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BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog

BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about how to solve difficult finishing problems. For over 50 years, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) has helped customers use brushing technology to clean, rebuild, and resurface components ranging from engine cylinders to brake rotors to flywheels to firearms. BRM's Blog on CR4 provides real-world examples of how flex hones and wire brushes work. It also evaluates related technologies and invites questions from the community.

How to Maintain Rifle Chambers

Posted January 26, 2015 6:17 PM by Brush Research

Flexible hones impart the optimum surface finish to any type or size cylinder, chamber, slide, magazine tube, or smoothbore barrel. These gunsmith tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) refine the raised areas or "peaks" that can interfere with proper firearms functioning. They also produce oil-retaining "valleys" that improve a metal surface's ability to retain oil. The plateau finish that flexible honing imparts doesn't remove significant amounts of material, however. In this way, flexible hones improve surface finish while keeping the bores of your firearms at their precise dimensions.

Flex-Hone tools for Firearms are available for pistols, revolvers, rifle chambers, smoothbore shotguns, and even paintball guns. At SHOT Show 2015 in Las Vegas last week, the BRM technical team talked to shooters, hunters, gunsmiths, and firearms manufacturers who wanted to learn more about our Made in the USA gunsmithing tools. As a full-line supplier of surface finishing solutions, BRM enjoys describing the benefits of Flex-Hone technology. At the same time, there's no substitute for what Flex-Hone for Firearms users say about our products. Here are two success stories about BRM's rifle chamber hones.

Polishing AR-15 Chambers

On the Guns Magazine website, an article entitled AR-15 Building Tools - Part II described what a shooter called "handy" items for firearms maintenance. The list included rear-sight spring tools, a bolt disassembly fixture, and a front takedown pin detent installer. The gunsmith also emphasized the importance of polishing AR-15 chambers to ensure that spent cartridge cases eject properly. The gun tool he mentioned by name was the Flex-Hone for Firearms.

Self-centering, self-aligning to the bore, and self-compensating for wear, flexible honing tools feature abrasive globules or balls that are permanently bonded to flexible nylon filaments. In the case of AR-15 chambers, the Flex-Hone for Rifles safely removes residues, machining marks, corrosion, oxidation, and surface imperfections. BRM's rifle chamber hones have a 1-5/8" silicon carbide (SC) abrasive part and come in overall lengths (OALs) of 6, 8, 12, and 14 inches.

Maintaining U.S. Model of 1917 Firearms

According to the U.S. War Department's Basic Field Manual of 1942, the chamber of the M1917 Enfield rifle "must be cleaned as thoroughly as the bore" because "a rough chamber may cause shells to stick." The Flex-Hone for Firearms wasn't invented back then, but that didn't stop a gun blogger from using a modern-day rifle tool with a U.S. Model of 1917 Enfield Rifle. Unable to remove rust and residue with a chamber brush, the gunsmith tried flexible honing.

Later, while updating readers about this firearms restoration project, the gun blogger reported that that the M1917 rifle's rounds now "ejected like butter". Firearms manufacturers often use Flex-Hone tools with production equipment, but the gunsmith chucked the mandrel of this flexible hone into a handheld electric drill. With the receiver and the chamber clamped in a vice between two wooden blocks, honing the rifle chamber for about a minute did the trick. "This works!!!", the gun specialist explained.

Share Your Story

Have you used Flex-Hone for Rifles tools to remove tool marks, residues, build-ups, or corrosion from rifle chambers? What was your experience like, and which types of long guns did you maintain? Even if you didn't get a chance to visit us at SHOT Show 2015, we'd like to hear your story. BRM's technical team can also provide you with information and advice to supplement blog entries like this. Watch our Flex-Hone for Firearms Instructional Video, too.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Gunsmithing Tools for Pistols and Revolvers

Posted January 19, 2015 1:23 PM by Brush Research

Handgun maintenance is essential for the proper functioning of semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Flex-Hone for Firearms tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) remove build-ups of primer, gun powder, and ammunition casing materials from handgun cylinders. BRM's gunsmithing tools also remove surface irregularities such as machining or tooling marks. For cowboy action shooters, these reliable brushing tools are a good choice for removing residues from wax bullets.

