Precision Barrel Fitting, Part Six

More details of thread turning and headspacing are introduced as the barrel and receiver get closer to becoming a complete rifle.

by Chick Blood

By now some readers have noticed there has been no mention of manufacturing rifle barrels from scratch in this series. This is because making barrels requires very large machines to dead center bore a 22” to 27” blank and then install rifling. Also add “extremely expensive” in describing those machines. They very likely rely on computers to deliver their finished product.

Gone are the days when interested individuals taking a tour of a major rifle manufacturer’s plant would find row after row of milling machines, surface grinders, drill presses, and engine lathes, each manned by masters of their craft intent on producing excellence in a firearm. Sadly, also gone are many of the schools they attended much earlier in life to begin acquiring the skills they eventually came to apply. These amassed craft masters, a vanishing breed, have scattered to become treasured fixtures with companies much smaller than the ones they previously spent countless cumulative years. It should surprise no one that the barrel makers presently employing them are the most widely recognized for the consistent quality of their products.

Due to the facts just stated there will continue to be no significant mention of aftermarket barrel making. As I have up to now, I will continue to concentrate on methodology to be applied with OEM barrels and barreled actions.

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

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