Machining flutes into a barrel?


September 26, 2008, 08:02 PM
I have a Kahnke M82 single shot mz handgun in 50 caliber. I really like shooting it and obtained a longer 18" barrel for added velocity. My big question is, could I have a machinist cut some flutes into the barrel without compromising safety?

I like the gun but I wish it was a tad lighter. I don't want to shorten the barrel but I was thinking if a few flutes were machined down the length of it would help shave off a few ounces. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

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September 26, 2008, 08:09 PM
i wouldnt. im my opinion you could be weakening the barrel. If you want the gun to be different then shoot a different gun. Kinda like my WALKER. the darn thing is heavy. but thats the way it was designed so i expect that from the gun. when i want to shoot a lighter gun i use the lighter gun.

September 26, 2008, 08:10 PM
i bet that gun with an 18" barrel is a heck of a bench shooter. Sand bag it or a bipod and wow you will have an excellent long range .50 pistol

September 26, 2008, 09:57 PM
Fluting, if there's enough barrel wall, won't reduce the weight by much. In any case, fluting is about increasing the surface area to aid in cooling, not weight reduction.

September 27, 2008, 08:46 AM
You may lighten the barrel some but it might not be very noticeable. You will not weaken it though. The maximum barrel pressure occurs in the first inch or so of bullet travel, and maybe not even that far. The pressure then drops of very quickly after that. So there is no chance of weakening the barrel such that it becomes dangerous. Remember, some of the old rifle makers used to swamp their barrels. Some of the barrels I've seen were dramatically waisted in the middle. This did reduce the weight of the weapon but more importantly, helped balance the weapon. In the worst case you may adversely affect the balance of the pistol and might not be happy with it. Just my thoughts.

September 27, 2008, 03:55 PM
Just semantics, but...

Fluting the barrel WILL weaken it. Removing any material results in a weaker structure; that's just elemental structural mechanics. However, Brillo is correct in that the maximum pressure is only present and acting upon the breech area until the projectile starts to move; after that the pressure decreases pretty rapidly.

So, the barrel IS weaker, but the weakened area will not be subjected to the high gas pressure. Thus fluting it will very likely not cause a problem. Unless, of course, you put deep flutes in the breech end...

September 27, 2008, 10:01 PM
Tapering the barrel will cause a larger reduction in weight.

A good hand file and some patience will allow you to taper or swamp the barrel.

Balance will be affected depending on how much metal you remove and where you remove it. Most of the original pistols I have seen did not have swamped barrels, mostly tapered BUT the majority of those have been military pistols, not civilian. Someone else, more knowledgable, will have to comment ont eh barrel description of original pistols.

Naturally, refinishing will be needed after you take a file to your barrel.

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