Match Grade Machine ~ The most common types of locking bolt fitting issues.

Match Grade Machine custom TC Encore & Contender barrels ~ The most common types of locking bolt fitting issues. FAQ Video with MGM-Craig

So today we are going to talk about fitting issues…

Almost all fitting issues come from your locking bolts as you can see here. Every barrel has a pair of locking bolts in it, they are just these little black things that stick out.

When you put your barrel on your frame.

There are two common types of miss fitting (Get the barrel in the frame here, come on…)

The first one is… If you are trying to close the barrel and it will not close down as you can see this one did. but if it usually gets stuck somewhere around here.

MGM-Craig 2 Common Fitting issuesLike this…

That means your locking bolts are too big… So they are not and they want slide down the frame on lock down.

The other type is they lock down completely. Which means the locking bolts are too small… And the way to tell if they are too small is if you can wiggle the barrel on the frame in any direction, then the locking bolts are too small.

So those are the two most common types of fitting issues.

The ways to tell your locking bolts are the proper size is:

  1. If you cock the hammer – if you can cock the hammer then you know that they are locking down far enough.
  2. Your release here should have a little bit of a brake in it before it hits the locking bolts. If it doesn’t then they are locking down all the way and that means they are too small. But it should have a little tiny brake in here no more than an 8th of an inch of the frame and that is how you can tell if you can tell if you have a good set of locking bolts in your barrel.

OK That’s all there is to it…

(Question to MGM-Craig) Do you set every barrel with a frame?

Ya we do fit every barrel to a frame, before we ship them. But not all frames fit the exactly same so that is where most of the issues come from.

MGM Custom Barrel Superb Craftsmanship Testimonial

MGM Custom Barrel Superb Craftsmanship Testimonial

Got to love it when we see these kinds of words on MGM’s forum:

“I would like to extend my appreciation to the staff at Match Grade for there speedy service and excellent customer service. Your barrels come well package and show superb craftsmanship.” by Dima

MGM Custom Barrel

All MGM barrels require periodic routine maintenance & inspection

All MGM barrels require periodic routine maintenance & inspection

No Rust Barrel Yellow BagWith regular routine maintenance and inspection of your T/C Encore & Contender rifle and pistol barrels, you may reveal where your barrel needs attention. Your New MGM barrel comes to you in a Pro-Tech “Yellow” plastic bag. This is a rust preventative bag for the storage of your valued purchase. Here at Match Grade Machine we recommend placing the barrel back in this bag to protect your barrel life after use. “Cleaning the barrel” procedure info is also shipped along with your new barrel. Which states to always run a patch with oil down the barrel after any solvent is ran, this will better protect from corrosion and rust. Similarly, if water, sand, dirt, or foreign matter gets into the barrel, dismantle and clean it.

Failure to keep your barrel clean and defect free could lead to potentially dangerous conditions and/or accident casing serious bodily harm or property damage. If you notice any malfunctions or defects, do not use the firearm. Contact a competent gunsmith or give us at call MGM (435) 628-0071.


Meet the crew MGM-Missi

Meet the MGM crew…T/C Encore Custom Barrels Customer Service Rep MGM-Missi

MissiChances are that if you have contacted Match Grade Machine in the last few years, you would have talked to our customer service rep MGM-Missi.

I happened to come across an article in ‘One Good Shot’ Journal of the Thompson / Center Association Volume XXVII No. 3 Fall 2012 and found this written by her.

by MGM-Missi

Hi Art:

I had a few spare minutes today and found myself browsing through the last One Good Shot magazine that you sent us. I must say that I found it quite interesting, and I actually learned a number of interesting facts about the Encore and the Contender.

I had very little gun experience when I started working here at Match Grade Machine back in May of 2011, but spending at least eight hours a day here in the shop with the guys (MGM-Kerry, & MGM-Dylan) sure has taught me a great deal about what is involved in the making of a barrel. It took me a while to familiarize myself with many of the terms related to the gun industry such as chrome moly, twist rate, freebore, lands and grooves and target crown just to name a few, but I now find myself quite able to hold a conversation with the many customers who call us every day to order barrels. 

I’ve shared many wonderful conversations via email and telephone with many of our customers some pertaining to the pleasures of the hunt, while others shared the joy of times spent with family and grandchildren, a few of which have actually brought me to tears.

I find learning about Encores and Contenders quite fascinating. The knowledge of our fine staff is quite exceptional and they make every effort possible to do an exceptional job on each and every project, striving to make every transaction a memorable experience for all of our customers, be they hunters or collectors.

