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View Full Version : Mosin barrel slugging gone horribly wrong


SPCMarty308
July 9, 2012, 04:08 PM
So i decided to slug the bore of my M91-30 for reloading purposes. 1/8th egg shaped lead sinker, 1/4th dowel cut into sections, and a soft head dead blow hammer 2lb. I greased the lead with wheel bearing grease. once the lead cleared the muzzle, all seemed to go well until the lead got to the chamber neck. Its now stuck in there, the wooden dowels too, the lead won't budge either way now. I poured some assembly lube down the chamber end hoping it'll seep its way around and free it.

10-96
July 9, 2012, 04:49 PM
Go locate the guy who told you to use a wooden object such as that dowel rod... then utter curses and profanities at him to the likes of which modern man has never seen.

NEVER put a wooden ANYTHING up or down your bores!

How much of the dowel came out?

If it's close to the chamber end, you may luck out and be able to go on line and find one of those rediculously long drill bits AND EVER SO SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY NIBBLE AWAY AT YOUR SINKER. Once you've gotten through or nearly through, you should be able to tap all that mess out with a solid stainless or brass rod.

Goatwhiskers
July 9, 2012, 04:52 PM
First off, NEVER NEVER EVER use a dowel to drive a slug in a barrel. Use a steel or brass rod close to bore diameter with a couple wraps of electrical tape every few inches to stop vibration. What I would suggest now after the oil soaks a little is to use a rod no more than a couple inches longer than the receiver (for stiffness) to start the slug moving, then a longer rod to move it back up the barrel. You may have to try to drill out the cotton-pickin dowel. GW

SIGSHR
July 9, 2012, 05:21 PM
Sounds like a job for a ball puller such as BP shooters use.

SPCMarty308
July 9, 2012, 06:53 PM
http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm
Here's what I was going off of.
The whole barrel has dowel stuck in it, desperate attempt to push it through
I threaded the cleaning rod into the lead but I couldn't pull it out from te breech.
Any hope I could melt the lead with a propane torch? I also have a hydraulic press on hand

FrankenMauser
July 9, 2012, 08:28 PM
Definitely time for a ball puller, or a visit with a gunsmith.

The penetrating oil might help get the lead out, but it will cause the dowels to swell. :(


I had always had good luck with sections of quality oak dowels (not the Chinese hardware store crap). Then, there was an incident that required extreme measures....
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82471&stc=1&d=1341882965
The slug got stuck behind a constriction in the barrel. When I whacked the dowel a little harder, it splintered in the barrel and wedged the other dowel sections in place. After very painstakingly drilling (by hand), cutting, and pulling pieces of the dowels out... the slug was still stuck. (The hammer drill was only used for its 'hammer' feature. It wasn't used to drill. And the drill rod had its tip very carefully dressed to prevent any damage.)

I don't recommend using a power tool in any way. I just wanted to show you that you're not the first person that has had that method fail.
For a long time, I thought the "don't use wood" crowd was just a bunch of Chicken Littles that were using cheap dowels. I was very wrong. :o

Now, I don't use anything but polished O-1 drill rod. That's exactly what you see chucked in the hammer drill, in the photo. That piece of drill rod was 0.003" under bore diameter, and fit quite nicely (bore: .304" / rod .301"). Of course... I only knew that because I had successfully slugged this barrel in the past. If you don't know your actual bore diameter, it's best to get something a bit smaller; so you can put a few wraps of electrical tape on the drill rod to make up the difference and keep it centered.

DaleA
July 10, 2012, 01:47 AM
I just wanted to show you that you're not the first person that has had that method fail.

You're a class act FrankenMauser - this is one of the reasons I stick around here.

impalacustom
July 10, 2012, 05:20 AM
Not that it helps you now but that guy is a moron, don't ever use anything that can splinter and bind itself into the barrel, the harder you hit the rods the more jammed and harder the bind.

tobnpr
July 10, 2012, 03:42 PM
Interesting...
I slugged my bore the exact same way with the wood dowels and had no issues.
Lucky, I guess.

