Author Topic: H&R/NEF Barrels  (Read 3242 times)

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Offline David I.

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H&R/NEF Barrels
« on: December 20, 2009, 09:00:20 am »
Can anyone tell me if the factory is stress relieving the barrels made today? Back in 2007 they were not......not a good idea if barrels are button rifled. If barrels are button rifled they should be stress relieved to avoid accuracy problems or more specifically "stringing of point of impact" as barrel warms up. I realize these guns aren't terribly expensive but the price does seem to be going up quite a bit. I could ask factory but I'm hoping someone already knows. Any comments, experience and knowledge in this area is welcome and would be appreciated.
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H&R/NEF Barrels
« on: December 20, 2009, 09:00:20 am »
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 09:10:58 am »
Not that I'm aware of, but I can find out, barrels are made by Marlin. Later next year H&R will be making their own barrels, but for the cost I doubt they'll be doing anything special to them. I don't think it's necessary either, I have almost 40 H&R rifles, none shoot poorly, all provide very acceptable accuracy with factory ammo, many with outstanding accuracy with handloads. Most here have no complaints, adding additional treatments will only raise the price which would be counter productive to the purpose of the price line.

Tim
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 09:29:31 am »
Got an answer, none of H&R's barrel are stress relieved.

Tim
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Offline David I.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 11:53:39 am »
Thanks for the info Tim, I will take your experience with 40 H&R/NEF rifles into consideration. I do understand about price structuring and keeping costs down and the lower price bracket these guns are in......as long as they shoot well. They have been able to keep price down by various means: fit and finish is lesser quality, a fact I don't mind; materials are actually pretty good; and probably other manufacturing methods and equip.,etc. I don't know if they surface harden the trigger and sear or not, but when I work on triggers and remove anything more than .0015-.002" I always re-surface harden with Kasenit or Brownells equivilent.....a very simple and mandatory procedure to ensure a safe gun that the trigger pull will not decrease appreciably. I do have some proffesional gunsmith training and all good gunsmith publications will also make statements regarding surface hardening trigger mecanism parts after removing said amount or more of material. If careful a very slight polish can be done to trigger parts ( keeping sharp edges) without needing to surface harden if you don't remove more than said amount.....which can be difficult so I always surface harden afterwards because I want my trigger to "stay". As far as the barrels go, I guess I expected them to be stess relieved....the Buffalo Classic is approx. $410.00 not $250.00 but it does have some checkering, better sights and longer barrel. As long as they shoot well and don't "string the shots", then OK I guess it's not needed. I don't expect a tack driver, I know you usually get what you pay for or less! I can do some inexpensive improvements to mine (if I buy one), but I'm not trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear as they say. I'm sure these guns will be fine for my purposes......as long as the barrel doesn't cause shot stringing from lack of stress relieving after being button rifled.
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2009, 12:19:56 pm »
H&R does free trigger jobs to about 3Żlbs, sometimes lighter, that's a safe weight without rehardening which certainly wouldn't hurt, I've had one down to 32oz that decreased to 21oz over time, others have gone too light and had the same thing happen. Fred on the other hand, has had no problems with either of his, I don't remember if he rehardened them or not, I don't think so tho. The bigger problem with too light of trigger is the transfer bar which will cause misfire if the trigger isn't pulled all the way to the rear, but an easy fix for that is to remove it and add an old style hammer with a half cock position, I've done two that way. Vertical stringing is usually caused by a poor fitting forend, bedding or floating usually cures that once the fit is improved, all this is in the FAQs tho.  ;)

