Pre-fit Barrel Problems

hlee

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    Headspace is fine. I'm fine with having it re-engraved where I can see it. Barrels are disposables around here.

    Lesson learned. No more "pre-fit" barrels for me.
    If barrels are disposable, don't get it engraved. Buy a paint pen and write the caliber on it where you can see it. Throwing good money at a disposable item is foolish.
     
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    RFutch

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    PVA must have it figured out???
    @bohem
     
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    Hoyt7mm

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    Several people I shoot with have used LRI for a number of years. They've all sent in their actions with the first barrel to be measured. After that, no problems. I could be wrong, but I believe LRI has strongly recommended sending in your action to be measured and put on file in order for quite some time.

    As to the why of it. My guess is they use your measured action to maintain more consistent headspace between the 1st barrel you order and the 12th. Also, think of it this way. Guy has an Impact with a prefit and 500 pcs of brass. Prefit headspaces correctly but is towards the max on headspace. Prefit gets shot out and guy orders another prefit, but this time from a different smith. New prefit headspaces correctly, but is towards minimum headspace. Now guy is pissed that his brass won't chamber and begins bitching/complaining and demanding a new barrel from smith 2. Yea, that's a headache I'm sure most want to avoid.
     

    reubenski

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    Several people I shoot with have used LRI for a number of years. They've all sent in their actions with the first barrel to be measured. After that, no problems. I could be wrong, but I believe LRI has strongly recommended sending in your action to be measured and put on file in order for quite some time.

    As to the why of it. My guess is they use your measured action to maintain more consistent headspace between the 1st barrel you order and the 12th. Also, think of it this way. Guy has an Impact with a prefit and 500 pcs of brass. Prefit headspaces correctly but is towards the max on headspace. Prefit gets shot out and guy orders another prefit, but this time from a different smith. New prefit headspaces correctly, but is towards minimum headspace. Now guy is pissed that his brass won't chamber and begins bitching/complaining and demanding a new barrel from smith 2. Yea, that's a headache I'm sure most want to avoid.
    Or guy could just use a sizing die properly

    #madeupproblems
     

    dirtking

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    Doesn’t the lone peak and impacts interchange as far as headspace but clock differently? Could the program have been run for a lone peak by accident or even just the engraving program?
     

    R_Swanson

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    For the record I don't care about the non-visible engraving, I think its inventing issues.

    However, we have enough machinists here, I am sure someone can weigh in on why the threads don't line up the same way - whether its the action manufacturer or another step the barrel manufacturer has to take in production that Proof has decided isn't worth the cost/time for the return.

    Regarding pre-fits. We are dealing with tolerances here in all these actions, and LRI is making a business decision to take that variable out of their barrel fitting. No big deal IMO.
     

    reubenski

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    For the record I don't care about the non-visible engraving, I think its inventing issues.

    However, we have enough machinists here, I am sure someone can weigh in on why the threads don't line up the same way - whether its the action manufacturer or another step the barrel manufacturer has to take in production that Proof has decided isn't worth the cost/time for the return.

    Regarding pre-fits. We are dealing with tolerances here in all these actions, and LRI is making a business decision to take that variable out of their barrel fitting. No big deal IMO.
    Probably because it's cheaper for them to have a customer send his action in than it is for them to pay for shipping to get a prefit back that is a little too tight every once in awhile. From their perspective it probably just avoids all potential issues.
     
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    ballisticdaddy

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    I wonder what they think I should do with an unusable barrel.

    I can't believe CNC machines which have held specification for many years are suddenly going out of spec.

    I wonder what's really going on here.
    So the barrel threads on and head spaces correctly but because the engraving is not visible then it's unusable? See ya Karen!
     
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    R_Swanson

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    Probably because it's cheaper for them to have a customer send his action in than it is for them to pay for shipping to get a prefit back that is a little too tight every once in awhile. From their perspective it probably just avoids all potential issues.
    Agreed, its a QC decision IMO.
     

