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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was dinking around looking through some of my stuff yesterday and came across a box of bullets that were not marked. Well, they were but I didn't see the note until later.

They looked like 200 grain Remington core locks but I wasn't sure if they were that or maybe some .366 bullets for my 9.3x57. Since both guns were right there and my calipers were not handy I figured to just do a quicky check and stick one nose first in the muzzle of each gun to see which one they fit. As soon as I put one in the 9.3 it was obvious that they were too small so I knew they were 35s. But since I was checking, I stuck it in my boys 35 and it stopped about 1/8" short of the cannelure like it should have. I then tried it in my 35 and was shocked to see it drop in right to the cannelure!

Evidently my muzzle area is worn out. The rifle is a 1957 Texan with a Weaver K3 scope. Ever since I got it, I've had accuracy issues. One time it would shoot one to three shots pretty good then start to scatter. Next time it might be crap from the start and the time after that it might do okay but I've NEVER been able to get a decent 100 yard group out of it. First thing I did was check the scope mounts. Several screws were loose so I got rid of the Weaver base and rings and put Leopolds on it. Didn't help much. It also had a funky set of sling swivels on it that had quick release bases. The front swivel had an attachment on the tube that was putting the tube and barrel in a bind so I ditched them too. Trigger pull was horrible but I fixed that a while back. It helped a little but not much.

The bore itself looks great to look through it. My guess is that the gun had been cleaned many times from the muzzle end and the wear is probably from the cleaning rod. One of those cases of poor results from good intentions.

I suppose I'll have to slug the bore to see how bad it really is. Will probably drive a slug in just below flush at the muzzle and check that against one driven clear through from the other end.

Bad thing is, I've never been a fan of short barreled Marlins and usually have to bite my tongue when I see people here "ruin" a perfectly good Marlin by chopping it down to 18 or 16 inches but in this case it may be the only way to get it back to being an accurate rifle.

Who knows, maybe I'll be forced to change my mind about the shorty Marlins? Good thing is I'll find out what all the marauder hype is about because that's basically what I'll end up with.
 

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Hey Dave, if you like the look it has now, maybe you could try a counterbore re-crowning first? Just to see if it fixes the accuracy...then you could cut it off...or not.
+1, try a counterbore first, it will save you a lot of work. :top:
 

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But if you do cut it, you won't be sorry. It'll grow on you.
 
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Leave it to RB Rider...............That Billistic Sage from below the Mason Dixon line to suggest a way out of your delimma!

I think his idea is a great one!..........I bet the counterbore will only need to be an 1/8" or so...........if even that deep!

RB helped me a year or so ago, in getting my Trebuchet to fling Chickens with great accuracy...............

The Counterbore is a good idea....I'd try it if you don't like short Marlins. but once you carry a short Marlin in the woods all day, you'll be hooked.

Tom
 

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You might try polishing the crown before doing any machining or cutting. Any small nick or ding to the crown/bore interface can cause scattering. Easy to do and relatively inexpensive.
Inspect the crown/bore area with magnification looking for any damage.

My brother showed me a cool trick for inspecting this area. Use binoculars by looking through them from the objective (reverse) lens. I tried it and it works. Great, easy magnifier.... Can be done in the field too if you suspect you might have damaged the crown.
 

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If your muzzle is really that bad, consider having the bore lined back to .35. The gun will then shoot as well as or better than it did when new. I would hesitate to dut the gun as you loose the fine balance of a Texan and reduce magazine capacity. To me, a cut gun is fine to get in and out of a truck but way butt heavy to carry.
 

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Hey Dave, that right there is a good reason for Winchester Lever owners to use a bore snake.

If the counter bore doesn't do the trick, though I suspect it will, then you could it lined back to 35 as Dan suggested. I had one very old Winchester 94 30-30 that couldn't hold groups so my gun smith lined it and then I got 1 inch groups out of her, with peeps! Sold that Winnie to my cousin and just thinking about it now makes me kind of miss it.

Jack
 

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First thing I would do is find someone with a set of good gauge pins. ID bore and then make educated reaction to results. May be an 1/8", may be 1". Measure twice, cut once?
 
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If the bore looks that good, I's be tempted to slug it and make sure it's not the whole thing thats oversized. I've seen stranger. You might find shooting properly sized cast loads will make you proud of the results.

Assuming it is just the crown, I have counterbored a few rifles with good results. I'd recommend that over cutting...though a properly shortened barrel has a certain appeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's a pic of both guns with Remington 200 grain core locks inserted in the muzzle.
 

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And if you flip the bullet over, do you get the same results? From what I can see, the bore may just be larger and the ogive goes in a bit further.

The possibility is there though. I have seen people love their rifle to death with a cleaning rod.
 

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Seems to me that if the damage caused by a cleaning rod was great enough to remove enough metal to let the bullet go down that far, you would be able to see evidence of damaged rifling at the muzzle....you can't wallow out a barrel that much at the muzzle without screwing up the rifling at the muzzle. You can stick a q-tip in the muzzle of your rifle and shine a flashlight on it. Light will reflect back and allow you to see the rifling real well. IF it is even and crisp all the way to the end, you will know the oversize is caused by something else....at least that is what I would think. I would also expect to be able to see uneven areas in the crown. I have an old British Enfield rifle my Granddad picked up from a surplus bin in the 1970's. It has a crown damaged by improper use of a cleaning rod and the crown looks oblong. I just stuck a bullet in the muzzle of it like you guys are doing and it goes way in and literally rattles!

I really don't know what to say. Another member here posted a pic of a new barrel that does the exact same thing and he says it shoots well. I think I would get the opinion of a gunsmith or two.
 

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The first thing I would do would be to slug the barrel. Perhaps it is just a bit oversized for its entire length.

OR...the rifling is shallower which would also mean that the forward portion of the bullet is not being guided by the bore diameter and therefore would have less total engagement length. If that is the case, a bullet with a longer groove bearing surface would shoot better.

If it turns out that that it is larger at the muzzle, then as the others indicated,, I would also suggest having the muzzle counterbored.

If that is the case It would be interesting to try 5 grs. or so of PSB (polyethylene shot buffer) compressed between the powder charge and the bullet. That would pretty much act as a gas check and allow the bullet to transverse the barrel unaffected by the powder gases.

I tried that with an old .44-40 and a bullet that was undersized and the groups tightened right up.

Good luck,
w30wcf.
 

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First thing I'd do is switch them two bullets around. I've seen some nasty variations in bullets from the same manufacture and especially in bulk bullets I've bought.

Once got a box of Winchester bulk bullets 250 count, for my 45-70 full half of them were for a .45 long colt and .452 dia instead of .458 very noticeable.

Next is reconsider making yourself a Marauder clone out of that Texan, though I do recommend counter boring as a first step.

My 336RC .35 Rem pistol grip, before straight grip on top.

Another pic of the same gun with my trapper before any modifications.
 

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