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December 13th, 2022

Cold Hammer Forging of Barrels — How The Process Works

bear creek arsensal cold hammer forged barrel rifling forging production

Gun-maker Bear Creek Arsenal has a good article on its website about rifling barrels. The article explains four common methods of rifling the interior of barrels: Cut Rifling, Broach Rifling, Button Rifling, and Hammer Forging. In addition, the article describes a new (and somewhat radical) method, Cation Rifling, which employs acid to etch rifling. READ Full Article.

The main focus of the article is on Cold Hammer Forging of barrels. This requires massive, expensive tooling, but the results can be very consistent. Many top gun-makers, such as FN, HK, and Ruger, have used the hammer forging process. And now Bear Creek Arsenal also offers hammer-forged barrels. Bear Creek recently acquired two state-of-the-art cold hammer forging machines. With hammer forging, a chamber can be formed and barrel contour shaped at the same time. This process produces some of the most consistent barrels available today. Here is a summary of how Cold Hammer Forging works:

Cold Hammer Forging — Machinery and Process

A cold hammer-forged barrel starts life… as a short and fat blank with a polished hole running through the center. A hardened mandrel of proper width (caliber) and rifling pattern — again reversed/inverted — is placed into the smooth bore. The pair go into a forging machine that compresses the steel against the mandrel, hammering it into final shape. The barely detectable external spiral patterns that remain on some barrels are imprints from those hammers at work. Some companies polish them out, however.

Cold hammer forging machinery is very expensive, representing a significant investment for companies. However, when the hammer forging process is done and the mandrel removed, the resulting barrel is the proper length and profile with rifling that is consistent and butter smooth. No lapping is required — a time and expense saver — although a stress-relief step often follows.

bear creek arsensal cold hammer forged barrel rifling forging production

The process takes place at room temperature, despite the misleading “cold” terminology. There is a hot hammer forging process, but the equipment is even more expensive and the slight improvement in grain consistency hasn’t proven advantageous enough for a return on that investment. Performance is impressive and consistent.

One of the biggest advantages of a cold hammer forged barrel is longevity. They… survive abuse and last longer. The manufacturing process adds those enviable virtues with each strike of those hammers — strengthening the metal in a work-hardening process employed by blacksmiths for centuries.

Comparing Popular Rifling Methods
What rifling process should you choose? If long-distance is your passion and you home brew custom cartridges to print tiny groups in the next zip code, cut rifling is the optimum choice. Button rifling is a solid second choice, but not always the Holy Grail long-distance shooters dream about. Cold hammer forged barrels, however, last longer and [offer great performance for the price.]

bear creek arsensal cold hammer forged barrel rifling forging production

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December 13th, 2022

Gun Sales High in November — Buyers Concerned over New Laws

gun sales weingarten november 2022

Report by Dean Weingarten
November of 2022 had the second-highest number of National Instant background Check System checks for November. Only November of 2020 had a higher number. The number of gun sales for November was the fourth highest on record, with about 1.49 million gun sales. Last year, 2021, edged out this year with 1.51 million sales, while 2020 had 1.92 million sales and 2016 had 1.62 million sales, as estimated using the FBI figures for gun sales from the NICS system. NOTE: In the chart, lines are for 2021 while bars are for 2022.

In NICS, there are categories for long guns, handguns, other guns, and multiple gun sales. The estimate of sales for the month is arrived at by adding the long gun, handgun, and other sales with 2.5 x the multiple sales figures. The estimate is consistent, and does not include NICS checks for permits or permit re-checks, which have come to dominate NICS in recent years. Of about 2.75 million checks total for November of 2022, Illinois permit checks and Kentucky permit rechecks to total .717 million, over 25% of the total checks done! The permit checks and rechecks are not charged for by the federal government. The permit and permit rechecks are what are fueling the increases in overall NICS checks. Thus, the raw NICS numbers are not a reliable indicator of firearm sales.

The November sales figures bring the NICS gun sales to about 15.51 million so far in 2022. December is usually a good month for gun sales. This correspondent predicts 1.8 million firearms will be sold through the NICS system in December. If that happens, the total for 2022 will be 17.3 million firearms.

gun sales weingarten november 2022

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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