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#584682 11/20/20 07:09 AM
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I have an acquaintance who had two sets of barrels sleeved at Briley for his Parkers, to 34". He convinced Briley, after Briley fitted the sleeved barrel sets to the actions, to send them back to him so that he could strike them himself until he got the "feel" he wanted. He did the filing and polishing himself, then sent them back for bluing.

Got me to thinking about a set of new 32" barrels I will have fitted to a Philly Fox action. I understand that barrel filing/striking is not for a total novice but I have done a lot of filing on delicate gun parts and even have made some parts from chunks of steel with a hacksaw and files. So, I have some experience with filing.

Is there any published literature anywhere that describes the process/procedure of barrel striking? My 32" set will be fitted to a Fox that already has a 30" original set. It'd be nice to duplicate the balance and handling by striking the 32s to match the 30s. Sound reasonable?

Thanks in advance, SRH



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Stan,
it's not hard to learn the technique or "Engineering" involved if your task is to match the sleeves to the "hakenstuck"(?) or finish them for bluing. On the otherhand, if your task is to change the balance to get the "feel" you want; the "art" involved will be more difficult to learn. I suggest you buy a couple sets of "ragged out" barrels to practice on. Don't be afraid to grind your files to create safe edges or different shapes. Different people use different tools, but I find a couple different size Barrett files very handy. Be careful around the ribs, you can file a groove in the barrel, before you know it. Remember, they are your barrels, if you mess them up, it's none of our business.
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Thanks, Mike. I understand it's "none of your business" if I were to ruin my barrel. I hope nobody here thinks I'm the kind of man that would blame someone on here if I did.

I do, however, thank you for your suggestions about files and usage to do what I'm interested in, and the precautions.

All my best, SRH


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The use of file chalk will make cleaning your files easier and help prevent clogging of the teeth. If you have a barrel wall thickness measuring device it will be handy.

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Thanks Mark. I've been using file chalk and file cleaners for many years. Wouldn't do fine work without them. I agree about a wall thickness measuring device, and wouldn't attempt the job without one.

SRH


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What brands and types of files are yall using for striking the barrels? I feel that my files are too aggressive as I nearly spend more time polishing the file marks out than if I just had used my abrasive paper in the first place.

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hereford,

Check Mark11's comment above, pinning in the file will make "gouges" that "polishing" won't get, they may have to be filed out. Loading the file with chalk helps, otherwise you might have to clean it after every stroke. A cartridge case with the neck hammered flat is handy to remove "pins" that resist a file card or instead of the card when there are only a couple pins.
Mike

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I know two smiths that fit 32" small bore Fox barrels in the white to existing actions. Was a ton of striking for sure. I believe your in the white barrels are number 1's and most likely the 30" barrels are number 3's. If you go to the Fox Book and look at the chart on barrel weights you can get a pretty good idea how much steel you need to get rid off. PS. If your 32" are not matted I believe Jon Hosford has the original Fox Barrel Matting machine. Good luck.


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Originally Posted By: tut
I believe Jon Hosford has the original Fox Barrel Matting machine.


Correct, Jon just did a set for me this summer.


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Proper barrel striking is actually one of the harder things to do in gun making, that is to achieve concentricity and swept contour without ripples when looking down the tubes. Proper striking must be done prior to the two barrels being assembled, otherwise concentricity is mute. I’ve yet to sleeve an American gun that was remotely concentric.

When were these two 34” sets done by Briley?


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I was shooting against John when he showed them to me, probably nearly 10 years ago. Exactly when they were done I couldn't say.


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John T the dentist?

I was just curious, Briley has been subbing and sending sleeving work to me the last few years since they lost their head gunsmith. I hadn’t recalled doing a partial project like described here.

If we are talking about the same John T I have sleeved two 34” guns in the last few years for him, full work. I believe a 28 and .410.


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That's him, Michael. Very nice guy, and a tough competitor. He's from up around Virginia, if I remember correctly.

We have shot together at the Southern Side by Side, near Georgetown, SC, several times. Had breakfast together on one occasion at Mingo's.

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
tut #586970 12/11/20 10:08 PM
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tut, my in the white 32" Fox barrels are completely finished except for bluing and beads. The chokes are cut, the chambers are cut, the rim cuts are made, the ejectors are fitted, the rib is matted and the barrels are roll stamped.

These aren't the same quality as the rough barrels some bought and tried to get fitted. Keith Kearcher once told me that they were a nightmare to complete and fit.

These probably have had the initial striking done already, by Fox. I really should weigh them and try to compare the weight to someone else's barrels. I can't remember if there is a weight number on them. I'll try to remember to look tomorrow.

Thanks, SRH


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Originally Posted By: Stan
tut, my in the white 32" Fox barrels are completely finished except for bluing and beads. The chokes are cut, the chambers are cut, the rim cuts are made, the ejectors are fitted, the rib is matted and the barrels are roll stamped.

These aren't the same quality as the rough barrels some bought and tried to get fitted. Keith Kearcher once told me that they were a nightmare to complete and fit.

These probably have had the initial striking done already, by Fox. I really should weigh them and try to compare the weight to someone else's barrels. I can't remember if there is a weight number on them. I'll try to remember to look tomorrow.

Thanks, SRH


You are a lucky lucky man. The one's that Jason B. had were rough to say the least. Dan Rossiter did one set for a client one time and I think he had over a week into striking to the point where his arms were about to fall off. Then they had to be sent out for rim cuts, chambers etc etc. I am not sure if the barrels were matted at the end of things, as it was a custom job totally and not an upgrade to a factory pattern as I recall. It was a very intensive project from the time/labor perspective for sure.


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Tut, the plot thickens .........

The NOS 32" barrel set also are serial numbered .......33055. They're #2 weight barrels and weigh 3 lbs. 12.5 oz.

Here's the kicker. The 30" barrel set, original to the gun I want to get the 32" set fitted to, are also #2 weight, and weigh 1.7 oz. MORE, at 3 lbs. 14.2 oz.

Those 32 inchers won't need any striking at all. They will likely handle so closely to the same as the original 30 inch set that I won't be able to feel any difference. Two inches longer, but 1.7 oz. lighter. Looks like a "match made in heaven".

Thanks for mentioning the barrel weight classes. I had never noticed that they are #2 weight, and had just (wrongly) assumed they would be a good bit heavier and handle differently. They may yet, but I doubt it.

SRH


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Stan, the two sets that two different smiths were working on were 32" 16 gauge barrels in the white that Jason had. I think the price of the barrels themselves in the white were circa 1,000 USD which seemed reasonable. However to fit them and finish them property when all was said and done was well over another grand and I mean well over.


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Yes, so I heard as well.

I was most blessed when a collector contacted me to make the offer to me. He had three sets at the time, and allowed me to pick one. I made that decision mostly based upon the width measurement across the breech. AIR, this set was within a couple .000" of being the same as my 30 " set.

They weren't cheap, but fortunately I had enough sense to realize the value, and have never regretted it. I've had them for at least 10 years, maybe more, waiting for the right gun to fit them to, and the right 'smith to do it. Men that are capable of properly fitting a set to an action don't grow on trees, either.

SRH


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