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  1. #1
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    Some barrel making history

    Years ago when I was a young man I spent three years down in Pittsburg learning a few things about the gunsmith trade and spent one summer working up at Flaigís Lodge fitting barrels. At that time they were using Douglas barrels and calling them
    Flaig Ace barrels. At the time we noticed the lack of reamer marks and Douglas claimed he was using a new process he called
    bore honing but was not ready to share the process. Shortly after that Douglas died and his right hand man Arlie Gardner took
    over. Arlie was Timís dad. At some point this practice was discontinued. Forward some fifty years and I finally discovered what he was doing. Tim was showing me some of the original patent drawings (Aug.5, 1954) of the original button rifling machine that they still use today. On the drawing I also noticed a picture of what looked like a VLD bullet but at the time didnít make the connection. Shortly after that I came across an old newspaper article that finally satisfied my curiosity. What I had been looking at on the patent drawing was a carbide plug he was pushing thru the reamed barrel. It was .0005 per side larger than the reamed diameter. As near as I can tell Gerald Douglas started making cut rifled barrels full time in 1948. Also of interest was that
    Bill Atkinson of A&M barrels worked for Douglas in his early days. I think his first button barrels were around 1956 which would
    mean he was (bore honing) his barrels when he was still cutting them. Hart thru the help of M.Walker started making button barrels around 1956 also but I have never found a connection between the two. I asked Walker once about Douglas and he told me he had never met the man.

  2. #2
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    Thank You!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    Years ago when I was a young man I spent three years down in Pittsburg learning a few things about
    the gunsmith trade and spent one summer working up at Flaigís Lodge fitting barrels. At that time they were using Douglas barrels and calling them
    Flaig Ace barrels. At the time we noticed the lack of reamer marks and Douglas claimed he was using a new process he called
    bore honing but was not ready to share the process. Shortly after that Douglas died and his right hand man Arlie Gardner took
    over. Arlie was Timís dad. At some point this practice was discontinued. Forward some fifty years and I finally discovered what
    he was doing. Tim was showing me some of the original patent drawings (Aug.5, 1954) of the original button rifling machine that
    they still use today. On the drawing I also noticed a picture of what looked like a VLD bullet but at the time didnít make the
    connection. Shortly after that I came across an old newspaper article that finally satisfied my curiosity. What I had been looking
    at on the patent drawing was a carbide plug he was pushing thru the reamed barrel. It was .0005 per side larger than the reamed
    diameter. As near as I can tell Gerald Douglas started making cut rifled barrels full time in 1948. Also of interest was that
    Bill Atkinson of A&M barrels worked for Douglas in his early days. I think his first button barrels were around 1956 which would
    mean he was (bore honing) his barrels when he was still cutting them. Hart thru the help of M.Walker started making button barrels
    around 1956 also but I have never found a connection between the two. I asked Walker once about Douglas and he told me he had
    never met the man.
    A well done cut rifling setup with a final push/pull through reamer probably has a lot of good points.
    I have seen enough reamed barrels with horrid chatter marks to question the use of reaming for the entire job.
    Once bore scopes came down in price due to a smarter optical design a lot of details that had been hidden from
    the vast majority of people came to light.

    The breakthrough in bore scopes came from doping the glass lenses instead of simply polishing them to the required shape.
    Last edited by brickeyee; 01-21-2022 at 05:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    Years ago when I was a young man I spent three years down in Pittsburg learning a few things about the gunsmith trade and spent one summer working up at Flaigís Lodge fitting barrels. At that time they were using Douglas barrels and calling them
    Flaig Ace barrels. At the time we noticed the lack of reamer marks and Douglas claimed he was using a new process he called
    bore honing but was not ready to share the process. Shortly after that Douglas died and his right hand man Arlie Gardner took
    over. Arlie was Timís dad. At some point this practice was discontinued. Forward some fifty years and I finally discovered what he was doing. Tim was showing me some of the original patent drawings (Aug.5, 1954) of the original button rifling machine that they still use today. On the drawing I also noticed a picture of what looked like a VLD bullet but at the time didnít make the connection. Shortly after that I came across an old newspaper article that finally satisfied my curiosity. What I had been looking at on the patent drawing was a carbide plug he was pushing thru the reamed barrel. It was .0005 per side larger than the reamed diameter. As near as I can tell Gerald Douglas started making cut rifled barrels full time in 1948. Also of interest was that
    Bill Atkinson of A&M barrels worked for Douglas in his early days. I think his first button barrels were around 1956 which would
    mean he was (bore honing) his barrels when he was still cutting them. Hart thru the help of M.Walker started making button barrels around 1956 also but I have never found a connection between the two. I asked Walker once about Douglas and he told me he had never met the man.
    I think you will find that Hart went to Douglas to learn how to make button barrels ..... Jim

  5. #5
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    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim1K View Post
    I think you will find that Hart went to Douglas to learn how to make button barrels ..... Jim

    The 'push' style button rifling is about as weird as it gets.
    The pull makes sense, but not the push.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by brickeyee View Post
    The 'push' style button rifling is about as weird as it gets.
    The pull makes sense, but not the push.
    I agree with you! But thatís the way Douglas still does it. Remington ( Walker) used the same method back when they plug rifled. I think part of the reason was that in the early days they were having a hard time finding the right lubrication. In the early days before Walker if I remember right a fellow by the name of Henshal who worked for Remington was trying to pull button and having bad results. Apparently either method works.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    Prior to the fire

    I had read PacNor had developed a new process to hone barrels before engraving them at least I remember they were buttoned barrels. I had one of their barrels years back and it was one of the best barrels I ever had. Wonder if they are honing now?

    Pete

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    I had read PacNor had developed a new process to hone barrels before engraving them at least I remember they were buttoned barrels. I had one of their barrels years back and it was one of the best barrels I ever had. Wonder if they are honing now?

    Pete
    Well I've got three in the pipeline, like several months along..... I just spoke to them yesterday and they are being contoured so I'll be talking with them again soon, I'll ask 'em

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