    Long Range 338

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    I doubt LRI does any hand fitting at this point anyway, so after they have measured your action it’s a custom built barrel for your action. LRI was one of the first to dial in the cnc stuff.
     

    LV Precision

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    Probably because it's cheaper for them to have a customer send his action in than it is for them to pay for shipping to get a prefit back that is a little too tight every once in awhile. From their perspective it probably just avoids all potential issues.

    Or they do it to make more money. By conveying "don't trust pre-fits" to potential customers, it keeps their gunsmithing in business. Availability and precision of pre-fits have completely changed the game in terms of users working on their own equipment.

    Obviously tolerances for Impacts, Lone Peaks, etc. are extremely consistent if top smiths like Stuteville, Preece Precision, DMR, etc. pump out pre-fits that exhibit extremely high precision.

    LRI might need to get with the times and review their own processes if other smiths can do what they're not capable of doing.
     

    kmdn_crew

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    It just all comes down to the timing of the threads in the action. This involves the action more than it involves the barrel. All the custom actions that companies are able to design pre fits around are all incredible world class actions (like OP's Impact) and hold headspace which is all that actually matters. The rest is just aesthetics.

    proof just does more volume and so it is not really an option to have every individual send in their action just so they can make a barrel specific for that persons action. They guarantee headspace which is again all that really matters with the barrel being a pre fit. LRI is a custom shop with less volume and able to custom machine a barrel for that exact action. This thread is silly and OP having "first world problems".
     

    Ledzep

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    However, we have enough machinists here, I am sure someone can weigh in on why the threads don't line up the same way - whether its the action manufacturer or another step the barrel manufacturer has to take in production that Proof has decided isn't worth the cost/time for the return.

    To be clear, the action-to-action orientation of the thread lead-in has absolutely nothing to do with head space, "quality", etc...

    It depends on how the action is made and what order of operations is used to "orient" things. There are numerous ways to machine the threads and all critical dimensions of the receiver in a manner that they have extremely precise repeatability for head space, but the orientation of the thread start is not the same action-to-action. You have to go out of your way and do something or some things specifically to ensure the thread starts at the same/similar orientation every time. Whether that's offsets in the programming, tooling, thread milling, single pointing in a lathe, fixturing, blah blah blah.... You have to so something to force the orientation of the start of the threads with "horizontal" on the action to coincide. Something as simple as changing a piece of tooling, changing a fixture, changing an offset, etc... Could all easily throw that orientation out the window. Every thousandth of an inch is worth 7.2 degrees in a 20 TPI thread.

    My guess is that action manufacturers look at it as thing that would be cool, but probably isn't worth the necessary time/effort to ensure it happens. Likewise, the barrel Mfg's are in a situation where they either orient the barrels by some method that doesn't track to all actions because the action mfg doesn't hold it static, or they simply don't orient it any specific way at all.

    It's totally possible, it's just a matter of if it's determined to be worth the effort for the sake of pre-fit barrels' engraving lining up.
     

    R_Swanson

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    To be clear, the action-to-action orientation of the thread lead-in has absolutely nothing to do with head space, "quality", etc...

    It depends on how the action is made and what order of operations is used to "orient" things. There are numerous ways to machine the threads and all critical dimensions of the receiver in a manner that they have extremely precise repeatability for head space, but the orientation of the thread start is not the same action-to-action. You have to go out of your way and do something or some things specifically to ensure the thread starts at the same/similar orientation every time. Whether that's offsets in the programming, tooling, thread milling, single pointing in a lathe, fixturing, blah blah blah.... You have to so something to force the orientation of the start of the threads with "horizontal" on the action to coincide. Something as simple as changing a piece of tooling, changing a fixture, changing an offset, etc... Could all easily throw that orientation out the window. Every thousandth of an inch is worth 7.2 degrees in a 20 TPI thread.

    My guess is that action manufacturers look at it as thing that would be cool, but probably isn't worth the necessary time/effort to ensure it happens. Likewise, the barrel Mfg's are in a situation where they either orient the barrels by some method that doesn't track to all actions because the action mfg doesn't hold it static, or they simply don't orient it any specific way at all.


