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Cause and Effect of Ring in Rifling Near Muzzle

spiritsspirits Member Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
edited July 2014 in Ask the Experts
I bought a 30'06 rifle with a small ring, I can see it from the muzzle end and feel when an oily patch is pushed through the barrel, in the rifling 3 inches from the muzzle. There was no discernible ring on the outside of the barrel. Note there is a factory front sight band soldered near the ring and there a punch mark on the bottom of the band which was covered by a metal Schnabel end cap. Anyone, know what could cause such a small ring and what does this punch mark mean. I've seen rifle barrels split wide open from barrel obstructions. Even seen one where an optical collimator was still mounted in muzzle when the rifle was fired - shooter was drunk at the time. The barrel is 20 inches long. What effect would the ring at the 17 inch point have?


  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think all ring are from blockages of varying degrees. I don't think rings enhance accuracy, how much they detract depends on the rifle and the ammo. Most meat gun hunting rifles likely would not notice.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    I would agree, rings can and often are from obstructions. But I've seen enough old military guns that had rings cutting across the rifling at odd spots in the bore- some a few inches from the muzzle as you describe- that leads me to think that in some cases it was a function of old corrosive ammo. Maybe the gun was cleaned but a ring of corrosive residue was left in one spot.

    I've also seen guns with several rings all down the barrel but no discernable bulges or loose spots in the rifling. It really puzzles me.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,750 ******
    edited November -1
    up here (wis.) this is a common problem (lots of mud/snow) during hunting season. It doesn'thelp accuracy at all, but if not too bad the rifle will still shoot minute of deer.
  • Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,493 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yeah, sounds like something was in the barrel when it was fired causing the bulge...snow, mud etc. In the military surplus guns I bet that was probably pretty commonly seen during arsenal refits in guns that saw a lot of combat.

    I've read about safari guides keeping a piece of tape over the barrels of client's guns to keep wasps from making mud nests in the bores of guns, same goes for places where guys hike into their hunting spots through the snow to keep it out of the barrel.

    I've only seen it happen once in person, My dad had a Sportsman 58 12 gauge that got a badly bulged barrel near the muzzle from what we suspect was a piece of wad that remained in the bore after a shot.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    FWIW, I collect older .22 rifles. It is not uncommon to find "wedding ring" barrel bulges- especially in semi-autos. Sighting flat along the barrel looking towards a light will usually show the bulge- frequently caused by a squib load- a bullet that did not quite clear the barrel, and had another fired behind it.

    If it is near the chamber, would pass it up- near muzzle, generally not a problem. If it were for a rifle that I expect 0.25 MOA, I'd be worried. For a rifle that 1 expect to shoot minute-of-squirrel, no problem.
  • victorj19victorj19 Member Posts: 3,643 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sometimes a spider finds its way into a neglected barrel and has a lot of silk around it. My theory is that the spider dies, the silk attracts moisture and rusts the barrel. When it gets cleaned, the ring remains.
  • spiritsspirits Member Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I showed the barrel to a gunsmith who has seen more ringed barrels than anyone I'm aware of. In fact, he just finished removing three stuck bullets from a AR upper when I arrived. He carefully looked at the ring from the muzzle end and he said, "It doesn't look like a smoke ring" and according to him rings in the rifling due to obstructions have a smokey appearance. This ring also looks canted to him and is as shiny as the rifling before and after it with no corrosion in the ring. He thought it might be due to stress/stress relief when the front sight band was soldered on.

    Thank You All for your opinions.
  • rwfixemrwfixem Member Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A lot of the time a tight fitting patch is the only way to find a bulge in a rifle barrel. I have worked on about 30 long guns and in every case but 5 owners admitted they knew about mud,snow,etc but pulled the trigger anyway. You can't fix stupid.
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