We utilise two different manufacturing techniques to create the rifling on our barrels. Button rifling and cut rifling.
Our most common form of rifling at Phoenix Barrels is the buttoning process. It is a cold swaged rifling method where no cutting of the metal actually takes place but it rather irons the grooves into the barrel instead. We use a Carbide, 2 stage button, coated in titanium nitride (TiN) which is attached to a high tensile Vasco steel rod. This is then pulled through the correct bore size barrel blank using our custom built, twin hydraulic cylinder buttoning machine, giving us 20 metric tons of pulling force. Before each barrel is buttoned, we coat the inside bore with a special lubricant paste that ensures smooth swaging of the metal and increased uniformity of the rifling twist.
After this process the barrel blank is then stress relieved at a certain temperature and set time, using our fully calibrated heat treatment oven. Once this is done, we can move onto the profiling of the barrel blank with the confidence that it will not warp or change bore size as we remove metal.
Each button barrel is then hand lapped to create an ultra-uniform twist and dimension along the whole bore. In return this creates a smooth surface finish on the inside which greatly reduces copper and carbon build up as the firearm is shot and hence greater accuracy over longer periods.
We cater for most common calibres and twists with our extensive stock of in-house buttons, but if you require something unique please feel free to contact us and we can discuss custom tooling options to meet your demands.
The cut rifling process is the oldest form of rifling in the industry to date; this traces its roots back to the early 1500s in Nuremberg. It is also the slowest form of rifling as it takes an average of 30 to 40 minutes per barrel, compared to the 15 or so seconds it takes for a button to be pulled. This is due to the fact that we are only removing 0.0001 of an inch each pass of the cutting tool. We use custom made cutter box's containing a single point, carbide tipped cutting tool. These carbide cutters are uniquely ground for each individual rifling twist to ensure we get correct groove dimension and no ratchet rifling.
Our two primary cut rifling machines are Pratt & Whitney Sine Bars, one configured for 4 groove and one for 6 Groove. With these machines we have a rifling twist range of 1 in 6 to infinity. The process itself also allows us to have a greater flexibility in bore and groove size for any given calibre; this can cater for clients’ needs when using their products in hot or cold climates or specific ammunition is being fired.
All cut rifled barrel blank steel is fully heat treated and stress relieved before any machining takes place, and of course, each barrel is hand lapped to give unrivalled twist/dimension uniformity. This truly gives us a bore and groove finish that's verging on mirror like quality which greatly reduces copper and carbon build up over a long-sustained period of firing. This has been backed up by client feedback and R&D work over a number of years.
We believe that if you truly want the greatest accuracy and consistency over extreme long range, a cut rifled barrel is the way forward.