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Polishing Chambers

This is a discussion on Polishing Chambers within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Been having a little bit of problem with partially sticking cases on my .454 Alaskan (with various loads - both factory and handloads). Hasnt been ...


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Old January 9th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #1
 
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Polishing Chambers

Been having a little bit of problem with partially sticking cases on my .454 Alaskan (with various loads - both factory and handloads). Hasnt been a huge deal but with some I do need to wack the ejector pretty good with my hand to get 'em out.

Wondering whether I should just leave it, or if I should try polishing the chambers? What is the simplest/safest method for polishing without specialized equipment?

Thanks in advance!



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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:20 PM   #2
 
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100% ejection of the spent cartridges is only achieved through smacking the ejection rod down with your hand. In my opinion you should not try to polish the chambers more than they are now.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #3
 
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Polishing a bottle neck rifle chamber is a bad idea...the case needs to grab the chamber wall and hold. A revolver chamber can be polished if it leaves marks on the fired shells and it won't hurt anything. Just polish, don't displace any metal...good shooting, Gary
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Old January 17th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #4
 
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Some folks polish the chambers of semi-autos, especially the top, to cut down the instance of jamming. I expect that a full bore 454 Alaskan swells up in the chamber pretty well, but in my 45 Colt Blackhawk my stuck cases haven't been from heavy loads, they're from light loads - I get unburnt powder grains backing up the cylinders, after a couple of loads the cases start to stick. Have you noticed more troubles after shooting lighter loads?
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Old January 21st, 2010, 11:36 AM   #5
 
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I have had trouble with Winchester's 260 Nosler loading and thier 300 grain JSP loading producing "sticky" cases that needed help with extraction beyond the normal process. I figured that polishing the chambers would surely resolve this issue. It did not. I have been advised that Ruger uses a proprietary grade of stainless steel with the 454 series revolvers and that it gives with the pressures to some degree, and returns to its original dimension after pressure subides!

This sounds completley ridiculous to me, but in this day and age of metalurgy, I could'nt say if it is true of not. I do know that the Winchester loads are intended for use primarily in the Freedom Arms revolvers that are built to a more stringent standard of strength and that they do not "stretch" when fired with full power (65,000 psi) loads... or so I have heard from folks I know that shoot those particular handguns. At any rate, I handload, so have worked loads up and then back down to a point where sticking cases no longer occurs. I have no real idea of what pressures my loads are working at (safe I do know) but if recoil is any indication, I can barely percieve a difference between the two, Wnchester factory and my handloads.

When I was looking into this caliber the Freedom Arms revolver was $1600.00 and the Ruger Super Redhawk was $800.00. I knew that If I bought the Ruger, I would have to do all the hand work myself, but did not expect the sticky case problem. I still believe that the Ruger was a good choice, 6 shot D.A. revolver that is accurate and handles like a dream. I would like one of the gunsmiths on here to educate me on this particular problem in the Rugers, I hate not knowing the real facts of an issue!
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madderg View Post
Polishing a bottle neck rifle chamber is a bad idea...the case needs to grab the chamber wall and hold. A revolver chamber can be polished if it leaves marks on the fired shells and it won't hurt anything. Just polish, don't displace any metal...good shooting, Gary
You might want to read this WEB page.

Rifle Chamber Finish & Friction Effects on Bolt Load and Case Head Thinning Calculations done with LS-DYNA

What he shows very clearly is that polishing a bottle neck rifle chamber is a good idea and more important, why it's a good idea.

Since I started polishing mine, which is dirt simple to do a couple of ways, I've had much better brass life.

I also polish the ID of my full length rifle resizing dies working up to using 1,000 grit wet & dry (with oil). In some cases it results in a remarkable reduction in the effort required to FL size rifle cartridges.

Fitch
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #7
 
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What is your favorite method for polishing a chamber?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #8
 
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I've used Brownells Flex Hones to polish rough sticky chambers
I have several, some new in the package, and just happen to have a set of 45 revolver hones in medium & fine plus the hone oil..
I can lend you these hones if you pay S&H..
These leave a nice finish & are much better than useing a split shaft with wet/dry sandpaper..
Here's the Instructions that I copied & pasted from the pdf I have on my PC..
If your interested give me an email @ Headknocker940@Yahoo.Com & I'll attache the pdf instructions & get your mailing info..

