45 Colt barrel worries
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  1. #1
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    45 Colt barrel worries

    IMG110101-001920F.JPGIMG110101-002540F.JPGIMG110101-002655F.JPG

    I Do not know how I screwed up on the placement of these pics but some days are better than others. I have a Marlin 94 cowboy special ltd. with a 24" octagon barrel in 45 colt. This rifle has been rarely shot tell lately. The rifle is in almost new condition. I am trying to get it ready to use in a cowboy silhouette competition. I haven't had a chance to start reloading for it but that will come soon. With several different brands of ammo, the best groups average about 3" @ 50yds.

    I used my bore scope on it and the above pics are a representation of much of the barrel. I do not have a lot of experience looking at the interior of barrels but I think this one is bad. Some other of my barrels may have a few marks or ruff spots but most of this barrel looks like this.

    I am going to lap the bore and fix the crown that is a little uneven but I do not have much hope that this will much improve the accuracy. Has anybody have any experiencing with re-barreling one of these rifles.
    Last edited by JACKTW; 06-11-2019 at 01:26 AM. Reason: format

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    Shoot it with some full power jacketed loads, clean, more shooting, clean again. Run a couple hundred rounds through it and see if it breaks in any before you shoot cast lead bullets. Barrels will surprise you, sometimes a rough looking one will shoot just fine. Don't make any judgements until you shoot it. Those rough spots can smooth out with break-in, and if you lap it could come out OK. Give it a chance, if it doesn't work out, the warranty is 5 years. Send it back if it won't perform.
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    Thanks Rob the rifle came with 200rnds of Hornady gummy tips. This rifle was made in 82 so warranty is long gone. Pic of what it looks like on the outside.20190114_120428.jpg
    mikom, gunscrewguy and rob42049 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lever Jac View Post
    IMG110101-001920F.JPGIMG110101-002540F.JPGIMG110101-002655F.JPGI Do not know how I screwed up on the placement of these pics but some days are better than others. I have a Marlin 94 cowboy special ltd. with a 24" octagon barrel in 45 colt. This rifle has been rarely shot tell lately. The rifle is in almost new condition. I am trying to get it ready to use in a cowboy silhouette competition. I haven't had a chance to start reloading for it but that will come soon. With several different brands of ammo, the best groups average about 3" @ 50yds.

    I used my bore scope on it and the above pics are a representation of much of the barrel. I do not have a lot of experience looking at the interior of barrels but I think this one is bad. Some other of my barrels may have a few marks or ruff spots but most of this barrel looks like this.

    I am going to lap the bore and fix the crown that is a little uneven but I do not have much hope that this will much improve the accuracy. Has anybody have any experiencing with re-barreling one of these rifles.
    Lever Jac,



    I can only offer two solutions I have tried.

    1. Pick up some Bronze wool, unroll and cut with scissors to length and wrap a wire cleaning brush. Use your normal cleaning solvent and several passes, see if you can lift out old stuck on stuff. Use the scope again to see if the bronze wool treatment worked.
    2. If #1 does not work, JB's bore cleaner would be the next step. Follow the instructions on the product. You can over do and cause other issues.


    Lastly, a solution I have not needed is fire lap the barrel. This is a specific process you can look up if the first two do not work. However, I stress, fire lapping is a aggressive process and following quality guidelines is very important to prevent damaging the rifling.

    The 45 Colt is a challenging cartridge and chamber to find good accuracy in if you try to do more that the cartridge was originally designed to do. Faster powders to properly seal the case in the chamber are a must. With the fast powders, take what they provide, expect best performance in lower velocity ranges. If you try to shoot slower powders to produce higher velocities, do not expect good results. Set your expectations by trying to duplicating original black powder performance. The 45 Colt is very accurate when you stay within it's intended lane.

    One other tip, do not full length resize. If you have a TC sizing die, only size the top portion of the case. The sized case may end up looking more like a 44-40 case. However, with the base of the case closer to the chamber diameter and only the front part of the case needed to expand to seal, you may improve fps shot to shot. The chamber spec's for the 45 Colt are, lets say, over sized at best. It takes an explosive like BP to seal the case in the over sized spec chamber.
    Last edited by PoopDeckPappy; 06-11-2019 at 12:39 AM.
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    PoopDeckPappy is onto it!
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    Yeah, what PoopDeckPappay said, I had a rough barrel and fire lapping worked well.

    Then again, I have some Marlins that hate Hornady lever ammo but shoot MOA or better with Federal or Winchester factory ammo. Have you tried different ammo to find what your rifle prefers? If not, I'd start by doing so as you might be pleasantly surprised.

    You mentioned the crown is uneven which depending upon how much will affect accuracy. You might have a competent gunsmith take a look at it and if needed, have it re-crowned.

    Keep us informed with your progress.

    Jack
    Last edited by JACKTW; 06-11-2019 at 02:13 PM. Reason: typo
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    I've surveyed dozens of barrels using a borescope for a DoD contractor. That barrel would go on the scrap pile.

    That said, lead lapping, or even judicious fire lapping could improve it tremendously. You may make it worse if overdone. I would think that barrel would foul up quickly.

    If it were mine I would shoot it, clean it, and enjoy it.

    I have successfully recrowned many barrels using a round bolt head chucked in a drill motor coated with lapping compound. Slowly press it against the muzzle bore and swivel it while turning until the crown reaches just into the groove diameter.

    AC
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    Shoot it-You might be trying to fix somedangthing that ain't even 'broke'.
    I would look close at the muzzle crown.......
    LG
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  10. #9
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    Thanks for all your input. This afternoon I'll touch up the crown then see if I can clean it up a little more (I have already done my standard patch, 20 brush strokes patch and have repeated 5 times and still dirty patches). Then I will roll up some fire lapping bullets and see if it helps. Fire lapping did wonders for my remlin 30-30 if nothing else it should make it easier to clean. Then I will try and find some loads it likes. Working on it should be an interesting journey. I will keep you all updated.

  11. #10
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    Shoot it before you mess with it, to get a base-line.
    White box WW is a good base line for ammo for this.
    It's a production barrel. NOT, an air-gauged match grade barrel.
    How did you 'touch up' the crown?
    LG
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