In the end, I kinda don't see the point in the whole deal...

The only barrels with .308 groove dia. are a very limited number of Finns.

If you've got a 91/30, M44, or the like, it's going to be in the .311 range- or larger.

Just shoot the .311-.312 bullets. If the lands are worn out, not a damn thing you can do about it, anyway...make it a wall hanger.

SPCMarty308
July 11, 2012, 10:16 AM
Is there anything that'll dissolve/weaken the wood? I'd say I crammed the dowels pretty good. Any thoughts on using a 1/4" steel rod with the tip wrapped in electrical tape and a hydraulic press?

Is all factory 54R ammo using .308 diameter? Even the Russian made stuff and surplus?

tobnpr
July 11, 2012, 02:25 PM
Surplus ammo is going to be the "correct" .311 or .312.

I don't know why most commercial ammo is in .308, perhaps because there is the rare Finn with that groove dia and there would probably be liability concerns of overpressure if someone were to run .311 bullets down the .308 groove.

Not all commercial ammo is .308. I believe the "Bear" ammo is .311...but I'd always check with the manufacturer first.

Far as a torch to melt the lead....
I don't know what the melting temp of lead is, as compared to the heat necessary to damage the temper of the chamber steel.

Your rifle's action and bolt are tempered (heat treated) for strength. Applying too much heat to the action or bolt can damage/remove the temper, and make it downright dangerous as it might be unable to handle to chamber pressures.

I wouldn't risk it.

Hopefully someone has a fix.

Only thing I would try in the absence of a better suggestion is to use a very dull masonry type bit- nothing sharp that would cut into the rifling, and try to start it into the hole you say you've already made into the sinker. Then rotate it slowly by hand (vise grips) and try to slowly grind away at the lead until you've drilled a hole through the center of it.

Once that's done, some more judicial pounding should allow the sinker to now collapse inwards a bit due to the hole/void you just created.

Anyway, just a thought from a non-gunsmith...

FrankenMauser
July 11, 2012, 08:51 PM
In the end, I kinda don't see the point in the whole deal...

The only barrels with .308 groove dia. are a very limited number of Finns.

If you've got a 91/30, M44, or the like, it's going to be in the .311 range- or larger.

Just shoot the .311-.312 bullets. If the lands are worn out, not a damn thing you can do about it, anyway...make it a wall hanger.
If you're going to shoot jacketed bullets, there isn't much point in slugging the bore. But, if you're going to shoot lead bullets, slugging the bore is absolutely critical to ensure good results.

It can still be useful to find out what jacketed bullet will best fit the bore. But, it's tremendously useful to find out what the groove diameter is, if using lead bullets. Assuming that you have a .312" groove diameter and sending .312" lead projectiles down what is actually a .315" groove diameter results in a nasty mess and hours of scrubbing lead out of the barrel.

Given the fact that most of the cheap Mosins have bores worn or eroded to .314-.316", it's a good idea to slug them.

impalacustom
July 11, 2012, 11:13 PM
The problem now isn't the lead its the dowels, when they broke. Wood tends to break along it's grain and the dowels grain is running length wise (parallel to the bore) and one piece will wedge itself against the other. Picture 2 triangles working against each other in a confined space, just getting tighter and tighter the more you force them.

Drilling is about the least drastic thing you can do, whatever you do don't keep hammering.

ScottRiqui
July 12, 2012, 10:02 AM
The problem now isn't the lead its the dowels, when they broke. Wood tends to break along it's grain and the dowels grain is running length wise (parallel to the bore) and one piece will wedge itself against the other. Picture 2 triangles working against each other in a confined space, just getting tighter and tighter the more you force them.


