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General discussion => Tutorials => Gunmaking tools and techniques- metal shaping => Topic started by: Longknife on April 16, 2009, 12:16:32 AM

Title: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on April 16, 2009, 12:16:32 AM
     

This procedure, in the present day is known as "coning". ie a "coned" muzzle. It was known in the 19th century  as "relieving", ie; a "relieved" muzzle and also as "funneling", ie a "funneled" muzzle. There is very little historical data written about this as the gunsmiths' apprentice was taught the "hands on" method and not from a text book.
 When these "hand taught" barrels makers passed on all their secrets died with them.   I have examined many original m-loading barrels and there is definately a "funneling" at the muzzle. Some historians thought this "funneling" might be ram rod wear but that does not appear to be the case.  One of the most interesting quotes on this subject is that of the famous Bill Large (now deceased). Bill was one of the founding Fathers of the NMLRA and one of the earliest 20th century barrel makers  who helped pioneer the resurection of the m-loading rifle. Bill Large barrels are coveted today. In a letter to John Baird who wrote "HAWKEN RIFLES, THE MOUNTAIN MANS CHOICE". Bill stated that he had re-bored and rifled 25 to 30 original Hawken barrels!!!!---- He also stated---"all were belled and showed signs of the funneling tool commonly used by most gunsmiths, as a request of the owner, to permit easy and fast reloading"""".

 I first began experimenting  coning muzzles when I heard that these tools being made as "caliber specefic",ie; you had to have a seperate tool for each caliber you wanted coned. These caliber specific tools had a slow taper and  removed a LOT of rifling deep into the bore. I wondered how much of the rifling HAD to be removed, and at what angle it had to be removed "to permit easy and fast reloading",  thus eliminating the use of a short starter.     
  I then handmade some protoypes  out of different materials, just to see if it really would work---AND IT DID!!!  I hand made many tools over the last couple of years and  I changed the specs. slightly each time to make it more universal. I finally was satisfied enough to go the the lathe and produce some out of pure yellow brass. Now you need only ONE TOOL!!!! This coning tool will work on those little .32 cal squirrel guns AND up to the big .75 cal "bore" guns by using YOUR CORRECT size cleaning jag..


(https://preview.ibb.co/gn1USv/01_Mark_depth_of_tool_without_sand_paper_installed.jpg) (http://ibb.co/eN9uua)
Insert tool into barrel and mark depth


(https://preview.ibb.co/kK2xEa/02_Make_a_paper_pattern_at_least_2_and_one_half_inches_long.jpg) (http://ibb.co/hErqZa)
Make a paper pattern of at least 2 1/2 inches long



(https://preview.ibb.co/gFHxEa/03_align_paper_at_mark_and_overlap_it_at_least_a_quarter_inch.jpg) (http://ibb.co/if9Ynv)
Align paper at mark and overlap it at least one quarter inch.

(http://preview.ibb.co/fcWDnv/04_Start_with_150_coarse.jpg) (http://ibb.co/gA7m7v)
Start with coarse 150 grit paper.

(http://preview.ibb.co/fxpcEa/05_Use_your_preference_of_adhesive_and_align_paper_with_mark.jpg) (https://ibb.co/dPD4ua)
Use you preference of adhesive and align paper with mark. I have used 3M spray upholstery adhesive (expensive) or a thin coat of rubber cement  (much cheaper). at times a thin strip of duct tape will help at top and bottom.


(https://preview.ibb.co/gwiLZa/06_Wrap_counter_clockwise_looking_at_threaded_end_of_tool.jpg) (http://ibb.co/i7uinv)
Wrap paper counter clockwise looking at threaded end of tool.

(http://preview.ibb.co/hDMDnv/07_paper_glued_and_tap_handle_installed.jpg) (https://ibb.co/cx0jua)
Paper glued and tap handle installed.


(https://preview.ibb.co/ju8yLF/08_Use_a_proper_sized_cleaning_jag_a_well_lubed_snug_fitting_patch_and_insert.jpg) (http://ibb.co/bKt9Sv)
Use your proper size tightly patched cleaning jag to center the tool in the barrel. This tool works great on crowned barrels and can also be used on fresh cut offs by lightly crowning the barrel, just enough to get patch and jag started with out tearing.


