How to Crown a Barrel

••• Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

When dealing with firearms, any damage to the gun's barrel will effect the accuracy of the weapon. Chips in the crown, or the front of the barrel, will cause bullets to skew off aim, increasing the chances of a wild shot damaging property or leading to injury. Proper care and maintenance of a firearm is important to preventing such damage, but when a chip has formed in the crown of a gun, repair is the only logical step. While a gunsmith is generally recommended for all types of gun repair, you can re-crown your gun barrel at home.

Unload your gun. If you are crowning a pistol barrel, disassemble your pistol and grip the barrel in a vise so the muzzle faces the ceiling. Rifles can be held in a sideways facing clamp so the gun is held solidly pointing toward the ceiling.

Oil the barrel to prevent damage and insert the pilot from your crowning kit in the size designed for your gauge of gun. The pilot is inserted brush end down, and tightened in the barrel by turning the exposed end (measured against the wrench included with your kit, or roughly 2 inches) clockwise, until it is firmly wedged inside the barrel.

Lower the muzzle cutting blades over the pilot and cap with the turning handle. Your kit's design may vary, but some handles are lever and gear style handles, like egg beaters, or they may have a double-ended bar handle, like an old-fashioned garden spigot. Either way, lower your turning handle over the cutting blades and secure it in place.

Turn the handle of your crowning tool while maintaining a gentle but firm downward pressure on the tool. Rotate it several times, making sure that filings are being produced along the edges of the cutting blade. On the last few passes, gradually release the downward pressure until only the weight of the tool is pressing down on the barrel. Remove the blades and check your surface to see if the barrel is smooth and the angle of the crown is sufficient. If you are unsatisfied with your crown, repeat this step with a more sloped cutting blade from your kit or go around a few more times with the cutting blades already on your barrel.

Remove the handle, cutting blade and pilot guide from your gun. Check the crown visually for any remaining chips or unevenness and run a cotton swab lightly over the edges to ensure there are no metal spurs or filings. Lightly run your sandpaper over the barrel and around the edges to clean up any possible filings or too sharp edges.

Swab the freshly cut crown with alcohol to remove any oily residue and paint it with the gun blue. Allow to dry and then clean and reassemble (if necessary) your firearm.


Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images