Exactly. The fragments of dowel have formed wedges (one of the classic "simple machines"). Now, any longitudinal force applied along the axis of the barrel (such as from hammering) is being converted by the wedge shape to a lateral force that's not doing anything other than pressing the fragments tighter and tighter against the inner surface of the bore.

tobnpr
July 12, 2012, 02:41 PM
Right, I get that.
But, he said that he's got a rod threaded into the sinker from the breech end, so I thought drilling out the sinker,and maybe giving it some "room" to collapse into itself, might work if driven from the breech end. I agree that doing anything further from the muzzle end is only going to expand the spintered wood further tightening it's grip on the bore.

Exerting force from the other end will not aggravate that problem, at least.

Anyway, easy to armchair QB this one; I'm looking at it as a contractor, not a gunsmith!

10-96
July 12, 2012, 03:51 PM
OK, I've been reading about muriatic acid (same as hydrochloric acid) eating soft wood- not oak, maple, walnut, etc. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&gs_nf=1&gs_mss=muriatic%20acid%20on%20w&cp=20&gs_id=34&xhr=t&q=muriatic+acid+on+wood&pf=p&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&oq=muriatic+acid+on+woo&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=ce19979f0aca28f&biw=1280&bih=618
What will the acid do to the barrel if he can stand it up in a bucket muzzle down, and use a dropper to apply small amounts of the acid, providing he can get it past the lead?

JWT
July 12, 2012, 05:01 PM
The acid would react with the wood, but it would also react with the metal barrel. Acid and metal are not compatible. Don't use it in your barrell. Ball puller or gunsmith is the best way to go.

Mr_Raw
July 12, 2012, 08:48 PM
My suggestion is that you get yourself a bullet scraper, get rid of the lead first.

now how many pieces of doweling do you have down the muzzle?
Because I think the ones at the muzzle have splintered. So if its the way I think it is pull the lead out and most of your doweling should follow. Then get a metal rod about 1/4" dia. wrap it in tape so it doesn't mar the rifling but not so much that you cant get it out either, insert from breach end and give it a couple of hits with a heavy hammer.

Or as has been suggested before call a gunsmith.

Jerry45
July 13, 2012, 07:43 AM
I have an idea. I've never had to do this to a rifle barrel but I did have to do something similar where I could use a steel rod. DO NOT USE A STEEL ROD!!!! Get a aluminum rod. Probably Home Depot or a Hardware store that's smaller than the bore. Flatten on end with a hammer then taper it to a point with a grinder. You now have an aluminum drill bit that will cut wood and lead but not steel (the barrel). Drill a little then pull it out then drill a little and pull it out until you have the center of the dowel and lead plug drilled out. Then you can use a larger rod, perhaps even a cleaning rod to shove the remainder out of the bore. I'm sure I could do it but your mileage may vary. ;)

mete
July 13, 2012, 10:22 AM
Put some termites in the barrel to get rid of the wood first !

SPCMarty308
July 13, 2012, 12:28 PM
The aluminum rid idea might work. A masonry bit won't chew up the barrel?
There's probably 4 pieces of dowel in the barrel. I did try to hammer the lead back up the barrel so I bet most of the dowel is crammed.
Bunch of termites eh? A process needin patience for sure.
Gunsmith would be the best route I suppose.

tobnpr
July 13, 2012, 03:46 PM
Marty,
My idea with the masonry bit was to drill just the center of the sinker, where you say you've already started a hole.

It sure could scratch or gouge the rifling, as it's steel on steel. But "I" would do it with a masonry bit rather than a sharp, HSS bit, because they're dull by design and less likely to scratch the rifling if you "slip".

But, IF you can get a long enough, small (1/8") bit started in the center of it, and work it slowly, I think it would work.

Lead is very soft. No need to go fast- just chuck it into a cordless drill, and spin it very slowly- just letting it chew on the lead. Shouldn't take very much. Then move to a slightly larger bit, removing the lead from the center, outwards.

Just like drilling out a snapped off tap in a receiver (OUCH)...

The reason the lead is stuck is it's being compressed, if you drill out the center, the soft lead will have a void and collapse inwards and be easily compressed and driven out.