Flexible honing for handgun cylinders imparts a finish that's free from these and other surface imperfections. BRM Flex-Hone for Firearms tools also impart a series of regular grooves that promote optimum lubrication. Firearms manufacturers, gunsmiths, gun collectors, and handgun owners alike also appreciate how flexible honing imparts a surface finish that looks great and helps to protect gun parts from fouling and corrosion.

Handgun Maintenance

As an experienced supplier of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research understands the needs of the firearms industry. Without proper maintenance, semi-automatic pistols can experience misfeeds, failures to eject (stove pipes), and misfires. Residues on the follower, feed ramp, bolt face access, or extractor groove can prevent a cartridge from chambering properly. Build-ups at the chamber's breech can keep cartridges from fully loading, leaving the bullet rim unsupported.

Revolvers can also malfunction if they're not maintained. For new shooters, it's important to remember to hold the muzzle upwards while extracting spent shells. Otherwise, burned powder residue and unburned gun powder can become lodged under the star extractor, preventing the star from fully seating in the cylinder recess. Problems associated with a residues can also affect experienced shooters, which is why periodic gun maintenance is so important.

Flexible Hones for Handgun Cylinders

BRM supplies chamber hones for a variety of handguns, including .32, .357 MAG / .38 cylinder, .41 MAG, .44 MAG, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, and 9mm. These Made in the USA Flex-Hone tools have a 1-5/8" abrasive part and an overall length (OAL) of 3 inches. Depending on your surface finishing requirements, choose silicon carbide (SC) abrasive in either 400 or 800 grit. If a surface requires significant improvement, start with a lower-grit tool and then use a higher-grit tool for the final finish.

Flex-Hone for Firearms tools are also available for maintaining the slides on semi-automatic pistols made by Smith & Wesson, Beretta, and Sig Sauer. These 800-grit SC tools have an overall length (OAL) of 8 inches. Handgun owners can also choose gunsmithing tools for the slide lug area or the main spring housing in Model 1911 firearms. M1911 pistols are used by military and law enforcement personnel, and remain a favorite of recreational shooters.

Visit BRM at SHOT Show 2015 (Booth #2828)

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to SHOT Show in Las Vegas from January 20 to 23, 2015? Visit BRM in Booth #2828 at the Sands Expo Center and learn more about Made in the USA surface finishing tools for semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Our technical team is ready to answer your questions, and can tell you more about the handgun maintenance tools shown in this new YouTube video. To arrange a meeting, contact BRM today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

2 comments; last comment on 01/20/2015
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Gunsmithing Tools for Rifles and Shotguns

Posted January 12, 2015 1:00 PM by Brush Research

Firearms maintenance and cleaning won't make you a marksman, but experienced gun owners and manufacturers understand the importance of choosing the right gunsmithing tools. Flex-Hone for Firearms tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) promote firearms performance by improving the surface finish of gun parts. That's why amateur and professional gunsmiths alike use Flex-Hone tools for rifles and shotguns when it's time to clean and maintain chambers, barrels, and forcing cones.

Rifle Chambers

The Flex-Hone for Rifles removes residues, surface imperfections, and machining marks from a rifle's chamber, the part of the firearm where the cartridge is inserted prior to firing. Polishing this part of the action promotes smoother loading, feeding, extracting, and ejection in bolt, pump, lever, and gas-actuated rifles.

BRM supplies rifle chamber hones for a wide variety of long guns, including .17 CAL/.22 MAG, .223 Remington, .243, .357, 25-06, 30-06, .308, .44 MAG, .44 CAL, .45 COLT, 50 BMG, 5.56 NATO, 6.88 MM, 7.62x39MM SAAMI, and 7.62x51MM NATO. These Made in the USA Flex-Hone tools have a 1-5/8" abrasive part and are available in overall lengths (OALs) of 6, 8, 12, and 14 inches.

