Had an email from a client not long ago bragging about how he improved the accuracy in two of his revolvers. Actually what he did is a simple procedure that really does help. He reamed all the chamber throats in his cylinders to the same dimensions.
Believe it or not, the factories are in too big a hurry in most cases to make all the chambers the same. This is probably one of the biggest causes of accuracy issues with a revolver. Cylinder Throating tools are made by Manson reamers, they come with several bushings so you can match up to each chamber throat when reaming. My client said he used nearly every bushing by the time he finished his two cylinders. Below are som photos that illustrate what he did.
He reported that before this job the guns shot between 2 and 4 inch groups @ 50 feet. They now shoot much better, click here for a pdf of his targets.
He rented the tools from 4D Reamer Rentals, I check they have them in 357 and 45 caliber, they tell me they will add the 44 caliber tools as soon a client orders them. All in all a pretty cheap way to get more out of your pistols.
Manufacturers are doing something relatively new, they are putting a chrome wash in the bores of some barrels. It appears that they are in magnum calibers mainly. Before USRAC (Winchester) shut down they were doing this with the WSM barrels. It appears that Browning is doing the same thing.
Latest gun gossip is that the New FN bores are chrome washed. Also the new “Winchester Repeating Arms” do to come on the market this summer some time will be using the same process in some of their barrels.
Why is this important?
Because if your not aware of it your reamers will take beating. One reamer maker told me that he is selling carbide throating reamers regularly now, he said that was unheard of just a couple of years ago. Reamer rental agencies are aware of this problem as well and will be forced to resharpen reamers used in chrome bores, be prepared to pay for the resharp if you make this mistake.
The worst part of this little bit of information is that there is no clear list of calibers or models in which the manufacturers are using chrome.
Keep your powder dry!
4D Reamer Rentals tells me that they are researching the problem and plan to add a page to their web site to help inform clients.
Can you rechamber my NEF or TC Encore…?
The real question often should be can my 308 barrel be rechamber to 338-06? Or some 30-06 Ackley Improved etc.
First when you thinking about rechambering a barrel the bore diameter must be the same unless you are willing to rebore the barrel as well. Reboring is often thought of as a cheap alternative to a new barrel. It is usually less expensive but the best reason for a rebore is when you have a gun that has some intrinsic value, either a family gun, or maybe a fancy barrel that has a quarter rib, custom sights, octagon, etc, that would be expensive to duplicate. Such barrels make sense to rebore.
Back to plane old rechambering… Just look at it this way, you must pick a chamber that is larger than the original chamber, ideally, larger in diameter and at least a little longer. Sometimes the original neck diameter was on the large size and when you rechamber it leaves a small groove or mark in the neck area of the chamber. Normally this is not a problem for function, but it leaves marks on your brass and might hinder accuracy.
Ackley Improved cartridge do now work well for single shot rechambers unless your starting from a much smaller case, like a 22 Hornet to a 22-250 AI. Now if you working with rimmed cases then an Ackley design is fine in a single shot simply because the rim handles headspace. Rimless cases headspace on the shoulder and Ackley rimless cases are .004″ shorter than the factory counterpart.
Anyway, single shots make for a fun and cheap way to try new calibers. Give it a try.
In some recent research I ran onto a magazine article from 1965 that stated that Western Cartridge Co. loaded the 300 Ackley Magnum as the 300 Olin Express for the Army Marksmanship unit. That unit came into existence in 1956, the article went on to say that the Wimbledon Cup was won at least once with the 300 Ackley.
I located a list for folks who won the Wimbledon Cup at Camp Perry over the years, but it did not include the rifles or calibers used for this 1000 yard, 20 shot match.
Two questions for you readers:
- any knowledge of the 300 Ackley, or the 300 Olin Express loaded by Western Cartridge?
- Corroborating data, has the 300 Ackley ever won the Wimbledon Cup? When? by Who?
I will look forward to your comments.
Book has recently been published, “P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith” Fred Zeglin, author of this authoritative work located some good information related to the above post. However, it does not appear that the 300 Ackley ever won the cup.
Web resource for P.O. Ackley: https://ackleyimproved.com
Before somone feels the need to write and ask I thoght I should simply tell the story. The picture at the top of the Blog is a before and after for some of my work. This rifle is based on a model 71/84 Mauser action, it has a tubular magazine under the barrel. Original caliber was 11mm Mauser, it is now a 45-70. Minamal feeding work was required to make it work.
The stock pattern is my own design, the dimensions were modernized so that the irons sights are easy to use and it points very naturally. Styling was based on original sporters made with this action by Mauser. The Manlicher pattern however is my own design, the magazine is hidden inside the stock and retained by the front sling swivel. A pistol grip was added as the classic designs were all straight grip.
If your interested in more information on the 71/84, Ludwig Olson wrote a book “Mauser Bolt Rifles” that has some pictures, specifications and best of all the various sporters are shown along with the military version of the rifle. This book is available from www.brownells.com.