Roughing reamer versus finish reamer

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Michael Eichele, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Is it possible to chamber a rifle with just a finish reamer from A to Z or does a roughing reamer have to be used first? Are there any advantages to a solid pilot versus a rotating pilot or vice versa?

    Thank you for any advice.
  2. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    Most of the time the finish reamer is all anyone uses. People use roughing reamers to lessen the load on the finish reamer when they chamber a lot of barrels in the same caliber.

    Solid pilot reamers usually come .001 under size on the pilot and removable pilots can be had in any size but commonly they are .0005" under bore size. So they are typically tighter and guide the reamer truer to the bore.

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    In my opinion, using a finishing reamer all the way is best. roughing reamers are used in
    production operations where speed is the objective. They are under sized and the chamber MUST
    be finished with a finish reamer.

    With a flushing system or frequent cleaning, the reamer will last/stay sharp for many chambers(I
    have reamers that have cut 10+ chambers that will still cut you if you run your hands down the
    flutes the wrong way).

    I have repaired chambers that were roughing reamer only chambers and there was no throat and the chamber was not concentric with the bore and had to be set back to clean it up. (These were
    new rifles that showed pressure at lowest loads and no accuracy and someone decided that a roughing reamer was good enough to do a chamber.

    As to the solid pilot or a removable piloted reamers, I use both and as long as the solid pilot reamer is a good fit (Less than .0005 clearance) I can see no difference, I use a high temp grease on both type of pilots to prevent any metal to metal contact with the bore to prevent any marking of the lands by ether pilot.

    Where accuracy is the goal and time is not a finishing reamer all the way is the best IMO.

  4. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    How do you get the grease to stay if you are using a flushing system?

    As far as roughing reamers I would venture to guess no accuracy smith uses them.
  5. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    I called and asked this question at Brownell's 10 years ago.

    I got pretty much the same answer as has been posted above.

    Now I have a dozen+ reamers and they are all finish reamers.