Shotgun Barrels

Flex-Hone for Shotguns tools are great for Mossberg 500 barrels, Remington 1100 barrels, and many other types of smooth bore shotguns. By improving the inner diameter (ID) surface finish, these BRM barrel hones make shotgun cleaning faster and easier. Flex-Hone for Firearms tools are also used with new shotgun barrels, which sometimes have reamer or machine marks that can accelerate fouling.

In both new and used shotgun barrels, even the smallest surface irregularities can cause problems. For example, moisture can collect in tiny scratches or shallow grooves and cause corrosion. Plastic fouling and carbon or lead build-ups can hide this rust and lead to higher pressures and patterning problems. To prevent excessive fouling with each added shot, use a BRM barrel hone to eliminate surface roughness.

Shotgun Chambers

In single and double barrel shotguns, the chamber is the part of the firearm where the shell is fitted for firing. Older shotgun chambers that were made for paper-hulled shells often experience problems with today's plastic shotshells, but that's not the only potential gun maintenance issue. Newer hunting and tactical shotguns also need a wear-resistant finish that's free of surface imperfections.

Like BRM's shotgun barrel hones, Flex-Hone for Firearms tools for shotgun chambers are ideal for long guns made by Remington, Mossberg, Winchester, Bernelli, and other firearms manufacturers. Choose gunsmith tools for 10, 12, 16, 20, or .410 gauge shotguns and, depending on the base material, select aluminum oxide (AO) or silicone carbide (SC) as the abrasive. Grit size is also important to consider.

Shotgun Forcing Cones

Shotgun forcing cones are areas of transition between the chamber of the barrel and the bore, and between the bore and the choke. As their name suggests, these cone-shaped regions are designed to force the shot charge or shot column. Shooters sometimes argue about whether or not a shotgun need longer forcing cones, but experienced gunsmiths understand the importance of surface finish.

Even if a shotgun forcing cone is cut with a high-quality reamer, leftover ridges may affect the shot pattern. By honing these ridges with the Flex-Hone for shotgun forcing cones, gunsmiths can polish the metal to impart a finish that results in smoother shot construction with less barrel fouling. BRM supplies medium, fine, and ultra-fine grits for 12, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns.

Visit BRM at SHOT Show 2015 (Booth #2828)

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to SHOT Show 2015 in Las Vegas later this month? Visit BRM in Booth #2828 at the Sands Expo Center and learn more about Made in the USA surface finishing tools for rifles and shotguns. Our technical team is ready to answer your questions, and can tell you more about the gunsmithing tools shown in this new YouTube video. To arrange a meeting, contact BRM today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone blog.

2 comments; last comment on 01/13/2015
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Gunsmithing Tools at SHOT Show 2015

Posted January 05, 2015 2:58 PM by Brush Research

SHOT Show 2015 is the premiere trade-only event for the firearms, ammunition, hunting, and shooting accessories industry. Commercial buyers and sellers of law enforcement, military, and tactical products and services are also invited to attend this exclusive tradeshow and conference from January 20 to 23 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), SHOT Show attracts more than 65,000 industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and over 100 countries. With more than 1,600 exhibitors filling booth space spanning 630,000 net square feet, it's important to start planning now so that you don't miss valuable opportunities on the tradeshow floor.

For SHOT Show attendees who want high-quality gunsmithing tools for firearms maintenance and cleaning, the Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) booth is the place to be. Visit BRM in Booth #2828 and learn how gun manufacturers, gunsmiths, and gun owners use Flex-Hone® technology to impart the ideal surface finish to smooth bore barrels, chambers, cylinders, forcing cones, slides, and magazine tubes.

How Flexible Honing Promotes Firearms Functioning

Made with abrasive globules or balls that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments, the Flex-Hone for Firearms removes corrosion and wear, optimizes lubrication, and leaves gun parts at the precise dimensions required. Each BRM gunsmithing tool features a rigid, metal stem for easy mounting in most any rotating spindle, including handheld power tools and production equipment.

As this video shows, Flex-Hone for Firearms technology removes oxidation and rust, blends out scratches, and removes small nicks that can cause plastic adhesion. The gun tool's low-pressure, low-temperature abrading process also removes built-up residue, helping to promote accuracy and reduce wear while keeping smooth bores, chambers, and cylinders at the precise dimensions required.

