Re-lining a .22LR Barrel, Broken Down Barney Style

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Okay, I admit it, I have become addicted to MidwayUSA’s gunsmithing videos and just had to share another one (for now, more to come later). In this one, Midway USA’s own Larry Potterfield breaks down drilling and re-lining a .22LR barrel using a custom blank. He makes it look easy. Outside of the lathe, everything he shows in the video is (of course) offered at Midway.

I may just have to send him a classic Steven’s 22LR that my grandpa gave me who’s barrel is in the same shape.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • nadnerbus

    I’m not going to lie, watching stuff like this is hypnotic. I wish I had money for a machine shop. So much cool stuff and mischief I could get into.

  • guest

    People who know this stuff better than me… what process is used to secure a liner for optimum results in a barrel that will see more action (heat) than this .22? Is there a method that does not involve chemicals, like for example shrinking the liner in liquid nitrogen to have it expand and fit the drilled out barrel?

    • Mike N.

      I’m not sure you can re-line barrels chambered in higher pressure cartridges. Usually, they are re-bored (that is, the bore is enlarged to a larger caliber, re-rifled, and then the barrel rechambered)

      • Chase Buchanan

        Yeah, but what if you want to shoot the original cartridge instead? Is there no way to line a barrel if it’s a hotter cartridge than .22 rimfire?

        • Martin M

          Yes, you can get liners for a variety of calibers. Not just rimfire.

      • dan citizen

        high powered cartridges are relined, and even butt joined. Many Semi-Automatic Goryunov builds have spliced barrels to repair torch cuts dewatts.

    • nadnerbus

      I remember seeing something on the manufacture of US 16 inch naval rifles one time where the barrels are sleeved with a liner in a similar fashion, and I believe it was done with a heating/shrink to fit process. So in theory it could be done that way for a regular gun barrel.

      The sheer amount of steel around the sleeve on one of those is enormous though. I’m not sure how thick a barrel would have to be in relation to the sleeve to make that process viable for high pressure rounds.

      • dan citizen

        Much of a rifle barrel’s thickness is to address issues other than pressure.

        • BryanS

          Yes, when you start measuring your barrel in feet, there are more measures that need to take place to make sure it stays put when fired.

          • dan citizen

            Even on rifle barrels. The .22 rifle barrel liner shown in the video is thick enough to contain propellant pressures, but it would flex like crazy. If a tensioner was used to address this, it would make an ok barrel.

    • dan citizen

      that is how it is done. no need for such extreme temps, most of the expansion/contraction occurs with fairly reasonable temp differences, more than enough to hold the liner snug

    • Ken

      Silver solder.

      The Finns controversially relined a lot of Mosin barrels. It was proven not long later that it works fine.

  • schizuki

    I love Larry’s how-to’s during the Wednesday gun shows on Outdoor Channel. It’s usually something like this:

    “Re-chambering a worn barrel is a fun and easy process. Let me show you how it’s done. First, secure the barrel in a 5-axis mill…”

    • Swarf

      Seriously.

      “First off, buy $27,000 worth of equipment…”

    • patrickiv

      Haha yeah still fun to watch though. I guess the videos are practically aimed at gunsmiths.

    • Andrew Hobby

      “Hi, I’m Larry Potterfield and today we’ll be turning this 18th-century flint-lock into a centerfire conversion.”

    • BryanS

      With the proliferation of maker spaces and places like techshop… thats not much of a problem anymore. I have a meager home shop, but for !25 a month, or 25 a day, I have access to a 4 axis CNC, full machine shop, woodshop, and prototyping facility.

  • Grindstone50k

    Weird, but I get a crazy good ASMR when watching his AR-15 building guide videos.

    • schizuki

      And thanks to Grindstone50k and Bing, I just learned a new abbreviation today.

      Yeah, he’s kind of the Bob Ross of gunsmithing.

      • nadnerbus

        And over here we’re just going to put in some happy little checkering on the stock…

      • Giolli Joker

        Same for me, moreover I’ve just discovered that at least one person uses Bing… it shocks me.

        • sianmink

          It’s not bad and bing rewards gives me free money for Warframe and World of Tanks(should I ever get around to starting down that hole), at an honestly decent rate. I’m sticking with it.

          • Giolli Joker

            I haven’t got the slightest idea of what you’re talking about, but I trust you. 🙂

        • schizuki

          Well, Google is an evil empire…

          • Phillip Cooper

            As compared to Microsoft?

            Good one.. I haven’t laughed that hard in years….

  • Marty Ewer

    I’ve had my credit cards compromised a total of three times between 1990 and 2014–a span of some 24 years. Each of those three compromises was within a handful of weeks of placing an order with MidwayUSA. And in total, I’ve ordered from MidwayUSA three times in my life. (Yes, the first time was back in the dark ages before the WWW.) Coincidence? I’m half-tempted to get a brand-new credit card and make one purchase: something from Midway. And just see if/how long it takes for it to be compromised. Has anyone else noticed a similar pattern?

    • nadnerbus

      I’ve ordered a dozen times from Midway and have not experienced any fraud.

      • Marty Ewer

        Perhaps it’s just me.

    • dan citizen

      you can get single purchase credit card numbers from companies that specialize in just that.

  • iksnilol

    How many rounds does it take to wear out a .22 LR barrel? I presume the jacketed loads would wear it out faster due to copper being harder than lead?

    • Ken

      I’ve heard 500k. It could have also corroded from neglect and/or corrosive ammo such as from corrosive primers or old brown powder stuff that was around.

    • BryanS

      I have a 4 barrel mossberg brownie that is a candidate for this, was left in a tackle box for a season or 3 before I got it and looks the part.

  • kipy

    I swear Larry could put out a “how to split an atom” tutorial and make it seem like we could pull it off in our garage over the weekend

  • Mark

    I also enjoy watching these videos, but concur with what others have noted: everything Larry does is easy and a lot of fun- IF you have every single machine and power tool known to mankind.