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AR15 204 Barrel from another bolt action rifle

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Les B

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#1
I had a swell in the barrel about 6 inches from the muzzle end so I was able to cut the length to 16 1/2 in. and fit up a new barrel extension for the AR15. It appears to be perfect for varmint hunting with the 204 Ruger shell , Krieger 1/12 , #2 weight , and 32 Gr bullets. It grouped about 1 1/2 inches last week. Just a quick change out in the AR15, but the factory shells are too expensive.

 

MontanaAardvark

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#2
Do the .204 Ruger rounds fit in a standard 5.56 magazine? I mean, you just rebuild the upper with the new barrel and everything else is the same? No new BCG or anything?

I don't have a .204 Ruger barrel lying around, but have been thinking of making my next AR into something other than 5.56/.223 Like what? .22 Nosler? 6.5 Grendel? No decisions.


Bob
 

Les B

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#3
Hello Bob,

The 204 Ruger will fit into the magazine if they are seated to 2.250 in. OAL. I test fired with some older reloads with the 40 Gr Hornady and they needed to be set deep into the case. This is my first AR15 so I haven't had time to do a lot of testing, but with the first try they working without any problems on feeding. I like the high speed small caliber rifles for varmint hunting. This barrel is a 1/12 twist and I will use mostly the 32-40 gr bullets when I reload the shells. The 204 Ruger is one of the most accurate cartridges to have and I believe that I will be able to keep the bullets under 1 in. with the 16 1/4 barrel . Go to the top of Gunsmith forum and look at the top of the start up column to Stockmaker Show and Tell article I wrote up about 6 yrs ago. On page 4 or 5 there is the history of this barrel as it has unf0lded into my AR15. I think you would be happen with a 204 Ruger. I took the gas setup on the Carbine Anderson AR15 and ordered a new barrel extension and a gas port. It took some time to get everything just like the original AR15 5.56 worked over on the 7X12 lathe. I chamber the 204 shell about go-gage + .003. I show how I used this small mini lathe on the rebarrel of the bolt action mini Mauser . That is where the extra barrel came about.

Les
 

MontanaAardvark

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#4
Hello Bob,

The 204 Ruger will fit into the magazine if they are seated to 2.250 in. OAL. I test fired with some older reloads with the 40 Gr Hornady and they needed to be set deep into the case. This is my first AR15 so I haven't had time to do a lot of testing, but with the first try they working without any problems on feeding. I like the high speed small caliber rifles for varmint hunting. This barrel is a 1/12 twist and I will use mostly the 32-40 gr bullets when I reload the shells. The 204 Ruger is one of the most accurate cartridges to have and I believe that I will be able to keep the bullets under 1 in. with the 16 1/4 barrel . Go to the top of Gunsmith forum and look at the top of the start up column to Stockmaker Show and Tell article I wrote up about 6 yrs ago. On page 4 or 5 there is the history of this barrel as it has unf0lded into my AR15. I think you would be happen with a 204 Ruger. I took the gas setup on the Carbine Anderson AR15 and ordered a new barrel extension and a gas port. It took some time to get everything just like the original AR15 5.56 worked over on the 7X12 lathe. I chamber the 204 shell about go-gage + .003. I show how I used this small mini lathe on the rebarrel of the bolt action mini Mauser . That is where the extra barrel came about.

Les
Thanks for the reply. Very interesting stuff and I've hardly read any of the post on making the stock. Last night, I ended up fighting with this computer and didn't get anything else done.

I've read some good things about the 204 Ruger, but haven't looked into that round very much. The new "hot thing" is apparently the .22 Nosler, but that was just introduced in January, and I'm not in the mood to be a very early adopter of a new caliber. It requires a new upper and different magazines. .22 Nosler was designed to fit the 6.8 SPC magazines. It's a 3300 fps cartridge.

Since no matter which way I go, I'll need to buy just about everything, I'll be reading and researching for a while.


