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November 10th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: From Russia with Love — Amazing Mosin Nagant


One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
August 21st, 2018

Barrel Break-In — Essential Procedure or Total Waste of Time?

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 24th, 2014

Russian Revolution — A Thoroughly Upgraded Mosin Nagant

One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Yesterday, one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles appeared. This was a “senior citizen” — a 72-year-old Russian Mosin-Nagant bolt gun. But this is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

CLICK TO See Full-Screen Photo:

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Moisin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 5 Comments »
October 2nd, 2013

Lothar Walther Bi-Metal Barrels Are Lighter, and Shed Heat Better

Less weight plus better heat dissipation — Sound good? Here is an innovative barrel technology that promises worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

The barrels come pre-chambered in your choice of caliber/cartridge, from .22LR up to .338 Lapua Magnum. Walther chambers the barrel — but a gunsmith is still required to finish the shoulder so that the headspace is set correctly for your action. These barrels are not inexpensive. A typical bi-metal Walther Barrel runs $850.00 – $875.00, for barrel lengths from 22″ to 30″. Threading for a muzzle brake or suppressor (if desired) is normally included in that price.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert believes. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »
May 13th, 2012

Lothar Walther UltraLight Barrels — Less Heat, Half the Weight

We’re excited when major barrel-makers offer new technologies that promise worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s new Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert said. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter (except Savage) and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 15 Comments »
April 13th, 2012

Lothar Walther Offers Finished Garand and AR15 Barrels

Lothar walther logoLothar Walther has some new “pre-fit” barrel offerings that should interest Garand and AR shooters. Garand Match competitors and vintage military rifle shooters will be pleased that LW is now offering “finished” Garand barrels, pre-chambered in your choice of six (6) different chamberings: .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win,.30-06, 8x57IS and 9.3×62. These are all four-groove barrels with 24″ length. Twist rates along with land/groove diameters are listed on the Lothar Walther website. NOTE: Though these barrels come pre-chambered, you’ll still need a competent gunsmith for final fitting and headspacing.

Finished M1 Garand Barrel
Garand Finished Barrels

AR15 Barrels — Multiple Contour Options
For AR15 shooters, Lothar Walther now offers a wide variety of pre-chambered AR15 barrels, set up for either .222 Rem and .223 Rem. With the .223 Rem barrels you have a choice of either standard .223 Rem OR .223 Wylde chambers. You can select either stainless steel or what LW calls “special rifle steel”. For most of these contours, other calibers/chamberings (.204 Ruger, .17 Rem., .30/.221 Fireball, 6.5 CSS, 6.8 SPC) are available on request. Extra charges may apply. Gunsmith required for attachment of barrel extension, drilling of gas port, and attachment of gas block, and (optional) front sight.

Contour 6000:16
Contour 6100:20
Contour 6100:24
Contour 6200:24
Contour 6200:26
Contour 6300-1675-MU

North American customers can order these “finished” Garand and AR15 barrels by contacting:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools
3425 Hutchinson Rd.
Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
June 2nd, 2011

Lothar Walther’s Woodall Explains Barrel-Making Methods

Lothar Walther barrelsAt the IWA Trade Show in Germany earlier this year, a correspondent for The Firearm Blog interviewed Woody Woodall, who runs Lothar Walther’s USA operation. While many shooters assume that Walther hammer-forges most of its barrels like some other European barrel-makers, in fact Lothar Walther USA uses the button rifling technique for most of its US-made barrels.

In the video below, created for The Firearm Blog, Woodall explains that button rifling involves some extra steps to ensure a good result: “The extra work that goes into it is that you’ve got to make rifling, stress relieve it, and have it come out the right size. And it takes a lot of skill to do that. Lothar Walther invented button rifling in 1925, if a better way of making rifling came out, we’d be glad to go to it.”

Woodall explains that hammer forging is a good method for mass production, but it is costly to set up: “Hammer forging is relatively new, it came out in 1934, but did not come into prominence until the 1950s…. But the cost of [hammer forging] in the world today is getting above what the market will bear for barrels. [Hammer forging] is more complicated. As the hammers hit the barrel the barrel gets longer, but the hammers have to hit uniformly so the barrel [stays] straight. There’s a higher failure rate in that. There’s also some surface delamination that can occur, and some other issues. So if you’re hammer forging, you really have to pay attention to the details. So, it’s like button rifling, only ten times more complicated. It’s for super-high-volume production… The large companies tend to use the hammer forging, intermediate size companies tend to use the buttoning, and craft companies tend to use the cut rifling. All three [methods] can make an equally accurate barrel.”

Credit The Firearm Blog for this informative interview.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 4 Comments »