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Old March 17, 2015, 11:43 AM   #1
kbbailey
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freshening an original rifle barrel

I have decided to put an old family heirloom rifle back into shooting condition. Can anyone suggest an experienced, trustworthy gunsmith that could re-bore and re-rifle my barrel?
Thanks
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Old March 17, 2015, 12:27 PM   #2
Acorn Mush
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Try Robert Hoyt. Let the phone ring.

Robert A. Hoyt
700 Fairfield Station Road
Fairfield, PA 17320
(717) 642-6696
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Old March 17, 2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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+1 to Robert Hoyt.
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Old March 17, 2015, 02:08 PM   #4
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Freshening an original rifle barrel to a slightly larger caliber and re-cherrying the bullet mold to cast a slightly larger ball is supposed to have been common in the South.

But the way it was described to me was that the gunsmith (often a blacksmith who did gunsmithing on the side) would use a rifling tool to cut the existing grooves deeper, then bore the tops of the lands smooth to remove pitting.

[But those guys are all dead, so that's not much help. But it is still a wise way of reviving an old black powder rifle in otherwise good safe working condition.]
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Old March 17, 2015, 04:49 PM   #5
44 Dave
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How much you want to spend! A friend just had his .38-40 Winchester re-lined and chambered.
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Old March 17, 2015, 04:56 PM   #6
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Freshening a barrel is only done on barrels that have lost their accuracy through wear but are otherwise in good shape. To fresh a barrel you use the existing lands and grooves to guide a lead slug cast on the end of a rod in the barrel. A slot for a cutter is made in the slug and it is passed through the barrel deepening each groove then the tops of the lands are trimmed.
With a barrel that is rusted and pitted to any degree it has to either be lined or bored out and rifled.
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Old March 17, 2015, 08:37 PM   #7
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The rifle is an original half stock in something like .38 or. 40. Family legend is that it went with my great, great grandfather from Illinois to the Colorado gold rush and back.
I am willing to spend a reasonable sum to be able to hunt and compete with this particular rifle.
I am guessing that the rifle was poorly kept after cartridge repeaters were adopted. The bore is pitted and rifling barely visible.
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Old March 17, 2015, 08:40 PM   #8
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Perhaps 'freshening' isn't the appropriate term. I feel that the barrel needs bored out and rifled.
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Old March 17, 2015, 08:51 PM   #9
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Hoyt would be my first choice as well. Sounds like a reline job is in order.
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Old March 17, 2015, 09:11 PM   #10
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I assume that it has already been tried, but sometimes a steel brush can work wonders with those old barrels. You have to use steel, though, old crud and corrosion will not respond to bronze brushes.

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Old March 17, 2015, 11:03 PM   #11
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I am not 100% sure, pretty close but not 100%, but I was at Consolidated Sportsmans range and Mr Hoyt showed up and chatted with us and told us he is retired from gunsmithing. I happen to live nearby Fairfield outside of Montoursville and met the guy. My buddy at the range with me has had work done by him in the past and that's how the conversation turned to him saying he was not doing it anymore except for himself.
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Old March 19, 2015, 01:07 AM   #12
4v50 Gary
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kbbailey - just get a new barrel and tang fitted to it. That way you can keep it original. Please?

BTW, I have used Bobby Hoyt several times and agree he does good work.
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Old March 20, 2015, 02:23 PM   #13
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If i don't rework this rifle, it will continue to hang from my mantle and collect dust like it has for the last 30yrs.
I really want to hunt and compete with a true slice of history.
I have been into black powder shooting all my life.....perhaps due to the presence of this rifle.
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Old March 20, 2015, 04:45 PM   #14
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Call Hoyt... I know he delivered a barrel as recently as early this week.
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Old March 20, 2015, 06:43 PM   #15
John C
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I think what Gary is saying is to get a new barrel and tang, shoot the gun as much as you want, but be able to put the gun back into original condition. That way, the original workmanship will be preserved. The best of both worlds.
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Old March 21, 2015, 06:58 AM   #16
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If it were mine, I would have it to Hoyt for a good freshening. That way it would be the original rifle, but able to be shot with accuracy.

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Old March 24, 2015, 07:03 PM   #17
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Im thinking about hauling it down to Pall Mall, Tennessee to the Alvin York shoot and talking with some of those guys too.
It sounds like Mr Hoyt has the nod among us here on THR.
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Old March 24, 2015, 07:05 PM   #18
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I don't suppose anyone else from the forum is planning on goin to the Alvin York "chunk gun" match this weekend?
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Old March 25, 2015, 12:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denster View Post
Freshening a barrel is only done on barrels that have lost their accuracy through wear but are otherwise in good shape. To fresh a barrel you use the existing lands and grooves to guide a lead slug cast on the end of a rod in the barrel. A slot for a cutter is made in the slug and it is passed through the barrel deepening each groove then the tops of the lands are trimmed.
With a barrel that is rusted and pitted to any degree it has to either be lined or bored out and rifled.
There is an article in an old gun digest about freshening a barrel. It can be done but requires voodoo chanting, burning of feathers, moon phase and many prayers.
In other words done only on special guns where labor costs are not taken into account. Very difficult to do.
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Old March 25, 2015, 04:00 PM   #20
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Newer methods make it less labor intensive. Hoyt charges reasonable rates. He is the one folks go to to get this sort of work done. When he does retire, there will be a huge void to fill.

Kevin
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