300 PRC Carves our a niche’ for Long Term Success.

Hornady has confirmed a report concerning the DoD’s decision: “The 300 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC), released by Hornady earlier this year, was tested and selected by the Department of Defense for its extended long range sniper program following a rigorous evaluation process that saw the new Hornady 300 PRC outperform the 300 Norma Mag as well as several other cartridges in testing past 2,000 yards.”

U.S. Department of Defense is adding the all-new Hornady 300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) to its arsenal. Last week the DoD awarded Barrett a contract to provide an undisclosed number of MRAD rifle systems chambered in 300 PRC.

More about the Hornady 300 PRC…

In keeping with current trends with new cartridges the 300 PRC is a non-belted magnum design. The 300 PRC is based on the .375 Ruger case.  Cases measure .532 at the base; this is the same as the .300 Winchester Magnum, so it will use a standard belted magnum bolt face.  There has been a wildcat version of this cartridge for many years, the 30/375 Ruger.  Another wildcat on the 375 Ruger is the 35 Miracle simply the 375 necked down to 358 caliber.

Our Sponsors over at 4D Reamer Rentals already have a couple of 300 PRC reamer and gauge sets on hand.

You can watch testing of the Hornady 300 PRC on BallisticMag.com.

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Passing of a Great Gunsmith and a Friend

With great regret and sadness I share the announcment of the sudden and untimely passing of my friend, Dino Longueira.

Dino was the brilliant inventor, innovator, and proprietor of Majestic Arms, New York City’s lone full time, full-service Gunsmith. He invented, many products, among them the Speed Strip Kit for the Ruger .22 Auto Pistols.  I met Dino and his wonderful wife Joanne at SHOT Show many years ago through my friends at AGI.  Jack Landis introduced us and it became an annual event to gather for dinner and laughs.  Dino possessed a sharp witt, was always friendly and fun to be around.  Gunsmiths like to gather and share stories because we are a unique and relatively small fraternity, Dino will be missed from but never forgotten at our annual gatherings!

Dino left us on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.  The profession, his beloved wife Joanne and family, and his many friends will sorely miss this wonderful man.  

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Want Good Service, be a Good Customer:

2npjf9Tis the Season…

  1. Remember The Golden Rule– Treat others as you want to be treated. Pretty simple. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of what you are dishing out?
  2. Don’t Be a Bully— Pushing around the sales clerk by raising your voice, making unreasonable demands, and showing utter contempt for their very existence does not make you powerful, it just makes you a bully and a jerk. When you see someone act this way what do you think of them?
  3. Don’t Make Threats— The go-to move for bullies and also a favorite of the frustrated. Threatening to report a company to the Better Business Bureau, your thirty-two Twitter followers, or the nearest Salvation Army Bell Ringer is not productive and almost always unwarranted.
  4. Adjust Your Expectations— Expecting great service is your prerogative; expecting great service to mean that the company does whatever you want, whenever you want, and for as little as you are willing to pay is not. Companies that lose money to make customers happy do not last long.
  5. Communicate on the Companies Terms – When the company suggest a specific method of communication for Customer Service it’s because that is what they are set up to handle well. Oh, BTW, you’re not the center of the universe, it might take a reasonable amount of time to resolve a problem.
  6. Email is not a License to Kill, 007 – Always start polite, you can go all secret agent on them if they blow you off. Most of the time if you use the magic word, “Please” you will get what you need to the best of the person’s ability to serve you.
  7. Give The Company Every Opportunity to Solve The Problem— Are you really concerned with the problem or does it just feel good to complain? Give the company a chance to fix the problem before taking away your business or tattling on social media.
  8. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood— It’s always fun to hear yourself talk, but maybe try listening and even understanding before declaring war.
  9. Separate the Person from the Policy– This is one of the most difficult challenges, even for the usually fair-minded. Some company policies can be personally frustrating; don’t shoot the messenger. Chances are they did not create the policy and do not have a choice but to enforce it.
  10. Separate The Person from the Performance– People screw up. There is a big difference between an accident and negligence, between a mistake and malice.