Flex-Hone for Firearms tools also produce a surface finish that helps rounds fall from the cylinder and eject from the chamber. In addition, flexible honing allows reloads to enter quickly and smoothly with reduced brass scarring. As experienced gunsmiths, gun owners, shooters, and hunters know, Flex-Hone tools for Firearms are the right choice for making emptying and reloading smoother and easier.

Protect Your Guns with a Long-Wearing Plateau Finish

In addition to smooth bore barrels, cylinders, and chambers, the Flex-Hone for Firearms is ideal for imparting a long-wearing surface to the slides of automatic pistols and the magazine tubes of shotguns and rifles. Flex-Hone tools are available for any type or size of cylinder, and help improve firearms function while extending the life of shotguns, rifles, revolvers, pistols, and paintball guns.

The plateau finish that BRM gun tools impart also promotes lubrication. By removing the peaks produced by prior honing and machining operations, plateau finishing creates a flat, smooth, cross-hatched surface with oil-retaining valleys. Gunsmiths, gun owners, and firearms manufacturers alike trust Flex-Hone technology for firearms cleaning, polishing, and maintenance.

Visit BRM at SHOT Show 2015 (Booth #2828)

For more information about the Flex-Hone for Firearms, visit BRM in Booth #2828 at SHOT Show 2015 from January 20 to 23 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Members of the firearms, ammunition, hunting, outdoor trade, and shooting accessories industry can also learn about Flex-Hone® technology by watching this video, or by downloading the Flex-Hone for Firearms brochure.

To arrange an appointment with the BRM team at SHOT Show 2015, contact us today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Surface Finishing News – 2014 Year in Review

Posted December 29, 2014 3:55 PM by Brush Research

As 2014 draws to a close, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) brings you highlights from this year's headlines about our full line of surface finishing solutions. For outer diameter (OD) applications, BRM NamPower nylon abrasive brushes create consistent, reliable, and cost-effective results. For resurfacing brake rotors and flywheels, the Flex-Hone for Rotors imparts the ideal surface finish. For cylinder wall surface improvement, Flex-Hone tools set the standard for deburring, deglazing, and surface quality.

The New Year is almost upon us, but don't turn the calendar just yet. First, flip through the pages of some leading publications that featured NamPower technology, the Flex-Hone for Rotors, and Flex-Hone tools for inner diameter (ID) applications in 2014.

Automated Deburring with NamPower Technology

Last March, NamPower abrasive nylon brushes were featured in Industrial Machinery Digest magazine. These high-performance brushing tools were also showcased in another leading trade publication, Modern Machine Digest. When Orange Vise, a California maker of CNC machine vises and quick-fixturing components, wanted to achieve a smooth, blended finish on machined components, BRM's NamPower abrasive disc brushes exceeded the manufacturer's expectations.

"We started using NamPower brushes for deburring," says Orange Vise founder Eric Sun, "but quickly discovered they provided a really nice surface finish." Before using NamPower technology, the CNC parts manufacturer removed burrs by hand. Today, the Orange County company mounts NamPower abrasive disc brushes in its Mori Seiki NHX4000 high-speed horizontal machining center for automated deburring that creates a uniform appearance - even on machine vises made of different metals.

Brake Jobs with the Flex-Hone for Rotors

Last August, DSPORT magazine reviewed the Flex-Hone for Rotors, BRM's surface finishing solution for new and turned brake rotors. To test BRM brake hones under real-world conditions, this publication for the automotive aftermarket and performance racing industry acquired four used rotors from a race car. Equipped with a cordless drill and a coarse-grit brush tool, the DSPORT crew removed the transfer layer from each rotor's face. The mechanics then switched to a medium-grit tool, and finally to a fine-grit tool.

As the "Glaze is for Donuts" article explained, the Flex-Hone for Rotors breaks the glaze-like finish that is transferred from overheated brake pads to brake rotors. Designed to promote proper pad bedding, BRM brake hones remove this transfer layer, expose the brake rotor's surface, and impart a unidirectional surface finish that reduces harmonic vibrations. Flex-Hone for Rotors tools are also ideal for use with improperly bedded rotors, and for removing surface corrosion and sharp edges.

