Barreling a Winchester Model 70 with a Remington 700 sporter barrel

This is our second post on barreling a Winchester Model 70. In our first, Rebarreling a Winchester Model 70, we created a “REMchester” rifle by cutting the tenon off a factory Remington 700 varmint contour barrel and installing it on a Model 70 Action.  In this post, we will install a Remington factory take off sporter barrel onto a Winchester Model 70 and unlike in our last post, we will NOT remove the barrel tenon due to the new barrel’s profile.

The donor rifle is a Model 70 in a post-64 push feed configuration.  This is relevant because the barrel will not require an extractor cut (which is needed for control feed rigs).  The barrel was purchased used off the internet.  It is a factory Remington 700 take off that was never fired.  Take off barrels can represent a great value for the money.  In this case, the barrel cost a mere $40 shipped!  I’m not aware of a supply of hammer forged barrels that is anywhere nearly as inexpensive as this.

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Any modifications made to a firearm should be made by a licensed gunsmith. Failure to do so may void warranties and result in an unsafe firearm and may cause injury or death.

Modifications to a firearm may result in personal injury or death, cause the firearm to not function properly, or malfunction, and cause the firearm to become unsafe.

I used the following products from Brownells for this post:

To remove the current barrel from the action, I’ll need a barrel vise and a wrench.  This is the wrench I use, a Brownells with a universal head.  The square notch in the barrel wrench engages the bottom of the action.

The barrel goes into a barrel vise with some rosin between it and the jaws.  This is actually a barrel that we installed in the last post- so we can use the Farrell vise shown here.  If it was a factory installed barrel, I prefer to use a bushing vise.

I like to take the time to measure the receiver with a depth micrometer.  No point in cutting corners and looking up a print.  By measuring your exact part you can ensure the new barrel is properly fit.

Our factory M700 sporter contour barrel goes into the lathe and is dialed in.  One of the reasons we simply didn’t chop off the tenon was the contour.  Since a Remington factory barrel is threaded 1 1/16″-16, and a Winchester is 1″-16, we can actually reuse the tenon on this barrel with minor modification.

Another view of our take off donor barrel.  The Winchester doesn’t use a bolt nose recess, so that will be faced off the chamber end.

Using a 35 degree profile tool, I face (cut away) the bolt nose recess and turn the tenon to the proper diameter (1.000″) and length (which was determined above).  Note the roots of the factory threads are still present.

Before I cut the new threads on the barrel, I have to locate the existing threads.  To do this, the lathe is configured for threading 16 teeth per inch, and the half nut is engaged.  The lathe is quickly run and shut off.  Using the compound and cross slide, the threading tool is aligned with the existing threads (above).

The threads are now cut to the shoulder.  Before the final installation I’ll dress up the edge of the tenon between the threads and shoulder with a 35 degree profile tool.

Since this barrel is already chambered, the machine work done up until this point has effectively shortened the chamber.  To determine how much deeper the chamber needs to be cut, a “go” gauge is inserted into the chamber and the action is threaded onto the tenon.  A feeler gauge is used to measure the distance between the shoulder of the barrel tenon and the face of the receiver.  This distance is equal to how much deeper the chamber needs to be cut.

This is the reaming set up I’ll be using to correct the head space.  A reamer is inserted into the chamber and held with a pair of locking pliers.  The reamer is pushed by the center in the tail stock.  To determine the depth of cut, a dial indicator reads against a spring clamp on the tail stock quill.

This is a second view of the reaming set up.  The reamer is coated in a liberal amount of high sulfur content oil.   I like Do-Drill and Viper’s Venom for barrel work.

When the chamber is cut to the correct depth, the bolt will close on a “go” gauge.

And stay open on “no go”.

I need to “break” the outside edge of the chamber.  This will help feeding and prevent brass cases from being scratched.  I use a high-speed steel boring bar to perform this operation.

The chamber is finished.  Looks pretty slick doesn’t it?

The final step is to torque the barrel in place.  The threads should have a coating of anti seize to make future removal possible.  I look for about 100 foot/pounds of torque for a barrel like this.

After the barrel is installed, I check the head space one last time.   This rifle measured out at 1.631″, or .001″ above minimum SAAMI specification.  I’ll take it.

The finished rifle looks great!  But how does it shoot?

Some 25 year old factory Federal Premium, loaded with 165 Sierra GameKings, how’s that for a $40 hunting barrel?

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