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Posted: 9/6/2010 4:52:16 AM EDT
With all the "Horror stories" of CAI AK 74 barrels going to be shot out.

Out of curiosity: How expensive is it to change a barrel? I know I probably couldn't do it, but it's a relatively easy job for a gunsmith correct?

I figured it might be something to think about.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:36:44 AM EDT
I wouldn't worry too much about it, there are a lot of competent gunsmiths who can perform this service if and when you need it.

The job is more difficult if the barrel has already been installed and pulled from another weapon also if you decide to do this yourself try to get access to a knee mill vs. a drill press and use a slip fit gauge pin to align the hole in the trunion as they are almost never perpendicular (i.e.) gauging from receiver.

When you have the weapon clamped and aligned to the center of the hole use an 1/4" endmill to remove most of the barrel material as a drill bit does not like an interupted cut and you will be less likely to ruin your trunion.
Drill undersize and ream for best fit.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:41:26 AM EDT
Forgot to mention- usually the cost would be less than $ 200.00 if you already have the barrel.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:51:47 AM EDT
They aren't going to shoot out if the barrel is of any quality. Please post a link to the threads of these shot out rifles that are supposedly turning up (and I'm not talking about Lancaster crap rifles).

By the time you buy a barrel and have it sent out to someone to change out and headspace correctly it is going to cost more than buying a second rifle. Just any gunsmith isn't going to do it, you need one that works on AKs. The local gunsmith sometimes has no idea or inclination to work on an AK unless he has done it before.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:47:57 AM EDT
It's all speculation that they'll shoot out.

I dunno, I ain't real worried about it myself. The barrels would still outlast me probably. Although I will say I plan on using it pretty hard (One reason I'm planning on going chrome).

I was just wondering because occasionally this one gunsmith gets "extra" stuff laying around and has come across some deals I dunno where he finds, and figured maybe I should keep an eye out for a cheap 5.45 if it passes through.


I'd just like to try one of the CAI 5.45's VS a more expensive 5.45. Mainly because I don't know if I will like the smaller round. The 123 grain bullet is one reason I'm rapidly liking my AK47 rather than my .223 rifles
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:13:40 PM EDT
Many times when someone says a barrel is shot out this term may have been "coined" from benchrest shooting where after 3-5,000 rounds a barrel that was yielding .5 m.o.a. now yeilds 1 or 1.2 m.o.a. which for benchrest means its time for a new barrel but an ak please!! The next noticeable enlargement of grouping may be 5-10,000 rnds. later, i.m.o. it's a lot of worry over nothing.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:23:18 PM EDT
Hell Yeah Dont worry about your barrel. Those things wont shoot out. CAI uses the best quality barrels on the market, come on their made in the USA. There are sooooo many quality 5.45 barrels out there.

That MAK guy is over rated as well. I bet it wouldnt cost much at all.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:28:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 0351AA:
Many times when someone says a barrel is shot out this term may have been "coined" from benchrest shooting where after 3-5,000 rounds a barrel that was yielding .5 m.o.a. now yeilds 1 or 1.2 m.o.a. which for benchrest means its time for a new barrel but an ak please!! The next noticeable enlargement of grouping may be 5-10,000 rnds. later, i.m.o. it's a lot of worry over nothing.


This guy does make a good point. I rebuilt a polish tantal for the exact reason above. My buddies tantal was doing 2.5-3.5moa and mine was closer to 6. Now reborn as the frankentantal with a virgin RPK front end, it's doing around 3.0-3.5moa. Soon we'll see if cryotreating it can do any better

However, I'd say that if any of my barrels started keyholing consistently, I'd definitely consider it trash and rebarrel. The nice thing about using virgin military barrels is that's never going to happen during my lifetime
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:11:30 PM EDT
Yeah that's what I was wondering.

But the 5-10K, I wonder how noticable it'd be? I ask because I go through ammo.....And the 5.45 would probably be shot a LOT due to the cheap ammo, and platform similarity of the AK47.

I'll admit, I'm spoiled. My Wasr-10, whenever I get a wild urge to benchrest, will do 3", slightly better groups at a hundred yards. I shouldn't expect an AK to do that.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:40:19 PM EDT
The barrel life is usually determined by how worn the throat is from thousands of rounds introducing very hot gasses into the bore. As the throat wears from the heat and pressure, groups open up. On an AK, I wouldn't replace the barrel until it fails the field gauge. The difference in accuracy from stock will hardly be noticeable.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:44:22 AM EDT
If you are still one of those guys who says yeah but for "my peace of mind" there is actually a great option, the otis technology ceramic bore lining is said to be more wear resistant than chrome lining and I have actually heard great reviews on increased accuracy and the product is easy to use!!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 4:47:59 AM EDT
Thanks for letting me know, I'd never heard of that stuff.

I was asking mainly out of curiosity. I was slightly worried about it, but I was thinking, it would only take 6K or 7K rounds to fully pay for the rifle in ammo savings. So it wouldn't really be out anything if it did wear out (Which it probably wouldn't be).

