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Praise & Question

08 Feb 2013
@ 08:39 pm (GMT)

Lee Epperson

This is an excellent site! I've really learned a lot in just one short sitting. Thank you.

I could use a little more clarification though. I'd like to get a laser chamber boresighter for my .300 Savage that I inheritted. However, it seems the only options are:
•.270 WSM/.300 WSM/.325 WSM
•.300 Win.
•.300 WBY
•7mm/.300/.375 Ultra

I per the dimensions found on this wonderful website, I think the .308 Winchester or the .30-06 would fit adequately in my Model 81 without closing the action. Would you be able to provide better guidance?


09 Feb 2013
@ 07:02 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Praise & Question
Hi Lee, I would not use a .308 laser bullet to bore sight your Remington M81. The trouble is, even with the action left open and the laser bullet sat in the chamber, there will be a level of misalignment.

I have been in the tricking up rifles game for donkey's years now. I have never owned a bore sighter or laser sighter. If I can get buy without these, so can you. On bolt actions, I sight through the bore, then align the bore to the optics fitted. On semi's and levers, I simply start in close with my first shot (about 25 yards), then work my way out to 100 yards.

You'll be just fine.
09 Feb 2013
@ 07:38 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Praise & Question
A couple more things Lee.

If you get a chance at home, remove the barrel via the take down lever, inspect the bore looking into both the chamber (eye about 10 degrees off center so you don't look down the shine) and the muzzle, from about 30-45 degrees. If the throat and lands are crisp with no discoloration or wear, give the bore a simple clean with a copper solvent (eg Boretech) followed by a light JB/Austosol polish, then store with either oil in the bore or grease if you are not going to use the rifle long term.

If the bore needs a bit more of a birthday, use red scotchbrite followed by grey scotchbrite, then JB/Austosol on a rag. In this instance, you are basically re-lapping the barrel. See the barrel break in article for tips.

Although sighting in close uses more ammo, it can give you time to get to know the trigger on the old rifle and how the rifle recoils etc. So take time to get to know the rifle at this stage rather than worrying about any wasted ammunition. Take each shot carefully, give the barrel time to cool. Enjoy the process. By the time you reach 100 yards, you will have a handle on the rifle. You know what I mean.

Please have a look at this clip as well, good kit for giving your rifle a birthday and well presented:

Also, thank you for your kind comments, I appreciate it.
04 Apr 2013
@ 08:50 pm (GMT)

jonathan scott

Re: Praise & Question

Congrats on the articles in NZHO magazine. I've been enjoying your contributions. Can I take exception to the statement though you make in your article on breaking in a rifle barrel. You say "416 series stainless steel has both high chromium and high molybdenum content, giving excellent strength and corrosion resistance.". Since manufacturing Engineering in the Marine Industry is my field, I have to disagree with you on that statement. 416 is the cheapest Stainless steel on the market. It's corrosion resistance is poor, marginally better than mild steel. It is used in barrels because of it's cost vs machinability properties.

What most SS rifle owners don't know is that natural salts on our hands esp after eating lunch on the hillside will affect the metalwork. The salts in our fingers create pitting on the outside of the stainless steel. Ultimately though, mass produced rifles are now made to the lowest possible cost and there will always be some tradeoff. Older rifles that had good quality bluing were actually better than modern SS for rust resistance. My own SPS700 rusts at the slightest whiff of water, so I make use of EESOX to prevent it where possible. On the other hand I had a 223 with a blued Truflite barrel that seemed completely impervious. My Ruger all weather sits somewhere in between - and that is down to Rugers own surface treatment for the SS, not the material type.

Here's some summation:

SS 416 is Good For:

- Excellent machinability - best of the common stainless steels - readily used for high productivity machining.
- Can be hardened and tempered to give high hardness or strength, so useful for shaft applications.

Not Good For:
- Poor resistance to general corrosion, due to the Sulphur addition.
- Very poor resistance to Chloride pitting and crevice corrosion - not suitable for any marine applications at any temperature.
- Low ductility - cannot be bent around a tight radius, or heavily drawn.
- Poor weldability - not regarded as weldable.

