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Top four "switch caliber" precision rifle systems?

HenryTheAce

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I've also owned both. For me the AI was better in every regard. Sold the DT long ago. Are the DT mags any better these days?
No, mags are still the same. The AI mags are light years better. To me the AI is better in every regard except for barrel swaps and compactness.

Whenever I’m shooting, running that AI bolt gets me slightly aroused every time… running the desert tech bolt makes me wish it was like an AI.
 
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StLPro2A

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How fast is the switching? I mean technically a Savage is a switch calber. Most modern custom actions can switch calibers in about an hour.
Barrett MRADs switch in 60 seconds once you become familiar with the procedure. There may be some high end rifles that will match the MRAD accuracy, but I have not found any that will surpass the MRAD. Like them well enough that I have the full color rainbow in MRADs, including the MK22. Deployment Kit with 3 calibers. Have all the calibers ever offered by Barrett, incuding the discontinued 7MMRM, except for the 260REM.....too close to 6.5 Creedmore.
 
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MachinistND

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Desert tech SRS system
I like my desert tech. Im shooting a 6.5 creed and a 338 lapua. Super easy barrel swap. But after shooting a prs match with it I have bought a bartlein barrel in 6.5 creed. Factory barrel copper fouls like crazy. If the new barrel doesnt shoot like I like, Im building a prs rifle on a Masterpiece Arms chassis. Or something similiar that I can just order a barrel already chambered and headspaced. Screw it on and shoot
 

Bungi

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Will the Seekins HIT rifle eventually be added to this list?

It looks to me like the Seekins switch-barrel system is similar to the "West Texas Ordnance" system

I guess we will find out
 

GoferDog

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How fast is the switching? I mean technically a Savage is a switch calber. Most modern custom actions can switch calibers in about an hour.
An hour? Did you pull that out if your arse? Have you ever changed a barrel?
 

Boatninja

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I have only dealt with Savage barrel nut and American Rifle company Barloc. The ARC system is easy to do in the field with nothing more than a Allen wrench and headspace gauge. Savage slightly harder with a barrel nut wrench required along with action wrench. I switch between several of the Creed variations-.22, 6mm, and 6.5. Lately I have found myself gravitating towards the 6mm for most everything, hunting hogs to whitetails and recreational target shooting, paper at short range and steel at long range, though I gotta say the .22 creed is a blast as long as the bullets stay together.
 

264win

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  • Oct 15, 2008
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    To answer the OP question,
    To me
    the Mrad is #1
    With the AI a close second.
    Since Barrett doesn’t accommodate lefty’s
    Buy an AI and be happy 👍
    Very few people who buy an AI regret it.
    And unlike a custom rifle, if you sell your AI later you won’t lose your a$$ on the secondary market.
     

    crice108

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    I have the Cadex Kraken with a 6.5 Creedmore and a 300 Norma Mag and am very please don't know if they make it in left hand or not. It takes about 5 minutes to change it over.
     

    SpaceDog

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    Cadex Kraken its amazing system...
     

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    Smokin7s

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    I feel like people use the 2.5 second time frame as an example of how simple it is rather than a handy feature of ultra fast barrel changes.

    Biggest advantage to such a simple system is that you can do it in the field with almost no tools.
    I have wrench flats machined into my Tikka barrels and can/have changed barrels in the field, with a torque wrench and a crows foot.

    It's not like it's something many people do on a regular basis but if you were to do so the AI would be the way to go.
    Why are you changing barrels in the field? Why not just take all the rifle you need?
     

    mkollman74

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  • Nov 5, 2009
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    No, mags are still the same. The AI mags are light years better. To me the AI is better in every regard except for barrel swaps and compactness.

    Whenever I’m shooting, running that AI bolt gets me slightly aroused every time… running the desert tech bolt makes me wish it was like an AI.
    The mags were a key factor in me dumping the DT. They were pretty bad, and back then they were struggling to produce a 10 rounder. I do give ‘em props for producing a lefty though.
     

    Familydude

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    I have a Zeus QC, an Impact and an Origin. Of the 3, the Zeus is the “easiest” and “fastest” to swap. No need to remove the BA from the chassis or remove the scope however, as has been stated, pre-fits aren’t crazy difficult either. Takes a couple more tools, more disassembly and a couple extra minutes, but if you know righty-tighty, lefty-loosey, you’re halfway there.

