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.