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H&R 929 barrel issue

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by bainter1212, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I inherited an H&R 929 6" barrel 9 shot .22lr that once belonged to my great grandfather. I''ve taken it out to shoot a couple of times, and known there was something wrong, as it wouldn't group at all. Upon further inspection, it appears that the barrel is bent slightly to the left, viewed from the aiming position. I have confirmed this using a straightedge, and it becomes fairly obvious.
    My question is: can this barrel be straightened? I know what the conventional answer will be - that it isn't worth the money. This gun, however, holds a lot of sentimental value for me and I'd like to get it into working order so that it can be passed down another generation, to my kid when he is of age. So, other than getting lucky and finding another barrel, is there a solution? Any response appreciated, thanks guys!
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Yes, it might be possible to straighten it if it is just "sprung" and not folded or creased.

    I would probably go about it with three hardwood V-blocks and a machinists vice.
    Use two blocks on one side to support the ends.
    Use the other block on the opposite side in the middle, or over the bend if you can tell where it is.

    Then apply pressure with the vice, just enough to "spring" it back where it came from, while checking often with straight edges.

    That is basically how the factories straighten new rifle barrels when they make them.

    Old Springfield armory barrel straightening press:

    This was used by the operator looking through the barrel at sunlight coming through a window while applying pressure with the overhead hand wheel of the press..

    You can see concentric ring reflections in a straight barrel.
    You can't see them in a bent barrel.

  3. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    Thanks RC! As usual, you are a fount of knowledge. I will attempt this operation....it looks like removing the barrel is going to be the best way to do this. I will use another gun that I know to have a straight barrel and look into the barrel, so I know what these concentric rings are supposed to look like. Then I will know what to look for when I straighten.
    Then again, I just found a couple of used barrels on gunbroker for $35 each....might be easier to just swap it. I might just buy the barrel and still try to straighten the old one, that way at least I have a spare in case something goes wrong.
  4. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Use a proper action wrench and barrel vise if you decide to remove/install a barrel. Not doing so is the fastest way to turn it into a paperweight.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    This is 125% true with most higher quality revolvers.

    However, it has been my experience over 50 years that nobody ever made an action wrench for an H&R 929, and never will.
    (O.K.! So maybe the H&R factory had one or two???)

    Sometimes, you gotta do with what you have to do it with.

    A pair of drilled oak blocks, maybe some rosin, and a bench vice will hold the barrel.

    A piece of oak flooring board sawed to fit through the cylinder window, or a hickory hammer handle might have to do for an action wrench.

    They seldom if ever ain't that tight on an H&R anyway.

    If it is, use some heat on the frame to soften the old dried grease.
    And don't put a 2' cheater bar on the hammer handle!

  6. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    Copy that, thanks gentlemen. I just ordered a barrel from Numrich. My plan is to make a barrel vise with some wood blocks, some steel plate, two bolts, a piece of brass tubing cut in half, and some rosin. Bolt the vise to my bench. I will probably use RC's suggestion of a stout piece of wood that will fit in the cylinder gap. The front of this revolver is a nice flat surface from top to bottom of the frame on both sides also, and I might cut a 2x4 so that it fits nice and tight over that section. I am aware that the closer together the two opposing forces are, the less chance of twisting the frame.
    Thanks for all the responses.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    That all sounds good to me except the brass tubing part.

    If the tubing doesn't slip on the barrel, it will just slip in the wood blocks.

    Just drill the hardwood blocks cross-grain with the next size under barrel dia. drill bit
    Put some rosin on them.
    Clamp the sucker down in a vice like you were choking a rattlesnake in your shorts.

    And have your way with it!

    If the barrel doesn't slip in the wood blocks, it cannot harm the finish.

  8. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    A simple action wrench can be made with two pieces of flat bar stock and a couple bolts to clamp around the action in front of the cylinder. That would be superior to a block of wood through the frame window. It would keep all of the twisting action over the threaded portion, reducing the risk of twisting the receiver. Of course, as rc says, it might not be tight enough to matter.
  9. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. A rattlesnake in my pants, eh? HA! I think I can do that. I will toss out the brass idea. Thanks for the bar stock idea. I will try that.

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