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Deeredriver

Switch Barrel Rifles

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I'm struggling to justify the cost of an AI AT rifle, the main benefit 'on paper' would by the ability to run it as a multi caliber ie save on the cost of optics.

Does anybody actually swap barrels regularly on their AI or other makes?

Is it practical? Or is too much faff with checking zero.

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I've used a switch-barrel rifle (Sauer 200) for almost thirty years. In my experience if barrel changing procedures are followed strictly in order and done properly there is no problem in retaining zero. My rifle has two barrels (.243 & .308) and two scopes fitted on Apel swing-off mounts, I have in the past shot a twenty-round group swapping barrels/scopes every five rounds and producing a group of around 1".

 

My advice - go for it!

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Yes I regularly switch barrels with my AT between .308 and 6.5 CM. At 150 yards there is no change horizontally between the two calibres but the .308 requires .25 moa more elevation. Barrel changes are completed in under two minutes and repeatable every time.

 

I always change during range sessions and before stalking depending on the need. It's perfect, one scope, one trigger and two barrels. Built to last, great to shoot and very accurate out to 800+ Yards.

 

Yes they are on the heavy side but man up and treat yourself. You won't be disappointed and it will put a smile on your face. The only regret is not owning one sooner.

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We have a DTA and a Schultz and Larsen switch barrel rifle for target shooting and hunting respectively. Highly recommended. One trigger / scope to learn, then swap out the calibres as per application. Big heavy bullets where needed, or small fast zippers where those are more appropriate...

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I also say do it!!

 

I've come to the same conclusion as yourself, simply the cost of additional barrels vs the cost of entirely new setups.

The additional benefit of a switch barrel gun is that the platform is entirely consistent, so muscle memory (e.g. Cheek weld, grip etc) is exactly the same - you don't need to re-remember the nuances between each rifle, you just know the one very well.

 

I'm currently in the process of having a switch barrel gun made. Defiance Mutant XL (Magnum size action) with two bolts (.308w and .338), Eliseo RTM tube gun chassis with separate RTS lower so I can quickly swap between short and .338L AICS mags. I've got 4 Bartlein barrels, two 6.5 and two .338. In future, I simply buy more barrels and will be able to shoot anything with the same rim as a .308 or .338. Didn't see the point in getting a 3rd Magnum bolt as the .338 Norma will rule any of them.

 

With this setup, all I need is an action wrench, barrel vice and a decent torque wrench to swap between a 6.5x47L and .338 Norma Mag in under 5 mins. Just apply some EP grease to clean threads (barrel & action) then torque the barrels to the same setting as the smith specified and you're good to go!

Simply zero the scope, shoot both barrels at 100m, note the come up for each barrel, do your drop charts based on the 100m zero and away you go. No need to re zero scope when changing barrels.

 

TBH, dunno why I didn't do this earlier and why more people don't do the same. Though, owning lots of different types of gun is just fun

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It would be interesting to compare these views with the answers if the question was the other way round ?? i.e. how many people have a switch barrel and never bother

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I would guess people with one barrel!

 

POI difference is small, at most normal distances

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I have a switch barrel 243 / 308 only one scope (PM2). Zero is repeatable, can't remember how many clicks up & down but got it written down. For 3 years now I've fallen into the can't be bothered category. If I had a second scope the I might be a bit more bothered. Personally regardless of the cost, 2 rifles will always get more use.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Keep them coming as I'm still undecided.

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I too would add that its a good idea. I only shoot targets so Ive a Target Rifle setup with a 32" Border .308 Win barrel, and an F class setup with a 34" Bartlein in .284 Win. on a Paramount action and a Gemini System stock (20 moa rail + Vortex Golden Eagle scope in F class guise)

Very quick and easy to set up, it'll save you a lot on money in the end as my stock alone is just shy of £2k.

All the best

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Not an AI user, so can't comment on the ease of swapping barrels. I've got a DTA and I run three barrels in it (260,308 & 338).

The system, if used with a mind to consistency in the procedure, can give excellent results. I regularly take all three calibres to a range day. Once you've sorted the difference in poi for the different calibres using the same zero, it's just a matter of applying it.

It gives me a choice of calibres, depending on what,why and where I'm shooting, all in one drag bag.

 

Benefits

Don't have to invest in 3 rifles.

Don't have to learn 3 sets of triggers/optics etc

Don't have 3 rifles to drag to the range

 

Downside

I now shoot 3 times as much ammo

It's opened up all sorts of calibre options, with minimal investment, now I want them all!

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