Choke Tube Threading

Discussion in 'The Workbench: Builds And Modifications' started by MikeD, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    A slight diversion from my AR build to work on a small project.

    After much internal debate I finally purchased the tools to thread barrels for choke tubes. I have several I want to do and the cost of tools is on par with the cost to get them all done so I opted to buy tools. :-D

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    The thread tap is on top and the reamer in on the bottom. The brass parts to the right are bushings. You need to use the largest bushing you can that still fits easily into the barrel, this is what keeps the tools in a straight line.

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    My high tech driver for the reamer. The tools have a 1/2" square shank so I had to engineer a tool to make it fit into my drill.

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    I found that a 3/8" socket extension worked really well and that a 1/2" adapter fit the reamer perfectly.

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    Reaming the barrel and almost done. It cuts in steps. the first step is where the threads are cut and the 2nd is the diameter of the choke tube. Cutting gets harder once you hit the second step as you are cutting two steps into the barrel.

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    You can see here the steps on the reamer and how the bushing attaches to the end.

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    Reaming complete and the steps are cut into the barrel. This actually took a LOT longer than I thought it would. I went as slow as I could without creating too much heat in the barrel. I probably could have gone faster but then I would have had to take periodic breaks to let stuff cool down so I suppose it's probably a wash, better slow and safe IMHO.

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    Tap for the threads ready to go. Note this is the same bushing I used on the reamer in the first stage.

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    I do not have a tap handle that fits this tool so I improvised.

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    Threads cut. I ran the tap twice. Once for the initial cut, cleaned it off and ran it down again just to make sure I had clean threads.

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    Turkey choke tube.

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    Tube fits perfectly.

    It's Miller Time!!!

    Overall thoughts: The process takes a lot of time. I probably had 4 hours into the entire project. I also stopped and cleaned the reamer every few minutes. For some reason as I cut deeper and deeper, some small bumps developed along the cutting edge. I was probably not applying even pressure throughout the cutting process. As a final step at the end I oiled everything up good, set the drill on high and let it rip with very light pressure but increasing until the bumps were milled away. I ended up with very smooth lines on the steps.

    Conclusion: I am extremely happy with the results.
  2. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Sponsor Forum Moderator

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    That's awesome!!!
  3. old mossy

    old mossy Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    Outstanding Mike! Great job.
  4. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    This was a smooth bore barrel with cantilever scope mount I picked up a while back. It has a really cool brownish color to it like many old shotguns. I plan on using it for turkey hunting.

    Well, I say that but I have so darn many turkey barrels and guns set up , I never know which will make it in the rotation each year. LOL
    Patch700 likes this.
  5. Patch700

    Patch700 .22LR

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    Nice job Mike! I think i would have went the same route you did if I had more barrels to do than just one.

    I haven't had time to shoot my 20" that I had threaded , I am thinking it will be nice to run certain buckshot through the IMP/CYL choke.

    And I agree that if a person had more than 2 barrels to do that you would pay for the tooling. Keep us posted on how it patterns after having her choked!
  6. Bobster

    Bobster .308 Supporter

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    1,266
    Looks Good! :) Could you have hand-reamed it? I'd hate to dull a reamer by overheating it... :eek:

    How much were the tools, btw? I like your drive adapter--maybe grind three flats for the chuck jaws to bite into. I have a special tool I'd use instead of the vise-grips... ;)

    lb2.jpg lb1.jpg
    ripjack13 and John A. like this.
  7. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    @Bobster The tools ran me close to $300 ( I did use a coupon at Brownells that took $30 off of my order). That was for the tap, reamer and bushings. I was not sure which one I needed and I am glad I bought a few because my measurements did not exactly correspond to the bushing I ended up using.

    I think a hand drill would be the preferred method. I no longer have any of the old auger style hand drills and to buy one new they cost 3 times more than what I paid for my Ryobi Drill. I need to see if my dad if he still has any of my grandfathers old drills. One of the videos I found actually demonstrates the process using hand tools. There is a resale shop near my house I may check there as I know they also have a selection of old tools. I might be able to find a bargain. The old stuff lasts a lot longer than the newer stuff made of cheap metals. ;-D

    I set the drill in the screw driver mode and ran it as slow as possible. I would check the barrel by hand to make sure it never got to hot. I never let it get hot enough such that it was too hot to touch. It would get warm but not hot. I was also stopping frequently to brush the metal shavings off of the tool with an old paintbrush and add some oil.

    I think your La-Z-Boy handle would be perfect. I only used the vise grip for the threading process which required very little effort. I had very little slippage with the socket extension I fabricated into a bit. I think a swivel extension may be even better as it will allow a little more movement without torquing the barrel; but the bushing system works really well at keeping it centered.

    This is the same tap that is used with RemChoke as well. That does require a different reamer to align the threads properly. I have pretty much duplicated my Remington chokes with Mossberg ones now so I think I will just use this setup for my 870 as well. It may only be an issue if I ever decide to sell any of the barrels but I don't see that happening any time soon.
  8. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    Wow Mike.

    I've threaded some stuff lately, but I would not have the brass balls to try it by hand on a barrel. Especially with as thin the wall is after you drilled it prior to making the threads.

    I'm more impressed with this than I was when you completed your lower, and I was so excited about that I couldn't stand it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing hot it patterns. Yes, I know that's not entirely indicative of the barrel and would change with the choke and shot size and all that's associated with that, but it looks great.

    And here I was proud of myself when I threaded a barrel for a front sight bead :p
    MikeD likes this.
  9. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    Thanks john. I admit I was worried. The barrel was barely large enough to install tubes. When I first started it didnt look lime there was going to be any wall wall left to hold the tube.

    Seems like lately I have not been hesitant to just jump right in and try anything like this.
    John A. likes this.
  10. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    Talked to my dad and he still had a few of the old drills

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    Hit the mother load!!! Nothing like old hand tools to put a smile on your face.
    John A. likes this.
  11. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    I have used hand drills like both of those kinds.
  12. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    A little history to them as well. The one in the center was my maternal grandfather's and the other two were my paternal grandfather's.
    John A. likes this.
  13. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Forum Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Great job Mike.

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