Gunsmithing chamber reaming

oobray

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Nov 5, 2008
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dallas area, tx
I'm starting to think about building a long range hunting rifle. I'm going to be attempting to build this thing myself and I'm chambering it in 264 Win. Mag. I'm thinking I'm going to build it on a savage action (possibly a custom action, haven't decided yet) My question is... Has anyone tried hand reaming a chamber at home without a lathe? I have read some very brief articles written on the subject. How do you keep the thing straight? Is there a better way to make sure you go the proper depth other than just continuously placing head space gauges in the chamber?
 

858

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Dec 8, 2004
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Re: chamber reaming

You're on the right track, I use my Makita cordless and a hand taps.
 

eddieharren

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Aug 4, 2007
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Re: chamber reaming

By the time you get through hand reaming a 264 Win. Mag. chamber, you'll have arms and shoulders bigger than Hulk Hogans and, a very poor chamber. Go to a gunsmith and have him chamber your barrel.
 

300sniper

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Jan 17, 2005
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Re: chamber reaming

there are a lot of naysayers on this site when it comes to trying something yourself. usually i am all for someone doing something themself. in this case, without a lathe, i honestly think you should let someone with the correct tools do it. there are short chambered barrels available that may be able to be finished at home without a lathe but i have no experience with them nor know nothing about them. i personally wouldn't even consider one. if i didn't have a lathe and had the urge to barrel a hunting rifle myself, maybe then i would.
 

snommittj

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Apr 22, 2008
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Re: chamber reaming

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DocEd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">By the time you get through hand reaming a 264 Win. Mag. chamber, you'll have arms and shoulders bigger than Hulk Hogans and, a very poor chamber. Go to a gunsmith and have him chamber your barrel. </div></div>

+1
If you want to be a part of building your rifle there are a couple different routes you can take. First option for me would be to go to Robert Gradous's Rifle building school and let him guide you through the correct process of building a custom rifle. Second option would be to buy a used Savage action, aftermarket barrel(pre-chambered) and at least you can headspace it yourself. Then get an aftermarket stock and whatever else you want. Kinda like a kit gun, that shoots good. I wouldn't try the kit gun approach with any guns other than the Savage. As far as hand chambering goes, when (good)gunsmiths dial a barrel in the lathe for chambering, they us an indicator that has 4 zeros behind the decimal and then still dont want the indicator to wiggle in set up. Just trying to get across how precision of a process it should be. I don't personally think that can be done by hand.
 

oobray

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Nov 5, 2008
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dallas area, tx
Re: chamber reaming

I like the idea of getting a short chamber that way I only have to "finish" the chamber out, however could still say (sort of) that I chambered it. Pac Nor sells "pre-fit" barrels. I was thinking of getting one of these that was already threaded. However would there be a reason that a hand tap/die would not work if the proper threads could be found?

As far as, "just have a gunsmith do it". I know that would probably be easier and probably even less expensive however I really like building my own stuff. I even built the re curve that I archery hunt with. (that was no easy task either).
 

bohem

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Jan 6, 2009
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Re: chamber reaming

It's not going to be easy to do it. If you got a short chambered barrel then it's much more likely to work and come out straight. I do not suggest getting a blank and trying to take care of it all yourself, the extra $200 it's going to cost is WAY worth it in that regard.

If you are building a long range stick for hunting and target shooting I would suggest you do a cost stackup on how the extra $$ to have a gun plumber thread and finish up the chamber would cost. After you buy an action, stock, barrel, glass, possibly a new trigger, bipod, bedding job, brass, dies, etc is the money THAT much more expensive?
 

BLAWTON

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Apr 2, 2008
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Re: chamber reaming

If you get one short chambered you can finish it by hand if you have the correct pilot and the reamers match up just right. I hand finish all the chambers i do to reduce on the amount of burrs left in the throat which will cause excess copper fouling. Just remember you will need the correct size pilot and they arnt cheap and need to have them in about .0002 increments to insure you have a nice tight fit in the bore of the rifle barrel. You have to make sure you push directly in on the reamer to avoid cutting the begining of the chamber out.
 

sixfiveguy

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May 20, 2009
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Re: chamber reaming

+1 for the 264 win mag!! +2 for the packnor. I just finished a 6.5-06 with a super match pacnor and love it. Good luck!
 

oobray

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Nov 5, 2008
30
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dallas area, tx
Re: chamber reaming

Six Five,

Yeah I love the 6.5 bullets,they're awesome!! I'm not sure you could beat the 140 grain Berger with a BC of .612 moving at 3,200 fps.

NotaGuru,

How short is a "short chamber". I mean how much metal will I actually be removing. Also I was considering getting the reamers from Pacific Tool and Gauge

http://www.pacifictoolandgauge.com/products/reamers/chamber.htm#removable
Think these will work?
 

skinnj1

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Mar 12, 2008
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Re: chamber reaming

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: oobray</div><div class="ubbcode-body">However would there be a reason that a hand tap/die would not work if the proper threads could be found? </div></div>

Answer- yes, concentricity , you will never get the barrel threads properly aligned with the bore/chamber....

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: oobray</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How short is a "short chamber". I mean how much metal will I actually be removing. Also I was considering getting the reamers from Pacific Tool and Gauge </div></div>

Answer- depends upon manufacturer but usually 0.050"-0.125"
 

oneeyedmac

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Re: chamber reaming

You can buy a barrel that is the correct length, threaded and short chambered from any of the barrel makers. McGowan will sell you a short chambered threaded barrel for about $300 in the length and contour you want, so will notaguru (Lawton) from right here.

Don't forget the tools and fixtures you'll need. A finish reamer-about $150, a t-handle to turn it, a set of go, no-go gauges- about $22 each,a barrel vice- about $75 and an action wrench also for about $75 or so.

Maybe it's not so bad taking it to a gunsmith and haveing him spin the barrel on and finish chamber it for $100 or so. I don't want to discourage you but you should know what you are getting into.
 

chpprguy

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Feb 8, 2004
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Re: chamber reaming

Not to hijack, but a similar question.
Does anyone "long chamber" a blank?

A friend of mine would like me to build a 7 mag, and I don't want to buy a reamer for one rifle ........
(my understanding is that my 300 Win Mag gauges will work for headspace)

It'd be fairly easy to cut back/thread/fit the tenon if it was already chambered......