Charles J. Moore, owner of The Appalachian Rifle Shop, manufactures custom, large-bore muzzleloader barrels. He found that few of his customers really understood the process that goes into the machining operations required to create a rifle barrel. To address this he compiled his knowledge of the art of barrel making into a comprehensive book on the subject. Steel Helix: A Gunsmith Machinist’s Answer to the Question of the Rifled Barrel was written to fill the void in practical information available to the home shop machinist who has an interest in rifled barrels.
This book is not a treatise on machining theory, nor is it a catalog of industrial machines used by major manufacturers to fabricate rifle barrels as the reader is assumed to already have this background and information. Moore provides ten recommended references in the bibliography to brush up on if needed.
Steel Helix details what the components of a machine capable of gundrilling, reaming and rifling must be able to do and how these components can be fabricated and assembled in the home shop. The book then goes on to describe how to fabricate the necessary cutting tools and use them to actually make rifle barrels. Choosing the proper barrel steel alloy and proof-firing the completed rifle supplements the reader’s knowledge with the final pieces of needed information. Steel Helix provides a practical how-to on the subject of rifle barrel making for interested home and small shop machinists who cannot afford to buy commercially manufactured machines capable of doing the job. For more information, visit steelhelixrifle.com.
Sky Horse Publishing (skyhorsepublishing.com) has two updated references available. The first is Gun Trader’s Guide, Thirty-Fifth Edition, A Comprehensive, Fully Illustrated Guide to Modern Firearms with Current Market Values. The book is a wide-ranging reference of gun values for collectors, curators, dealers, and gun enthusiasts, having remained a go-to standard for decades. Listings provide current values for up-to-date information of thousands of firearms, as well as classic and discontinued models, with new-in-box, excellent, and good condition prices. This edition has been updated since the previous edition and includes a guide on how to properly determine fair market value on nearly any firearm.
Shooter’s Bible 105th Edition, billed as “The World’s Bestselling Firearms Reference,” complements the Trader’s Guide. Originally available in 1924 as the mail order catalog of the Stoeger Arms Corporation, more than seven trillion copies have been sold. Having been in publication for nearly nine decades, Shooter’s Bible covers new firearm models as well as thousands of guns that have been in production and that are currently on the market.
Every firearms manufacturer in the world is included in this edition, along with sections on ammunition, optics, accessories, handgun and rifle ballistic tables, as well as extensive charts of currently available bullets for handloading. Also of note is coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Remington Model 1100 and 140th anniversary of the Winchester Model 1873.
Read more in our December 2013 issue. Back issues are available.