How To Measure Headspace Gauges.

This is a short excerpt from “Gunsmith Tools, Cutters & Gauges – A Primer”.

Pictured here: “Forster’s Datum Dial, can be used to check headspace gauges or ammo for correct headspace.

Reloaders often set the headspace of the ammo wrong, either making it hard for the gun to lock up properly, or creating excessive headspace by bumping the shoulder back. This tool makes it easy to check ammo and prove to the client an error.

Note: the indicator reads .0035″ this is the difference between the two gauges in the picture. Well within tolerances.”

This method is measuring from a diameter along the shoulder to the head of the gauge. Overall length of the gauge has NOTHING to do with headspace when talking about rimless bottle neck cartridges.

You would be amazed how often this information has to be imparted to people who are learning about headspace. We provide this tidbit of valuable information here to save to from silly errors that make life much harder than it really is. Check out the complete book.

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Stockmaking… You Can Build Stocks for Guns

Here is a book that will help anybody with the desire and some ability to work with your hands to build gun stocks.  Sherman L. Mays wrote this book to help people with no experience at all to learn the process of making stocks, repairing, finishing and even checkering them.  Naturally, you can’t write a book like this and have it limited to beginners only.  Every gunsmith I have ever met or worked with had a trick or secret to share that made me more profitable and a better craftsman.  Sherman is no exception to that rule, no matter your experience there are good ideas in this book.

Sherman has over forty years invested in making and checkering stocks for his clients.  Along the way he has learned a few tricks and he is not afraid to share his knowledge. The focus of this book is on two piece stocks.  Sherm’s bread and butter is shotgun stocks.  That does not mean a rifle guy can’t learn from this tome.  The subjects of detail work like sling swivels, grip caps and recoil pads are all covered in great detail.

I have never seen this many pictures in a manual, I would argue that more books of how-to information should be this well illustrated.  There are a lot of readers who need pictures to fill in the blanks in their understanding.

364 pages

Perfect Bound, paperback

Format is 8.5″x11″

662 – Mixed color and black  & white pics.

ISBN# 9780578165813

Retail $49.95

Were you can get it:  Amazon or https://4drentals.com/product/stock-work-for-the-beginner

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Filed under Books, Gunsmithing, How To, Stocks, tools, Uncategorized

New Book for Gunsmithing Students & Professionals

Volume #4 in the Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series was released in spring of 2020, “Gunsmith Tools, Cutters & Gauges – A Primer”

This book is different than the other books in the series.  It does not really teach gunsmithing, instead it provides information that would otherwise be scattered far and wide.  Seldom in gunsmithing books does anyone explain tools, its simply assumed that the reader already has a pretty high level of experience or training.

This new book is a primer in the truest sense of the term.  In concise yet complete and illustrated form the author explains what the tools were designed to do and how to utilize them correctly. If you think this book is for beginners, that is only a small part of its value.  Most of the tool makers in the American gunsmithing market participated in the assembly of the primer.  Many gunsmiths learn from the school of hard knocks, that is unnecessary when a clear and concise instruction manual is available.

Kindle E book version of the Primer is available on Amazon.com .  You old timers probably just yawned, but the tech savvy smiths in the audience perked up.  We are told this is the only book in the series that is planned to be offered in eBook format.  Why?  The Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series is written for college level learning, the material is presented to aid gunsmithing students of all persuasions and experience to become competent and fluent in the language, tools and practice of gunsmithing.  So, the Primer will act as an ambassador for the series, the publisher is working with the companies the contributed to the book so that they can offer the eBook or print edition to their clients.

UPDATE:  The ebook is also available direct from 4Drentals.com @:  https://4drentals.com/product/ebook-primer
4D Reamer Rentals LTD gave us a coupon code for our readers, use this get you free copy of the ebook from the address above.  This coupon code is good for a limited time:  GTWP7

Reference charts and tables included in the book might make it worth buying all by themselves.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Pete Brownell

Acknowledgments

What every gunsmith should know!

