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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a nice Winchester Model 70 XTR Sporter in .30-06. It's a great looking and great shooting rifle, but I have other 06's and am getting bored with this one.

Rather than sell it, I've been toying with the idea of having it re-barreled to another caliber for target and varmint work. The idea is to convert the rifle to something in a smaller, milder caliber that has a reputation for accurate shooting.

I've always been intrigued with the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. If I read my books correctly, the head diameter of the 6.5x55 cartridge is just slightly larger than that of the .30-06. Does this mean that a competent gunsmith should be able to open the .30-06 bolt up to take the Swedish?

Does the Model 70 XTR's action warrant such a conversion, or do I need something of better quality and manufacture to realize the potential of the Swedish 6.5? I've heard that even some of the old military rifles in 6.5x55 were tack drivers, and thus am inclined to believe my Winchester should be able to shoot as well. Will be interested to hear your thoughts about such a conversion, suggestions for a good medium weight or light target barrel, etc.

What might I expect to pay for such a conversion, assuming I keep the same stock and trigger?
 

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Boltman,
My Speer #12 manual lists a base diameter for the 6.5x55 at 0.4803", and the 30-06 base diameter at 0.4730". I suspect there's enough tolerance in the bolt face that you won't have to make any modifications there.

Your Mod 70 XTR is of sufficient quality to simply rebarrel. Use a similar contour as the '06, which should be around 0.600" at the muzzle, I think. I have a 25-06 XTR that is 0.595" at the muzzle, and a 6.5-06 that is 0.605" at the muzzle.

$$ will depend on barrel quality you choose. You can spend less than $100 on a barrel (and I have on Adams & Bennett barrels, with very good results), or upwards of $300, then add to that the gunsmithing....something around $150? Good luck.
 

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All you should need to do is screw another barrel on it and away you go. The 6.5x55 is a great cartridge and it will serve you well. I'd go with a slimmer barrel profile is possible and keep the finished weight to around 7.25 lbs before scope and ammo. No need for a heavy gun in the 6.5x55.
 

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i agree, the bolt face will be a non issue and $100-$200 will get you a really good barrel... you might check e.r. shaws web page, i really like their barrels and their prices are great...
 

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i agree, the bolt face will be a non issue and $100-$200 will get you a really good barrel... you might check e.r. shaws web page, I really like their barrels and their prices are great...
I second that motion I have 3 shaw barrels and they are all good shooters
new 26" barrel is $175 unblued and they will fit the barrel to your action for I think it was $35.00. you can cold blue it your self like I did.
they will make the new one the same contour as the one you have now.
Call them and talk to Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your good information. Pleased to learn the conversion will be less complicated and less expensive than I first thought. I will contact Shaw about a new barrel.

One additional question. Will the 6.5x55 cartridge feed smoothly through the .30-06 Model 70 XTR without modification to the rifle's original magazine and follower?
 

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Thanks for your good information. Pleased to learn the conversion will be less complicated and less expensive than I first thought. I will contact Shaw about a new barrel.

One additional question. Will the 6.5x55 cartridge feed smoothly through the .30-06 Model 70 XTR without modification to the rifle's original magazine and follower?
YES it will feed ok no problems.
 
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