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Thread: Slugging new barrel blanks?

  1. #16
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    I've already said that I don't have a dog in this fight and just asked for research reasons. That beings said, I'm pretty skeptical about claims that tight and loose spots can be felt by a human arm pushing a dead soft lead slug much less a 22lr bullet or buckshot. The air gauges are capable of detecting extremely small changes and I can't see a quality barrel maker sending out barrels that they know are inferior. As the slug obderates and lubricant gets thin I can see the feel being different, but not due to changes in the bore size. I can see the maker being willing to take barrels back and replacing rather than making a customer mad. I suspect they inspect a returned barrel and put it back on the shelf. I am aware of one instance where a barrel was returned by a person who didn't even purchase it directly from the maker. After slugging he insisted that is was "bad". The maker swapped it out and inspected on return finding it perfect. I suspect this is often the case. I am going to say that I will not allow anyone to slug a hand lapped custom barrel of mine, much less pay them for it. But that's just me and what do I know?

    Rick

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdean View Post
    How many barrels have you sent back and gotten that reply. Or is that just heresay. If you really believe your barrel maker is selling you barrels sent back then all the more reason to look into slugging your own barrels.
    Some 20 years ago, I had a barrel from a well known supplier that was copperring bad. It would not shoot.

    I called the supplier, and his answer was that they made their barrels to exacting standards, so I was doing something wrong. I never bought another barrel from them.

    I have only sent one Krieger back in 20 years. It had a spot about 2/3 the way up in the chamber. I could actually feel it. It was an inclusion in the steel. I sent it back, they agreed and emmediatly sent me a new blank.

    I haven't slugged a barrel in years. I just chamber them up and shoot them.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    That beings said, I'm pretty skeptical about claims that tight and loose spots can be felt by a human arm pushing a dead soft lead slug much less a 22lr bullet or buckshot.
    Rick
    And an "air gauge" is nothing more than an airline with a gauge on it........ pushing a slug

    it ain't magic. Especially since't air molecules are HUGE and easy to trap. Maybe "helium gauging" is the answer.

    I'm pretty skeptical that you've ever actually been up close and personal with either method

    Especially since you mention "lubricants"....??

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    And an "air gauge" is nothing more than an airline with a gauge on it........ pushing a slug

    it ain't magic. Especially since't air molecules are HUGE and easy to trap. Maybe "helium gauging" is the answer.

    I'm pretty skeptical that you've ever actually been up close and personal with either method

    Especially since you mention "lubricants"....??
    You are correct that I have never have and probably never will take part in such an exercise. My information comes directly from a barrel maker. As with information I've received directly from you, I believe him and trust his veracity.

    Rick

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    I've already said that I don't have a dog in this fight and just asked for research reasons. That beings said, I'm pretty skeptical about claims that tight and loose spots can be felt by a human arm pushing a dead soft lead slug much less a 22lr bullet or buckshot. The air gauges are capable of detecting extremely small changes and I can't see a quality barrel maker sending out barrels that they know are inferior. As the slug obderates and lubricant gets thin I can see the feel being different, but not due to changes in the bore size. I can see the maker being willing to take barrels back and replacing rather than making a customer mad. I suspect they inspect a returned barrel and put it back on the shelf. I am aware of one instance where a barrel was returned by a person who didn't even purchase it directly from the maker. After slugging he insisted that is was "bad". The maker swapped it out and inspected on return finding it perfect. I suspect this is often the case. I am going to say that I will not allow anyone to slug a hand lapped custom barrel of mine, much less pay them for it. But that's just me and what do I know?

