Rebarrel a BLR?

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Henry McCann
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Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Henry McCann »

If anyone has any information on how to do this, I would really appreciate it. I could have 4 bolt actions re-barreled for the prices I have been quoted, by the very, very few gunsmiths that will do this.

I have searched the internet without any luck at all.

I have heard that for the newer BLR's, they lock into the receiver like AR-15's do??? I know those rifles are being rebarreled all the time, without their owners having to remortgage their homes to pay for it.

I have two BLR's from the late 70's in .308 and .358 and I really like them, but with their slim 20" barrels they feel muzzle light to me. I think BLR's in .260 Remington and .338 Federal would be lots of fun.

Thanks for your time!
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Bruce
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bruce »

Henry,

The newer BLR's w/ an alloy type frame require the frame and barrel to be replaced together. The chamber of the barrel has the cut outs for the lugs on the bolt face (like an AR), not the receiver. I am trying to verify the older ones such as the ones you have. Some sources say they can be rebarreled w/o replacing the frame, some say no. I have been told that the lug recesses on the older steel ones are part of the frame and not the barrel. If you ever get a final answer on that mystery, I would really appreciate knowing. If the steel framed models do have the bolt lug cutouts as part of the barrel, it would be a very expensive job to rebarrel. Below are the three sources that I know or have heard may do the work you want.

http://.Midwestgunworks.com
http://www.z-hat.com/
Dale Storey - gun smith
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Bigahh
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bigahh »

If you are able to replace your barrel please post it here as I would love to replace mine with a 20" Magnum contour barrel myself.
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Rexster
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Rexster »

I have read on the 24hourcampire of Z-hat rebarreling BLRs.

If one wants a standard cartridge chambering, but with a slightly heavier barrel, my .308 Takedown BLR barrel is a bit larger in diameter, at least at the muzzle, than my 1997 and 2000-something .308 BLR barrels. The difference is apparent with BLRs on the rack at a local dealer; from several feet away, the Takedowns have noticeably heavier barrels than the standard ones. I see the takedown's best feature as making it possible to clean from the breech, the forward scope-mounting option its second best feature, the heavier barrel contour as its third-best feature, and improved portability/storage as the lowest in priority.
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PaulB
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by PaulB »

The newer BLR's w/ an alloy type frame require the frame and barrel to be replaced together
Huh? Why would that be? The frame would not even be in the equation, for setting headspace.

If you want it heavier up front, just put a brake or flash suppressor on it. Even cooler would be a "can".

The new takedowns definitely have a high drool factor...
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Tycer
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Tycer »

I have moved and do not know where the blueprints are, but I have them for both the pre- and post 81s.
The pre-81 barrels are threaded and the post are heat pressed. The pre-81 bolts lock into the receiver and the post lock into the barrel.
Kind regards,
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Bill_Rights
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bill_Rights »

Henry,

My question is, re-barrel the BLR with what? Have you found a source of BLR barrels available in different calibers and contours? Or were you thinking to have someone make you a custom barrel from a blank? Or a bored and rifled blank?

I have always thought that the breech lock integral to the barrel was one of the greatest features of the BLR. BUT, it does kinda make it difficult for a guy to take a barrel blank and turn it into a BLR barrel, unless he has a furnace and forge/press (basically a steel mill) at his disposal...
Henry McCann
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Henry McCann »

Thanks for the knowledgeable replies. I'm learning a bunch from you. I'm starting to appreciate the differences from the old steel to new aluminum versions.

I love lever actions. I have had my share of Winchesters, Marlins, Savages and Browning reproductions and still have 8, not counting the two BLR's. My favorites are the Winchester 71 and 64 and early Marlin A models, with the 24" barrel, 2/3's magazine and pistol grip.

As stated previously, I really like the BLR's, but I really like the way a 24" or a 22" barrel hangs when shooting off hand. Plus, as I said before, a .260 or .338 Federal BLR sounds like lots of fun.

I just hoped to re-barrel my .358 to a 22" or 24" barrel and buy a couple of BLR's and rebarrel to .260 and .338 Federal as they are part of the .308 family, and should be a simple re-barrel job.

The more I looked into it, very few gunsmiths wanted to work on a BLR and I got prices as high as $2000 for a new custom barrel and a re-barrel job. As a friend used to say, "With enough time and money, anything can be done," but as a normal working member of society with two kids in college, $2000 is a real chunk of change.

Again thanks for all your replies, and I keep thinking that there is a way to do this, without the huge cost. Of course that means I'm counting on you and others with experience and great ideas. :wink:
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Bill_Rights
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bill_Rights »

Yes, at $2000 a re-barrel job, you can buy two new BLRs, sell the two you don't like on GunBroker and buy a third new one with the proceeds. You'd end up with three brand new rifles for the price of one (questionably) rebarreled old one and the loss of the other old one you don't like but didn't re-barrel. This is the capitalist market system telling you which way to go, loud and clear!
Bruce
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bruce »

Paul, Tycer gave the answer to your question on the newer BLR's.

Tycer, thanks for the clarification on the steel framed one's. I have been researching the history/changes/development of the BLR for almost a year and could not get that one question answered. I have found that there is a lot of incorrect information out on the BLR concerning dates, variations and changes. I have parts diagrams, repair maunuals, complete disassembly manuals etc.., but no blue prints. I did manage to find the patent information. I still have quite a few unanswered questions, but I hope to put together a good article on them. I am down to the point that I need to have a copy of all the Browning firearms catalogs from 69/70 to the present to help me with variations/caliber/stock changes etc.. If I ever get it completed, I will make it available on Lever Guns - if allowed.
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Buffboy
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Buffboy »

I don't know how barrel is attached to the frame but the bolt locks into the barrel of the pre-81 in my safe.

I suspect the reason they are so expensive to replace is that the barrel needs to have those complicated multiple locking lugs machined as part of it, with two of the four sides open (for ejection & magazine) then fitted to the receiver. I suspect when browning makes them they are machined assembled with the cutouts made after for the magazine and ejection port. It looks to be complicated machine job to replace the barrel without replacing the receiver too. There is also the complication of assembly of the action after to add to the bill.
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gundownunder
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by gundownunder »

I bought a BLR with the steel receiver that the resident smith at our club rebarrelled from 223 to 222 using a Remington barrel. I don't know what is involved in the job but he has done several like this for club members and the all up price including the rifle and the new barrel comes out at about AU$1200. I don't think he does any of the later model alloy guns.
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BenT
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by BenT »

Browning sells their BLR replacement barrels attached to a receiver only. So all internals are swapped to from old to new receiver.
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Bruce »

Henry,

There is a rebored (was 7mm) now 338 BLR that has just showed up on Gun Broker.
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Thunder50
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Thunder50 »

I would suggest reboring a 22-250 to 260rem and reboring a 308 gun to 338. You could probably buy the two guns and have them rebored for what it would cost to rebarrel one gun.
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Harold-Endowment_NRA
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Harold-Endowment_NRA »

Correction on information posted about 1 week earlier:
In response to having to replace both the barrel and receiver when the receiver is alloy:
I was told by a gunsmith that the threads have been known to break out of the alloy receivers, when trying to remove the barrels. The next statements are personal speculation, and I have not studied the manufacturing design details of firearms. That being said I have been in the machine designer business as a mechanical designer for over 30 years. The highest probability, is the Alloy Receiver is probably a high strength Aluminum Alloy. Even when they are high strength the metal will gall against steels. The torque is taken to the high end of what is allowed and there is probably too much friction, once it is tightened to the required torque, to remove the barrel without galling. Maybe sometimes the barrel breaks loose, and sometimes the friction is too great to unthread.
Corrected portion of post from 1 week earlier:
I made the statement:
I would guess a solution is to submerse the barrel in dry ice to freeze the barrel due to the male threads actually stretching the barrel length in the area of the threads. Freeze it and the length shortens to some degree. There is always a time frame one has to consider as not to allow the receiver to cool down along with the barrel. Like wise, the receiver could be heated, as the diameter of the threaded hole would increase and the length of the female threads would elongate that would allow the axial tension on the barrel in the threaded area to relax, but it seems that the barrel would be easier to freeze than heating the receiver.
The correct statement is actually reversed:
It is a little tricky for when one freezes the barrel the diameter of the threads become smaller, BUT the axial length becomes shorter also. This means the pitch between the threads also become smaller relative to the warmer receiver threads. This would cause the threads to stretch even more relative to the warmer threads in the action. Thus making the threads ever more tighter.
The barrel heats up when firing, but the receiver threads would probably not heat as fast as the barrel threads due to the time it takes for the heat to transfer. So the axial tension does become less when firing and heating the barrel. Maybe that is the solution. Fire the rifle at a high enough cyclic rate without overheating(damaging) the barrel just prior to removing the barrel. Or heat the barrel by some other means as quickly as possible so that the heat would not have time to transfer( change in time) substantially to cause the receiver threads to heat, causing elongation, at the same rate as the barrel threads .
These comments are based on general material science, and sometimes without the experiences, that I do not have with firearms manufacturing, there might be other factors that I am not realizing.

All things being said, if I were to buy a new Browning BLR, I would go with the Breakdown version IF I wanted a long term easy to replace barrel. There is still the question of cost of a new barrel.

Best Regards
Last edited by Harold-Endowment_NRA on Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by AJMD429 »

Thanks for the info. Welcome to the leverguns forum....
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model55
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by model55 »

Can a BLR in 6.5 Creedmoor be reamed to .260 Remington? Wouldn't get the barrel length wanted but would get the .260.
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by 44shooter »

Not sure but I doubt it. I think the 260 has more body taper despite being longer so the creedmoor chamber might be too big at the shoulder area
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by Old Savage »

I have an 81 BLR with a steel receiver. The lugs lock into the receiver.
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model55
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by model55 »

Wonder if a 260 variant would work or even feed.
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Re: Rebarrel a BLR?

Post by 44shooter »

Should feed a 260 fine from 243, 7-08, 308 or 358 magazines. Maybe from 257, 6.5 or 284 magazines too. I have no idea how many different magazine configurations there are in the short actions
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