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Thread: Rifling Barrels?
02-06-2008, 06:28 AM #1
The questions been bugging me for a while, how do I go about rifling a barrel?
I know it's "wavey" but making the drill and using it seem complex.
Anyone have any articles or links I could read up on? Been searching google and came up with nothing...
02-06-2008, 10:33 AM #2
Do a serch here and you will find a lot of info
02-06-2008, 05:18 PM #3
Rifled barrel making is a complex process usually done with a number of specialized machines using specialized tooling. How-to is asked frequently and a search here will turn up many previous questions and answers on the subject.
The article written by Geoffrey Kolbe of Border Barrels is as good a reference as any; it used to be available on the border-barrels.com website but I can't find it there right now; it is available here.
02-07-2008, 12:11 AM #4
Anybody ever try to EDM rifling???
I've been thinking it would be cool to build an EDM rifle reamer. There could be a potential problem with the recast layer though, and you'd have to account for electrode wear. It would probably have to be done in a few passes with different electrodes. What would happen with the recast layer in a gun barrel???
02-07-2008, 05:49 PM #5
I think that most electrical rifling is done with electro-chemical machining (ECM) rather than EDM (I know that some of the automatic cannon barrels are done with ECM.) I guess that avoids the recast layer issue.
02-07-2008, 05:52 PM #6
02-07-2008, 06:14 PM #7
How do you use one of those???
Is it like a broach?? You push or pull it through with a press or broaching machine??? Why the limit on length? As you can tell, I know almost nothing about making a gun barrel.
02-07-2008, 06:31 PM #8
<<Complete neophyte alert>>
My guess is that EDM would not be very feasible. It would leave a rough finish that would have too much friction for smaller calibers.... But this is just a WAG as I know zip about rifling. I have, however, seen the suface finish that results from EDM sinking. My father (the die maker, not me) would have to polish all of that out.
P.S. Thanks for the website, Caspian. That has some interesting stuff in it (I just lurk here every so often, so the site may have already come up...)
02-07-2008, 08:12 PM #9
How many shops have a sinker EDM that can handle a 28" minimum length barrel blank? How much trouble would it be to make electrodes and program them to hold the tolerance necessary. Most select match barrels will have a total tolerance of .0002 bore and groove diameters. Barrels are usually cut by dragging a cutter through, hammerforged over a mandrell, or button rifled by pulling a button through that irons the shape into the metal.
02-07-2008, 10:47 PM #10
02-07-2008, 11:11 PM #11
How accurate is a rifling button??
What quality of a barrell can that make??? Is is this a good way to make a decent barrel?? Are other methods better in terms of accuracy?
02-08-2008, 04:08 AM #12
The best way for a home gunsmith to "make" an accurate barrel is to send a few hundred dollars to a quality barrel maker and buy what he wants. It is far more economical that way than to buy and make the equipment required for barrel making.
After a number of years of experience, you may decide you want to make a barrel yourself but by then, you will have some idea of the difficulties involved.
Long Tom liked this post
02-08-2008, 04:50 AM #13
Anybody can buy things.
Not that I intend to make my own barrels, I'd still need a gun drill. I was just curious how accurate a barrel made with a button is. I'm not trying to be rude, but don't you think I thought of buying barrels? When I ask a question I'd like to learn something. You're a little early here, haven't even considered buying the other things necessary to make a barrel. I'm thinking it might be something I'd be interested in doing some day. I have a lot of things I need to learn first.
Now I would like to know the answer to my original question, how accurate is a barrel made with a gun button compared to other methods??? This is a curiosity thing, there might be more barrel related questions, but not seriously considering making my own barrels YET!
The EDM thing was an idea for a special machine to burn barrel bores rifling and all. I understand there's a way to remove the recast layer through a process like electroplating, only in reverse. How good of a finish would that leave inside the barrel? Seriously, would the recast layer cause problems in a gun barrel??? I could see if it was super brittle, cracking all apart, and causing it to flake off from the shock of a bullet going through there, and an explosion. I dunno, just curious. I suppose there's a reason they don't manufacture gun barrels with EDM, because that does seem like an EASY way to do it. Put a piece of bar stock in the tank fixture, put the proper electrode on the end of the holder, and let it rip! A few passes, and you've got a barrel with a nice hard lining. You can get a pretty smooth finish with the right setup with an EDM, you have to go REAL slow. I was thinking the recast layer MIHGT be a good thing, but again, I'm not sure.
Rausch liked this post
02-08-2008, 12:32 PM #14
Les Baer Customs
I think his 1911 barrels are made with EDM, might want to talk to one of his sales people.
02-08-2008, 01:49 PM #15
The button rifling method can produce very accurate barrels.
Most of the people that build a rifling machine use the cut rifling method as its easier to change the rate of twist.
Try doing a Google search on cut rifling machines, as there is a video available, but I can't remember the makers name.
02-08-2008, 02:31 PM #16
As 220Swift said button barrels can be very good. Most of the top barrel makers of BR quality barrels use it, some use cut rifled and there very good also, just takes more time to do them than button and they cost more. The way I understand it the barrel blank, and that is a special steel, is first stress relived, drilled, reamed, stress relived again, buttoned or cut, contoured and stressed relived once more, then lapped. All this requires a gun drill, sine bar rifle and a very large heat treat oven.
02-08-2008, 04:17 PM #17
Look at this link for information on electrolytic rifling.
It leaves very smooth grooves. There is a small radius on the lands that some find objectionable. It will work with materials that are to hard to use any of the conventional rifling techniques.
ECM on a rifle barrel uses a traveling head with a rotary axis for twist, and only works in a small area at one time. This makes it easy to experment with different twists, or even gain twist. When ECM is used in shorter barrels, such as pistol or rifled shotgun chokes, the entire barrel is finished at one time.
02-08-2008, 05:47 PM #18
Equally without intending to be rude, the questions you are asking make it seem like you have done little or no research of your own in this field. Tony Boyer, a legend in benchrest shooting, shoots Shilen barrels exclusively; Shilen barrels are button rifled. So are Hart barrels, which are another of the premium benchrest barrels.
Perhaps I misinterpreted your question ("how do I go about rifling a barrel?") to mean you were asking what equipment you needed to make your own barrels as that question is asked here frequently. Presumably, you have since read the article by Geoffrey Kolbe which should have answered many questions.
02-08-2008, 09:52 PM #19
I think this fellow is like some, asks a question and all of a sudden all the people are wrong that trys to help him. The video you are speaking of is a great resource. As to button rifle barrels. Shilen requires their select match barrels to be within .0001 from end to end on both lands and grooves..
02-08-2008, 11:37 PM #20
Ok, let's look at this thread from the beginning.
First, I'M NOT the one that started the thread, just had some questions about the button and EDM.
Second, I ask some questions about specific methods and I get "go buy a barrel". :rolleyes: It's just not an answer to the questions asked, it's an obnoxious suggestion made by people that don't want to answer legitimate questions to show their contempt for people less knowledgable. It's not helpful, and could be interpreted as rather rude. It's funny how fast people jump in when there's a noob to pick on. Now all the sudden the "helpful" answer is wrong somehow rather than not helpful. Any idiot can spend $$$, knowing on what kind of barrel, and why is a good thing to know. Part of that is the method of manufacture. I couldn't afford the stuff to make barrels anyways, just curious about the processes involved, and figured I'd ask a couple stupid questions seen as there were some good responses to a rather noobish thread. Oh well, dunno what I was thinking.