    Rick
    Rick, every competitive shooter I know will tell you they can feel variations in the bore of a rifle they're cleaning with a rod and a patch. I know I can! I can also see variations in the lands with a bore scope on many barrels I own and I'm not superman. Most of these barrels shoot fine, some with obvious flaws will outshoot some with no apparent flaws, go figure. I don't think the top shelf barrel companies run around lying or bullting us about the quality they try to attain but sometimes mistakes happen and they get missed. Never forget they're in business and have to make a profit like all the rest of the businesses out there.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo View Post
    Rick, every competitive shooter I know will tell you they can feel variations in the bore of a rifle they're cleaning with a rod and a patch. I know I can! I can also see variations in the lands with a bore scope on many barrels I own and I'm not superman. Most of these barrels shoot fine, some with obvious flaws will outshoot some with no apparent flaws, go figure. I don't think the top shelf barrel companies run around lying or bullting us about the quality they try to attain but sometimes mistakes happen and they get missed. Never forget they're in business and have to make a profit like all the rest of the businesses out there.
    While I won't take issue with your conclusion, you will not convince me that what you feel when pushing a cotton patch through a bore is a variation in bore diameter. You can choose to believe what you like, but the idea that you can detect a variation of .001 or .002 pushing a cotton patch through a bore is simply not believable. Seeing problems with a borescope is another issue altogether, but that's not what we are talking about. Dave Tooley says that in nearly 6,000 Bartlein barrels (Pretty sure that was the barrel maker), he's never had a bad one. BTW- I know a little about business and you don't keep customers by bull$hi!!g them about the quality of a product. I'll agree that once in a great while a mistake might get out the door, but I'm unconvinced that pushing a .22 LR bullet through a hand lapped bore will cause it to show up.

    As I said, I do not have a dog in this fight. I just buy barrels and shoot them. I wanted to see what folks had to say and now I've seen that. We can choose to disagree.

    Rick

  7. #22
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    We borescope and airgauge every barrel before chambering. We check both groove and land dimensions too .0001" every inch. We also check after any contouring to look for any expansion. We had a problem with M14 barrels getting larger in diameter after turning gas cylinder area.
    Last edited by MilGunsmith; 04-27-2018 at 09:59 PM.

  8. #23
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    I shoot choked barrels in the sport of BPCR Silhoutte. both Badger and RKS, and you can definitely feel the choke with a tightly fitting jag and patch. I don't think the choke is 0.001". Could be a lot less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    While I won't take issue with your conclusion, you will not convince me that what you feel when pushing a cotton patch through a bore is a variation in bore diameter. You can choose to believe what you like, but the idea that you can detect a variation of .001 or .002 pushing a cotton patch through a bore is simply not believable. Seeing problems with a borescope is another issue altogether, but that's not what we are talking about. Dave Tooley says that in nearly 6,000 Bartlein barrels (Pretty sure that was the barrel maker), he's never had a bad one. BTW- I know a little about business and you don't keep customers by bull$hi!!g them about the quality of a product. I'll agree that once in a great while a mistake might get out the door, but I'm unconvinced that pushing a .22 LR bullet through a hand lapped bore will cause it to show up.

    As I said, I do not have a dog in this fight. I just buy barrels and shoot them. I wanted to see what folks had to say and now I've seen that. We can choose to disagree.

    Rick

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    We borescope and airgauge every barrel before chambering. We check both groove and land dimensions too .0001" every inch. We also check after any contouring to look for any expansion. We had a problem with M14 barrels getting larger in diameter after turning gas cylinder area.
    Are these Buttoned Rifled Barrels or Cut Rifled Barrels?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiWall View Post
    I shoot choked barrels in the sport of BPCR Silhoutte. both Badger and RKS, and you can definitely feel the choke with a tightly fitting jag and patch. I don't think the choke is 0.001". Could be a lot less.
    Doug Shilen taper lapped me a couple of barrels. Said it took a lot of extra time. One was 0.001" taper and one was 0.0005" also got 2 straight bore barrels in that same order. I could feel the tapers when slugging. I could not tell any difference in accuracy.

    When holding a barrel in a 4 bolt barrel vise for slugging I can feel the vise.




    .

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    I've already said that I don't have a dog in this fight and just asked for research reasons. That beings said, I'm pretty skeptical about claims that tight and loose spots can be felt by a human arm pushing a dead soft lead slug much less a 22lr bullet or buckshot. The air gauges are capable of detecting extremely small changes and I can't see a quality barrel maker sending out barrels that they know are inferior. As the slug obderates and lubricant gets thin I can see the feel being different, but not due to changes in the bore size. I can see the maker being willing to take barrels back and replacing rather than making a customer mad. I suspect they inspect a returned barrel and put it back on the shelf. I am aware of one instance where a barrel was returned by a person who didn't even purchase it directly from the maker. After slugging he insisted that is was "bad". The maker swapped it out and inspected on return finding it perfect. I suspect this is often the case. I am going to say that I will not allow anyone to slug a hand lapped custom barrel of mine, much less pay them for it. But that's just me and what do I know?

