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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

Just a question and little story about re-boring barrels. For those who haven't heard of it or don't know much about it, it's taking an existing barrel and drilling it out to a larger caliber. The rifling is then cut, button pulled through it or hammer forged if so desired (not for the small shop though). After that it is hand lapped and ready for service.

I have several re-bore barrels. One is a 6mm Remington on a Rem 722. The last time I shot it, I got a 3 shot group of about 1/2" at 200 yds. What's funny about it is that I had a chance to buy the fellow's machine that re-manufactured the barrel. He was a real interesting guy, though I never met him personally.

His name was Koozer. I don't even know his first name. He was a gunsmith with but had polio and was confined to a wheelchair and lived into his nineties. While working on a customers rifle he was having some trouble with a barrel and confronted the barrel maker about it. The barrel maker said the barrel was just fine and they argued. Koozer finally told the maker, "I could make a better barrel with an axe!"

Koozer setout to make this machine for reboring barrels. It was genious. Redrilling the barrels was not so technical, but the rifling process amazed me. The barrels were bored and cut rifled, but not single point. The blades for cutting the rifling were made from hacksaw blades that he meticulously ground to the size he wanted and fit into a small grip. He used different gears to work out different twists in the barrels. The machine was hand crank and used a steering wheel off of a school bus. I was told that he would sit in his wheel chair and crank it back and forth until the barrel was finished. It took him 30 passes. From there he hand lapped the barrels and away they went.

Anyway, some questions about what to do with older "take-off" barrels reminded me of this story. I thought I would pass it on.

Talk about your recycling....
 

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wow,,talk about ingenious!

I would love to see a rifleing machine. I think reboring would be fun,,but it's probably only worth while doing to a special barrel with special sights or other aspects that would be expensive or impossible to recreate. The name LaBounty is who I have read purchased P.O. Ackley's barrel making machinery. Turnaround time is long,,but he makes a good, new, larger, bore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alan in GA,

I don't know. I have been thinking about giving it a try. There are a lot of barrels out there that may not be worth anything but are good steel and the hard work of the deep hole drilling has already been completed. I think I would try button rifling though. Isn't it Obermeyer that says that anyone can pull a button through a bore?

Regarding Ackley's old equipment, the last time I was at the community college at Trinidad, some of his barrel equipment was still in the basement. The college wasn't offering any courses in barrel making. Do you know if that is where LaBounty got the machines?
 

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Barrel reboring.

I have given reboring barrels a thought on more than one occasion. I’ve checked several sites for information and pricing. The price in most cases is so close to the price of a new barrel it’s a toss up in my opinion.

When I hear about a couple of rebores winning the Top gun match or something of that nature I’ll give it serious consideration.
 

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I have had a couple rebored out of sentimental reasons and to keep the original contour on an old barrel. octogon or half octogon on an old lever. I once did a stevens pal by bore and silver soldred in a sleve. that was before we trusted epoxy.
 

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I have had 2 done...

Mine were both on AR-15 barrels. I didn't have too much choice at the time. Both were cut. Let's just say that while I might give it another try, I won't give HIM another try. Not only did the barrels come back rough inside, but maybe even worse his business practices were terrible! I am a machinist and I do know things happen... just be honest with me and don't jack me around and things well be fine... I have only put one on an action, and it is fairly accurate but it fouls badly! I plan to work out a deal with a barrel maker so I don't have to use the second one.

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't see winning matches happening soon!

I have given reboring barrels a thought on more than one occasion. I’ve checked several sites for information and pricing. The price in most cases is so close to the price of a new barrel it’s a toss up in my opinion.

When I hear about a couple of rebores winning the Top gun match or something of that nature I’ll give it serious consideration.
I guess I wouldn't expect any matches to be won anytime soon with re-bores. I think it is because if a top match shooter has a favorite barrel that he wants to keep, the barrel is cutoff and re-chambered at the breech. By the time they get to the point that they decide to change barrels, the old one is getting a little short.