 I have really grown to love my job here at Match Grade Machine! Every day is an adventure and a learning experience for me an I get to meet the most amazing people. I even get paid at the end of the week for having this much fun!

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you, and I look forward to doing business with you again soon.



MGM_One-Good-Shotby One Good Shot Editor

Dear Missi: 

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to share your thoughts with us. Glad to hear that you enjoyed browsing through the last issue of the One Good Shot. I make every effort possible to include something informative about the many products the Thompson /Center Arms Company in each and every issue and it’s good to hear that readers such as yourself find these articles informative.

I must compliment you on your progress throughout the past year with regards to your increased knowledge of the firearms industry. On several of our earlier conversations, I could tell that most of this was quite new to you, but the year progressed, it became quite obvious that you were digesting the many terms related to this business quite nicely. Your eagerness to follow up with the boys out back for the answers to my many questions has always impressed me and you have never failed to get back to me with an answer in a timely fashion which is certainly a testimonial to your professionalism. As of late, I find you answering practically all of my many questions without assistance, proving once again that you are indeed, making every possible effort to learn as much as you can about the business at hand.

The closure of Thompson / Center’s Rochester New Hampshire facility last year has left us here at TCA headquarters scrambling to find worthwhile offerings to present to the membership on a quarterly basis, and were it not for the efforts of you and the rest of the gang at MGM, all of my efforts to do so would have probably failed.

Nothing pleases a member of any organization more than factory participation and involvement and when a company makes the effort to support its collector group by offering one of a kind items that are not available to the general public, both the company and the collector group prosper. This type of involvement has been temporarily disrupted and are in hopes, that once the move and all of the tasks associated with  it have been completed, things will once again be as they were.

I am certain that I speak on behalf of the entire membership when I tell you how grateful we are for all the efforts that have been made by everyone at Match Grade Machine in helping us to weather this period of transition by offering us such innovative new products at affordable prices.

Now that you have completed your first year of employment with MGM, you should find yourself up for review and perhaps maybe even a slight increase in pay?  (Editor)

FAQ ~ Can I use previously fired brass for my MGM barrel?

FAQ ~  Can I use previously fired brass for my MGM barrel?

Here is a question that has been asked many times throughout the years…

Q ~ “Can I use previously fired brass for my MGM barrel?”

A ~ “At Match Grade Machine we usually tell people no to this question. The reason why is when you fire brass it will expand to fit the chamber it is fired in. Sizing it down is supposed to return it to the original state, but brass has a memory and it doesn’t always work as planned. It always retains some of its original shape. If you fire it in a chamber that is too big or too deep, you will never be able to get it sized down to fit a chamber that is the proper dimensions. Having said that, you can try it and see how it goes. Sometimes you get lucky and it works, but that’s not the norm we have found. Don’t buy hundreds of used brass and expect it to work flawlessly in your Match Grade Machine barrel.”

MGM Barrel Break-In & Cleaning Procedures

One of the common questions our new barrel owners ask us when they first get their barrel is “What is the barrel break-in and cleaning procedures you guy recommend?”

No Rust Barrel Yellow BagMGM Barrel Break-In & Cleaning Procedures

  • First 15 shots – Clean the barrel after EACH shot **
  • Next 50 shots – Clean every 3-5 shots for the next 50 shots **
  • Your new MGM custom barrel is now broken-in!

Note: Our shop guys say rather than wasting ammunition on break-in, this is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots. Same thing applies to fire forming cases for improved or wildcat cartridges. Just firing rounds down a barrel to form brass without any regard to their accuracy is a mistake. It is a wast of time and barrel life.

**Cleaning the barrel” means: Using a plastic coated cleaning rod, a good quality bronze brush & patch tip, flannel patches and a quality bore solvent. Side Note: If brushes are not to your liking, substitute them with bore paste.

  • Saturate a patch with pore solvent, run the patch thru the bore (from breech end ONLY) twice to remove powder fouling and wet the bore.
  • Saturate the bronze brush with solvent & make 20 passes through the barrel (10 Cycles).
  • Let the solvent soak in the barrel for 10 minutes.
  • Saturate the brush with the solvent again. Making 20 more passes (10 cycles) thru the barrel.
  • Push 3 clean patches thru the barrel to remove excess solvent and loosened fouling.

Your MGM barrel cleaning is now complete. To insure the highest barrel quality, you should repeat this cleaning procedure every 20-25 shots. Failure to do so could result in excessive build up of fouling in the bore causing accuracy to deteriorate.

* To store, ALWAYS push a patch with gun oil thru the barrel.

Learn more of Match Grade Machines FAQ..

