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Thread: Barrel Question

  1. #1

    Barrel Question

    Been thinking over the last week about barrels and how if you buy a barrel from border or the likes, they can design it or recommend one which will shoot a very specific bullet very well.

    Heres my question;

    With a factory barrel, is there any way of shortening the chamber in order to make it so that the OAL of your home load can be shorter but still getting close to the rifling? Im obviously thinking you will lose a bit of length of the barrel but cant be much.

    Also, regarding barrel shortening, is there a rule of thumb of how much velocity you lose by shortening a .308 barrel from 26'' to something like 22''?



  2. #2
    FFM, you can get the rifle shortened easily (and recrowned), RPS do a 16.5" .308. From the reading i have done it is somewhere between 25fps and 50fps velocity loss per inch removed.

    It is possible to have a chamber shortened, if there is the metal to work with. It involves shortening the barrel, but at the action end. A specialist gunsmith is needed. I believe that match barrels, after prolonged use, are sometimes given this treatment. Muir is your man to explain the technicalities.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  3. #3
    Yes, it can be done. Basically the barrel is removed from the action, and "set-back" (cut short at the breech end) one or two thread depths, and then the chamber is re-cut, normally with a minimum spec reamer.

    Big questions is how good is that factory barrel in the first place, what are you looking to achieve with this re-chambering, is it worth the money it is going to cost you?

    Regarding the shortening of barrel length, there are rules of thumb. In theory, your 308 should loose about 100FPS - 25FPS per inch removed. In reality it could be more, or it could be less. You can minimise the velocity drop by changing your loads to a faster powder. I have found Benchmark to be very good in short barrels. Reloder 17 has been good also.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  4. #4
    how much do you think to alter the chamber and shorten/recrown rethread the barrel? Im reckoning on 400 for a new barrel, if i did want to go down that route..

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingfisherman View Post
    how much do you think to alter the chamber and shorten/recrown rethread the barrel? Im reckoning on 400 for a new barrel, if i did want to go down that route..
    I have no idea, but would have though at least 200, maybe more, to get this done.

    Makes a new barrel much more attractive....

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  6. #6
    ff. It's all feasible, but quality rifle makers won't touch a second hand barrel for doing work like this. They don't want their good name sullied by recycling a barrel of unknown quality. Secondly, 400 sounds a snip for a new barrel. I spent ~700 at Border Barrels on a new 243 barrel. I don't see any benefit in reworking the chamber of a functioning sporting rifle. Find some factory ammo that it likes and shoot it till it's done, then rebarrel it. Regards JCS

  7. #7
    I have a Tikka T3 at 20 inches and a friend has a Blaser at 24 inches we were firing the same bought 165 rounds at the week end my rifle was lobing them out at 70fps less than his. we agreed that the extra 70fps wasn't worth it for luging an extra 4 inches of barrel and a a moderator 4 inches further away from you. It may well have been a diffferant story if the rifles were both from the same manufacturer.


  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    Yes you can ask Border (or any other maker) to make a specific twist rate to suit a particular bullet weight.

    For instance an 1-8" twist .224 for 75g bullets, a 1-12" twsit for 55grainers and so on.

    Profiles (the shape of the barrel) are also an option at the time of order - usually a maker will have a "stock" inventory of standard profiles and may charge you slightly extra to custom make a programm for the profiling CNC machine.

    (for instance you may have a Tikka - which has a 1.200" barrel shank and want a Rem Varmint profile (which has a 1.250" shank) - maybe not a great example but hopefully you get my drift.

    Now the question was regarding shortening the throat (to achieve a shorter OAL)

    This is possible one has to conduct the following:

    Remove barrel,

    Set up in lathe to 0 run out (as as close as you can) - inboard and outboard side.

    Machine down the existing tenon by .500"

    Re form tenon to suit action length.

    Re-cut threads chasing existing abarrel tenon thread and extending same to new tenon length.

    Form rebate for bolt nose / create cone / where applicable dependant on bolt shape.

    Re cut chamber with reamer (either with throat or with no throat)

    If no throat reamer, use throating reamer to cut new throat depth - VERY easy to get wrong.....

    Check new chamber with Go - No-Go guage.

    Re fit action

    Send for re-proof.

    All in the same effort as a NEW barrel - circa (dependant on gunsmith) 200 to 300 of work I guess.

    Now ask yourself this;

    Is this worth it on a factory barrel worth 20.....


    Use the existing barrel till its shot out, or invest in new barrel and get the job done properly (by that I mean don't bother wasting your hard earned on the factory barrel)

    Just my 2p

  9. #9
    And a very good 2p worth of info from Redmist, you would do well to follow his advise ff



  10. #10
    This forum is great.. So much info and experience to be gained in such an easy way. Basically, this .308 ive got is more of a play thing at the mo, as my .243 is the bread and butter. I havent seen a rifle on the market yet which fits my spec and am starting to think about more custom items. such as a new barrel and stock, poss scope too, oh and trigger, so basically just keeping the action. Im in no rush to do all of the above, but its something that interests me. I think im better off looking at a new barrel opposed to re chambering this one.. Any 'better' than borders?

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