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TargetCrown

Theprimarypurposeofafirearmmuzzlecrownistoprovidepropellantgasesaresistancefreepathawayfrom
allpartsoftheprojectileasitexitstheboreofthebarrel.Thesecondarypurposeistoprotecttheborefrom
damagecausedbymisuse.Thethirdpurposeisforgoodlookswhichisalwaysachievedwhentheprimary
purposeissatisfied.
Therearetwobasictypesoftargetcrownthe'step'andthe'11degree'.Themuzzleofthestepcrownisfirst
cut90degreesofbarrel(square)thenabouthalfthemuzzleradiusiscountersunkwiththewallofthecounter
sinkusuallyatanangleofabout45degrees.Themuzzleofthe11degreecrownissunkatanangleof11
degreesfromsquare(79degreesofbarrel).The11degreeangleextendseitherthefullmuzzleradiusorthe
greaterpartofmuzzleradius.Theexactanglesometimesvariesadegreeortwofromelevenandisstillreferred
toasbeingatargetcrownbutthroughexperimentationandtimeelevendegreesisnormallyacceptedasthe
optimumuniversalangleforthistypeoftargetcrown.

StepTypeTargetCrown

Pictureshowsa'step'typetargetcrownonaGreenMountain.22caliberbarrel.
BelowisadescriptionandprocedureformakingasteptypetargetcrowntaughtmebyRayDixon,whocuts
targetcrownsontargetandvarmintriflebarrelsaspartofhisprofession.

Usingalathewithsteadyrestandcuttingtooltoturnandcuttheworkpiece,themuzzleissquaredthenstepped
inafewhundredthsofaninch.Thesharpedgeofthemuzzleisturnedoffatanoncriticalangletohelpprotect
itfromdings.Leavingmetalabovethecircumferenceofthestep(thecrown)protectsthecrownfromdings.
Thestepisangleddownatabout45degreestohelpdirectgasturbulenceawayfromtheexitingbullet.
Becausegasesshouldescapewithequalresistanceacrosstheentireareaofthecrown,itisimportantthatall
crownsurfacesbesmoothandsimilarthroughoutitsarea.Attentiontothisbecomesmorecriticalasthecrown
approachesthebore.
Usinga60degreepilotedbitattachedtothetailstockofthelathe,thesharp90degreeedgeoftheboreexitis
turnedoffata60degreeangle.Theimportanceofthisistoprotecttheboreedgefromgaserosionandthereby
ensuretheboreexitremainsmoothwithnoirregularitiesalongitscircumference.Greatcareistakentomake
thiscutverysmoothsothatitbealikealongitsentiresurface.Toaidinthisthebarrelisturnedonlybyhand
whilemakingveryslowadvancesofthetailstock,whichcontainsthepilotedbit.Tohelpensurethe60degree
edgebeconsistentindepthandbitchatterminimizedthiscutiskeptveryshallow,onlyabout0.020to0.025
inchindepth.Thepilotofthebitisadiameterwhichmatchesthatoftheborecloselyenoughtokeeptheaxisof
thebitalignedwiththatofthebore,keepingbitchatterdownanddepthconsistent.
Shouldtheboreexitnotbeconsistentaboutitsperimetergasesescapingunevenlyaroundthebulletbasewill
causebulletyawandlossofprecision.

11DegreeTargetCrown
Belowisdetailedthetoolandprocedurerecentlyusedtoapplyan11degreetargetcrowntothemuzzleofa
RugermodelNumber1B,caliberSpringfield3006.

