Cutting a barrel - send it to someone with a lathe or use a hacksaw?

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Bnewberry

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For those without lathe, do you cut a barrel off yourself or send it out?

If you send it out, where do you send it?
 

poker

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Most any local machinist should be able to do that for less than postage two ways would cost you.
 

Phil Coffins

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A straight barrel can be sawn and crowned with nothing more then a hacksaw, a square and a file. Cut as carefully as possible then check with the square to spot the high spots and file there. Continue to check from all sides to get a very good surface. It really isn’t hard to do. If it’s a muzzle file the outside sharp edges a tiny bit and use sand paper pressed in with your thumb to do the inside.
 

Grimord

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I cut one barrel with a hack saw and judicious use of a square and file to shorten a barrel that had a bad divot in the crown. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself. Re-crowned and partially coned the muzzle using progressive grades of emery paper and a ball rasp.
 

Vaino

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Only did one bbl and after using the hacksaw, squared the end w/ a disk sander.....Fred
 

Jim Nasium

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If you're the type that's particular and mindful about things, and decent with your hands, give the hacksaw a shot. Nothing to lose...
Worst case scenario, you still have to have it trued up in the end.
The fulfillment you'll get from successfully doing it yourself will also be hard to ignore.

I once read an article where they debunked all the crown myths once and for all. To the point where they would shoot a few groups with a factory crown, then cut it at a 22.5 degree crosscut with an angle grinder and regroup it. By crosscut btw, I mean half of a miter. Of course the point of impact changed, but to everyone's surprise, the group size basically did not. I mean they were doing some absolutely astonishing things to these barrels and they were still grouping.

I'll see if I can find the write up in case anyone is interested. It was eye opening.
 

Bnewberry

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Very educational. I ended up with a 42 inch .40 caliber barrel for a rifle that I think should carry a 36 - 38 inch barrel. It is a half stock Vincent inspired caplock. I will wait until assembled to test the balance I think.
 
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The best way to crown a barrel is with a lathe. I have not crowned any barrel with anything but a lathe for 30 years. An experienced rifle smith will deliver the best crown possible. You want someone who understand muzzleloaders.

You can, of course, cut and crown any way you want. The accuracy will be less than the best possible lathe crown. How much less you won't know. IF you are a trail walker or gong clanger it probably will not matter. If you want to shoot a 50 on an official aggregate you want to have a real crown.
 

Jim Nasium

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The best way to crown a barrel is with a lathe. I have not crowned any barrel with anything but a lathe for 30 years. An experienced rifle smith will deliver the best crown possible. You want someone who understand muzzleloaders.

You can, of course, cut and crown any way you want. The accuracy will be less than the best possible lathe crown. How much less you won't know. IF you are a trail walker or gong clanger it probably will not matter. If you want to shoot a 50 on an official aggregate you want to have a real crown.
This is all completely accurate, though I doubt someone asking this question is looking for the kind of match precision only few of us can extract from a rifle with those capabilities.
I feel like there is good value in both a successful accomplishment, or in a new appreciation for a good machinist.
 

Tacksman45

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Just send it to Bobby Hoyt in PA. He is very reasonable, and it will be done right!
 
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Bnewberry

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While I want to do as much myself as possible, I also want to have a good rifle when I am done.

Thanks for the name of a person who might do the job!
 

Treestalker

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Grimord described the method my brother and I used on several homegrown rifles. Worked like a champ. In fact Tiny won at least one first place and a couple of second place ribbons with his home crowned rifle; after trueing up the muzzle face, just turn the ball grinder by hand in the mouth of the bore to crown, it doesn't take much.
 

Whitworth

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Jim Nasium

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Well that was enlightening, an to think I worshiped at the altar of the perfect crown 😅
I used to as well. After reading that write up I did some work on a barrel that had previously grouped extremely tight. Nothing changed aside from the point of impact, and it was a completely different style of crown. All depends what you want I guess. Both options have their place obviously.
 
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  • "Just send it to Bobby Hoyt in PA. He is very reasonable, and it will be done right!"
  • I am a fan of Mr. Hoyt. I had him rebore a 41 swiss rimfire to 44 caliber. The resulting rifle shot amazingly well. That said his "crown" was done with a countersink. I recrowned in my lathe before I passed go. Mr. Hoyt is in business to be efficient. I would not send a barrel to him to be crowned based on what he delivered to me.
 

Eric Krewson

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Someone posted cutting a crown with a simple lathe turned chunk of wood, it looked promising so I made one and used it on a barrel crown I got a little uneven with the sandpaper and thumb pressure method. The barrel is a GM drop-in for a TC with lots of sharp corners.

I only used the weight of the drill for pressure and moved the drill handle from 12-3-6-and 9 o'clock every 5 seconds. This tool cut an amazingly even crown which had been cutting patches, the re-crown cured this problem.

coning.JPG
coning 3.JPG
coning 2.JPG
 

pooch156

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Someone posted cutting a crown with a simple lathe turned chunk of wood, it looked promising so I made one and used it on a barrel crown I got a little uneven with the sandpaper and thumb pressure method. The barrel is a GM drop-in for a TC with lots of sharp corners.

I only used the weight of the drill for pressure and moved the drill handle from 12-3-6-and 9 o'clock every 5 seconds. This tool cut an amazingly even crown which had been cutting patches, the re-crown cured this problem.

View attachment 77020View attachment 77021View attachment 77022
What was the angle of the crown? 45°?
 

andy52

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With a few moderately priced hand tools you can do a pretty good job cutting and crowning a barrel. With a piece of angle iron clamped to the barrel, you can get a pretty straight cut. Then a 90-degree cutter with an appropriate bore guide and then a 45-degree same guide.
 

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