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Barrel Crown inspection

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Caster3845
Bigtrout
-TT-
jglenn21
Jon Eulette
Coupebuilder
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TomH_pa
WesG
sharkdoctor
bruce martindale
james r chapman
WSR32
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Post by WSR32 Mon Mar 28, 2022 8:28 am

Good morning,

I have an odd pistol; the previous owner modified it (removed 1" of barre).  I knew it was modified prior to buying it and I accepted the risk.  It is a Hammerli Xesse SF 22lr.

Took it to the range added a dot and proceeded to bench rest it to sight in the dot.  First couple groups in sighting in were 1.5-2" groups.  As the barrel warmed up to the CCi SV I was able to get down to a 3/4" group with two fliers that opened it up to 1.5"  When shooting free hand the groups are a little bigger, say 2-2.5".  

The ergonomics and the quality of the trigger allowed me to get get more consistent groups in practice compared to my 1911 conversion so I decided to use it in this weekends match.  (My 1911 is a Nelson top that makes nice .5" holes from the bench).  I feel I did exceptionally well given this was my first match shooting one handed, 867-22. 

All that to say I am happy with the roll of the dice but I also want to get a handle on just what I have here.  Is this the typical accuracy I should expect from a current production Xesse?  Is the cut down barrel with a 90* crown the cause of the fliers?  Is it just a bullet/gun miss match and I need to find an ammo that works better with my gun?

Here is a picture of the barrel post match with firing residue.  For the trained eyes here on the forum, what do you all think of this residue pattern?

I will be trying different ammo soon enough also.

Thanks, Miguel

Barrel Crown inspection Pxl_2010

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Post by james r chapman Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:05 am

Clean it good so we can see the actual bore chamfer
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Post by bruce martindale Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:27 am

It's showing a good Star pattern of muzzle blast so l would say it's good. You're shooting within the capabilities of that ammo. If you want a better idea of best, use some match ammo. Bench technique may add some variation to your results. Know anyone with a Ransom Rest? I'm near Saratoga NY.

  That aside, if you could shoot those groups in a match you'd be in the race to the top.

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Post by sharkdoctor Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:40 am

When the muzzle is clean, wipe the crown with a soft cotton cloth or Q-tip.  With a magnifying glass look for trapped lint that would indicate burrs, which would need to be polished out.  Fine differences in ammo would require a Ransom Rest for testing at 50yds.

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Post by WesG Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:14 am

Looks a bit asymmetric to me. Could be the c'bore is square to the bore, but the rest not quite? At first glance,, looks like it has a liner in it.

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Barrel Crown inspection Empty answers and follow up

Post by WSR32 Mon Mar 28, 2022 12:55 pm

Thanks for the input everyone.  Little follow up.  

1) Yes looks like Walther/Hammerli went to a lined barrel vs the trailside's non-lined barrel.  I imagine these can be relined if I find it is not up to bullseye standards?
2) I had previously tried the q-tip test when it first came in.  I could not see any fuzz hanging on the barrel.
3)It was the best two groups that day; here they are below.  Can I repeat the freehand every time? No, not yet Wink.  On the lower right target, the free hand target I had a bad primer so yes there are only 4 shots.

Barrel Crown inspection Pxl_2012
4) here is what I can do from the bench with the Nelson just to show my technique. 
Barrel Crown inspection Pxl_2011
5) Ill snap a picture of it tonight with it clean.

Regards,

Miguel

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Barrel Crown inspection Empty clean close up of crown

Post by WSR32 Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:15 pm

Here is a close up fresh after a qtip swab.  Looks like there is a little qtip remnant inside the barrel.

Regards,

Miguel
Barrel Crown inspection Pxl_2013

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Post by TomH_pa Mon Mar 28, 2022 10:42 pm

Judging by the tool marks, I'd say the barrel and slide were shortened in one operation and the barrel was not crowned off the bore centerline. 
A recrown might tighten it up a little.
But you did shoot 867 with it so...

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Post by jim1K Tue Mar 29, 2022 7:55 am

james r chapman wrote:Clean it good so we can see the actual bore chamfer
I hate to say it but chamfer is not an ideal  or a perfect crown. It is an easy and cheap way of doing things. Cut in a lathe after being indicted in and from the bore out with a very sharp tool and checked with a bore scope is ideal...... Jim

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Post by WSR32 Tue Mar 29, 2022 8:53 am

I am no gunsmith but I have spent some time in a machine shop.  It will be tough to put a traditional crown on these pistols as the barrel is part of the frame.  Not knowing how a liner is installed maybe the liner is pre-crowned before being pressed into the barrel/frame.  Again the smiths might give better insight as to how that is done without damaging the crown in the pressing procedure. 
Barrel Crown inspection Xesse10

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Post by jim1K Tue Mar 29, 2022 10:31 am

What pistol is the barrel and the frame milled from one piece?

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Post by WesG Tue Mar 29, 2022 11:54 am

Separate weight underneath? My guess, sawed off and milled square with the weight on. Polished?
C'bore and crown done with a piloted tool.

Could be done in the lathe. But you'd need to be pretty ambitious/stubborn to spend the time setting it up.

