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Login Name Post: What is a swamped barrel??        (Topic#236045)
happyhunter 
36 Cal.
Posts: 57
07-15-09 12:20 PM - Post#738548    


I am sure this is a really basic question, but I don't know... I have a TC Renegade, does it have a swamped barrel?

Thanks!!

 
Coot 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3041
07-15-09 12:35 PM - Post#738551    

    In response to happyhunter

Swamped barrels are those which taper from the breech end down to a point past the middle (we might say 3/5 of the length from the breech but it can vary) & then flares till it reaches the muzzle (but still smaller across the flats than the breech end). Swamped barrels are more expensive than those with straight (parallel) sides or those with a simple taper from the breech to the muzzle. Swamped barrels are typically have much better balance, particularly in long barrels. You will find swamped barrels on higher end guns that reflect earlier periods when most rifles had hand made barrels. Straight barrels (then as now) tend to be shorter and are more typical of factory (machined) barrels.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
07-15-09 12:42 PM - Post#738552    

    In response to happyhunter

  • happyhunter Said:

I have a TC Renegade, does it have a swamped barrel?



No, its a straight, 1" inch thick octagon barrel.

To go along with Coot's description, scroll down the barrel page here and you'll see dimensional diagrams of swamped barrels...

http://www.ricebarrels.com/chart.html

Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
fyrfyter43 
45 Cal.
Posts: 769
fyrfyter43
07-15-09 12:44 PM - Post#738555    

    In response to happyhunter

If it's a factory barrel, then no, it isn't swamped.

A swamped barrel tapers down from the breech towards the muzzle, and then flares back out before the muzzle.

Here's a pic that shows it better than I can explain it.



 
happyhunter 
36 Cal.
Posts: 57
07-15-09 12:46 PM - Post#738557    

    In response to Roundball

Interesting, thinner in the middle. Are they octagon or round? I imagine such a barrel would be hard to make if it were octagon.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
07-15-09 12:50 PM - Post#738560    

    In response to happyhunter

  • happyhunter Said:
Interesting, thinner in the middle. Are they octagon or round? I imagine such a barrel would be hard to make if it were octagon.


Octagon....the flats are 'draw-filed'...ie: you could even have your Renegage barrel swamped if you wanted to pay someone to do then then reblue it, etc.

Big benefits of swamping longer barrels is weight reduction and improving balance...and the taper can then also add to the asthetics some
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
Coot 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3041
07-15-09 01:00 PM - Post#738565    

    In response to happyhunter

The term is normally used with octagon shaped rifled barrels (not just rifle barrels - one of my pistols has a swamped barrel) Yes, they are harder to make (by machine at least) & thus modern swamped barrels cost more and are generally found on custom guns. While some fowlers have tapered round barrels that may have a bit of flare at the muzzle, the term "swamped" is not normally used for them.

 
LaBonte 
Passed On
Posts: 2238
07-15-09 02:31 PM - Post#738599    

    In response to Coot

To keep the facts straight - Not all swamped barrels were or are octagonal - historically they were made in octagonal, full length round, and octagon to round.......

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
07-15-09 02:59 PM - Post#738606    

    In response to LaBonte

  • LaBonte Said:

"...octagon to round..."




Seems like a "swamped octagon to round barrel" would be a geometric challenge to build and still look good
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
Anonymous 
07-15-09 03:03 PM - Post#738607    

    In response to LaBonte

  • LaBonte Said:
To keep the facts straight - Not all swamped barrels were or are octagonal - historically they were made in octagonal, full length round, and octagon to round.......



Are there any photos or docs to show a full-length, round, swamped barrel?

Are there any photos or docs to show an octagon to round, swamped barrel?

 
Grizzly Adam 
36 Cal.
Posts: 53
07-15-09 03:10 PM - Post#738609    

    In response to Wolfen

My Chamber's English Fowler has a full-length, swamped round barrel.

 
Swampy 
Cannon
Posts: 15602
Swampy
07-15-09 03:11 PM - Post#738610    

    In response to Wolfen

Oct/round here,

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(stpt115505xyyr45m3v5k055))/categories/partList....


 
Joe Mandt 
40 Cal.
Posts: 271
07-15-09 03:13 PM - Post#738611    

    In response to Coot

Couple of questions.
Is the thinking behind a swamped barrel that you reduce the weight, but you leave enough meat at the muzzle end so that you can dovetail for the front sight?
Also, is the "swamping" on some modern ML'er barrels a bit exaggerated or did they really leave the metal that thin in the middle?