Bob
 

Silverbullet

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#5
I'm planning on building a couple if and when able. But I'm thinking I want the 762x 39 and the 300 blackout. I have the colt heavy ar. But also an sks , so with cheap ammo stored it would be prudent. The 300. Because go big or go home. Still want my girls to be able to handle them. Or I'd go 458 socom really was thinking of 45 long colt but just not sure how many I need. Or even save up and build a gatling gun in 45-70 , an ultimate desire of mine.
Good thing I'm poor , I'd have a thousand acres in Texas . Live dead center and shoot everyday. Dreams are great life sucks.
 

Msalm

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#6
Les, I've built a lot of ar barrels from used center fire takeoffs. The 204 works well, with the 16" barrel a mid-length gas system works well, but gas port will need to be a little larger. With the 20's and 17's start small on the gas port and open up just enough that the bcg recoils far enough back to catch the bolt face on the bolt catch. With a good barrel they usually shoot easily 1/2 MOA. I often bought shot out high power barrels in 6.5-284 for $50-75. Cutting 6" off the chamber end and a few off the muzzle yielded 20-22" blanks perfect for 6.5 grendels. After finishing them a borescope couldn't tell it wasn't a new barrel even though there was no throat left on the original lead. They shot easy 1/2 MOA toO. Ended up with a real good barrel with Krieger, bartlien, etc and they were just great. Customers loved them and they got a shooter for quite a bit less than a new one (I always told them exactly what it was).

I would suggest making a mandrel for the upper you can mount in the lathe and face off the upper receiver along with using BAT extensions. I chamber through the headstock and after screwing on the extension the runout on the outside of OEM extensions would be .010- .025". The BAT extensions never ran out more than .001 to .0015". And the shouldered up square on the faced upper. I would also add a coat of red locktite around the extension in the upper to ensure no movement after installing. Locktite the extension, lubricate the barrel nut.
 

Les B

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#7
Msalm, Thanks for the info as this is my first AR15 Anderson 5.56 , 16 in. carbine rifle. I used the same dimensions as Anderson had for the gas port location and the size to drill the hole. The gas port had to be .625 dia. as the #2 barrel was too small to use the gas port from the Anderson barrel. I made a collar to fit the forend spacer which was for a .750 barrel size and let me adjust to hold the gas port in the correct location for the gas hole. I have only fired 25 rounds and everything works fine. I will set the barrel extension in red loctite as soon as I am certain that all parts are working their best.
This is the Krieger barrel that I used to make my first 204 Ruger in the write up Stockmaking from a blank at the top of the Gunsmith forum on this site. Page 5 on the write up has some of the details of my project. I have had over 80,000 hits on that site and lots of people now know how to make stocks like some of us Grumpy old Gunsmith's. Didn't I have contact with you when I started making DVD and USB's on my projects?

I decided that I needed to learn more about the AR15 as they became popular about the time I quit doing general gunsmithing. My interest was more into stock making and about a month ago I bought my first AR15 and started to read about the many topics on this rifle. It reminds me of the early days with the Rem. 740's and Win.100's. Stoner has a very good design for the semi auto rifle and now I will enjoy using the new 204 Ruger. I like this caliber and now I have 3 204 Ruger chambered in mini Mauser, a Martini, and this AR15. I had to retire my 17 Rem when this caliber came into being better choice for longer range variment hunting.

Thanks,
Les Brooks
 

Msalm

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#8
Yes, I did get your USB a while back, many thanks for that AND that wonderful thread on building a stock from scratch with hand tools. Very nice to see the whole process and you deserve the many thanks given for taking the time to post that information. I remember the issue with that barrel and the crusty lathe you used to fit the new one...that was interesting as well!

