Author Topic: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel  (Read 9285 times)

Offline M Tornichio

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what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« on: June 03, 2010, 07:39:22 PM »
Hi Everyone,
It has been a while since I have posted anything. I recently cut a barrel to length. The cut needed to be made from the muzzle end. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to but a crown on the barrel without a lathe? I have read much about using emery to smooth a sharp crown, but It seems like there needs to be a transition first.
Thanks for your help.
Marc

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 10:14:05 PM »
Hi Everyone,
It has been a while since I have posted anything. I recently cut a barrel to length. The cut needed to be made from the muzzle end. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to but a crown on the barrel without a lathe? I have read much about using emery to smooth a sharp crown, but It seems like there needs to be a transition first.
Thanks for your help.
Marc
Well Mark there really isn't much to it.  Need a good square, a hacksaw that cuts on the pull for better control, a fine flat file that is wider than the muzzle.  square it up by setting that square 'square' on the muzzle barrel after cut her off, vertical and look at the flourescent light to find the high spots on muzzle face (black could help) work slowly till she is flat and square all around.  Then get hold of a medium cut ball and if you can a brass ball or marble the proper dia on a rod that fits in your antique brace.  Fit said barrel in your bench vise (so tang clears the floor and pad the jaws.  in vertical positioncut the campher slowly carefully by walking around the vice as far as you can.  Then go to the brass ball or marble with valve cutting compound there on.  Then 400 or 600 emory paper on said ball or marble or your thumb if you feel like it.  This smoothes the champher and kinda greases the way it (If you get my meaning) ;)

This works for me and the shooting results are accurate.  (So far)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 10:50:45 PM by Roger Fisher »

Offline b bogart

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 11:39:00 PM »
That's the way I've done it. A guy with your talent Mark ought not have a problem!

Al Lapp

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 01:01:25 AM »
Yes thats pretty well the way I did it. Having a lathe I turned a brass ball and left a spigget on the end, put it in my hand drill with a bit of medium grinding compound on it. Then a couple of turns clockwise and then a couple back. Didn't take long and turned out great. The particular gun shoots into one inch at fifty yards, thats as good as these old eyes will do even with a scope. By the way what is a scope ? been so long since I used one.

Daryl

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 01:07:39 AM »
Bruce to get a crown started and baring the use of a lathe, I use a tapered wooden dowel with emery, or a tapered grinding stone that fits the chuck of an electric drill.  I've been doing it this way for many years and only recently have available, a lathe with a large enough hole in the headstock to use on barrels - thanks to Taylor.

The grinding stone, with or without the emery makes a good start, then I finish the muzzle's crown with emery and the end of my thumb,as per the picture.

Wrapping emery cloth or wet/dry paper around the stone's taper, then holding the stone into the muzzle, pull the trigger of the drill. Nothing to it. Rotating the drill around it's axis slightly, in sort of a sweeping motion, keeps the angles concentric with the bore. Check it often to make certain the angles are true.  Eye-balling this is all that's needed.  In a pinch, I've crowned a muzzle with a pocket knife, cutting the steel away with the blade, then finishing with an old piece of 320 grit emery cloth I found in my hunting bag.  That particular gun was a TC, and the guy was having trouble getting a .490" ball started with a .022" denim patch in the factory's sharp-edged crown. Afterwards, he had no more trouble with loading, nor in obtaining respecable accuracy.

Emery and Thumb:


Finished:


Same thing on a rifle barrel. Notice how the land corners are 'softened' where they angle into the bore. Same thing for the grooves. This helps the patch and ball swage together, alowing a tight fit that's easy to load, without cutting the patch.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 01:11:50 AM by Daryl »

Offline Dphariss

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 05:30:54 AM »
Hi Everyone,
It has been a while since I have posted anything. I recently cut a barrel to length. The cut needed to be made from the muzzle end. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to but a crown on the barrel without a lathe? I have read much about using emery to smooth a sharp crown, but It seems like there needs to be a transition first.
Thanks for your help.
Marc


Its dirty here from a proof load but the fouling caused the crown to show nicely so I took a pic. This is 58 caliber hunting rifle.



Its a two angle job with my typical crown supplemented with a longer relief on the lands so it should load a little easier.

This tool will cut the longer angle but unfortunately needs a lathe to make. I turn it with an electric drill.

But enough bragging ::)

One of the shaped 1/4" shank large cone shaped grinding stones can be used to rough then wrap with successive grits of wet or dry to about 320-400 to polish will work or use paper to cut it throughout and never let the stone tough the bore. Wet or dry will cut very well if tightly wrapped on or stuck with carpet tape it is will stick. USE LOW PRESSURE and don't crowd the work or the paper will fail and you will have to reapply. It can be simply turned by hand, a brace for using wood bits or an electric drill. USUALLY HAND TOOLS ARE BETTER for the first crown anyway.
 A large counter sink can be used to start though using a hand brace might be best since it can chatter easily. Wet or dry pressed against the crown  with a fingertip or thumb will work well to polish.
Its really not rocket science and so long as the crown looks even and the ball can be started without much trouble or patch damage it will likely work very well. The cone stone mentioned above will do very well if carefully applied.

For those without one, even one of those little cheap benchtop lathes from Harbor Freight, Grizzly etc can make all sorts of neat stuff like tools and screws and such if you take your time.
If carefully done a tool like that above will serve for a wide range of calibers just by making the right sized pilot for the bore.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Daryl

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 02:29:31 PM »
Good looking tool, Dan.

