FN Rebarrel: 30-06 to 6.5x55

Muir

Well-Known Member
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
 
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Brithunter

Well-Known Member
Luck with the weather, of course!:D~Muir

Ahhhh well you would not want to be trying to sight in a rifle outside here right now. Quite strong bitter winds out there. damn it's picked up more so on the A.J.Parker 7.62mm Wind Calculator it would be Very Strong so firing up my field would require 2 minutes of windage right now. I am afraid the old 303 MkV11 books say 4 minutues of windage required. Although the sun is starting to show through it's not noticeably any warmer at about 40 degrees F without the wind chill factor. No snow here as yet and no frost last night.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
It was -2F yesterday morning with a -30F wind chill factor. I'm hoping for a little bit of warmth today in expectation of snow. Should hit +30F with just enough time for a few shots before dark this evening.~Muir
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
Ahhh well Muir you will live in silly climes :british:.

Our weather is temperate but only due to the Gulf Stream. Take that away and they taught us at school we would freeze up.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I got out long enough to do a rough zero of the rifle. Using PPU ammo (139 grain) it shot just under half inch at 50M by headlamp, with four cutting each other. I think the accuracy question is solved. The extractor is still sticky. I'll be attending that tonight.~Muir

PS: I'd post a pic, but no matter how many times I resize a photo down I'm told I've exceeded my quota...
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I am pleased. As you are well aware, home gunsmithing with some experience behind it is pretty rewarding. The loaded PPU ammo has just come to Cabela's in the city. Where Winchester un primed 6.5x55 brass is $65/100, the PPU loaded ammo is $75/100! To heck with buying Winny brass! Especially since this seems to shoot so well. Dirty, tho....:D

I'll shoot it again this weekend.~Muir
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
Gunsmithing ...................................... hmmm I may have been a machinst but gunsmith nope that is a whole different ball game. Reaming a chamber is just reaming a tapered hole and at one firm I did thousands of those over the years to accept a clutch yoke. Turning a threading are std procedures however as mine had no sights I did not have to get into the indexing of sights or ribs now that's getting into the realms of gunsmithing.

Despite having made many thousands of gun parts I am not a gunsmith. I was just minding the machines in some cases operating them in others of course that was all section 7 fully auto stuff. SA80 and browning .50 cal. Funny thing is that people think that Royal Ordernance make this stuff ................................ nope they sub it all out. We also made bits for mine detonators and grenades including the shrapnel for anti personal grenades. The biggest laugh was that the shrapnel failed inspection it it had any burrs left on it :cuckoo:.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I was lucky enough to have both tool and die training and gunsmithing trianing. Let's see how this photo fares....


This was the one group I got off. I measured it and it's 5/8" CTC, 5 shots. Used Photo Bucket.~Muir

PS: And it snowed again last night and the temps are around 0 F. No more shooting for a while. I did sort out the extractor problem, tho...
 
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Thar

Well-Known Member
Nice one Muir, I would much rather read about somebody using their own initiative and doing some home gunsmithing even if they are an ex-pro smith than a story of how I sent my rifle to XXX company and they fitted XXX companies barrel and they made a fantastic job, although how the individual can tell what sort of job they have done or not without the right background and tools I don’t know.

She looks a shooter, any photos of the rifle? I see we share a common trade, I served my time as a tool and jig fitter.

ATB

Tahr
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
Don't encourage him or he will tell you about the latest effort, at 100 yards all lit up by his car headlights during a snowstorm :D, well done Cuz

John
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Yeah! You should talk. My dear Highland Cuz shot a prairiedog at 200 yards, in the head, in a blustery cross wind with (God help me) MY rifle and I still haven't heard the end of it.:rolleyes:

Yes. I have been trying to shoot at night. I went out again tonight with the FN 6.5. It was (bitter) cold, clear, and moonlit and I shot off of a front rest under the magazine floorplate with the rifle otherwise supported by my forhand and shoulder. The PPU 139 grain shot 1.5 to 1.75 inches. Two of the three always landed within an inch with the other out high right. I'm certain that is me. I'm really looking forward to reloading for this rifle. The extractor is 100% sorted now...~Muir
 

harrygrey382

Well-Known Member
great stuff, I love reading about what you can do at home. Any chance of a picture of your barrel vice and action wrench sometime? If my HVA doesn't end up getting sent over (DHL's section 5 contact is taking months to look at my export papers) I'm toying with building a sportier out of one of the many cheap (ish) ex mil VZ24s I've seen here. Not for economy but for satisfaction as I'm sure you could tell me is the only reason!
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
Yeah! You should talk. My dear Highland Cuz shot a prairiedog at 200 yards, in the head, in a blustery cross wind with (God help me) MY rifle and I still haven't heard the end of it.:rolleyes:
Mirage, don't forget the mirage other wise you make it sound easy :lol:

John
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Braggart!

I took the FN out this afternoon when I should have been doing laundry. I couldn't resist shooting the gun in daylight!

Three shot groups off of double bags ran as follows:

PPU 139 grain SP: 5/8", 3/4", and 9/16" in that order.
Federal 140 grain: 1/2". 7/8" and 9/16" in that order.

Three shot groups over a single bag, holding the butt against my shoulder and the foreend in my left hand, were 1.5" and 1.25 inches, two of each.

I am very pleased. Now I need to work up my own loads! ~Muir
 

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