DIY Gunsmithing

This morning I was forced to go full retard gun smithing in order to achieve what I wanted.
The aim was or is as I have not finished yet is to thread the end of my barrel on a 223 Howa. The first hurdle after removing the barreled action from the stock was that the barrel was to large in diameter to fit through the Lathe hole and chuck hole so that I could just turn down the end without removing the action.
Removing the action was not so simple after putting the action in the vise and using a pair of vise grips I could not loosen the barrel. I tried a bit of heat on the action as I thought perhaps they had used loctite on it, still no luck. I then put the barrel in the vise and tried to turn the action using a big lever in the action. no luck even after using the bigger hammer method.
Finally I moved things around with the barrel in the vise and the recoil lug in a position where I could hit that with a hammer. It took a beating but finally cracked the seal and came off.
I could then put the end of the barrel in the chuck and with a center at the other end in the bore I could spin the barrel. Of course the tool holder and equipment parts were then getting interfered with by the center holder. But after a bit of fudgery I managed to get the tool steel in position to turn down the barrel to 5/8. When the die I ordered arrives in the mail this afternoon the threading attempt will start.
I have a few nasty scratches on the barrel and action but I am not overly worried that at one point I thought I may have deformed the action but it all seems pretty smooth running the bolt and no slop or play so I think I’m good.


Im always impressed with the things some of you guy’s are willing to do yourselves

Sometimes it can be a total balls up and cost you big money other times you learn something you weren’t expecting other times you just save money and time. I figured its just a cheap Howa give it a go not too much to loose.


I’m going through the same process of threading a barrel at the moment, although my way is a little different.
Step1 - Remove the stock & trigger assembly.
Step2 - Drive the barrelled action to my Gunsmith along with $150.
Step3 - When it’s ready (should be soon actually) go pickup my threaded barrel & end cap.

I’m with bentaz, i’m impressed with some of the stuff you guys take on. Even with the right gear like lathes for example it still takes balls to back yourself and give it a crack.

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Well the die put the thread on without too much trouble and I gave the completed assembly a try out. Looks like my thread was not entirely concentric with the bore but not a complete deal breaker.

You are going to get a 1000% better fit and finish than me and most likely without any issues.

I dont mind sending a couple of hundred $ to the bin in the process of having fun and the tooling around (you can take that both ways) is a bit of fun for me.


Perhaps, but like you said you get to have the pleasure of playing in the shed. I miss that a lot where we are here, but hopefully not too long til i have the space for a proper shed with more gear to play with.

We don’t have a lot of choice, unfortunately. There’s very, very few gunsmiths in Australia and IME some of them really don’t know as much as you’d expect.

I like old guns and there’s even fewer gunsmiths who know how to work on them, so simple shit that would be pretty easy to get sorted in the US becomes a major project here because of the difficulties in sourcing replacement parts (even minor stuff like springs and screws).


I thought you country folk liked to practice on your sister first?

Maybe practice threading on some bar stock first?