Video: Customize a Gun With a New Barrel

It doesn’t have to be difficult to customize a gun. Simply swapping in a new barrel can change the function of a firearm.

In this video, Dave Morelli aims to customize a gun with Brownell’s short-chambered barrels, reamers and hand tools. By the end of a few hours, he’s revived an otherwise low-performing rifle.

Other Quick Ways to Customize a Gun

* Change out the stock. Morelli’s rifle in the video started out with a walnut stock. Now it uses an HS Precision stock. This increased performance in rugged terrain.

* Replace the scope or sights. After many years of use and abuse, it may be time to swap in some new ones.

* Install a bipod. This opens up a number of new applications for the firearm.

Customize a Glock for $200

If handguns are more your style, check out what Gun Digest did with $200 and a Gen 2 Glock 19 in this article. Here’s an excerpt:

The first upgrade — refinishing the slide in DiamondKote — would be purely cosmetic. At the recommendation of a local gunsmith, I sent the Glock’s slide and barrel to Mike Boglarsky at M&R Arms Specialties ( in Mt. Clemens, Mich. M&R offers a multitude of color options, from matte black to gold to purple. Being somewhat traditional but wanting to jazz up the Glock a bit, I was leaning toward the silver until Mike told me that he could also do a titanium color. Relying solely on Mike’s advice, I gave him the go-ahead.

Mike says he can apply color treatments to the Glock’s polymer frame as well, which I respectfully declined. In a couple days, Mike called to let me know the slide and barrel were ready for pickup. It looks great and the subtle but classy titanium color is a great match for the Glock’s dark polymer frame. Cost: $57 + shipping from M&R Arms

What ways do you customize a gun? Leave a comment below. For more information about retailers who sell gun parts, click here to visit this thread on

Learn More About How to Customize a Gun

Learn how to customize a gunLearn how to customize a gun from one of the foremost gunsmiths in the world, Patrick Sweeney. This Gunsmithing with Patrick Sweeney CD contains all three of his volumes in one spot. You’ll learn about customization and repair for rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Click here to learn how to customize a gun in the Gunsmithing with Patrick Sweeney CD.

One thought on “Video: Customize a Gun With a New Barrel

  1. gunslinger454

    This is a pretty good video, but there are a couple tips that you might want to keep in mind if you are contemplating a job like this. When finish reaming the barrel it is better to have the barrel mounted vertically if possible. This will keep the reamer straight in the chamber rather than allowing gravity to pull down on the back end & make it crooked. It is also better to use a tap T-handle on the reamer rather than a crescent wrench, and for the same reason. You don’t want to apply the pressure unevenly & in doing so get the chamber slightly out of alignment with the bore. In all honestly it probably won’t make that big of a difference, but if you want every little bit of accuracy possible it matters.

    There is another way to rebarrel a Remington 700 that is easier, cheaper & will get you more precise headspacing than is otherwise possible. You can do with a match-grade barrel from Bergara Barrels. Bergara barrels are similar to Shilen barrels in quality. In fact it was Ed Shilen who set-up Bergara’s barrel making operation for them.

    The primary advantage to the home gunsmith wanting to rebarrel a Remington 700 is the method that Bergara uses to set the headspace. What they have essentially done is to copy the method Savage uses on the Model 110. When installing the new barrel on the action you simply close the bolt on the “Go” gauge (the ejector should be removed from the bolt for best results), screw the barrel down until it is tight on the “Go” gauge & won’t tighten any further and then screw down & tighten the lock nut to lock the barrel in place. You don’t need a finish reamer, and you’ll get far more precise headspace than is possible with a reamer anyway. (That’s one of the reasons that Savage rifles are typically so accurate.) The Bergara barrels are available in both factory ‘sporter’ & ‘varmint’ contours and are even available already finished & blued. Prices are similar to those of short-chambered Shilen barrels, and they do make these barrels for Savage 10/110 actions, AR15’s and of course barrel blanks as well.

    (Just for the record, I am not associated in any way with Bergara barrels.)