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If you had to make a forge welded tube a la Wallace Gusler for a rifle barrel, by yourself and without a power hammer, how would you do it?  The bit I can't figure out is how to insert a mandrel and make a weld without losing the heat.  Also, does anyone know if there is a scarf and what it looks like?

 

Thanks,

Rob

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Apprentice to an expert and expect to spend a number of years learning the basics and then getting good at it.

As I recall a pattern welding prodigy got around some of the issues by welding the PW over a monolithic core of good barrel steel and then boring it out.

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First question are you wanting to form a muzzleloading/black powder barrel or a cartridge/smokeless powder barrel? If you are wanting a smokeless powder barrel, all bets are off.

Bob Patrick did an article with three methods of forging a gun barrel in the August 2000 issue of Anvil Magazine. If you have a copy you are lucky because the magazine is out of print. But you can subscribe to the online version. Following his instructions and knowing the decades of blacksmithing under Bob's belt, I wouldn't hesitate to fire a gun built with one of his barrels.

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Black powder.  To be clear, this isn't a project I am currently working on, it's just something on my bucket list.  I am familiar with The Colonial Gunsmith, first seeing it in the early 80s, and where I first fell in love with blacksmithing.  I finally got ahold of Foxfire 5, but haven't heard about that issue of Anvil. My question is how you would handle welding a barrel without a striker or power hammer.  Does that article cover it?

By the way, I would never get my face near a barrel that hadn't been proofed.

Thanks, 

Rob

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  • 6 months later...

Bob  was the Smith i have seen do this without a mandrel. My process, power hammer or hand, is as follows. Coil your skelp of 3/8×3/4 or so around a 1 inch or so mandrel. Coil the whole thing. Taper the ends so they lie nice and square. Starting at one end, weld first with an end bump and then across the face in a bottom swage or v block. I use the v block a lot. Rotate as you hammer in the direction of the coil. (So it twist tighter as you turn) by the time a 1 inch id coil is reduced to solid seams, it will be reduced enough to clean up to a .40-50 cal. Bob was quite specific, if you can still see the seam in the final forging, it likely has not welded...

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Thomas and Jason: 

I'm not a patent/copyright specialist attorney but since Jason would not be gaining any monetary benefit and it would not harm the interests of the copyright holder it would likely be considered as falling under the "fair use doctrine."  If the copyright holder could be identified, either the author or the magazine publisher, it would be a courtesy to contact them and ask permission even if it isn't strictly required.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Posting the complete article to me would seem to not come under fair use.    Posting a link to the article placed online by the copyright holder should work if that is possible.  I too am not trained in copyright law however.   I would prefer not to involve this site in any legal hassles as they tend to be tedious and unpleasant.

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I suggest you see if you can find "Journal of Historical Armsmaking Technology" vol 1-4. Published by Western Kentucky University and the NMLRA.

It's a  line by line, side by side translation of a Prussian publication circa 1750 from the armour at the Royal Potsdam Armoury. Many pics, very detailed on forging all musket parts including tooling, woodworking and much interesting info such as the swarf from where the swords etc were ground was forge welded together and then forged into heavy cavalry breastplates. Lest I forget, including bayonet making. A true gem. With the gunsmith of Williamsburg vid, it's truly a step by step walkthru of literally lock, stock, and barrel.

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