Re-chambering a barrel?

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flytie

Well-Known Member
Dear all,

Please can you tell me if it is feasable to re-chamber an existing barrel? In my case I would like to re-chamber from 7x57 to 7x57 Ackley Improved, with the 40 degree shoulder to fit the commercially available reloading dies.

I have seen on many gunsmiths web-sites that they refuse to do this job, is it because of the factory chambered barrel steel being too hard to work, presumably being work hardened during the button rifle swaging process?

I realise that this is a fairly silly enterprise, there being absolutely nothing wrong with the 7x57, but I just have a hankering to have something a little different ;) And as P.O.Ackley says in his book about the 7x57 AI, "It has almost ideal powder capacity for the 7mm bore and produces very satisfactory ballistics."

Regards, Simon
 

1967spud

Well-Known Member
to be honest purley on a finaicial argument , time you pay for a rechamber and reproof its more cost effective to get a new barrel blank and start afresh.

What shot count has the barrel done to date?
 

tikkathreebarrels

Well-Known Member
Simon,

1. I ain't no gunsmith and

2. I have idled away many an hour with Parker Ackley's books 1 & 2


This is what I think in answer to your question.

When Parker Ackley was writing, there seems to have been, in the USA at least, a much wider acceptance of the practice of rechambering barrels which might have had two contributory causes: i) Spare cash was a lot harder to come by and consequently "recycling" would have been a necessity to keep down costs and ii) a glut of milsurp barrels kicking around just begging to be "recycled".

Compare that situation with present times: we don't so much rebarrel as replace, riflesmiths aren't exactly short of work and appear to be able to name their own prices and timescales. If you think about the comment about work hardening after button rifling, that's going to apply any rifled barrel which is chambered after the rifling has been cut: how many rifles are chambered then drilled and rifled?

Here's a bit of a SWAG: riflesmiths would rather sell you a new barrel than work on your second-hand barrel and some of them might even hide behind insurance and the "potential" for insured liability in the event of something going wrong.

So, is it feasible you ask? Yes, I'd say so.


.
Dear all,

Please can you tell me if it is feasable to re-chamber an existing barrel? In my case I would like to re-chamber from 7x57 to 7x57 Ackley Improved, with the 40 degree shoulder to fit the commercially available reloading dies.

I have seen on many gunsmiths web-sites that they refuse to do this job, is it because of the factory chambered barrel steel being too hard to work, presumably being work hardened during the button rifle swaging process?

I realise that this is a fairly silly enterprise, there being absolutely nothing wrong with the 7x57, but I just have a hankering to have something a little different ;) And as P.O.Ackley says in his book about the 7x57 AI, "It has almost ideal powder capacity for the 7mm bore and produces very satisfactory ballistics."

Regards, Simon
 

Jager SA

Well-Known Member
Simon,

1. I ain't no gunsmith and

2. I have idled away many an hour with Parker Ackley's books 1 & 2


This is what I think in answer to your question.

When Parker Ackley was writing, there seems to have been, in the USA at least, a much wider acceptance of the practice of rechambering barrels which might have had two contributory causes: i) Spare cash was a lot harder to come by and consequently "recycling" would have been a necessity to keep down costs and ii) a glut of milsurp barrels kicking around just begging to be "recycled".

Compare that situation with present times: we don't so much rebarrel as replace, riflesmiths aren't exactly short of work and appear to be able to name their own prices and timescales. If you think about the comment about work hardening after button rifling, that's going to apply any rifled barrel which is chambered after the rifling has been cut: how many rifles are chambered then drilled and rifled?

Here's a bit of a SWAG: riflesmiths would rather sell you a new barrel than work on your second-hand barrel and some of them might even hide behind insurance and the "potential" for insured liability in the event of something going wrong.

So, is it feasible you ask? Yes, I'd say so.


.


Couldn't of put it better myself! It's not a difficult job, why replace a barrel if there's nothing wrong with it??? All you're doing in this case is bumping the chamber forward and accounting for this on your shoulder and headspace...not rocket science and no need for a new barrel.
 

1967spud

Well-Known Member
Couldn't of put it better myself! It's not a difficult job, why replace a barrel if there's nothing wrong with it??? All you're doing in this case is bumping the chamber forward and accounting for this on your shoulder and headspace...not rocket science and no need for a new barrel.

