I pull (unthread) rifle barrels from actions on an almost daily basis. Often, most of the most stubborn actions can be removed with the proper barrel & action vise and a little bit of effort. Sometimes more drastic measures, like cutting a relief cut or the use of heat will help. In this post, we’ll take a look at how cutting a relief cut will help remove an action.
Before we get to the work, please take a look at the following disclaimer:
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For this post, I used the following items from Brownells:
I have a fairly robust barrel vise in the shop (above). I use a Farrell barrel vise from Brownells, coupled with a 20-ton press. In the event I have a stubborn barrel, I typically apply some rosin on the barrel, grab the wrench with a long pipe and the barrel comes off. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. For the rifle we will be discussing, a very old and weathered Remington 700, I decided to take a more drastic approach.
This is an old Remington 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum that I’m in the process of rebuilding. Since I couldn’t remove the barrel in my usual method, I decided to make some relief cuts on the shoulder, near the receiver. To accomplish this, I began by mounting the barrel in the lathe.
In this case, I covered the action in tape to prevent damaging the surface finish and supported the barrel with the tailstock. My favorite lathe is a Precision Matthews PM-1440GT. I love it.
I made sure the recoil lug was resting against the chuck to prevent the action from slipping backwards.
With a 35 degree profile tool, I make a cut to relive the shoulder and release any pressure there. You can see the 35 degree cutter in the bottom left corner of the image above.
A quick trip back to the barrel vise and the action spins off easily. Time to start turning a new barrel!