Tim
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Offline David I.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2009, 01:17:00 pm »
Thanks Tim. I personaly don't like a trigger less than 3 lbs. if the gun will ever be used for hunting....target use only is a whole other ball game. I always err on the side of caution, better safe than sorry I always say. Due to my training and experience I strongly recommend surface hardening triggers and sears after working on them, any reputable gunsmith would agree.....if you don't want trigger pull to lessen in time and for a safe, permanent trigger job. It's very easy to do and I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to do it or have it done. I agree vertical shot stringing can be caused by bad fitting forend,etc., but it can also be caused by the lack of stress relieving a button rifled barrel along with other accuracy issues. We seem to agree on most things, but due to reasons sometimes unknown we may have to agree to disagree on some things.....I do respect your opinion. For the most part I try to operate on documented facts, experience, training, my technical background and logic mixed in. I can see that you do also, but we may sometimes have different sources of info and/or experiences. As they say, such is life, and we can all live and learn at times. Anyway, I will probably purchase an H&R CR1871 Buffalo Classic 45-70 in the near future before the price goes up again. I will probably perform a trigger job on it ( apprx. 3-3.5 lbs.), probably float or bed forend,make sure stock is tight and add lace on recoil pad, and eventually add a nice tang site. I will have to trust your experience with these guns that the barrels don't need to be stress relieved in order to be fairly accurate ( approx. 1-2" groups @100yds.). I appreciate your input Tim, any other comments or info is gladly welcome.
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2009, 02:13:30 pm »
Hey Tim, I ran across something very interesting. Being fairly new to PC's I don't know how to cut and paste yet....but I will soon! So......google " gun barrel stress relieving". Of particular interest is the site for badgercryogenics, very informative regarding treating gun barrels and the owners credentials look impresive if that means anything. I have a strong feeling the process is not cheap....but interesting none the less. I definitely think it would be way too expensive for me, plus even if I had the money it would defeat the purpose of buying a less expensive gun like the H&R/NEF. I know cryogenics is the latest greatest thing for treating many things....I have a knife that was cryogenically treated...just that much better and was only slightly more for the blank! You are probably aware that this process is available for gun barrels, but I thought anyone else reading this might benefit in case they didn't know about it. I would think it might be a nice accuracy upgrade for people with more expensive guns and might want/have the bucks to spend on it.
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2009, 02:37:49 pm »
Cryo treatments have been discussed before, personally I'd never have it done, don't think it's worth it and Lilja isn't sure either, but they do offer it for $45 on their barrels. These are hunting rifles afterall.  ;)

Tim

http://www.riflebarrels.com/faq_lilja_rifle_barrels.htm#deepcryogenic
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Offline Tallwalker

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 05:33:13 pm »
I worked for a gun company that did some experimenting with stress relieving, and cryogenics. They didn't find any results that made it worthwhile to pursue in a production gun anyway. One thing to remember though is that button rifled barrels induce stress from the inside out, so when the barrels are turned they can sometimes be just a hair larger at the muzzle. (more material is usually taken off there) Hammer forged barrels, on the other hand induce stress from the outside in so they tend to shrink in bore diameter when they are turned. I remamber working on a .22LR prototype rifle. We started with a straight target blank, but the balance of the gun was not what we were looking for, and it was a bit heavy. So, we took the barrel off, and turned a taper on it. We were a bit surprised at first when the gun shot better than it had with the bull barrel, so we air gauged the barrel, and found that turning it had created a slight (few "tenths") choke in the barrel. The hammer forging machines can be controlled very closely for this on production barrels, and are hammered to be slightly larger at the muzzle before turning. It is amazing how close they can come to "0"-"0" end to end doing it that way.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 05:39:04 pm »
Unfortunately H&R barrels are a little more open at the muzzle end, or at least every one I've slugged has been, by about 0005". They can still shoot good tho. H&R's new barrel production will still be button rifled tho, they won't get the hammer forged barrels that Remington is starting.  :-\

Tim
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 06:10:57 pm »
David, since you have some smithing under your belt, is to but an clunker barrel to use as a stub and barrel the gun with a premium barrel.

It's fairly cheap if you nag the barrel companies and get a cosmetic reject, and simple to do if you have access to a lathe. It can be done without a lathe but takes some ingenuity.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 05:39:39 am »
Unfortunately H&R barrels are a little more open at the muzzle end, or at least every one I've slugged has been, by about 0005". They can still shoot good tho. H&R's new barrel production will still be button rifled tho, they won't get the hammer forged barrels that Remington is starting.  :-\

Tim

Tim, it would be interesting to learn how Douglas dealt with the larger muzzle diameter issue since their barrels were button rifled. Perhaps that is where the stress relieving came in? I've worked with a number of Douglas barrels, and they were unifomly good. Early Ruger bolt action, and No.1 barrels were all Douglas, and the left over ones were prized when Ruger switched to another supplier. Maybe we have to get used to the look of reversed taper barrels! :D

Offline 44 Man

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 06:39:52 am »
From the information I have received, the only time 'stress-reliving' is an issue is if you are re-boring a barrel to a larger caliber.  The re-boring people will not guarntee that the barrel won't warp when rebored if it is not a 'stress relieved' barrel, or one with cut rifling.  44 Man
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Offline Tallwalker

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 11:22:31 am »
From the information I have received, the only time 'stress-reliving' is an issue is if you are re-boring a barrel to a larger caliber.  The re-boring people will not guarntee that the barrel won't warp when rebored if it is not a 'stress relieved' barrel, or one with cut rifling.  44 Man

It also is risky to turn the steps off old military barrels for the same reasons.