Left.308caliberbrasspilot,79degreemuzzlecrowningcutter,cutterhandleandallenwrenchfor
tighteningpilottocutter.
Centertheassembledtoolusedforcuttingthe11degreetargetcrown.
Rightthebusinessendofthetool.
AllpartsoftoolwerepurchasedfromBrownells.Thehexwrenchdidnotcomewiththetool.
The79degreecutterisfoundthroughtheirwebsiteindexunder'CROWNING/BARREL'or
'CHAMFERING/BARREL'.
Thehandleforcutterandthepilotarebothfoundunder'CHAMFERING/MUZZLE'.
Pilotsareadvertisedformostcalibersandareavailableinsteelorbrass.Brasswaschosenbecauseitissofter
thantheriflinglands.
Twosizesofcutterareadvertised:1/2inchdiameterand3/4inchdiameterforsmallandlargerbarrel
diameters.Thecutterusedhereisthe3/4inchversionwhichworksforsmallandlargerdiameterbarrels.Note
thatusingthiscutter,crowninga1inchdiameterbarrelwouldleaveaminimumof1/8inchradiusuncutbut
nonethelesswouldyieldaproperfunctioning11degreetargetcrown.


Theoriginalfactorycrownjustbeforecuttingittoan11degreetargetcrown.

Honingoilisappliedtocutterandmuzzlebeforeanycuttingisperformed.Itisalsowisetoapplyoiltopilotto
reducepossiblefrictiontoriflinglands.Periodicallycuttingstopstocleanmetalshavingsfrommuzzle,bore
andtool.Honingoilisreappliedbeforecuttingcontinues.Theoilusedhereishoningoilsoldforknife
sharpening.

Leftcrowningcutterwithpilotinsidebore,readytostartcutting.

Centerbeginningoftargetcrownafteronly10or12light1/2rotationsofcutter.Careistakentokeep
lightandconsistentdownwardhandpressurecenteredonboresopilotdoesnotwobble.Cuttingis
performedslowlyandcanbestoppedandresumedatwillbutitisimportanttokeepcuttingsurfaces
coatedwiththeoilandtocleanmetalshavingsfrombore,muzzleandcutterbeforereinsertingpilot.
Righttokeepshavingsfromgettingbetweencutterfaceandmuzzlecareistakencutterneverleavesthe
surfaceofmuzzlewhilecuttingisbeingperformed.Cuttingisoftenstoppedtocleanshavingsfrom
muzzle,boreandtoolandtocheckdepthofcut.

Ascuttinggoesdeeperintomuzzlecuttingslowsbecausemoremuzzlefaceiscontactingcuttersurface.Cutting
isoftenstoppedtocheckfordepthandtocleanawayshavings.Themuzzlebecomesverysharpwhereitenters
theboreandruffcuttingisstoppedjustshortofmaximumbarrelradius.Shownabovetheruffmuzzleisready

forfinishcuttingafterabouteightcarefulcuttingsessions.

Leftfinishcuttingisperformedwithincreasinglylighterpressureascuttingprogressesuntilalmost
onlytheweightoftoolisappliedtothemuzzle.
Centercrownafterfinishcutting.
Rightathinandevenamountof00steelwoolisplacedoncutterfaceandusedtolightlyburnishany
microscopicburrsoffmuzzlecrown.Careistakentoflattenthewoolagainstthecutterfacebefore
insertingpilotintoboreanditisimportantnottooverburnishusingthismethodbecauseanysteelfibers
accidentallyallowedintoborecouldscoreriflinglands.

LeftafterusingalcoholtodegreasethemuzzleOXPHOBLUEfromBrownellsisusedtocoldbluethe
muzzle.
RightThreecoatsofblueingagentwasappliedtomuzzle.Aftereachapplicationthemuzzlewaswiped
withdrytowelandlightlypolishedusing0000steelwool.

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OtherTopicsavailable:

WoodStainsandGunStocks
FloatingtheBarrel
GlassBedding
PillarBedding
BarrelBeddingBlock
Inlays,Tips,andCaps
WhatisM.O.A.?
CalculatingRiflePrecision
TargetCrowningaMuzzle

BuildingaMuzzleLoaderfromKit
EliminateTriggerOverTravel
AttachingtheRecoilPad

TextandgraphicsCopyright20002006Riflestock.Net.WrittenandcompiledbyRogerC.Linger.Email:
austin_long@yahoo.com