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Old June 29, 2011, 07:01 PM   #1
BUFF
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unsafe barrel

I have a 1898 30-40 Krag that my father had a gunsmith take off the rear sight and drill and tap for scope mounts. It has a big chunk missing out of the barrel where the rear sight was. It was professonally done but i'm afraid to shoot it because i don't want it blowing up in my face. Is it safe to shoot?

Sorry no pic.
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Old June 29, 2011, 07:40 PM   #2
hermannr
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you are going to have to post a picture to get any kind of valid answer.

However, is the missing metal is where the rear sight WAS, that is, if it is machined into the barrel to hold the sight that is not their any more, It is not a problem.
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Old June 30, 2011, 04:49 PM   #3
Unclenick
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Hard to guess without a picture, but is likely to be shootable. Hatcher's Notebook contains an example of a Springfield '03 barrel he turned down to, IIRC, 1/8" thick metal without it blowing up. If your metal is at least that thick between the cut and the bore, especially considering the lower pressure of the Krag round, you likely should be fine. If you don't trust your judgement on the matter, by all means have a gunsmith inspect it for you.
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Old June 30, 2011, 05:00 PM   #4
BUFF
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Thank you, i will.

My other question is did he devalue the gun by altering it? I've seen some nice price tags on them in original condition.
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Old June 30, 2011, 05:03 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Yes.
Collector values for military weapons are based on as issued configuration.
You now have a nice hunting rifle.

Removal of the sight did not weaken the barrel.
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Old June 30, 2011, 05:08 PM   #6
BUFF
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So why would gunsmith agree to do that? Is it that he was just a paying cutomer?
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Old June 30, 2011, 05:26 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Yes.
The gunsmith isn't making money by Dad sitting on a GI rifle, he is getting paid to drill holes in it.
Is this something recent or was it back when a surplus rifle was just a surplus rifle and not a Significant Historical Artifact?
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Old June 30, 2011, 06:47 PM   #8
James K
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I suspect the "big chunk" is missing out of the upper handguard, where the sight base was removed, not out of the barrel. But we need pictures.

Another case, of course, of the Keenan definition of "sporterizing" - Taking a $1500 rifle, making a $200 rifle out of it, and paying $300 for the effort.

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