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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start with this is my fault.

I bought a 30.06 barrel from a member here a while back. I looked through the information on barrel fitting in the FAQs to see how & what to look for while fitting the barrel. Well, I did the big no-no. I'm thinking that I took too much metal off of the shelf to the point where now I am getting a good latch (or at least what seems like a good latch, even engagement across the shelf), but the barrel is loose (wiggles up and down).

I then took masking tape, and very carefully cut and stacked pieces (about 4) onto the shelf to build it up. Now when I put the barrel on my receiver, it still locks up and the wiggle is gone.

So here are my questions

Can I build a shim onto the shelf for the latch or is that a big taboo?

Could there be some other "adjustment" I've overlooked?

Or should I just start over with a new barrel?

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks,
Buck
 

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How's the barrel to frame gap at the standing breech at the top and bottom of the barrel face? If that's <.002", yes, you'd need to build up the latch shelf, I've never needed to do that, but an appropriate thickness of good metal epoxied on with a minimal bed of epoxy should work, then work it down to appropriate engagement.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the thoughts Tim.

How's the barrel to frame gap at the standing breech at the top and bottom of the barrel face?
When the tape is on the shelf, tight. .002 feeler gauge won't pull out. Any idea of how to measure the thickness I need? I used 4 pieces of masking tape to build it up, but I really don't have a way to measure the thickness of the tape. Maybe a drop of locktite and a piece of feeler gauge on the shelf until I get the right thickness? Or maybe even a little thicker than I measure and start over with fitting? Did I mention that I am not the most mechanically inclined person?

Thanks
Buck
 

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Sounds like you have the right idea and the ambition to git er done right, I'd put a piece on there that you know is thick enough, then work it down after the epoxy cures until you have good engagement. ;) I'd be sure to clamp the shim in place so any excess epoxy is worked out of the joint, rough both surfaces up so the epoxy bonds good, so the shim is mostly metal on metal, that way you don't have to worry about the epoxy hammering out from the pressure. ;)

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good to know I'm on the right track. Thanks again.
 

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Four layers of masking tape is 0.0045"x 4= 18 thou.
I would take the barrel to a welding shop with a TIG welder and build up the shelve. Never had much luck with gluing shim stock. When you clamp it and compress the epoxy there is very little epoxy between the two surfaces and it will eventual fail and fall off.

You can also bed the barrel and lift it 20 thou and then fine tune the engagement. See my web site how to do this.
 

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First thing to check is if the latch release lever is clear at the top of it's travel when the barrel is latched up with no tape. If it is then you have taken too much off the shelf. I think shimming the latch shelf is a bad plan, there isn't much to hold the shim on except the epoxy, there is a lot of shear action going on there also. My bet is that it will fail. If I had to fix it I would machine a few thousanths off the breach end of the barrel and then shim the hinge pin back for a proper fit. If your's is like most Handi's there is more than enough headspace to give you a few thousanths off and still have the round not stick above the breach. If not then a couple of turns with a chamber reamer would fix it, or you could make a true 30-06 AI chamber out of it. Larry
 

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There ya go, send it to Larry and have him fix it for ya. ;)

Tim
 

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Instead of epoxy, would "super glue" be better for the shim stock? I think it is made for smooth surfaces; thin applications and supposedly "super strength". You would polish surfaces and find the shim stock thickness that lets it lock up tight then glue it in and let it set. Trim/file the ends of the shim stock so that it is flush with the lug sides. Just thinking out loud. ??? ??? Never fitted a barrel myself. All of mine are factory fit.
 

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New territory here, all we can do is try.

FWIW, I've used JB Weld on a bunch of barrel shims, I've yet to have one come loose, two of the thickest shims I've done are on the 500S&W and the 270 Ultracomp, two of the highest pressure rounds chambered by H&R, each has over 100 rounds thru it with no sign of failure. The latch shelf may be different, but I certainly wouldn't be afraid to try it, JB Weld has a compressive strength of 10.7kpsi, but I don't know how well it will hold up on the shelf as I've never used it there. ;)

Tim
 

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If you want, send me the barrel with a piece of your sized brass with no bullet in it. I will turn off the breach until it has about 1/2 thousanths head space to your shells, then you can try shimming the barrel back using the shims at the hinge pin. This would be a free service, no selling here. Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to all for the advice, and thank you Larry for the offer, but I think I may have fixed it on my own based upon your advice.

I had noticed that there was a little play on the barrel pivot where it meets the hinge pin on one side when the tape wasn't on the latch shelf. So I stuck a .010 feeler gauge in on that side and then the wiggle was gone. I'm thinking that the pivot is out of spec a little (maybe a little wider on one side than the other). However when I did this there was a little bit of a gap below the top of where the barrel meets the standing breech (the top was tight). So I removed a little metal from the breech side of the barrel at the top, until it was an even gap from top to bottom. Then I created a shim out of a .016 feeler gauge. I followed exactly what the FAQs said about making the shim and adhering it to the pivot point on barrel. After the JB Weld cured, I worked the pivot with a 11/32 inch drill bit wrapped with 320 grain sandpaper, taking more metal off the narrower side of the pivot before the shim. I did this until it got close. I then finished the shim with 800 grit wet sandpaper until I got it to where it seems right. Now it appears that the barrel fits better and the wiggle is gone.

Maybe just a case of inexperience on my part.

Buck
 

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Sounds like you did good, how's the latch engagement?

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's not engaging the whole way across. However, there is quite a large area in the middle that is engaged. Very deep set onto the shelf towards the chamber area. Seems like the edges of the shelf are a bit rounded. Not sure if that was my doing or not. This barrel was at least third handed (I bought from a member that bought it from another member, so it was fitted at least twice previously). I tried to take even metal off when I was working with the shelf. I guess I'll know for sure once I take it to the range.

Buck
 

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That's better than if it was only touching on one side, but I think you're right, it's been altered with non enough attention paid to keeping it flat. But a bigger problem is the depth of engagement, sounds like you're almost out of latch travel, when that happens, the barrel will likely be loose again. :-\

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thought I'd give an update.

Well, took the rifle to my uncle's place today to test it. I fired the first six shots with no problems, then I started to get misfires. Thought maybe I wasn't holding the trigger to the rear long enough, but not the case. I took the rifle apart and found out my shim came off, so I'm guessing either I didn't clean the metal surfaces enough or my JB Weld didn't hold being I put it on in my work shop which isn't heated. Next time after the shim and clamp are set, I'll bring the barrel into the house to cure. So, to make a long story short, I will be starting over as soon as I find time.

P.S. the good news was the latch held and the rifle didn't pop open. ;D
 

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With that much latch engagement, there's no way it can pop open!! :D

Don't feel bad about the JB Weld not holding, others have had the same problem. I rough the shim up with 80gr sandpaper, then degrease with everything alcohol. I smear the JB on both parts, kinda rubbing it all over with a popsicle stick so there's at least some JB on the entire bonding surface in every scratch and pore. Clamp it together, then put the barrel over the floor furnace for a bit to heat it up good and then leave in the heated part of the house overnight to cure. I've NEVER had it fail on me, although I have had the JB Stik come loose, dunno if I don't use enough water on my fingers when I kneed it or what, but it has yet to work very well, so I just use what works best for me. ;)

Tim
 
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