A Good Customer Should…

Here are few things you can do proactively to be a good customer…

  • Say Please and Thank You— Your mother already told you this; you should listen to her.  Just doing this will get you more customer service than you can imagine.
  • Understand Tipping Protocols— It’s important to understand the tipping expectations, if any, of the business you are patronizing. I have had the most trouble with this one historically, but smart phones are magical things.
  • Ask For The Manager— OK, then say something nice about the employee that served you.
  • Parent Your Kids—You chose to bring your children to the store/restaurant. If you can’t control them, they get to ruin your trip to the store or meal not everyone else’s. Take them outside or offer them a trip to the bathroom where they can be punished in relative privacy.  You’re not their buddy, you are there parent, act like it.
  • Put Down Your Cell Phone—Most calls really can wait. If you can’t dump the call, at least, lower the phone, smile at the person helping you and apologize for being rude.  Don’t talk at the top of your lungs, nobody is impressed that you have a cell phone, most 12 year olds have them too.

Relax and enjoy your Holiday Season, be kind the whole year round.

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November 29, 2018 · 12:11 am

Pilot Diamter is Crucial

Things in the Gunsmithing world are changing.

We spent 8 years with President Obama being the top gun salesman of all time.  He managed keep the fear level high enough that the retail of firearms grew exponetionally during his Presidency.  Then we had Hillary Clinton running for President during the Lame Duck period of Obama’s time in office.

The result was that tens, probably hundreds of thousands of new shooters, dare I say millions? Purchased guns out of fear that at some point in the future they would no longer be able to.  After some time many of them discovered how much fun guns are and all the sporting opportunities they provide.  Not to mention, the portion of the market that only cares about personal protection or concealed carry.  All these new shooters then need gunsmiths to help keep thier guns running and to update them for specialized use or personal tastes.  That means more people hanging out a shingle as a gunsmith.

Personally, I am thankful for the huge growth in the gunsmithing market.  Competition is healthy for business, it pushes people to offer good service and meet the needs of the market place.

As all this has been happening lots of new people are learning to gunsmith.  Some get formal training from one of the traditional schools or from a distance learning company.  It’s exciting to see the market place grow so dramatically.  It does bring some new challenges that we did not see very often in the past.

New Gunsmiths fresh from school and Hobby Gunsmiths with little or no training have to learn some things the hard way, by trial and error if there is nobody handy to teach them.

In this article we are going to talk about one of these items.  In the past I wrote about pilots, discussing solid vs. removable pilots. What we are looking at here is related to that information directly.

Solid pilot reamers are traditionally made with a pilot thats diameter is at the miniumum expected diamter for barrels made in the U.S.   The idea is simple, by going to minimum spec. the pilots will fit most any barrel you may find.  It’s not unusual for a solid pilot to be a few thoushandths of an inch smaller than the bore (the diameter inside the lands of the barrel is the bore diameter). In short making them as universal as possible.  Some guys will claim they cannot be accurate, that simply proves they have a lack of experience, on the contrary they can be very accurate, producing chambers that win matches.  But that is a seperate subject.

removable pilot reamer

Removable pilot bushing retained by a screw.

So why do removable pilot reamers exist?

Because some folks like to remove every alibi they can from the process of chambering a barrel.  Removable pilots allow you to utilize a pilot bushing that closely fits the bore of your barrel.  This eliminates unnecessary run-out between the pilot and the bore of the barrel which might allow the chamber to be out of alignment with the bore.

No matter what size or type of pilot you are using, it must slip inside the bore.  A slip fit on a pilot is normally .0005″ to .001″ smaller than the bore.  If the pilot is too large it will not slip in the bore.  There are several bad outcomes possible from a pilot that fits too tightly in the bore.

  1. Damage to the lands ahead of the throat of the chamber by the friction of a solid pilot rubbing on the lands.
  2. Solid pilot and/or reamer broken, due to the stress of being too tight in the bore.
  3. Removable pilot too tight in the bore can cause the pilot to be forced back onto the reamer.  Since there is no cutting angle where the bushing meets the flutes of the reamer this will impead the advancement of the reamer in the bore.
  4. Removable pilot too tight in the bore often causes the bushing to stick in the bore.  If a gunsmith is paying attention and notices the tight bushing this will never happen.
  5. Air gauged match grade barrels are normally defined as those that have less than .0002″ variation in bore diameter from end to end.  So if you try to stay too close to bore diameter with the pilot bushing you may start out with a slip fit but hit a bind a little way into the bore, especially if the barrel is not match grade.
  6. Removable pilot bushings that fit too tight can introduce enough stress to occasionally cause a reamer to break or chip.

