View Full Version : Lend me some tools?

July 17, 2010, 03:58 PM

I'm a wrench by trade, so I understand being leery about lending tools. If anyone actually does me this favor, I'll be shocked.

I'm building a cheapy scout rifle out of an old Mosin 91/30. I want to whack about ten inches off the barrel.

I would like to find someone who could lend me a muzzle facing tool, and perhaps some sort of crown polishing tool.

My 2 LGS want 65 bucks and a month to do this job, which I find appallingly ridiculous - especially on a ninety-nine dollar rifle.

So... if you are willing to lend me some tools, I'll gladly pay shipping and trade/give you something for your efforts, and obviously if I break something I will replace it.

Anyone game?


July 17, 2010, 04:08 PM
Cut off with a hacksaw. Use a small square and a file to square up the muzzle. Crown with a large brass round-headed screw chucked in your drill using valve grinding compound as the abrasive. Touch up with cold blue. Here endeth the lesson. Goatwhiskers the Elder

July 17, 2010, 04:09 PM
Half the people I read say that works like s charm, and the other half say you need a lathe.

I suppose they had guns before lathes... that method actually works?


July 17, 2010, 04:21 PM
Without commenting on your gunsmith's rates,realize cutting and crowning your Moisin < $100 dollar Moisin is the same investment of time and effort for the smith as it would be on a > $3000 dollar rifle,though admittedly the smith may take extra pains with the expensive rifle.
I use a lathe,can't loan it to you,and wouldn't.Loaning tools is a losing proposition.
Try a hacksaw.Then use a file and a square,carefully making it uniform all around.Then use a 1/2 in round ,hard mounted stone with a little oil in a cordless drill,very slow speed,light pressure,to make a slight crown recess.You dont need much.A ball will sit full contact in a hole.then use a 90 deg pointed hard mounted stone held in a pinvise,turned with your fingers,to just barely break the corner.

File a chamfer around the OD,blend it a bit.

Thats not what I do,but if you want a $15 dollar job for your $90 rifle,thats it.

July 17, 2010, 06:04 PM

I understand how the labor works. I get paid more or less the same labor regardless of whether I'm doing a brake job on a seventies-era farm truck or a brand new Hayabusa. I'm not saying his rates are ridiculous, I am saying that for me to spend that kind of money on a gun of that cost is a poor financial decision. Every hot-rod I've built, be it gun, car, or bike, has been a losing proposition - and I understand that. Custom costs. So...I know his tools and time are valuable; which is why I was looking to use MY tools (paid for already) and time (slightly less valuable, I suppose...)

I got a fire under my bottom and did just as goatwhiskers recommended. Hacksawed it, used a bastard file to square it (Just by eye - this is a po' boy redneck job:p), and then used progressively finer files to remove my tool marks.

I used a stainless screw, as opposed to brass, and jeweler's rouge as opposed to lapping compound (keeping with the 'being cheap' theme...used what was in the supply closet) and burnished with mag polish (both the crown using the screw, and the cut surface, using a rag.)

Turned out really nice looking - I really wouldn't have expected such a nice result, but I took some time with it.

I guess the proof's in the pudding, though. I still have to mount up a scope to it. (I bought a cheap mount, and got burned - frustrated, I took it off, along with the rear sight base, and I found this things has a 3/8" dovetail! Wonder of wonders!)

I've got some handloads cooked up for it, so I suppose we'll see if this makes a whit's worth of difference better or worse. Stay tuned...


PS...mods, feel free to lock, since I suppose question A has been asked and answered.

July 17, 2010, 06:50 PM
I've recrowned barrels by hand. It's always worked well for me.

July 17, 2010, 07:42 PM
The military barrels are generally easy. Hacksaw, try square and files are fine, as you discovered. The resulting square crown is usually very accurate, but like any sharp edge, is vulnerable to getting dinged if you bump it into something.

If you find the bolt head didn't do what you wanted, you can download a description of the crowning method I use from my file repository, here (http://drop.io/unclenick). The advantage is the ball bearing and rotating the barrel and using back and forth motion, like you would lapping an engine valve, tends to self-center and stay even. Most bolt heads are elliptical rather than round in profile, so they have to be kept pointed straight into the muzzle or the barrel constantly rotated to keep the result symmetrical. It often works fairly well, but some bolt heads are more elliptical than others so, YMMV.

July 17, 2010, 10:37 PM

I viewed that file a day or two ago, as I researched this project. This may sound silly, but I have discovered both through my own work and the work of others that extraordinary results can be obtained with poor tools and incredible effort.

My crown job reflects that. It literally looks the way I would expect to see it come back from a shop. I have no idea how it shoots, so I do still need to check it, but it looks very nice. It took a few hours overall, but it saved me some dollars and I always feel proud of something I have done well that I know many others couldn't or wouldn't do.

Love when you comment on my threads, btw - your reloading info is filled with years of wisdom I am attempting to retain.