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Dialing in a barrel

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Unread 01-05-2008, 09:53 PM
TMR TMR is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Elma, WA
Posts: 555
Dialing in a barrel

After reading AJ's thread on barrel timing....I am curious as to the different methods the smiths on this forum use for dialing in a barrel. Seems like there are basically 3 schools of thought, with a little variation thrown in here and there:

1: Indicate the muzzle and the chamber end
2: Indicate the chamber end only and time the barrel with the "curve" up
3: Use a floating reamer holder and let the pilot due the work..

And then the subject of Preboring or just sending the reamer in relying on the pilot to keep it on track.

Lots of different methods, just curious to what you guys use.
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Unread 01-05-2008, 10:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Youngsville, NC
Posts: 434
Travis, I too am interested to hear the different methods to the madness.


I make a floating reamer holder that floats both coaxially and concentrically. It holds the reamer so the operators hands afe free and clear. It is rubber dampened to help prevent chatter. It also has a brass shear pin to prevent reamer breakage if a reamer hangs up. I use the Lambeth/Kiff Micrometer Adjustable Reamer Stop along with a high presure flush system. I want no heat or chips causing problems. This allows for barrel set up in the headstock so the barrel can be held ridgedly and turned with high speed. High speed, light cuts, small chips, extreme pressure coolants, means smooth cutting with little or no chatter.

You should talk with Dave Kiff at PT&G, Dave Manson, at Manson Precision Reamers, and Barrel makers like Tim North at Broughton, Dan Lilja at Lilja Barrels, Mike Rock, at Rock Creek, and Jack Krieger at Krieger barrels. I think you will find a consensus among these folks. Thes folks make the reamers and best barrels available.

I will be interested to see what comes of this post.

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Unread 01-05-2008, 10:45 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
On a DVD I have, Gordy Gritters indicates the last few inches (length of the chamber+) so the bore just in front of the chamber and the chamber area is running true in the lathe. He then bores the hole close before using the reamer. Then uses the reamer in a spring loaded reamer holder in the tailstock. He takes only a few (like 10-50) thousandths at a time with the reamer. He sets up the barrel lightly in the headstock, with only the chamber area out of the headstock.

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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