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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Lightening a heavy Barrel

Lightening a heavy Barrel

27 Mar 2016
@ 07:04 am (GMT)

Ben Grady

Hi guys

My 25-06 weighs to much.
I would have to check but around 5 kgs.

Question is can I trim the barrel contour down without wrecking it.
The barrel is 632mm long to the bolt face.
30.2mm thick at the chamber for 115mm long before tapering down to 16.92mm at the muzzel next to the suppressor thread. Being a quarter bore there is a lot metal. This makes it pretty heavy. Its accurate and good to shoot prone but I have had a torn tendon fixed in my left elbow and I can't hold it off hand for any length of time.
I was thinking of taking 32mm straight off the chamber end reducing it to 24 inches and re-reaming it.
Then also reducing the contour. I use it for shooting to 350 yards and 450 yards stretching it. I will also re-bed it.
My gunsmith has the gear to do it. What are your thoughts?

Replies

27 Mar 2016
@ 08:53 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
Hi Ben
I got my gunsmith to reduce & flute one of my barrels, he said it then had to be de-stressed. Nathan will probably chime in and clarify this.
Cheers
Bob
27 Mar 2016
@ 02:44 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
When our boys were too young to hold an 8 pound rifle offhand to shoot, I made some shooting sticks that worked well for them. Also recently a friend has been unable to shoot offhand due to a shoulder injury, so last fall I gave him the sticks and they solved his problem. His rifle was on the heavy side too and he had planned something like you were but now he is glad he never really had to go that route.

Just a thought.

As for your approach Bob, I had a barrel fluted by a good gunsmith. It had normally shot around 1 moa. Nothing special or all that. Anyways he also treated the barrel to remove stresses as you pointed out but I guess that may not always come out the best, as that barrel had to be replaced with a new one and it is not fluted but is about the same dimensions as one of the Tikka T3 lite barrels, is 22 inches and is fastened to a blueprinted Remington action in a lightweight B&C stock that was skim bedded. It was used for hunting on long backpack trips and is very accurate.
27 Mar 2016
@ 07:23 pm (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
You could lighten the stock Ben. Any barrel alterations will mean re working your loads a change in stock wil only shift poi
27 Mar 2016
@ 08:32 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
first up...350-400 yards is a goodly distance out there ,sure hope you reading the books and have got your prone technique down pat????
secondly if your shooting is mostly that range why would you need to hold rifle offhand????change shooting stance,prone 1st sitting, shooting off knees 2nd, kneeling 3rd, and standing last
thirdly just like ya mutton gun, once you whack the end off there is no going back...if you dont like the way it is once done you will cuss yourself for all time for ruining a good shooter,the suggestion of shooting sticks sounds like a good one to me.
and last but not least,this sounds like PERFECT excuse to go out and purchase another rifle in different caliber in a lighter/shorter rifle for those walk around hunts or in tighter brush conditions,something like the humble .308 Winchester??? leaving your fine shooting long heavier beast for the times you close to vehicle,expect longer shots or best of all have a young fella to carry her for you.
27 Mar 2016
@ 09:13 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
I have to say, there are some extremely good responses here. Really impressed with how you guys have been helping each other.

Bob that is correct, needs to be de-stressed after fluting. Can normally get away without de-stressing after a basic reprofile. Can be a bit touch and go with the .25 though if you trim too light and keep the barrel long and whippy. This is not normally an issue with a 24" tube however this one has a heat trap on it. Cutting a .25-06 barrel short is a real no-no, it kills the entire nature of the cartridge.

Ben, read each post and think on it. Mike made a very important point with regards to the .308. I will mention a real eye opener- .25-06 ballistics (any bullet and as fast as you can drive it) versus a 7mm-08 (20-22" barrel) firing the 162gr ALD / AMAX at 2600-2650fps. Quite disheartening when you see the stats, as much as I like the .25-06.

The fast .25's can be quite temperamental. So it pays to be very careful with any planning.

Keep in mind that a good deal of weight is in your action. The P14 is a heavy action, built tough for battle. You can make the barrel very light but she will always be a full figured girl. Thomas has a normal hunting contour barrel on his P14 Norma magnum. It is neither light nor heavy. The rig is not overly front heavy so there will be some recoil to deal with. But, had Thomas opted for more weight in the barrel, I have a feeling that he might have been disappointed with the final carry weight when climbing. We won't fully know for some time how all of this will pan out. Its just one of those things where you have to take it one step and one day at a time. Will the recoil be fierce? Would it have been better to have more weight? Will the barrel heat up too fast for accurate shooting? Such questions cannot be answered without actually testing the rifle.

