NEW Precision Matthews PM-1440HVT-2 Lathe In-Depth Hands-On Overview

Back in November, I set up the Precision Matthews PM -1440-HVT-2 at Precision Rifle Concepts, promising an in-depth overview once I spent some time with it. That time has come! 


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About the PM-1440-HVT-2

This variable speed machine has been an absolute joy to work with. (If you are looking for hands-on machine training, check out the Colorado School of Trades!)

Facing the Barrel Cutout with a Simtek Boring Bar

I’ve built a number of rifles on the PM-1440-HVT-2, including the first commercially available .223 trainer from Ultimate Reloader.

The first three rounds through this rifle produced a group measuring just 0.166″! 

This is a 1440 class lathe so it has a 14” swing and 40” capacity between centers. The variable speed drive has a 6HP three phase motor with a built-in VFD. 

Cross slide travel is 7.750”, Compound slide travel is 3.750”, and the tailstock has a Morse Taper 3 internal taper with 4.000” of travel. This lathe can turn between 4 and 56 threads per inch (0.4 mm – 7.0 mm). The short 17.375” spindle has a D1-5 mount, Morse taper 5.5 internal taper, English lead screw and 2.050” of spindle capacity. There are two base/stand options for the PM-1440-HVT-2— steel and cast iron.

Watch the video for a number of demonstrations that cannot fully be captured in words! 

From Precision Matthews:

PM-1440HVT-2 Main Features:

    • Highest Quality Lathe, Made in TAIWAN
    • Large 2” Spindle Bore clear through spindle for through- headstock work
    • Variable Spindle Speeds – Adjust spindle speed while cutting to dial in for the perfect cutting conditions
    • Shorter Spindle Length, only 17-3/8″, good for gunsmithing work
    • Power feed on Carriage, and Cross Slide, both left and right, and in and out, for both turning and facing operations with automatic feed. Allows for the best surface finish in all directions.
    • Induction Hardened and Precision Ground Bed Ways to resist wear and give a long service life
    • All gears and shafts in headstock hardened and precision ground for long life and extremely quiet running
    • FC-25 Meehanite Cast Iron used for rigidity and vibration dampening
    • Removable Gap for larger diameter work
    • High quality electronics used throughout machine
    • Slip Clutch on feed rod, to help prevent overloading damage of feeds and allow the use of a solid micrometer carriage stop for repetitive work
    • High Precision Tapered Roller Bearings used in spindle, for the ultimate in long life, high precision, and best surface finishes. Guaranteed Run Out +/- .0001″ for ultimate precision
    • Inch AND Metric thread cutting ability is a standard feature True INCH PITCH main lead screw, cross feed, and compound lead screws make it easy to use for the INCH measurement System, yet still has the Metric readings on dials for the ultimate in versatility for any job that may come about
    • Splash oil bath lubrication in Headstock, and Apron, for efficient lubrication, and long life, yet simple and reliable, maintenance as with oil pump lubrication systems. Also no risk of losing oil flow to expensive parts as there can be with pump lubricated systems
    • Only Extremely High Precision Japanese Spindle Bearings are used, NACHI Brand at this time
    • Locking Tang in tail stock is provided
    • Longest in the industry, 5 Year Warranty!

PM-1440HVT-2 Main Specifications:

    • Dimensions, approximate overall, incl. Stand: Width 72 in. x Height 50-1/2 in. x Depth 31 in. (full range cross slide motion, includes cross slide handle in depth dimension. Add approx. 1.5” to height with leveling pads)
    • Footprint: 70 in. wide x 18 in. deep (Base Footprints: Headstock Base is 18” D x 18” W, Tailstock Base 18” D, 11” W, and 40.5″ between the bases, one solid piece)
    • Bed length, excluding headstock: 54 in.
    • Bed Width, at top way surface: 9”
    • Spindle centerline to floor: 43 in. (44.5” with leveling pads)
    • Weight, approximate: Steel Base Model: 1850 lbs, Cast Base Model: 2350 lbs
    • Motor: TEFC type, Variable Speed w/VFD, 5HP
    • Headstock center to tailstock center: 40 in. max
    • Swing over bed: 14 in. diameter
    • Swing over cross-slide: 8-3/4 in. diameter
    • Swing over gap: 20-3/4 in. diameter
    • Gap insert length: 7-3/4 in.
    • Spindle face to tailstock quill face: 43 in. max
    • Saddle travel: 38 in.
    • Cross-slide travel: 7-3/4 in.
    • Compound (top slide) travel: 3-3/4 in.
    • Spindle Speeds:
      • Low range, rpm 30-300, Variable
      • High range, rpm 300-2200, Variable
    • Carriage drive, thread cutting Leadscrew: 4 tpi
    • Inch threads: Choice of 32, from 4 to 56 TPI
    • Metric threads: Choice of 32, from 0.4 mm to 7.0 mm pitch
    • Longitudinal Feed rates from 0.0026 to 0.0368 in./spindle rev
    • Cross Slide Feed Rates from 0.0013 to 0.0184 in./spindle rev
    • Spindle
      • Chuck/faceplate attachment: D1-5 Camlock
      • Internal taper: MT5-1/2
      • Spindle bore: 2 in. diameter (slightly over, will pass a 2.000″ piece)
      • Spindle length, LH end to chuck mounting face: 17-3/8 in. overall
      • Spindle length, LH end to chuck face (typical): 21-3/8 in. approx.
    • Tailstock
      • Internal taper: MT3
      • Quill travel: 4 in.
    • Work holding
      • Center rest (steady rest) capacity: Up to 3-3/4 in. diameter
      • Follower rest capacity: Up to 1-1/2 in. diameter
    • Country of Origin: Taiwan
    • Power requirement: 208 to 240 Vac, 60 Hz, 1 or 3 phase (Machine can accept single or 3 phase with the built in VFD (30A Circuit)
    • Power connection type: Direct wire to electrical cabinet in rear of machine, directly behind headstock