Brownells Flex Hones
Many current revolver manufacturers have been shortcutting their production
processes when reaming cylinder chambers, leaving the internal
finish rougher that was acceptable in years past. The careful use of Cylinder
Flex-Hone®s can correct this situation, and can also go a long way toward
smoothing chambers roughened from light rust pitting. This will allow much
easier extraction of the fired cases - a “must” for duty-type revolvers.
HOW TO USE - CYLINDERS
Remove the cylinder from the revolver and disassemble it completely.
Clamp the cylinder (with double action revolvers, leave the extractor in
place) vertically in a padded bench vise, extractor end facing up. Chuck the
appropriate Flex-Hone into a variable-speed hand drill that can be regulated
to a speed of 750 RPM (maximum). Lubricate the abrasive balls of the
Flex-Hone and the cylinder chamber walls with Flex-Hone Oil. Note: Use
only Flex-Hone Oil - use of other oils may destroy the abrasive balls. Insert
the Flex-Hone into the chamber and start rotation at a low RPM. Slowly
increase the speed to a maximum of 750 RPM. Keep the Flex-Hone moving
up and down in the chamber, but do not allow the hone to exit the chamber
fully at either the front or rear. Try to keep the hone only in the case area
of the chamber, you do not want to alter the forward (throat) section of the
chamber’s dimensions at all. If the chamber is very rough or pitted at all,
start with the Medium grit Flex-Hone (yellow paint on the Hone tip) and
then go to the Fine (blue paint).
The Flex-Hone Oil will form a slurry with the abrasive from the balls,
cushioning the steel from excessive cutting action, and leaving a very fine
surface finish. The Flex-Hone must NOT be allowed to cut only in one area
- it must be kept moving up and down in the chamber to avoid over-cutting in
one area. The extractor must be in place in the chamber to prevent rounding
or undercutting the chamber wall at the extractor chamber interface.
When one chamber is finished with the Medium grit, go on to the next
until all chambers in the cylinder have the same surface finish. Clean the
cylinder completely with a good grade of solvent (TCE Cleaner Degreaser
works well for this) and re-oil the chambers with Flex-Hone Oil. Put the Fine
grit Flex-Hone in the drill’s chuck, and repeat the process.
When the cylinder’s chambers have been polished to as smooth a finish
as possible, completely disassemble the cylinder and clean it thoroughly.
Lubricate the parts with a good grade of gun oil and reassemble the revolver
following the manufacturer’s instructions.


BTW I notice that I couldn't find the Hones on Brownells website but did find some for shotguns listed.. Thier search engine isn't the greatest..
I have these hones in 38/357/9mm, 41mag, 44mag, 45acp, & 45 colt which would be the same as the 454, I have them all in both medium & fine grits & a huge bottle of the special hone oil..
The S&H would be $4.95 priority..
Let me know..
Gary/Hk
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellSwamp View Post
What is your favorite method for polishing a chamber?
I use a piece of wooden dowel rod with a slot sawed in the end. I pick a dowel that is at least 1/8" smaller in diameter than the chamber.

I use strips of wet & dry paper in grits 400, 600, 800, and 1,000. I tear off a strip long enough to stick through the dowel and wrap half way around the chamber on each side. Dip it in cutting oil, put it in the slot and spin it in an electric drill to polish chambers on actions still in the stock.

When I'm rechambering a barrel I spin the barrel up in the lathe at it's highest speed and run the dowel in and out of the chamber for 15 or 20 seconds per grit. That's all it takes.

I've also heard of folks using flitz on a bore mop of the right size but I've not tried that. I like the wooden dowel because there isn't anything metal that could damage the chamber, neck, or throat.

Be careful to use a dowel small enough so it can't jam in the chamber.

The wet & dry paper in those grits is usually available from an autoparts store in a package that contains one full sheet of each grit. A package like that with the 1" wide strips to use in the dowel will last a long time.

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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #10
 
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Thanks. I will give it a try.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #11
 
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Fitch... that's a good article, thanks. I may try that on my semi-auto mini 14, but all my rifles chambers are set to have the bolt close with pressure on the last inch of travel to hold the cartridge firm against the bolt face...like a squeeze fit. In the article its mentioned that the cartridge is not seated firm against the bolt face, and you will get excessive stretch...bad for brass, and the shooter behind it when it separates. All my bench rifles have a tight chamber with a tight bolt close...works well. When the bolt get hard to close I full length size and bump the shoulder back a bit. Good shooting, Gary
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Old January 29th, 2010, 06:01 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madderg View Post
Fitch... that's a good article, thanks. I may try that on my semi-auto mini 14, but all my rifles chambers are set to have the bolt close with pressure on the last inch of travel to hold the cartridge firm against the bolt face...like a squeeze fit. In the article its mentioned that the cartridge is not seated firm against the bolt face, and you will get excessive stretch...bad for brass, and the shooter behind it when it separates. All my bench rifles have a tight chamber with a tight bolt close...works well. When the bolt get hard to close I full length size and bump the shoulder back a bit. Good shooting, Gary
You're welcome.

When I chamber a rifle I make a relatively tight chamber for the reasons you mentioned. I also polish them up a lot based on the data on that web page. The combination has resulted in much better brass life.

A freind of mine has a Hawkeye borescope. Since he got it we've spent a lot of time looking in barrels and chambers. If more folks had borescopes and complained about what they saw barrel and chamber quality, with is pretty bad in general right across the board, might improve a lot. I may have to buy a camera adaptor for his borescope.

Fitch
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:40 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebmike View Post
I do need to wack the ejector pretty good with my hand to get 'em out.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:40 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLB454 View Post
When I was looking into this caliber the Freedom Arms revolver was $1600.00 and the Ruger Super Redhawk was $800.00.
I would like one of the gunsmiths on here to educate me on this particular problem in the Rugers, I hate not knowing the real facts of an issue!
I like my Rugers just fine, but I gotta say that my Freedom Arms revolver chambers are mirror-bright...and cartridges don't stick. And perhaps you need IOWEGAN to give you his ideas.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:46 AM   #15
 
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Fitch, I like it!

Fitch,
That method is great! It's not only inexpensive but keeps the spirit of "good ol' American Ingenuity" alive and well.

I have been using brass round stock and double sided tape to attach the grit paper to it.

Do you have any ideas concerning the type of stainless steel that Ruger uses in thier 454 cylinders? I attempted to see if someone here knows the answer to that question in an earlier post, but so far, no comments. I have had no luck in getting an answer from Ruger.

Thanks for the post.
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