    I’ve never had the need to quickly swap out a barrel or, swap one out in field conditions, so they all work for me. I do appreciate the fewer steps with the Zeus.
     

    beetroot

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    Why are you changing barrels in the field? Why not just take all the rifle you need?
    Because I was testing the RTZ of my barrels, rather than doing to range trips and it was easy to do.

    As I said it probably not something I would do often (if ever) but if you don't need and action and/or barrel vice then its a possibility.
     

    reubenski

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    I record the offsets between barrels and just dial it without rezeroing or slipping the turret to zero. And then I just use a hold over reticle for all elevation and wind. The Schmidt locking turrets are nice for this application. I usually pick my main competition barrel for the baseline zero so when I have that barrel on I have all the "tools" available.

    I think the simplest and fastest form of switch barrels are muzzle flats torqued with a crescent wrench on an action with an integral recoil lug. The AI AT/ AX is an equal competitor.

    I really like switch caliber/ barrels but trying to go from .223 to 338LM in the same rifle is getting a little impractical. Chances are I don't want my 223 configured in the same rifle size as an ELR gun, not mention the mag kits galore. My separation is short action/ long action Mag.
     

    beetroot

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    How long does it take you guys to rezero your scopes after changing calibers? Like 6.5CM to 338LM? Which scopes are the easiest?
    As above you can just put the offsets into you ballistic calculator, if you only hold for wind dial out the windage and the elevation offset will be addressed as normal.

    My Delta Stryker has tool less zero turrets so it only takes 30 seconds to rezero if you know what the offsets are.

    I know the offsets for 3 different rifles and 2 barrels on my Tikka (the base zero is from my 22lr). With a decent mount you can switch a scope all over the place and zero will be spot on. If i get lost or screw it I can just rezero the scope on my 22 and be back to a known starting point.

    You might ask why I do this?
    Simply out i like trying out different things and having multiple scope combinations is surprisingly easy and fun.
    Also has advantage if I buy a new scope i can just zero it on my 22lr then know the offsets for a different rifle so don't need to waste centrefire ammo zeroing a new scope.
     

    beetroot

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    Also means can use a high power scope for load/ammo testing, then use a LVPO or lower power scope on a hunting rifle or use a lower power scope for shits and giggles.
     

    GIXXER2000

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    I have the AI-PSR (AXMC) and the AI-AT. I have had Dave Tooley make 9 different and the all shot 1/3 Moa or better. The barrel swap take less than a minute and return to zero is excellent. The AI is probably the easiest to get barrels for many smiths will spin up up one. Eurooptics and MileHigh shooting both stock a good selection of barrels.
     

    Temper

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    How long does it take you guys to rezero your scopes after changing calibers? Like 6.5CM to 338LM? Which scopes are the easiest?
    Switching from 25x47 to 223 is only .5MRAD right for me. I don’t even have to touch my elevation knob.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    I have a Zeus QC, an Impact and an Origin. Of the 3, the Zeus is the “easiest” and “fastest” to swap. No need to remove the BA from the chassis or remove the scope however, as has been stated, pre-fits aren’t crazy difficult either. Takes a couple more tools, more disassembly and a couple extra minutes, but if you know righty-tighty, lefty-loosey, you’re halfway there.

    I’ve never had the need to quickly swap out a barrel or, swap one out in field conditions, so they all work for me. I do appreciate the fewer steps with the Zeus.
    That's just it, I don't think anyone needs to change on the fly really, but taking the BA out of the chassis and all that goes with that(if you have some different rails and such it's that much more to do) isn't all that fun to do. All that stuff and always relying on a torque wrench (which I had a brand new one not click and I over torqued it) is why I wanted a Zues. You don't have to fool with all that. With my beloved kahles scopes, resetting the zero stop is so easy, I am not concerned about rezeroing after, even though I'm not actually sure it will need to be done. I guess when I get the action I will see.

    Also, I was told by someone who knows very well what they are talking about "not to change barrels in the field ", do it at home or in the shop where there is not dust and all that. Just putting it out there...
     
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    reubenski

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    Also, I was told by someone who knows very well what they are talking about "not to change barrels in the field ", do it at home or in the shop where there is not dust and all that. Just putting it out there...

    Don't change barrels in a field, huh? Hmmm 🤔 how about a meadow? Or maybe a peaceful glade? Tailgate of a truck?

