Originally Posted by benchracer
When I bought my first centerfire rifle, I regret to say that I made pretty much every mistake in the book where barrel maintenance is concerned. My first centerfire rifle still shoots OK by normal hunting standards, but it has always had copper fouling problems (now I know why). When it comes to assessing the damage caused by my ignorance, however, I have some questions:
1. How can I determine the extent of the damage to the bore?
2. If, as seems likely, the bore is damaged, can the bore be restored?
3. Might I be better off to simply re-barrel?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
1. The best way to determine the damage is to have an experienced eye bore scope the bore. Most often crome moly barrels show some pitting due to lack of care/cleaning. If abrasive paste were used extensivly, pin gauges can measure how much the land dia. has been opened up.
I had a 243 remington 700 in the shop that had 250 rounds fired thru it. The land dia. that should be in the .236"-.237" range allowed a .238 gauge to drop all the way thru the bore and a .239" gauge would go half way before stopping. The customer complained that when new it copper fouled and he used JB to clean the barrel. (apperantly very frequently) Well using JB never allowed the barrel to brake in properly, and the results were a high polished bore that copper fouled horrably. When I scoped that barrel the finish looked like one of those SS mirrors in the cowboy bars, that replaced the glass ones that always get broke. He made a mistake that I feel is promoted by the use of abrasive cleaners, that was an extreame case but I feel he is definatly not the only one out there to do this.
2. The bore may or may not be damaged but getting to the bottom of it would require alot more info and looking in the bore. If your groove and land dia. are where they should be, and the bore if not pitted, There is a chance that lapping the bore with a lead lap just as a custom barrel is finished lap could help it. This requires cutting a tad off the muzzle when finished and a very carefull lapper so as to not wash out the throat, or a set back may be needed. I never messed with the tubbs fire lapping system so will not comment on their ability to help a bore.
#3. Thats an easy one, yes. The possibility that that barrel will never come around is there, But you also have the perfect barrel to experiment with. So ask for some tubbs bullets from the trade or freebie forum and conduct your own experiment.
I have a new remington 308 sps barrel that I cross sectioned. When I recieved it from the wholesaler, the first thing I did was scope the rifles bore. This barrel showed some awfull tool marks in the bore and a few sections of rifling were missing. This barrel would have copper fouled thru it's whole life and likly never performed as intended. Same old story, factory tubes are somtimes a crap shoot.