re-barreling a Tikka?

Jefe's Dope

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  • Dec 20, 2017
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    I'd like to re-barrel my Tikka T3 action. Currently has a 6.5 CM and would like to move to a 6 CM. I have no idea what re-barreling a Tikka, or any action for that matter, and need information and advice.

    So, let me know what to do to re-barrel a Tikka. I'd like to keep it as simple and as inexpensive as possible as once I get to a certain price point, I'd probably just move into a custom action/barrel. But that is not a discussion for today. Please, keep it to Tikka specifically today.

    I've 'heard' it's difficult to remove a factory Tikka barrel. I've seen some "pre-fit" options, but I don't really know what that means exactly. I've seen Criterion and Patriot Valley Arms and their bolt nut. Maybe someone can explain what that is exactly.

    Just would like to re-barrel my current action into a 6 CM and I should be GTG. Pretty sure my AICS .308 mags will also work with the 6mm like the 6.5CM.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Ckleeves

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    Prefits are already chambered and ready to thread on. If you took your factory barrel off you would basically have a shouldered prefit. You can buy shouldered prefits (no barrel nut, looks exactly like the current barrel) or barrel nut as you have seen. Any gunsmith should be able to take the factory barrel off and put on whichever you go with if you do the prefit route for pretty cheap. It’s a very simple job but if your only going to do it once it’s probably cheaper to just pay a local smith vs buying a the tools needed.

    Prefits are the way to go for Tikka’s as long as you can get one in the chambering you want. Your options are more limited vs buying a reamer setup exactly how you want. But you would be pretty hard pressed to buy a blank, have it chambered/threaded/installed for what you can get a prefit for. Fwiw I have two tikka prefits (proof) and both of them shoot absolutely lights out. When my current Tikka 6.5 saum barrel gives out I’m gonna grab a 6.5 prc prefit.
     
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    JBoomhauer

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    Feb 16, 2019
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    I have rebarreled my tikka, the barrel came off with a 3 foot cheater pipe and one solid whack with a dead blow. Really nothing to it.

    Tikkas are very consistent. If you buy a set of go/nogo gages to verify a prefit is definitely the way to go.

    Once the factory barrel is off a barrel change only takes a couple minutes.
     

    JakeM

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    Apr 24, 2019
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    It’s not hard. You will need a barrel vise, external action wrench, internal wrench, torque wrench, and go and no go gages. It’s not hard at all, unless you don’t use and external action wrench and a hammer to get the factory barrel off.
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    ceekay1

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    Just pay a local gunsmith the few bucks or whatever to remove the OEM barrel, cheaper than buying the tools you'd need to do it yourself (my local 'smith charged me $35 and it took him 10 minutes).

    I'd actually recommend a barrel-nut over a shouldered prefit: less expensive, less lead time, tighter headspace (usually, as you set it yourself), and less tools.

    If you've got a decent bench vise, the only other thing you'd need is a go-gauge (6.5 creedmoor & 6mm creedmoor use the same gauge btw, use tape on the go-gauge's case head as your "no-go gauge").

    Anthony can you fix you up:


    This is a Howa (but same idea):

     
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    FisherT&C

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    I rebarrel them, it's not a real big deal. Worst case scenario the factory barrel has to be relief cut to be removed.
    I would charge $300 with muzzle threads. I have 6mm 7 twist Lilja in stock for $365, #8 contour 6lbs. I think I also have a Preferred Barrel Sendero 7 twist $265, 4.5lbs., damn good barrels for the money. Let me know if I can do anything for you.

    Chase
     
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    srt-4_uk

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    Just pay a local gunsmith the few bucks or whatever to remove the OEM barrel, cheaper than buying the tools you'd need to do it yourself (my local 'smith charged me $35 and it took him 10 minutes).

    I'd actually recommend a barrel-nut over a shouldered prefit: less expensive, less lead time, tighter headspace (usually, as you set it yourself), and less tools.

    If you've got a decent bench vise, the only other thing you'd need is a go-gauge (6.5 creedmoor & 6mm creedmoor use the same gauge btw, use tape on the go-gauge's case head as your "no-go gauge")
    Less tools?
    Shouldered barrel needs an action wrench, barrel vise, torque wrench.
    Barrel nut needs barrel nut wrench, vise, torque wrench, go gauge.
     
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    ceekay1

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    Less tools?
    Shouldered barrel needs an action wrench, barrel vise, torque wrench.
    Barrel nut needs barrel nut wrench, vise, torque wrench, go gauge.

    The OP said "inexpensive as possible" and a barrel vise that isn't a piece of shit is at least $100 (more like $250-400 for a legit one from SAC or LRI), and an internal action wrench is at least $80.

    A barrel nut wrench is just any normal wrench.

    Also, JMHO/YMMV, but really, a torque wrench is optional unless the barrel is going to be going on and off. If it's going to get put on and left on until it's dead, then a calibrated arm and bicep work well enough and are free.