    But seriously. You and your confidant are overselling it a little. Common sense dictates that maybe you don't pull your bolt out in a sandstorm and lay it on the ground, but swapping your barrel out of doors is certainly not foolish.

    Also, maybe use scope caps and throw a poncho over your rifle in a rainstorm. If it needs to be said...
     

    candyx

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    Between AXSR and MRAD which would be the better purchase, not really worrying about the speed of changing barrels out. Mainly 338 lapua use and maybe a 308, would like to try 6.5 but I don't want my sexually be scrutinize.
     
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    reubenski

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    Between AXSR and MRAD which would be the better purchase, not really worrying about the speed of changing barrels out. Mainly 338 lapua use and maybe a 308, would like to try 6.5 but I don't want my sexually be scrutinize.
    How about your spelling and grammar? 😝
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    Don't change barrels in a field, huh? Hmmm 🤔 how about a meadow? Or maybe a peaceful glade? Tailgate of a truck?

    But seriously. You and your confidant are overselling it a little. Common sense dictates that maybe you don't pull your bolt out in a sandstorm and lay it on the ground, but swapping your barrel out of doors is certainly not foolish.

    Also, maybe use scope caps and throw a poncho over your rifle in a rainstorm. If it needs to be said...
    Well..,, this dude makes most of the Zeus barrels, so I'm gonna go ahead and listen listen to him... I'm not suggesting there will be some catastrophic results if changed in the field, just as a SOP, I'd do it inside.
     
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    GIXXER2000

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    AI just because they are barrels available for it from many sources. You can easily get a vast number of barrel contours and calibers for both the large and small shank AI's
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    It's because you're using a Terminus
    I don't get it.... I've not heard anything bad about terminus ever I don't think... I talk to Joel pretty regular and he's always been very upfront and straight up. Am I missing something?
     

    reubenski

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    Long Range 338

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    Factory multi caliber options

    -AI
    -MRAD
    -Cadex
    -DT

    AI is an amazing system and has tons of support, making it the go to.

    The MRAD should have been miles ahead of the AI in popularity but Barrett insists on neglecting the civilian market.

    Don’t overlook Cadex, they build some serious next level equipment. But no support from other builders in the barrel side of things.

    Desert Tech has pretty good support and seems a nice system, some of us just can’t get past the bullpup configuration.

    Sako has the M10 but it’s like finding unicorn dust to get the barrel swaps new. Perhaps in Europe this is better.

    Steyr has their multi caliber set up as well and it looks amazing but has the same issues as the Sako.

    If you want to do your own, the custom action market is amazing right now you just have to pick which action and treat it like a multi caliber platform. ARC, Bighorn, Terminus, Seekins, etc., etc.

    You can also do it as mentioned earlier with a REM 700, Savage, Howa, and use barrel nuts instead of shouldered barrels.

    The complete systems offer a lot of value and are very quick to change out. The custom options offer infinite options but won’t be made to swap calibers without removing everything from the stock/chassis (yes there are exceptions but I’m speaking in a generic sense here). It is something you could build a custom around.

    EDIT: I said Sig made a multi cal, I meant to say Steyr.
     
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    richthe1

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    Between AXSR and MRAD which would be the better purchase, not really worrying about the speed of changing barrels out. Mainly 338 lapua use and maybe a 308, would like to try 6.5 but I don't want my sexually be scrutinize.
    That’s a great question - I’ve been trying to decide myself. For 338 lapua you’d probably be great either way.

    The AXSR looks like the better option overall. The only thing holding me back on it is I read of a trigger issue. (https://precisionrifleblog.com/2020/08/16/accuracy-international-axsr-review/). From my understanding they’re using a small firing pin, which is great if you want to use it for any short action PRS stuff.

    The MRAD looks good as well, but the cons are:
    -Large firing pin.
    -Barrel/conversion availability. One example, Barrett’s factory 308 barrels are 1/8 twist whereas I’d prefer 1/10. Same with their 300 NM. They have barrel maker kits for that though.
     
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    Bacarrat

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    Does anyone have barrel conversions for the MRAD? I know it can be done, but I have't seen any gunsmith make barrels available for their rifles.
     

    FjallJager

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    I have owned multiple Blaser R8's, Blaser R93's and Sauer 202s.

    The utility of switch barrel is interesting, but it depends on what your actual specific use is.

    I find that I'd much rather have individual dedicated rifles.