Thank you to all for the great suggestions. After a lot thought, I think I will take Jonnyloco's advise as it appears to be the most economical and safest sollution. I will purchase a new MXLR, add a big loop lever and have the barrel cut. I've never had a barrel cut on a rifle but a local gunsmith told me it would be easy and inexpensive.
That sounds like a great plan! Please show us some pics of the finished product!!
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