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Late 8-44 Underwood barrel

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colreed View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 03 2022 at 2:55pm
I have acquired an Underwood barrel dated 8-44 in almost NOS condition. From my limited research, the only provenance I can assign this barrel is that it was part of a crate of NOS barrels dated 1944-1952 sent to Norway during the Cold War (Reference CCNLs 348 and 352). Can anyone offer any additional info regarding this late 1944 UEF barrel?

This type I barrel has the large loop P stamp 2 3/4" from the front sight, a long chamber skirt (parked and not in the white), and a very very..... what might be..... faint indication of a Type III band shadow. But I think it would pass as not having one. There are no other markings anywhere on the barrel. 

The long skirt has a 1/2 inch portion on the inside surface that has been beveled (see photo). 

Many thanks.



















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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2022 at 3:19pm
Hi Reed, I have 2 NOS Underwood barrels, one being an 8-44. They are both short chambered (if you plunk a round into the chamber the cartridge head is proud of the skirt using a straight edge). Both have the threads, chamber, and breech face in the white and show no signs of ever having been indexed on a receiver. I know for certain the 8-44 came from the Norway batch. It came complete with a front sight and type 3 barrel band installed.

Is your barrel short chambered? From other .U. NOS of this vintage I have seen as well as my own I think if NOS the chamber, breech face, and threads should be in the white. Regards,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colreed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2022 at 3:51pm
Hey Joel,
No, I don't think my is short chambered. The loaded round lines up perfectly flat when measured with a straight edge. And, I don't think any of mine is in the white, at least it all has a light gray appearance of a standard park Job. Do you see anything different from the photos?
Is a short chambered barrel good for anything? I suppose it has to be reworked for proper head space. 
Are you the fellow who obtained your barrels from Norway like the CCNLs speak of? Should have gotten more LOL.
I know mine has gone thru at least one other person, maybe more, before I got it. 
Regards, and be well.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 03 2022 at 5:48pm
Yes I'd say yours has those areas parkerized. Also I see to the rear of the sight key, the chisel stake mark appears to be parkerized and not in the white? It's hard to tell finishes from pictures. Mine are a very light gray and you can see the stampings in the white through the finish. Besides these loose ones, I have a Std Pro with a 4-44 .U. in similar condition, breech face and chamber in the white. I didn't install that barrel, but it's clear someone put a NOS one on it. A couple years ago I bought a pull through finish reamer which does the trick to headspace perfectly to the bolt.
I wish I had been in on the Norway barrels early, but no I bought mine from another collector that had obtained them from the gentleman who was selling them. I do remember seeing them on eBay and not being too interested at the time as they were selling for good money and I didn't have a use for them.
They are good shooting barrels.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote floydthecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 06 2022 at 8:10am
One needs to ascertain the case length of the round used to make an observation of chamber depth using the skirt as the gauge. Spec. round cases can be as short as 1.280. A case this short might not stand proud of the skirt in a short-chambered barrel. It seems to me that a sized case trimmed to 1.290 would be a valid test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colreed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 06 2022 at 8:28am
I will make measurements of different rounds and report back later. thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colreed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2022 at 9:25am
I measured the case length of the round shown in the photo. It is 1.281 and is dead flush with the skirt as best as I can eyeball it with a straight edge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote floydthecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2022 at 9:48am
I have never considered the relationship between the cartridge base and the back of the skirt to be a data point. Maybe a 1.290 case is suppose to be flush with the skirt face….I dunno. I don’t think skirt lengths are kept to any detailed tolerance to base a critical measurement on. I can usually look at the position of the cartridge rim channel in reference to the breach face and determine if it’s going to head space or be close to it. I think the only serious way to determine the depth of a chamber is when it’s properly head spaced in the receiver. I would guess that if a 1.281 case base rides flush with the skirt face…..chamber is going to be short.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2022 at 10:32am
Yeah it's definitely not a precise measurement, I have just used it as a sort of rough gauge where you need to make a quick determination without being able to put it on a receiver. I just had one where it was a hair gap below the skirt, and many bolts dropped in with a field gauge. My barrels that show flush, same bolts would not close on the field gauge. My test round shows 1.282 - 1.284 but that's a cheap digital caliper.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colreed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2022 at 11:36am
Thanks for all that. I guess what I'll have to do is put that barrel on a receiver and see how it headspaces. May take a while.
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