(https://preview.ibb.co/czUoLF/09_A_drop_of_wd_40_makes_it_cut_better.jpg) (http://ibb.co/hGqHEa)
A drop of WD 40 helps keep the paper cleaner for a smooth cut, just a little though as you don't want it to soak through the paper and soften the glue.


(https://preview.ibb.co/fNpf0F/10_First_cut_I_use_a_little_Duct_tape_sometimes.jpg) (http://ibb.co/epD7fF)

First cut. A little duct tape helps at times.


(https://preview.ibb.co/eTV3LF/11_Second_cut_move_paper_up_tool_and_cut_again.jpg) (http://ibb.co/dBLQZa)
Second cut, move the paper up tool till a clean area of paper contacts the bore and cut again.


(https://preview.ibb.co/f8ZkZa/12_Third_cut_move_paper_up_and_cut_again.jpg) (http://ibb.co/mKwzua)

Third cut, moved paper up and cut again.


(https://preview.ibb.co/dtTjSv/13_Notice_how_cutting_patterns_keep_geting_longer.jpg) (http://ibb.co/iApDLF)
Notice how the cutting patterns keep getting longer.




(https://preview.ibb.co/ffx5Za/14_Cone_till_rifling_at_muzzle_is_gone_with_150.jpg) (http://ibb.co/d7MXEa)
Cone till the rifling just disappears at muzzle.


(https://preview.ibb.co/jLWM7v/15_Then_switch_to_320_and_finally_polish_with_fine.jpg) (http://ibb.co/m8Yq0F)
Switch to 320 grit and polish with fine.

(https://preview.ibb.co/m4AOnv/16_Finished_you_will_notice_a_short_crown_where_the_bottom_of_the_lands_are_polished.jpg) (http://ibb.co/jPssfF)
When you are finished you will see a short section where the bottom of the lands are polished. This should be enough to get you loading easy but if not satisfied after testing then go through same procedure  again.
 

Thank You for taking the time to read my Tutorial, Ed Hamberg,,, (Longknife)
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Brian Jordan on April 17, 2009, 02:36:13 AM
Thanks for the tutorial, very easy to follow!!
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: DTCoffin on May 09, 2010, 09:28:10 PM
Having finished my new .54 last fall and finally getting down to sighting it in,I'm considering coning it's muzzle.Is this the tool seen advertised in the magazines?
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: smylee grouch on May 10, 2010, 01:02:29 AM
Thanks Ed, that was a very well thought out tutorial and now that I have your tool in hand will be trying it out shortly. Real good idea for hunting guns used in the cold country. Thanks again,    Gary
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on May 26, 2010, 05:35:03 PM
Gary, hope the tool works out for you. To every one else, yes this is a universal tool and can do all standard calibers between .32 and .75. It makes it much easier to start the ball so you can do away with the short starter. I have never experienced  a decrease in accuracy after coning a muzzle. It can also increase accuracy if you barrel suffers from uneven ramrod wear at the muzzle.  I have not advertized this tool anywhere but this forum...yet.   Ed
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: msw on June 12, 2010, 07:58:44 AM
I've used Wood's tools in the past and although they are calibre specific, I have had nothing but fantastic results with them.  All the rifles I've built (with the exception of the first, which the client ((my wife))  specifically didn't want coned) have had the 'treatment' with a Woods tool and i can't say enough good stuff about them.

just one guy's free advice, and no doubt worth every penny!
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: bdixon on June 24, 2010, 02:51:56 PM
From what I can gather Ed you should have an area about  1/16 to 1/8 where the rifling has been removed?? Or can this vary from cut to cut?


