Anyone know how? If so, please share.
It's not simple and easy like a 10/22. You remove it in the traditional manner.<G>
Removal requires an actual gunsmith's hydraulic barrel vise with fitted split brass, plastic, or oak barrel inserts, and a special action wrench made to fit the Mini-14 action.
There's no other way to do it without destroying the receiver.
Here's what the barrel vise setup looks like:
Here's the receiver wrench. You have to make your own Mini-14 inserts.
Some points on rifle barrel work:
A standard shop vise will NOT work. Rifle barrels are torqued in TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT and nothing other than the gunsmith's vise setup can prevent the barrel from just turning in the inserts.
Attempting to use anything other than a fitted receiver wrench will bend or crack the receiver. The special wrench with fitted inserts supports the receiver to prevent bending or cracking.
After you get the barrel out, the new barrel has to be turned on a lathe to allow the barrel to screw in and torque properly and still be aligned properly.
After that, you have to have chambering reamers and chamber head space gages to set head space.
Gun barrels are NOT "drop in" parts that you can just unscrew and screw another in.
If you need a barrel switch or other barrel work, either send it in to Ruger, who do it fairly cheap, or find a GOOD gunsmith who has the correct wrench inserts and barrel vise set up.
Trying to do it at home with expedient tools and equipment is pretty well guaranteed to destroy the rifle.
Here's the actual procedure:
A day before, warm the receiver and barrel joint. WARM, NOT hot. Just a little too warm to hold in your hand.
Apply Kroil and allow to penetrate overnight.
Degrease the barrel with solvent in the area just in front of the receiver where the barrel inserts will fit.
Lock the barrel in the hydraulic barrel vise using the fitted inserts and rosin. Grip as close to the receiver as possible.
Attach the receiver wrench using shims if necessary to give as tight a fit as possible.
Tap around the barrel/receiver joint with a plastic hammer or screwdriver handle.
Break the receiver loose from the barrel.
Remove the receiver wrench and unscrew the receiver.
Use brushes and solvent to clean the receiver threads and the threads of the new barrel.
Test fit the new barrel and estimate how much metal has to be cut from the barrel torque shoulder to allow the barrel to align properly with the sights at 12:00 o'clock top-dead-center.
Cut that amount from the rear of the torque shoulder with the lathe.
Test fit again. (How much to cut is a judgment based on experience).
Apply lube to the threads of the receiver and barrel, and apply an anti-seize compound to the threads.
Degrease the barrel apply rosin and clamp in the barrel vise.
Attach the receiver wrench and screw the receiver on.
Use the wrench to torque the barrel in place with the sights at 12:00 o'clock top-dead-center.
Gage the chamber with the head space gages to determine how much needs to be reamed from the chamber.
Use the chambering reamer a handle and cutting fluid to ream the chamber.
(Some tools are used down the bore with a long rod).
Test fire for accuracy and operation.
(Note: If a barrel is unscrewed, you cannot just screw it back on. It will tend to unscrew because the torque has been broken. This is like screwing a bolt tightly in, then removing it. The second time in it will go in farther due to torque compression. Once removed, a barrel has to be lathe cut to set it back one thread, then re-chambered).
Thanks for the info. I'm actually just wanting to pull the existing barrel to have it cut down and threaded, then reinstalled on the same receiver. I thought it might be easier for my local machinist/smith if I could get the barrel out of the receiver first, but it doesn't sound like that's an easy task.
Sorry, I was editing my post so there's some more info for you.
Note the part about having to re-fit a barrel once removed.
You can't just unscrew it, then screw it back on.
If all you want to do is thread the muzzle, why not use one of the guided cutting die sets. These allow you to thread the barrel without removing it.
In fact, there's someone on one of the forums who RENTS the sets along with instructions so you can do it yourself.
I'm going to cut a couple inches off the barrel, and thread it for a suppressor so the threads and shoulder have to be perfectly concentric to the bore. That means it has to be chucked up in a lathe on centers and threaded instead of just using a die. I don't think there's a way to get the barrel on centers in a lathe without removing it from the receiver. This may end up being more trouble than its worth.
Thats an interesting project.
Send it to this guy.
He did my Mini-14. www.greatwestgunsmithing.com/
You can just ship it to him and he will ship it back to your door.
Looks like a good lead. I'll keep him in mind when/if I ever proceed with the project.
Thanks for the info.
Cool site. Thanks.