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View Full Version : Okay, I rounded the barrel flats. Now what????


K. Funk
September 16, 2001, 19:20
Vice Grips? I must have opened my 1-1/16" BFW flats a little too much. I rounded my STG flats a little last year, but the L1A1 flats are really wiped. I really had to lean on her to get the last hair of timing. I didn't make it. Need Help!!

thanks,

krf

PS: I sliced my finger open on my home-made breeching shim. WECSOG material??

W.E.G.
September 16, 2001, 19:36
Consider securing what's left of the barrel flats in a BFV(ise).

2 clicks low
September 16, 2001, 19:38
Do a search on barrel vise. It is two blocks with lead inserts.It clamps on to the barrel it self. ;)

Radio
September 16, 2001, 19:42
YES! Blood counts significantly towards honorary WECSOG recognition.

Lesson To Learn For The Future: when you modify your next open-end wrench, UNDER-FILE it so that you must tap it onto the barrel flats with a hammer. Make it HARD to tap on the wrench and you'll have a much less chance of slipping and rounding the flats.

Now, what to do. It is perfectly fine to re-machine the barrel flats; any decent machinist will be able to grind the flats PARALLEL to a smaller dimension. (It's the "parallel" part that might make it impractical to try at home with a file.) This will require a different wrench from your regular dedicated FAL barreling wrench, but the advantage is you can have your machinist grind to a standard size you already have in your toolbox. (Remember again the watchword, TIGHT fit, slightly oversize to the wrench.)

The other solution, maybe the better one, is to use a barrel vise so you'll be independent of the flats entirely. You can carve your own out of hardwood, make your own out of channel iron and lead, or buy pre-made barrel vises from companies like Brownells. DON'T forget to use barrel rosin or you'll find yourself in Spin City.

--Radio

zoom
September 16, 2001, 19:55
Even with using rosin in a pair of lead vise blocks in a friend's big vise, my barrel still spun with only about 20 ft/lbs of torque. I had it tight enough to squeeze lead out of the ends of the blocks, but it still was worthless. I'm begining to think keeping a barrel from spinning in a vise is a fairy tale.z

kotengu
September 16, 2001, 20:02
I agree with .Jeter - Clamp those flats in a BFV and torque it down! I speak from experience - my wrench slipped so many times while barreling my STG kit it rounded the flats (and yes, I had to use a hammer to get it on there) and I got so pissed I stuck it in my rough jawed vice and put a 4' cheater bar on my receiver wrench to finally get it timed right. The barrel flats were VERY f@#$ed up but hey, they were already rounded and I filed them to look flat after I finished. I just hope I never have to take that barrel off.......

Looking back it wasn't the wisest solution, but hey - it worked!

lostone
September 16, 2001, 20:20
RPB sells FSE alum. barrel blocks for the fal you might want to try getting some of them if you dont want to make a set. You can get the diagram on www.gunthings.com (http://www.gunthings.com) for ones to make yourself.

K. Funk
September 17, 2001, 17:28
Thank you gentlemen, between all of the options presented, I'm sure I can make one of them work. I'll let you all know how I make out.

krf

ce
September 18, 2001, 16:20
Yaaaawwwnnn...Pipe wrench.

K. Funk
September 18, 2001, 19:44
That sounds ugly. Where do you propose I latch on? I am trying to avoid the appearance of a TOTAL hack job.

krf

FXE
September 18, 2001, 20:27
You could make a cheap Barrel Vise of Wood and use the Vise Grips! Drill a hole(approx. 11/16" if I remember right?) in a piece of wood and split it in half, loosely secure it in a vise, install the Vise Grips and rotate the barrel until they(the Vise Grips) wedge against the bench, tighten the Vise, and start torquen!

Good Luck
FXE

Deltaten
September 20, 2001, 17:58
Say it ain't so! You buggered up a set of flats? ;) I thought I was the only one to use (need) the BBV to keep a bbl from spinning.

On essentially the same topic.. TA-DA; just picked up some powdered rosin today! On a whim, I stopped at the bowling alley, to see if they still used rosin bags for thier chosen sport. Sure enough, gold plated, embroidered, velvet, (all at a price) and plain cotton cheesecloth for a paltry $1.80, plus tax. Works out to less than a buck an ounce! Brownell's can keep thier 16 oz./$18+ plus shipping, thank-you-very-much.

Now I'll be able to see if I can make MY bbl spin in those exquisitly formed, burn-your- flesh-to-the-bone, lead blocks. K.Funk; If they work, I'll let you know.

