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Chambering goals

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Unread 02-21-2009, 03:29 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: Chambering goals

Well that's what going into debt is all about. . .

I've got the CNC mill bought and paid for already and If I did another 6 months here I'd have the lathe, but Momma and the kids have laid down the law so I pop smoke in 22 days. I can't wait either cause I'm ready to come home. I'm tired of this **** hole.

OK, no BS truth:

All this high dollar skunk works stuff is cool, but I've cut chambers on $2000 dollar Jett lathes bought from Harbor Freight too and I never had a gun shoot terrible.

Glenn Harrison, the founder of Nesika had a lathe that was absolutely TERRIBLE when I first met him and that's what Nesika used for chambering in Poulsbo. This machine was a POS and it would screw you every chance it got. It was so bad that once you engaged the half nut for threading you didn't dare take it out cause it'd never repeat. You threaded by running the tool upside down and the machine in reverse. Then you'd kill the power, back out and rotate it back to the start point by hand. This thing was so bad I didn't even like cutting screws with it so I made a fixture to do it on the mill. (works slick too)

When I say it sucked I mean it SUCKED.

In spite of this though they (and when I first go there we/I) built guns using that lathe that shot very very very well. Sometimes scary good in fact.

What this tells me is it comes down to the nut running the equipment and if you have some common sense you can get still get good results.

I had unique parameters at Dakota/Nesika. I had a huge budget and owners that didn't care what it took to make it the best it could be and when I say best I mean best. I'm not a super smart guy, I barely made it through HS and so I spent a great deal of time consulting with engineers and people with all kinds of fancy abbreviations attached to their name to make all this stuff work.

Mike Allen was my boss then and he is/was the most anal retentive sum biche you'll ever meet. As a holder of a PHD in metalurgy and a former head of a naval nuclear submarine research lab that tested hull integrity you can see why/how that came to be. He's also a great guy and his love for the product was genuine. If a floor metal was off by .015" we'd do it over because that's how thick the primer and paint is on a synthetic stock. And God help you if you tried to half ass it by using bedding to fix it cause lumps of crap in the inlets were never acceptable. Ever special order a trigger guard .015' thicker than normal so that you didn't have to scrap a whole stock?

That's the level of anal we lived by during that 3 year period and that's why you see bedding jobs that I do the way that they are.

If Dakota/Nesika ever get out of their financial troubles I'll scrap the whole idea of starting my own shop and beg (and I mean BEG) for my old job back in a second. It's the greatest job I ever had and I miss it a lot. I could design, develop, and produce anything I could dream up there. Just can't put a price on resources like that.

Maybe someday (fingers crossed)

thanks for the interest and hopefully this answered some questions.


Last edited by NesikaChad; 02-21-2009 at 03:45 AM.
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Unread 02-21-2009, 04:12 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,618
Re: Chambering goals

Thanks for the follow-up. Stay safe and hope the best for you wherever, and under whatever circumstances, you take up the gunsmithing/gun building trade again.
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Unread 02-21-2009, 09:11 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: ALABAMA
Posts: 300
Re: Chambering goals

Chad has successfully made me feel ignorant. I can retire from air traffic control in a couple of years at age 48 and was considering going back to school to learn this stuff but on second thought maybe medical school sounds easier.
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Unread 02-22-2009, 08:46 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 27
Re: Chambering goals

Thank you Chad, that was exactly the info I was looking for. I also have old but quality machines, e.g. 10EE and Gorton Millmaster so 0.001 is attainable.

I start tomorrow.

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Unread 02-23-2009, 10:17 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Wisconsin
Posts: 225
Re: Chambering goals

Chad obviously has much more hands on than I, but I'll add that indicating the muzzle end, and where the throat is, and then boring the chamber area true so the reamer gets the proper start works very well, and it will produce as good of chamber as any other on the manual machines. As for the coolant, well, sometimes you use what you got, so I'm still blowing chips off the reamer and cleaning the chamber each pass.... Wish I did have coolant through the barrel, that would be a great timesaver, and I think a better method.
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Unread 03-02-2009, 07:49 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
Posts: 247
Re: Chambering goals

I'll start by saying I have never touched a lalth but correct me if im wrong if you cut the chamber then bore the barrel and cut rifleing, could this help accuracy by custom cuting the barrel to match the chamber istead of cuting the chamber to match the barrel? It just seems to me that the chamber is much harder than the barrel to cut.
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Unread 03-03-2009, 03:52 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: Chambering goals

Well, a guy could certainly try that but I think you'd run into a number of problems.

Reaming a chamber isn't any more difficult than the person doing the work wants it to be. Your cramming a tool into an existing hole to cut a specific shape. It really is that simple.
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