This is an update to the posting in the gunsmithing section. The Wheeler jig mentioned in the thread is no longer available. I have found a new and better jig to use. It is available from Dixie Gun Works and Jedediah Starr Trading Company. It fits a .30-30 barrel and a .45-70 barrel easily.
I also used this jig to cut off the end of a barrel when I shortened my project rifle. It allowed a perfect perpendicular cut of the barrel to the bore. This jig is hardened and will eat files. All that is needed to make a dovetail is an edge cutting file and a 1/4" trangular file.
Dixie Gun Works muzzleloading, blackpowder and rare antique gun supplies.
Jedediah Starr Trading Co. On Line Store
Here is the jig.
I started with the cut off section of .30-30 barrel from my project rifle.
I mounted the jig on the barrel. Here you MUST take care to have the jig positioned exactly where you want it. Is it far enough from the muzzle? Is it level with the sight line? Take your time and get it right the first time. Once the jig is mounted it is not moved until finished.
Next take the edge cutting file and cut out the barrel portion in the slot. Cut until the file "sings" on the jig. Make sure the opening is full width of the slot.
Next take the 1/4" triangular file and cut the front and rear angle cuts to form the dovetail.
At this point, the dovetail is done. Remove the jig, clean any burrs and reblue.
The jig is set to cut slightly undersized so the insert will fit. I quote the dealer:
"The guide will cut about a .360 to .365 dovetail. We made it that way as the first ones were .375 and sometimes it would be oversize. You can also use it to cut wider dovetails by moving it a little. I have used it to make 1/2" dovetails for the underlugs on muzzleloading barrels. The best thing to do is to try it out on an old piece of barrel or 3/8" gas pipe."
The total time in only about 15 to 20 minutes to cut a dovetail. It's very easy.
I have always wondered how that was done. How do you make sure you are perectly centered and squared up? An octagone barrel to me would be obviously easy but what about round barrels?
U.S.M.C.R. 1989-1995, Desert Shield/Desert Storm Nov 1990-April 1991
Marlin League Member #29
Official Team 30-30 Member #45
Official Team 32 Special Member # 52
Official Team 35 Member #90
There are lots of levels and tools that show level but the best may the the human eye. Just line it up so it matches the sight line and you'll be good to go.