Flexible Honing Improves Piston Ring Performance

Last October, Performance and Hotrod Business magazine explained how BRM Flex-Hone tools can help increase piston ring performance. In "Rings True," PHB described how flexible hones "allow for the fine-tuning of cylinder bores," even in engine blocks made of harder materials that can make piston ring break-in challenging. As Keith Jones of Total Seal explained, "We recommend this type of hone because it works very well, is easy to use with a hand-held drill motor, and is really foolproof" for non-machinists.

Jone's company, an engine parts maker, chooses flexible cylinder hones with levigated alumina super-fine abrasive. BRM supplies ball hones, as Flex-Hone tools are also known, in 11 different abrasive types and 8 different grit sizes. Mechanics, machinists, manufacturers, and metalworkers are welcome to contact BRM with technical questions, and to download the Flex-Hone Resource Guide for more information.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone® Blog.

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Watch BRM’s 30-Second 350 Chevy Engine Rebuild Video

Posted December 15, 2014 1:21 PM by Brush Research

In the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, master car thief Randall "Memphis" Raines returns to Southern California to steal 50 vehicles in 96 hours. In BRM's new YouTube video, a team from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) rebuilds a used 350 Chevy engine in just 30 seconds. BRM's time-elapsed video isn't a Hollywood blockbuster, and the V8 powerplant that we purchased was acquired legally from a Los Angeles junkyard. For members of the performance racing industry who saw the rebuilt block at PRI Show 2014, however, BRM brushing tools are engine maintenance superstars.

BRM's time-elapsed video captures the highlights of an in-depth automotive project that took weeks to complete. The employees in the video don't rebuild engines for a living, and they had plenty of other jobs to do during their busy workdays. Team BRM delivered, however, and demonstrated once again that our flexible honing and brushing tools set the standard for surface finishing success. Engine cleaning is a process, of course, but BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video moves fast. So let's take a look at the engine tools you'll see before this YouTube video is gone in 30 seconds.

Flexible Cylinder Hones

BRM Flex-Hone tools have distinctive abrasive globules or balls that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. These flexible cylinder hones are self-centering and self-aligning to the bore, and can be used with handheld power tools like the electric drill in the video. Ball hones are also self-compensating for wear, which means that the abrasive you need is always at the outermost edge of the tool. As a Flex-Hone® tool's abrasive globules wear, fresh cutting particles are exposed.

Flexible hones don't require special training or complex setups and clean-ups either. As BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video shows, cylinder wall surface finishing is easy-to-achieve. The plateau finish that flexible honing imparts optimizes lubrication, which is essential to engine performance. Plateau honing also promotes proper piston ring seating and sealing. Additional applications for BRM ball hones include cylinder wall deglazing and removing burrs from cross-drilled holes.

If you watch BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video carefully, you'll notice that two different kinds of Flex-Hone® tools are used. BC Series Flex-Hone tools are small-diameter engine hones that are designed for bores ranging in diameter from 4-mm to 3-in. GB Series Flex-Hone tools are designed for bore diameters from 3-1/4" to 4-5/8" inch, and have an overall length of 13-1/2". Both types of engine hones are Made in the USA.

Automotive Brushes

BRM's time-elapsed video moves fast, but copper center wire wheel brushes also play a role that you won't want to miss. Wire wheel brushes are great for removing rust from engine blocks, and are ideal for use with handheld power tools. Unlike some larger-diameter brushing tools, BRM's small-diameter copper center wheels won't push away from the work surface. Depending on your engine cleaning and maintenance requirements, choose brush tools with either stainless steel or carbon steel filaments.

As the time-elapsed video also shows, wire end brushes are used for general block cleaning. These power brushes clean, blend, polish, deburr, and prepare surfaces in small, tight, or hard-to-reach areas. Typically, wire end brushes are used with handheld power tools. BRM's hand scratch brushes are also part of the engine rebuild video, and are great for hand deburring, thread cleaning, and rust removal. BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video moves fast, so hang on for the ride.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

1 comments; last comment on 12/16/2014
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