HINT:  If you think a chamber reamer is dull because it is harder than normal to advance into the barrel blank.  Check the pilot fit.  A tight pilot fit will make the reamer hard to turn and advance, giving the impression it is not sharp.  How do I know this?  Because nearly every time someone complains about a dull reamer I have tested them in a barrel blank in my shop and find that they cut just fine.  In these cases I often see damage to the pilot.  Below is a small gallery of photos showing what happens to pilots when abused.

20181030_144747-1Normal bushing and retaining screw.
20181030_144954-1Bushing was too tight,  beat it back out of the bore with a rod.
20181030_141921-1Get a bigger hammer!
20181018_151337-1

If you push hard enough maybe you can cut the pilot too.

20181021_132708

Bushing was forced back onto the reamer. You can see that there was no cutting edge where it met the reamer so it was mashed. Worst of all it expaned making the pilot even bigger in diameter.

20181030_144427-1It does’nt seem to matter what caliber we are talking about, some folks think force is the answer.  Only in Star Wars…

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Filed under accuracy, Gunsmithing, How To, tools

Two Cartridges That Dominated the Summer of 2018.

Every year there are new cartridges offered by gun makers and ammunition manufacturers.  Usually at SHOT Show there is a release and a buzz about the new offerings.  Then for the months that follow there are articles one right after the other extolling the attributes of these “new” offerings.

This year we saw the 6.5 PRC was the new cartridge announced by Hornady.  This cartridge is clearly directed to the long range shooting market.   The Precision Rifle Series has provided a direct way for manufactures to learn what the shooting public wants for long range rifles, cartridges and accessories.

Ballistically the 6.5 PRC falls almost dead between the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 264 Winchester Magnum.  The case is a necked down version of the 300 Ruger Compact Magnum. The PRC has a published muzzle velocity of 2900 fps, making it about 200 fps faster than the 6.5 Creedmoor.  6.5 PRC still fits in most short action platforms (308 length).

65 prc vs

One reason the Creedmoor picked up such a large following was the relatively light recoil it produces.  If you are competing in a game that requires large numbers of shots fired, recoil can be an issue simply because of fatigue.  It may not hurt, but over the course of fire it can wear on you.  That will be the trade off that shooters deal with when looking at the 6.5 PRC, it will have more recoil than its smaller brothers in the game.

4D Reamer Rentals reports that the 6.5 PRC wasted no time in becoming a hot rental.  Custom gun makers all over the country have been ordering the reamer and gauges in amazing numbers.  Fred @ 4D says, “We bought tools as soon as we heard that Hornady was releasing the PRC.  Not long after SHOT Show we started filling orders. The is was like a floodgate opened, the demand for the PRC was off the scale compared to new releases in the past.”  He went on to tell that they ordered more tools but the demand from the reamer makers was very high as well so it took time to get the added tools into circulation.

It’s pretty likely you will see the 6.5 PRC in several production rifles in 2019.

Another cartridge that became popular this summer at 4D was the 7mm/300 Winchester Magnum. This is simply a  300 Win Mag necked down to 7mm with no other changes. Now there have been versions of this wildcat around for a long time, so what made demand explode all the sudden?

It may be as a result of the writing of Nathan Foster of New Zealand.  Nate created a wildcat variation of the 7mm/300 Win Mag that he dubbed the 7mm Practical.  Nate produced a book entitled, “The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartidges”  When I spoke with him recently he stated he believed the rise in interest in the 7mm/300 was at least in part do to the fact he had released his book for sale in the United States.

Foster also has an extensive web site that provides a wealth of information he calls, “Terminal Ballistics Research”  here I linked it to the page for the 7mm Practical.

7mm Practical Rev C Manson Web large

The down side, if there is one, to Foster’s 7mm Practical it is that the shoulder angle is changed and cases must be fire formed.  This is the reason that so many guys are opting for the 7mm/300 Win Mag.  Most shooters equate the ”practical” moniker with simple wildcats that are necked up or down from a parent case with no other changes.  Avoiding the need for fancy custom dies and lots of time at the reloading bench is what most shooters want from a practical conversion.

