Threading your own Barrel


September 23, 2006, 06:22 PM
Has anyone threaded their own barrel for the addition of a flash hider or suppressor? Is it something you can do without a lathe?

I would like to avoid having to separate the barrel from the action to do this.



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September 23, 2006, 06:35 PM
The only way to thread a barrel without a lathe is if the OD of the barrel corrosponds to the recommended diameter for the die your about to use. IE: if your going to thread 1/2" x 28 tpi, you want .498" to .500" diameter before threading. As the thread diameter of most barrels is smaller OD then the barrel OD, most instances would most definately require a lathe.

September 23, 2006, 06:37 PM
Not being mechanically inclined, I can imagine what would happen if I tried to thread my own barrel. :o

September 23, 2006, 06:53 PM
I did my SAR-1 in about 45 minutes with a set I rented online (and most of that time was getting ready and double checking instructions). I'm not sure what you're doing, but as sigfan said, as long as the OD is close to what it needs to be its very easy.

September 23, 2006, 08:40 PM
A good many people have threaded AK-47 and AR-15 barrels with threading kits.

These kits include a threading die, and a special bore guide. The bore guide is a rod that fits down the bore and keeps the die properly aligned and at 90 degrees to the bore.

With reasonable care, you can do a very good job yourself.

There are a number of sources for these threading kits:
WAY down the page.

One option is to RENT a threading kit.
The AR-15 forum has a member named "WJM" who rents threading kits.
You send in a deposit, he sends you the kit with instructions.
When you're done, you get your deposit minus the small fee back.

You can email him on the board:

September 23, 2006, 10:09 PM
I have done several AK's and recently I did one of my Mosin Nagants and added a Krinkov brake to it just for grins. The threading kit has more than paid for it'self.

September 24, 2006, 04:19 AM
TIMC, I'm planning to add an AK brake to my 'project' mosin, using a friend's AK threader. How did you lock the brake into place? Glue? A mechanical lock?

September 24, 2006, 04:37 AM
I've wanted to thread the barrel on my WASR for a long time, but never had the money for a threading kit. I've already checked and the OD is of the appropriate size, but I am curious as to whether all it requires is the barrel to be threaded, or if something else is necessary to stop the surpressor from wobbling. I've heard of detents being required and other stuff that confuses me. Maybe if I saw it done it wouldn't be so confusing, but in the meantime, is all that is required is for you to thread your muzzle? No other locking mechanisms or whatever?

September 24, 2006, 07:46 AM
I was planning on threading the barrel of a Hi-Point 995 for starters. The barrel has a .602 OD. I would like to avoid having to separate the barrel from the action. Looks like the job is a lot more difficult then I had hoped.


September 24, 2006, 10:14 AM
A 5/8" 24 tpi die, like the M-14 uses needs roughly .625" od to thread.
A 15mm x 1 die, like the HK G-3, needs roughly .590" od to thread.

.602" = 15.290mm

If you ran a 15 x 1 die down, the G-3 flashhider would be extremely tight on the threads, and would be hard on the die.
If you ran a 5/8" die down, the M-14 flashhider would be fairly loose, but should tighten up OK. It would only be .0115" out on either side of the threads.

September 24, 2006, 10:48 AM
The 5/8-24 wouldn't work with that much play! The threads are only .051 deep to begin with, and taking them to a depth of only .028 would be quite a bit of play.

September 24, 2006, 11:03 AM
That would leave .040" engagement on either side. Short of taking it down to .500" for a 1/2 x 28, or some metric in betweens, thats probably the easiest solution. I believe that would work okay, but not great. His only other option would be a set screw style.

September 24, 2006, 11:19 AM
It should be no harder nor complicated than threading a rod to receive a nut, which we have been doing for years without the use of a lathe.

Common sense will tell you that the diameter has to be right (with in resonable tolerance).

Get a set of dies with the proper tpi(threads per inch) and go for it.

September 24, 2006, 11:50 AM
You won't find a set of dies for barrel threading, at least I couldn't. The TPI is different than any common thread. I individually purchased 14x1 LH, 14x1 RH 15x1 RH, 1/2" 28, 1/2" 36, 5/8" 24, etc. It gets very expensive. The pilots that fit the bores are not essential, but they make it easier by far, a lot less chance of FUBARing the barrel.

September 24, 2006, 12:07 PM
TIMC, I'm planning to add an AK brake to my 'project' mosin, using a friend's AK threader. How did you lock the brake into place? Glue? A mechanical lock?

My Mosin was quite a bit harder to do than the AK's. I had to hand grind the barrel a little before threading. I measured the depth of the threads and maked it on the barrel a little shorter than the thread depth. Then I used a dremmal to grind a little off all the way around the barrel so the die would fit (use care to grind fairly even on all sides and don't take off too much).

I used a Krinkov brake on mine. I checked the alignment serveral times when I was getting close to the end. when it was about the right depth and the brake was hand tight about 1/8 to 1/4 turn short of proper alignment I stopped and added blue locktight and tightened the brake on the barrel using a screwdriver through one of the gas ports on the brake. The brake ligned up nicely. I have since put about 60 rounds through the rifle and it has showed no signs of coming loose. Any exposed metal that lost blueing from grinding with the dremmal I reblued with blue wonder blueing touch up kit. It all came out very nice. I would take some pictures but the rifle is in the shop getting a P U scope put on it.