Anyway, that's what I would do. Done correctly, it's safe, and won't risk any damage. Worst case, it doesn't work and you drop back and punt...

Nemsis
July 13, 2012, 04:10 PM
Just drill it out, unless you have a rare/valuable mosin the worst that can happen is you buy another $100 rifle and have some spare parts for it.

barnbwt
July 13, 2012, 04:36 PM
Lead melts and wood burns...

TCB

tobnpr
July 14, 2012, 02:45 PM
Lead melts and wood burns...


And steel temper gets damaged...and rifle receiver goes "boom"...

johnwilliamson062
July 15, 2012, 10:02 PM
The cheapest fastest solution is a new MN 91/30.

wyop
July 15, 2012, 11:50 PM
How much do you have into this Mosin? And how much time and money are you willing to spend to rectify this problem?

As a gunsmith, I can recommend ideas to remove the obstruction and maybe not damage the bore... but they require equipment and skill. If you're really attached to this rifle, you might not want to take the chance of damaging the bore, seeing as how this is your first time doing this.

If you're not attached to this rifle and it's just another Mosin, I think buying another Mosin is about the cheapest sure-fire method to deal with this problem. Assuming a smith in your area is charging $65/hour or more, I'm almost certain that another Mosin will be cheaper than what he'll charge you.

Heavy Metal 1
July 16, 2012, 12:11 AM
Go to a welding supply store and get a brass brazing rod as close to bore diameter as possible. Put it in through the breech end and pound the junk out of there. The brass will be harder than the wood, but won't harm the rifling. Gong from the muzzle might work too, but as identified above may exacerbate the jamming of the dowels. I've used this successfully w/ squibs stuck in the bore, never had the dowel problem.

impalacustom
July 17, 2012, 02:08 AM
Put it in through the breech end and pound the junk out of there. The brass will be harder than the wood, but won't harm the rifling.

DO NOT DO THIS.

Wedges work in both ways...

samsmix
July 18, 2012, 10:12 PM
I am a proud father: My 16 year old daughter was reading this thread over my shoulder and exclaimed "OH NO!" When I asked her why, she replied that the propane torch/melt it out idea might ruin the heat treat of the steel... (Sniffle, sniffle,:D)

smoakingun
July 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
lead 327 deg heat treat between 550 and 850

The melting point of lead is 327 degrees, steel is heat treated and anealed at temps betwee 550 and 850 degrees. Tell me how melting the lead will damage the heat treat? if you heat the steel from the outside, you will dis-color the blueing. An alternate way to heat the lead would be from the inside with an iron. If you don't have an iron long enough, get a piece of 1/4" steel rod, grind the end to a rounded point. using an acetelene torch, heat the rod till it glows bright red, about 700 degrees, apply the rod to the lead, a little will melt out, repeat the process untill all the lead is removed.

tobnpr
July 21, 2012, 12:12 PM
That might work...

Granted, the melting point of lead is lower than what would damage the temper.
But, that's not the issue, it's the fact that owner is not a gunsmith, and his ability to control the heat is the problem.

I'm sure he doesn't know what heat-control paste is...and even so in this application would be difficult to use.

barnbwt
July 21, 2012, 08:37 PM
ead 327 deg heat treat between 550 and 850

To be honest, I was (half) joking when I suggested the lead and dowels be burned out (everyone was suggesting everything, it was kinda funny), but I suppose it could actually work. Lead melts ~350, wood burns around 450. If heated carefully (and ideally, locally, as with a soldering iron or wood burner) the plug could at least adjust its shape enough to reduce the force on the barrel. The wood would char, rather than burn (no O2), keeping temperatures safe. If proper caution is used, the torch/rod trick would probably be safer for the gun than drilling, pulling, and especially hammering.

TCB

Edward429451
July 21, 2012, 10:48 PM
You couldn't use heat paste. Where would he put it? I like the hot 1/4" rod idea. Safest idea yet.