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Bill Web's Rifle Barrel Making Machine

...with Bill Webb & Guy Lautard

Kits & Scratchbuilt how-to video: Bill Web's Rifle Barrel Making Machine by Bill Webb & Guy Lautard 5_bulb Review this video!

This 3 hour video is supplied on two DVD's, together with a 36-page written Supplement. The video covers the following:<p><p><ul><p> <li> a close look at the rifling machine, how each part works, and how it relates to the rest of the machine.<p> <li> suggested improvements to incorporate in your machine - which means you won't have to build a prototype, see what's wrong with it, and then spend more time rebuilding it the way it should be.<p> <li> info on what's critical and what's not in terms of alignment and accuracy throughout the machine. Being fore-armed with this knowledge will save you a lot of time that you might otherwise expend on needless work for accuracy where it is not required.<p> <li> specific numbers for speeds, feeds, machine and cutter dimensions, oil pressures, etc. are given, both on the video and in the written Supplement.<p> <li> addresses of commercial suppliers of deep hole drills and reamers, and steel tube for the reamer oiling/pull tubes are given in the video and the Supplement.<p></ul><p>You will watch as a barrel is made from start to finish on Bill's machine. Bill tells you exactly what is happening at every stage, and you will see it all: setting up, drilling, reaming and rifling - close up. You can almost smell the cutting oil!<p><p>Note: When Bill later installed and tested the 6mm barrel you see made on this video, its first four 5-shot groups measured 0.213", 0.274", 0.300", and 0.165" at 100 yards.<p><p>Bill provides excellent explanations, via blackboard diagrams, of the deep hole drill and the rifling head/rifling cutter - their geometry, how they are constructed, how they work, and how to use them. You will also see them right up close as they are turned this way and that, just inches from the camera lens. The rifling cutter is "worked" back and forth - it's almost like you were holding it in your own hands.<p><p>At one point you will see the rifling cutter moved back and forth in the rifling head, and you can see the film of oil around the cutter flexing as the cutter is moved!<p><p>These details are also shown and expanded upon in the written Supplement, as are details of simple tools you can make (and will see in the video) for measuring bore and groove dimensions of barrels you are making.<p><p>Bill's machine was built with a lathe, an old horizontal mill, a drill press, and hand tools, mainly from parts and material obtained as surplus or from the scrap box -- nothing exotic is required.<p><p>(Just to make sure you understand the foregoing: Bill HAD ONLY the machines and tools named above when he built his rifling machine. His rifling machine is not a conglomeration OF those items.)<p><p>The end result is a stand-alone machine which has a shop footprint about 2' x 8'. Two men could carry it and the simple home-made wooden bench on which it sits a short distance.<p><p>This video provides sufficient information to enable any interested and careful basement machinist to build a machine capable of turning out match grade rifle barrels.<p><p>What's more, the video will save you countless hours you might otherwise spend taking the wrong turns Bill did (which cost him about 2 years of wasted time). As Bill points out in the video, there is much published misinformation on barrel making. For example, more than one book says to use negative rake rifling cutters. Negative rake rifling cutters are the last thing you would want to use in trying to rifle a barrel made from modern high tensile steel! This video will steer you straight.<p><p>

(about 180 minutes)

This video was added to our catalog on January 01, 2000 in Firearms::Kits & Scratchbuilt.

Product availability: very long wait

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Customer Reviews

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Reviewer: Chris R.

This is a pretty good video, the camera work isn\'t very good since most all of it\'s handheld also there is something distractin about listening to Guy Lautard constantly say \"yes\" while he\'s filming. If you\'re interested in getting an idea of how to build a machine like this than the information is good, but even the builder of this machine will admit that there are areas that could use improving, and he also makes it clear that if you\'re wanting to make barrels for a living this isn\'t the machine, in fact I believe his comment was you\'d starve within a month.

I thought it was a great video in the fact that I came away with enough knowledge and understanding that I felt like I could design and build my own machine.

So if you\'re interested in building your own barrels it\'s a worthwhile watch, if you want to make barrels commercially this isn\'t the machine for you.

Reviewer: Charles C.

I really enjoyed the video!! For the home gunsmith, this machine looks like it would be in the realm of something that could be done in a home shop. I would like to have seen more detail on assembly of the machine, but it looks pretty straight forward, and to see the actual process of making a barrel was very intersting!!

Reviewer: Nigel D.

This is a just an O.K. video in my estimation - worth renting and watching. However, it is disappointing and I'd be real upset if I paid "list" and bought this DVD set. The camera work is very poor - most of it is handheld. I agree with the other reviewer who said there is something distracting about listening to Guy Lautard constantly saying "Yes" while he's filming and constantly correcting the instructor on obvious errors in narration and continually out of focus. It is not a very professional video. They try to do it all in one take. It’s a video where they stop and start the camera. If they had cut and dissolved from scene to scene, it would have improved the video. The narrative at the end is also very poor, it seems as if it only there to provide an opportunity to plug his other books while reading from a script that comes across like it’s the first time he's ever seen it.

I would like to have seen more detail on assembly of the machine. The builder keeps using a measuring tape to give approximate size and dimensions and I understand that they may not be critical. It just seems very amateurish in construction and explanation. If you're interested in how to build a machine like this, the information is not complete. No information on changing the rate of twist in barrel or how to calculate the gear size to accomplish it. He is using 1” in 10 that’s fine for some calibers, his .243 that is cut in the video but not for all calibers. The builder does say he built his machine from his scrap box and points out design deficiencies. It seems like the unit was constructed first and then the plans were drawn up to match the finished unit.

