In rifling barrels, a rifling head to hold the cutter is used, to which is attached the rod or tube which draws the cutter through the barrel. In its simplest form this rifling head is a steel cylinder, three inches or more in length, which will just pass through the drilled and reamed barrel blank. In one side of this a slot is cut lengthwise of the cylinder, just wide enough to accept the cutter which fills the slot from side to side and end to end closely enough so that it has no shake. This slot is cut nearly through the cylinder, seating the cutter as deeply as possible.
The rifling cutter is of high-speed steel, square-sided, flat-bottomed and its cutting edge is of the hook type, like a file tooth. The cutting edge has a rake of five to six degrees, both on the face and on the top. The top of the cutting edge is not flat but is rounded to conform to a circle, the diameter of which is the groove diameter of the barrel. The cutter is about V/z" long and the cutting edge is slightly back of center, leaving a space in front of it sufficiently large to hold the chips.
When the cutter is seated on the bottom of the slot the cutting edge is just below the surface of the rifling
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