Brett.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on June 25, 2010, 08:06:03 PM
Brett, The Barrel I used in the instructions had .010 rifling and I removed all of it, till I could see the grooves just  starting to polish. I like to ream till the rifling just disappears, this usually takes two 150 grit pads, three cuts each so six passes to remove the rifling, then smooth with 320 , and polish with fine. If you rifling is deeper it may take more cuts, but I suggest you try this first and if it doesn't load easy enough for you then do it again...Shoot straight...LOAD EASY...Ed
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Bert on June 07, 2011, 07:07:14 PM
Hi
would you mind giving the dimensions of the cutter. I would love to make one.
Bert
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Dphariss on June 09, 2011, 04:08:00 AM
Having finished my new .54 last fall and finally getting down to sighting it in,I'm considering coning it's muzzle.Is this the tool seen advertised in the magazines?

Do some load development first to get an accuracy standard should shoot into 1" or less at 50 and less than 1.5 at 100.
Then cone it and test again.
From reports I have read  you may not be pleased.
Dan
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: David Rase on June 09, 2011, 08:39:25 PM
Having finished my new .54 last fall and finally getting down to sighting it in,I'm considering coning it's muzzle.Is this the tool seen advertised in the magazines?

Do some load development first to get an accuracy standard should shoot into 1" or less at 50 and less than 1.5 at 100.
Then cone it and test again.
From reports I have read  you may not be pleased.
Dan
If properly coned, I have never seen a barrel lose accuracy.  If not coned correctly, yes, accuracy is lost.  It is all about workmanship.  I have several guns with coned muzzles that I would put up against any crowned muzzle.  Just make sure you don't over cone.  I made that mistake on one of the first barrels I coned.  The ball would roll off the patch and down the bore before I could get it started into the bore.
By the way, great tutorial Ed.
Dave
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Glenn on July 21, 2011, 03:12:40 AM
Longknife ... I appreciate the time you took for the informative and very useful tutorial.  Information and instructions such as this are very useful for the inexperienced such as myself.  I never even seen "coning tools" until I joined this website.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Ken G on July 21, 2011, 11:44:47 PM
Very nicely done tutorial Ed. I'm sure anyone coning a barrel for the first time will find that very helpful.  I wish you had done that a few years back.  I still remember the fear I felt doing my first one.  
Thanks for taking the time to share.
Ken
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Backwoodsman22 on February 23, 2019, 04:38:00 AM
This is something I would like to do to my rifle, are these still available and if so does anyone know where I can purchase one?
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Kevin Houlihan on February 23, 2019, 05:36:39 AM
 I got mine from Ed Hamberg or Longknife who did the tutorial.  Click on his name (Longknife) and send him a PM, that's what I did.
Kevin
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on February 25, 2019, 09:59:40 PM
Troy, I have sent you ordering info, Thanks Ed
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on February 27, 2019, 10:33:09 PM
Anyone interested in my tool can PM me here or e-mail me at my address in my profile. It is listed for sale at following link:

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=4330.0
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: OldMtnMan on March 01, 2019, 12:03:55 AM
Can you still cut at the muzzle with it coned?
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Backwoodsman22 on March 01, 2019, 02:25:25 AM
Can you still cut at the muzzle with it coned?

Here is a discussion on that.

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=15497.0
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: OldMtnMan on March 01, 2019, 03:37:18 AM
Ok. thanks.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on March 01, 2019, 07:18:03 PM
Can you still cut at the muzzle with it coned?

Yes you can,, Just don't cone it too much,,,,Ed
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Smokey Plainsman on March 01, 2019, 08:06:49 PM
Can you still cut at the muzzle with it coned?

Iím the one who posted that thread asking the same question.

The general consensus was yes, you can, but when coning stop often and make sure you donít go too much. Iíve yet to do it as my rifle isnít ready yet, among other reasons.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: James Wilson Everett on December 06, 2021, 10:33:12 PM
Guys,

This tutorial for coning a barrel does work very well.  However, I have found that the life of abrasive paper, wet-dry abrasive paper, the glue joint, etc. can be rather short.  But, recently I purchased some 3-M abrasive sheets named "no-slip-grip".  This stuff has a rubber backing and really is excellent when using this type of coning tool.  When used with a turn of Gorilla tape at top & bottom, this stuff does not shift, wrinkle or tear.  I just finished coning a barrel using only one application of the "no-slip-grip" (220 grit).   

