deadblow, it is possible to twist the action slightly creating a nice door stop..
 
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Jpron

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Feb 10, 2019
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Wi
Now you have me intrigued! What barrel are you looking to install? I have a Tikka T3x in .204 Ruger that came with a 20" barrel but I have been thinking about a 24" barrel to maximize the speed from this cartridge.
Part of the intrigue with this is me and her picking it together. I’m thinking a 6.5 creed or a prc with a break. Do we go with carbon or possibly bartlien with fluting? I’m not sure she is very small so I’d like a lighter rifle but something with some knock down power yet. I’ve also been thinking about a savage rifle because of the adjustable lop for her growing body
 

Mram10us

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Oct 19, 2019
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Idaho
Has anyone done one themselves? What did you use for an action vise? Can you reuse the original barrel nut?
You dont need a specialized wrench. I have done a bunch of tikka builds and use 2 12" crescent wrenches on the action. Add heat from a heat gun to the joint and they come off fine. Standard barrel vises work fine like this one
 

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XSIVSPD

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Palmer, AK
Part of the intrigue with this is me and her picking it together. I’m thinking a 6.5 creed or a prc with a break. Do we go with carbon or possibly bartlien with fluting? I’m not sure she is very small so I’d like a lighter rifle but something with some knock down power yet. I’ve also been thinking about a savage rifle because of the adjustable lop for her growing body


I know building it might be a majority of the reason you're doing it, but if you don't mind just doing minor stuff like pillars and bedding and such the Savage ultralite line might be right up your alley. Comes in both the calibers you were thinking, with adjustable LOP and with proof carbon wrapped barrels for a street price under $1200 seems like a lot of value there, and you can always make it heavier lol.


 

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