View Full Version : Need advice on a barrel

October 17, 2005, 02:57 PM
I just acquired a Remington 700 BDL in .30-06. The rifle is almost brand new with less than a box through it.

The problem is that the box was corrosive and the previous owner did not clean it after shooting. I bought the rifle for the Leupold scope and rings on it, and got a great deal on those alone.

Once I got the rifle, I cleaned it up to see how bad the barrel really was. After removing the scope and rings, I removed the bolt and checked it out. There was no corrosion other than in the bore.

I spent about an hour cleaning it with Windex, alternately running a wet swab and brush through the bore. Then I spent another hour doing the same thing with Break Free.

I was pleased at the results. The barrel is pitted certainly, but it doesn't look particularly bad to me, although I must admit I am hardly one to judge levels of badness in corroded barrels. While it is hardly pristine, I have seen many barrels that look worse.

I'd appreciate any advice on where to go from here. The way I see it, I can do one of three things:
1. Sell it
2. See how it shoots, and if it is okay, keep it, recognizing that it will require a lot of careful cleaning every time I use it.
3. Have it rebarrelled.

Is there anything else I can do to improve the bore? Should I even consider rebarreling? I know that is expensive, but an acquaintance suggested that I might be able to get a "take-off" barrel, i.e., a used barrel that someone had had removed to rebarrel a rifle to a different caliber.

Since I got the scope and rings for about half of what they're worth, and I got the rifle in addition, I am willing to experiment a bit.

Suggestions? Advice?


October 17, 2005, 03:24 PM
Shoot it. Pitting in the bore, unless it's fairly bad, is not going to make a heck of a lot of difference. Clean it like you would any other barrel. IME, older or pitted barrels take a lot longer to settle in (20rds +) if you clean them down to bare metal, and they shoot more consistantly if you just do a mild/moderate cleaning routine.

FWIW, I shot my match rifle for 3k rounds with moderate pitting in the last 6" in the bore and never lost a point because of it.

October 17, 2005, 05:30 PM
Shoot it. I've got some milsurps with UGLY bores that shoot decently. You never know until you shoot it.

October 17, 2005, 09:39 PM
New factory takeoff barrels can be bought very cheaply on eBay or from gunsmiths that specialize in building benchrest rifles.

T. O'Heir
October 17, 2005, 10:40 PM
Shoot it before you do anything.

October 18, 2005, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all of the information and advice. I am going to shoot it first to see what I have. I had not thought of looking on e-bay for a barrel.

October 18, 2005, 11:13 AM
sell it, and upgrade. :)

October 19, 2005, 03:08 PM
Shoot the barrel and see if it shoots satisfactorily for you. If not, we have a large number of Remington 700 take off barrels in 30-06 Springfield in various factory contours. All of the take off barrels that we re-sell have been air gauged (if the bore isn't reasonably straight & consistent we scrap it, about 30% of the Remington barrels we take off when we do a building project are rejected). We will also hand lap & cryo a take off barrel for a customer if asked to.

October 19, 2005, 09:31 PM
I'm with most everybody else- shoot the thing. Are you looking for 10-X accuracy, or 1" accuracy that will still put meat on your table at 200+ yds? If your shooting does not go quite the way you want, consider lapping the bore. If you reload, you can get a good lapping kit from MidwayUSA.

October 20, 2005, 07:26 AM
I most certainly don't want to insult or anger anyone, but fire lapping kits aren't quite what they are cracked up to be. The major issue with any kind of lapping operation is that you are in fact removing metal from the bore, and in the case of fire lapping, most of the metal removed will be at the throat of the bore, which isn't exactly what you are trying to accomplish. The idea is to remove any high spots in the bore, or to make the bore uniform in diameter through out it's entire length, and in the process remove any machining flaws (a premium grade button rifled barrel will usually not require lapping, and cut rifled bores are usually lapped by the manufacturer, and any premium bore will require no "barrel break in"). This is best accomplished by hand because the knowledgable operator can feel what is happening as they are pushing the slug through the bore. It truely is a job for professionals, and should not be attempted by the shooter, which I realize is contrary to what the advertisements, and the gun writers tell you. We see more damage done to firearms by "tinkering" than we like to see.

October 20, 2005, 01:34 PM
sorry, did it to me again

October 20, 2005, 01:35 PM
That is a very good point, but for a factory tube that has many flaws in it, I have used the process to very good advantage of the barrel. I have reduced the groups out of several barrels that were factory tubes like the one in question here by using the fire lapping process. Also keep in mind that one thing David Tubb recommends his bullets for is to help clean up throat erosion. It simply helps to smooth out the marks created by powder burn and fouling when a barrel has been about shot out. I however do not recommend it nor the JB bore paste for this barrel.

The rest of your statement I completely agree with. I would clean it well with a carbon cleaner first and then clean it well with a copper remover. Have a look at it and see just how it looks then. If you can still see pitting, I would shoot it let it tell you how well it will shoot. I have shot some Garands that had pitted barrels and were on their last legs so to speak outshoot some very good factory guns at different shoots. Don't throw away a barrel simply because it has some pits. There are some means of completely removing the rust by using electrical current, I will find the post on how to do it an post it here for you. Once the rust is gone, most of the time the pits will be filled in after shooting numerous times and the barrel can and will return to shooting well. I wouldn't use JB bore paste simply because you don't really need to remove metal here, just remove the rust from the pits. Once it is rust free, you have to stay on top of ceaning the barrel to make sure it doesn't rust again because ut most certainly will if left unattended to.

I'll find the post for you right quick.

Ok here is the post. The one thing I forgot to mention is that with this procedure, the blueing can be removed from the outside of the barrel as well. If you don't mind that use it, if it bothers you too much then simply don't try it without making some changes. I would suggest capping the muzzle end with some kind of plastic to prevent the liquid from coming out but without sticking down inside the barrel.

Instead of using the tank to dip the whole barrel, I would fill the barrel with the liquid and run a small diameter clean tig welding rod down the barrel. This will be very similar to what the lead fouling remover does. I then would hook up the lead to the gun and the rod and let it do it's thing. You can place the gun in a plastic tub if you want to, but it would only need be done outside and the tub wouldn't really be needed. I have done this myself and it works very well. If you fill the barrel just up to the chamber, you shouldn't have any spills and the blueing should be fine on the outside of the barrel and receiver. If you fill the barrel, you will get boil over and the blue can be messed up, but it can be taken care of without too much worry if you want to save the barrel. If you are not concerned with saving the barrel, then simply don't follow these instructions. Good luck with it. Here is the post to explain it to you.


October 20, 2005, 09:52 PM
Thanks for the great advice. I have used the electrolytic rust removal technique to clean up some tools that were given to me. I considered using it on the Remmy barrel but thought I'd better talk to a smith first about it. I'm going to take the rifle out and see how it shoots before I do anything else.