Well I finally got around to starting on the BF re-barrel project. 270 ren to 17 Hornet. Pulled the barrel yesterday and MAN was that a job. They are indeed glued in. Clamped the barrel in the barrel vise held in a machine vise on the bridgeport. Thought I was gonna tip the Bport over, lol. A bit of heat and a 24 inch adjustable wrench to remove the receiver from the barrel, and it came off hard the whole way.
Figured the threads were deformed by the barrel locking setscrews, but that was not the case, it was just the glue, or locktite, or whatever. Cleaned it off the barrel threads with a wire brush and the receiver threads also and was surprised that the barrel almost fell in. Well, not really, but the threads were sloppppppeee. I was very surprised after seeing the quality of the rest of the work on the gun.
Threaded the new barrel and fit it, and it is a nice tight hand fit - no shake all the way. Gonna turn the o.d. the whole way at 1 inch, crown and chamber, and make new stock later. Barrel is gonna be 18 inches long and this will become a rifle. Got two Contender barrels in 17 Hornet going also, one rifle for a friend and a pistol for myself.
I traded an AR for an original BF this last spring from a fellow vendor at a gun show. It’s chambered in 32/20 (.308 bore) that I would like to rechamber in 30 Herrett, but the glued in barrel has me worried about damaging the receiver.
Was it indeed thread lock used, and was it red or pink in color ? If so, that is thread lock which needs about 470*F to break the bond.
I called EABCO about a rechamber, and was told no to that, but they will rebarrel for $300.00. I declined that offer.
I get the impression that the receiver threads are cut with a threading tap instead of a single point threading boring bar. I willing to bet the receiver threads were cut with a tap and the threaded bore in receiver is tapered. That will usually be the case with a deep tapped bore. EABCO would not tell me how they cut the threads on their copy of the BF.
I have a lath and was a machinist for number of different employers with one of them being an AR manufacture were we offered beside regular AR15s, custom AR10s with the Kriger .308 rifled barrel blanks, of which I did all the turning and chambering. This has made me want to do the rebarreling myself, but my caveat is the glued in barrel. I would then rebarrel and chamber it in maybe 25 Bullberry Imp. A good friend has dies for that cartridge.
Funny thing, at least to me is, I traded for the gun because it had a Burris second gen. 10x pistol scope mounted on it with PA and target turrets which that scope sits on a Sako bolt pistol I have. I always wanted one of those scopes. Also. The trigger on the BF brakes at a crisp 6oz. Then again if you asked me about that BF tomorrow, I would probably be inclined to sell it.
Just the same, please keep use apprized on the project.
I would not worry about getting the barrel off. I used a couple of plastic blocks on either side of the receiver and tightened the adjustable wrench on them. The thread locker seemed to be tan, but was old, heated, and maybe discolored by the disassembly. Also mine is an original done by Bert Stringfellow I believe. What Eabco is doing these days may not apply to the earlier guns.
This is an original BF Arms. I would post pics of it, but can not nor am I uploading any of my pics to a cloud service. I do not trust them.
The BF pistol I have is rather crude as for its machine work. The slab sides of the receiver have tooling marks that I suspect are from a single point fly cutter or clam shell cutter that was dull or no cutting oil or coolant was used causing tool loading, and on the back of the receiver were the hammer is located, the steel was climb cut but not back cut for a clean up. Like I stated before that I had worked as a machinist both manual and CNC, the exterior machine work makes me say “Ugh”. Interestingly, the right side of the receiver is inscribed with a ram, turkey, pig, and chicken. I have no history on those inscriptions as to who did it.
The reason I contacted EABCO was that they currently offer there version of the gun and would know about it.
P.S. Where did you apply the heat ? To the barrel or the receiver.This message has been edited. Last edited by: PRR1957,
The original BF pistol was designed by Bert to be a functional, cost-efffective replacement for the Contender for use in IHMSA, hence the silhouettes on the frame. Their finish work was minimal to keep the costs down. The few I saw were rough but were also accurate and functional. Eventually EABCO obtained the rights to build them and cleaned up their appearance. I currently have an EABCO version I purchased new ~25 years ago, highly accurate and nicer looking than the original BF builds, and it with a ram’s head on the receiver.
“The 30-06 is the world's most over-rated big game cartridge" - Elmer Keith
I just looked at EABCO’s web site, and I guess that they do not offer the BF pistol or the rifle version anymore. As to their price, EABCO was not a cheaper alternative to a T/C. I do remember looking at their website over year ago and they had quit a list of cartridges with some being 30-30 based of their own design. After I had acquired this BF, I looked EABCO’s website for an idea for a rechamber or rebarrel, and all they offered was two chambering‘s, 22LR and 44Mag. I guess if no one was ordering the gun and buying the T/C’s they now offer was maybe a reason to stop building the BF ?
The one I have is chambered in 32/20 (.3078 lead slugged the barrel bore.) I have 32/20/.308 load data in the #12 Speer reloading manual for a 10” T/C Contender showing a 110 gr bullet @ 1800 FPS, and a 130 gr bullet @ 1660 FPS. That could take Michigan whitetail deer out to 75, maybe 100 yards, but to me that is to marginal a speeds for those bullets. 50 yards would be more of a appropriate distance for an assured humane kill. I do not need it as a woodchuck gun for I have a bolt pistol in 6mm PPC for that. Also.To use it on deer here in Michigan below Bay City, it has to be a straight wall cartridge. I could if inclined, use it IHMSA HUNTER, but the only two clubs near me are both a four hour drive one way.
Like I stated in an earlier reply, that I am more interested in selling it, of which I already tried in this forum’s classified along with the IHMSA and Steelchickens forum, but no interested buyers there, which is kind of baffling to me because since I’ve had it up for sale, I have seen four BF pistols sold. Two on IHMSA’s forum classified, and two on Gunbroker. Now all four of those pistols were EABCO’s I believe with EABCO Silhouette open sights were the one I have is only provisioned for a scope mount, which it has a T/C, Leupold base and rings mounted, but no scope. The scope is on my bolt pistol. I really want to sell it because a good friend has for sale a Sig 220 DA only in 45ACP that I am lusting for. So I guess the bottom line is that I have a gun that I do not have a need for or want. Which the only reason I made my first inquiry about the barrel removal was more out of curiosity. Call it traders remorse.This message has been edited. Last edited by: PRR1957,
Heat the receiver to expand it. Heating the barrel will release the loctite or whatever but will tighten up the threads until the temps migrate to the receiver. As to the quality of the firearm, I pay more attention to the fits and trigger pull than finishes of non critical surfaces. There’s a certain appeal to me having something that may not be as visually appealing as something it will outshoot.
Leave it 32/20. Try 180 grain bullets and VV powder. Sorry I don't know the number or loads. You will be amazed how well it shoots.
Life Member NRA
EABCO sold both Contenders and BF handguns together for many years. As I stated above, when originally designed and produced the BF was cheap. When EABCO obtained the rights to the BF they envisioned it as an upscale Contender replacement, which it was the way they built and priced them. That is why there is far more interest in them today than in the originals, which as the OP mentioned were rather crude.
They were reasonably popular for years in a small specialized market, but with the contraction of silhouette competition and increasing costs I can well imagine why they decided to stop production. As for the S&W Contenders of the last 13 years, their availability has been inconsistent and quality has reportedly been spotty. I wouldn’t know, my frames are all at least 25 years old.
“The 30-06 is the world's most over-rated big game cartridge" - Elmer Keith
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