Ugly Barrel

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by justgoto, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    I had been making a series of cold bore shots over a week and the time before the last I noticed that my barrel was getting very ugly looking.

    The rifle I am talking about is my Eddystone U.S. Model of 1917.

    When I would shoot it before I would shoot maybe 3 to 10 shots then clean it until the barrel looked like a mirror. I very rarely shot a whole box of cartridges at one time. Then I would clean it until there was not a speck of dirt in it.
    I am sure there was some copper in there, but I would at least get it to look like a mirror.

    Then I started about a week ago with one cold bore shot a day, cleaning it just after each shot. I cleaned it just as I always did, to a mirror finish without a visible speck of dirt. But the time before last I was cleaning it as usual, and noticed it was not getting clean, it was actually getting worse looking the more I cleaned it.

    So when I finally got it so no more dirt came out, the barrel was ugly looking; I mean I have never seen a barrel like it before. Here are some pictures that I took a few hours ago.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looks pitted in some spots and melted in others. 4 days ago it was a mirror! This is my 30-30 barrel.

    [​IMG]

    There is a little bit of copper in there but that is about what the 30-06 barrel looked like just 4 days ago.

    The only thing I have done different is using a graphite arrow as a rod to clean it since my wooden dowel of 30 years broke. I have used the graphite arrow on both 30 cals about evenly. I have been using the same bullets, powder and primers in both rifles.

    Surprisingly, the accuracy seems the same, I was hitting just as good, (actually better,) and the barrel looked just like the pictures.

    What is going on with that barrel?
     
  2. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    I cleaned it again as good as I could which got a bit more copper out, It looks like bare steel now with the tiny pits in it.

    I made a video in order to get a better idea of what it looks like.



    YouTube - Rifling
     

  3. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    After taking this shot today,

    YouTube - Dead Jug

    The lands were shiny like a mirror with some dirt on it.

    I have come to the conclusion that it was like that all along and I had just gotten it clean. I think it shoots better than it ever has so I guess I shouldn't look a gift 30-06 up the barrel. ;)
     
  4. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    What were you cleaning it with? Ammonia based? Did you let the cleaner sit in the bore for an extended period?
     
  5. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    I was using Hoppe's #9 which has ammonia but I never left it in the barrel for any amount of time. Which is why I think I never did get that barrel clean.

    When I was cleaning like mad I ran out and started using some old army issue solvent that seems to be working better than Hoppe's.

    Here is what it looked like yesterday, it looks better today but my videos from today are bad.

    YouTube - Better Looking Barrel

    A lot of the strange lines on the rifling is the reflection of the other side of the barrel. Here is a pic from today of the barrel with a little less optical illusion.

    [​IMG]

    I think I will get it as good as I can by the next cleaning. I am going to take another shot tomorrow and clean it with the army issue stuff and hope it is as good as it get by then.

    It has been shooting well through all of this.

    YouTube - 400 Yard Steel
     
  6. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    The pitting by the muzzle is not uncommon for older rifles, I see it in newer CM hunting barrels. Guys go hunting in damp conditions and moisture gets in the muzzle and left there after the hunt. Being it's an old military gun there was the high probability that corosive primers were used in the amunition that went through that gun years ago. The damage you see in that barrel could very well be over 60 years old.

    What tends to happen is as the rifle is shot, copper smears into the pitts. It actually smoths out the "look" of the bore. I have cleaned pitted remington 742s and 7400 to bare metal, and the first test fire they would group 4-6 inches, sometimes more. after about 25-30 rounds the pitts fill in and they start shooting in the 2 inch range.

    Looks like yours is doing fine.
     
  7. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Cowboy Is right about the corrosive primers being the probable cause of the pitting
    and "seasoning" the barrel will sometimes make it shoot better.

    Clean with the hoppe's and it will not remove all of the copper once it starts shooting
    well. also the hoppe's # 9 is the only bore solvent that can be left in for storage as far
    as I know.

    There is a way to tell if the primers are corrosive but I can't remember how so maybe one of
    the other members will chime in and let us know.

    J E CUSTOM