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How to Drill & Rifle a Gun Barrel By Scott Friedman, eHow Contributor updated: August 11, 2010

Barrels are the most complex part of a rifle to manufacture.

The process of turning a long, steel bar into a shiny machined barrel with intricate rifling on the interior is the most complex process involved in manufacturing a firearm. Specialized equipment is necessary to fabricate and rifle a barrel that would not be seen in most other industrial machine shops. There are hundreds of barrel makers across the United States that use equipment of varying complexity, but using the most modern equipment available reduces the chances of ruining a piece of steel while making a barrel.

Difficulty: Challenging Instructions

Things You'll Need: Deep-hole drilling machine Reaming machine Button rifling machine Furnace 1200-plus degrees F 1

Purchase a round bar of steel that is 11/4 inch in diameter and 30 inches long. The best steel you can find for your barrel is 416 stainless steel, but 4140 chrome moly steel will also make an excellent barrel. An industrial steel supplier should be able to provide you with one of the two kinds of steel above in the dimensions required. 2

Mount your piece of steel in the deep-hole drilling machine's fixture, which will spin the barrel at more than 2,000 rpm when turned on. The deep-hole drilling machine will then push a tungsten carbide tipped blade on a 40-inch rod into the spinning piece of steel at the rate of 1 inch per minute. 3

Place your drilled barrel into the reaming machine's fixture and turn on the machine, which will spin a reamer on the end of a lubricated shaft at about 200 to 500 rpm. The reamer size is determined by the caliber you want your barrel to be. 4

Engage the reaming machine, which will push the mounted barrel into the reamer until it passes through the other side of the barrel. Be sure the mounted barrel and the reamer's shaft are perfectly aligned to manufacture the best barrel possible. 5

Mount the reamed barrel in the button rifling machine and then mount a specific kind of button on the machine's rod to carve a certain kind of rifling as well as twist into your barrel. Each button has a different rifling pattern ground into the outside of the button. See the barrel twist calculator in the resources section for more information on choosing a twist ratio for your barrel. 6

Lubricate the bore of the barrel heavily. 7

Turn on the button rifling machine, which will then pull the button through the lubricated barrel and carve the rifling. 8

Place the recently rifled barrel in the furnace at 1200 degrees F for about an hour before removing. Stress relieving your rifled barrel is necessary to avoid potential barrel splitting when firing.

How to Rifle Gun Barrels By Brian Adler, eHow Contributor

Rifled gun barrels help to ensure accuracy in firing. Early guns were smooth-bore. That is, their barrels were simply hollow tubes that contained the ball or bullet. Centuries ago gunsmiths discovered that a rifled barrel put a spin on the projectile that caused it to shoot straighter. Rifling consists of grooves on the inside of the barrel.

Difficulty: Moderate

Instructions

To rifle a gun barrel, you need to modify the smooth barrel of a gun. The barrel is the portion of the gun that resembles a tube and contains the ball or bullet and the gunpowder. Early guns fired a ball that was normally made of lead. The ball was placed in the barrel with a charge of gunpowder. The gunpowder was ignited, causing an explosion that sent the ball rocketing toward its target. Yet early guns possessed a short range and often missed their targets. By adding rifles, or grooves, to the inside of a barrel, makes the ball spin. The spinning causes the ball to fly straighter than it would if discharged from a smooth barrel. The grooves are cut in a corkscrew pattern on the inside face of the barrel. This forces the ball to rotate rapidly. Both longer pieces like muskets, and also short pieces, like handguns, can be rifled. 2

Take your gun barrel and secure it in a clamp or vise. You will use a broach to make the grooves in the barrel. A broach is a sturdy rod with hard teeth set into it near one end. Typically, the teeth are angled downward toward the opposite end of the broach. The teeth vary in number with 3 to 5 being the most common amount. The number of teeth on the broach determine the number of grooves that will be cut into the barrel of your gun. The diameter of the broach should closely match the diameter of your barrel. It must fit snugly inside the gun, or else you will have trouble making the grooves. 3

Insert the broach, tooth end first, into your gun barrel. At this point, only the toothed part should be inside the gun. The rest of the broach will be sticking out. Ideally you will place the other end of the broach into a jig. A jig is a device that will help you to make the necessary turns of the broach. The broach is cutting into solid metal, an operation that requires a considerable amount of pressure to be effective. The jig should be mounted firmly on a table beside your gun. The jig consists of a cylinder with two grooves inside. The outside end of the broach is inserted into the cylinder. The cylinder of the jig is designed to turn freely, allowing you to twist the broach inside the barrel. Lugs, or projections, inside the cylinder force the jig to turn. 4

Turn the jig to rotate the broach. You will have to use a fair amount of force. The broach will spin as it is driven more deeply into the barrel. Keep going until you have reached the end of the barrel, that is, the end closest to the stock of the gun. After one pass you will have lightly scored the inside of the barrel with a set of continuous spiral grooves. Move to the broach to the breech, or open end of the barrel, and begin again. Keep going until you have incised the grooves, or rifles, to the proper depth. This will probably take about 100 passes. Should your barrel begin to block up with metal filings, simply take a reamer and swab or clean the barrel.