4D tells us that they have had a single reamer for the 7mm/300 Wincheser Magnum for a very long time.  “It rented once or twice a year until this spring.  Demand was so high we had to buy two more reamers to keep up and we still missed a few orders because guys did not want to wait.”

Foster’s starting loads below would work for either version of the cartridge as the case capacity is nearly identical.  His favorite powders for this cartridge is the very slow burning H1000 or Retumbo.  Yes- data is for both due to powder behavior in this case.

Bullet weight Start load Velocity Comment
162gr ELD-M 76 3200 Always reliable.
160gr TMK

162gr ELD-X

73.5 3200 Caution with TMK as bearing surface raises pressures. Caution with ELD-X and other heavy jacket bullets (pressures).
175 ELD-X 70 3050 Caution with this heavy jacket bullet (pressures).
180gr VLD 72 3050
180gr ELD-M 71 3000 Extremely accurate. Watch
for pressure spikes, approach 74gr with extreme caution.
195gr Berger EIEIO 70 2950

 

 

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75 Years of Reloading Tools: RCBS is that old…

Founded by Fred T. Huntington, RCBS was born in a small 12 by 6 foot room in the back of a laundromat in Oroville, California in the year 1943. In the early days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a tremendous shortage of bullet-making equipment. Huntington had been shooting and hunting all of his life and wanted to make sure he would be able to continue pursuing his passion, even with limited products in his reach. The first dies were named Rock Chuck Bullet Swage as they were specifically designed for making jacketed bullets to shoot the Rock Chucks in the Western United States, providing the acronym RCBS that the company would become known by in later years.

In there early 80’s while I was in Gunsmtihing School we toured RCBS and Huntington’s Die Specialties.  Fred Huntington guided my group and showed us an original set of his bullet making tools on display in his store. Reloading dies were almost an afterthought, when starting out it was all about making bullets.

In 2015, RCBS became part of the Vista Outdoor portfolio. Continuing the tradition of releasing high quality products, shortly after this, RCBS released popular items to the market such as the Brass Boss, Vibratory Case Polisher, and the ChargeMaster Lite to customers.  “At RCBS, we continue to work hard to bring exciting products to our consumers,” said Global Product Director, Jason Slinkard. “Seventy-five years in business is a spectacular accomplishment. It’s an honor to work with a legacy brand known for dedication to innovation, accuracy and quality.”

With over 150 employees, RCBS still stands proudly in Oroville, California today. Consistently releasing new and innovative products, RCBS has the precision engineering to stake the claim of a true original.

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Let’s Just Say That a Company Never Picked a More Appropriate Name.

Dick's Sporting Goods, commits financial suicide.Great Name, Especially Considering Management Style.

CEO Edward Stack  addressed the company being expelled from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade group, by saying “it’s really not that big of a deal.”

Sorry Stack, but if you think you’re a player in the firearms retail market you need to be supporting the industry.  When the industry expels you because you are working directly against the God given rights we are blessed with, then it is a big deal!

People who buy firearms are also active in most outdoor sports.  They raise children who are active in sports, hunting, fishing and camping, in short, they are your best customers because they buy for multiple seasons and product lines.

Stack claimed industry-wide struggles were at least partially to blame for Dick’s struggles in selling firearms. (couph, couph) However, gun-related background checks set records in both March and April and competitor Sportsman’s Warehouse reported gun sales were as strong as ever in the first quarter. They stated that customers were driven to them by Dick’s policy changes.

Larry Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, told the Free Beacon.  “They (Dick’s) went beyond simply making decisions for their own company and are trying to impose their view and their decisions on other companies in the industry by hiring a lobbyist to lobby for gun control,” He went on to say, “The CEO of Dick’s, which owns Field and Stream, is on the record as saying he wants to see a ban on modern sporting rifles, he wants to see restrictions on magazines, and also wants to see an unconstitutional restriction on the ability of young adults to purchase any firearm.”

They are not just trying to impose their views on other companies.  They are trying to take away the rights of the People.  Historically, people who take the tact are trying to appease those who are most vocal.  It never works out well, know your history.

