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Barrel wore out?

 
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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 129
Barrel wore out?

Long story short. I built another rifle (one for the wife this time) and used a FREE used barrel of unknown history. Re-cut the chamber, re-threaded and put a new crown on it. Only reason I used it, well other than being free, visually the rifling looks strong and super clean. I don't have a bore scope, but the bore measured .237" and .243" if I recall.

That being said, it is a 1-10" twist finished at 21" chambered in .243 Win, .655" at the muzzle. We shot the first couple "groups" with it yesterday with dismal results.

I hand load all my own ammo, but I had an old box of Federal premium with 95gr Noslers. Box says 3,030 fps, so with the shorter barrel, I'm assuming it's up at least 2,850-2,900 fps.

So here is the problem. I checked the entire rifle over, everything was tight and clean. Fully bedded and floated. Yet, those 95's didn't stablize. Shot 5 shots down range with about a 6" pattern. Walked down to find oval holes.

All of my other 10" barrels have handled these bullets without a problem. I'm going to try some lighter bullets to see what happens, but this has me thinking that maybe my Free barrel is JUNK!

I don't know, Any ideas?

Last edited by spitfire_er; 12-18-2011 at 10:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2011, 11:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,414
Re: Barrel wore out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spitfire_er View Post
Long story short. I built another rifle (one for the wife this time) and used a FREE used barrel of unknown history. Re-cut the chamber, re-threaded and put a new crown on it. Only reason I used it, well other than being free, visually the rifling looks strong and super clean. I don't have a bore scope, but the bore measured .237" and .243" if I recall.

That being said, it is a 1-10" twist finished at 21" chambered in .243 Win, .655" at the muzzle. We shot the first couple "groups" with it yesterday with dismal results.

I hand load all my own ammo, but I had an old box of Federal premium with 95gr Noslers. Box says 3,030 fps, so with the shorter barrel, I'm assuming it's up at least 2,850-2,900 fps.

So here is the problem. I checked the entire rifle over, everything was tight and clean. Fully bedded and floated. Yet, those 95's didn't stablize. Shot 5 shots down range with about a 6" pattern. Walked down to find oval holes.

All of my other 10" barrels have handled these bullets without a problem. I'm going to try some lighter bullets to see what happens, but this has me thinking that maybe my Free barrel is JUNK!

I don't know, Any ideas?
Factory barrels are notorious for being finicky.

Sounds like the lands and grooves are fine so just try different loads. Start with one load and
have different primers then try the best primer and different bullets(Don't get tricky with seating
depths) seat to magazine length - .020. repeat the process with different powders @ approximately
the same velocity using the best bullet and primer you found.

This should get you a reasonable load to work with and change one thing at a time while you are
fine tuning the load.

Clean between each test load so they are in the same conditions(Cool Clean Barrel).

If it is a sporter weight barrel, #3 or smaller you may have to place a small amount of tip
pressure between the barrel and stock. (Poster board, cracker box, ETC)

Don't give up.

J E CUSTOM
__________________
"PRESS ON"
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2011, 09:18 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: NW Mt.
Posts: 600
Re: Barrel wore out?

Did you ball mic the end of the bore. An inch off and a recrown is probably in order. And
a 1:10 is marginal for a 95 grain. My sako is over an inch with them and frequently
one holes with 85's and 75's. With the short barrel and lower speed they may never
stabilize. But check the muzzle end size and a new crown first.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2011, 10:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 129
Re: Barrel wore out?

Thanks guys. The barrel was a custom take off, but not sure of what manufacturer. I re-did the barrel like a new barrel would be done, that's half the reason it ended up so short.

The measurement was also taken at the muzzle end, so I'm assuming both the muzzle and the bore diameters are good to go. Also ample room was taken off for a new clean chamber on that end.

Sounds like I first suspected that I need to shoot a little lighter bullet, and do some more load development. I just needed a few second opinions.


thanks again.
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