Make sure you get regular massage (of your elbow!) and if you are not allergic to stings, have a watch of my nettle vid on youtube.
27 Mar 2016
@ 10:33 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
Ben you may have to wait for the tendon to heal and repair the reattached area. How good are your legs and your stalking skills? You may have to change your hunting style whilst healing. A nice light 223 with correct ammunition to sneak in close and tap Bambi in the noggin or the neck? Physio and exercise as the specialist recommend will hopefully get you through this frustrating time? Look at how the sports professionals recover from their breaks and bruises? It takes time and smart thinking to recover. Don't over do it. Shooting sticks sound interesting to try. Cheers n all the best .
27 Mar 2016
@ 11:20 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
I've been using shooting sticks since I was a kid. Two pieces of 1/2" aircraft aluminium 950mm long, bolt through 125mm from the top, ramset nail glued & squashed in the bottom ends. I rest the rifle butt on my knee, spead the sticks to the right height. I easily shoot to 300m. I won't hunt without them!!!



28 Mar 2016
@ 12:07 am (GMT)

Ben Grady

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
O.K a few to answer here.
Mike I comfortably shoot 350 yards with it shooting prone (1st mill dot is bang on). Also I easily shoot it sitting on my butt, off my knees. Its just off hand shots at closer ranges that is difficult. Normally I love off hand shooting and dont have an issue with it. But ll lbs is up there.
Chris re- doing my loads is neither here nor there.
Bob Not sure about carrying shooting sticks, maybe its a Kiwi thing.
Nathan thanks as always for your input.

I have decided as it shoots 1/2 MOA as it is that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
SO back to my next build conundrum. I will build my next rifle with my other P14 action. I was leaning to a 7mm Rem Mag but from what I have been reading these are probably not best suited to a lighter rifle for climbing the hills. When I say lighter I mean less than 5 kgs, maybe 7 or 8 lb if possible.
So what caliber do I look at? Up to 400 yards accuracy and quick death to the animal. And what is not too hard to do with a P14 action.



28 Mar 2016
@ 12:49 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
Hi Ben
I would go for a 308 Winchester, 20-22" barrel & 168 A-Max pills. I love that projectile.

Where I shoot the grass scrub is too long to sit down, so it's offhand or sticks. With the sticks I can head or neck shoot, not offhand though. The sticks are handy for pushing nettles & blackberry's aside too
28 Mar 2016
@ 01:44 am (GMT)

Ben Grady

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
Thanks Bob.
I guess the easiest conversion then is a new .303 barrel 22 inches? long. What length barrel do I need in a .303 to burn the powder.
Being a P14 action can this be hand loaded to match a .308?
Then I don't have to alter the bolt face or magazine.
28 Mar 2016
@ 02:18 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
My gumsmith mate puts 308 barrels in them & necks the 303 case to suit 308, gives you a great choice of projectiles.

The 303 is a good choice though, look up Tiapan bullets, Malcolm makes some good 303 pills
28 Mar 2016
@ 05:42 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
hi Ben.
Bob has a good idea and i believe Nathan has also mentioned using a 308 sized bore before as well.

you could just keep practicing with the 25-06 until your comfortable shooting it off hand.

another option is you put the p14 action aside for now and buy a new rifle in 7mm-08 or 308, for now tikka, ruger american, howa, remington options are there.
you can always rebarrel one of these guns later to another caliber or build your p14 later as it sounds your bit up in there air to what you actually want.
28 Mar 2016
@ 07:20 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
I just found a really nice stainless Tikka laminated 308 with 30mm opti-locks for $900 for my Grandson on usedguns.com.au. Happy with that.
Bob
28 Mar 2016
@ 03:22 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Lightening a heavy Barrel
Quote:
Thanks Bob.
I guess the easiest conversion then is a new .303 barrel 22 inches? long. What length barrel do I need in a .303 to burn the powder.
Being a P14 action can this be hand loaded to match a .308?
Then I don't have to alter the bolt face or magazine.


The issue with this approach is that, as Nathan mentioned, that action is fairly heavy. I agree with the idea others have said here that a Tikka T3 Lite with a 20 or 23 inch barrel in .308 Win or better yet, in 7mm-08 would be an all around better choice.
 

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