Chamber Reamers

Custom Reamers

Using Reamers

Do I need to use a lubricant when reaming?

Reamer Holder

Reamer Stops

Can you force a reamer to cut off center?

Do You Need a Print for the Reamer?

Chip Welding

Misconceptions about Chamber Reamers

Mars II Micrometer Reamer Stop.

What is a “Barrel” Reamer?

Cylinder Throating Reamers

Throating Reamers

Neck Reamers

Neck and Throat Reamers

Resize Reamer

Carbide vs. High Speed Steel (HSS)

Chamber Reamers

Long Forcing Cone Reamers

Shotgun Bore & Choke Basic Dimensions

Removable Choke Tools

Measuring For Screw-In Chokes

Choke Lube

Defining Headspace

Choosing the Correct Gauge

How are “Improved” Chambers Headspaced?Gunsmithing Tools, Cutters & Gauges-A Primer

Headspace Inchangeability Chart

Crowning & Muzzle Tools

Thread Alignment Tool (TAT)

Appendix I       Reamer, Removable Pilot Bushings

Appendix II      Bushing Reference Chart

Afterword by Mark Dye

about Fred Zeglin

Available on Amazon or at 4D

There are a few details about the series and this book at this link: Click Here

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Filed under accuracy, Books, Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Pistol, Rifles, Shotgun, tools

Checkering, a book of checkering for the beginner

In 2009 S.L. Mays published his book teaching checkering for the first time.  The book did well and had a good following from the gunsmithing schools and supply houses around the country.  Fast forward to 2019, it went out of print.  I needed the books for the face to face checkering classes I was teaching at the local college.  So I called Sherman, what a nice gentleman.

We talked for quite a while, he told me he had no desire to reprint the book, so I asked if he would consider selling the copyright.  To my delight he agreed and we have completed that transaction.

Book Cover

Sherman L. Mays put a lot of experience and time into this easy to read handbook.

Instead of doing a second edition of the book, we decided to simply do a second printing.  A few minor errors were fixed, and new more complete Table of Contents was inserted in place of the old one.   Finally, we put a description of the book on the back cover to make it a little easier to sell when found on a shelf in some store or at the gun show.

Mays wrote this handbook with the idea of helping anybody go from never having checkered to intermediate level in very short order.  Most stock makers will tell you that it only takes a few minutes to learn to checker.  What they sometimes forget to say is that the practice required to become skilled at checkering takes just a  little longer.  Mays text makes you comfortable, its as if Sherman is standing in the shop giving you pointers as you work.

There are 298 photos in this book, so there is no shortage of information being shared.  The pictures truly enhance the writing so that it’s much easier to understand the intent.  Most of the books on this subject either treat it as a sidebar, or show some nice old patterns from the 1950’s.  This text takes care to teach the process.  If you want to learn this skill, Mays will have you cutting checkering not long after you pick up the book.

It should go without saying, I am very proud to help preserve this information for the next generation of gun makers.  Buy the Book on Amazon.

A few Sample pages below.

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Fred “Bullberry Barrel Works” Smith is retiring.

Guest Blog by Mike Bellm

Fred Smith’s work has been a key stepping stone in the evolution of custom Contender and Encore barrels to the point it is today at Match Grade Machine, Click here!

Fred has been one of the most significant pioneers in the Utah centered custom TC barrel business as it has evolved over the years, continuing through the fast growing Match Grade Machine

A brief history follows.

Custom Contender carbine wood was Fred’s first few years in the TC Contender business at a time when carbine length barrels were pretty scarce. Fred had plenty of walnut for his nicely crafted stocks and grips, but no reliable source of carbine length barrels or barrels chambered for cartridges TC did not make.

Thinking back and not recalling my early conversations with Fred, he may very well have gotten his early interest in Contender carbines like I did at the 1976 (or ’77?) NRA Convention in Salt Lake City where Al Beckstead from Preston Idaho displayed Contender carbines with barrels he was making.

