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Thread: Anyone here re-sleeved / tubed a rifle barrel?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master UKShootist's Avatar
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    Anyone here re-sleeved / tubed a rifle barrel?

    Or preferably several. I'm asking because I have an elderly Winchester 1885 low wall that seems to be badly in need of such treatment. The trouble is, here in the UK I have asked several gunsmiths for a quote and have basically been given horrific "I don't want to say no" prices on the basis that it would be a terribly complicated job requiring their skills and equipment to be maxed out.

    By contrast, I have spoken to a couple of incredibly skilled professional engineers, who are not for various reasons, in a position to help, who tell me that with the proper tools, available from Brownells at their usual very high price (in the UK), the job would be considered as easy.
    The lion shall lie down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If you are planning to redo a rimfire or pistol type cal,the job is easy....provided you have a lathe....Its also easy if the replacement liner is chambered.You dont need any costly tooling,just about any cutter that can be pulled thru the barrel will do....If you need a chambering reamer,and other expensive tooling,the job is not economical.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I’ve done a bunch of .22 and .17 Rimfire and several centerfires.

    Depending on your liner diameter and that of your shot-out bore, you may need to have a liner drill made. In any case, you will need one modified. Brownell’s sells a standard size piloted drill for shot-out.22 RF, which IIRC, is 5/16” diameter with a .22” pilot. I drill and thread the shank of this drill for threaded extensions, which I switch out as the drill goes deeper through the barrel.

    A centerfire liner from an outfit like TJ’s (recommended) will be larger in diameter, and depending on your original bore, may need a jobber length drill of the proper diameter with a pilot section ground on it in a lathe with a toolpost grinder. The one i made up is .30 caliber, with a hole through the pilot so I can pin larger sleeves on it for larger shot-out bores.

    Brownell’s has an instruction sheet for relining .22 rimfires (with their liner and drill) explaining that you can do the drilling with the barrel in a padded vise and the drill chucked in a hand power drill. You drill halfway through from both ends. This works when the drill is brand new, and goes on working if you know how to properly sharpen the drill when it loses its edge. If you sharpen by eyeball, it’s better to chuck the barrel in a lathe and use the tail stock, as the drill will sometimes “grab,” and unless you have a very light touch, getting past the snag by hand is a tough job. Drilling out a centerfire is definitely a lathe job; generally there’s a lot more metal to remove.

    Once the drill is through the barrel, you tin the inside of the barrel and the outside of the liner, fire up a couple of propane or MAPP gas torches, and feed the liner into the barrel, adding solder to the joint as the liner goes in, until it’s protruding out both ends. A helper or two is good here, but it can be done by the individual.

    I put the completed barrel on a convenient piece of round stock, horizontal in a vise, and play the torch along it while rotating and feeding more solder in if the joint looks “hungry.” This fills any gaps along the way, and when the barrel is done, it will ring with a pleasant chime when tapped on the outside. If it sounds dull and clunky, there is a gap in there somewhere. I don’t know whether this affects the shooting quality or not, but I try to avoid the condition.

    The breech end of the barrel is dressed down to a good fit against the breechblock, the extractor groove cut and the breech chambered. I test fire before taking the protruding end off the muzzle. If something is not right, I can slide the liner in deeper for another try.

    Some people glue the liners in with epoxy or Loc-Tite. It’s doable, but I prefer to do metalwork with metal. The process is kind of arduous, but by no means impossible, or even improbable. I, personally, get a lot of satisfaction from making old junk useful again.

    UKShootist, you live where Parker-Hale used to line barrels as a routine operation. You could hardly find liners, let alone someone to install them back then, but Parker-Hale was famous for such work. I don’t know what’s going on with the world these days; modern “creativity” seems more and more oriented towards an Edisonian capacity to generate excuses to avoid doing anything, rather than creative solutions to problems. I guess the future will be like the movie Brazil, where the whole world is a gigantic, hopeless bureaucracy, with everybody in it going through the motions and deflecting blame away from themselves.
    Last edited by Bent Ramrod; 02-26-2018 at 09:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master UKShootist's Avatar
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    Thanks for that cracking briefing on how to. Reassuring for me and my doubts about the people I have asked.
    The lion shall lie down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep.