Offline Ken G

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 03:01:34 PM »
Good looking tool.  I suspect if you were only doing one or two barrels you could make one with hardwood that would get the job done.

Ken
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 05:11:07 PM »
Someone posted some pics or a tutorial on a wooden tool I think.

I really like a precision cut crown done on the lathe. But they are time consuming and I would not want to put a lot of money on one outshooting a carefully done hand cut crown done with cheap tools and wet or dry paper from Walmart or Ace Hardware.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

MikeC

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2010, 07:20:21 PM »
Why not just "cone" the muzzle using one of Joe Woods coning tools after the muzzle has been squared.  As for myself I will never own a rifle that does not have a coned muzzle.  I did two myself and my new .54 was done by the builder.

Daryl

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 05:35:40 AM »
Each to his own on cones.  Some people swear by them.  I don't.  I coned 2 barrels and was dissatisfied with the accuracy change.  The only cone being shot in our group is on LB's rifle.  As to loading, he has great difficulty loading the combinations I use easily, with what I call a normal, radiused crown, so I'm not sure it's a help in that regard either.
My accuracy doubled - ie: double group sizes.  Now, an inch isn't bad as ML's and irons sights go, but 1/2" is better, (50 yards).  Even my smoothbore shoots an inch at 25 yards, so that range isn't a test of anything, imho.

Offline M Tornichio

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 06:04:24 PM »
thanks for your help gentlemen. I will let you guys know how it turns out.
Marc

MikeC

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 04:07:21 PM »
Each to his own on cones.  Some people swear by them.  I don't.  I coned 2 barrels and was dissatisfied with the accuracy change.  The only cone being shot in our group is on LB's rifle.  As to loading, he has great difficulty loading the combinations I use easily, with what I call a normal, radiused crown, so I'm not sure it's a help in that regard either.
My accuracy doubled - ie: double group sizes.  Now, an inch isn't bad as ML's and irons sights go, but 1/2" is better, (50 yards).  Even my smoothbore shoots an inch at 25 yards, so that range isn't a test of anything, imho.
Wow...Sorry to hear about you're coned barrel issues.  As for me the two I coned accuracy improved, can't speak for the new one as i asked for the barrel to be coned from the builder.  I's a shooter though, off the bench clover leafs at 50 yards.  With regard to loading I got rid of the short starter, loading is a breeze even with tight target loads.

Daryl

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 05:55:19 PM »
Mike, I've heard that from other shooters, saying accuracy improved.  I am not sure why that would be- or how it could happen.  Technically speaking, the closer the crown is to a perfectly sharp muzzle face, the more accurate it will be. If coned barrels were more accurate, the bench-rest shooters would all have coned muzzles. They don't. They have perfectly sharp 90 degree, or more recently 11 degree perfectly SHARP crowns for perfect delivery of the bullet.  WE can't crown that way due to having to load at the muzzle, the ball and patch having to swage into the rifling as we load, without cutting the patch, but the closest we can come to that sharp crown and still load a combination that seals, the better.

 The shape of a cone is not even remotely close to a sharp crown as the cone extends down into the bore- tapered all the way - I just can't see it working to aide in accuracy.  I have watched LB trying to load a .400" ball in his .40, & with a thin .016" patch(as I measured them) and it was most difficult for him, yet I load that ball in a .002" smaller bore with up to a .0215" patch using the gun's 3/8" hickory rod.

 The angle for proper swaging together of a ball and patch are not a long gradual cone which extends the friction surface into a longer one, but a radiused short chamfer as used in bullet drawing dies that all bullet and case manufacturers use.  The shape of the crowns on my guns quite closely emulate this and the ease of seating a bullet in the muzzle shows it works.

However - if coning works for you, that's what's important, and is what you should use.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2010, 03:29:19 PM »
I just tried a technique which I remember reading about in "Muzzleloader" a while back. It involves filing grooves in the lands at the muzzle. Filed deeper than the grooves, it effectively reverses the two,creating lots of room to accept the patch, and making for easy loading. I polished the crown using Daryl's thumb method, and the gun shoots the same as before..just easier loading.
By the way..the most accurate rifle I ever owned was cut straight, perfect sharp 90 deg at the muzzle, with false muzzle fitted for loading. Of course, I sold it!

Daryl

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Re: what is the best way to put a crown on a barrel
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2010, 04:52:29 PM »
Of course, false muzzles give exactly the same 'square' muzzle end as was used in all modern accuracy rifles, untilthe newer 11 degree muzzle came into being. Due to the accuracy advantage of using this 'perfect' muzzle, giving perfect delivery to the patched ball or bullet, false muzzles are not allowed in many competitions with round ball and slug guns today.  That should mean something to those of use who must alter this perfect shape in order to load a combination that is tight and seals.

  Some shooters, like Roger F. are very competitive and with a smoothly crowned barrel, use combinations of ball and patch that are virtually identical to those used in these super accurate false muzzled guns - ie: balls up to .007" larger than the bore, plus a .015" or heavier patch as well. The false muzzle allows super tight loads, as-does a well crowned rifle.

Trouble is, while we might come close to matching the 'bench-gun's false-muzzle inducing accuracy, we still are not competitive - but, we are still ahead of those who create possible accuracy losing conditions, such as too-thin patches, undersized balls and long tapered crowns. in my honest opinion, that is.