PM-1440HVT-2 Standard Accessories: (Machine runs on single or 3 phase, same model can take either input)

    1. Complete One Piece Base with Built In Chip Tray (Your choice of heavy duty steel, or upgrade to cast iron, please choose appropriate model)
    2. L.E.D. Work Light
    3. NACHI (Japan) Spindle bearings, with +/- .0001″ Max Spindle Runout
    4. D1-5 Quick Change Spindle Mount
    5. Back Splash Guard
    6. Reducing Sleeve for Headstock Center
    7. 4 Way Tool Post
    8. Headstock Dead Center
    9. Tail Stock Dead Center
    10. Thread Chasing Dial (4” Travel Thread Dial, for easier inch thread cutting)
    11. Feed Rod Clutch (To prevent overloading and using carriage stops)
    12. Everything Needed for listed Inch and Metric Thread Pitches
    13. Steady Rest
    14. Follow Rest
    15. Coolant System
    16. Foot Brake
    17. Belt Cover Interlock Switch
    18. D1-5 Face Plate (12″ Diameter)
    19. (6) Pcs Cast Iron Leveling Pads with Bolts
    20. 5 Year Warranty

The wiring inside the machine is very well done and is an example of the quality and attention to detail that goes into every machine. Note the quality Toshiba Variable Frequency Drive (VFD):

Included Tooling

The PM-1440HVT-2 comes with a number of tools and accessories, some of them already installed.

An LED work light makes it incredibly easy to see your workspace.

It also comes with a spindle reducing sleeve (Morse taper 5.5 and Morse taper 3) and two dead centers, one for the headstock and one for the tailstock.

I haven’t used the turret-style 4-way toolpost yet as I have a Aloris-style toolpost.

4-Way Toolpost

The threading dial is standard along with a settings chart.

The follow rest has been very helpful for profiling barrels.

Follow Rest

A steady rest, D1-5 faceplate, cast iron leveling pads, tool kit, and change gears are also included.

Change Gears

Tools I’ve Added

I’ve also added a number of tools including 3-jaw and 4-jaw chucks, the Aloris BXA toolpost, MagXact MX-100L DRO, adjustable ER-40 chuck and collets, custom outboard spider, custom tailstock DRO and rigid reamer holders (machined in place).

4-Jaw Chuck

PM-1440HVT-2 vs. PM-1440GT

I’ve been working with the PM-1440GT for some time and decided to compare these 1440 class lathes. There are a considerable number of differences, though the controls are generally the same.

The greatest difference is that the PM-1440HVT-2 is variable speed with a 6 horsepower drive (single or three-phase), while the PM-1440 GT is gear driven with a 2 HP single-phase motor or 3 HP three-phase motor. Differences are highlighted in yellow! 

The PM-1440HVT-2 is also considerably heavier, especially with the cast iron base. The PM-1440GT only has a steel base option. My outboard spider fits on both lathes.


It didn’t take me long to become absolutely hooked on the variable speed drive. It was extremely easy to install with no phase converter required. I also don’t have to use the brake on the machine. When I shut down the spindle and slow it down, it brakes automatically.

I also made rigid reamer holders I keep handy at the top of the lathe for chambering and some custom parts as well.

The 17.375” spindle length is especially handy for gunsmithing. 

Spindle runout was negligible at +/- 0.0005”.

I also examined tailstock quill squareness. There was a tiny bit of movement with this 0.0001″ indicator when I changed directions, but otherwise, it was perfect! Less than 0.0001″ indicator movement over 4″ of quill travel.

Control Panel Overview

The primary controls for the PM-1440HVT-2 are pictured above:

  1. High-Low speed range shift lever
  2. Power feed direction control knob
  3. Flood coolant on/off switch
  4. Spindle speed control knob
  5. Jog button
  6. Emergency stop button (also used to turn machine on/off in general)
  7. Speed/Feed/TPI shift knob 1
  8. Speed/Feed/TPI shift knob 2
  9. Speed/Feed/TPI shift levers
  10. Speed/feed/threading reference tables (inch and metric)

Carriage Controls

The carriage controls for the PM-1440HVT-2 are outlined here (above picture):

  1. Compound slide control wheel
  2. Cross slide control wheel (X-Axis)
  3. Z-axis carriage control wheel (moves carriage left-right)
  4. Power feed control lever
  5. Half nut lever (engaged for threading)
  6. Threading dial
  7. Spindle forward/reverse engagement lever


This lathe is already very familiar to operate with some great improvements over the PM-1440GT. Having variable speed has made a huge difference for me as has the added mass and rigidity of the PM-1440HVT-2. The cast iron base is also a great upgrade and I’ve had exceptional results with rifles I built on the PM-1440HVT-2.

This all-Taiwanese lathe is also available at a relatively affordable price point. I did have to borrow a few items, like the outboard spider, from the PM-1440GT, and will need to duplicate those items for the PM-1440-HVT-2. That will be fun!

Get the Gear

Precision Matthews PM-1440HVT-2 Lathe 

Precision Matthews 3-Jaw Chuck

Precision Matthews 4-Jaw Chuck

Precision Matthews Lathes

Precision Matthews Mills

Whatever your interest or skill level, CST starts with the basics. If you’re interested in attending the Colorado School of Trades, check out their website!

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Gavin Gear

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