    It's totally possible, it's just a matter of if it's determined to be worth the effort for the sake of pre-fit barrels' engraving lining up.

    If I implied the italicized, it was not what I was getting at.

    The bold is exactly what I was guessing. Thanks for explanation!
     
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    reubenski

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    To be clear, the action-to-action orientation of the thread lead-in has absolutely nothing to do with head space, "quality", etc...

    It depends on how the action is made and what order of operations is used to "orient" things. There are numerous ways to machine the threads and all critical dimensions of the receiver in a manner that they have extremely precise repeatability for head space, but the orientation of the thread start is not the same action-to-action. You have to go out of your way and do something or some things specifically to ensure the thread starts at the same/similar orientation every time. Whether that's offsets in the programming, tooling, thread milling, single pointing in a lathe, fixturing, blah blah blah.... You have to so something to force the orientation of the start of the threads with "horizontal" on the action to coincide. Something as simple as changing a piece of tooling, changing a fixture, changing an offset, etc... Could all easily throw that orientation out the window. Every thousandth of an inch is worth 7.2 degrees in a 20 TPI thread.

    My guess is that action manufacturers look at it as thing that would be cool, but probably isn't worth the necessary time/effort to ensure it happens. Likewise, the barrel Mfg's are in a situation where they either orient the barrels by some method that doesn't track to all actions because the action mfg doesn't hold it static, or they simply don't orient it any specific way at all.

    It's totally possible, it's just a matter of if it's determined to be worth the effort for the sake of pre-fit barrels' engraving lining up.
    Pfffghghh....

    Is having a usable barrel worth the effort?
     

    Digetydog

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    If the only issue is the markings aren't visible and it fits an Origin action, I'll gladly take the "unusable" barrel as scrap.

    BTW - I am not sure about everyone's ARs, but the markings on my AR barrels are obscured by handguard. Should I scrap them? 😀
     

    308pirate

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    How does a barrel nut fix non visible engraving?
    Depending on how far off the engraving is you can reclock the barrel and not drive headspace out of spec. In any case IDGAF about that.

    The nut sure as fuck fixes the problem of having to have your action measured.
     
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    reubenski

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    Depending on how far off the engraving is you can reclock the barrel and not drive headspace out of spec. In any case IDGAF about that.

    The nut sure as fuck fixes the problem of having to have your action measured.
    Serious question. I've installed only two barrel nut prefits but I seem to remember headspace is set by screwing the barrel into the action. The nut just jams the threads. Or better said, the headspace is already cut into the barrel, it's just the consumers job to put the barrel in the correct distance from the bolt face, which is done by how far you screw the barrel into the action. In reality a nut'd prefit also only has one clock orientation on an action, predetermined by how far off the bolt it needs to be to meet HS and clear the bolt nose on the breech. Not multiple or endless clock positions, so if the engraving isn't in that 10 or 2 it's going to be off.
     
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    spife7980

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    Serious question. I've installed only two barrel nut prefits but I seem to remember headspace is set by screwing the barrel into the action. The nut just jams the threads. Or better said, the headspace is already cut into the barrel, it's just the consumers job to put the barrel in the correct distance from the bolt face, which is done by how far you screw the barrel into the action. In reality a nut'd prefit also only has one clock orientation on an action, predetermined by how far off the bolt it needs to be to meet HS and clear the bolt nose on the breech. Not multiple or endless clock positions, so if the engraving isn't in that 10 or 2 it's going to be off.
    The ___age barrels are all marked around the circumference or in three spots or out at the muzzle so it’s visible etc. They certainly don’t clock beyond dumb luck.
     

    srt-4_uk

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    Depending on how far off the engraving is you can reclock the barrel and not drive headspace out of spec. In any case IDGAF about that.

    The nut sure as fuck fixes the problem of having to have your action measured.
    That gives you like 5-6⁰ per thou on a 16TPI barrel? That isn't fixing a 6 o click engraving. Or an up side down one.
     
