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Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

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Unread 09-20-2009, 12:41 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Casper, Wyoming
Posts: 24
Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

I had a cleaning mishap and scratched my rifles chamber shoulder. Have I ruined my cutom rifle? I had a steel rod break while pushing a jag through.

I looked into the chamber to check it out and found that I had put a small scratch on the chamber shoulder. It's not to big about the size of a hair.
but it's visable.

Can any one tell me what problems might I have caused by doing this.

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Unread 09-20-2009, 06:09 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,049
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

If a round will chamber normally, fire a round and examine the case. It will give you a good idea of how big or deep the scratch is.
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Unread 09-20-2009, 11:13 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,845
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

Hope you learned your lesson here as well as everyone who reads this.

Cleaning a rifle without a bore guide is not smart.

Just knowing that I damaged a custom rifle of mine by not using a bore guide would make me ill plus my Smith would put me in Stocks and Flog Me Like an Oaf!!
The Truth Is Not Always Good For Business!!
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Unread 09-20-2009, 02:13 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

If you just scratched the shoulder, I'm guessing it wont hurt much. If you scratched the throat, that would be a different matter. Only way to know, is to shoot it.

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Unread 09-20-2009, 08:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,241
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

Good advice by all.

There is no danger in shooting it so do so and look at the brass. It may not show any marks
at all.


Last edited by J E Custom; 09-20-2009 at 09:51 PM.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 12:42 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

Shoot it.

A surface inclusion in the cartridge chamber area can generally create two types of headaches.

One is it marks up the brass and in the most extreme of cases, it could lead to reduced brass life because you now have a stress riser. I'm splitting hairs and being a bit philosophical here as I've never personally seen this happen. Be that as it may I'm fairly certain that if I take a file or scribe and mark a big deep ring on my brass someplace it's liable to split along that mark if I shoot enough.

Second is it will make extraction either impossible or difficult. this is usually limited to Rings being cut in the chamber during chambering due to poor chip evacuation.

In your case from what your describing I'm inclined to believe that the gun will be just fine if the "woops" is limited to a little nick in the shoulder. If it really bothers you, slather some 320 or 400 grit lapping compound onto a fire formed case and lap any raised nicks/dings/burrs out of the shoulder. Solder a rod into the primer pocket so that you have something to wrestle the case with.

Then wash the snot out of that gun afterwards and USE A BORE GUIDE ALWAYS from now on!!! Can't stress that enough.

More gun barrels are ruined by haphazard/too frequent cleaning sessions than by shooting. I don't clean gun barrels until I see a reduction in performance and it is just for this reason. Every time you stick something in your barrel you run the risk of damaging something. You CAN leave a bore fouled. The ol cardinal rule of a dirty gun is taboo stems from the days of corrosive priming compounds. Those haven't been used for over 60 years.

Good luck,


Chad Dixon
LongRifles, Inc.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 07:10 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 67
Re: Scratched the Chamber Shoulder

How do you guys know he wasn't using a bore guide to begin with?

Doesn't a bore guide just keep the rod centered on the back side where the bolt goes in?

How could a bore guide have helped to prevent this?


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