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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of things on my mind.
First, I've read that turning down a heavy barrel to sporter weight causes the barrel to expand and ruin it. Is that so??
Second, I have a heavy barrel screwed into my 581 action that if it were sporter weight, it would be more usable for a scrawny old codger like myself.
So, if I find a smith that can do that job, what would the cost be??
Ballpark figure is fine.
That rifle weighs a ton and I would like to carry it in the woods occasionally.:)

Thanks for any help.

I know I could start calling around but I like that I can gather different opinions here.
 

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I've read that turning down a heavy barrel to sporter weight causes the barrel to expand and ruin it. Is that so??
Depends on how it was rifled. On a button rifled barrel, the bore will expand where the outside diameter is turned down. On a hammer forged barrel, the opposite will occur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well dang, it looks like you cant win.
maybe I'll look at a new barrel, I'd like to make it more than a single purpose rifle.

BTW, there are zero markings on the barrel. Maker unknown.
 

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You might consider having the barrel fluted. I would think that would lighten things up, and shouldn't have much, if any, effect on the bore dimensions.

Just my 2-pence.....Roger
 

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I've always considered a lot of these breathless claims to be old wive's tails or internet lore... I've seen very little evidence from anyone that turning down a barrel will do anything to its inherent accuracy and even if there was a slight change in bore dimensions from machining, it will be miniscule IMO....

I turned down a 40X barrel to build my home made sporter. I didn't have a chance to shoot it before turning it down, but after turning it down and finishing the rifle, it shoots as well as any other rimfire I own, including my 40X Target and 52C...

My opinion is the worst thing that can happen when turning down a barrel is to get in a hurry and get the barrel hot, which may cause the barrel to warp . Taking light passes and using lubricant or coolant can go a long way to keep things under control. I know a gunsmith who has turned down a number of barrels and never seems to have a problem. Also, all barrels come originally as a 1 1/8" blank that has to be turned down to proper contour before use, so what happens to those barrels?

Either way, if you decide to get rid of your barrel let me know. I would love to have a heavier barrel to put on my son's 581. I might even turn it down a bit to a size that is comfortable to carry...

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've always considered a lot of these breathless claims to be old wive's tails or internet lore... I've seen very little evidence from anyone that turning down a barrel will do anything to its inherent accuracy and even if there was a slight change in bore dimensions from machining, it will be miniscule IMO....

I turned down a 40X barrel to build my home made sporter. I didn't have a chance to shoot it before turning it down, but after turning it down and finishing the rifle, it shoots as well as any other rimfire I own, including my 40X Target and 52C...

My opinion is the worst thing that can happen when turning down a barrel is to get in a hurry and get the barrel hot, which may cause the barrel to warp . Taking light passes and using lubricant or coolant can go a long way to keep things under control. I know a gunsmith who has turned down a number of barrels and never seems to have a problem. Also, all barrels come originally as a 1 1/8" blank that has to be turned down to proper contour before use, so what happens to those barrels?

Either way, if you decide to get rid of your barrel let me know. I would love to have a heavier barrel to put on my son's 581. I might even turn it down a bit to a size that is comfortable to carry...

Bob
Thanks y'all for the responses.
Bob, your post has given me hope, I'm gonna call Bob's Custom Firearms down in Palmetto Ga. I know he has a lathe because he cut a target crown on my former 581.
If I have to go to a new barrel I'll keep you in mind.
The barrel is .75" x 22" and it's threaded to fit the threaded action.
After I call him I'll update this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chop off to 16-17" and thread for suppressor? No suppressor? Add light weight muzzle brake.
Well this is something I hadn't considered because I think a 16" is ugly.:)
But I'll be calling about this tomorrow and depending on the info I get, I might have to consider chopping it off.
We'll see.:t
 

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I'm certain there are many gunsmiths out there who have turned down more .22 LR barrels than I have, but here is some real information and experience from the past ten years.

I have turned down a Mauser 340B barrel, a Mauser KKW barrel, a Rem 37 barrel (taper-octagoned), and BSA Int'l MII barrel (taper-octagoned), a 52 Repro barrel, and a Green Mountain barrel blank (taper-octagoned) (there are probably more). The 2 Mausers and the M37 (relax, they were already butchered in other ways, but the barrels were untouched, and I retained the original chambers) were probably cut rifled, the BSA I don't know about but probably button rifled, the repro was hammer forged, and the GM was button rifled. I slugged the bores of each before and after, and there was definitely a perceptible opening of the bore toward the muzzle after removal of the material. All but the Repro had a slight choke toward the muzzle, either gradual or just in the last 3" or 4". So, the phenomenum is real.

Still, as mentioned, taking very small cuts with coolant will minimize the distortion, but, more important, I didn't see much difference in accuracy. Maybe more accurately, all the barrels shoot very well (I haven't actually shot the KKW yet), so, if there was a reduction in accuracy, it was very minimal. I did observe that the M37 did not seem to shoot as many loads as accurately, but it is still as accurate with the same loads that shot well before the transformation. The GM barrel blank that was tapered and octagoned was the most accurate .22 LR I've owned (seriously) and averaged .274" for 40+ 5-shot groups at 50 yards.