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    308 pilot

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    I am not calling anyone out here but I am hearing and experiencing unexpected problems with pre-fit barrels from two large suppliers.

    A major supplier of pre-fit barrels tells me they will need to see each action before manufacturing a "pre-fit barrel" in the future. This kind of defeats the purpose of pre-fit barrels. I am not naming this supplier because they have not yet announced this change publicly.

    The second problem is with Proof pre-fit carbon barrels. The last barrel I received fit the Impact action it was intended for but the engraving was something like 45 degrees off so the caliber designation will be at the bottom of the action. For me, a barrel without the caliber visible is unsafe and unusable. They referred me to the following on their website:

    View attachment 7935260
    I wonder what they think I should do with an unusable barrel.

    I can't believe CNC machines which have held specification for many years are suddenly going out of spec.

    I wonder what's really going on here.
    If you think not having the caliber visible is “unsafe and unusable” then you should probably stop shooting. Mark it on the stock, on the scope, put a piece of tape on the damn barrel. Unusable? That’s ridiculous.
     
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    308pirate

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    That gives you like 5-6⁰ per thou on a 16TPI barrel? That isn't fixing a 6 o click engraving. Or an up side down one.

    I know, and I don't care. I couldn't give a shit less if the caliber mark is visible or not. I know what it is.
     
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    308pirate

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    Serious question. I've installed only two barrel nut prefits but I seem to remember headspace is set by screwing the barrel into the action. The nut just jams the threads. Or better said, the headspace is already cut into the barrel, it's just the consumers job to put the barrel in the correct distance from the bolt face, which is done by how far you screw the barrel into the action. In reality a nut'd prefit also only has one clock orientation on an action, predetermined by how far off the bolt it needs to be to meet HS and clear the bolt nose on the breech. Not multiple or endless clock positions, so if the engraving isn't in that 10 or 2 it's going to be off.

    There isn't much adjustment. I said that as much. And I also said I don't really care if the caliber markings are visible or not. It's a strawman started by the OP and continued on by others.
     

    308pirate

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    Dude. How many times a week do you verbally annihilate people for the same mistake? You misspoke.Just have some class and say, "oh yeah, my mistake"

    I didn't make a mistake. Everyone's fixating on the engraving bullshit and missing the bigger issue: that certain barrel makers won't ship barrels now without measuring the action.

    Remage barrels don't have that issue.
     

    reubenski

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    I didn't make a mistake. Everyone's fixating on the engraving bullshit and missing the bigger issue: that certain barrel makers won't ship barrels now without measuring the action.

    Remage barrels don't have that issue.
    Screenshot_20220817-184057.png

    Pretty sure you absolutely did try to say that you could re-clock a nut'd prefit without changing the headspace.

    Now you can't admit a mistake. Gotta maintain that immense superiority, huh?
     

    AllenOne1

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    Pretty sure you absolutely did try to say that you could re-clock a nut'd prefit without changing the headspace.

    Now you can't admit a mistake. Gotta maintain that immense superiority, huh?
    That all sounds correct to me when I read it. You do have to understand you only have about 7 degrees to play around with though which isn't very much. I'm with the others that don't really care if I can see the barrel markings or not.
     

    Haney

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    The ___age barrels are all marked around the circumference or in three spots or out at the muzzle so it’s visible etc. They certainly don’t clock beyond dumb luck.
    Wrong , not All remage are marked as you say . I have barrels with no markings visible unless you take the bolt out .
     

    AccuSol-ERN

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    Here we go.....

    I have spun up quite a few prefits over the years and can tell you it is a double edged sword...... regardless of who manufactures them. You are literally accepting a generic fit for convenience. You have to decide if it is worth it. I can attest EVERY single action maker doesn't replicate the EXACT same action. I feel Impact Precision does it best by performing a post-coating finish cut on the boltface to get final headspace. Having said that I can hand fit a barrel tenon for one Impact 737 and grab another off the shelf and it is a little loose or a little tight.......thats why they spec ASME thread pitch diameter min/max on their prefit print.

