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Gunco Samurai
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could someone please provide some education or resouces for learning about barrel making? I'm just looking for educational purposes only since I do not have the equipment at this time do anything myself, but I'm really curious as to the steps. Things like how the chamber is made, ect.
:thankyou: Taipan
 

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Happy Camper
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7,794 Posts
Talking about the factory mass-production method or home builds?

Read somewhere about HK hammer-forged barrels... they put a short, fat piece of steel on a belt and feed it end-first into these big hammers that hammer in unison around the circumference of the steel, and make it elongate into the right length. There are some good articles on the web, you need to search for "hammer forged" and you should find some of them.

I think you are talking about making something in the shop? If you want to start with a steel rod, you'd need a CNC lathe to properly bore the riflings. OR that mandrel deal that someone mentioned... works like a pantograph but on a spiral instead of a flat surface. It is basically a real wide pitch threading attachment for a lathe. The "threads" are not "threads per inch" but rather "inches per thread" ;) Heat treating would obviously be a necessity for the steel you are using. You'd need a kiln oven that can sustain the 1600 or so degrees you'd likely need for the steel. You'd have to find the correct heat treatment method for the steel (hunt and peck on the WWW) then find a kiln oven in the right size. Pistol barrels would obviously be easier to manage.

The barrel blanks you can buy are already threaded with the riflings and ready for lathe work to turn down to final shape.

Yahoo and Google are your friends. Obviously there are about 7 billion hits for "hammer forged barrel" or "barrel building" so have fun.
 

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Gunco Samurai
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3,340 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks HC, I did a yahoo search right after I posted and came up with some good hits.
I found that Midway has 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R PTG Solid Pilot Chamber Finish Reamers. Are these easily used to make the chamber on a .30 blank?
What kind of lathe could I get away with using to make useable barrels?
Other tools?

This is the 54R Chamber Finish Reamer.
 

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IIRC finish reamers put the final sizing on the chambered blank. I haven't made a custom barrel since 83 but here goes. You basicly have to decide what material you will use after deciding on a caliber. Stainless is less rust-prone then carbon alloy steel but is softer and holds heat from firing. That is why machine guns are typically alloyed steel with chrome bores. The bore has some of the advantages of stainless but cools more rapidly and doesn't erode in the throat as easily. Barrel blanks can be had pre-tapered or a a full round rough blank. It takes hours of lathe time to shape a rough blank. For a typical bolt action rifle you must thread the chamber end and chamber the barrel. After cutting to length you have to taper the barrel to the shape you want & crown the barrel to prevent damage to the rifling which causes fliers. For an AK you would have to make the shoulders where the trunnion, GB, and FSB go and thread the end. It took me 2 weeks to rebarrel a M70 with a 7mm stainless barrel blank and that's just threading, tapering, crowning, and drilling for mounts. AK would be twice the effort. There are some benefits to this labor intensive work. You could build a barrel for say a RPK and make it heavier, or longer, or even fluted to control flexing and cool faster (more surface area). Or build a short pistol barrel with a non-standard GB hole and port it instead of having a muzzle device. Magna-ported AK! LOL!!! Or build an extra-long barrel for an AMD-65 so you can use the folder in F**KING Michigan.
 

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Gunco Samurai
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, thanks for all the info....man now I wish I had a lathe. The two custom barrels I was dreaming of were RPK barrels (which I was told were a bitch) and a fluted PSL heavy barrel.
 
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