What tool / cutter setup do you use to turn rifle barrel shanks?

LVLAaron

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One thing worth mentioning and you might not have this problem. Biggest source of frustration dialing in barrel was brass tipped screws. Probably adjusting them too tight but nothing like getting close and your tip crushes or distorts and throws everything off. I changed over to using aluminum pads with a ball bearing tip on adjustment screws on inboard and outboard spiders. Made a world of difference in speed of dialing in. Also make sure outboard spider and inboard side, whether spider or chuck, that the jaws or adjuster screws are aligned the same.

Making those aluminum pads is pretty easy with mill and annular cutter. Used some 1/8" aluminum and made a 5/16" depression with a ball nosed mill, then drilled out with maybe 3/4" annular cutter and the ejected piece is your pad. I have 5/16' ball bearings tig welded onto end of 3/8"-24 adjustment bolts.

I am using brass tipped screws on the outboard spider. As I thought through it I really wanted to come up with a round "pad" or small v-block with the V facing the barrel so there's some more contact.

On the inboard side I'm using a big copper wire. I annealed the wire to wrap them in a circle in several different sizes. Gives a nice pivot point.

I think the way Area419 does it is quite clever:
1646676921883.png

I'm sure it's something they did themselves but I really like the idea.
 

xr650rRider

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I've been pretty happy with this setup. I saw an old video that I think Alex Wheeler (fantastic rifle builder) did that showed that was something very similiar that he was using at the time. Probably not now and he pulled nearly all his videos since everyone was copying his ideas I guess.
Works for me. Pretty secure as I've parted a bunch of times using this setup. You don't even need the fixture that is attached to a D1-4 backplate. If you can avoid the pins, you could drill directly in the backplate for the adjustment bolts. Shorter and closer to the spindle just seems logical. Won't impress your girlfriend like a TBAS but I like simple.

Inboard
IMG_3266.jpg

Outboard
IMG_3267.jpg
 

xr650rRider

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On the inboard side I'm using a big copper wire. I annealed the wire to wrap them in a circle in several different sizes. Gives a nice pivot point.

I see a lot of people using the copper wire but my experience is that copper will distort and your dial-in will change. Especially annealed copper. Might not if just lightly clamped. I bought several packages of the 3/8"-24 copper tipped screws from Grizzly. At the time it was $2 for 4 of them. I'd notice after barrel spinning for a while, some of them cracked, some just crushed. Made some of my own with #4 copper wire, tips distorted too easily. Made some out of copper bronze rod and was better but they still mushroomed making removal from spider difficult. Went to the above method and it doesn't mar barrels and doesn't move. Now blued barrels it might mar but I've only done a few blued steel barrels and used shim to protect. Also used on Proof Research carbon fiber.
 

pontiac428

John Newman
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I'm really curious about your 1-thread setbacks. On a Rem, 1 thread is .0625, which is a pretty big bite in terms of reaching the lands, but may be a little small as far as setbacks go (for example, setting back a factory barrel to touch the lands with proper match loads may be as big as .200). Do you note drifting accuracy, or are you seeing throat erosion when length gauging? Are you bore scoping? And, of course, what caliber, velocity, and round count are you running on those barrels? Does their accuracy return after this setback?

It seems like a desirable thing to do, so I'm squeezing you for information. My match calibers are 6BR and .308, neither are barrel burners. I play with .204 Ruger, .243, and .22-250, which are harder on barrels and good candidates for set backs as they wear. I keep an eye on things with a COL gauge and a bore scope, and I'm fussy about bore cleaning. It's still kind of tough to monitor throat erosion, so I'm curious about how you reach the conclusion that a .0625 (or whatever) setback is going to do what you want it to do.

If it matters, I do all of my work with HSS and use a steady just like the old timers did, and my go-to is John L. Hinnant.
 

LVLAaron

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I'm really curious about your 1-thread setbacks. On a Rem, 1 thread is .0625, which is a pretty big bite in terms of reaching the lands, but may be a little small as far as setbacks go (for example, setting back a factory barrel to touch the lands with proper match loads may be as big as .200). Do you note drifting accuracy, or are you seeing throat erosion when length gauging? Are you bore scoping? And, of course, what caliber, velocity, and round count are you running on those barrels? Does their accuracy return after this setback?

It seems like a desirable thing to do, so I'm squeezing you for information. My match calibers are 6BR and .308, neither are barrel burners. I play with .204 Ruger, .243, and .22-250, which are harder on barrels and good candidates for set backs as they wear. I keep an eye on things with a COL gauge and a bore scope, and I'm fussy about bore cleaning. It's still kind of tough to monitor throat erosion, so I'm curious about how you reach the conclusion that a .0625 (or whatever) setback is going to do what you want it to do.

If it matters, I do all of my work with HSS and use a steady just like the old timers did, and my go-to is John L. Hinnant.

It's enough to clean up the throat/lands. If the barrel is a hummer, it works really well. I've had barrels that look like I'm smuggling crocodiles inside. cracked to hell and the cracks full of copper fouling, that still shoot 1/4-1/3 minute... but eventually the lands and crown need a little touch up. If the barrel wasnt great to start with, its probably not worth the set back.
 

pontiac428

John Newman
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Thanks. How do you make the determination that it's time for a one-thread setback?
 

LVLAaron

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Thanks. How do you make the determination that it's time for a one-thread setback?

I don't have a great answer for you. For me, I shoot a barrel for a season. If it's a hammer I might take it off early and save it. So if I were going to get one set back, I'd just wait till the winter season when matches aren't happening. 1000 rounds feels about right for my 308 FTR gun.
 

pontiac428

John Newman
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It makes sense to do a crown- and leade- refurbish seasonally. I'm surprised on the .308 FTR @ 1000 rounds, that seems really early, but starting the season fresh is starting fresh, and that counts for something.
 
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