    Defiance "prefitable" actions are even worse (no offense)......by adding headspace inconsistency that CAN vary .966-.969......even though most are .967ish.

    Regarding manufacturers.......shit happens. For example I recently ran into a barrel "timing" issue with Zermatt TL3 AND Origins. I made a fixture for my laser etcher that has worked for years and suddenly newer actions were not lining up. Long story short, couldn't get an answer on when/if it changed.......so I can't go anywhere with that. My problem is it makes me look like a HACK because I am turning out a less than perfect product.

    Another thing, I have seen on more than one occasion were a prefitable action has been modified by the end user who saw something on youtube "guaranteed to increase accuracy".

    I am sympathetic to both sides of the argument.........I hate sending valuable shit in the mail.........conversely given the amount of money spent (not small) I want my purchased product to be top notch.

    Given the amount of OCD and gadgetry we spend on reloading, it is a shame to run a prefit spec barrel, although I have cut some wicked accurate ones. You are never going to get the consistency/repeatability with a prefit that you will with a hand fit from a quality smith. Nothing makes me happier than to get feedback from customers that go through multiple barrels a season and say they don't even have to adjust their dies or sort brass between barrels. This only comes from consistent tooling and consistent machining.

    Another thing, take a look at how many "used" barrels end up for sale. Is that barrel cut to prefit specs or was it mated to tight spec or loose spec action? That's why I mark prefits with an additional marking.

    No matter what steps we take as builders there are always issues like the above that result in angry phone calls and wasted time/money.

    If you absolutely want the best possible, have a quality builder hand fit and final assemble/mark.

    Ern
     
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    Krob95

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    Good job op. You’re a fuckin diva. It's a prefit. Want the engraving to line up? Stop being cheap and take it to a gunsmith.
     
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    Here we go.....

    I have spun up quite a few prefits over the years and can tell you it is a double edged sword...... regardless of who manufactures them. You are literally accepting a generic fit for convenience. You have to decide if it is worth it. I can attest EVERY single action maker doesn't replicate the EXACT same action. I feel Impact Precision does it best by performing a post-coating finish cut on the boltface to get final headspace. Having said that I can hand fit a barrel tenon for one Impact 737 and grab another off the shelf and it is a little loose or a little tight.......thats why they spec ASME thread pitch diameter min/max on their prefit print.

    Defiance "prefitable" actions are even worse (no offense)......by adding headspace inconsistency that CAN vary .966-.969......even though most are .967ish.

    Regarding manufacturers.......shit happens. For example I recently ran into a barrel "timing" issue with Zermatt TL3 AND Origins. I made a fixture for my laser etcher that has worked for years and suddenly newer actions were not lining up. Long story short, couldn't get an answer on when it changed.......so I can't go anywhere with that. My problem is it makes me look like a HACK because I am turning out a less than perfect product.

    Another thing, I have seen on more than one occasion where a prefitable action has been modified by the end user who saw something on youtube "guaranteed to increase accuracy".

    I am sympathetic to both sides of the argument.........I hate sending valuable shit in the mail.........conversely given the amount of money spent (not small) I want my purchased product to be top notch.

    Given the amount of OCD and gadgetry we spend on reloading, it is a shame to run a prefit spec barrel, although I have cut some wicked accurate ones.

    Another thing, take a look at how many "used" barrels end up for sale. Is that barrel cut to prefit specs or was it mated to tight spec or loose spec action? That's why I mark prefits with an additional marking.

    No matter what steps we take as builders there are always issues like the above that result in angry phone calls and wasted time/money.

    Ern
    I use shouldered and Remage prefit barrels most of the time. The small variance is something the end user has to accept going in. Some folks get wrapped around the axle about barrel markings, I don’t. I much prefer the radial markings that are visible no matter what. There’s no free lunch. It’s pretty rich that people expect a marking to be perfect when you don’t have the action in hand. There will be trade offs with convenience and a lower price
     

    reubenski

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    I use shouldered and Remage prefit barrels most of the time. The small variance is something the end user has to accept going in. Some folks get wrapped around the axle about barrel markings, I don’t. I much prefer the radial markings that are visible no matter what. There’s no free lunch. It’s pretty rich that people expect a marking to be perfect when you don’t have the action in hand. There will be trade offs with convenience and a lower price
    Yikes. And I used to pay for custom barrels and never even got them marked.....
     