Link Posted: 9/8/2010 4:57:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 0351AA:
If you are still one of those guys who says yeah but for "my peace of mind" there is actually a great option, the otis technology ceramic bore lining is said to be more wear resistant than chrome lining and I have actually heard great reviews on increased accuracy and the product is easy to use!!

Please expound. I've never heard of this. Any reviews on this product out there? Does it protect against corrosive ammo like chrome lining? Thx.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 1:35:27 PM EDT
I went to their website and could not find the product so i called and spoke with them directly, they said they are having trouble keeping up as a key ingredient in the compound is hard or slow to obtain so for now it's not available so if you see it at a retailer or gun show grab it!

I believe it is a paste that you apply to the projectile and when fired the heat and friction cuase a chemical reaction where the ceramic bonds to the pores in the metal surface it's made by otis and is called "lifeliner" said it's proven to be more durable than chrome and that any rifle barrel would be good for life!!
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 2:02:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 0351AA:
I went to their website and could not find the product so i called and spoke with them directly, they said they are having trouble keeping up as a key ingredient in the compound is hard or slow to obtain so for now it's not available so if you see it at a retailer or gun show grab it!

I believe it is a paste that you apply to the projectile and when fired the heat and friction cuase a chemical reaction where the ceramic bonds to the pores in the metal surface it's made by otis and is called "lifeliner" said it's proven to be more durable than chrome and that any rifle barrel would be good for life!!




The product in which you speak of is only good for 1,000 rds, then must be reapplied. So, if LIFE is ~1k round.... Your GTG

The stuff has been out for years.... Ask yourself, "why does it wear off at ~ 1k rds?"

Its $80 for the product and up to 3 applications per package. Adding an extra 3k rds of barrel life for $80 is complete bullshit, even if it did work......


OP, think Mini-14 for a moment. Why do these barrels last 10k rds? Because their hardened, thus hammer forged.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 4:20:53 PM EDT
Did ya catch the phrase's....."is said" "They said" as in Otis Technologies and hammer forged does not mean heat treated they are two separate processes.

The process of cutting or forming rifling can be done many ways: cold hammer forged, button rifled and or single hook pull broached and probably several other ways that cat has been skinned!

The hardening of the barrel is possible if it was made from a heat treatable alloy like 4140-4130-or 416.

Please tell where you found the info about the 1,000 rnd life span of the product it would be helpful....
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:35:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 0351AA:
Did ya catch the phrase's....."is said" "They said" as in Otis Technologies and hammer forged does not mean heat treated they are two separate processes.

The process of cutting or forming rifling can be done many ways: cold hammer forged, button rifled and or single hook pull broached and probably several other ways that cat has been skinned!

The hardening of the barrel is possible if it was made from a heat treatable alloy like 4140-4130-or 416.

Please tell where you found the info about the 1,000 rnd life span of the product it would be helpful....


I know, i know i was hoping that the product was the real thing.... But, its on the packaging in fine print. Kinda hurt my feelings as well.

Its all about the proper rockwell hardness... Even if the alloy will take to heat treating, this must be done before its a barrel (while its a blank).

You may know, but for some others.... A barrel can not be heat treated after the fact, thus warping and stress.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:26:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GrantS:
With all the "Horror stories" of CAI AK 74 barrels going to be shot out.
Out of curiosity: How expensive is it to change a barrel? I know I probably couldn't do it, but it's a relatively easy job for a gunsmith correct? I figured it might be something to think about. Thanks.


Remove barrel pin - press out barrel - reverse process with new barrel ( and check headspace )
Should only cost one hour of Gunsmith time.

IMHO I STILL say U.S. barrels should last about as long as any other.

I wanna see PROOF that someone wore out the rifling and how many rounds it took them.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:15:44 AM EDT
I agree 100%, having a lot of hands on with full auto's I have seen non chromed barrels in 5.56 take 4 to 5 thousand rounds in one setting, I'm talking beta mag dumps one after another barrels getting cherry red!!

The craziest thing after that kind of abuse and with no cleaning let them cool down,... they still group well and there is nice crisp rifling in there!
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:48:48 AM EDT


One hour....... Remove barrel pin.....Press out barrel.... WAIT!!!! I thought you knew what you were talking about?
Gas block, HG retainer and FSB need to be removed, right
Lets say you have another Cheap US barrel for the replacement.
Press the barrel in.
You dont just check headspacing.... You headspace the rifle....... Again Virgin barrels are not a walk in the park. WAIT!!! did we forget the barrel Pin, i bet we did... Because there is a chance the last one WONT WORK.
Hopefully that gunsmith has or can make a quality Barrel Pin.
Press the HG retainer on and cut the proper slot for the HG.
Press the fgb and fsb on, align and pin...
A good builder will have perfect alignment
I guess your finish, too bad there is not a finish on the barrel.

That would be one hell of an hour Just think, thats not even a Virgin EG barrel....

Yeah, proof i guess Keyholing doesn't count.
quick example of this "proof"
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 11:51:51 AM EDT
I just picked up a WASR 10-63 and the chrome lined barrel appears to be new.It has some narley sharpe rifleing in there and pulls lint off my dry patches cleaning it.
Before i shot it it looked frosty in there but after 100 rounds it shined up.Do these barrels need a break in?
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