Can I send my gun to you?
NO! I only accept barrels. I do not work on guns.
However, my son Kurt can receive your gun for work that does NOT involve machining. Call him at 970 433 9525.
What is the cost of rechambering my barrel and how long does it take?
I do more .357 Maximum chambers than any others and have special pricing that includes return shipping by UPS Ground to the continental US.
USPS to Alaska and Hawaii is more and quoted separately.
Thompson Center Contender, G2, and Encore barrels and CVA Scout barrels, from $80 for Henry single shots bought here in El Dorado Springs, MO to $150 ppd depending on additional work needed.
H&R and other barrels with a non-removable forend stud or TC 10" barrels with permanent front sight require a special set up, $150 ppd.
I can also mill off the TC front sight on older vintage 10" tapered barrels and cold blue the spot for $30. This is the preferred method for best accuracy from these barrels.
I do not rechamber the old TC factory 10" octagon barrels.
See the first column on the Home page for specifics or contact me.
This is a personality test to filter out those with demand syndrome. I only want to work with good, patient people who can appreciate what I do, drama free.
I am a 72 year old doing a one man operation. Precision and craftsmanship govern my work, not how many and how fast. If you want fast, I cordially ask you to not do business with me for your sake and mine. Work is done when it is done, in as reasonable amount of time as I can cost effectively do the work in batches. Your work may get in on a batch and done within days, OR...... it may be months. I do not entertain badgering and charge $55 handling/shipping/nuisance factor to return barrels if you cancel.
I'm really a nice guy who uses what looks like a nasty attitude to run off volatile, demanding personalities. It works, and I focus on YOUR work in peace!
Sending work to me implies you agree to the above.
How do I order a custom barrel in .38 Special, .357 Magnum, or .357 Remington Maximum?
(Or other custom options)
I do not "make" barrels. Custom barrels are made by Match Grade Machine. Simply click on the link or call them at 435 628 0071 to order the barrel made however you want it and just ask them to ship the barrel to me to cut the chamber with my throat design. I bill you $105, including shipping to you, separately for doing a .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .357 Maximum chambers.
All other centerfire chambers are $125 plus $25 if modifying extractor by milling and hand work are necessary.
Whose chamber should I choose, yours or MGM's?
It is a tough question that you can best answer.
MGM's chambers are much, much more precisely aligned with the bore than typical TC factory barrels, and MGM uses ONLY cylindrical throats in their barrels..... none of the crappy forcing cone chambers that are essentially "shot out" barrels before you fire the first shot. Chamber cast an old barrel that has had thousands of rounds shot through it, and you will find the first .3 to .4" of a shot out barrel almost identical to a forcing cone chamber.
MGM's .357 Maximum throat is similar to mine. It starts at .358" diameter, then steps down to .357". It is amply long for seating the excellent 180 gr. Hornady XTP out to at least the lower crimp groove.
My throating is very similar but a few tenths of a thousandth tighter and has a short cone sufficient to prevent cast lead bullets from shearing lead going into the throat. I also dial in bores at the point where the throat will be cut before chambering to compensate for any warpage in the bore and assure a more positive throat alignment..... what I take pride in most.
The bottom line is that MGM's chamber gives superlative accuracy for placing shots at long range with either .357" or .358" bullets, better than most hunters can shoot under field conditions.
My chamber gives the most flexibility and excellent accuracy with whatever bullet you want to shoot, .357" or .358" jacketed or cast lead.
A head-to-head shoot off between our chambers would be quite interesting!
The choice is yours, whatever suits you best, and whether you want my "Mike Bellm" signature engraved on the barrel.
What is the best barrel length?
This is kind of a silly question UNLESS I know how you intend to use it. This is what "custom" is all about...... what meets YOUR needs!
20" is an optimum barrel length overall. Tests have shown that the slowest powders like 1680 and Lil Gun are still gaining about 15 fps past 20" while 296/110 actually LOSE velocity after 20".
IF you are stretching shots out around 250-300 yards, a heavy 24" barrel with the slow powders and 180 gr. bullets would be a good combination. But inside of 200-250 yards, barrel length is a toss up.
My preference is 20" for superb handling qualities for anyone, but especially for youngers, ladies, and folks with disabilities. 24" is just awkward for them to handle and shoot well. While on the subject, you guys handing kids and ladies a .460 S&W or other high powered .45 are just totally irresponsible..... stupid. Just because you can handle them does not mean smaller folks can. Wake up! Give 'em a decent opportunity to become good shooters.
