After Market Pistol Barrels
In 2018 a new condition became obvious to us here at 4D Reamer Rentals LTD.
In the past we saw certain reamers receive damage because of aftermarket cylinders out of Russia or China. They were hardened by the maker to the point that only Carbide tooling could be used on them successfully. We had clients try to reamer these cylinders with High Speed Steel (HSS). Sadly even though we put warnings in the package with the tools several clients still experienced the expense of replacement or resharpening of reamers.
We do not carry carbide tools because they are more delicate and prone to damage.
About the new problem in 2018… aftermarket barrels for semi-auto pistols are turning up with exceptional hardness as well. Naturally this damages the HSS reamers we offer for rental. So what we are saying here is: “Be Careful” Professional gunsmiths are pretty good at knowing by the feel when they start a cut if the tool is cutting or not. Hobby and/or novice gunsmiths on the other hand often prescribe to the bigger hammer theory. Precision cutting tools do not hold up to rough treatment.
Conversely, if you are too dainty with the tool it can work harden the barrel. We know of at least one barrel this year that this happened to, the reamer was dulled by being turned in the chamber with only the weight of the tool being applied to the cut. When the barrel went to a gunsmith with a lathe for chambering, he reported that it took just a little pressure on the tail stock hand wheel to push past the work hardened surface.
Moral of the story: It’s up to the user the know what they are working with and take due care of the tools.