  5. #5
    I've done several in 22 with acraglass and found them very simple to do. I just bought the drill from brownells and sleeved on 2 foot of 1/4 inch drill rod. I chucked the barrel up in the lathe kicked in the back gear and ran the drill in with a boring bar holder on the tool rest. Once I got the speeds and feeds figured out it was no problem. Only issue was the batch of drills brownells had at the time where glass hard. Tapped it lightly on the chuck while removing it and it shattered. Had to wait two weeks for them to replace it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    Or preferably several. I'm asking because I have an elderly Winchester 1885 low wall that seems to be badly in need of such treatment. The trouble is, here in the UK I have asked several gunsmiths for a quote and have basically been given horrific "I don't want to say no" prices on the basis that it would be a terribly complicated job requiring their skills and equipment to be maxed out.

    By contrast, I have spoken to a couple of incredibly skilled professional engineers, who are not for various reasons, in a position to help, who tell me that with the proper tools, available from Brownells at their usual very high price (in the UK), the job would be considered as easy.
    I've done it, to my Army and Navy rook rifle, which spent much of its life vandalised into a .410. I also did an antique Webley rimfire revolver, in which the half-inch liner was threaded into the frame, and the old barrel invisibly converted into an outer sleeve. It still qualifies as an uncontrolled antique in the UK as long as it is still in the original chambering, and you can't get much more original than the original chambers.

    If John Taylor appears in this thread you can trust all he says, as he does it professionally. One problem you may face is getting liner tubes, for although they are freely ownable and importable in the UK, as are barrel blanks, most US companies interpret recent legal changes as preventing their export. Just observe how armed crime is taking from this! For those not so constrained, you can see a very useful range with detailed specifications, made by TJ's, in www.trackofthewolf.com.

    If you can't get, it might come to turning down a barrel on a lathe. That could be done, but needs a steady, preferably a travelling steady mounted on the saddle if your blank is cylindrical. In particular you must take great care to avoid heating, as that can cause the barrel to flex slightly out of line. If you turn that cylindrical, the wall will be thicker on one side than the other. The answer might be a driven-in brass spigot in the bore, and a cylindrically drilled centre in the tailstock, to permit lengthwise expansion.

    There is a very good (though somewhat out of date) article in "The NRA Gunsmithing Guide Updated", which is available on my life support system, www.bookfinder.com . I would favour the bearing-fitting grades of Loctite over either epoxy or solder, but you would have to consult the Loctite website for more detailed grades and specifications which have replaced those in that article. At that time hesitation in insertion could cause it to lock part-way in, but I don't think that applies any more. If a soldered liner is able to expand slightly, solder stays very slightly deformed, but Loctite springs back. Against that, solder is a better conductor of heat, and will resolder if it melts near the breech. (Long Lee-Enfield rear sights used to stay secured only by a screw in prolonged rapid fire, but resoldered when you stopped.) I think it would take something with a lot of aluminium or plastic in it to get that hot all the way to the muzzle.

    Your drill must be piloted, and I don't even like the Brownells idea of using a drill, piloted only by grinding down the first few inches, from both ends and meeting in the middle. John Taylor uses some marvellous piloted reamers from Pacific, which are too expensive for an amateur doing a one-time job. But take a look for "rotabroach" or "rotary broach" on eBay, and "oilite bushing". Provided that you have something to guide the rod, and your drill will turn anticlockwise without unscrewing the chuck, you could amputate the wider base of one of those and pull it through the bore, which for intuitive rather than logical reasons I think might produce a better finish than pushing it. It certainly allows the chips to feed out the back of the drill, rather than find their way past the rod. I have also drilled HSS hand reamers and end mills for a driving rod. For this cheap Chinese ones might be the best, as easy to drill, and good enough for a one-time job on barrel steel, with coolant.

