I came a crossed this site and was wondering if anyone here has any experience with MR. Barden, his shop, or building a barrel set or gun like this.
I have two sets of barrels for my fox, sk1/sk1 and m/f. I thought it would be a fun project to make a set of ic/m to cover the middle ground and have three sets. Maybe even get a kit and do a whole gun at some point. I'm just getting into older guns and have a Elsey and a fox. I still have a lot to learn. This would be a fun way to become intimately familiar with the fox boxlock. I've built a couple AR's and Bolt guns and really enjoy the process.
It looks like a decent deal for doing a barrel set but much more costly getting a kit to do vs finding a project gun. I would want to do the 16 ga. What are your thoughts on this?
Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Location: western pa
I'll just throw this out there before you invest anything into barrels you need to be very patient and very persistent with a file. Not telling you it can't be done but it's not for everybody. As I recall the extractors also need to be fit up, then when you are finished with that you are ready to polish and rust blue. If you are not a gunsmith or machinist it could end up being a big bite to chew. As far as adding value to the gun, you might break even but remember that it isn't numbered to the gun and has no collector value. Not to be a downer but something to think about. If you give it a shot, good luck to you.
_________________ Always get get a drink upstream of the herd-Will Rogers
If you have a Fox that absolutely needs re-barrelling, that would be a good way to go. But even if I had a good hand with a file and lots of patience, and I don't, I think getting a set of barrels and sending them to someone like Dewey Vicknair to be fitted to the gun and finished appropriately would be the far-more-efficient way - in time, money, headache, etc. - of going about it.
I daydream sometimes about building my own bamboo fly rods from the culm, but then I have a fit of sense and realize I'm far better off leaving that to someone who'll do a far better job and paying him. It rewards his skills and lets me devote my time to mine.
_________________ ďA manís rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.Ē
Frederick Douglass, November 15, 1867, speech in Williamsport, Pa.
Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Location: Mesquite, TX.
Steve Bertram has fitted a set of these barrels for a customer. It took a lot of time and Steve is quite competent. He told me that the rims for the shells had to be cut and the chambers reamed as well. That and a lot of polishing to get the solder off of the tubes. The extractor blades also had to be fit. A big job.
Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Jason is fabulous to work with. He basically has all the parts that were left over when the Fox factory closed down. Unless you are a highly skilled gunsmith/gunmaker turning a set of barrels in the white into a fully fitted set of barrels is way above your pay grade. More than a few sets have been ruined by folks who thought they could get a custom set of barrels for cheap. If you have one of the few people in the US capable of doing this well, and there are only a handful who could or would do this, itís about $4,000 a set. Thatís without any engraving. How do I know this? I know several people who have had this done. Iíve also inquired about having a set of barrels made. Wanted a set of 28 gauge barrels to go on my 20 gauge Fox, but thatís not going to happen. Iíve also handled a set of in the white Fox barrels - 32Ē 16 gauge! Crude barely begins to describe them. Youíre better off buying an entire really clean gun with the barrels you want.
Thanks everyone for the honest responses. It seems like a barrel from Mr. Barden is what I am looking for my next project.
This past weekend I finished the last rifle build I think I will do for a while. I still have a little playing to do with the load but I got 5, half grain increment loads that shot under 1/2 moa, 100 yard, 3 shot groups with it on Tuesday. I even had one group go .15 in center to center for the two farthest rounds. That's a shot group the size of a #2 lead shot with a 7 MM Rem mag shooting prone off bipods. The gun finished at just under 12 lbs loaded, scoped, with a bipod. I'm super happy with that. I have a few guns that will shoot as well or better but they are all smaller calibers.
This barrel project for me will be like the rifle builds I have done. I could never sell them for anything close to what I have in them for parts alone. I couldn't let one go for any amount of money either. For me it's about the process and my time and care that goes into them. It's also much more meaningful and rewarding using one. Hopefully I'll be able to have a set of barrels done before next season. I talked to my dad last night and he said one of my uncles has a fox 12ga. that has been disassembled and has no desire to do anything with it. He got it that way from my grandpa but none of the family can remember how it came into the family and my grandpa never used it. If the barrels go well I might see if I can get that gun for the next project.
Thanks again for the responses. I'll keep you guys updated on the progress when I get started.
I have had a couple pairs of these barrels in hand. They are ROUGH and require fitting to the action, striking, boring and chambers, extractors/ejectors fitted, extractor rims cut, ribs roll stamped.
These are parts that once belonged to Mr. Mitzi Beilen (former Fox employee) and they passed to his daughter on his death. Bardem has apparently bought them and made them available. This is a great opportunity for Fox owners, but I absolutely DO NOT recommend such a project for anyone but a very well qualified gunsmith.
_________________ Country to hunt, my setters, and a Fox 16 gauge...
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