Thursday, December 2, 2021

A Barrel For Monkeys

 A buddy of mine had a job for me.  He handed me a Glock 27 (.40 S&W), and asked me to replace some parts that have worn, and also give it a face lift.  After taking it apart, I sandblasted the slide, and purchased a second slide.  I did not want to make massive changes to his gun, so it was a bit of a challenge to find a slide that didn't have awkward cuts for red-dots or other things used in competition.  With that one in hand, I also sandblasted that one in preparation for Cerakote.

The difficult part here is that the frame is a slightly-greenish form of brown.  The Cerakote colors I had on hand were black, burnt bronze, and eastern front green.  Having worked as an artist for a year, and having taken a number of art classes, I took a chance on coloring.  I used 1/2 (30ml) volume of black, 25ml of burnt bronze, and 5ml of the forest green.  Mixing it up was fast, a quick spray, and into my toaster oven to cure for a couple of hours.

The color came out nearly perfect.  I can see a very slight difference in color, but it looks like an exact match.  The colored frame and the black slide of the former version pales in comparison, really.  Anyway, I had to purchase a striker channel liner removal tool, and that also functioned as an installer.

His barrel replacement was one of the bigger issues.  That was extremely painful to locate a replacement.  I finally found a longer barrel (about 0.8875" longer) with a built-in series of vent tubes (muzzle-brake of sorts) that was destined for competition.  Considering the guy uses this for a carry gun, I had to shorten the barrel.

Yeah, it definitely needs to be shortened.

I started putting the barrel into the 4-jaw chuck, but I struggled on concentricity.  It was about the third try at it when I realized that I did not trust it.  I could not indicate on the outside - because I don't know how concentric it was to the actual inside.

Based on that, I had to build a new "setup" tool.  I grabbed a piece of stainless steel about 20" long, 9/16" diameter, and faced the end and center-drilled it (I also put a concentric end on it so I could double check diameters over the full length.  I pulled it out to where the other end was barely held by the collet, with the far end held via the live center at the tailstock.

Then I could turn a 3" length down to 0.391" (the gauge pin gave me this diameter specific for these barrels, and again, I bought two in case I hosed it up).  I put a bit of a relief cut on the end so that I didn't have a rounded area locking onto the barrel, and then, slightly away from the barrel and while still held in place by the collet, I turned a small, shallow groove that I could use as an indicator spot.  I had to do a test fit with the barrel.

The next phase was to re-install the first barrel into the 4-jaw chuck with the centering rod in place to keep it concentric.

Once centered up, I could begin the cut, face the barrel, and then put a crown on it.  Here is the gun with the cut-off barrel section, ready to be delivered!

This was my first, and likely my only barrel job.  I didn't like doing this too much, and have no need to do anything like this for myself.  But, I can convert that long shaft into a new dead center for the headstock, so it's not a total loss for me.

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