    A lot of guys even think the go-gauge is optional if you've already got sized-brass... but I tend to feel like brass is too soft to depend on, so I still think the go-gauge is a good idea.
     

    308pirate

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    use tape on the go-gauge's case head as your "no-go gauge").

    Excessive headspace is far more dangerous than not enough. For that reason alone, there's no substitute for a proper no-go gauge.

    A fired case trimmed to max length can serve as a field expedient go gage, so long as the bolt doesn't close on a no-go gauge.

    But at the end of the day proper tools are cheap compared to everything else in this game, so get a complete set of headspace gauges.
     
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    Hickswr

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    Just went through this exact exercise.
    Stainless McGowen shouldered pre-fit $357 shipped and paid local gunsmith $60 to install it. Very please with the results.
     
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    srt-4_uk

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    The OP said "inexpensive as possible" and a barrel vise that isn't a piece of shit is at least $100 (more like $250-400 for a legit one from SAC or LRI), and an internal action wrench is at least $80.

    A barrel nut wrench is just any normal wrench.

    Also, JMHO/YMMV, but really, a torque wrench is optional unless the barrel is going to be going on and off. If it's going to get put on and left on until it's dead, then a calibrated arm and bicep work well enough and are free.

    A lot of guys even think the go-gauge is optional if you've already got sized-brass... but I tend to feel like brass is too soft to depend on, so I still think the go-gauge is a good idea.
    Sorry. I thought when you said less tools, you meant less tools.
     

    rothgyr

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    I've done two Tikkas with McGowen shouldered barrels, and have put on a second hand CTR barrel on another. I used a Viper Vise mounted to a wall stud in my basement, an action wrench, and headspace gauges. Taking barrels off of T3 Lite models is a PITA since the barrel taper begins immediately at the shoulder.

    Cost of tools was about $75ish for guages, $65 Wheeler Action Wrench, and $75 for a Viper Vise.
     
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    KnowNothing256

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    Agreed that a barrel nut system is less tools if a smith removes the old barrel and you aren’t using a torque wrench. Get the barrel nut with flats, instead of the Savage style, then you can use a crescent wrench.

    Barrel nut tools: external action wrench secured somehow, crescent wrench, headspace gauges. Willing to grant that a vise to clamp the action wrench could count as another tool, however it’s a reasonable assumption that someone who’s taking on some home gunsmithing should already own a bench vise and crescent wrench.

    Prefit tools: barrel vise secured somehow, internal action wrench, socket adapter, torque wrench (or socket wrench), headspace gauges.

    Despite this fairly silly debate, however, OP should go with the shouldered prefits if they ever expect to do another barrel swap. Roughly the same speed unless you have to fiddle with headspace on the barrel nut option, and I always end up having to fiddle. Prefits are “crank on, verify acceptable headspace, and go shoot.” I wouldn’t worry about the “longer” headspace mentioned earlier, we’re talking 2-3 thousandths and your cases will grow once only and then you just jump shoulders 2 thou like always.
     
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    rothgyr

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    Agreed that a barrel nut system is less tools if a smith removes the old barrel and you aren’t using a torque wrench. Get the barrel nut with flats, instead of the Savage style, then you can use a crescent wrench.

    Barrel nut tools: external action wrench secured somehow, crescent wrench, headspace gauges. Willing to grant that a vise to clamp the action wrench could count as another tool, however it’s a reasonable assumption that someone who’s taking on some home gunsmithing should already own a bench vise and crescent wrench.

    Prefit tools: barrel vise secured somehow, internal action wrench, socket adapter, torque wrench (or socket wrench), headspace gauges.

    Despite this fairly silly debate, however, OP should go with the shouldered prefits if they ever expect to do another barrel swap. Roughly the same speed unless you have to fiddle with headspace on the barrel nut option, and I always end up having to fiddle. Prefits are “crank on, verify acceptable headspace, and go shoot.” I wouldn’t worry about the “longer” headspace mentioned earlier, we’re talking 2-3 thousandths and your cases will grow once only and then you just jump shoulders 2 thou like always.
    I can attest to what you've said for shouldered prefits and headspace. I put a CTR barrel on one of my Tikkas, and my brass grew to fit. I only noticed when I switched barrels and put the CTR barrel on again, this time a bit tighter, and that brass was a crush fit now and I had to FL sized them a couple if thousandths. Virgin brass worked fine though.

    Last rebarrel I did, I sent another receiver to the smith and it headspaced perfectly on his first chamber cut. I've done a .260 AI and .223 shouldered prefit, and both headspaced fine. Freaking Tikkas, man.

    I like to have a barrel vise regardless. Comes in handy for mounting muzzle devices, etc. I feel like I end up using it more than just a one time use tool, but yeah - not 100% necessary if you have enough ingenuity. I used to swap AR barrels at an apartment with a $14 mini vise mounted to a steel porch railing. Ghetto AF, but it worked.
     
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    Sogan

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    Find yourself a massive hammer or a massive leverage bar to get the needed torque to pop the old one off.
     
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