6.8x19mm Update

I have been working on the 6.8x19mm project. I just ordered a .270 Winchester rifle barrel off of Ebay ($42 including tax) and it should arrive next week; .270 actually uses a 6.8mm/.277 bore. When it arrives I will throw it on the lathe and turn down a barrel-liner for my long-suffering Maadi Helwan and we’ll be in business.

I also came up with a method to swage some 6.8mm pistol bullets from 58gr. .251″ lead bullets so there’s something to start with. I obtained some 5.7x28mm brass from a friendly range-master and cut the cases to 19mm overall length. With a tiny bit of reaming they were good to go, and I loaded up some test ammo.

From top to bottom: .380 ACP, 32 ACP, 6.8x19mm and .25 ACP on the bottom.

So, I have the gun, ammo and barrel. I still needed a magazine. I happened to have a Promag magazine that fits, so I modified the feed lips and follower and after some testing I have a magazine. It feeds great, especially since the 9mm chamber is massively oversized for the cartridges. Hand-cycling is kind of a hoot; just point the barrel down, rack the slide and the cartridge’s slide out the end of the barrel. Hey, it’s proof-of-concept!

Who says Promags are useless? hey, at least I don’t mind possibly screwing them up!

The magazine comfortably holds nine rounds. It’ll take ten, but why fuss with it? because of the smaller cartridge diameter the slide would lock back with a round still in the magazine, but a couple minutes with a file lowered the step in the follower enough that it now locks back on the empty magazine.

Of course even after I have the barrel on hand and lined there’s a hell of a lot of work left to do. I suppose it would be easier to mount the barrel on an existing single-shot pistol, but where’s the fun in that? Much more interesting to develop a functioning semi-automatic pistol.

Stay tuned, this one will probably come together in the next couple of weeks, then it’s on to ballistic testing…

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 26 April 2022

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