Offline David I.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 11:38:34 am »
From the info I've gathered,barrels that are button rifled and NOT stress relieved CAN have shot stringing or accuracy problems as they warm up. Obviously H&R/NEF guns don't seem to have this problem often if at all from what I hear. Unfortunately, cryogenics applied to gun barrels seems to be a controversial subject! Even so, I would like to politely say there are others,including custom barrel manf's. that say positive things about it and they have nothing to gain by doing so. I will try to install links below as examples. I personally believe there is something to be gained by having a barrel treated this way that has NOT had any prior stress relieving done after button rifling. Since my budget is small,I will probably have this done to my future H&R barrel for approx. $50 bucks. Even though it's not necessary I believe it will be an inexpensive upgrade that can only help not hinder,besides putting my mind at ease. People often spend much,much more on accessories for their hunting rifles no matter what brand gun. If anyone out there has had their H&R/NEF treated this way I'd enjoy hearing from you.                                                                                      www.brownprecision.com/custom-rifle-options.htm      www.rifleshootermag.com/gunsmithing/RSgunsmith1    P.S.    Opinions are like "you know whats",everybody has one! I try as best I can to base my opinion on facts gathered from research, but sometimes facts can be flawed by bad testing procedures and many other factors that can be in error. This simple fact should always be taken into account, thus making it just that more important to gather info from as many sources as possible.            
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 12:07:13 pm »
Here's Shilen's position from their FAQs on cryo treatment, H&R centerfire rifle barrels are 4140 alloy, stainless are 400
series with magnetic qualities.

Tim

http://www.shilen.com/faq.html#question1

Should I "cryo" my barrel?
If you have heard that the cryogenic treatment stress relieves steel, this is false. We have measured the residual stress in 4140 and 416 steel with a process called x-ray diffraction.  After much R&D, we have not been able to measure any changes in molecular stress after cryo treatment.  For this reason we do not endorse the cryogenic process, but we can safely say that it is not detrimental to the barrel either.
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Offline peternap

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 12:40:18 pm »
Here's Shilen's position from their FAQs on cryo treatment, H&R centerfire rifle barrels are 4140 alloy, stainless are 400
series with magnetic qualities.

Tim

http://www.shilen.com/faq.html#question1

Should I "cryo" my barrel?
If you have heard that the cryogenic treatment stress relieves steel, this is false. We have measured the residual stress in 4140 and 416 steel with a process called x-ray diffraction.  After much R&D, we have not been able to measure any changes in molecular stress after cryo treatment.  For this reason we do not endorse the cryogenic process, but we can safely say that it is not detrimental to the barrel either.


I wasn't going to get into his Tim, since I'm not a barrel maker but I am a knife maker.
Cryo does benefit some steel, not all but some of the exotics. It refines he grain structure. It does nothing to relieve stress though. The easiest way to do hat is to heat the barrel to critical temperature after the machining or forging, and allow it o cool. In other words , anneal it. Then re harden and temper.

That works. It's also the reason many barrel makers would prefer to not do it. It makes barrels like the Handi's cost prohibitive.

Makers that advertise cryo treatment are just hyping their stuff. While the refined grain in the steel will give a better finish inside and out, it won't change stringing one bit.

My personal opinion is that stress relief really has little effect on stringing even on the best of setups and on a utility rifle like a Handi where there are dozens of areas that can cause stringing,  it's a waste of time and money.

The steel part is fact, everything else is my opinion and I never like to discourage someone from trying it to see if it works.

I have a friend and a nationally known knife maker that makes some knives priced at five grand and up, who advertises that he buries his knives in a snow drift for 48 hours after forging. "That gives them the extra edge holding ability" ;D

(One day I'll tell about the deep fat fried sheath) :o

That claim, and he knows it, fits right in with another friend who claims his best knives are made during a thunder storm and he only strikes the forging when there's a lightning bolt in the air. ;D ;D ;D

That's what separates them from Buck ;)

Offline Fred M

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 01:26:05 pm »
It has beem said that cryo enhances machineabilty.
Reboring and then cut rifleling will not induce any further stress.

New barrels bored and button rifled will induce stress and should be stress relieved.

When a non stress relieved barrel is contoured, the barrel will loose stress. The more metal you remove the larger the bore gets. H&R tried to bore and button rifle after the barrel is contoured. This did not work because they could not drill a straight hole in a finished blank.

So what has been done to get as much accuracy out of a non stress relieved barrel the contours of most models were bigger than needed, and to cut some weight made shorter.

It works not too bad. If you want to rework and rebore and lighten the barrel, the barrel should be done first then rebored and cut rifled. When done so you get a straight bore dimensional
the same from end to end with assured accuracy.