Good For:
- Good resistance to a wide range of chemicals - generally somewhat better than 304.
- Useful resistance to Chlorides, especially if cold - safe sea water temperature 22 Deg C.
- Higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion than 304 - PREN = 24.
- Excellent formability - readily deep drawn, bent and forged hot or cold.
- Available in an Improved Machinability "Ugima" form.
- Excellent Weldability.
- Useful high temperature strength to 870 Deg C - higher hot strength than 304.
Not Good For:
- Poor resistance to stress corrosion cracking - susceptible above 60 Deg C in even low Chloride environments.
- Not suitable for exposure to hot concentrated nitric acid - 304 is better.



04 Apr 2013
@ 10:18 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Praise & Question
Hi Jonathan, I also come from an engineering background, stainless steel. One of my core skills is stainless polishing, I worked for Fitzroy Super yachts in New Plymouth and after leaving yachts, remained a contractor to them for a few years. If you look at the original barrel break in article which is on this website, you will see Steph polishing a pull pit for one of the super yachts.

In the long range book, I write about .416 having the chief virtue of machinability. I also write that it is difficult to use a harder material. Harder stainless materials tend to be extremely problematic when barrel making, the level of tool breakage prohibits commercial use. This does not matter whether the barrel maker is a high end custom maker or low grade mass producer. Kreiger and Lilja both use 416 for barrel production, I have studied this in detail.

You have neglected to study the effects of polishing steels. I have polished both stainless and Chrome moly rifles. I have plosished the outers of both rifles to a mirror finish and studied the effects of internal polish to an exhausting degree, the extent of research was very stressful, like much of this work- it doesn't pay the bills. I have also experimented with case hardening stainless steels in kasenit. I still occasionally make parts from dipped and case hardened duplex.

Although highly polished Chrome moly does resist corrosion for some time. Without a surface protectant (oil), it rusts very quickly. The same can occur within the bore. 416 stainless rusts easily on blasted surfaces but within the bore, it resists rust very well once polished. In the book, I detail examples of blued rifles that lose long range accuracy within 12 hours of being in the hills. A stainless bore under the same conditions may show rust on the outer, but takes weeks to show any corrosion within the bore.

Too often we talk about corrosion resistance without addressing surface finish. You will know yourself how easily marine duplex can rust if it is not polished. We also polish 316L to a mirror finish not just for looks, can you imagine what those cast bollards would look like if they went out the door as formed.

I had similar assumptions to yours when I started out. I thought- "how cheap to be using 416". But I had to learn to look at this from every angle. There was also a time not too long ago when I worried that information I presented might be wrong, maybe I missed something. I have studied this to such a depth now, that I don't give a flying &%$# what opposing info is presented. I challenge anyone to go to the extremes and sacrifices that Steph and I have been through to study bore condition and materials. Clients who have watched us go through this will verify what I am saying here.

I hope you can understand where I am coming from. I have made the same comments as yourself in the past so please don't be offended.

04 Apr 2013
@ 11:51 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Praise & Question
Typical stainless rifle finishes (outer):

Rem SPS: garnet blasted with occasional cross contamination occuring.
Rem Sendero: Redibuff scotchbrite, dairy grade finish.
Tikka T3: Glass bead blasted
Sako: Glass bead blast
Ruger M77 old: Brushed
Ruger m77 current: Bead blasted then passivated.
Winchester M70: Bead blasted.

Internal bore finishes run from 240 grit to 1200 grit.

Dairy standard is 180 grit. I find that at 240 grit after the bore is run in, there is a suitable level of corrosion resistance for field work. Finish is similar to ground, polished and redibuffed dairy/water treatment vessel. The materials may differ (316 vs 416) but the usage also differs.
06 Apr 2013
@ 11:20 pm (GMT)

jonathan scott

Re: Praise & Question
I hear you, I'm not offended. It's good that you clarified it. A lot of general public rush out to buy a SS rifle and think they can just ignore the stainless because they think "stainless" means it won't rust. They don't appreciate the contributions.

We use 304, 316 and other corrosion resistant alloys, incl other SS alloys in our work. For some surfaces we are bead blasting and passivating. The problem I have with low cost SS barrels is that bead or garnet blasting is leaving pits and features that will aid corrosion. A good blast and passivation would be a better finish - and I think Ruger are now passivating the "all weather" barrels. Of course a polished barrel outer surface, is too shiny for general hunting, so simply not practical.

I'm noticing the bore of my std 700 barrel shows signs of corrosion after a 3 day trip in the bush. Hence I'm using EESOX both outside and inside, with a dry pull through before hunting.



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