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Barrel length and thickness-My mistake

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 02:08
8shots View Drop Down
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It is time to admit to my mistake and hopefully some-one else will benefit. Lessons learnt category. As those regular readers of this forum will know, I recently rebarreled a Sako 300H&H. Besides hunting, I was just becoming involved with Field Target Shooting. The excisting barrel was worn out, so I had to replace it. The idea was to go for a barrel that was thicker and longer then a hunting barrel, but thinner then a bull barrel. I wanted the best of both worlds, a semi-target rifle and a semi hunting rifle.

A standard hunting barrel is 24inches in length and approx 0.62 inches at the tip. Target barrels can be up to 30 inches long and 0.79 inches or more at the tip. I decided to go for a 26 inch barrel and 0.70 inches at the tip.

The stock was a standard rifle stock and I think this is where it mostly went wrong.

I announced the arrival of the rifle with great fanfare and shared with you the testing in of the barrel and subsequent load developments. I then proceeded to use the rifle on two hunts and on some target work.

I can now report that the barrel and stock combo left me with an unbalanced rifle, the rifle being heavy on the forward balance, requiring effort to swing offhand onto a target. The longer barrel is also clumsy in the hunting enviroment. On the target range, allthough the barrel performed well, it was just not a target rifle. Partly I think due to the magnum caliber and heavy recoil. The barrel stayed amazingly cool during shooting.

Finally, swallowing heavily on my pride, I admitted to my mistake and sent the barrel away to have in re-profiled to a standard 24 inch and 0.62 inch thickness. I have now received the new barrel. The rifle is currently with my stockmaker to close up the inletting to match the thinner barrel. When I receive it back I will bore you all with the "new" much better original improved baby!!!

As a side issue, those that followed my earlier threads will recall the problems I had with the scope not aligning on the horizontal and I had to shim the scope. Well the machinist reported that the barrel was indeed bent!. I then sent the barrel back to the original maker, who replaced the barrel and re-profiled it to my new dimensions all free of charge, no questions asked. The new barrel looks great, the gun handles well again and the scope mounted without any need for shims.

So there is a lot of lessons in this little saga of the barrel.



Edited by 8shots
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 10:00
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Optics Master
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If the barrel was bent, that was why you were having the grouping problems.  Re-contouring the bent barrel will not help the grouping. The guys owes you the new barrel that you paid for and did not get, not the reject he put on it recontured.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 12:09
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 I gotta agree with that- If you did not receive a new barrel to replace the bent one , I would insist on a new barrel and not a "repaired" one . A barrel that had to be straightened  simply isn't lekker.

Edited by martin3175
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 12:24
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 I then sent the barrel back to the original maker, who replaced the barrel and re-profiled it to my new dimensions all free of charge, no questions asked.

 

did i miss something??

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 14:44
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No Dale, my bad, misinterped in my morning state.  I still have problems with a barrel maker who puts a bent barrel on a target rifle...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 15:59
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wouldn't one have to assume the maker thought it was straight.

Edited by Dale Clifford
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 17:47
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

wouldn't one have to assume the maker thought it was straight.

 

No, it is pretty common for a bent barrel to go on a gun.  It is how people cut thier losses.  I've gotten barrels that were drilled off center too.  I find it ironic that Savage even features a barrel straightner in their adds talking about accuracy.

 

 

One of the ol' boys I used to know made barrels in his home.  He used to be into benchrest shooting.  He was a match armor for the Navy ect.  I asked him questions about making barrles and then shut up.  He explained what could go wrong in making a barrel and how people tried to correct for it.  He said that one of the first question to ask a barrel maker was what percent of rejects do they have?  The next question should be what do they do with them?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2007 at 18:23
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I never knew that-- having had over 200 long guns and at least 1/2 that in handguns I've never had a bent barrel, one on a colt python that came undone but thats it. If I  thought a dealer or smith was doing this to me, I would finish the process and wrap it around their neck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 01:39
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Yes, this barrel was indeed bent. I also did not mention that the hole was drilled off centre as well. I suspect that the barrel may have been straight, but that the off-centre hole caused the barrel to warp??? Obviously we are talking of 1thou of an inch or less. Something allmost not percievable to the naked eye. Strangely my wife commented that the barrel appears bent as soon as I showed her the rifle. I guess I did the head in the sand thing and did not want to see the problem. As soon as it went on a lathe machine the problem became apparent.

The barrel maker cut a washer off the old barrel and sent it back to me to show how little off center the hole was. He thought that who-ever did the polishing before bluing was too enthusiastic on one side.

The interesting part is that the bend was 100% down, which further confused the issue. What are the chances that that would happen in assembly? If the bend was say slightly left or right and down, it may have raised different questions. I used Leupold QR scope mounts. These mounts cannot adjust for windage. Before mounting the scope I counted the total windage clicks and centered the reticule on clicks. The first shot was dead on the vertical plane, but so low that I ran out of adjustment and was still 40 inches below the horizontalat 25 yds!!. I suspected that the rear mount was maybe faulty or out of spec. Or maybe the receiver, who knows. I blamed everything but the barrel. I shimmed the rear scope mount and ended up with a workable situation.

And strangely, the barrel did shoot quite well, giving less than an inch at 100yds.

Well, beside the wasted ammo (which I enjoyed shooting out- except for the expensive Nossler Partitions), all is well that ends well. OK I still have to fire test the barrel, but the first three shots looked promising.

 

Martin3175, where did you learn the word "lekker"???



Edited by 8shots
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