Marking Identification on Barrels
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  1. #1
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    How do you guys mark the caliber identification on new or old barrels?
    I have asked a similar question on another machinist board. Several ways are pantograph, chemical etching, stamping and resist paper for sandblasting. I have talked to chemical itching companies and they said their products would etch to .003 depth.
    Is this deep enough?
    I'm not interested in personalizing or anything to do with receivers but might want to mark blued barrels that have been rechambered to another caliber - example .243 to 6x284
    I have stamped ID on barrels with a stamping jig but it just doesn't look professional to me.
    Have been searching for a pantograph but have not found one for what I call a reasonable price.
    Thanks.
    Larry

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    I will have the same problem some time soon and as I will be having some engraving done on the rifle, I will also have the caliber and serial number engraved.

    Paul G

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    Go with the pantograph, its the only way to fly. Till then try a trophey shop, I have had some done that way.

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    .

    [This message has been edited by caltom (edited 11-26-2003).]

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    Paul:
    Did you mean you are going to engrave serial number on barrel or receiver?
    If I'm not mistaken serial numbers on receivers must be stamped.
    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    If you meant to have them engraved on the barrels that's a good ideal also - I haven't had a request for that.
    Larry

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    I have had dood luck with the Pryor stamp sets. They are expensive, but when properly used they give a much more professional result than any of the other jigs for single stamp punches. Just be sure to try a few sample hits before you commit to the big ticket item. There is a technique to be learned.....

    Doug Giraud

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    Gator

    Yes the serial number belongs on the receiver. As to stamp or engrave I don't see the difference. It will be perfectly legible either way. Perhaps uncle sam will piss and moan about it. I still have the information books from when I was a dealer, perhaps I can find the regulation there.

    Paul G

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    Never having been able to get a nice, even, aligned stamp on a barrel I decided to make a fixture to hold the stamp while striking with a hammer. Since virtually all the stamping done is on the breech end of the barrel the fixture was made as a feature on the bushing used to hold the barrel in the barrel vise. My vise uses 1.750" O.D. bushings. I made these out of brass with a bored I.D. to match the barrel breech diameter, slitted one side and milled a slot opposite the slit. Slot width is only wide enough to insert the type slugs protruding from the handle. A flat was milled over the slot to thin the bushing wall enough to allow the type slugs to contact the barrel.

    In use the bushing is slid over the barrel with the slot positioned over the area to be stamped. This assembly is then clamped in the bench vise equipped with padded jaws while being supported underneath by a block of wood. The type slugs are installed in the handle and inserted into the slot. The handle is then rocked to make sure that the type is sitting flat on the barrel then struck with a hammer. It's almost foolproof.

    FWIW





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    Dave,

    Examination of your very interesting device leads me to believe that you are stamping the entire number in one step. Correct????

    Paul G

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    Paul,

    Yes, the holder will accomodate enough characters to meet most marking requirements. I try to keep the number at something less than 12. The holder is a Pryor brand which is available from most of the machinist tool suppliers.

    Dave M.

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    I think I gained at least 5 pounds in the last two days.

    Paul:
    Yes you're right - they will piss and moan about anything. As for the #'s having to be stamped on the receiver that's something that I was told a long time ago but never did research to see if it was true.
    Thanks.

    Dave:
    That's a very innovative idea you have there.
    Is the striking handle steel or aluminum?
    I will have to investigate your idea before ordering the metal etching kit.
    I have one of those holding fixtures that have "U" clamps to hold the letters/numbers while you strike them but the end result is not always to my satisfaction.
    You also have to put something under the steel "U" clamps to keep from marking the barrel.
    I have bid on several pantographs this week and they are selling for $300 - 350+ without fonts. Still a little high - just my opinion.
    As usual I have learned something else useful from you guys.

    Thanks.
    Larry

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    Larry,

    The handle is made of steel, pretty good steel judging by the number of whacks it's taken and not deformed.

    Dave M.

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    Gator I ment only the serial number is stamped on the receiver, Caliber # is always on the barrel. I will definitly ecgrave the caliber, not yet sure about serial #.

    Paul G

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    Hi Dave,

    Nice Jig! I'll have to make one of them.

    As to using a pantograph, I have been curious about using one myself. How does one get even depth of cut on a round barrel? Wouldn't one have to rotate the barrel to keep the cutter over center? I've never used one but engraving a round object using flat stencils has always perplex me.

    Regards,
    Webb

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    The stylus follows the contour of the barrel. With one hand you trace the fonts and with the other you hold a lever that pushes a shaft down that has the diamond on it to engrave the characters. Carl Clouse, an elderly retired man in the Dallas, Tex. area sells used machines and sets of fonts. Alot of my gunsmith friends buy from him because of the quality and price. PH# is 1-972-226-3700. Thebarrelman

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    Gator,
    I have not had much experience in marking barrels. When I started rechambering rifles last spring I knew I had to do something.My previous experiences with metal stamps led me to abandon that path,although Dave's nifty jig looks like it would solve the problem with alignment I had.The pantograph approach sounds like a good way to go too, but I did not know about it.

    I chose to purchase an etching unit from etch-o-matic. I had taken a pistolsmithing class from Jack Weigand two summers ago and he demonstrated a somewhat more sophisticated unit that he uses to etch his company logo on his custom pistols. The unit I bought comes with stencils you can put in a typewriter. Those are, in my opinion, O.K. for marking tools around the shop. However for really professional looking results, I suggest buying the company's stencil developing kit. You can make a logo or anything else you want on a computer in any font and develope it. You then have sort of a "silk screen" to place over the metal.

    I have done both barrels in the white and blued barrels. Already blued barrels need a black oxide etching solution that you can order separately. They have solutions for just about any metal.
    I don't mean to imply its easy, you have to do a lot of practice to get the feel of it. I etched everything in sight that didn't have a heartbeat, before I attempted a barrel. Wilson Combat also shows in one of their vidio tapes etching their logo on Custom pistols with a similar unit.

    Just thought I would throw my two cents in.

    catfish

    [This message has been edited by catfish (edited 12-04-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by catfish (edited 12-04-2003).]

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    Hello,

    I'd like to say hi and introduce myself to this group. I've been reading your posts for a long time and just want to say thank you for all the information you have passed along.

    I was wondering about a pantograph for this application too. Specifically, would a 2d model work or would a 3d model be required?

    Many thanks,
    DR

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    I would also like to say hi to the group I have learned so much from reading the posts.I use a pantograph for engraving the caliber on the barrel and stamps to redue ser.# on reviever after surface grinding if needed.The panograph gives a profesional touch to a rebarelling job.I use an old Greene Engraver with a diamond engraver which I believe is just 2d.

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    There is a spec for the size and depth of serial numbers(3/32 high .003 deep as I recall), but no required methods, Colt uses a pin stamp that forms letters and numbers with small dots...or at least they did on the officers model lighweight I once had.

    One cannot legally remove and replace a serial number on a firearm in the USA..you COULD surface grind and keep making the number STAY visible as you removed material

    Bill

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    It is my understanding that serial numbers HAVE TO BE STAMPED so there is a "stress record" of the serial number that could be raised by acid etching in an investigation. A letter to the ATF would be definitive.


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