September 24, 2006, 12:42 PM
Using a lath or not, one still must know the thread specifications before attempting to do the job.:rolleyes:

SigfanUSAF, sounds to me like you just went out and bought some dies that you thought might work and they didn't. :banghead:

If you can't determine the thread characteristics than leave it alone and take it to someone who can. I am sure that most any machine shop or gun smith can do that for you and even tell you where to get dies.:D

September 24, 2006, 12:47 PM
SigfanUSAF, sounds to me like you just went out and bought some dies that you thought might work and they didn't

Actually, I work in a gunshop, where we have spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools. We have 2 lathes, and turning barrels is no problem. I bought the dies for threading various rifle barrels for customers. I apologize if I came off as stupid here, I was just trying to give the gent some insight on threading. That comment wasn't very THR of you. I pride myself in the work me and my father do, though I don't consider myself to be half the 'smith my father is. I have a fairly good grasp of thread characteristics, as I've successfully threaded many barrels.
We have several suppliers of dies, Brownells, MSC, etc. If you know of a source for rifle barrel dies SETS, please let me know, as buying them individually is rather expensive. I suspect you'll not be able too.

September 24, 2006, 03:28 PM
Sigfan, now you have me confused. :confused: :uhoh:

First you say you purchased the dies to "thread various rifle barrels for customers", then you list several suppliers of dies( I assume barrel dies as that is what we are talking about) and then you say, in effect they can't be had?????:banghead:

I respect your knowledge of "smithing" :) but I still, as a novice,:uhoh: feel that with the proper "dies" it would be a rather simple job. :D

September 24, 2006, 03:37 PM
I'm talking about buying a set of dies. I have sets of metric, standard, and some BST. I was simply saying for those of us who thread barrels on a REGULAR basis, if someone was to offer a kit containing all the proper dies for modern assault rifles it would probably be cheaper. Same goes for choke tube taps. Good grief, I probably have $750 in taps and reamers just for 12 gauge!!! I did not say at any point the individual dies couldn't be had. I agree that it can be a very simple job, not sure why this has become so confusing?

September 24, 2006, 05:35 PM
I wouldn't thread something that far out of spec; it's rather silly to do so. JMHO.

September 24, 2006, 05:45 PM
Third rail, I do agree, so what would it cost for him to have his barrel threaded. I don't work on those guns, so I don't know whats involved in removing his barrel. Thats all this guy really wanted to know, whats involved or how much. Also, whats a good source for flash hiders held on with set screws? It would be a cheap alternative.

September 24, 2006, 07:27 PM
Thanks for the guidance so far (and sorry if I stirred something up!).

Yes, I would still like to get the barrel threaded in some common thread (1/2-28 looks very popular). Can a barrel be threaded with out separating the receiver? Some kind of "pass through" chuck?

Yes, if someone can give me an expected cost it would be helpfull for deciding which way to go and in choosing a smith to do the work.

Thanks again for the help and guidance, this place is very helpfull.


September 24, 2006, 07:46 PM
I was planning on threading the barrel of a Hi-Point 995 for starters.
This is a 9x19, correct? I believe 9x19 AR-15 uppers are threaded 1/2x36. Maybe the barrel could be turned down to 1/2" and threaded? This guy ( might be able to do it.

September 24, 2006, 08:00 PM
Using a thread die It isn't rocket science. Just get the specifications you need before buying or rent the thread die. I have been threading in machine shops, and in maintenance so I know. Use cutting fliud so the threading die doesn't tighten up and jam on you. When you start threading start slowly on a couple of turns and back out a turn or two and add more cutting fluid. Start the threading process again and repeat. I don't know about barrel threading at the muzzle but a normal thread die starts a gradual cut and gradually deepens to the normal depth of the cut. This wouldn't look too pretty on a finished gun so I am guessing that there has to be a finishing die. Thread pitch is the number of threads per inch. If you want to thread something to the end of your barrel whether it is a flash supressor or a muzzel brake you can "pitch the threads" with a thread guage and find out out many threads per inch it is. Go to a hardware store and find the corresponding bolt that fits (in this case a flash suppressor) and make sure that it is a snug fit without any slop and you now you know what the diameter is. Rent a die kit.

Chris Rhines
September 24, 2006, 08:16 PM
The right way to thread a barrel is to use a lathe with a threading attachment and single-point cutter. Using a die without a pilot is no good - you'll never get the threads centered and perpendicular with the barrel. Using a threading die with a pilot will work, but you'll probably have to recrown the barrel afterwards to clean up the damage the rotating pilot did to the rifling at the muzzle. Best to do it the right way in the first place.

- Chris

September 25, 2006, 08:13 PM
It looks like I'm the search of a smithy who will undertake this task. If anyone knows of a good gunsmith (who likes a challenge) in the Maryland area, let me know.

Thanks again,


September 25, 2006, 09:37 PM
They aren't in MD, but these guys are worth contacting:

You can ship your carbine to either one via USPS.

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