MGM offers Strike-Hold® on the website:

MGM-aerosol-spray-StrikeHoldStrike-Hold® (CLP) is a true multi-function product that cleans, lubricates, protects, demoisturizes and conditions.

Strike-Hold® is a highly penetrating mobile liquid and is intended for field application to satisfy the complete need of cleaning, lubricating, and long-term preservation of both small and large caliber weapons. Strike-Hold® facilitates the effective removal of firing residues, gums, and other contaminants from weapon components, while at the same time providing adequate lubrication and long-term preservation for reliable, durable operation in all climatic conditions.

MGM custom pistols barrels collection all in different calibers

Collection of MGM custom pistols barrels all in different calibers. The barrel length is 7.75″

It’s fun to see pictures of the barrels our guys have worked on after they have been in the hands of their new owners.  Peter S. sent us this picture of his collection to share. (MGM-Missi) posted it on our Facebook wall “Here is the total collect of Peter S. Just love these little guys! (missi)”

MGM Custom Pistol Barrel Collection

Video of (MGM-Kerry) shooting a 300 Winchester Magnum Encore barrel made by Match Grade Machine.

Video of (MGM-Kerry) shooting a 300 Winchester Magnum Encore barrel made by Match Grade Machine. It is 15″ with a thread on muzzle brake. That is why the floor flys up! Notice how little the gun recoils. The blast is thrown out the sides and not the front. Thus the floor panels blow up! Lol

Video of (MGM-Kerry) shooting a 300 Winchester Magnum Encore barrel made by MGM or Match Grade Machine.

That day was hilarious! (MGM-Shelsie) and (MGM-Missi) were laughing in the back ground. (MGM-Shelsie) did the recording. Crack up!

Re-barrel your current rifle and make it the crown jewel of your collection

Re-barrel Information ~ Along with our outstanding line of Thompson Center barrels, we at Match Grade Machine also offer barrel work on a large line of other firearms. We can re-barrel your current rifle and make it the crown jewel of your collection.

Testimony ~ Facebook friends:

Joshua L R ~ Yes they can, and they do a FANTASTIC job of it!!!
I had a new Win M70 30-06 redone to a .280Rem and my 40 year old Win 670 .243 is being redone as a .338Federal. The 280 is a tack driver to be sure, and I’m sure the 338 will be every bit as good. The craftsmanship is Awesome as well.


Michael Honeybear C ~ I second that!


FAQ ~ MGM’s T/C Custom Barrel Prices

Match Grade Machine’s FAQ’s about T/C Custom Barrel Prices

Q: “Where can I find MGM’s T/C Custom Barrel Prices?”

A: Here is a quick link to our site or here is a list below to help you with that… MGM’s T/C Custom Barrel Prices

Barrel Pricing
T/C Barrels 13″ and Under
Chrome Moly (blue) $250.00
Stainless Steel $275.00
T/C Barrels 13-16″ (over 13″ but under 16″)
Chrome Moly (blue) $300.00
Stainless Steel $325.00
T/C Barrels 16″-27″
Chrome Moly (blue) $350.00
Stainless Steel $395.00
T/C Barrels over 28″
*Price Available upon Request $0.00
Muzzle Brakes
Available Muzzle Break Options:
Integral Brake $100.00
Thread-on Brake $150.00
Optional: Thread cap $25.00
“On-Off” (closable) brake $250.00
Muzzle Loader “Smoke” Brake $50.00
Barrel Fluting
6-Flute barrels:
Pistol Barrels $75.00
Rifle Barrels $125.00
8-Flute barrels:
*Pistol Barrels $100.00
*Rifle Barrels $150.00
*Available only on Full Bull Barrels
Polygonal Barrels
Pistol Barrels $100.00
Rifle Barrels $155.00
Dodecagon Barrels (12 sides)
Pistol Barrels $175.00
Rifle Barrels $225.00
*Additional Polygonal Shapes Available upon Request
Additional Options Available For Barrels
Shilen Select Match
Available in stainless ONLY $50.00
KG Gun Kote: Matte Black, Std. Black, Silver, Grey, Brown, OD Green, Etc
Barrel $125.00
Flutes ONLY $75.00
Scope Bases
4 or 6 hole stainless matte base $45.00
4 or 6 hole chrome moly (blued) matte base $40.00
*6 hole bases are available with 3 or 5 slots
Misc. Gun work
Re-crowning $50.00
Cut, recrown & refinish $125.00
Rechamber $75.00
*call for availability
Barrels from other manufacturers are avaliable.
However there will be a price increase due to our additional cost.