Armalon Hammer Forged Barrels
Armalon Limited, incorporating its predecessor "Practisport", embraces almost 35 years trading as UK Registered Firearms Dealers specialising in the design, manufacture and custom gunsmithing of top quality firearms, particularly rifles, pistols and revolvers.
In the new millenia the company added to their existing largely CNC based production facilities, the complete barrel making plant previously owned and operated by Parker-Hale Limited when that was closed, in addition to selected equipment from ROF Nottingham Small Arms plant. With the original key production personnel, who successfully operated that 150 tons of plant, on hand. Armalon selectively refurbished and re commisioned the the equipment and learned the art of once again producing top quality barrels such as hade been made by Parker-Hale and ROF. Parker Hale produced a wide range of superb barrels from air arms and .22LR rifles to the 1200TX and other target rifles , the M82 and M85 Sniper rifles, the UK MoD’s L82A1 and L82A2 Cadet target rifles, and their full choice of reproduction muzzle loading classics. In addition many thousands of barrels were produced on contract for other discerning end-users demanding top quality such as Germany's Blaser rifles. and for the UK MoD’s L1A1 SLR and also their GPMG FN-MAG/USM240 type refurbishment programmes.
The outstanding performance established by the top quality barrels produced from this "stable" has been well established. Marksmanship records are consistently logged using everything from the earliest reproduction muzzle-loaders to the most modern The Parker-Hale classic rifles. The M85 for example out-shot all other contenders in trials for the UK Services Sniper Rifle, and the MoD's upgraded L82A2 Cadet Target Rifles on their first outing beat all previous records for accuracy and high scores by a huge margin. Armalon barrels have also been acclaimed by everyone from individual target and sports shooters to OEM manufacturers such as Bradley Arms. all astonished by their enduring accuracy. The barrels have also logged even more records such as at the Service Rifle Methuen when a competitor logged a score of 243 ex 250 with an Armalon .223 calibre PR rifle.
The hammer forging method of manufacture has been proved to produce superbly accurate barrels whose performance improves with use and which may peak in that respect well beyond 10,000 rounds, long after cut or button broached rifled barrels would be regarded as completely worn out. Unlike the other manufacturing methods, the hammer forging process aligns the molecular structure of the ordnance grade steel thereby gently and evenly work hardening the barrels. This makes them extremely stable in resisting dimensional changes to the bore, even where abrupt and significant transitions to the barrel’s external profile may be involved. For example the highly popular and effective Armalon deep barrel fluting may be successfully applied to forged barrels and Armalon's Enfield No.4 barrels with original 5 groove LH twist 1 in 10" rifling are entirely stable despite the complex bayonet lug geometry.
The forging process and special mandrels employed enable precise bore and groove dimensions to be achieved to suit the customer's preference and when required can also produce an even micro taper in each bore towards the muzzle. That ensures the propulsive gases remain encapsulated by the projectile which inhibits them from eroding the throat and bore as they are then unable to scour around the bullet in its track until after its release at the muzzle. The highly skilled art of the barrel straightener is applied many times during the key stages of production, which includes reaming and progressive honing for premium quality. As with motor tyres, barrels are usually the component that wears out first, especially with heavy use. Even relatively little used firearms which have been inadequately stored or maintained may only need re-barrelling with Armalon hammer forged components to restore them to tip-top performance. In addition to the two hammer forging lines, Armalon also run their in-house button broaching facility for barrels such as those in 416R stainless material that is not suitable for forging.
Other stainless alloys such as AISI 410 may be forged, however the preferred chrome-moly barrel steels may be nitrided to deliver far better corrosion resistance than stainless barrels, whilst also giving an incredibly hard and durable diamond like surface finish even within the bore.
With the plant installed at Armalon's ex-MoD Bampton works premises, with its 1000 amp 440 volt power supply, the plant re-commissioning was completed and returned to full production in 2010.. Tooling is available to produce barrels in virtually all the popular calibres*, rifling twist rates and forms. Barrel blanks, standard and special profiles may be ordered with thread forms and chambers as required, in the white or finished and blackened to customer’s preference. Finished barrels normally require proofing to CIP standards and may be short chambered to allow a final headspacing tolerance where needed. Classic barrel types may also be produced for a full range of muzzle loading and black powder arms. Tooling is available to produce .451 to .577 calibres in 3 groove 1853 Enfield pattern, 5 groove 1861/1858 Enfield plus the 8 groove Enfield Volunteer format. Included are Whitworth hexagonal form, Metford and Martini Henry 7 groove rifling in addition to smooth bored types. The plant is configured to manufacture even the longest barrels of these classic patterns.
As the UK’s sole remaining producer of centrefire, black-powder and smallbore hammer forged barrels, Armalon intends to take advantage of the decades of expertise and the capacity for premium quality barrel manufacture in volume. In addition to production of their own rifles and handguns, OEM and other appropriately qualified end-users plus other bona-fide dealers and consumers requiring top quality original or replacement barrels for their small-arms are invited to make contact and advise the company of their requirements. Armalon offers good availability of hammer forged barrels of optimum quality at reasonable prices.
* Calibres readily available include : .22, .222, 5.56/.223, .22-250, .243, .25-06, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm Mag, 7x64, .30 Carbine, 7.62, .308, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .303, 8x57, 9mm, 9.3x62, .375 Mag, .458 Mag, .451, .577, plus smoothbores in numerous incremental sizes from .196 to .577 cal. Other calibres and special twist rates are available to special order.