#this does depend a lot on used barrel life and actuall condition of the barrel .

Would you really want to spend £xyz plus proofing on a fire cracked barrel. I agree a lightly used barrel being set back and rechambered is a very feeasable job but condition of the barrel is KEY.
 

Jager SA

Well-Known Member
#this does depend a lot on used barrel life and actuall condition of the barrel .

Would you really want to spend £xyz plus proofing on a fire cracked barrel. I agree a lightly used barrel being set back and rechambered is a very feeasable job but condition of the barrel is KEY.

Yes of course barrel life is key, that's what bore scopes are for. Surely the fire cracking if any will be where you are removing material...however, I doubt there will be any issue with this in a 7x57...a wildcat yes and in a short space of time is the load used is stoked.

This isn't a difficult task, however one would require a reamer the rest is time.
 

Roedinator

Distinguished Member
Dear all,

Please can you tell me if it is feasable to re-chamber an existing barrel? In my case I would like to re-chamber from 7x57 to 7x57 Ackley Improved, with the 40 degree shoulder to fit the commercially available reloading dies.

I have seen on many gunsmiths web-sites that they refuse to do this job, is it because of the factory chambered barrel steel being too hard to work, presumably being work hardened during the button rifle swaging process?

I realise that this is a fairly silly enterprise, there being absolutely nothing wrong with the 7x57, but I just have a hankering to have something a little different ;) And as P.O.Ackley says in his book about the 7x57 AI, "It has almost ideal powder capacity for the 7mm bore and produces very satisfactory ballistics."

Regards, Simon

hi Simon
i had one ackley d in 7 . O8
easy enough job as others have said just need a smith to obtain the reamer
​regards pete
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Dear all,

Please can you tell me if it is feasable to re-chamber an existing barrel? In my case I would like to re-chamber from 7x57 to 7x57 Ackley Improved, with the 40 degree shoulder to fit the commercially available reloading dies.

I have seen on many gunsmiths web-sites that they refuse to do this job, is it because of the factory chambered barrel steel being too hard to work, presumably being work hardened during the button rifle swaging process?

I realise that this is a fairly silly enterprise, there being absolutely nothing wrong with the 7x57, but I just have a hankering to have something a little different ;) And as P.O.Ackley says in his book about the 7x57 AI, "It has almost ideal powder capacity for the 7mm bore and produces very satisfactory ballistics."

Regards, Simon

The 7x57 Improved is about the same as a 280 Remington.
AS to rechambering: In the US, running an Ackley reamer into an existing barrel is common place. I have done many myself... as did Ackley, I might add. Ackley rechambered many factory barrels and, indeed, the entire concept was developed to be used 'improving' existing barrels because the parent cartridge was too small for the bore diameter to give best performance, or to increase the chamber size of larger cartridges so that they could better utilize the cheap, slow burning surplus military powders of the time. The opinions offered in your second paragraph, to summarize, are bull crap. The barrels are rifled before chambering, as are all button rifled barrel blanks. Total nonsense. The things people will say to get you to buy a barrel job from them.~Muir
 

Tuck

Well-Known Member
I am no expert but if you can find a DECENT gunsmith that's willing to do this for you on an old/factory barrel then it maybe worth a go! But I doubt very much that they will promise it will work and to wheather it will shoot afterwards! Had it done on a factory sako a few years ago! It shot ok after but i was told before it was done by the gunsmith that if it didn't shoot he would not stand by it and it was me carrying the risk! If it's gonna cost say circa £200-£300 then I would seriously have second thoughts as this will go along way towards a new barrel and for what you will gain plus cost of new dies etc... You have to ask yourself is it really worth it! As your question in your post is it feasible? It's possible but not feasible in my eyes.
 

Jager SA

Well-Known Member
The 7x57 Improved is about the same as a 280 Remington.
AS to rechambering: In the US, running an Ackley reamer into an existing barrel is common place. I have done many myself... as did Ackley, I might add. Ackley rechambered many factory barrels and, indeed, the entire concept was developed to be used 'improving' existing barrels because the parent cartridge was too small for the bore diameter to give best performance, or to increase the chamber size of larger cartridges so that they could better utilize the cheap, slow burning surplus military powders of the time. The opinions offered in your second paragraph, to summarize, are bull crap. The barrels are rifled before chambering, as are all button rifled barrel blanks. Total nonsense. The things people will say to get you to buy a barrel job from them.~Muir

That makes every bit of sense to be and I'm sure others.