Now, none of these were/are BR-level rifles, but most were target rifles from the day. For BR-level precision, no one would taper a barrel, and, in fact, the reverse tapered barrels are definitely in right now. So, it's a matter of degree.

As an aside, every Anschutz barrel I've slugged had a distict choke in the last few inches, both sporter and target rifles. Lopping the barrels off for suppressor use on sporters has now become common, so that choke is mostly or completely gone (there are some counterboring methods that can be taken to avoid opening up, but that's a different discussion). It probably has an impact on the nth degree of accuracy, but nothing else in the rifles being discussed here is up to achieving that last bit of accuracy anyway. It would all be "lost in the noise."

I hope this helps.

TBR
 

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TBR- yours has probably been the first definitive report I have read about this subject that hasn't been hear say or hyperbole. I agree a BR competition barrel would probably never take the chance of being turned down, but for 99.9% of our uses, a practically imperceptible difference in accuracy would be worth the effort IMO.... especially if it makes a forgotten rifle useful to someone again...

Bob
 

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Just buy another rifle probably best choice.

Just go buy another rifle. That is probably your best bet. The rifles will go up in value with inflation and the dollars in the bank will have decreased buying power over time.
 

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TBR- yours has probably been the first definitive report I have read about this subject that hasn't been hear say or hyperbole. I agree a BR competition barrel would probably never take the chance of being turned down, but for 99.9% of our uses, a practically imperceptible difference in accuracy would be worth the effort IMO.... especially if it makes a forgotten rifle useful to someone again...

Bob
This is absolutely true, and it is the gist of the OP's dilemma. The problem is cost. For me, this is a hobby, but running a lathe taking slow cuts takes time and, therefore, money. It is a good time to sell, but the problem is one needs to then turn around a buy a rifle at a bad time to buy...age old dilemma.

Let us know what you do. So often, many of these questions are never followed up or updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
since I made my last post I've been on a google search about turning barrels and it does seem to be a daunting problem.
The main reasons I would like to keep this rifle and get more use from it is that the barrel is free floated, it's screwed into the action, the action is glass bedded, it has a second action screw, and it has a Timney trigger.
It's just that heavy barrel sticking out there that keeps me from using it more.

I'm in bad health and every ounce extra that I have to lift feels like a ton.

It'll really shoot, but I kinda wish I hadn't bought it.
 

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[...]It's just that heavy barrel sticking out there that keeps me from using it more.
I'm in bad health and every ounce extra that I have to lift feels like a ton.
It'll really shoot, but I kinda wish I hadn't bought it.
With the heavy bbl being 22" long, you would really lose some weight by just shortening it to 16.5", instead of removing material along its length.

I know you've prob already considered against that option, just wanted to throw it out there again maybe.

In case you're curious about the appearance, here is a rather odd Remington 540/580 I've owned for a while, with a heavy barrel that had been shortened to 16.5":
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxasnf47j9w9pjl/Rem 540XR #3.JPG?dl=0

Edit: "rather odd", in that what I have appears to be a parts-cleanup rifle from Remington;
The single-shot 580 action, the good 540 trigger, and a 540XR Target heavy barrel.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxasnf47j9w9pjl/Rem 540XR #3.JPG?dl=0
 

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since I made my last post I've been on a google search about turning barrels and it does seem to be a daunting problem.
The main reasons I would like to keep this rifle and get more use from it is that the barrel is free floated, it's screwed into the action, the action is glass bedded, it has a second action screw, and it has a Timney trigger.
It's just that heavy barrel sticking out there that keeps me from using it more.

I'm in bad health and every ounce extra that I have to lift feels like a ton.

It'll really shoot, but I kinda wish I hadn't bought it.
Remember, you will also need to have the barreled action reblued after turning the barrel down, unless the barrel is stainless. Bluing just the barrel is an option, of course, but then greater care will be needed to reassmble the rifle. Again, doable but more work for someone. BTW, I'm sure you realize this, but the barrel will automatically be free floated after turning it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Kestrel4k, I tried to look and it gave me flash of your rifle but then insisted that I get the app to view it and then I got as far as where it ask for my apple ID and that’s where it ended. I don’t even know if I have a Apple ID.
But , it looks like if I’m gonna keep it, I’ll have to chop it.:(
Anyone know how much 5.5” of a 3/4” barrel weighs??
I couldn’t find that figure either.
 

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Getting lighter guns as we age.

I too have a dislike for very heavy guns as I age. Had to admit I was getting to be a wimp. But once I got comfortable with that, it was easy. And I get rid of things that give me mechanical issues as well. Keeping only what gives me joy.

The 10 pound plus bench rifles are all gone. The 6" revolvers are all gone. I don't shoot as well now anyway so the difference caused by my decisions blends with my reduced abilities. So what I say, I still am having fun. Doing the best I can with what I have to work with. Freedom starts with these acceptances.
 
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