 
Joe Mandt 
40 Cal.
Posts: 271
07-15-09 03:17 PM - Post#738613    

    In response to Swampy

interesting.....they make a rifled version of that barrel too.

 
Coot 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3041
07-15-09 04:51 PM - Post#738640    

    In response to Joe Mandt

  • Joe Mandt Said:
Couple of questions.
Is the thinking behind a swamped barrel that you reduce the weight, but you leave enough meat at the muzzle end so that you can dovetail for the front sight?
Also, is the "swamping" on some modern ML'er barrels a bit exaggerated or did they really leave the metal that thin in the middle?



A swamped barrel will be noticeably lighter and balance further back than a straight barrel with the same breech dimensions. You don't need to leave too much metal at the muzzle for a dovetail - pressure will be lower than at the breech end so you don't need as much thickness, also keep in mind that these barrels are normally held in place by pinning to the stock - so even the thinner part near the middle could wind up being cut for a dovetail to hold under barrel lugs for pinning. A swamped .50 rifle of mine has four dovetails cut under the barrel that hold lugs for pinning the barrel to the stock.

As to new vs old barrels & the amount or degree of swamping, then & now, there are so many variations of each that I would hesitate to generalize. Certainly there is a happy medium as to the amount of swamping in any barrel - too much & it is weak for it's size and too little leaves it heavy both to carry and at the muzzle. I like to think that the builders then & now realize that. Perhaps some of our builders on the board call add insight......

 
Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4109
07-15-09 04:53 PM - Post#738642    

    In response to Joe Mandt

  • Joe Mandt Said:
Couple of questions.
Is the thinking behind a swamped barrel that you reduce the weight, but you leave enough meat at the muzzle end so that you can dovetail for the front sight?
Also, is the "swamping" on some modern ML'er barrels a bit exaggerated or did they really leave the metal that thin in the middle?


Right-O on all points, Joe. Not only do you leave enough meat for a dovetail for the front sight, but you have enough meat that the sight does not need to be taller than the rear sight. On a tapered barrel w/o the flare, unless the front sight it tall, it shoots high.

Most all the standard octagonal swamped barrels today (A-D weight from Colerain, Getz, Green Mountain, Longhammock, etc) are exaggerated compared to what was used say, 1770-1790. Earlier swamped barrels could be as exaggerated as what are sold today. I think they make them exaggerated to get the best "bang for the buck" in providing weight savings and balance qualities. Not sure folks would pay the extra for a small gain in balance and weight savings. But a buddy and I just had a couple of barrels made by Bobby Hoyt with more of a 1770's profile because we're replicating a specific original. Not as wasp-waisted.

 
toz 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
07-15-09 06:56 PM - Post#738677    

    In response to Rich Pierce

"SWAMPED" - when and where did the term come into use? - Bill

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8217
hanshi
07-15-09 07:12 PM - Post#738682    

    In response to toz

"Swamped" also refers to a barrel (after the fact) that has been very, very, very disappointing, read that, lousy.

 
LaBonte 
Passed On
Posts: 2238
07-15-09 10:42 PM - Post#738757    

    In response to Wolfen

Are there any photos or docs to show a full-length, round, swamped barrel?

Are there any photos or docs to show an octagon to round, swamped barrel?


Yes - there are you just got to do the research the same way I did.........


 
Anonymous 
07-15-09 10:48 PM - Post#738759    

    In response to LaBonte

  • LaBonte Said:
Are there any photos or docs to show a full-length, round, swamped barrel?

Are there any photos or docs to show an octagon to round, swamped barrel?

Yes - there are you just got to do the research the same way I did.........




It's rude to have a member tell a person, "find it yourself". Very discouraging for the novice.

Quite often, when people ask questions on a forum, others will point them to the information. Two others gave some examples (thanks Grizzly and Swampy), but obviously you're not that kind of person.

 
LaBonte 
Passed On
Posts: 2238
07-16-09 12:36 AM - Post#738781    

    In response to Wolfen

Well it's been a VERY long, hot day (100° and at 6500' ASL the sun is intense) and I've got several more hours to go yet -
FWIW: I was in the process of editing my last post since I was admittedly a bit terse, but with no intention of being rude, but then I lost it to the computer "gawds"...
On the other hand I do stand by my earlier statment - I STRONGLY believe even the newbies should learn to do the research and not always depend on others for their answers. Forums of any ilk (and I'm a member and mod on several), IMO should be a place of sharing as much as a place of learning. I also believe that everyone should realize that offering research info can be time consuming and at times it seems to be too often a one way street and then it does get tiresome.... And FWIW I've frequently offered plenty of constructive info here despite the time and effort it takes and no I am not looking for a pat on the back or any such thing.....

