Designing And Making Rifling Heads by Guy Lautard

The rifling head is probably going to be the item that scares the average guy off of trying to make his own rifle barrels more than any other single aspect of this whole business. I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts on this, to give you some encouragement.

First, you may be tempted to say to yourself, "Well, I'll make my first barrels in .45 caliber - a rifling head for that size won't be such a watchmaker's job." I think that's the wrong way to look at the matter. Consider instead the possibility of making a .17 caliber barrel, or even a .14. Once you've thought out -just thought out, not made - a rifling head for a . 17 caliber barrel, even a .22 will seem relatively easy, and a 6mm positively luxurious.

Second, how to design the rifling head? My own approach in such matters, where a lotta small parts must be made and fitted into a small space, is to make a Dig drwg. This approach has the advantage of letting you see all the parts at a large size, the effect of any errors in the drwg are reduced in the actual parts, and by the time you have the drwg done, you've completely built the thing in your head, and you're all psyched up to go into the shop and make it.

Get yourself a good sized piece of paper. If something doesn't come immediately to hand, stop at an art or drafting supply store, or a photocopying shop. There, for a buck or two, you can get all the paper you'll need. A whole roll of tracing paper might not even be a bad idea, as the parts involved tend to be long and thin, rather than square, and a moderate sized roll say 12" wide will provide enough paper for a great many drwgs, plus allowing the overlaying of one piece on another for tracing, without the need for a light table or sticking your drwgs up onto a window.

Another source of paper for drafting jobs of this sort is paper grocery bags. This type of paper is a little dark for easy reading of markings made with a hard sharp pencil, but it has a nice texture for drawing on. Cut the bag open, and flatten it out with an iron on the ironing board. The inside of the front face of a nice quality large brown paper envelope is another good source of suitable paper for drwg on.

The first step in making a drwg of a rifling head is to decide on a scale - and in general, I'd say the bigger the better, within reason. 4 times full size would make good sense for most of the parts. lQx full size may prove even better for some of the smaller pieces, and if your paper size allows it, don't hesitate to go even bigger than that. Once you've decided on the drwg scale, lay down a centerline, and go to work. Make yourself a drwg you can climb right into and walk around in, and when you're done, you'll know everything you want to know about the parts you have to make.

Bill's discussion of the rifling head on the video is pretty thorough, and by watching it several times, and then making a drwg of a rifling head for the size of barrels you want to make, you'lrbe in good shape.

On the next page you'll find a new version of the rifling head drwg you saw on the video, with a lot more information on it and the 4 pages that follow it - more in fact than you may need, but some of it may save you a little time figuring certain things out for yourself.

[Incidentally, if you lack, and would like to have, a good drafting outfit, contact me. I have a good source for very fine quality Jacobs rales (a Jacobs rule is a wire guided traveling straightedge) and all the necessary drafting instruments you would need. You may live in an area where you can buy such equipment locally, but if you order from me, I will also send you, at no extra charge, a wad of extra info -an extremely simple way to make an excellent drafting board; better instructions on how to install the Jacobs rule on it than the factory provides; where to get (and properly install) a piece of drafting board surface, and maybe save yourself tne price of a good dinner in the process - plus a bunch of drafting info that you will not get from a local drafting supply dealer. Just give me a buzz and ask for "the drafting info package". All the drwgs in this Supplement to the Rifling Machine Video were made on exactly the sort of equipment I can get for you, and I won't try to sell you stuff you don't need.]

GUY LAUTARD, 2570 Rosebery Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C., CANADA V7V 2Z9

THE RIFLING HEAD - a generalized drawing

NOT TO SCALE GBL Septemeber 11/95

This drawing should be regarded as being only reasonably closely indicative of what you need to make.

This drawing should be regarded as being only reasonably closely indicative of what you need to make.

How Build The Antique Rifling Machine

1 = Rifling Head Body

2 = Adjusting Ramp

4 = Rifling Cutter

5 = Plunger

6 = Graduated Ramp

Adjusting Nut

7 = Button

8 = Rifling Rod

9 = Spring

1 = Rifling Head Body

2 = Adjusting Ramp

4 = Rifling Cutter

5 = Plunger

6 = Graduated Ramp

Adjusting Nut

7 = Button

8 = Rifling Rod

9 = Spring

NOTE: At the risk of seeming to belabor a point unnecessarily - a mistake some have thought I have succumbed to on other occasions, although they were wrong - I think you will get a lot more out of making an accurate and very detailed large scale drwg of the rifling head you need than you will from trying to make a rifling head from a drwg I might make. You will learn more from your own drwg than you ever will from mine, no matter how good mine might be.gbl

Rifling Cutter Blank —^

I

-© . H

Re* 76 —f mild steel —-

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