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barrel shot out?

joesjoes Member Posts: 484 ✭✭✭
What signs should I look for to indicate a barrel has been shot out. I bought a used .223 and it has been shot alot. There is defined rifling all the way down the barrel. But my .22 cal brush moves fairly easily down the barrel verses my other .223's and 22-250 (the highest volume of shots through my existing guns are about 700 shots). I have yet to shoot the gun but was wondering what the signs would be.


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    Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,734 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The barrel itself doesn't "wear out" as much as the throat of the chamber (ahead of the case mouth and before the rifling) erodes from the hot powder gases.

    If it shoots acceptably well for you, than don't worry about it.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    The biggest problem is that 'shot out' can be confused with a barrel being dirty or improper cleaning procedures damaging the rifling or the chamber, throat and crown. Usually you have to eliminate the other problems from contention in order to determine if the barrel is truly shot out. Some of these other problems can be solved without replacing the barrel, saving you a substantial amount of money.

    One of the best ways to start is to have the barrel borescoped thoroughly, not just a cursory check but thorough. This tool will allow you and your gunsmith to look at all of the details of the inside of the barrel in very short order. It takes some experience to interpret what you're seeing so spend some time doing this so you understand what barrel features look like under magnification. It helps to look at a new barrel first sometimes. Be sure to run a couple of patches through the barrel first to eliminate the carbon fouling which can scratch the borescope.

    What indicates to you that the barrels is shot out? Is it just the looseness of the brush that concerns you?

    Barrels are made to various bore and groove dimensions. Sometimes the maker doesn't control those dimensions with absolute criticality resulting in what we feel as being loose.

    Does the rifle shoot with acceptable accuracy?

    Are the bullet holes round? Are you seeing keyholing?

    If the muzzle has been abused, either by bad cleaning habits or plain old mishandling, inaccuracy can be the result.

    A burned throat can cause undue coppering in that area leading to an increase in pressure and additional build up. It literally scrubs copper off of the bullet jacket.

    This list can get real picky but you need to start at the beginning and eliminate problems as you go through the diagnostic process.

    If the rifle is accurate and the barrel just feels loose, accept it and go on with your shooting.

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