One of the best benefits of being a Silver Member of the Gun Club of America, is the “Ask The Pros” forum on the GCA website. Ken Brooks, AGI Instructor and owner of Pisco Gunsmithing visits there everyday to help gunsmiths with particular problems they are experiencing. Here are his answers to some recent questions that may help you as well.
One day you may be stuck with a similar problem as these guys, so listen well, Grasshopper.
I have a Remington 700 BDL that I acquired some years ago as a project. The stock was broken so one day at a gun show I picked up a nice used stock. Fit was perfect as if it was original. The gun does show outside wear but how do I determine if the barrel is shot out. I ask because when at the range the first shot is dead on bulls eye, second a inch out, and the third goes about 6 inches out. Now some of you will tell me its shot because its a 264 magnum, but all barrels have a life–just 264 is usually shorter then most. Some have said to glass bed it? Just wondering the opinions of the pros. How do you measure or determine that the barrels life is over. Rifling inside is crisp and clean. Thanks
Wandering rounds could be from many things. Inspect the bore for rounded over lands and grooves. Check the throat area for “salt and pepper” light pitting and rounded over land that extend forward from the throat. Check the crown, but since it shoots the first shot well then starts to wander, I doubt the crown is to blame. Before spending time and money on a new barrel I like to remove all the other variables first as they are a lot less expensive. Make sure the scope is still good. Make sure the mounts and rings are installed correctly. Make sure the trigger pull is good. Bed the action correctly and float the barrel. Once all that is done shoot a group. If the problem is gone, then great. If not pressure bed the barrel and then shoot a group. (Pressure bed only a wooden stock). From the sounds of your description I would say it needs to be glass bedded. Ken
I am about to do my first SKS Trigger Job. After I do it can I send it off to you and have you check my work? What would the cost be on something like that? Do you do this kind of a thing?
Yes, I’ll check your work. It is best if we have the whole gun so we can check how everything fits and operates. On some guns for some repairs we would want to test fire as well. If it is just a check over and return, the cost would not be that much… if it is incorrect in some manner and you would like us to repair it then there would obviously be a fee for that. I don’t like to quote prices as they vary some depending on what we have to do to check things out and how long it takes… but I would imagine the cost would be in the range of $10.00 to $20.00 plus S&H. Ken
I was trying to check head space on a Winchester 721 when I remembered the extractor is the riveted ring style. This makes closing the bolt on the round with a “little feel” kind of tough as all I can feel is the extractor resistance. I am wondering if anyone else has a suggestion or technique. I am using the piece of tape on the back of a round approach. Along these same lines, I am wondering the best way to check head space on a semi auto action that uses a rotary bolt design. I am thinking of the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine or even an AR. With a bolt action I have the ability to feel the bolt as it locks up, but in the rotary style bolts I am not sure how to know if it is completely closed and if it is tight or loose. Maybe this is a good topic for the Friday night Web Classes?
First Answer came from GCA member Doug Charette:
For any of the Remingtons, I slip the gauge under the extractor and hold it there as I shut the bolt. The action really needs to be out of the stock for this. For the semi-autos, operate the bolt by hand, not with the action spring. With a AR, it’s easiest to remove the barrel from the upper.
Right on Doug, I don’t believe I can add much. I don’t remove the barrel on the AR’s I just close the bolt and examine where everything lines up then when the gauge is installed the bolt should not rotate as far… just like a bolt action rifle. Ken
Any advice on switching out barrels for a S&W revolver N Frame 44 mag? I ordered a receiver wrench from Brownells and I have a universal barrel vise. This will be my first time, I know the concept of doing but I want to hear y’alls advice before I make any first time mistakes.
Soak it well with penatrating oil. Make sure the frame and barrel are snug in their vice/wrench. Go slow. Don’t get discouraged. The S&W’s usually… USUALLY… come apart easier than the Colts and again, usually with less bending of the frame. Ken
Thank you sir. And the installing of a new barrel? Just measure the threaded portion and remove what I need to make the barrel and sight straight when it is fully installed?
I screw the barrel in before I do anything else to see if it will screw in. Then to see how close to indexing it is. Then I take it out and do what ever machining is needed to make it index and fit correctly. Ken