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1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin

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chiz1180
Chase Turner
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1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Empty 1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin

Post by Chase Turner Sun Aug 06, 2023 1:04 pm

Hello,

At Camp Perry this year, I stopped by the fine gunsmiths at Rock River Arms to chew the fat, purchase some parts, and see how the fellows were doing. While in there, I noticed the used parts table which had things like slides, some other internal parts, and of course some used barrels. Among the pile were a couple of neat items: a Colt 9MM barrel, a Kart 45 NM barrel, and one KKM 9MM barrel. 

At $45 a pop, I bought all three to be used with my test equipment. If they shot, great, and if they didn't, well, I wasn't getting hurt on the price.

The test I ran today was with the 1:32 KKM 9MM barrel from the parts bin at Perry. When the barrel came home with me, I did have to give the barrel a good scrub after having looked at it with a scope- it was just full of all sorts of fouling (lead and copper). I did send a note to my friends at KKM to see if they could tell the age of the barrel from the stamping/profiling. They responded that they believe it was approximately 15-20 years old. Of course, none of us has any idea how many have gone down the tube.

The first group was from 115gr Blazer AL cased factory ammo:

1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Blazer10

I think it is helpful to understand what factory ammo does so that you can have real expectations about performance. It's no secret that Blazer AL cased ammo is often considered "blasting ammo." Even so, if you showed up at an EIC match and this was all you had... I'm not convinced you'd be at a significant disadvantage. Is it the best ammo? No. 

But can you shoot 96s?

The next group was fired using the aforementioned barrel with some Atlanta Arms 115 JHP Elite ammo.

1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Aa_1-310

Not bad for a 15-20 year old barrel with who knows how many rounds down the tube. Even if we say the barrel is 20 years old, and lets say you shot 7500 a year down (practice and matches), then you'd be looking at 150,000 rounds over the life of the barrel. Of course, these figures may or may not be close, there is no way for us to know.

One never does know how a barrel from the junk pile will do. But the lesson here is clear- you can buy great ammo, or so-so ammo. You won't know which is which until you test it.

Thanks,
Chase

Chase Turner

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Join date : 2019-11-15

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Post by chiz1180 Sun Aug 06, 2023 2:01 pm

I assume these are in a barrel tester at 50?
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Post by Chase Turner Sun Aug 06, 2023 2:07 pm

Apologies- I should have been clear. Yes, a barrel tester, and yes, at 50 yards.

Thanks for keeping me honest!

Chase Turner

Posts : 360
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Post by chiz1180 Sun Aug 06, 2023 2:16 pm

Awesome! I grabbed one from their bin last year to have around, looks like I may need to find a project for it.
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Post by Sa-tevp Sun Aug 06, 2023 4:37 pm

Hi Chase,

How does your barrel fixture hold a 1911 barrel? I ask as maybe there are a lot of removed poorly fitted barrels under various bullseyesmith's benches that could have a second life in a test fixture. 

Stephen
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Post by croesler Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:48 am

Chase - Could you post a picture of your barrel test fixture?  Or tell us what it is exactly?  That is quite an amazing test.  It sent me to the Atlanta Arms website pretty quick.  Curious what one of these testers looks like, and how it compares to a Ransom Rest? Thanks!
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Post by jglenn21 Tue Aug 22, 2023 8:16 am

1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Tester13
1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Tester14



photos from the 1st test Chase and I did with the tester..mounted on a 53 gallon can filled with 770 lbs of sand (doesn't move). The tester is a David Sams unit designed and made by him. 
Steve the unit clamps the barrel down by locking the chamber area via the 4 
allen head screws you see. locked to 80 inch lbs. there is a 1911 specific insert in that area to allow for the lower lugs.
back half of the unit swings away to allow access to the barrel..


Last edited by jglenn21 on Tue Aug 22, 2023 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Larry2520 Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:20 pm

In my amateur way I built a 9 with a 1911 frame and installed a KKM barrel and was very impressed. I believe it was 1:24 twist. I am of the opinion now that the KKM barrels are as good or better than the Kart. My opinion of course!

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Post by Chase Turner Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:39 pm

Thanks Jimmy for the assist.

There isn't anything special or secret about the apparatus. Sams mostly builds these for ammo and firearms companies, as they would be the people who would have the most use for just such a thing. As one can imagine, this particular device can be used to test multiple barrel types, so long as the top bracket is made for the purpose. I'm standardized on 1911 barrels (45ACP, 38 Special, 38 Super, 9MM), though I'm having a bracket made for a take off 32 SWL Pardini barrel (can't use a Pardini barrel in its shroud). Though, to be fair, I've thought about having KKM make up a 32 SWL barrel in a 1911 pattern, and may still do so.

When I spoke with David last, he was entertaining an idea about making the tester a bit more "universal." He hasn't put it down to paper, but he is noodling on a design. The one I have will be able to be upgraded to the universal model for a nominal fee-if it ever gets designed and proved out- but I'm not sure I really want to test anything other than what I'm working on now. Suppose it would be interesting to test a Hi-Power barrel for Service Pistol? Or maybe something else like that. Otherwise, who would test Glock barrels and ammo (other than Glock)?

I only know of two other barrel test fixtures. One from Bill Wiseman, which is at least twice the price of the Sams (I believe they only work pneumatically now- they told me they no longer make a manual model that is on their website), and another that a fellow shooter has built over in South Carolina. There are others, of course. I only bought mine after someone went back on their word regarding testing results we had agreed to publish (and I had fully funded, save for their labor). It incensed me, changing terms of a deal in this way. So, I went and bought one, and plan on sharing whatever findings get revealed over the course of testing. Working out the best way to share this information digitally is what I'm going to try and solve over the winter. I'd very much like to crowdsource where I could in this endeavor, with the understanding that it would benefit the precision pistol community (and others). Lots of details to work out.

Anyway, sorry I missed the questions. Been working on my "Killer Bees!" project. I'm playing with 38 Short Colt cases and 100 grain bullets. It is early days yet, but they are showing some promise at 50 yards in a mystery 38 Special 1911 bull barrel:

1:32 KKM 9MM Barrel from the Rock River used parts bin Pxl_2075

Thanks,
Chase

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