My first employee was a former employee of Beckstead’s that gave me quite a bit of insight into Contender barrels in general.

It was around 1981 or ’82 when Fred began leaning on me to make Contender carbine barrels, but the work I was doing in the P.O. Ackley tradition did not entail the mill work that making Contender barrels depends on extensively making the barrel lugs and the drilling/tapping and other mill work on the barrel itself.

 

In 1983 I partnered with another machine shop in Salt Lake City and made my first dozen Contender carbine barrels for Fred.

Not wanting to wait for us to make fixtures to do the work more cost effectively, Fred and his son, Greg, went on their own making barrels with the head start I gave them.

That left me with the investment in making Contender barrels and continuing to make custom Contender barrels for quite a few years before giving up to the reality of my resources not being able to make barrels profitably. Making an art and science of reworking factory barrels became my forte while still doing quite a bit of fixed barrel work. Along with reworking barrels, the gun as a whole and how it is fed were issues that had to be made workable for the average shooter, and my accessories line and instructions were developed to meet those needs now supplied by my son, Kurt Bellm, through Bellm TCs.com

 

The Stratton family employees at Bullberry

The short version is that Steve Stratton and his two sons, Jeff and Kerry, worked for Bullberry, but broke out in open competition with their former employer as Virgin Valley Custom Guns for about 4 years before selling out to Wade Sip whose reincarnation of custom TC barrel manufacturing is the Match Grade Machine company, THE top custom TC barrel maker in the country today.

I should add also that E.A. Brown’s “Accuracy Barrels” were originally made by Virgin Valley Custom Guns who gave Brown the prints and details he needed for his crew to make custom TC barrels.

 

We may not agree among ourselves or have warm fuzzy feelings for each other, but we DO all owe Fred a debt of gratitude for making custom TC barrels a viable business venture and passing on the skills needed as the basis for even larger ventures serving all TC shooters.

Collectively, starting with my tutelage under P.O. Ackley on through to Fred Smith, the Strattons, E.A. Brown, and Wade and Dylan Sip, we have kept the TC break open guns not just alive and thriving, but we have taken them WAY beyond Thompson Center’s offerings covering probably the widest range of shooting and hunting venues of any firearms system made.

 

Give Fred a big thank you for his role in our shooting sports and best wishes for his retirement years!

Go to: Bullberry Barrel Works

 

Best regards,
Mike Bellm

 

Mike Bellm TCs | Mike Bellm, US Mail: P.O. Box 276, UPS/Fed-Ex: 1525 E. 350 Rd, El Dorado Springs, MO 64744. Phone (541) 956-6938

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Barnaul 30-06 Ammo Draws Questions

MKS Supply offers the answer to the mysterious cartridge groove.

   Recently we received inquiries about Barnaul’s .308 Winchester and .30-06 hunting rounds. The .30-06 is an all American round once used by U.S. Forces as a military round but no longer. It is arguably one of the most popular and effective hunting rounds worldwide.

 

Note relief ring just above cartridge base.
The “mystery” is not really a mystery at all.

 

   The pressure generated by the .30-06 round is higher than other steel cased rounds the company makes. Steel cases are cheap to produce. However, since steel is much harder and less malleable than brass the overall steel case expands slower in the microsecond of gas expansion in the firearm’s chamber than brass cases.

   Engineers at Barnaul knew that to accommodate the higher pressure curve of the .30-06 round for that millisecond they needed to accommodate these higher pressures. So, they “simply” designed a slight round groove called a relief ring into the cartridge case near the base. The groove is roll pressed in, there is NO metal removal.

   Upon firing the additional pressure will be absorbed and reduced as the relief ring material is pressed out by the powder discharge basically duplicating the expansion of a brass case. Smart, simple, safe and well-engineered.

   Barnaul produces the .30-06 using strong polycoated steel cases for reduced cost. Some folks are afraid of steel cases.  Read the article linked here at Luckygunner.com ; in a bolt gun it would never cause the problems seen in semi-auto guns.  In short, reliability is as good as with  reloads.

