Barrel Tester

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Making A "Bookie" Barrel Tester: (Per Muzzle Blasts Article: January 1996)

Needed one for my own shop and decided to make my own instead of keep borrowing Bookie's tester. 

First I acquired a big chuck of wood and cut it down to 4" X 6" X 4' long. 

Then I cut a "V" channel down the center by drawing two lines down the center. Set my hand radial saw at 45 degrees with a depth of 1-3/4" and cut down each line toward center. This cut out a real nice "V" channel. 

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2007-01-07 003.JPG (208718 bytes) Next I made marks perpendicular at 4", 14" and 24". At these marks I drew 1/2" wide marks. Between the lines I made several cuts 13/16" deep, then used my wood chisel to remove the wood. This will be the groove for my 1/2" bar stock to rest.  The bar stock is what the breech end of the barrel rests against when the barrel is laid down into the "V" channel.

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To take the sharp edges off along the top of the tester2007-01-07 009.JPG (262961 bytes), I used my draw knife to cut a 3/8"X 3/8" chamfer along the edges.







In the center between each long segment, I drilled two holes for the metal loops. Since Bookie's forge is not open, I went to the local general hardware store and bought some 3" X 7" X 3/8" bent metal threaded loops. I drove the nut to the top of the threads. After the 3/8" holes were drilled thru the stock, I then used a 1/2" forstner drill bit and drilled down deep enough flush the nut and washer with top of the stock.  On the lower end, I used a 1" forstner bit to drill a hole deep enough to be able to put a washer, lock washer and 3/8" nut onto the exposed threaded portion of the loop. 2007-01-07 012.JPG (235325 bytes)This also recessed the end of the bolt from being exposed.  The 1" diameter allowed enough room for a socket to be used to tighten the nut.

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I cut out a couple walnut wedges to secure the barrel in the loops and put a metal handle on either side so I can carry the tester to the truck and from the truck to the testing area.

Here is the finished product.

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 <--Barrel Testing Movie: (click on photo)

(Note, my wife was holding the camera and when the barrel went off, she kinda jumped.)





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