    Rick
    I discussed the usefulness of slugging with one of the top barrel makers and he confirmed that slugging, or in my friend's case, casting a lap for the same purpose can show up things that would not otherwise be detected. There is one other thing that I would like to point out about this. You seem to have a pretty high opinion of your inexperienced thought as compared with the experience of people who have actually done what you asked about. IMO theory is always trumped by experience. My friend routinely casts laps so that he can evaluate both finished barrels that a customer brings to him as well as new, unchambered barrels. He has sent several problem barrels, from top manufacturers, back for replacement, and he has been able to successfully diagnose problems with customers' rifles the same way. Even if a barrel is properly made as to uniformity, if it is a little too large or small there can be problems. He builds custom hunting rifles for people who will be using solid bullets that do not slug up or swage down like lead core bullets. For those applications having a good match between groove, and bullet diameters has proven to be important. Even with lead core bullets, in applications where a lot of shots are fired between cleanings, barrels that are too tight or have excess choke will tend to copper foul sooner than those that have more suitable dimensions.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Are these Buttoned Rifled Barrels or Cut Rifled Barrels?
    The ones we had problems with were button blanks. Groove diameter of .3084" would open up to .3087" after machining the front gas cylinder section that is roughly .625" diameter.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    The ones we had problems with were button blanks. Groove diameter of .3084" would open up to .3087" after machining the front gas cylinder section that is roughly .625" diameter.
    There in lies the problem.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    The ones we had problems with were button blanks. Groove diameter of .3084" would open up to .3087" after machining the front gas cylinder section that is roughly .625" diameter.
    And you can shoot the difference with an M14?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd Allen View Post
    I discussed the usefulness of slugging with one of the top barrel makers and he confirmed that slugging, or in my friend's case, casting a lap for the same purpose can show up things that would not otherwise be detected. There is one other thing that I would like to point out about this. You seem to have a pretty high opinion of your inexperienced thought as compared with the experience of people who have actually done what you asked about. IMO theory is always trumped by experience. My friend routinely casts laps so that he can evaluate both finished barrels that a customer brings to him as well as new, unchambered barrels. He has sent several problem barrels, from top manufacturers, back for replacement, and he has been able to successfully diagnose problems with customers' rifles the same way. Even if a barrel is properly made as to uniformity, if it is a little too large or small there can be problems. He builds custom hunting rifles for people who will be using solid bullets that do not slug up or swage down like lead core bullets. For those applications having a good match between groove, and bullet diameters has proven to be important. Even with lead core bullets, in applications where a lot of shots are fired between cleanings, barrels that are too tight or have excess choke will tend to copper foul sooner than those that have more suitable dimensions.
    I think we have a misunderstanding here and it's probably my fault for not making myself clear. I have only expressed my opinion based on what I have been told by one barrel maker and by what I have read on this subject in past threads. I thought I made it clear that I have no personal experience in this matter. What I HAVE seen in this thread as well as one on Accurate Shooter is what a number of shooters seem to BELIEVE as an article of faith. What I have attempted to say is that no one has offered any proof other than what they think they can FEEL and what they BELIEVE. This is not a religious experience. I frankly don't care much about folks belief system as it applies to rifle barrels. I have talked with a couple of gunsmiths. One tried to convince me that what he could feel what more accurate than an air gauge. He is a pretty good friend and I really frustrated him because he couldn't convince me. The other is a fairly well know benchrest gunsmith who said he would never allow anyone to slug one of his custom blanks. So far, no one, shooter, gunsmith or machinist has replied to this thread with proof that a human's arm can detect that sophisticated measuring devices apparently can't. Maybe I'm being unreasonable. Is asking for quantifiable proof too much to ask?

    Rick

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