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Post by jim1K Tue Mar 29, 2022 12:32 pm

Good vacuum melted barrel steel is a totally different animal that is dirt free and very costly, compared to regular steel the machine the frame and parts out of. The cost of the steel used in barrels just went up a bunch, can you realize what it would cost for the chunk of steel used to do the frame and barrel together?..... Jim

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Post by WSR32 Tue Mar 29, 2022 12:52 pm

Jim, it's a Hammerli X-esse steel frame.  I wasn't trying to say the frame and the barrel liner are one and the same steel.  Merely putting this frame/barrel combo in a lath to cut a crown after getting cut down would be difficult.  I am assuming Hammerli cuts the crown before pressing barrel into the frame.  

Wes, previous owner told me it was done on a surface grinder.  No crown was put on it after it was ground flat.

Regards,

Miguel

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Post by WesG Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:06 pm

Ok, finish looked ground. Squared up on an angle plate, most likely.

Crown can be done by hand. Lapped with a rd head screw. I finish off my 11* rifle barrels that way. In the lathe.

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Post by Coupebuilder Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:10 pm

A countersink with a pilot would do the job with less headache than trying to indicate the barrel ID in a 4 jaw. Not sure how well some of the new crowning kits work but they are mostly lapping a pre-existing crown to smooth any burrs. With groups like that with CCI SV I dont know as I would fool much with it before putting it in a Ransom and trying various match ammo. Current CCI has been a little spotty from what I have been using. More duds than typical, maybe 1in 100 or so.

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Post by Jon Eulette Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:27 pm

Have David Sams recrown the pistol. He has a special fixture for that. He installs barrel liners on Hammerli’s routinely and has to do that. He’s probably the best in the country for that type of work.
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Post by WSR32 Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:51 pm

That will be the ticket.  Thanks Jon

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Post by jglenn21 Tue Mar 29, 2022 3:30 pm

Amen to Sams. He put a liner in my older trailside. Now it shoots under 1" at 50..
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Post by -TT- Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:19 pm

For the record, off a sandbag my X-esse will put 5 rounds through the same hole at 50 feet. Crown yours!

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Post by Bigtrout Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:19 am

Coupebuilder wrote:A countersink with a pilot would do the job with less headache than trying to indicate the barrel ID in a 4 jaw. Not sure how well some of the new crowning kits work but they are mostly lapping a pre-existing crown to smooth any burrs. With groups like that with CCI SV I dont know as I would fool much with it before putting it in a Ransom and trying various match ammo. Current CCI has been a little spotty from what I have been using. More duds than typical, maybe 1in 100 or so.
S&W used a countersink to smooth the crown on my 5" 986 but made it worse (warranty).  I ended up using a local gs to lap the crown resulting in a very smooth crown surface.  $ well spent.
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Post by Caster3845 Wed Mar 30, 2022 10:13 pm

+1 also to Sams! He relined my 208s and it came back with a 5/8inch test target @50 yards with CCI SV. That took all my excuses away!
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Post by 96wa6 Tue Apr 05, 2022 6:36 pm

All the responses so far are valid. However, before you send it off for machine work ($),test more ammos. 

One thing I've learned in four decades of BE is that .22s are ENTIRELY ammo reliant. Another thing I've learned is that different .22 ammos are dramatically different.

For instance, I have a S&W 41 that at 50' off a rest, will shoot a .28 caliber hole with old white box Olin ("W" headstamp that CMP sold back in 90s), and when I switched to CCI SV (a so-called standard for BE) that, tested at a new session, shot 4" lower and a group that was 4" wide and 5" tall. I was shocked and thought I broke my 41. I then re-tested both ammos side-by-side at the same session. Same result. 

TEST OTHER AMMOS. My Trailside using Aguila SV will shoot one ragged hole at 50' off sandbags. I have tested no other ammos because I had no need.

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Post by Jack H Tue Apr 05, 2022 7:40 pm

96wa6 wrote:All the responses so far are valid. However, before you send it off for machine work ($),test more ammos. 

One thing I've learned in four decades of BE is that .22s are ENTIRELY ammo reliant. Another thing I've learned is that different .22 ammos are dramatically different.

For instance, I have a S&W 41 that at 50' off a rest, will shoot a .28 caliber hole with old white box Olin ("W" headstamp that CMP sold back in 90s), and when I switched to CCI SV (a so-called standard for BE) that, tested at a new session, shot 4" lower and a group that was 4" wide and 5" tall. I was shocked and thought I broke my 41. I then re-tested both ammos side-by-side at the same session. Same result. 

TEST OTHER AMMOS. My Trailside using Aguila SV will shoot one ragged hole at 50' off sandbags. I have tested no other ammos because I had no need.

Agree with this 100%
I Ransom shot several ammos from a conversion.  Eley was best grouping at 50dyds 1"+/-,  four or five other ammos almost as good.  But Green Tag was horrible at 5".  Double tested Eley again at 1", and GT a second time with the same horrible results.
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Post by jack41 Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:14 pm

Brownells has a hand operated piloted cutter for crowning muzzles. hey have a 45 degree cutter and a 11 degree cutter. I have used both quite often to clean up the crown on pistol and revolver barrels. Does a nice job.

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