Reviewer: Carl S.

This is an excellent and informative DVD, I may have to rent it again when I decide to build one myself.

Reviewer: Michael F.

Very good, highly detailed (almost to excess) description of a home built rifling machine. You can easily make your own after watching the video.

Reviewer: Thomas D.

This is a great video that I had really wanted to see for some time, and it's perfect for a rental. I suspect most people who see this video just want to know how the heck it's possible to build from junk a machine, that can make match grade barrels. It's a hobbyist's Everest adventure. A competent machinist could make one of these machines from the information contained in this video, but I think the primary audience is really for the wow! factor. Not wow for the production values, you really just have to love this kind of project.

The first video outlines the machine's construction, and covers drilling and reaming. This really is a relatively simple machine, but there are a variety of competencies required, machining, plumbing, electrical, heat treating, scrounging... The second video covers rifling, which struck me as the simpler process, though more advanced tool making skill would be required to make the cut rifling head.

The practical role for this kind of machine has mostly expired. The price of barrels has not risen much, and I can't see many people choosing to make their own just to keep costs down. I think there are jurisdictions like Canada, where the video was produced (filmed in US), where having access to this kind of thing might be useful since some calibers are legal but difficult to come by. I found this video inspiring: If a barrel making machine can be made in a small shop anything is possible.

I agree with other reviews that there are some production issues, but that's the cost of getting this kind of info out there.

Note: I read on one forum that this machine is not variable for rifling rate of twist. It is, by means of swapping a gear.

Reviewer: Gary T.

I would recommend this video to anyone wanting to learn about rifling a barrel, and construction of their own machine.

Reviewer: Witek G.

The information in the video and the 30 some page addendum is incredible! If you ever wanted to know how to drill and cut a barrel this is the video set for you. The video has a disclaimer that this machine is for home use only and not for commercial use, I agree with that, however no one says you cannot scale up the machine, i.e put a more powerful motor on it, make it more ridgid and use higher feed rates. So this is the good news. The bad news is that to make this machine you need a lathe and a milling machine and lots of time! However if you are serious about your guns this should not stop you. The other thing is that technically the video is not the best quality. In some places the video is out-of-focus and the overall quality is just above home video quality. However, the info presented offsets the technical merits of production. If in doubt rent the video, you will not regret it!!!

Reviewer: Brian C.

I don't think these guys are in the running for an Oscar, but the video certainly increased my knowledge of how a rifle barrel is crafted from a blank (and that was the point anyway...right?) The whole process of ordering/returning was very easy and I have a list of other videos that I will definitely order. Nice job Smartflix!


Reviewer: Donald H.

Very good video. Very informative I think I'll make my own "Deep Hole Drilling" Machine.

Reviewer: John G.

Not bad for amateur video. Surprisingly informative.

Reviewer: William P.

I found this video very interesting and informative. As stated in previous reviews the video is of amateur quality. I think that I would be able to build this machine, but with a lot of improvements. The literature that came with it is getting kind of worn out. Some of it is not legible, but I was able to get the gist of it.

Reviewer: Dave H.

This Video delivers just what it sets out to do. Any competent machinist can follow along and with the supplementary drawings and text can build this machine. The rifling head looks to be the most changeling. But then if it was easy everybody would have one. In one article of Precision Shooting I recall it stated that most shooters don't realize that rifle barrels have always been hard to come by. Up till 1990 Ruger was buying all their barrels!

The sources for gun drills and reamers are still current and the companies have web sites. Well worth renting if at all interested in what it takes to produce barrels. Anyone who produces his own barrel can give himself a pat on the back!

Fling Lead! ( I stole that, But I like it)

Reviewer: josh s.

Excellent instruction. Great for a beginner like myself.

Reviewer: JACK P.

Great video, The information on sharpening deep hole drills, feed speed, spindle speed, oil pressure and reaming speed & feed rates alone is worth the cost of the rental. If I were to make the machine I would change a lot of things but this video gives you a great place to start.

Reviewer: David K.

This is an excellent video. Based on the information presented, I can do this and avoid some of the mistakes. Although it is a home video, the information is great. I know a couple of custom gun makers and I can see this project fitting right in and providing them with the quality they put out.

Reviewer: MARK S.


Reviewer: Carlos B.


Reviewer: Richard S.

Good information. Not many people will put this much work into making a barrel.

Reviewer: Brad B.

Its a good video in terms of building a machine of this type. In depth with making and sharpening the cutter. One change I would incorporate would be to provide a locking gear head motor to drive the sled during rifling. His hand crank method for transversing the sled seems to allow to much human error.

Overall, a very good design in my opinion. Now for the video itself. Too much camera shake for me. Reminded me of a deep sea fishing weekend with all the motion sickness. I could not watch the videos in one sitting. But... looking back at the information that was gained, it was worth the trouble.

I myself would not have minded the "YES" factor from the camera man if it had not already been put out there. Knowing this upfront, I expected a YES, YES & YES. Thats not the case. Although there is some feedback from behind the scenes, this can be overlooked.

On a rating of 1 to 5... I give this video set a 5 for content and a 1 for production. Would have been a good project for a college video journalisum class. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

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