As for cost Tuck, what does it take to do? Remove barrel, bore scope it, measure your headspace, put it into the chuck, true it, bump your shoulder forward, re chamber to match, headspace it, maybe bore scope it to check, re assemble, proof it. £200-£300 for maybe 1.5 hours work... Hmm, I'm missing something with this dark art stuff.
 
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Julie

Active Member
shouldn't gunsmiths do what YOU ask them to do not what THEY want to do for you!?......

No

They (we) have a responsibility not to do anything which is dangerous and could kill or injure

So being asked to leave the new barrel just finger tight so it can be unscrewed etc etc would be a no - no!

Within reason though any gunsmith will do what you want providing it isn't unsafe - if they won't, they either aren't a gunsmith or you don't understand the danger that exists

Julie
 

Jager SA

Well-Known Member
No

They (we) have a responsibility not to do anything which is dangerous and could kill or injure

So being asked to leave the new barrel just finger tight so it can be unscrewed etc etc would be a no - no!

Within reason though any gunsmith will do what you want providing it isn't unsafe - if they won't, they either aren't a gunsmith or you don't understand the danger that exists

Julie

I dont think Bewsher500 or anyone would expect any work to be carried which would be considered dangerous. Safety is paramount in everything we do with firearms, however the original post was about the possibility of Ackley improving his standard chamber, which is the whole point of Ackley idea, to improve! This task is neither dangerous or impossible to achieve as Muir has already pointed out, this is of course providing the rifle/barrel are in safe condition for the work to be carried out.
 

Julie

Active Member
Of course a simple re-chamber is a simple re-chamber,

The thread has thrown a much wider topic than just the original post, but lets face it - a non Ackley to Ackley is a simple re-chamber, however many shooters would see another change in chambering as simple as well, whilst it may involve a totally different pressure range and involve very dangerous practices if carried out - but to the uninformed looks just like a a simple re-chamber!

My comment wasn't aimed at anyone in particular - just that just because someone asks you to do something doesn't make it always safe to do so - a wide ranging statement along the lines Ed made I feel needs to be qualified - I am sure you must have been asked to do some absolutely stupid things - we have on a regular basis - do we do them? - no! - we usually guide them around why what they are asking for is unsafe, but some will never see it.

Julie
 

Jager SA

Well-Known Member
Of course a simple re-chamber is a simple re-chamber,

The thread has thrown a much wider topic than just the original post, but lets face it - a non Ackley to Ackley is a simple re-chamber, however many shooters would see another change in chambering as simple as well, whilst it may involve a totally different pressure range and involve very dangerous practices if carried out - but to the uninformed looks just like a a simple re-chamber!

My comment wasn't aimed at anyone in particular - just that just because someone asks you to do something doesn't make it always safe to do so - a wide ranging statement along the lines Ed made I feel needs to be qualified - I am sure you must have been asked to do some absolutely stupid things - we have on a regular basis - do we do them? - no! - we usually guide them around why what they are asking for is unsafe, but some will never see it.

Julie

​No absolutely, couldn't agree more.
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
Ha Ha, wasn't a pointed comment, thought it might stir it up though!
it was more in relation to plumbers selling new barrels than proper gunsmiths (which I class you as Julie :tiphat:)
obviously if you request something physically dangerous then that won't happen

Within reason though any gunsmith should do what you want providing it isn't unsafe - if they won't, they aren't a gunsmith

that pretty much hits the nail on the head.
too many "gunshops with a lathe" who can't/won't do something because they personally are not capable ......but will tell you it isn't physically possible
 

flytie

Well-Known Member
Thank you all, particularly Muir ( who wrote much sense as usual!) I have found this most useful. I have found a very reasonable price of £325 inclusive of reloading dies in AI and much information on reloading for the calibre.

The rifle in question seems to have been carried much more than it has been shot, the throat and rifling seem to be in very good condition, as one would expect from such a calibre. It seems as though my dream is extremely fulfillable :)

​Regards, Simon
 
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