I've built AR's for awhile now, and worked on them for over 20 years in the military. I started doing barrels from the blank because the quality was somewhat lacking with any of the OEM and aftermarket stuff, and I do like a quality barrel. I've built AR's in many calibers, the 17 Remmy, 204 Ruger, 20 Tactical, 5.56, 6X45 (nice little caliber there!), 6,5 Grendal, 6X47 Lapua, 6.5 Lapua, 243, 260, 7mm-08, 308, 338 Fed, 358 Win, 458 Socom, 10mm Auto, and maybe another one or two I forgot... With the red locktite, be sure and face off the receiver if possible too. Just like a good bolt gun, a good square receiver face is important and most of them are definitely not square.

If you like cheap shooting and the 204 caliber performance, look at either the 20 practical or 20 tactical. I use the tactical, but to each their own. Dies are readily available and it is a VERY easy task of full length resizing once fired 223 or 5.56 brass and loading them up. Doesn't hurt a bit when you don't find all your cases. I would also expect very good accuracy from a well built AR. As I mentioned before, 1/2 MOA accuracy is well within norm for a quality barrel.

As for quality barrels, those Green Mountain 1.050" unturned blanks are a great value and offer some cheap options for less than $60 with a little extra work. I usually contour the blank within .010" or so, then cast a lap in the bore and finish lap the barrel. They clean up really well as the finish ream is very good on most of them before buttoning. After lapping I thread, chamber and finish contour the blank, cut, crown and drill the port. I made a few jigs to get the port in the proper location, and for a time even timed the barrel nut so the port would be in the center of a groove, but they seem to shoot either way.

Have fun and I'm glad I could offer some little information in return to all you've given to the trade.

Best regards,
Matt Salm
 

Les B

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#9
Matt,

I have a 20 cali. about the same size as the 204 Tactical on the Martini action. I shoot with reduced loads to make it easy to extract and eject the case. I made the reamers and headspace gage so I could make the cases about .100 shorter than the 204 Ruger. I still haven't played with this rifle much as the mini Mauser 204 Ruger has moved to first place for now. Shilen barrels are about 40 miles up the road from where we are at this time. I knew ED and have used several of their barrels. The replacement for the Krieger barrel that swelled is a Shilen 1/12 and it shoots better groups than the original barrel.

Have you done any rust bluing with the PVC pipes to steam the barrel hanging upright inside the tube? I tried this method last year and it is better for me than the tanks to boil the parts. I made my set up and use a tea kettle with a rubber hose going into the bottom of the PVC and use the Brownell's rust blue solution. I will be rust bluing this AR15 barrel soon.
 

Msalm

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#10
I'm ashamed to say most of my stuff gets ceracoated, stainless for the most part, but I do have two lothar blanks here that are unturned in 9.3 and 416. 9.3x62 on a tang safety ruger and the 416 on a new CZ 550 rigby action. I have a real appreciation for blued steel and classic wood stocks. Planning on turning integral sight bases and sling on the blanks and stocking in English style with some Turkish walnut I've had for 6 years or so. That metalwork will either get rust blued or prepped and sent to Glenrock for a dip.

The second rifle I built for myself was a martini at an NRA short course at MSC. Called Ed Shulin at the time and he sent me a real nice roughed out stock blank for it and a matching forend block. I chambered that in 17 Ackley Bee. Shoots very well, but doesn't see much use as a fox gun as was intended...coyotes did them in around here.

For barrels I pretty much stick with Brux and Mullerworks. Lucky enough to call the owners of both places friends and I enjoy stopping by and digging around in the 'extra' bins. Always come up with interesting projects that way....don't know how many rifles I've built around an interesting barrel I found collecting dust.
 

RodneyQ

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#11
Oh you didn't tell me today that you have already built a .204 upper for your AR. Got the bug didn't you (kind of like me with the lathe LOL). I guess all that's left to do now is hit the range and compare rifles. I am sure yours will out shoot mine, but hey I am willing to try. Still haven't work up any reloads or even bought the dies yet, been kind of busy with other things, but it's on my to-do list.
Well hope the fishing goes well, let me know and I'll be there.
 
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