Category Archives: Firearms

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.

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

 

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

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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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, Pistol

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

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

FreedomCoin Introduced at SHOT Show 2019

GunBroker.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for hunting, outdoor sports, and firearm products, is offering its millions of users a different way to buy and sell online by introducing FreedomCoin, a regulatory compliant cryptocurrency. This secure digital payment option is more convenient and typically less expensive than money orders, credit cards, and other digital wallets. As companies such as PayPal turn their back on legal firearms sales, GunBroker.com is moving to empower the users on its site to complete simple, trusted transactions as they see fit.

GunBroker.com users can buy FreedomCoins with U.S. dollars and store them in personal, secure blockchain wallets until needed. Buyers and sellers can choose to accept and use FreedomCoin for transactions on the website.  “We’ve heard the pain points of our merchant community. GunBroker.com is tapping blockchain technology to replace the need for other costly and time-consuming payment options,” explained Patricia W. Huff, Director of Marketing at GunBroker.com. “FreedomCoin represents the future of payments and an opportunity for people to use regulated cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases.”

The digital wallets are powered by BitRail, a blockchain-backed infrastructure that enables organizations to operate regulatory compliant cryptocurrencies for payments.  Users can quickly convert funds from dollars to FreedomCoin and back again though an easy-to-use app. The platform provides the same buyer protections as credit cards but includes an additional layer of security through blockchain verification, two-factor authentication, and price volatility management.  “Unlike the cryptocurrencies you hear about in the news such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, FreedomCoin is a stable coin pegged to the dollar,” said Jay Zwitter, GunBroker.com Director of Sales. “FreedomCoins will not lose value after you purchase them.”

Setting up a wallet is simple and only requires a valid email, phone number, and the last four digits of a Social Security number, which is the same information GunBroker.com already requires. Safeguards built into the platform help prevent fraud and ensure complete regulatory compliance. Information about who buys or sells what will not be openly shared on the blockchain and will remain private.

To get started with FreedomCoin, and to see a demo of how the platform works, visit www.FreedomCoin.cc.

If you are at SHOT Show, stop by the GunBroker.com booth: #15147.

 About GunBroker.com

GunBroker.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for firearms, ammo and accessories.

About FreedomCoin

FreedomCoin is a stable, legally compliant utility token available for simple, trusted transactions on the BitRail infrastructure and supported by the issuing entity FreedomCoin Inc. Based in the United States FreedomCoin Inc facilitates the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies by consumers and demands the highest standards of legal compliance. The company adheres to local money transmitter regulations and ensures FreedomCoin is both KYC and AML compliant. FreedomCoin is a stable coin pegged to the U.S. dollar and is the preferred payment method and partner of GunBroker.com.

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Filed under Firearms, shot show, Uncategorized

EFK Fire Dragon, Pistol Barrels

EFK Fire Dragon a manufacturer of recoil reduction systems, ported compensators and produces both ported and standard barrels for your particular application and need.  As most shooters know, the effect of porting and/or compensators is to limit the guns vertical movement during recoil.  Faster target acquisition and second shots (and follow up shots) are made possible by compensators.

EFK Fire Dragon manufactures models to fit every major brand of firearms. Products are being made for most gun models including Colt, Glock, Beretta, Taurus, Tangfolio, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Springfield, Norinco, Lama, Ruger, Auto-Ordinance, A.M.T., Para Ordinance, Sigma, and Sig Sauer.

Thier barrels are manufactured from 416 stainless steel.  Each barrel is machined on CNC machines, offering close tolerances.

Each barrel is heat treated in a vacuum furnace for clean and consistent Rockwell hardness of 40-43.  EFK barrels are bored and rifled using an EDM machine.   This manufacturing method produces the highest possible accuracy and tolerances; with an accuracy of + or – 50 millionths of an inch!  This method of manufacturing produces a superior finish in the bore.  EDM results in no stress on the barrel unlike button rifling.

Talking to EFK staff at the 2019 Anteris Alliance “Try & Buy”  they said, “We design the best products using quality materials and offer them at a fair price, all backed by one of the industry’s best warranties.” EFK are proudly made entirely in the United States.

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Filed under Firearms, Pistol

EMF’s Updated, GWII Deluxe “Grande Californian” 2019

In 2002, when EMF introduced the Great Western II “Californian” single action revolvers. True to Colt’s original SAA, with the floating firing pin, the “Californian” models feature hammer forged steel barrels, which are highly polished and blued. The CNC machined, dropforged frames are colorcasehardened, in Pietta’s signature deep, rich combination of blues, browns, and purples. These frames are an improvement on the traditional casted frames of the Colt single action revolvers. The wider rear and larger front sights offer faster sight acquisition. The combination of traditional esthetics and the best modern technology made the Great Western II “Californian” a popular, durable, and reliable single action on the market for the last 17 years.

The GWII Deluxe “Grande Californian” model elevates the classical beauty of the “Californian” to a completely new level! Elegantly engraved with a combination of Victorian scrollwork and sunbursts on the blued barrel and deep rich colorcasehardened frame, it is accented with a one-piece diamond checkered grip. If you want an engraved SAA on a budget, this is a very atractive package.

Available in .357Mag or 45LC, the Deluxe “Grande Californian” has a 4 ¾” barrel.
With a MSRP of $655,

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January 19, 2019 · 7:33 pm

Cody Museum to Offer “Veteran VIP Experience”

January 17, 2019— Today, the Cody Firearms Museum (CFM) revealed a teaser for one of its new premier exhibits to be launched at its grand re-opening the weekend of July 5, 2019. Among the many exhibits to be unveiled this summer, the Military Area will incorporate first-hand accounts from U.S. veterans. The CFM seeks U.S. veterans to relay testimonials of their service and experiences at the CFM Veteran VIP Experience.

The CFM is seeking veteran organizations to partner with them in promoting and/or sponsoring the special event. The CFM Veteran VIP Experience requires an RSVP to the event and is exclusive to veterans and active military personnel. Inquires may be directed to kie@solutionnaires.com.

The CFM Veteran VIP Experience is an invitation to veterans and active military to be the very first to record personal accounts, offering museum-goers a glimpse into the complexity of their jobs and the magnitude of their bravery. “The CFM Veteran VIP Experience will capture a living history that we are proud to curate at our museum,” said Ashley Hlebinsky, Curator at the Cody Firearms Museum. “The testimonials from our veterans will provide insight for generations to come as well as create a community-centric model for our museum.”

The CFM Veteran VIP Experience will take place on July 5, the day before the CFM opens to the public. Participating veterans will have a first glance at the exhibit and are invited the following day to the public opening along with their families. “We want to offer our veterans a VIP experience while becoming the first to contribute to this recorded legacy,” continued Hlebinsky. “The interactive component is user-friendly and will be on display for our 200,000 annual visitors. We’re calling on vets and vet organizations to join us during our grand re-opening in July.”

The Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West houses more than 7,000 historically significant firearms with more than 15,000 firearms-related artifacts. The Cody Firearms Museum collection spans 800 years, including recently manufactured firearms. We seek to provide every visitor – from gun aficionados, to firearms novices, to those without previous firearms experience – with a unique educational opportunity. This museum is more than just guns; firearms help inform the story of the West, the story of gun cultures, and the story of people. Visit us at the Center of the West in Cody WY, and at our website, centerofthewest.org.

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Filed under Firearms, shot show, Uncategorized

300 PRC Carves out 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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Filed under accuracy, ammo, brass, Firearms, Gunsmithing, reloading, Rifles, Shooting, wildcat

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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Filed under Firearms, politics, Second Amendment