Best,
Paul

ehklei19
September 21, 2001, 15:36
Why don't you just relieve the barrel shoulder a little bit more and USE THREAD ANTI SIEZE!!! It really works. I see no reason why wrenchs and vices should be destroyed by the barrelling process. We have been led (I think) to beleive that some incredible amount of torque is required. 50-60lbs should be sufficient to hold the thing together. :)

TideWater 41009
September 28, 2001, 13:07
Originally posted by ehklei19:
<STRONG>Why don't you just relieve the barrel shoulder a little bit more and USE THREAD ANTI SIEZE!!! It really works. I see no reason why wrenchs and vices should be destroyed by the barrelling process. We have been led (I think) to beleive that some incredible amount of torque is required. 50-60lbs should be sufficient to hold the thing together. :)</STRONG>
----------------------------
50 to 60 ft. lbs. is less than half of the torque required according to any authorized factory or military armorer's manual that I have seen. If you build a barrel vise according to the plans on the GunThings web site, you wil not need barrel flats at all, and the barrel will not slip no matter how tight you want the barrel to fit, although there is no real need to go beyond 200 ft. lbs. or so. The idea of using anti-sieze paste when barreling is a good one.

In my opinion, far too many home gunsmiths are taking far too much metal off of far too many FAL barrels. The barrels were fine when they were originally assembled to their receivers. Also consider that, if anything, the barrel shoulder might have been crushed slightly during its original assembly, and we should be seeing a lot of complaints about these used barrels overtiming, not undertiming! I don't understand why so many folks think they should take metal off of the barrel shoulder. Where did this "extra" metal on the shoulder suddenly come from? The ubiquitous avice of "hand tight at 11:00" is too far if you want the barrel to torque within spec.

If you use the proper tools, nothing will get broken, no Loc-tite will be needed, no flats will be rounded, and the barrel will be tightened to within original specifications.

Radio
September 30, 2001, 14:13
I really don't want to argue with RefinishGuy/GunThings.com (I've got a BUNCH of his comments in my personal archives) but his answer is incomplete regarding the differences people experience in their initial barrel timing.

"I don't understand why so many folks think they should take metal off of the barrel shoulder. Where did this 'extra' metal on the shoulder suddenly come from?" It's not a case of extra metal, it's a stacking up of various manufacturing tolerances. All barrels, all receivers, are NOT the same, and will NOT all time up exactly the same way. One of my StG barrels will time up differently on a GL IMBEL than a DSA than a Williams... now switch to an IMBEL or Belgian barrel and the rules change yet again. An Argentine barrel on an Entreprise receiver will not time up the way a South African barrel does on a Hesse receiver. Adjustments are a NECESSARY part of the game.

As to the question of how MUCH to adjust initial barrel timing, RefinishGuy/GunThings.com's choice of the word "ubiquitous" is quite apt as he appears to be the lone voice advocating more torque. [EDIT: lone voice in this forum, discounting armorer's specifications. Also, we are private individuals assembling these rifles in our shops, not an OEM with all the facilities at their command.] A barrel installed at even 100-ft/lbs is going to stay in place just fine, without having to stress the metal with a circa 200-ft/lb install. That 100-ft/lb rifle is also going to be a WHOLE bunch easier to rebarrel ten years from now.

During this argument, one should keep in mind that torquing rules are different when barreling a Williams Alumalite; here, initial timing should be to about 11:30 before applying final torque.

--Radio

[ September 30, 2001: Message edited by: Radio ]

Chief351
September 30, 2001, 17:37
I found that the problem with the wrench, and with rounding the barrel flats, was due to two factors:

1. As you are pulling on the wrench it is easy to let the wrench get a little crooked. That is, the wrench, when viewed from the side, must be perpendicular to the barrel.
SOLUTION: During the torquing process, stop several times and, with a ball-peen hammer, tap the wrench back against the receiver face. This keeps the wrench in full contact with the flats.

2. Even though I used a good quality wrench ($25.00 from Sears) I found that the jaws were spreading open.
SOLUTION: Using a flat file, file some notches near the open end of the jaws such that a vise-grip or c-clamp can be clamped over the wrench jaws to prevent the jaws from spreading.

Hope this helps.

Bubba
October 01, 2001, 08:19
And here are some more places you can find rosin for those real tight barrels.
A "real" western wear or tack store. you should be able to find rosin the cheapest here. Bull riders and bronc riders use this stuff like it's going out of style. Ask me how I know...
A music store. Like one that sells violins and fiddles. Used for the bow.

I think you should invest in a set of barrel blocks and a BFV.