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Help Me Understand 2-Piece Barrels

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Big_Drunk, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Big_Drunk

    Big_Drunk

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    My understanding is that Springfield Armory GI and Mil-Spec models have 2-piece barrels. I know these pistols are extremely popular, but what, if any, should my concerns be concerning 2-piece barrels?

    I have a good friend at work who wants a 5" stainless or nickel or chrome 1911 and doesn't want to spend more than about $600. I have tentatively recommended the GI or Mil-Spec, but would like to inform him correctly regarding the 2-piece barrels.

    If he decided it was not what he wanted, would it be expensive (How much?) to replace it with a one piece barrel. How much fitting would be required?

    Any suggestions or recommendations regarding alternate solutions?
     
  2. Big_Drunk

    Big_Drunk

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    I did a search on this forum and one on another site.
    I collected some information, but it was mostly just a post or two in a thread regarding something else.

    Thanks
     

  3. bac1023

    bac1023

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    A two piece barrel basically has an inner tube that's of higher quality and rifled. This cuts costs, by enabling the manufacturer to construct the majority of the barrel from lower grade steel.

    One piece barrels are generally more desirable, as they're formed from a single forging.

    That said, I'm no barrel expert. :dunno:






    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  4. skipsan

    skipsan

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    Its a fact that Brazilian made G.I.s and Mil-Spec sport a two-piece barrel. Not sure about the U.S. ("NM" serial numbeed) Mil-Specs. The parting line between the two pieces is readily visible on the barrel hood. I don't know what the welding process is--friction weld, e-beam, etc. or if is brazed as some report, but the line between the two pieces is very sharp and distinct. Given that that the two-piece barrels are limited to the lower priced models, I'm sure the reason is related to cost savings.

    I believe I've read about failures at the weld joint, but these were not kabooms in the classic (or harmful) sense. Personally, it doesn't bother me. If it were a safety issue, there would be a recall. I guess I'd prefer a single piece barrel, but like MIM, I'm not gonna loose any sleep over it.
     
  5. Big_Drunk

    Big_Drunk

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    Thanks Bac!

    For as much as I've read about two piece barrels, I've never read a post stating someone knew of one having a problem...like separation.

    I wonder if replacing the two-piece with a regular barrel would be much of an exercise?
     
  6. fistpoint

    fistpoint

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  7. El_Ron1

    El_Ron1 AAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

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    Are you saying that BHP and 1911 two piece barrels are sleeved? Or that the lug and cam portion is made of lower grade steel?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  8. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    I've seen a couple pics of them that had seperated.
     
  9. skipsan

    skipsan

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    I believe the premise that the two-piece designation implies that the entire barrel sleeves a smaller diameter rifled tube is incorrect. The SA two-piece barrels are butt-joined (welded/brazed) in the chamber area just forward of the word "auto" stamped on the barrel hood. The parting line is semi-readily visible if the hood is cleaned. Amateur pictures taken with cell phones clearly show the parting line.

    The reason appears to be to save machining time which is where he real $$ are in the manufacturing cost breakdown of a pistol. The relative cost of ordinance quality steel versus "oridinary" steel is chump change in the big picture. If you search the Springfield Forum at 1911forum.com, you'll find various posts on the subject, none of which give the two-piece configuration the kiss of death. At least one of the postings claims that very high value o/u shotguns are made this way with the larger diameter chamber sections attached to the barrel tubes either by welding or brazing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

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    Yes, base model Imbel/Springfields and all recent Brownings have two piece barrels. What the shotgun companies call Monobloc construction. The seam is visible. If it were a Beretta O/U the joint would be disguised with a band of engraving. It is not a butt joint, there is a barrel shank running all the way back through the breech section so that the chamber and bore are all one tube. The seam is visible in the ramp area of most such barrels. The SA is surely done to cut manufacturing costs by reducing machine time. Producing a barrel out of a rough forging takes time and generates a lot of chips. Making the breech section and the tube separately lets them start out closer to the finished shape and size. The join is by furnace or induction brazing, some guns show a little "gold" of the brazing alloy at the seam. There is one high speed low drag gunfighting coach who says they are prone to come apart with long use but I have not seen one to fail in ordinary use.

    The claim by Browning was that the two piece barrel allowed for better "grain flow" through the cam lug area and that the finished product was actually stronger than a one-piece. I have seen a picture of a (one, 1.0) Browning barrel with the shank pulled out of the breech.

    As to the OP, replacing a barrel because of naked fear of two pieces is going to blow his budget. He should just shoot the standard gun until the barrel wears out and replace it with something he thinks more durable.
     
  11. Big_Drunk

    Big_Drunk

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    I think irrational dislike would better describe my position, but you did encapsulate the issue in that one line.

    I really believe that the barrel is acceptable...I just don't like it.
     
  12. HAIL CAESAR

    HAIL CAESAR Senior Member

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    Well, I was going to say something. But then I got down to those two posts.

    Those fine fellas pretty much nailed it to the wall.
     
  13. Big_Drunk

    Big_Drunk

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    Thank you all very much. The info and links you provided helped my buddy to make an informed decision. He bought a SA Mil-Spec Stainless from Northern Firearms and is very confident in his decision.

    Awesome speedy responses! Thanks again.
     
  14. BOGE

    BOGE Millennium Member

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    The odds of a two piece barrel separating are about as likely as your being raped by a Sasquatch.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  15. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

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    Quote of the month.

    :number1:
     
  16. El_Ron1

    El_Ron1 AAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

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    That would have to hurt though. Wouldn't it?
     
  17. bac1023

    bac1023

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    They're sleeved. One tube inside another.
     
  18. bac1023

    bac1023

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    :rofl:

    That's funny.

    I agree as well. I never worried about two piece barrels.
     
  19. bac1023

    bac1023

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  20. CharlestonG26

    CharlestonG26

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    The Springfield 1911 two-piece barrels are not sleeved. They are made the same way Browning HP barrels are made. In fact, here's what Stephen Camp says about the matter in his review of the Mil-Spec:

    "Here you can see the stainless steel barrel in the Mil-Spec from SA. Note the "loaded indicator" slot in the barrel hood. Chambered cartridges are easy to see. I can live with or without it but it has caused no problems. Initially I had thought that this was a one-piece barrel, but barely visible about midway between the "O" in "Auto" and the end of the chamber area of this barrel you can see the hairline where the two pieces are joined. I have heard of one or two of these barrels coming apart, but have never seen it. I suspect those instances were flukes. Browning Hi Power barrels have been two-piece for decades as are current aftermarket match barrels for them from BarSto. I believe it to be plenty durable and have no intentions of changing it."
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010