Precision Barrel Fitting, Part Four

Part Three ended with a mention of the barrel. It deserves much more than that.

by Chick Blood

What follows here can only be considered a beginning to barrel prep and installation, and gives me an additional opportunity to recommend the purchase of the third edition of John Hinnant’s book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Precision Rifle Barrel Fitting. How to and where are listed at the end of this article. It may surprise you to see Dave Manson being identified as a source. Well, it shouldn’t. Dave plays an important role in Hinnant’s content as most of it involves chambering, rechambering and crowning a barrel. How to do all three are described by John Hinnant inclusive of a lathe, however, and further includes how those vital steps can be accomplished equally well with hand tooling manufactured and supplied by Dave Manson.

I never claimed this series to be a substitute for the book’s total content. An encouragement to own it? For sure. Couple that with a polite plea to somehow, some way, rack up enough hours working with a lathe. There is no substitute for eliminating any concerns about your ability with machine tools other than getting to know them. I’ll only offer a single, very large warning: Never be wearing a necktie when you turn on a lathe. Way, way back in my high school shop days one classmate of mine had tucked his tie into his shirt. It fell out and began wrapping around the workpiece, fortunately being turned at moderate speed, between centers. Mr. Dudley, the shop teacher, was standing next to the kid, saw what had happened, whipped out the very sharp hunting knife he habitually wore on his belt, slashed the tie cleanly in half and my friend straightened up with his nose still attached to his face. Nobody ever wore a tie in shop class after that. I’m also betting nobody challenged Mr. Dudley to a knife fight, either.

Read more in our July 2014 issue. Back issues are available.

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