    I have a 36in. length of O size drill rod, .316in. diameter, which is a very close fit in the lands of my .32-40 Winchester, and a liner and Rotabroach to do the job. I would really like to keep the original chamber, so that I can own it as antique (see above), but perhaps have it on my licence for use. It will be done someday if I get my courage up.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    If you google "united kingdom rifle barrel lining services", you might find some rifle barrel re-lining specialists there, like https://www.vintageguns.co.uk/articles/barrel-lining/

    Also, while http://border-barrels.com/ makes replacement barrels, you might speak with them about making a liner for you - if you don't want a re-barreling.





    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    If you google "united kingdom rifle barrel lining services", you might find some rifle barrel re-lining specialists there, like https://www.vintageguns.co.uk/articles/barrel-lining/

    Also, while http://border-barrels.com/ makes replacement barrels, you might speak with them about making a liner for you - if you don't want a re-barreling.





    .
    The OP asked about rifle barrels, and the Teague process was a thin, stainless lining process for shotguns. It had its snags, but I doubt if weight was a very significant one. It was usually applied to the better sort of old guns, which exploited to the full the hand gunmaker's skill of leaving just as much metal as you could get away with. But I doubt if the adhesive would stand quite as much heat as a shotgun can reach in hectic driven-game shooting, and a dent couldn't be raised as safely as it can with normal barrels.

    I don't know if anybody is currently doing it. It seems a shame if they aren't, for despite the snags it has great potential.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man mpkunz's Avatar
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    You can purchase both the barrel liner and the very long drill bit for boring out the old barrel from brownells.com and a lathe is not required. Nor is soldering. You can epoxy the liner into place. You will need a chamber reamer. Total, assuming that Brownells can export them, and that they make it past the UK snoops in customs, you are talking about a combined total approaching $400.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Brownell's carries barrel liners, AND has a UK outlet: https://www.brownells.co.uk/

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    As I mentioned at the start,if you dont buy a prechambered liner,you are going to be up for considerable extra expense which may make the exercise uneconomic.As to the solder vs epoxy vs loctite choice......solder is harder to set up for.harder to get right.....but remember polymers are near impossible to reverse ,whereas a bit of heat and a solder liner falls out.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    A person can do a lot with a lathe but may need the addition of a tool post grinder for making a piloted drill. Cost of a liner drill can be from $50 to over $100 depending on size. T.J.'s was told not to send liners out of the US. Those that export gun parts need to have a special license that cost $2250 a year ( that's why I don't have one.) I have found that most of the piloted drills cut a little bigger than I want so I use one size smaller then ream for a close fit. I use Loctite to hold the liner in. They say it will let go at 450 degrees but I found it takes more heat than that to get one to move. If your barrel gets that hot you will not want your hand near it. A barrel blank can be turned down for a liner but that would take quite a bit of time. Time = money if your having someone ells do the work.
    I make my own reamers some of the time and pump oil through them to flush out the chips. An old power steering pump seems to work fine but you need a good strainer and some magnets to keep the chips from going through the pump, also some way to recover the oil. and keep it from going up the wall and across the ceiling ( don't ask how I know this). The reamer is mounted on a tube and pulled through the barrel. A 2" curved pipe gets the oil and chips coming out of the barrel and take it to a tank where the strainer and magnets are. I use masking tape around the tube to fill the bore and keep the oil from running out on the chuck end, also a shield to keep it from slinging up the walls. The pump is shut off when the masking tape clears the barrel or there would be oil going every where.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Have done a lot 22 RF barrels with the tools from Brownells. Use my lathe to drill the hole thru the barrel. Have used soldier, epoxy and Loctite. The green Loctite works well and the barrel can be blued with the green Loctite. After chamfering and a little lapping all of the 22 RF lined barrels all shot well. Some of the lined barrels were very old and the rifling was in very poor condition.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    My experience with loctite in earthmoving machines is that you need to get up to oil smoking heat before loctite moves easily.Ive undone ram nuts up to 6" dia that were loctited,and the force required is immense even with heat.Epoxies just char and would have to be burnt to carbon to release easily.The point of using solder is that if you stuff up the chamber ,a quick melt and slide the liner along enough to recut the chamber........the OP is in England,and I think reamer hire would be problematic,so he would need to purchase one,if required.......anyhoo,he hasnt mentioned what calibre hes thinking about.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    Had my BSA factory 32-20 chambered Small Frame Martini relined here in Australia by Sprinter Arms .Original bore was really totalled. cost me 620AU, that included turning a barrel blank down to a liner , fitting and chambering .I wanted to keep the original barrel with the factory markings ,otherwise it would have been quicker and less cost just to replace the barrel.
    The rifle is very accurate with the new rifling , and a joy to shoot.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    For those in Oz and possibly GB,since ITAR, the cheapest way to source a 22 liner is to find a cheap 22 rifle ,possibly bolt missing ,for sale with a good bore.The going price round here is max $50......in Oz,if you look out for the old Lithgow/Slazenger 22s made in the SAF,the ones with proof marks are 303 barrel steel,and a cheap way to find a Hornet or Bee barrel.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    T.J.'s was told not to send liners out of the US. Those that export gun parts need to have a special license that cost $2250 a year ( that's why I don't have one.)
    I'm sure you are right, but his products are so good and so diverse that it is always worth contacting him in case there is any change in the situation.