How to Reline a Rifle Bore

By Cameron Mahoney, eHow Contributor updated: December 2, 2010

According to Redman's Rifling, relining your rifle bore is the best way to restore an antique rifle, because it retains the original caliber, barrel lettering, bluing, and barrel contour. While some gun shops offer services to reline your rifle barrel, it is something you can do at home with the proper equipment and preparation. Relining a rifle barrel is essential for gun collectors and amateur gun dealers.

Difficulty: Moderate Instructions

Things You'll Need: Lathe Piloted drill 120-grit sandpaper Barrel liner Flashlight Vice grips 680 Loctite 1

Assess any damage or problems in your rifle barrel. Remove the barrel of the rifle and check to see if it is straight and clean. If the barrel of your rifle is warped or deteriorating, relining it may be a waste of time. 2

Clean the barrel of your rifle with a metal rod, cloth and oil. This will eliminate any debris from the barrel and lubricate it for the tools you will use when installing the new barrel lining. 3

Bore the inside 2 inches of the barrel with your lathe. This removes remnants of the previous rifle lining and eliminates any other unwanted material not removed when it was cleaned. This also narrows the walls of the barrel so you can more easily maneuver your drill inside of it.

Drill the remaining old lining of your rifle barrel so the interior walls have been cleared of the remaining old rifle lining. Use your drill sparingly after boring with your lathe, using the sides of the drill bit to chip away at the old lining. 5

Prepare the new rifle bore lining by sanding it with your sandpaper. This removes any factory coating and slightly narrows it to better fit in the rifle barrel. Your liner should be about .004 to .006 inches under size. 6

Apply a coat of 680 Loctite to the new liner and slide it into the rifle barrel. Let this adhere for some time before testing its strength. After about 12 hours, your relined rifle should be ready to go. How to Rifle a Gun By Barry Index, eHow Contributor updated: November 24, 2010

Most gun barrels have rifling on the inside to improve the accuracy of the shot.

Rifling is the set of grooves that spiral along the inside of a gun barrel from one end to the other. Rifling is an important component in all handguns and rifles; it causes the bullet to spin when it is ejected from the muzzle of a firearm to improve the accuracy of the shot. A programmable, deep-hole drilling machine makes a gun barrel from a solid steel rod. The machine first drills a hole through the rod, and then rifling is cut into the bore afterward.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy Instructions

Things You'll Need: 28-inch rod of heat-treated stainless steel rod Deep-hole drilling machine Gun drill Lubricating oil

Gun barrel rifling-machine Carbide button-rifling tool Heat-treatment oven Lapping rod Molten lead 1

Mount the steel rod into the fixture of a deep-hole drilling machine, which spins the steel rod while the gun drill remains in a fixed position. Set the rotation speed of the machine at 4,000 rpm. The machine moves the gun barrel into the drill at a rate of 1 inch per minute. 2

Fill the oil reservoir. The machine pumps lubricating oil through the drill and out a small hole in the tip of the drill bit. Lubrication cools the drill bit and the bored-out hole in the steel rod as the barrel takes shape. The waste oil washes away the steel shavings. 3

Mount the barrel in the cutting box of the rifling machine. Lube the inside of the bore. Attach the carbide button on the end of the drilling rod in the cutting box. The machine will push the carbide button through the barrel using extreme pressure. This procedure forces the shape of the rifling pattern into the surface of the bore without any cutting. 4

Heat-treat the barrel by baking it at 1,112 F with a controlled cool-down cycle. This takes 12 to 24 hours, depending on the properties and grade of steel used to make the barrel. Heat-treating removes the stresses to the gun barrel created by the high pressure of the rifling procedure. 5

Seal the barrel closed by inserting the lapping rod into its back end; this leaves open only the first 4 inches below the muzzle. Pour molten lead into the muzzle to obtain a relief pattern of the rifling; this will be molded into the lap plug when it hardens. Tap out the lap plug and pull it through the barrel with the lap rod and lubrication oil. Pass the lap plug back and forth several times. This polishes the bore and completes the rifling process.