Bottom line, management at Dick’s and Field and Stream stores have made it clear.  They are anti- 2nd Amendment, I guess that means we gun folk will have to spend our dollars elsewhere in the future.  See ya, Dick’s.

Update:  Dick’s is getting out of the Hunting Sector.  

 

 

 

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Excerpt from “Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series”

At the time of this writing there are three books in the Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series.  In early 2018 “Chambering Rifles for Accuracy” was released.  In its first week on Amazon.com it was #1 in two categories.  Gordy Gritters, famed benchrest gunsmith & Fred Zeglin well known wildcat and hunting rifle maker joined forces to create this comprehensive title.  It covers the subject of installing and chambering barrels from simple rechamber jobs, to hunting rifles and the last half of the book is all about benchrest quality gunsmithing.

The excerpt here gives you an idea of how careful the authors are to cover details often overlooked in such books.  Enjoy:

Tolerance Stacking; 
                Everything You Need to Know About Pilots?

Chamber reamers come with two styles of pilots, solid or removable bushing (the later sometimes called a floating pilot).  One is evil and one is practically perfection.  But which is which?  I can tell you that in renting tools to gunsmiths I have found the industry is split on this question about 50/50.  In other words, about half demand solid pilot reamers exclusively and the other half will not touch those nasty solid pilots with a ten foot pole.

It is clear that there is a trend toward the removable pilot reamers.  This is because barrel makers are not all holding to the same production standards.  Some have the idea that a tighter bore is better, while other makers hold close to the “standard” bore dimensions.  Example, .308 bores are .300” on the bore and .308” on the groove.  Custom barrel makers have tightened the bore to say .298”  This will required a smaller pilot as the standard pilots are normally .299” with tolerances of + 0 to – .0005”. removable pilot reamer 

Removable pilot reamer.

The reason for the tighter bore?  In short, it is believed that it produces better accuracy.  This is only true as compared to a loose bore that is oversized, i.e. a groove on a 30 caliber of .309 or .310 will produce lower pressures and potentially be less accurate because the bullet is not fully engaged until pressure bumps the bullet up to match the bore.

For a pilot to work correctly it should be .001” smaller than the actual bore dimension.  In other words, it needs to be a close slip fit.  If a pilot is too tight it will bind and likely break the reamer, and possibly damage the bore.  If a pilot is too loose it will promote chatter.  It is possible to run the pilot on a removable pilot reamer closer to the bore diameter (.0005” under bore diameter is ideal), but it must still slip easily in and out to avoid damage to the barrel or the tools.

A little history at this point might be interesting:  Red Elliot was and still is legendary with old timer gunsmiths as the absolute best reamer maker of the last century.  Near as I can tell he was the first to offer removable pilots on his reamers.  Why did he do this?  Well, he found that there were enough different barrel makers in his day that the dimensions of the bore diameter (where the pilot rides) varied a fair amount. 

So, this problem of bore dimensions changing a little is nothing new.  What about SAAMI standards you say?  I will address that in just a moment, for now lets talk about how Red Elliot handled bushing pilots.

I have seen several of Red’s reamers with bushing type pilots, what we sometimes call floating pilots today.  Red held very tight tolerances on his bushings so that it required a little pressure to slide them onto the reamer, held in place by a screw mounted in the end of the reamer the bushing would not turn once the screw was tightened.  This is contrary to the bushing pilots we see commonly used today, where the bushing is a slip fit with about .0005” tolerance internally.  This tolerance is added for manufacturing ease. Tolerance stacking is not usually mentioned in conjunction with floating pilot reamers, but we are going to take a closer look at it here.

Another source of tolerance issues is the fact that the pilot receiver on the reamer must be concentric (round), and in line with the reamer.  If either of these conditions is not correct there will be problems with the reamer cutting oversized or out of alignment with the bore.  Admittedly, this is not much of an issue with today’s cnc machines.  So long as the operator does not make an error, and no chips get caught in the set-up.  One other possible source of trouble would be a warped reamer (not common).

Now for SAAMI, their standards are voluntary, so obviously any barrel maker can decide whether or not to hold solid to the standards.  Industry standard is plus or minus a half thousandth (+ or – 0.0005”) on the bore diameter.  The bore diameter is the smallest diameter of the barrel, also referred to by shooters as “across the lands”.  The same tolerance applies to the groove of the barrel.  I will leave the discussion of groove depth as we are talking about bore diameter as it relates to chambering tools, groove depth does not affect these dimensions.

