February 6th, 2016

Barrel-Making: How Ruger Crafts Hammer-Forged Barrels

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
This image shows a barrel in the process of hammer forging. Watch this operation starting at 1:15 in the video linked below.

You have probably heard the term “hammer-forged barrel”. But do you know how the cold hammer-forging process works? In this interesting video from Ruger, you can see the full barrel making process, including cold hammer-forging on a massive machine. Watch long rods of steel barrel material get cut to length, then drilled. After that Ruger uses CNC machines to contour the barrels before hammer forging.

Anyone with an interest in barrel-making should watch this video:

As the barrel is cold hammer-forged, a giant machine literally pounds the barrel from all sides around an internal carbide mandrel, which forms the rifling inside the bore. The actual hammer-forging is illustrated starting at 1:15 in this video. Through the process of cold-working the barrel around the mandrel, the barrel ends up with a longer length, a smaller outside diameter, and a higher hardness.

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
Before hammer forging, the barrels are deep-hole drilled, four at a time, with a bit that is slightly larger diameter than the caliber planned for the barrel.

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
Following the drilling, the barrel rod is placed in CNC machines to be turned down to the correct outside shape and size and both ends are trimmed.

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