switch barrel Sauer

Switch-Barrel Travel Guns

 I have been wondering if there’s any advantage to buying a take-down rifle with interchangeable barrels. Today it seems to be the fashion in Europe that most of their hunting rifles have this feature. On an African safari one could carry say a Blaser or a Sauer with a scoped .300 Win. Mag. barrel and another scoped barrel in .375 H&H for the big stuff. Also, the rifle could be packed in a shorter case, making it easier to get through the airport. What’s your idea about this?
– John Dewey

 Sounds like a pious idea. Sure, you can buy a real “takedown” rifle with interchangeable barrels for about four or five times the price. Aside from the supposed advantage of switching do they work any better? No, and I have never been able to see the sense of different barrels on a single hunt, either. In Africa, the wisest choice is to be armed for the largest game, whether eland or Cape buffalo. Other rifles can be taken apart and put together and work just fine. On a trip to Namibia I took the stock off my Winchester Model 70 in .270 Weatherby Magnum, screwed the triggerguard assembly back on the action and put it in a takedown case. I also removed the scope in its Leupold Q/D rings. When I reassembled the outfit after arriving in camp, it shot 1/2 inch to the left. So I left it alone. And I also took down my Mark X .338 when I hunted in Alaska. Particularly good in this respect is the Ruger 77, with its slanted recoil lug, but I’m sure that any Mauser-type rifle that’s had the front end pillar-bedded in a synthetic stock can be just as easily taken down and reassembled without any loss of zero.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.