I know you may have been forced into hunting deer with shotgun and/or muzzle loader, and this is your frame of reference, but do yourself a favor and kick the .45 deer gun habit. Think about it. Millions and millions of deer were killed for over a century with everything from .22 cal. on up with .30/30 one of the most popular of all "deer guns". .357 Maximum produces more energy and punches a bigger hole than .30/30. Deer are not any tougher to kill, but common sense among hunters and state legislators has sure gone down hill. Kick the .45's to the curb or save them for big hogs, elk, moose, and bear..... not deer.
Handgun still hunting and shooting without a rest potentially, 10-12" handles well.
Handgun deer sniping shooting from a rest only, go heavy up to about 16". Match Grade Machine will make the TC muzzle loader contour and supply adaptor screws for you to use your muzzle loader forend as a bench rest forend, a great economical way to go!
What is the best twist rate for .357 Maximum?
Short answer: Time and experience suggest it does not make a bit of difference except in extreme applications such as when shooting extremely heavy bullets sub-sonic where a 1-10 twist would be in order.
At the same time we have found that in the case of a prototype .357 Maximum AR-15 16 1/2" barrel I chambered in a 1-10 twist blank, the very first group it fired with zero load development went into .530" center to center with, I don't recall now, either 140 gr. Hornady FTX or 158 gr. Hornady XTP bullets.
On the other hand, MGM's tests cited above gave 1/4" center to center groups from a 1-20 twist with bullets clear up to 225 gr!
The vast majority of .357 Maximum barrels made have been with 1-14 twist and give superlative accuracy.
For over 100 years, Remington has used 1-16 twist blanks for everything from .35 Remington to .350 Remington Magnum.
The H&R .357 Magnum barrels are 1-16 twist.
Chambered and crowned right, .357 Rem. Maximum is a superlatively accurate cartridge fired from anything from .355" groove diameter barrels through .359" and twist rates from 1-10 through at least 1-20 twist.
A coin toss is probably as good a decider as personal subjectivity.
How do I send my barrel to you?
Remove the sights and/or scope base, hanger bar, or anything else extraneous if you can. The barrel has to be slick on top.
Do NOT remove small parts from the barrel lug. I need them to test fire.
UPS and Fed-Ex are preferred with nearly zero issues while losses and damage via the post office has been as might be expected.
Use a sturdy box in good condition with good padding around the barrel, especially on the ends of the barrel.
You MUST include a note with the barrel with:
- Your name with BOTH billing and UPS physical shipping addresses if paying by credit card.
- Phone number.
- email address so I can email your UPS tracking number.
- Instructions to include other work besides chambering, such as scope base, drill/tap for front sight, muzzle brake, etc.
- If paying by check, shipment is held for at least 2 weeks for checks to clear.
- Payment sent with barrel made out to Mike Bellm
- If paying by Pay Pal, include your Pay Pal email address.
- Get and keep your tracking number to verify your package arrived. Send a self addressed stamped envelope if you want further confirmation your package is in my hands. I do not send out property receipts.
Ship the barrel only to my new address:
P.O. Box 276
El Dorado Springs, Missouri
Phone: 541 956 6938 Leave a message!
(NEVER send a frame or gun to me. It will be refused and returned at your expense.)
Bullet seating stems for .357 Rem. Maximum:
Be sure to use a bullet seating stem that matches the bullet nose profile. Most .357 Magnum & Maximum dies have seat stems for either flat nose or round nose bullets. Contact the reloading die manufacturer for seat stems matching the bullet profile you are using. Lee is reported to do this very economically using your bullet sample as their guide.
We want your experience with the TC guns especially to be the very best you've ever had with any gun!
Warranty and customer support:
Accuracy is not just a function of the barrel!
When you get down to it, accuracy "guarantee's" are basically fraud since there is no way to control the user or the sighting equipment on the barrel. I make no accuracy guarantees, BUT if you follow our regimen on www.bellmtcs.com and the barrel does not shoot great, I'm glad to talk about replacing it. The original Bellm TCs website is currently down.
To access the new Bellm TCs website for parts, tools, TC made barrels, stocks & grips, and for FFL related servies, type in ONLY www.bellmtcs.com and make sure your browser does not add anything after .com
OR, use this link and check to see that your browser adds nothing after .com
Call Kurt Bellm at 970 433 9525 for trigger jobs, springs, tools, and instructions to make the gun as a whole work for you!
No matter how good the barrel is, it will not shoot any better than the way it is assembled on your gun and the ammo you feed it.
For advice, counsel, trouble shooting, and general brain storming, call Mike Bellm at 541 956 6938. I don't sit by the phone, so leave a message if you want to talk to me.
A final word...... ALWAYS remember your ABC's. Always Believe Christ.