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· The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A fascinating case of people talking right past each other.

Yes if you luck into a cheap barrel of the correct length, contour, bore size/chambering, finish, already threaded, the chamber isn't too deep, and the gunsmith already has a reamer + headspace gages, and you like the existing sights, then you're out of the woods, with a low expense. Combine that with a used gun and it's doable. Cheap barrels = cheap guns, I think we can all agree on that. Just remember that there may have been a reason the barrel was taken off another gun in the first place, although there are spares available from factories from time to time.

I can assure you, if a machinist has to make one from a barrel blank, it will cost several hundred dollars just for the machine work and no, that's not a rip off. Buy a lathe for several thousand dollars, plus a bunch of tooling and measuring devices, plus reamers, never mind the expense of education on how to do such things.... and by the way, Marlin receiver threads are square, which are not easy to cut. Then add in the hours spent machining.

Oh and if your cheap barrel on your cheap gun shoots like crap, then all the money is wasted, and start over. Yes sometimes they shoot like gangbusters. And sometimes not. Just a gamble.

Well, I'm done.
 

· The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
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39,117 Posts
Another source of bullets for enterprising reloaders is a modification of the Ballistic Tip. Use a belt sander to knock the end of the bullet flat. You can make a pretty good flat without getting all the way back to the lead.

Sounds unbelievably crude, but a friend and I tried it with some 150gr. BTs for his .30-30. Only tried 3 rounds, but they grouped about as well as anything else did (and that gun would shoot around an inch with factory ammo, amazing).

I can't vouch for their terminal performance, but BTs are pretty soft and seem to work more reliably at lower velocities anyway.

Downside - the bullet won't have a cannelure. I suppose as long as we're modifying the bullet any way, might as well roll a cannelure with a Cor-bin tool, or just mash one in the bullet with the Lee Factory crimp die, if you can find one for that caliber.

The supply of round-nosed and flat-nosed 7mm bullets for the 7-30 is pretty thin, compared to pretty much anything else in the world.
 

· The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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39,117 Posts
Dutch,

Good luck with your project. I'm all for the home-grown (cheap) solution. My $70 Swedish Mauser is the most cost-effective rifle I own, when I consider accuracy vs. price. Nothing else even comes close, most of my other rifles (with scopes) were literally close to 10x the money for a similar accuracy level.

But that was luck, honestly. The person who wants to buy a new 6.5x55 (or comparable) rifle can't count on finding the same bargain, and having it work as well.

Know what you mean about too many projects and too many things on the wish list. About 47 projects behind right now, myself... and the top one is getting a new lead screw for my lathe, that is holding up a lot of other things! Then on to sporterizing my '95 Turk, some revolver work, lapping a few barrels, etc.... it never ends.
 
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