Author Topic: Changing Barrels  (Read 9863 times)

Garnett

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Changing Barrels
« on: October 31, 2015, 08:45:09 AM »
A reader has asked the question:  "Is it common when changing barrels on several receivers that the top lever (with the same barrel) will be straight in alignment with the barrel on some receivers and off about 25 degrees to the right on others?"  I personally have not noticed this problem as I have only put one barrel on one action and there was no noticeable difference to the position of the top lever.  However, on the guns in my collection, the top levers are in varying positions on each.  I attribute this to the amount of,  or lack there of, use.  Does anyone have suggestions?

Mike Armstrong

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 05:48:37 PM »
Not sure I can answer this with any authority since I've not found any 219s or 220s that were off-face and loose at the breech, which is usually the bad problem associated with having an opening lever far to the left.   

Lever to the right or straight is usually considered OK, normal.  The lever placement difference would be how tight the locking lugs fit the receiver, and there is considerable variation allowable in that.   The key question is, does the barrel lock tight AT THE BREECH?  If so, it's OK. 

One way to check that is to remove the forend and see if the barrel, still locked to the receiver, will wiggle side to side or up and down under moderate hand pressure.  If there is enough wiggle to show a gap at the breech, the gun is "off face" and needs an adjustment to lock up tighter.  So far I haven't found one like that.  Yet.

I'll have to try my various barrels on my 3 guns to see if any show this with any of the barrels, although if I'd noticed it previously I would have either refitted that barrel or got rid of it if it couldn't be fitted to that particular action tightly.

If this looseness were to show up on a 219 or 220, I would expect it to be on a gun that was shot a lot with heavy loads, since that seems to be the most common cause on other break-open actions.   The logical suspect would a 220 "Trap Gun," that had been shot a lot with heavy trap loads.  But the "Trap Gun" is pretty rare, so there aren't a lot of examples to check. 

(The other cause would be a replacement barrel that was fitted to the action badly--too much elbow grease with the file or grinder or emery paper!  Ya need to go real slow, and check the fit often!  Power tools are NOT your friend in this job).

Most 219s just aren't shot enough to wear loose, in my opinion.  The people who bought them weren't usually handloaders who would shoot lots in load development or target shoots.  They shot meat and pests, and mostly didn't use them on prairie dog towns...how many shots does the average deer hunter or woodchuck hunter get in a lifetime of seasons?   Not enough to wear out a 219, I think. 

I knew a man in Idaho who had a 219 that was originally a .30-30 and had been rechambered to .30-40 Krag  to clean up a burred chamber.   He got a "meat elk" (cow or spike bull) every year for the 6 years I knew him, and still had 6 shells left from the original 20 he had bought, including the ones he'd used to sight in!

I suspect that even the most avid upland, or even duck or crow,  hunters just didn't shoot a 220 enough to wear it loose in a lifetime of shooting, even with high base ammo.   Single shots don't lend themselves to shooting up many cases of shells.

Does anybody know of a 219 or 220 that they know has been "shot loose"?  Let us know.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 05:59:04 PM by Mike Armstrong »

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2015, 06:46:30 PM »
Mike,  Many thanks for your reply.  Garnett

bob

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 12:27:05 PM »
mike,i just ck'd  both barrels on my receiver the way you described&found no wiggle at all with shotgun barrel-side to side&up&down.with the 30-30,no up&down at all&very very small movement ,side to side,it really locks up tight@ the breech-no gap@ the breech at all.i shot 20 rds.thru the 30-30 so far,with these sights @ 75 yds. I'm gett'in 1 1/2" groups. 170gr. Rem. coreloks.i did not touch these sights at all since getting the gun.i am very satisfied the way it shoots.one ?,the very 1st shot was a misfire.i waited 3 full minutes to see if it was going to fire-with it pointed to the ground the whole time-never went off,so I opened the action,the shell ejected good.i looked at the primer&there was an indent-but it didn't look too forcefull.right away I'm think'in the pin must be broke.the next 19 shells fired perfectly.do you think maybe the 1st rd. was bad or maybe the firing pin was sticky? thanks!!    bob

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 01:19:15 PM »
Bob, In the past I have had some misfires with factory ammo, but mostly old centerfire, and new .22 rimfire.  I am wondering if it had been a long time since your gun was fired and the firing pin was stuck a little with old dried grease/oil, since the rest of them fired fine.  Please keep us posted if you have any more misfires.  Best wishes, Garnett

Mike Armstrong

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 10:35:58 AM »
Agree with Garnett about the pin: I'd try a little penetrating oil in that area and blow it out good with canned air (wear safety glasses unless you like chemicals in your eye!).   Over time you never know what gunk has gooped into that area!  And DON'T dry fire it!

I've found that leaving a deer gun alone when it's shooting "minute of deer" is often the best course....and yours is!  My .30-30 will shoot a little better than than, but probably because it is scoped, not because it's more accurate inherently.  And yours will definitely hit a deer at any reasonable .30-30 range.

bob

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 07:53:34 PM »
Garnett&Mike,thanks for your replies.i figured they had to be gunk in there,so I removed the stock to take a look at everything&it was pretty dirty in there,so blew air thru&that seems to clean it up.everything in there looked good to me,but then this is all new to me i took pics to show you,i send them soon.you are so right mike,this firearm is excellent for the deer hunt'in where I hunt here in pa.-60 yards here is a very long shot.i hunt the crabapple thickets.could you guys tell me,with the pics I sent before,since there's no markings @ all on either side of the receiver,is this receiver a model 219 or a model 220?  hank you much for all this great info!!    bob

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 09:04:20 PM »
Bob, So far in my research, I have not found a Utica 219 that was unmarked.  All I have seen are marked -219- on the lower right rear of the frame.  This leads me to believe your gun is a 220 with a rifle barrel.  I can't remember if we discussed before, but do the numbers & letters under the barrel match the numbers/letters on the top left inside of the frame?  If they don't match it would be a good indication that the barrel has been added.  If they do match, then it could have started out as a "Utility" gun and someone lost the shot gun barrel.  I have my 3 "Utility" sets packed right now.  I will check them to see how the frames are marked on the outside and get back with you.  Glad you got the gunk cleaned out.  If you have not already done so, a method I use when I don't want to disassemble an action, is to spray "Kroil" penetrating oil in side, let it soak over night, and then use the compressed air. 

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 03:12:00 PM »
Bob, I have checked all 3 of my "Utility" gun sets.  One is the early gun with the thin trigger and steel trigger guard.  The other two have the alloy guards.   All three have the -219- mark on the lower rear right side.  Hope this helps some.  Garnett

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 03:57:39 PM »
I have had a couple of other readers ask me about changing barrels and until now I had only done it one time.  I recently purchased a  2ND barrel that has been re chambered from .22 Hornet to .219 Zipper.  This is an early flanged barrel made at Chicopee Falls.  It was so loose on the first action I tried it on, it would not even lock in place.  With the second action it locked fairly tight but would wiggle.  I then tried it on my early Utica "Utility" gun action and it locked up perfectly.  However, the forearm won't lock in place so I will need to find another forearm with the early milled attachment metal and get it fitted to the Zipper barrel. 

Garnett

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Re: Changing Barrels
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 11:52:30 AM »
I carried the extra forearm to my machinist friend and he perfectly fitted it to the .219 Zipper barrel without any alteration to the original receiver.  So...now I have an original 2 barrel "Utility" gun set with an extra .219 barrel and forearm.