The drawback is that this stuff is purple color!  Egad! I am sure that purple abrasive paper is against the ALR rules somewhere?

Jim
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Ky-Flinter on December 08, 2021, 06:33:52 PM
Hi Ed,

Great tutorial.  I have a question.  In the instructions for making a paper pattern, you state "Align paper at mark and overlap it at least one quarter inch."  Do you also overlap the sandpaper on the coning tool?  That seems like it would create a "bump" in the sandpaper that would result in an uneven cut.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on December 28, 2021, 05:15:45 PM
Ron, sorry for the late reply. Yes, in this tutorial I do overlap the paper, but it still cuts even, with the "bump".  The overlap allows you to move the paper up the tool and get extra cuts out of one piece of paper. You can butt the template and butt the paper and that works great to, you just need to cut more papers. In talking to my customers that is what many do. ,,,Ed
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Bob Roller on December 30, 2021, 05:30:56 PM
A long angled overlap works on my expanding rubber wheels that I use on my modified
bench grinders.These are extension shafts powered by a common 6" bench grinder with
2 expanding rubber wheels on each side.Try this long angle lap joint on the tapered shaft
and see how it works.I use Elmer's carpenter's glue to hold mine together.
Bob Roller   
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Dphariss on January 01, 2022, 07:28:00 PM
I don't know if I have posted this here before or not. I do think that people would be ahead to read TK Dawson's description (JD Baird sure did not do this work) of the last few inches of the bore of the the rifle he and Baird did accuracy testing with in chapter 7 of Baird's "Hawken Rifles". From my reading in the last 1.5" there is .0005" enlargement for 1 1/4" and then and additional .002" enlargement to the muzzle. This is only .001" per side. The .0005" is probably just accidental, perhaps from a lapping operation. Remembering they had no precision measuring equipment at the time. In the factories in the East everything was made to gages not measured. Precision measuring equipment while known back to the 1600s was not on the factory floor until after the American Civil War. The "pocket" sized mic was patented  by Brown & Sharp in 1868.
I would also point out that the limiting factor of the ML rifle is not the rifle its usually the sights and the shooters eyesight. With calm conditions and a telescopic sight or a good tang and aperture front the rifle should shoot all shots touching at 100 yards.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Daryl on January 16, 2022, 12:54:43 AM
Considering how my .69 shot at 100 yards/meters back in the last '80's when my eyesight was good, as well as the advertising pictures of machine rest groups Hugh Tonges has posted
using his barrels, I emphatically agree with you Dan, on the potential accuracy of round ball shooting muzzleloading rifles.
Title: Re: Coning a barrel (my way)
Post by: Longknife on January 19, 2022, 10:40:53 PM
I don't know if I have posted this here before or not. I do think that people would be ahead to read TK Dawson's description (JD Baird sure did not do this work) of the last few inches of the bore of the the rifle he and Baird did accuracy testing with in chapter 7 of Baird's "Hawken Rifles". From my reading in the last 1.5" there is .0005" enlargement for 1 1/4" and then and additional .002" enlargement to the muzzle. This is only .001" per side. The .0005" is probably just accidental, perhaps from a lapping operation. Remembering they had no precision measuring equipment at the time. In the factories in the East everything was made to gages not measured. Precision measuring equipment while known back to the 1600s was not on the factory floor until after the American Civil War. The "pocket" sized mic was patented  by Brown & Sharp in 1868.
I would also point out that the limiting factor of the ML rifle is not the rifle its usually the sights and the shooters eyesight. With calm conditions and a telescopic sight or a good tang and aperture front the rifle should shoot all shots touching at 100 yards.

Dan, Yes you have posted this numerous times on this forum but if you will read the title to this tutorial, it says "Coning a barrel MY WAY" so the discussion should center about how I cone MY barrels. Not how someone else finished their barrels over 150 years ago. If you want to discuss barrel making 150 years ago you need to start a separate thread and quit trying to sabotage my tutorial.  This is not the first time you have done this, very rude.,,,Ed