Secondly, if it is bored in the caliber desired already, why bore it to something larger to shoot closer with a shorter barrel (assuming it started out as a long range barrel and was shortened to use at 100 yd).
 

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If you have a Shilen barrel in a larger caliber, say .338 or .35, chances are that it's been rebored. A lot of barrel makers rebore smaller caliber 'blems' to a larger caliber and re-rifle them.

I'm willing to bet that the Shilen barrel on my .35 Whelen is a rebore, and it shoots great and doesn't foul! And, it kills stuff DEAD!
 

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Reboring works fine, but it's not for every situation. With a hard to find or rare/very valuable firearm, or makings that need to stay there, reboring is the way to go. But just to make the barrel larger, it may not be worth it. Then finding someone who'll do the work is another thing. These people are barrelmakers and there just aren't a lot of them who specialize in this sort of thing. And just like barrels, some are probably better than others. It can take awhile to have the job done. Then there's cost.....it's not too much more expensive to buy a new blank. And, the new bore has to be larger than the old one by a certain amount.

I had a rebore done about 10yrs ago. It was to save the cost of threading on both ends - for brake and action - and then do a rechamber by just enlarging the chamber neck. And really , I just wanted to try a rebore. Cliff LaBounty made a ruined .243 barrel into .257 and it came out just beautiful, as good as any barrel anywhere. He does match quality cut-rifling and his work is absolutely superb. And he's a heck of a good guy. The job took I believe about 6 mos., and cost about $190 if memory serves. He'll set up for a particular caliber and run those, then go to another. That's why it can take some time......just depends on what size you need and where you are in the sequence, and if there are enough others of that size to warrant a setup. Last I talked with him, much of his time was spent reboring expensive big double rifles.

Surely there must be more people doing this now, and button rifling would be no surprise. But I can't even imagine using a hammerforge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are others

...
Surely there must be more people doing this now, and button rifling would be no surprise. But I can't even imagine using a hammerforge.


Right now with the exception of blanks, I think it is all limited to cut rifling.

Not sure but what other real serious problems could occur with the other processes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not much...just remembered one issue.

So things changed in 7hrs?
Not too much...It's just that the people I know that re-bore take-off barrels cut the rifling or use liners in smaller calibers, if you want to count that. I was forgetting one little detail though. Hammer forging and pulling a button through barrels, though it can be done, is performed on an barrel that has not been contoured, if I remember correctly. What is it, about 15 to 25 tons to pull a button through a bore? If you try that on an supported barrel that is countoured, I was thinking that it is possible that either the button will crack the steel as it deforms the barrel passing through the thinner parts due to the local tension stress, or buckle the barrel due to p-delta effects. Octagon barrels maybe could take it, but I don't know that for sure either. And who hammer forges barrels besides the big manufacturers anyway?

Perhaps you can set me straight there as well.
 

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Not too much...It's just that the people I know that re-bore take-off barrels cut the rifling or use liners in smaller calibers, if you want to count that. I was forgetting one little detail though. Hammer forging and pulling a button through barrels, though it can be done, is performed on an barrel that has not been contoured, if I remember correctly. What is it, about 15 to 25 tons to pull a button through a bore? If you try that on an supported barrel that is countoured, I was thinking that it is possible that either the button will crack the steel as it deforms the barrel passing through the thinner parts due to the local tension stress, or buckle the barrel due to p-delta effects. Octagon barrels maybe could take it, but I don't know that for sure either. And who hammer forges barrels besides the big manufacturers anyway?

Perhaps you can set me straight there as well.


First it's one thing, then it's something else. And it's really all just talk. So why do you bother throwing all this stuff around when you really don't know what you're talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In hopes of...

First it's one thing, then it's something else. And it's really all just talk. So why do you bother throwing all this stuff around when you really don't know what you're talking about?
getting set straight by someone as experienced as yourself. I live for that.


Thanks again for the valuable input that you are so credited for.
 
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