Chrome lining a barrel

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Apr 28, 2005
Columbia Falls, Montana
Is there anyway to chrome line a barrel that wasn't originally manufactured with chrome lining? I am appalled by the lack of chrome lining in modern battle rifle clones. It appears that the leading manufactures of FAL (DS Arms) and HK roller-lock style rifles (JLD) both brag about fancy gizmos without a sound grasp on something as fundemental (to me at least) as a chrome lined bore. I am looking into a battle rifle clone for my next rifle and would like it to be a FAL or HK clone but will not even remotely consider it unless it has a chrome lined bore--I don't care if it has a match grade barrel, target crown, and any other hoo-haw on it. I was just wondering if there was some way to buy,say, a JLD and have it chrome lined? It seems to me that the thickness of the lining would cause a dangerous constriction of the bore. SO if not, is there such thing as a real quality FAL or HK clone out there that has a chrome lined bore?
I don't know the answer to your question, but I am curious about why a chrome bore is so important. Any particular reason?


Do chrome lined bores include chroming the chamber?

A chrome lined barrel is important to me because these are battle rifle clones, not precision bolt actions. Despite name games, these rifles are presumeably built to take hard use and abuse. Most of us will never know the difference between 1.5 and even 3 or 4 MOA in such a rifle but may grow to appreciate the advantages in corrosion resistance and ease of cleaning and maintenance of a chrome lined bore. Besides which, most of us will only use these rifles for plinking. This may mean high volume shooting of cheap ammunition. It seems to me that a bore lasts longer and is easier to clean offers many more practical advantages to the average shooter than a target crown an bull barrel. Assume the rifle becomes a truck gun and gets knocked around on a regular basis. It may be subjected to abuse daily and cleaned or shot very little. That fog on the windows is condensation resulting from the moisture content of the air. It's inside your rifle as well. Besides which, I paid $320 for a Romanian WASR-10 that has a chrome lined barrel. Why would these people think I would ever dish out three times as much money for a rifle lacking what is still considered by me, and, I hope, many others, to be a basic and essential feature for any rifle that may see hard use and/or high volume shooting? It's retarded. These people need to be told to learn to walk before they try to run. Chrome lining should at least be available to those who prefer its advantages over tack-driving accuracy in a semi-automatic battle rifle clone.
Not to hi jack the thread...

I would bet the chrome barrelled sks's are somehow clad and not electroplated.
If anyone knows this for a fact please let me know. I am guessing because I have worked with metal most of my life.

I do know that to electroplate chrome on to steel requires a copper plating first, then the chromium goes on. It is a process with significant toxic chemical risk. Also, I doubt the durabillity of an electroplate would be any where near that of a clad item since the cladding is probably many times thicker. I'm sure that a long skinny bore would be very difficult to plate, not to mention the thickness issues.

As I recall (please correct me) the copper plate is typically .005 thick and the chromium is .001 or more in electroplating. :uhoh: If correct, that's .010 less diameter.
Generally, it's not possible to chrome-line a barrel that's not designed for this procedure. On barrels made for chrome lining, the bore is deliberately made a smidgin too large for the caliber. The chrome lining then reduces the bore size to the correct one for the caliber. On a non-chrome-lined barrel, the bore size is correct for the caliber, so if you were to add a chrome layer, it would make the bore size fractionally too small for the caliber.
It's possible to get sub-moa performance out of a chrome-lined bore. At least the Russians can.

Everything I've heard agrees with what Preacherman says. If it's not there, you can't put it in.

One option for the FAL is to buy what you want and have a new IMBEL chromed barrel installed on it. They're available for around $150 if you look hard, and DSA will install it for you for another $140. Also, my guess is that if you call DSA, they'll be happy to make you a special SA-58 with a chrome-lined barrel. I suspect that they have such items on hand.
Klover , there are two types of chrome plating . Decorative, like car bumpers where the steel is plated with copper, then nickel, then chrome,This is also called soft chrome . Hard or industrial chrome is plated directly on the steel it is very hard and durable and is the one used on guns today......Chrome plating a gun requires consideration of the bore dimensions so it's not just a simple job of plating an existing gun.
The man is not a troll, he has a valid point. There is a REASON military rifles have chrome bores.

My FAL has a chrome bore. I declined the chrome bore on my AR, but only because I am looking for a higher level of accuracy and do not intend to use it as it was originally designed.
Chrome bores are meant for the average grunt who is going to abuse his weapon. For what its worth,,,,,,When the AR first hit Vietnem, it was with Special Forces guys. The barrels and chambers were not chrome lined. The military was using the correct powder and the SF guys knew about weapons maintenance. NO PROBLEMS were experienced. The rifle then became general issue and no cleaning kits were issued, and the powder was changed. Problems arose. AK's and SKS rifles have chrome lining because of the corrosive primers that were used in the ammunition. I have read info from independent testing where an unlined barrel went 9,000+ rounds of full auto fire before a failure was experienced, and the chromed barrels experienced chrome flaking and failures at as little as 600 rounds of full auto fire. FOR ME.....the unlined barrel on my DPMS M4 suits me fine, because I haven't seen any definitive proof to prove otherwise. My nomex is on, go ahead and flame away. :evil:
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I am looking into a battle rifle clone for my next rifle and would like it to be a FAL or HK clone but will not even remotely consider it unless it has a chrome lined bore-
Imbel FALs have chrome lined bores. I believe Argentine FALs do as well, but my memory may be wrong about that.
The M1 Garand never had a chrome lined barrel. Neither did most of the Mausers used in the Second World War.

I don't think the M14 did, either, but I may be wrong on this point. The Belgian and Austrian FALs produced and so widely exported (seeing heavy use and abuse in Rhodesia and other African conflicts) didn't have chrome lined barrels. I don't know about original HK G3s.
Given equal quality barrels, the hard chromed bore might be less accurate not because it's chromed, but because we don't generally have the ability to get the plating evenly distributed around the inside of the bore.

It's going to be a heavier deposit on one side that the other, and so skew accuracy a bit.

One day they may be able to get it pretty close to perfect on a regular basis though.
As others pointed out, many older rifles do not have chrome bores, and have very sucessful long life out of their barrels, PROVIDED they are cleaned regularly.

The MAIN reason for chrome bores on modern military rifles is for reduced maintenance, NOT for increased bore life. In fact, it might be hard to show increased bore life on a typical chrome bore rifle when used in civilian applications.

So.....saying that a chrome bore is a necessity for maximum barrel life may be asking for something you won't really get.
I like the ease of clean up with a chrome barrel, especially when I clean my FAL only about every 1k rounds. :eek:
I like hard chrome so much I got a chromed bolt and bolt carrier also.
If they made flat black chrome Id chrome the whole stinkin gun.:D
"...clean my FAL only about every 1k rounds..." FN's are like that. The FAL is an early to mid 50's design. They were designed as combat rifles to be used by troopies from everywhere. Trained or not.
Chromed or not. Not for me. Match grade barrels are not chromed and that says it for me.
"...flat black chrome..." Seems to me you can have matt hard chrome. Call a few metal finishers.
Chrome doesn't need a copper base to adhere. I think you are confusing nickel plating and chrome plating. I know for a fact that FN does not copper plate prior to chrome plating their USGI bores.

As far as the size, hardchrome in a bore is usually about .002" thick. That results in a bore diameter reduction of .004. In addition, plating tends to fill in inside corners, so a .002" layer on the lands and grooves may be .003 on the inside cornersof the rifling. The result is there will be a fairly large reduction in the bore cross section. IOW, go buy a chromed barrel for your rifle. Chroming an existing bore may be problematic.
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