   Barnaul is one of very few privately owned Russian ammunition companies who have been approved to supply their ammunition to the Russian Army. Their high standards and extreme quality control measures have also granted them the privilege to supply the Russian Special Forces with Barnaul’s high-quality ammunition.  Their ammo works incredibly well at an affordable price.

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GunSkins® DIY Finishing Anyone Can Do

At the ShotShow in 2019 I picked up a couple of kits form the folks at GunSkins® so I could try them. The variety of skins for different guns in different patterns was impressive all by itself. As a lifetime gunsmith with about 35 years of work under my belt, I have seen a lot of products come and go. In recent years the arrival of many new finishing products for guns has given the client/end-user a lot to choose from. Not many of them are what I would consider DIY, GunSkins truly are!

One of the kits I was given was for a standard AR-15 magazine. Naturally, I selected a patriotic, 2A pattern for my project. GunSkins AR-15 Mag Skins are designed to fit 30-round 5.56 x 45 NATO (.223 Remington) AR15/M4 compatible magazines. The kit includes pieces for the left and right side of a single magazine. I actually read the instructions just for the fun of it… Just six easy steps. It was really pretty self explanatory. A clean surface is the most important thing when doing any finish work, no exception with this product.

I really like the idea of making my magazines easy to tell apart from my shooting buddies. The vinyl provides a modicum of protection to my magazines as well.

Time invested on my first wrap was about a 1/2 hour as I was trying to learn as much as I could about how the vinyl stretches and how the heat gun affects it. I used a couple of things like a pen cap and Sharpie® pen and a cleaning brush to form the vinyl into the grooves of the magazine. Items with a sharp edge may tare the vinyl so everything I used to form was dull or rounded. Occasionally a bubble would refuse to go away, I poked a tiny hole it in with the razor to allow the air to escape. Once you get the hang of the process it would go pretty fast.

Generally speaking, vinyl wraps are less expensive than some of the other gun finishes out there. That does not mean they are cheap. GunSkins says they use the highest quality vinyl for their kits. They offer a 100% waterproof cover, durability and color. GunSkins are NOT permanent the vinyl can be removed

Magazine in place.

Here is the finished product with the magazine in the firearm.

any time you want to change the look of your firearm.

Many other gun finish options require shipping your gun away or waiting hours or days for the finished product to be usable. GunSkins are designed with the end user in mind, as a simple DIY project that can be accomplished in just a few hours. Popular names in camouflage, such as A-TACS, Kryptek, Kuiu, and more are available. Allowing you to match the GunSkins wrap to apparel and gear of the same pattern.

 

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Filed under Gunsmithing, How To, shot show

Headspace Gauge Interchangeability App is Here!

Our friends over a 4D Reamer Rentals LTD have come up with a free app, yes its yours to use with no strings attached, none at all.

This app does what apps do best, provide a simple way to get the information you need and have it handy on your device/phone at all times.  Right now it’s available only for Android.

The GaugeGuide App has now be banned by both Google Play and Amazon App Store.  Down load it just to piss off the anti-gunners…  LOL

Two search methods are provided for the user. Results that are displayed are for cartridges that include the information you entered, so it matters what you type in.  It’s true, many gauges are able to correctly headspace more than one cartridge.  Knowing which ones is valuable information for the gunsmith. From the search results select the result that is closest to your desired caliber, each result will show the gauges that are fully interchangeable with that result.  If you do not see what you are looking for check the other options that appear in the result.  If no result appears, it is likely that your caliber of choice does not interchange with any other caliber, I.E. it has caliber specific gauges.

Many gauges will have “details” (information) available that should be helpful in selecting the correct gauges for your desired use.

With either search method when your receive “Compatible Results” similar to the screen shot below:

GaugeGuide App Screen Shot

The list of Gauges that Interchange is as complete as we have every seen.

