Tag Archives: barrel

Rifled Slugs for Slugging Rifles

Guest Blogger, Robart Schaefer

If you need to determine the bore diameter of a firearm, whether it be to get the exact SluggerHV_box_slugright size for cast bullets, or perhaps to identify the caliber, one of the best ways to do that is to slug the bore. This involves pushing a piece of lead, a slug, through the barrel and then measuring it. Usually, this requires a fair bit of pounding, especially if you do not have a slug that is close to the bore diameter. I have developed a method, however, that requires only a few light taps from a non-marring hammer and a standard cleaning rod.

Most shooters are familiar with “rifled slugs” for shotguns like these from Remington: Most people believe, or assume, that the grooves on the outside of the slug are there to cause the projectile to spin, thus giving it stability. This is partly true, although it is a clever bit of marketing to give a helical shape to the grooves; they do little for stability. The stability comes from the center of gravity being in the front of the projectile, like a badminton birdie. The primary purpose of the grooves is to allow the slug to stay in contact with the inside of the bore, creating a tight seal and not destroying the barrel when it exits through the choke, the restriction at the muzzle of most shotguns. The grooves give the ridges a place to swag into without causing undue pressure.

So, “What does this have to do with the price of beer in Milwaukee?” you might ask. Well, I bought an old Swiss Vetterli rifle at a gun show, and I want to shoot it but, 10.4x38Rmm Swiss Vertterli rimfire is just about as rare

as hens’ teeth. With these archaic, and foreign, cartridges it can be difficult to find reliable information on them. In fact, this cartridge was dropped from Swiss military use before 1900 (that’s before the internet so there is literally no information on it). The lack of information is made worse by the fact that a lot of cartridges of this era were paper patched so many publications will list the bore size as the lead projectile size which is 1410991432-Black-Powder-and-Round-Balls-packagingabsolutely incorrect because there would have been paper taking up the extra space in the bore.

When I went to slug the bore of this rifle, I had no pure soft lead (recommended for this operation) that was close to the diameter; my only two choices were 36 and 45 caliber round balls. I was standing in my shop thinking how to make a 45 caliber ball smaller in diameter when I realized I didn’t even know how small to make it, and all I really wanted to do was make it easier to push through the bore. Well, this is how shotguns do it so it should work for my needs, too.

First, use a pair of pliers to form consistent grooves around the equator of the ball. (if you have trouble finding the equator, look in the tropics, where you can find bright red tourists, drinking out of coconuts).  I used a pair of dial calipers to check the diameter was close enough to the bore diameter so that the ball would start into the muzzle of the gun.

Many types of lube will work for slugging, my favorite is Lucas Red n Tacky #2 grease.  They use it in race cars, so you know its the right choice for an old black powder rifle. Place the ball in the muzzle being careful to keep it straight (this makes it easier to push through the bore).

Use a non-marring hammer to start the ball into the bore.  You should only need a couple of light taps to get it started.  This could be a done with a muzzle loading ball starter if you have one of an appropriate size.  Then just push the ball through the bore.  I used a 3/16″ brass rod, but a one piece cleaning rod would suffice.  The force required is akin to seating a patched round ball in a muzzle loading rifle.

The slug came out with the ridges of the rifling clearly impressed into the grooves of the ball.  The groove diameter of my rifle is .419″ and is has a bore diameter of .397″.

 

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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

Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series; Comes to the Market in Time for SHOT Show 2018

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The first book in the new series of Gunsmithing Student manuals is Chambering for Ackley Cartridges.  Fred Zeglin the author says, “I have been teaching gunsmithing for some time and with my experience in wildcat cartridges and dealing with clients it became painfully obvious to me that that material available to reloader, gunsmiths and the like are spread far and wide and do not tell the complete story of the mechanics of headspace in firearms.”

Zeglin went on the talk about the fact that Ackley Improved cartidges seem to receive the most mishandling both in the gunsmith trade and by reloaders who do not understand the simple headpsace method that P.O. Ackley set up very early in his career.

