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Making Rifle Barrels.

Buckrun

Junior Member
#1
I hope I can run this by you guys and get some input. As some of you know I am in the process of building a machine in my shop to drill, ream and cut the rifling to make my own rifle barrels.

I started collecting the material about 4 years ago. Last year I started building the machine. I only have a short time each winter and spring to work on it. So it is time to get busy before the garden takes all my spare time again.

I will post some pictures of where I am so far with some descriptions if what the pictures are. I have some questions that some of you may be able to help me with.

This is a picture of the machine with out the sled on the bed rails. You can see the pillow block bearings that hold the DOM tubing that will hold the “barrel to be”

The block in front of the tube is what is used during the rifling stage. There are holes spaced around the tube to lock it in place for either 4, 5 or 6 rifling groves.



This is a picture of the sled and whip guide that rides on the two guide rods. The larger sled will have a mount to hold the gun drill and reamers. The all thread rod underneath is how the motor will feed the drill and pull the reamer back through the barrel.

The whip guide just keeps the drill shaft straight.



Today I started working on the machine again. I drilled the holes in the channel to mount the bed rails and the threaded rod. They were just setting in place in the picture above.

Next I have to make a decision. The plans call for a chain to be attached to the bottom of the sled that will be used during the rifling stage. Cutting the rifling it is done by hand. There will be a hand crank sticking out of the front of the channel. It is attached to a sprocket and drives the sled back and forth pulling the cutter through the barrel.

First off I don’t think my shoulders will last through all the cranking to finish the job. I have been thinking about attaching a hydraulic cylinder to the sled. Then use something like is used on a log splitter to drive it in and out. The cylinder wouldn’t have to be very large dia. but it needs to be kind of long. Around 3.5’ to 4’ I don’t know where to find something like that.
 

Buckrun

Junior Member
#2
Here is a picture of a machine to cut the rifling. See how as the cutter is pulled through the barrel the block goes up the ramp and the gear turns the cutter. At the right end it is adjustable to set how many inches per turn. I want to incorporate something like this on my machine. But that would add more weight to what I have to move with a hand crank. That is why I am thinking about using hydraulics.



I am also thinking if I do this but make the guide and gear to run horizontal. That way I won’t have to turn the crank pushing the block up the slope.

I have thought about motorizing it but I think using hydraulics makes stopping and starting changing directions more controllable.
 
#3
What I can see of your work

Looks to be great
Keep us posted on your progress


For the cylinder
Check any local Tractor and farm machinery places

They might have a used one that you could snag semi cheap

If not
Look in the local Yellow pages for a place that fixs hydraulics
They might be able to help you


Are you getting into gunsmithing ?
As I have been kicking around the idea of building up a 6.5x55 and 35 Wellen on some Trk actions I have
Large ring 98 actions with small ring threads

John
 

Buckrun

Junior Member
#6
lol I am still a long way from cranking out barrels. I have only played around with gunsmithing on my own stuff. This barrel making has been a dream for a long time.

I am a member of a DIY Home Gunsmithing board and have been reading stuff there for years.

Another thought for this machine is to use it to make the receiver for bolt actions. All you would have to do is use two cutters to cut the bolt rails. It would take quite a while but when finished they would be a long rod and could cut to length. Probably get 3 or 4 actions from each rod.

Still dreaming it is a long way off.

One more thing. I have been thinking about picking up some scrap DOM tubing and making my own cylinder. It can't be that hard and I am not looking for something with a lot of power. It will only be pushing 20 or 30 lb.
 
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Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
32,161
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201
#7
Man Buck. That's just plain kick ass..

I've had a bolt gun idea in my head for a while now. FN makes a P90 carbine and a FN Five Seven. Both shoot the 5.7x28mm round... I'm thinking in a 24 inch barreled bolt gun that 5.7x28mm would be HELL on short range varmints.
 
#8
Man Buck. That's just plain kick ass..

I've had a bolt gun idea in my head for a while now. FN makes a P90 carbine and a FN Five Seven. Both shoot the 5.7x28mm round... I'm thinking in a 24 inch barreled bolt gun that 5.7x28mm would be HELL on short range varmints.
Savage is listing the model 25 Walking Varmiter in 5.7x28 now
Only a 22" barrel though
But IMO that small of a case , it should not matter

Not not Savage's site yeat
But they are also offering the Walking Varmiter in 5.45x39
That interests me , as I have a AK74 and load for it


John
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
32,161
11,037
201
#9
Savage is listing the model 25 Walking Varmiter in 5.7x28 now
Only a 22" barrel though
But IMO that small of a case , it should not matter

Not not Savage's site yeat
But they are also offering the Walking Varmiter in 5.45x39
That interests me , as I have a AK74 and load for it


John

Nice! I'll have to give the Savage a look. I have wanted a bolt gun in that caliber for a long time and even looked at a custom maker. In reality my .223 is better but I think it would be an awesome short distance round. Especially if someone wanted to go on a prairie dog shoot and expend a butt load of ammo.. Last I checked the ammo was cheap, and for reloading it's the same bullet as a .223..
 
#12
For an extended hydraulic cylinder check with your local junk yard and see if they have one off a dump truck. Those are quite long.
They are also like 2.5" dia or bigger. That would take a bunch of hydraulic fluid and be very heavy. But I think larger dia. would also be more controlable on the speed of travel. I'll keep it in mind.

I still have a bunch of details to figure out.
 

"J"

Bass fishing aficionado....
Supporting Member
40,689
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Davie County, NC
#13
Flow regulators or restrictors will also limit the speed of travel, bigger bore less work for it.... I've got some connections (no pun intended) in the field of hydraulics lol....
 
#14
Flow regulators or restrictors will also limit the speed of travel, bigger bore less work for it.... I've got some connections (no pun intended) in the field of hydraulics lol....
It would have to be at least 40" I have been thinking I may want to make a muzzle loader barrel. So I made the bed rails long. They also need to be cheep. I work for a living. Do you know anything about how to make a cylinder?
 

Geezer

*Hims a Super Moderator*
11,640
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#15
Very impressive - uhm a li'll worried about the all thread though - will that take the strain ? - be waiting ta see your first barrel - uhm - what's the process on heat treating and such ?
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
9,699
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Mahoning Co.
#16
Just found this thread and find it very interesting. Will keep an eye on it.

I have some old cylinders lying around, I might have a 2 1/2 x 30 or 36" pretty sure it's not over 36". I'll look around.

All thread is available in grades 5 and 8 if the one used isn't strong enough. You can get acme all thread too.
 
#17
The original machine made by Bill Webb used all thread to drive the sled. I don't think there is much pressure on the drill or reamers.

I will measure things this weekend. I have to put a chip box on the rails that will take up some space so I really don't know how long the cylinder has to be. I will probably set it up with the crank first. Just to see how hard it is to move.

The top flat of the channel that it is all being mounted to is 1/2" thick. It is really tough to drill all these 1/2 and larger holes through. Now I have to cut some slots for the chain to go through. Not looking forward to having to do this.
 
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Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,806
354
110
#19
You know you could use a cylinder off a back hoe like a case or John deer. those to arm cylinder are pretty long