Glass beading a stainless rifle barrel

Dr. Vette

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When we were hunting in Wyoming this past October Dad slipped backwards off a rock, and landed on his rifle. Dad is fine, the rifle is not. I'll be sending the stock back to B&C for a repaint, and the scope is going to Vortex for some R&R.

The barrel received some scratches in it, and Dad would like it refinished to look like it did on Day 1. It's a Weatherby Mark V stainless model, which has a smooth matte finish on it. In reading on this site and others it appears that I can refinish this using glass bead. If I'm incorrect please let me know.

I know that I need to plug the barrel and action very well. I also would likely put duct tape on the inside of the action as this is THE smoothest Mark V we have, and I don't want to lose that. I will also plug the forward scope base hole as well as the front action screw hole, both of which lead to the barrel threads. I don't need media stuck in those.

My question is regarding what grit/grade of media to use. If I look at this site:


I wonder about the fine vs extra fine. Again, I want it to look like it did when Dad bought it new, and no different.

And, if you have any suggestion regarding whether to use higher or lower PSI, that would be helpful too.

Thanks for any input you may have.

Oh, and I've thought of doing it myself because I have all the equipment, and even purchasing 50 pounds of media is a lot less expensive than having someone else refinish it. Having blasted plenty of car parts with aluminum oxide and glass bead both I'm quite familiar with how it works.
 

J E Custom

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Hope your dad didn't hurt himself.

The glass beads will work fine with around 100 PSI air. (the size of the beads does not matter, just get what the sand blaster requires or a medium size bead.

Do it outside in the grass with a hand sand blaster Because the beads will shatter and dust will get everywhere.

Strip the receiver of everything that will come off and plug the barrel (Ear plugs work well)

Place a wooden dowel in the receiver that fits as close as it can to prevent direct impact of the beads on the inside of the action. and blast the barrel and the action. I like to hang the barreled action so It can be rotated.

Don't worry about the dust inside, it will get there no mater what. Just give it a thorough cleaning with air and follow up with a wash down with WD 40 or something similar.

Test the bolt in the action for any remaining grit/dust. If it is there you will feel it, and repeat the cleaning process.

When finished it will look as good if not better than it did. wipe it down with a good gun oil and you are ready to re assemble.
 

Dr. Vette

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Hope your dad didn't hurt himself.
Nope, the rifle did a great job of cushioning his fall. It was a slow tip back off a poorly balanced rock.

The glass beads will work fine with around 100 PSI air. (the size of the beads does not matter, just get what the sand blaster requires or a medium size bead.

Do it outside in the grass with a hand sand blaster Because the beads will shatter and dust will get everywhere.
Interesting. I already have glass bead, and some fresh stuff at that. I would have thought that the size of the bead would affect the apperance of the finish.

Any reason not to do it in my blast cabinet?
I have a Oneida Dusts Deputy and a large vacuum pulling air through, so I rarely have any problems with dust or vision inside the cabinet.
 

J E Custom

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Nope, the rifle did a great job of cushioning his fall. It was a slow tip back off a poorly balanced rock.



Interesting. I already have glass bead, and some fresh stuff at that. I would have thought that the size of the bead would affect the apperance of the finish.

Any reason not to do it in my blast cabinet?
I have a Oneida Dusts Deputy and a large vacuum pulling air through, so I rarely have any problems with dust or vision inside the cabinet.


The smallest beads will create a little rougher surface than the coarse but with lower pressure you can get the finish you want.

You can do it in your blast cabinet but the shattered glass beads can cause problems down the road
unless it is removed. The small blast media is normally a one time use so I do it outside to prevent contaminating my blast cabinet media.

Just the way I do it.

J E CUSTOM
 

Dr. Vette

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OK, gotcha. I might just toss out whatever beads are left when the process is done. Right now the temp is in the single digits here, so I'm not really enthused about doing this outside. :D
 

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