It has been said H&R will hammer forge their new barrels. This will make better barrels. Any outside work on a hammered barrel will inverse the condition and will reduce the bore diameter.
Fred M.
From Alberta Canada.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 02:59:22 pm »
Thanks guys for all the added info, it will all be taken into consideration. Like I said, the more sources of info the better so I can weigh them all in. I will have to do my best to discern fact from opinion from all my sources.....shouldn't be too hard, although sometimes "facts" can be flawed at times for various reasons depending on the source and a multitude of other variables. We all do our best to discern fact from fiction from opinion and make decisions based partly on info from what we feel is the best source(s). As I'm sure you all know many other things come into play when making decisions: money, emotions, personal preferance, experience, other outside influences, logic, intelligence and on and on. Some decisions are easy to make some are not. The decision I have to make is NOT a big decision by any means, and even if I possibly waste $50 bucks it's not the end of the world! Ofcourse I want to make the right decision and be correctly learned on the subject and I will do my best to achieve that. I do have one last question on this subject for Fred M: Do you know when H&R will be making hammer forged barrels?, and do you think it will raise the price much?
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 03:09:27 pm »
It has been said H&R will hammer forge their new barrels.

H&R will be making their own barrels starting later in 2010, but they won't be hammer forged.

Tim

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php/topic,190247.msg1098952062.html#msg1098952062

Link corrected
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Offline Tallwalker

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2009, 04:45:18 pm »
To clarify (possibly) what I said before, cryogenics is most beneficial to refine, and complete the heat treat process in steel. The crystaline structure of steel changes from austinite to martinsite (sp on both may be  wrong) when the steel passes through it's "critical" temperature range in the cooling step of the heat treat process. Somewhere around 85-90% of the austinite is transformed. When the steel is taken to very cold temperatures ( like -100 degrees) that transformation is nearly completed say 98%. This makes the heat treated steel so treated more stable, and the heat treat more uniform,  but does nothing for steel in it's annealed state as a 4140 barrel steel would be. The two most common stress relieving processes that I'm familiar with are vibratory, and heat with heat being the most thorough. I've seen one place that advertises stress relieving your firearm without disassembly......... that must be cute. :D

Now to the knifemaker that buries his knives in a snowdrift...... he has the right idea, and it will help more than hurt his knife blades, but to do a good job of it he should alternate the cold with warmth for a few days, or weeks. That will speed up the transformation of the crystaline structure to the martinsite. When I was making tools for my own use, or ones that I had time to spare on, I would hang the heat treated steel out a window for a few months. When I worked at a place that had a freezer capable of going over -100 degrees, we used that. By the way, that freezer was used to stabilize heat treated bearing races that were gointo be used in space.

Offline dwalk

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2009, 09:30:22 pm »
i seem to have gotten a good one right from the factory...it will shoot a four leaf clover at 100 yds with factory ammo...
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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2009, 09:53:08 pm »
Quote
Tim, it would be interesting to learn how Douglas dealt with the larger muzzle diameter issue since their barrels were button rifled.

They just cut the end off.


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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2009, 04:55:36 am »
To clarify (possibly) what I said before, cryogenics is most beneficial to refine, and complete the heat treat process in steel. The crystaline structure of steel changes from austinite to martinsite (sp on both may be  wrong) when the steel passes through it's "critical" temperature range in the cooling step of the heat treat process. Somewhere around 85-90% of the austinite is transformed. When the steel is taken to very cold temperatures ( like -100 degrees) that transformation is nearly completed say 98%. This makes the heat treated steel so treated more stable, and the heat treat more uniform,  but does nothing for steel in it's annealed state as a 4140 barrel steel would be. The two most common stress relieving processes that I'm familiar with are vibratory, and heat with heat being the most thorough. I've seen one place that advertises stress relieving your firearm without disassembly......... that must be cute. :D

Now to the knifemaker that buries his knives in a snowdrift...... he has the right idea, and it will help more than hurt his knife blades, but to do a good job of it he should alternate the cold with warmth for a few days, or weeks. That will speed up the transformation of the crystaline structure to the martinsite. When I was making tools for my own use, or ones that I had time to spare on, I would hang the heat treated steel out a window for a few months. When I worked at a place that had a freezer capable of going over -100 degrees, we used that. By the way, that freezer was used to stabilize heat treated bearing races that were gointo be used in space.

Good explanation Tallwalker.
The Cryo treatment helps most with the more advanced steel. Generally, the more complex the heat treat, the more cryo helps. The steels that require long soak times seem to especially benefit from it.
The faster air quench steel like D2 also benefits from it.

