Thanks to Crubear! He’s gone through and written up a detailed explanation with pictures on the best way to ship a Thompson Center Encore/Contender barrel!
I’ve run into a problem lately where I didn’t have a box to fit a barrel I’d sold. Then, in chats with other folds here I’ve been reminded of times when barrels arrived that weren’t safely packed. You know, the barrels that arrive falling out of the box, or that fall to the concrete when you take them out when you pick the box up. Yep, doesn’t make for a good feedback score when that happens. So here goes, what I try to do when you buy a barrel from me.
Second, get a sheet of cardboard large enough for the barrel, plus about 6 inches – more is better. If you can include a corner fold it will make your life that much easier. I try to go for about 4 inches to 4.5 a side.
Once you got one side to size then fold it over the other side and cut. You need four sides to make a triangle. Why a triangle? It’s stronger and resists folding in half.
Now mark each side halfway, then fold over something with a long straight edge.
Once you’ve got all the folds in it should fit like this
Now place the barrel on the box like this to allow for the locking lugs
and then go to the crown end and mark at least a 1/2 inch clearance for adding packing at each end.
Now measure what’s left, divide by two. Now you’re ready to cut the flaps (just remember to only cut half of the remainder), and use your table or straight edge to help keep the folds straight.
Now, this is where you make or brake the deal. Wrap the barrel up so that it won’t get damaged in the process. Bubble wrap, what ever. Just make it safe. You can even wrap it up in plastic bags and wedge it into some Styrofoam. Just make sure it’s covered, and then tape it in tight. No one ever complained about too much tape holding the package together.
Check to make sure you can close the box around it, and use whatever you need to make sure the barrel won’t shift around inside the box.
Now, with the barrel in the box, I glue the overlap together and use a small amount of tape.
Then I do the following to both ends
I put a pad to keep the barrel away from the box end.
Fold the overlap piece up and into the tube
and then cut the rest to close the end
Now, when it’s finished take a picture before you ship it
This is your reference for what the box looked like when you shipped it.
Nothing is foolproof though. Things happen. So, when a box arrives torn, mangled or otherwise damaged –
TAKE A PICTURE BEFORE YOU OPEN IT!!!!!
And then take a picture of the barrel and any damage to it. Make it easy to file a claim and get any issues resolved.