    Eurodriver

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    This thread is awesome.

    I’d hate to sell anything to anyone these days. Disclose it entirely and you’d still have folks complain.

    It’s a wonder we have any nice things at all.
     

    padom

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    if you are going to want the engraving t oline up everytime, they will need the action to take measurements for THAT action.
    two actions, built consecutively, one right after the other, using the same program, will have different dimensions.

    This is false... at least for TL3's...they have held tolerances for years. Thread starts in the same spot on all 6 of mine....all my prefits engraving lines up on all of them.. this is why smith's have engraving artifacts they screw onto these known actions that hold tight tolerances from action to action. They screw the artifact on the tenon and it shows them exactly where top dead center is in their engraving machine.....

    I can't speak for any other action brand...but this is certainly a non issue with TL3's

    I've never even requested an engraving on any barrel of mine...but almost every smith engraves my TL3 barrels these days
     
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    AccuSol-ERN

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    This is false... at least for TL3's...they have held tolerances for years. Thread starts in the same spot on all 6 of mine....all my prefits engraving lines up on all of them.. this is why smith's have engraving artifacts they screw onto these know actions that hols tight tolerances from action to action. They scree the artifact on the tenon and shoes them exactly where top dead center is in their engraving machine.....

    I can't speak for any other action brand...but this is certainly a non issue with TL3's

    I've never even requested an engraving on any barrel of mine...but almost every smith engraves my TL3 barrels these days
    I don't know the date/serial number of your TL3s but I know the problem is indeed real. I suspect, but can't confirm, the change happened starting with receivers that have chamfered corners on the integrated recoil lug.

    All the actions have thread starts at 6 oclock (I believe).......but you also have to take into account the length of thread relief in the action......this is just as important as the thread start.

    If you are an FFL07 you are required to mark the barrel (as part of the "receiver") with the required information.
     

    AccuSol-ERN

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    Another thing I like to keep in mind........

    Given our sue happy society.......prefits are quite risky for us small business owners. All the warnings and installation instructions in the world don't mean shit in a court of law hell bent on making your career extinct.

    Ern
     
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    reubenski

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    Another thing I like to keep in mind........

    Given our sue happy society.......prefits are quite risky for us small business owners. All the warnings and installation instructions in the world don't mean shit in a court of law hell bent on making your career extinct.

    Ern
    Yet we reload ammo
     
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    reubenski

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    If I blow my face off its no biggie......its YOUR face that concerns me.....haha.

    Ern
    Some things we just accept as normal because it's always been that way. But when we come out with something new, we apply all kinds of nervous caution and pessimistic skepticism to it. It's like static line airborne infiltration in the military. If it didn't already exist and some dude was like, "hey sir, I have a good idea. We could jump out of planes instead of landing them. We could use parachutes and throw hundreds of people out of them all at one go!" ....he would get laughed out of the room in today's world. But just because it's been in existence for almost 100 years it's now considered a mundane and basic thing. But we couldn't bring something that audacious about again in the current environment.

    The idea that people can assemble a cartridge with no requirement for proof of training or knowledge but then we get all nervous about screwing a barrel on is kinda ludicrous when you think about it
     

    Average guy

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    Yikes. And I used to pay for custom barrels and never even got them marked.....
    I’m honestly good with a sharpie. I couldn’t care less about barrel markings on a pre fit. Expecting custom finish results from a prefit is kinda out there
     

    Average guy

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    I agree, but the liability with my name on the barrel is still there.......unfortunately.

    I can't tell you the number of "excessive headspace" calls we get. I am not beyond a mistake but every single one has been the result of horrible reloading practices and user error.

    Ern
    I can only imagine the horror show.
     
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