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How I cut my first chamber

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  • How I cut my first chamber

    First attempt at chambering a new barrel. Fitting a .223 barrel to an Enfield No.5 action.

    Lathe is a Harrison L5A 48" bed from about 1950

    Fitted the 4-jaw chuck & found it had runout & the jaws were stiff.
    Removed the chuck & dismantled it, cleaned up the burrs in the jaw channels.
    Chuck screws on, so I cleaned up the dings where the flange seats on the lathe spindle.
    I then took a small skim off the spindle mating surface. This all took about a week in the evenings.
    Refitted chuck & mounted barrel.

    Started turning barrel diameter down, but HSS tool was cooking. I then spent about 4 hours & a couple of hundy getting the coolant pump up & running.

    When I eventually got to doing the chamber (the threading went surprisingly well) i ended up going in about .005" too deep, so had to take a whisker off the barrel shoulder. It took me about 2.5 hours to do the chamber, I was running the lathe at about 50 rpm.

  • #2
    Sounds like all went pretty well! Hard to 'feel' that last few thou, so I jerry rigged a collar to fit around the tailstock spindle, and have a dial indicator mounted to hit that collar. Coming up close to finished depth, set the zero on the indicator on the (next to last) cut. Put in your gage,take the measurement, and you can do that last cut to the number. Did I say I was using a floating reamer holder in the tailstock, and the barrel through the headstock spindle? Hmm, kinda confusing even to ME without that little nugget of info. If you're working off a drive dog/steady rest/dead center up the reamer's rump you are doing amazingly well! OOPS, just reread your post about the four jaw... so ignore the first part of that last sentence for me.
    I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.


    • #3
      Hi Gizmo,

      I used the 4 jaw and a steady as I haven't made a spider for the other end of the spindle.

      My tailstock spindle taper is a bit stuffed, but I think the chamber turned out OK


      • #4
        Bill Wylde the inventor of the wylde chamber for 223/5.56mm barrels had a few articles that were published in either Handloader or rifle magazines. And I believe he used #4 actions in some of his builds. The only thing I could not understand was how he modified the extractor and bolt heads. Frank


        • #5
          Not sure why HSS would not cut the barrel? Whether it be CM or SS, I've never had an's a Lothar Walther barrel. Whole different animal there.


          • #6
            Originally posted by rws
            Not sure why HSS would not cut the barrel? Whether it be CM or SS, I've never had an's a Lothar Walther barrel. Whole different animal there.
            It's a Vulcan barrel from Christchurch in New Zealand.

            I am a complete novice at sharpening tools, so it could just be I screwed it up.

            I did metalwork at school in 1975, then I bought a lathe a couple of years ago - so I'm not exactly experienced.


            • #7
              But you're getting there. Mistakes lead to knowledge.
              Today I cut my first tapered thread using the taper attachment since high school -1967.
              You'll not soon forget recent lessons.