Note that the list of “Gauges that Interchange” is a comma separated, continuous list. All calibers listed are interchangeable with the cartridge you searched.

The RENT or BUY buttons are used to place an order for the tools, if you need them.  You will be sent to the 4Drentals.com web site where you can order the tools you need.  The app can be found on Aptoid, Click Here to see the page.

Search as much as you like, its free and informative!  Don’t take someones best guess what gauges you need, use a real data base that will tell you the truth and keep you safe.

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Filed under Ackley, Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, tools, wildcat

CCI’s Bottle of Pink: Clean-22 Shoots Clean and Helps Fight Cancer

Almost everyone knows someone who has had to fight a battle with cancer.  So, when a company is donating to a charity to fights cancer and I already like the products they make, it’s a no brainer.  I’m going to buy the product and use it if I can.

In October of 2019 CCI Ammunition announced a new “Clean-22” Pink ultra-clean 22 LR rounds. This new product will keep your rimfire running cleaner and helps in the fight of breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds from every box sold goes directly to the effort to find a cure. Shipments of the 22 LR ammunition are being delivered to dealers.  Christmas presents?  I think so.

Like other Clean-22 loads, its exclusive polymer bullet coating greatly reduces copper and lead fouling in the barrel—without leaving a residue. It also cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent and comes in a 400-round bulk bottle that’s perfect for long days at the range. With dependable CCI priming and consistent propellant, Clean-22 Pink provides flawless cycling through semi-automatics and all 22 LR firearms.

Features
• Pink polymer coating greatly reduces lead fouling in the barrel without leaving residue
• Cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent
• A portion of the proceeds goes to support the fight against breast cancer
• 40-grain lead round nose bullets
• Optimized bullet geometry for improved accuracy
• Reliable function in semi-automatic firearms
• Great option both casual and competitive shooters
• 400-count bulk bottle

Part No.   955CC   Description High Velocity 22 LR 40-grain pink poly LRN, 1235 fps, 400-count     MSRP   $29.95
For more information on CCI Ammunition, go to www.cci-ammunition.com.

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AR-15 and AR-10 Build and Customizing Class

Become familiar with the most popular firearms format in the United States, the AR-15 and AR-10. Here is an opportunity to build and customize a rifle. Instruction will include functioning, disassembly of main and subgroups and reassembly, head spacing, troubleshooting and function testing tips, and various cartridges offerings in the AR format. The AR-10 rifles will be covered and the compatibility between the different manufacturers will be discussed.

Students are requested to bring all the parts for a complete build or in various states of assembly for completion during the class, or their own firearms as a whole rifle and bring any parts they may wish to customize. The build and customization of the course will be dependent on what the student brings to class. Students will have the opportunity to use many of the instructor’s tools. Students must be 18 years of age.  All State, Federal and local laws apply.

 Bring safety glasses and your own tools; the instructor will have tools for students to use such as punches, armorer wrenches, vise blocks, disassembly/reassembly tools, and torque wrenches. This enables the student to try the various tools and then they can decide what tools will work best for them before purchasing. Tools will not be for sale at the class.

 If you have purchased a handguard to install on your MSR, please bring the proprietary barrel nut wrench to match.

Class Dates: October 28 – November 1, 2019, time: 12:30 – 8:45pm  This is a five day class.  Cost $250

About the instructor….Dean Batchelder graduated from Colorado School of Trades in 1992 and in 1997 had his own shop and did bluing and general repair. In 2001 he started at Brownells as a Technical Support Gunsmith, and since then he has taught yearly classes on the MSR platform and on Alternate Finishes to the students at various Gunsmithing Schools and also at NRA Summer Schools. If you have any questions about the class, you may contact him at dean.batchelder@brownells.com

Class is being hosted by the Firearms Technology Program at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, MT
Phone: 406-756-3832
www.fvcc.edu/continuing-ed

MSR Flyer Fall 2019 print and share.

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles