With hunting season over and no further need for a loaner rifle in 30-06, I finally pulled the barrel on my Model 1950 FN Commercial and installed a Wilson pre turned, pre chambered barrel I'd purchased from a friend of mine when his plans changed earlier this year. The original barrel had been shortened to 18 inches and while accurate, it was one of my least accurate augh-sixes and I have had the yen for a 6.5x55 on a modern action. Out to the garage it went.
I started by making a hacksaw cut around the circumference of the barrel shank, a hair's breadth (literally) from the receiver. My hope was that this would relieve much of the pressure against the receiver ring but it really didn't help. My light barrel vise was replaced by my armory vise in short order and even then it took two men and a boy to break that action loose. When it let go, it did so with a CRACK! I cleaned the threads in the receiver and screwed the action onto the new barrel which I'd lightly cinched in the blocks. I worked it gently into place, then set the barrel into place with a quick, short swing of the action wrench. This technique usually places about 30 pounds pressure which I find to be just fine. I didn't have a headspace gage for 6.5 but I had some new, unprimed brass and some factory ammo. Both gave slight pressure when the bolt was closed. A piece of FL sized brass slipped in without hesitation. Close enough.
The extractor needed stoning to provide for smooth operation and the barrel channel was opened up. I guess I shoot it tomorrow if the weather holds. Wish me luck! ~Muir