My favorite and the one Bruce uses the most is a simple carbon steel, 5160. I've called it the king of steel, because it's so forgiving.

Many cartridge barrel makers still use it for the same reason. Some have switched to a 10xx series but it's close in the HT department. Cryo helps a tad with 10xxx which is why most car makers have switched to it for springs...but the same Cryo treatment does nothing to further refine the grain in 5160 (Which I suspect the Handi Barrels are made from).

We've tried numerous things on 5160, true Cryo (Not in a snowdrift ;D). I spent months carting liquid Nitrogen around, sent them out for treatment to a lab....I've used multiple quenches, cure times ranging from hours to weeks between temper cycles, etc.

There is very little change in the structure over the tried and true, harden and temper method. The stuff is bombproof as are many carbon steels. That's why it's so popular for everything between knives to farm implements.

The snow drift started as an experiment and then became a selling tool. It does not produce a better knife though.

The carbon steels should be relieved after either forging or grinding, but that's better done by one or more annealing cycles. Nothing worse than having them curl up in the tempering oven. I may relieve one ten times or so before heat treating.

I use carbon steel for gun springs in the locks I build and I've tried cryo on them. There's still no noticeable improvement over harden and temper.

The barrel makers I know, use somewhat softer steel and switch around some. Mark DeHaas doesn't stress relieve his barrels at all and and I have never had one of his string shots. I have seen some barrel makers "Adjust the barrel" in a tree fork ;D, but the only stress that relieves is making the barrel shoot straight and makes the maker feel better.

As far as I can tell, Cryo is suitable mostly for industrial uses like tool making and then only with more exotic steel formulations.

Offline David I.

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2009, 06:43:11 am »
Thanks to all again. Who knows, maybe I'll get a really good shooter from the factory....time will tell.
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Offline Tallwalker

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2009, 07:06:22 am »
I've used S-7 for many gun parts, but not springs, of course. One thing that does make a difference in the heat treat process is how fast the temperature of the steel drops through it's "critical range". If you are using a piece of A-2, or D-2 for a blade, or as an experiment, try oil quenching it. You will get a higher rockwell, and a blade that holds an edge longer, but it might be more brittle........ I've done carving tools that way, and have been happy with them.

Offline peternap

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2009, 07:49:18 am »
I've used S-7 for many gun parts, but not springs, of course. One thing that does make a difference in the heat treat process is how fast the temperature of the steel drops through it's "critical range". If you are using a piece of A-2, or D-2 for a blade, or as an experiment, try oil quenching it. You will get a higher rockwell, and a blade that holds an edge longer, but it might be more brittle........ I've done carving tools that way, and have been happy with them.

I've never used S-7 but have made a lot of stock carving tools out of D-2 planer blades. Makes a great tool but is a nightmare for me to work. It doesn't want to move under the hammer and air hardens immediately to the point it's darn near impossible for me to grind.
Holds an edge forever when you do finally get it to shape though.

The quench I use on D-2 is pretty unscientific. I bring it to critical and stick it in a can of Crisco...still hard. It seems to give just the right quench. It's hard to tell though since the stuff is hard as a diamond without doing anything ;D

Offline rex6666

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Re: H&R/NEF Barrels
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2009, 08:49:50 am »
From the info I've gathered,barrels that are button rifled and NOT stress relieved CAN have shot stringing or accuracy problems as they warm up. Obviously H&R/NEF guns don't seem to have this problem often if at all from what I hear. Unfortunately, cryogenics applied to gun barrels seems to be a controversial subject! Even so, I would like to politely say there are others,including custom barrel manf's. that say positive things about it and they have nothing to gain by doing so. I will try to install links below as examples. I personally believe there is something to be gained by having a barrel treated this way that has NOT had any prior stress relieving done after button rifling. Since my budget is small,I will probably have this done to my future H&R barrel for approx. $50 bucks. Even though it's not necessary I believe it will be an inexpensive upgrade that can only help not hinder,besides putting my mind at ease. People often spend much,much more on accessories for their hunting rifles no matter what brand gun. If anyone out there has had their H&R/NEF treated this way I'd enjoy hearing from you.                                                                                      www.brownprecision.com/custom-rifle-options.htm      www.rifleshootermag.com/gunsmithing/RSgunsmith1    P.S.    Opinions are like "you know whats",everybody has one! I try as best I can to base my opinion on facts gathered from research, but sometimes facts can be flawed by bad testing procedures and many other factors that can be in error. This simple fact should always be taken into account, thus making it just that more important to gather info from as many sources as possible.            


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