Ackley was no fool, he set up a method that is easy to use and will produce both safe and accurate fire-forming of ammunition.  There have probably been hundreds of articles written that tout the value of the Ackley Improved principle that allows the firing of factory ammunition for the parent case in the chamber of an Ackley Improved rifle.  Unfortunately, many folks refuse to read Ackley’s simple instructions so they end up trying to set headspace without proper understanding of the process.  Both professional and hobby gunsmiths are guilty of this.

Prove it you say…  OK, call any die maker and ask them for dies for an Ackley Improved cartridge.  They will ask you for a chamber or reamer print before they ship the dies.  Quality Cartridge is a maker of custom head stamped brass.  The owner Pete tells me he will not ship brass for Ackley designs unless he has fired cases from the clients gun, this is simply because of poor headspacing by gunsmiths, or the reloader who does not understand how his dies are adjustable.

In this booklet that kicks off the new series of gunsmithing instruction books, Zeglin clearly and without mincing words tells the reader how to correctly headspace any Ackley Cartridge.  It’s not a book about how to ream a chamber but rather about the finesse that should be applied during the process to insure accuracy and longevity of the firearm.

There is a book on how to ream a chamber that will be out in 2018.  That title is the third book in this series and Zeglin invited well known Bench Rest Gunsmith Gordy Gritters to co-author that book with him.    That will be the book you need you want to understand what it takes to make a rifle shoot, you know we all want those tiny little groups!  Watch for a follow up about that book here in the future.

coverThe second title in the series is coming out now as well, it is called, “Understanding Headspace for Firearms”  Where the first title is narrowly focused on Ackley designs this title will help the reloader and/or gunsmithing student to understand headspace no matter what firearm you are looking at.

Zeglin is pretty easy going about his work and tells us he fully expects to hear criticism over anything that was not covered thoroughly enough or heaven forbid, missed all together.  He says he expects to start the second edition for these manuals as questions start to roll in.

These titles are available from www.4drentals.com

There is a review of the first two books on GunsAndGunsmiths.com

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Filed under accuracy, Books, Gunsmithing, How To, reloading, tools, wildcat

More Calibers in Savage Drop-in Barrels Than Any Other Source

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4D Reamer Rental LTD. has expanded what they offer for shooters and gunsmiths once again.  Not only do they offer Savage pre-fit barrels in most any caliber, or twist.  They also stock a small supply of barrels on the shelf.  See:  https://4drentals.com/savage-drop-in-barrels/

Here is what’s really new:

Recently, they started a new offering of chamber work.  4D will rechamber your barrel for Savage barrels as well as many single shots, like NEF rifles, TC Contender or Encore barrels, Rossi single shot rifles can all be reworked to new larger chambers.  If you have some other barrel be sure to check in before you ship it.   4D will be glad to answer your questions about this service option.  They will not accept a complete firearm, this is barrel work only.  For $99 they will rechamber your barrel.

If you have always wanted to try out an Ackley chambering, or wanted a caliber the factory does not offer then this service is right up your alley.  With over 1100 reamers on the shelf it’s likely that 4D will have a chambering that will interest you.  The gunsmith doing this work for 4D has over 30 years of experience in chambering and barrel work, so you know the work will be done right, no guessing.  For the complete list of calibers go to the 4D web site.

Barrels can be blued or coated, 4D currently offers CeroCoat.

Barrels in both Blue and Stainless material are available if your placing an order. Custom orders take more time than barrels on the shelf.

Fred at 4D tells us that this service came about because they often get calls from folks who want to rechamber a gun but do not have any experience with chambering barrels.  So it seemed natural to help out such potential clients who were either short on time, or worried about the process.  “We offer more chamberings than any other Savage barrel vendor out there, and we can extend that to the single shot barrel market too.”

The barrel blanks offered by 4D are made by three makers, McGowen, Green Mountain, and XCaliber.  Delivery times vary by maker, and prices vary a little as well so check in with them for a quote.  hours are 9-4 Mountain time, Monday to Friday.

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Filed under accuracy, Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, tools