Barrel Bands for Winchester or Browning 71 Part III of III

Biginning the shaping process.

Biginning the shaping process.

When ready to shape the barrel band close to final dimensions I normally use and endmill to rough out the contour to match the barrel.  The majority of the shaping is done on a belt sander, rounding all the contours so they are down to the final contour and dimensions.  Radius the corner where the sling swivel is mounted so that the swivel can swing 90 degrees in use.  The rest is hand polishing.


If using the standard button magazine tube place the band so that its forward edge will be just behind the screw that retains the magazine plug.  Often clients ask for full-length magazine tubes when making this conversion, the barrel band must be mounted behind the front sight, so keep that in mind.  Be sure to trial fit the whole thing before you solder the band to the barrel, that will save you tearing it down to fix something, or reposition the band.


Soldering the barrel band in place, I use Hi-Force 44äSolder from Brownells.  It is 96% tin and 4% Silver, it flows freely at 475° F.  Much cooler than silver braze so no danger of damaging the bore of the barrel.  I have yet to see a sight or band move that has been properly tinned with this solder. 


Finish Shaped barrel band before installation.

 Just clean up the solder and flux, prep the metal as desired and blue or finish as needed.  Caustic bluing salts will eat this solder at about .001” per minute so minimize time in the bluing tank and be sure to neutralize the salts.


If you install a full-length magazine you will have to replace the magazine spring as the factory spring will be far too short.  I also turn a new magazine follower out of Teflon rod to decrease the mass of the follower, which under recoil can pound on the ammo and contribute to the forces trying to drive the magazine off the rifle.



My barrel band on a full length magazine tube, you can see how it adds a huge amount of strength.

 Brownells Inc.

200 South Front Street
Montezuma, Iowa 50171

800-741-0015  (solder and flux)


Wisner’s Inc

PO Box 5

Adna,  Washington, 98522  

(360) 748-4590  (magazine tubes)


Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To

4 responses to “Barrel Bands for Winchester or Browning 71 Part III of III

  1. gray man

    how do you get it past the front sight ?

    • reamerrentals

      This article is sharing the how to make a custom part. They are normally done as part of a custom build, so the front sight is the last part installed on the barrel. On the last rifle pictured the band and sight base are both soldered in place. Hope that helps.

  2. Austin

    I’m attempting to locate a good gunsmith to convert or make a custom build .450 Alaskan. Any suggestions are appreciated? Thanks!

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