Admittedly barrels considered “match” grade or “air gaged” are supposed to be held to a tolerance of .0003” or less total variance, end to end of the barrel.  This does not indicate the actual bore diameter, we are left to assume that it is the standard diameter for caliber.  In the case of a 30 calibers we would be talking about a .300” bore.  What if the maker decides to simply use a gage that works with the bore diameter they are making, say .2995” and it air gages as above.  You have a match grade barrel but the bore is at the minimum size according to industry standards. 

Are you starting to see how bores can vary and still be within standards?

Of course there are those makers who operate outside the standards and make perfectly good barrels.  The point being; different size pilots will be needed to chamber these barrels as was recognized back in the 1950’s and 60’s by Red Elliot.  It’s pretty obvious by now that removable pilots are necessary tools in dealing with variations in bore dimensions.  It should be clear by now that variations in bore diameter of plus or minus .001” or even more, is not that unusual, even though such dimensions do not follow the voluntary standards set by SAAMI.

Solid pilot reamers offer certain advantages over the floating pilot.  First and most obvious there is no built in tolerance between the bushing and the reamer, because the there is no bushing.fixed pilot

 

 Solid Pilot Reamer

Since most barrel makers today are making barrels by the button rifled method dimensions tend to remain pretty steady for a given maker as buttons last a long time if properly cared for.  So if you deal with the same barrel maker all the time chances are a solid pilot reamer will fit the same from barrel to barrel. 

There are other factors that play into the bore and groove dimensions, but that is for a discussion for another book.

One limitation of a solid pilot reamer is that it cannot be changed to deal with variations in bore diameters.  Of course you can have the pilot ground down if necessary to fit a tight bore, but then you would probably need a second or even a third reamer to deal with various diameter bores. 

Everything in life is a trade-off.  Because of the expense of multiple reamers for the same caliber removable pilots are a cost effective answer to the problem.  $10 for a bushing beats $100 or more for another reamer.  There are shops that stock bushings in 0.0002” steps for the popular calibers.  This allows them to match the bushing to the bore every time.

pilot bushingsPilot bushings can be a big investment.

To make the use of removable pilots efficient and accurate, the gunsmith should invest in a set of pin gauges.  These are precision ground pins that can be used to gauge the bore and insure that the correct bushing is selected.  Using pin gauges allows the gunsmith to know what bore diameter the barrel maker is really supplying.

Now keep in mind the pilot has to slip into the bore, so in mechanical terms the pilot has to be about 0.0004” smaller than the bore to slip in without any interference. In most shops the pilot is figured at 0.001” smaller than the bore and rightly so.  Too tight a fit can gall and or leave marks in the bore or stress the reamer and break it during the reaming process.

What happens if the pilot is too loose?

Ninety-Nine times out of a hundred when a reamer chatters (vibrates) in use, it is because the pilot to bore fit is too loose. 

The lack of support when the pilot is too small allows the reamer to move around in the bore, as the tool tries to bite into the steel it grabs hard and because even tool steel is flexible you get chatter as the tool loads and releases tension.  This is the reason that some gunsmith’s insist on having a set of pilots that cover the possible variations in .0002” (That’s 2/10,000 of an inch.) increments.  Keeping the pilot as close to bore dimensions as possible will help eliminate chatter and promote a more precise chamber. 

If you have a pilot that is a perfect match for the bore but is too loose on the inside where it rides on the reamer then the advantage of a close fitting pilot is negated.  To pull the whole concept together…  If you have a .0002” tolerance on your bushing to barrel fit and the same on the pilot to reamer fit, you end up with .0004” total slop on the pilot. 

I can tell you that most people do not grasp this or understand why these tolerances  matter.  I base that statement on 30 years of talking to gunsmithing customers, and the people who call to rent tools.  The comments that shooters and gunsmiths make during our conversations indicate their level of understanding in a hurry.