    In the UK a barrel liner or indeed a barrel is no more controlled than a walking-stick, as long as it is neither chambered or threaded. I don't think our legislators have ever heard of such a thing, but then, that is because criminals haven't heard of them either. When one of these operations is done (I think it ought to be both, but will they listen to me?) it becomes a firearm part - totally uncontrolled if it is smoothbored and over 24in. barrel length, but subject to the same control as for a rifle, if it is rifled.

    What this means is that only getting it out of the US, or perhaps some other countries, is a problem, and that anybody who wants to sell you an old barrel must chop off the chamber and threads.

    A .22 is pretty easy, as I doubt its ability to rupture or expand a liner of the ⅜in. diameter which is now common. Another possibility is to get a barrel which has been Parkerrifled in the past, and extract that liner, which is likely to have been soft soldered. If it is eroded at all (and club target rifles fire a lot of shots), it is likely to be confined to the area immediately in front of the chamber, and a target rifle is long enough to amputate that and still do for many sporting ones.

    As always it makes me think of the supposedly greater lethality of a .22 rimfire over a shotgun. Anybody can get within a few feet of his victim if he wants to commit a robbery, inherit prematurely, be single again, or most of the commonplace motives. It is about politicians with security guards. Of course nobody should wish for them to be shot at. It only convinces them that they were in the right. But it is an astonishingly rare crime in the UK.
    Last edited by Ballistics in Scotland; 02-28-2018 at 08:46 AM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what calibers are produced, but Lothar-Walther in Germany used to produce some high quality .22 barrel liners and I know they produce centre-fire barrels in a variety of calibers. If liners could be imported to UK from EU countries this might be an option.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Strange to think,but Birmingham was once the centre of drawn rifled liner production,and years ago we used to import great bundles of 22 liners to make a cheap hardware store .22 rifle.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    8mm Swedish rolling block Rifle barrels make a decent 32.40 Liner.Many of those rifles where modified to a larger Calibre For BPCClick image for larger version. 

Name:	32-40 Martini Black Powder Rifle 002.jpg 
Views:	11 
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ID:	215581R.I lined this Martini using a 8mm Barrel inside a 20 Bore ex smooth bore Sharps repro Barrel.The two larger rounds are for comparison to the 32.40 Rounds and are 45.70 and 50.70 BP.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check