How Cold Hammer Forged Barrels Are Made

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In this article, we delve into the process of cold hammer forging, a method used to manufacture barrels that enhance the accuracy and durability of a combat rifle.

Despite having the best scopes and attachments, a rifle's performance is ultimately dependent on the quality of its barrel. Read on to discover how cold hammer forged barrels are made.

Understanding the Cold Hammer Forging Process for Manufacturing Rifle Barrels

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Cold hammer forging is a process of manufacturing rifle barrels that involves shaping a barrel blank by hammering it with a series of progressively smaller mandrels while the blank is cold.

The process begins by selecting a high-quality barrel blank made from a strong, durable material such as 4140 chrome-moly steel.

  1. The blank is then placed in a barrel forging die and subjected to a series of hammer blows from a series of mandrels.
  2. The mandrels are shaped to match the final profile of the barrel, and they gradually reduce the diameter of the barrel blank as they progress down the length of the barrel.
  3. As the barrel blank is pounded by the mandrels, it begins to take on the shape of the final barrel.
  4. The forging process also work-hardens the material, making it stronger and more durable.
  5. Once the barrel has been forged to the desired shape and hardness, it is heat-treated to further increase its strength and durability.
  6. After heat treatment, the barrel is machined to final dimensions and finish-machined to ensure that it meets the required tolerances.
  7. The final step in the process is to rifle the barrel, which involves cutting a series of spiral grooves into the barrel to impart spin to the bullet as it is fired. 

Cold hammer forging is a time-honored method of manufacturing rifle barrels that is known for producing strong, accurate barrels that are capable of handling the stresses of high-volume shooting.

Benefits of CFH Barrels

Some of the benefits of cold hammer forged barrels include:

Improved accuracy 

The hammering process used in cold hammer forging helps to align the grain structure of the barrel material, resulting in a more uniform and consistent barrel. This can lead to improved accuracy compared to barrels that are not cold hammer forged.

Increased durability

The cold hammer forging process strengthens and hardens the barrel material, making it more resistant to wear and damage. This can result in a longer service life for the barrel.

Better barrel harmonics

The hammering process used in cold hammer forging can also help to reduce barrel vibrations, leading to improved barrel harmonics and potentially better accuracy.

Customization options

Cold hammer forging allows for the production of barrels with custom contours and profiles, giving manufacturers the ability to produce barrels that are tailored to specific applications and requirements.

Overall, cold hammer forged barrels offer a number of benefits that make them well-suited for use in a variety of firearms, including assault rifles, machine guns, and other types of firearms that require a strong and precise barrel.

Firearms That Feature CFH Barrels

Most popular firearms today on the market feature cold hammer forged barrels. These include but limited to:

  • AR15
  • M16
  • FN M249
  • Glocks
  • Beretta M9
  • MP5
  • IWI X95
  • FN SCAR
  • Sig MCX

Machine guns in particular are designed to fire a large number of rounds in rapid succession. They require a barrel that can withstand the high levels of heat and stress that are generated during sustained firing.

One of the reasons why machine guns often use cold hammer forged barrels is due to the increased durability and longevity of these barrels. The cold hammer forging process hardens and strengthens the barrel material, making it more resistant to wear and damage. This can result in a longer service life for the barrel, which is important for a firearm that is designed to be fired for extended periods of time.

The combination of durability and accuracy makes cold hammer forged barrels well-suited for use in machine guns, which require a barrel that can withstand sustained firing and deliver precise shots at a variety of ranges.

FAQ

Are CHF Barrels Chrome Lined?

It is possible for CHF barrels to be chrome-lined, but it is not necessarily the case. Some CHF barrels are chrome-lined, but others are not.

Chrome-lining can provide increased corrosion resistance and wear resistance, but it can also affect the accuracy of the barrel to a small degree.

If you are in a location where there is a high risk of corrosion due to exposure to saltwater or frequent rainfall, a chrome-lined barrel can help protect your firearm from rust by providing increased corrosion resistance.

Please check the barrel manufacturers' spec for more details when buying a barrel.

How Long Does A Cold Hammer Forged Barrel Last?

The average service life for a cold hammer forged barrel is about 100,000 rounds. If the barrel is used non stop without break, it can wear quickly. 

We recommend swapping barrel at around 50 - 70K rounds for serious users.

Who Makes The Best Cold Hammer Forged Barrels For AR15?

Here are the 5 best cold hammer forged barrel makers for AR15 and other firearm platforms

  • Daniel Defense
  • FN
  • Bear Creek Arsenal
  • BCM
  • Ballistic Advantages