In general if the total pilot run-out is under .001” then all will work fine and there should be no worries.  This rule holds true for solid pilot or removable pilot reamers.  Long ago I lost track of how many rechamber and barrel jobs I have done.  I can tell you that

Chambering Rilfes for Accuracy, cover

 it is possible to get an accurate job from either type of reamer.  In fact, if pressed for a choice I would say that solid pilot reamers are more accurate on average.  Especially for inexperienced gunsmiths.

I do not make this statement lightly, as I own hundreds of reamers of both types.  This goes back to the understanding of how the tools relate to the barrel.  To reiterate, the one caveat would be that for best accuracy the pilot of the reamer must meet the tolerances of less than .001” run out verses the bore, for all this to hold true.

There is another major factor in how well a reamer cuts and how accurate the gun will be…  The gunsmith must do a good job on the set up for machining.  If the threads are not true to the bore, or the chamber is crooked or oversized, or the throat of the chamber ends up off center, accuracy will be elusive to say the least.

Use of a floating reamer holder is a great way to insure an accurate chamber.  This tool allows the reamer to follow the hole in the barrel without any side pressure that might be caused by minor misalignment of the tail stock to the bore of the lathe.

Whether you plan to build accurate hunting rifles or top quality competitive benchrest and long range guns this handbook has detail descriptions and plenty of clear photos to make the subject easy to understand.  The other titles in the series deal with headspace, the vital counterpart to chambering, check them out here.  More titles are planned for the series.  These are college level training manuals that a gunsmith at any level of experience will value.

Another post of interest on this subject.

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Filed under accuracy, Books, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, Shooting, tools

The Big News for Fred Zeglin, April 2018

How many authors can brag that they held #1 in two categories on Amazon.com?

I don’t know the answer to that, but I am one of them so here I am, bragging.

Last month (April 2018) Gordy Gritters and I (Fred Zeglin) released our new book, “Chambering Rifles for Accuracy”.  This book is the 3rd in the Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series. Obviously the reception of the book and it’s counterparts in the series has been very good.  It’s gratifying to see our work appreciated by so many customers.

On behalf of Gordy and myself.

Thank you for pushing us to #1 on Amazon during the first week of April.

#1 on Amazon

#1 in Two Categories on Amazon!

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Filed under accuracy, Books, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, Shooting

Flathead Valley Community College offers AAS in Firearms.

Learn Skills

Projects that Challenge

Heading into our fifth year, this program started out as a two-semester certificate program created to provide a solid foundation in theory, design and function of firearms. In 2017 the program grew to include a second two-semester certificate. The second certificate will interest folks who are more interested in traditional gunsmithing and custom gun work. The Big new for 2018 is that the Board of Regents authorized a two year degree that combines all the classes into an Associate of Applied Sience (AAS).

Course topics will include firearms safety, manual mill and lathe operation, bench metal techniques, firearms repair, machine tools for gunsmiths and precision rifle building. Stock making, checkering, bluing and other finish techniques are taught along with custom modifications of all kinds of firearms.  Many of the classes have little or no prerequisites, so they are open to anyone who would like to learn and expand their experience with guns, contact the school for more information.

Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared for entry-level positions in the firearms industry and will have a better understanding and knowledge base for owning a gunsmith business. The program contains both lecture and significant hands-on training designed to instill an understanding of the design and function of today’s firearms.

“FVCC has the only Firearms Technologies Certificate Program of its kind in the country,” said FVCC Firearms Technologies Coordinator Fred Zeglin. “Students are challenged to develop skills that are not part of any other program. We are very proud to now offer a two year AAS degree that will jump start a student’s career in firearms.  By partnering with manufacturers in our area we have assembled a program that addresses the needs of the employers.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and able to legally own and possess firearms. A background check is required for all students who are accepted into the program.

The program was developed to build upon a foundational machining background, which is provided through the college’s Tier I Machining Certificate Program. Tier 1 Machining . Firearms Technologies Program applicants with industry or previous learning experience may opt to bypass the Tier 1 Machining Certificate Program by requesting testing and/or instructor consent.

Prospective students must apply both to the Firearms Technologies Program and for admission to FVCC. Firearms Technologies Program applications are available online at www.fvcc.edu/firearms or in the Admissions Office in Blake Hall on the FVCC Kalispell campus. For more information, contact Will Richards at 756-4862 or wrichards@fvcc.edu.

Download the application to attend classes

NPR story about the program

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