Why are pistol barrels not crowned, but rifle barrels are ?

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Thread: Why are pistol barrels not crowned, but rifle barrels are ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    Why are pistol barrels not crowned, but rifle barrels are ?

    Why are pistol barrels not crowned, but rifle barrels are ?

    All of my rifles have a crown, but I've never seen it on a pistol barrel.

    Just wonderin, as I am turning down a pistol barrel and it seems like a no brainer to put on an 11 crown.

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  3. #2
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    Pistol Barrels ARE crowned, just not as extremely crowned as rifle barrels and some have a far less pronounced crown than others.

    On the contrary, I haven't seen a pistol barrel that WASN'T crowned. It's just that not all of them have tapered or target or recessed crowns like you will find on some rifles.

    Tell me THIS is not a beautiful crown for a handgun...


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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    Really ? Never noticed. The bbl I am cutting was not crowned, just square. Any good pointers or rules of thumb for a suitable crown angle ?

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    They are just crowned differently, some have very pronounced crowns (like the picture above) and some are mostly flat with a TINY crown. Kimber comes to mind on these. If you look at their bull bbls on their pro and ultra models it's mostly square and you really have to look close for the crown but it's there.

    I don't know what the standard angle of cut is for a crown but I certainly know the importance of one. An uncrowned barrel is an accuracy disaster waiting to happen.

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    Member Array Jason Rogers's Avatar
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    What does crowning do for internal or external balistics? Or is it just cosmetic? My Sigs all are rounded at the muzzle. Is this crowning? I have never seen a complete right angle cut at the end of a muzzel in a handgun or rifle, but I have in many shotguns.-Jay

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    When a bullet leaves the muzzle of your gun the last thing it comes in contact with is the very tip of your muzzle. Gases need to expand evenly around that bullet to ensure that it continues on a straight, undisturbed path.

    This is where crowning comes in. A crown is cut in the barrel to ensure that the tip of the muzzle is perfectly even all around and is angeled in so that if there is any trauma to the muzzle (say, you drop your gun on its muzzle) the portion of the muzzle that last touches your bullet is undisturbed.

    If you have an uneven crown gases will expand unevenly and your bullet can be thrown off course.

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    OK, and don't "no one" do what my first impulse was---pick up your loaded gun to see if the barrel is crowned. (I didn't do it, but the thought crossed my mind before brain got into gear.)

    The topic is interesting. Why is the crown needed for accuracy? Anyone know how it functions to achieve accuracy?

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    And I hope it would be obvious as to why rifle crowns are a little more "artistic" and careful than pistol crowns.

    Targets are farther away and accuracy needs to be paramount, therefore crowns need to be perfect. With pistols you do have a LITTLE (a TINY, itsy, bitsy bit of) lee-way as it is assumed you aren't trying to shoot at targets 300 yards away.

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post

    The topic is interesting. Why is the crown needed for accuracy? Anyone know how it functions to achieve accuracy?
    This was explained in the post just prior to yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes
    When a bullet leaves the muzzle of your gun the last thing it comes in contact with is the very tip of your muzzle. Gases need to expand evenly around that bullet to ensure that it continues on a straight, undisturbed path.

    This is where crowning comes in. A crown is cut in the barrel to ensure that the tip of the muzzle is perfectly even all around and is angeled in so that if there is any trauma to the muzzle (say, you drop your gun on its muzzle) the portion of the muzzle that last touches your bullet is undisturbed.
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    This was explained in the post just prior to yours.
    Note the time stamp of the two posts though.

    It's very likely Lima's post was non-existant (not yet submitted) or even not amongst those displayed on Hopyard's screen at the time that he read the thread and thereafter made his subsequent post...just 2 minutes after Lima. It happens.

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    Member Array JudoJake's Avatar
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    Right on Limatunes. Very good explanation.

    That's why you never rest the barrel of the gun on anything. Even if it has a crown. That's just a good habit and one that makes you look professional around knowledgeable shooters.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I love the 1911 with a healthy crown. Here's one on a Kimber of mine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    When a bullet leaves the muzzle of your gun the last thing it comes in contact with is the very tip of your muzzle. Gases need to expand evenly around that bullet to ensure that it continues on a straight, undisturbed path.

    This is where crowning comes in. A crown is cut in the barrel to ensure that the tip of the muzzle is perfectly even all around and is angeled in so that if there is any trauma to the muzzle (say, you drop your gun on its muzzle) the portion of the muzzle that last touches your bullet is undisturbed.

    If you have an uneven crown gases will expand unevenly and your bullet can be thrown off course.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Guys, ALL barrels are crowned, if they are finished. This refers to the final facing cut at the muzzle. It may be 90* (what you see on 99.99% of factory pistols) or 11* (as Lima pictured.) The barrel may or may not also have a 45* chamfer inside the crown, to further recess and protect the rifling. It may be a notable step-down, done with a cutter, or a light chamfer done with lapping compound and a chamfering tool.

    The purpose is as Lima stated. 11* crowns theoretically uniform the flame-cone as the bullet exits the barrel, creating a more uniform turbulence behind the bullet, which is why they are common on custom rifles. The same applies to pistols, but I would venture it's more 'cause they look purty.

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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Note the time stamp of the two posts though.

    It's very likely Lima's post was non-existant (not yet submitted) or even not amongst those displayed on Hopyard's screen at the time that he read the thread and thereafter made his subsequent post...just 2 minutes after Lima. It happens.

    - Janq
    Thank you. I knew I hadn't seen Lima's explanation when I submitted my post.

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