Anyway - as I said such barrels do exist on both long guns and handguns, and can be primary documented (with all due respect to vendors there offerings should be cross referenced with period source no matter who they are)/
Off the top of my head and with a quick perusal of just a few resources:
1) Swamped octagon to round: The Turvey Rifle in the Rifles of Colonial America (a set of books any serious student of the subject should have) is just one and there are several others listed in other books as well such as English Guns and Rifles by George and British Pistols and Guns 1640-1843 by Glendenning.
2) Swamped full round: quite common on late flint era English trade and military pistols such as those built by Ketland - full round except for at times a small flat on either one or both sides of the breech. Also seen on English rifles of the period.

There are many books such as those already mentioned as well as those by DeWitt Bailey, Garavaglia and Worman, to name just a few that should be in anyones library or borrowed via ILL.
Other resources include the well respected auction houses who offer images and info of originals such as James D Julia, J C Devine, Cowans, and Gary Hendershott.........and that's just the tip of the iceberg..........


 
Ben Coogle 
40 Cal.
Posts: 122
07-16-09 05:56 AM - Post#738795    

    In response to toz

I believe "Swamped Barrel" is a modern term. I visited the Williamsburg Gun Shop in 1976 and used the term. I was swiftly corrected by Gary Brumfeld if I remember correctly, he called them 'tapered and flared'. Said 'swamped' was a 'Muzzle Blast's-ism' referring to the magazine.

I've used "tapered and flared" since!

I once filed a straight barrel to that profile. Took three hours per flat, but I was broke!

Ben

 
Squire Robin 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2506
Squire Robin
07-16-09 06:38 AM - Post#738798    

    In response to Ben Coogle

Curiously the Mary Rose pattern musket is swamped, 1.43" at the breech, .98" at the muzzle but 10" back from the muzzle it's only .92"

That dates from the reign of Henry VIII 1509-47

Old technology but the Lord alone knows what they called it. Probably not "swamped"
http://www.robinhewitt.net/wallclay.wmv


 
Ben Coogle 
40 Cal.
Posts: 122
07-16-09 08:43 AM - Post#738827    

    In response to Squire Robin

Most old barrels are either tapered and flared or tapered. You really don't get straight barrels much until the Industrial Revolution and the advent of machine tools. They would be harder to make by hand.

The Alderney wreck firearms are probably the same way although cannon technology had grown immensly since the Mary Rose.

 
marmotslayer 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4487
07-16-09 10:54 AM - Post#738855    

    In response to Squire Robin

  • Quote:
Old technology but the Lord alone knows what they called it. Probably not "swamped"



Well, if it came from the Mary Rose it would seem to be correct.

 
marmotslayer 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4487
07-16-09 10:57 AM - Post#738856    

    In response to Ben Coogle

  • Quote:
I once filed a straight barrel to that profile. Took three hours per flat, but I was broke!



I have blank with a 15/16th channel and straight 1" barrel. What you did is kinda what I was planning to do. I'm now persuaded otherwise.

 
Joe Mandt 
40 Cal.
Posts: 271
07-16-09 03:01 PM - Post#738927    

    In response to Ben Coogle

  • Ben Coogle Said:
I once filed a straight barrel to that profile. Took three hours per flat, but I was broke!

Ben


Things like "reasonable shop rate" and "time is money" do tend to go out the window when you are flat broke, as do questions like "Gee, why don't you just by a surface grinder?"

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8217
hanshi
07-16-09 06:25 PM - Post#738966    

    In response to Joe Mandt

Not to throw the thread off track but "tapered and flared" seems to be the proper way I've always heard them described. Still, "swamped" does have that homey, country, old timey sound to it.

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
07-16-09 08:55 PM - Post#739024    

    In response to happyhunter

Go to Track of The Wolf's web site and they have graphics showing swamped barrels in their barrel section.
Tapered and flared is not an accurate description since then often have a waist that has little or no taper for several inches close to the muzzle before flaring to the final dimension. Depends on the "swamp". The idea was to have sufficient breech thickness while still having a lighter weight gun. The increase in diameter at the muzzle allows a lower front sight.

Dan

 
Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4109
07-17-09 11:53 AM - Post#739178    

    In response to Dan Phariss

That is the most concise definition and explanation ever.

 
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