Barrel Tuner



  • I've been reading a little about these things, sounds like snake oil but there is scientific data and trophies to prove they work. A friend of mine had a .270 with the Boss and he swore by it right up until the day it was swiped out of his truck. So it's a weight that you move in or out to change the barrel harmonics. I saw some that weighed eight ounces and some that had an eight ounce weight and dozens of other concepts using different weights and lengths and their primary use is for rimfire and centerfire rifles also but the emphasis was on rimfire. Boy, I need all the help I can get there. So, I made one. No plans, just looked at pictures and tried to figure out how to do it with what I got. Craftsman lathe, drill press and basic measuring tools. First off I ain't no machinist. I know just enough to get my ass in trouble that's it. A couple of years barely scratched the surface for my training in the modern world with all the CNC's and gadgets we have now. The inner part that screws to the barrel is aluminum and was turned, bored and reamed for the threads and clearance all in one set up to be concentric. Threading was done with a 1/2 28 NEF tap in the lathe and feels as good or better than the thread engagement on my YHM suppressor when installed. I machined grooves for reference marks spaced .050 apart to adjust the moveable outer weight that is held with two set screws. The weight started as 11/2" cold roll but I turned it down to 11/4" to try to hit the eight ounce total weight and some how I did it. I bored it to just slide over the inner piece without galling so it has some clearance. If I had an internal threading tool I would have threaded it to match the other piece with some kind of fine thread, would have been a nervous wreck doing it on my Dinosaur lathe though. Does it work? Don't know yet, good excuse to go shoot. Probably try it at 25 yards and move the weight around to see if I get some drastic result and will be able to read the targets easier. Don't think it will put my eye out and if it does something for the better I will make the internal piece out of stainless.
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    This is what a tuner looks like on the inside. The threads are 40 tpi to give .025 per revolution. There are 25 grooves around the diameter. This makes them adjustable in .001 increments. A lot more accurate than sliding the external part. Sometimes it only takes a few thousandths to get the setting right. The middle tuner is a factory Harrell tuner weighing 7.7 oz. The other two I made myself. The short one is delrin weighing 3.2 oz. The big one is all steel weighing 1lb 4.9 oz. The one thing I learned for certain is that there a lot more settings that don't work than those that are just right. If you have any questions ask away, I will help if I can. Wayne



  • @rimfire
    Wow, thanks for replying! My piece is pretty crude compared to those and I had a general idea of how they functioned but I don't have the tools to pull of the inside threads, not yet. Definitely need a mill also with a DRO and dividing head. I used a head a couple of times but never really grasped how it is set up. Could live without the readout but man the last mill I ran had a three axis readout and was nice. Didn't have a scale on the quill but had it on the knee. I'm curious, is the delrin one a thread on or clamp? I've done some composite machining I just wondered how it threads if it is threaded. I did see the Harrel tuner for sale somewhere and figured it had threads like a micrometer, didn't know what pitch but I do now. Maybe make one later if I get the tools. I did a little trial run yesterday with three brands of ammo I just have to get some pictures and see if any of them make sense.



  • Delrin is a joy to work with. It machines and threads beautifully and deburrs easily. You have to be gentle with tightening screws because it strips fairly easily. Just about all the tuners I have seen are clamp on for rimfires. I don't know about tuners on centerfire rifles. I have a well used indexing head. The chuck is pretty well worn so a lot of the precision is lost but good enough for the tuners. Wayne



  • Test Rifle:
    Savage Mark II FVSR .22 Boyds Tacticool Stock
    Hawke Eclipse 4-16 SF Mil Dot Scope
    UTG Bi Pod
    Ammunition Used:
    CCI Standard Velocity 40 Grain
    Aguila Rifle Match 40 Grain
    Wolf Match Target 40 Grain
    Target set at 25 yards shot sitting from cement benches off of a bi pod and a rear bag.
    86 degrees wind left to right slightly 13 mph 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    Target 1 CCI
    Started with the weight flush at the end of the inner piece and began moving it outward .100" per target.
    Target 2
    Still moving the weight outward .100 for each attempt. At the seventh mark four shots made an oblong hole with a flyer caused by me. Didn't load the bi pod and fell forward. Another guy that was at the range asked me if I always talked to myself at that point.
    Target 3
    Switched to Aguila. At mark #7 the group was a nice cluster with the same damn flier. Still not a one hole that I am looking for at 25 yards. Now I am moving out at .050 per target and at #10 I started stringing vertically. I set the weight back to flush and it went horizontal. Interesting.
    Target 4
    Seven looked like the lucky number for Aguila so I moved the weight back to that position for three more groups. Moved it inward one mark (.100) and shot. Groups were about the same.
    Target 5
    Moved the weight inward another .100 and things changed again. Top group with Aguila tightened up and the bottom group was headed the same direction except for another shooter error.
    The Eye Opener
    I had three dots left and rummaged around in my stash and found a lone box of Wolf Match I bought two years ago somewhere down the line to try. First attempt, center dot almost one hole. Second attempt not so good, average with the others. Last attempt I settled down and tried my best and almost had it, the last one went high and jacked up the group. I was gonna go after some push pins but decided to save the rest of the box for fifty yards. Only way to prove if the weight helped this rifle / load combination is to pull the tuner off and retest. Maybe next time.
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  • I forgot to say all groups were five shots except for the sight in with nothing attached to the barrel. The single hole in the first target is one shot, wish it was five I would have pitched this toy in the scrap pile.



  • I have never shot at 25 yds so thought I would give it a try. It wasn't a very fair test. The rifle I grabbed had a scope on it that only adjusted parallax down to 50 yards. All I could see at 25 yds was a light hazy blue blurr. Next week sometime I will do it again with one of my unertls. Did the eley twice since the first one really opened up. surprisingly not that much difference in group size except for the first try at 50 yards with eley. All 5 shot groups.
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  • @rimfire
    I have a sad feeling when I go to fifty yards my groups will open up drastically even with the tuner, if it's actually doing anything. This Savage rifle is pretty much a Christmas Tree gun. In other words it's mass produced and belongs under a tree waiting for an anxious kid to unwrap it and go blast some cans. Not exactly a target rifle but I do kind of like the Hawke scope. Cost more than the rifle if that tells you anything. Somewhere between the fifth position and seventh is what I believe I am looking for but at this rate I need a pipeline for match ammo and a gold mine to finance it. The Wolf stuff kind of took me by surprise and it's not too pricey if I can find some. Bruno lists it but it's back ordered. Might have to sacrifice some Center X.



  • bigfoot, I hate to tell you this but I have more bad news. They quit making wolf ammo. It is exactly the same as sk standard plus and sk rifle match. I don't know what the real difference was because some shooters had good luck with wolf but not sk. I have a few bricks of federal gold medal ultra match the shoots very good. Nobody seems to have any of that on hand. They are all selling the cheaper 711 & 719 federal. Wayne



  • @rimfire
    That figures. I bought that single box at a hunting store slash gun shop between Laredo and San Antonio a couple of years ago. I bought five boxes of Federal Ultra on closeout at Academy last month as a matter of fact. Maybe that's off the list as well. My old 513 seemed to like it and I still have four boxes to play with. That stuff is kind of expensive but Academy sold it to me for $4.96 each but only had five boxes. Might try the SK, thanks for the heads up. I haven't been able to break 1000 on the rim fire challenge in a while with either 22 I have. I got a different style of front bag I need to try and leave the bi pod at home to see if that helps too. I've had my best scores off of bags. Maybe if I had a good bi pod it would be different.


 

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