View Full Version : Bore Corrosion

January 8, 2009, 12:50 AM
I am just entering the surplus firearms arena, and am interesting in how pitting in the bore effects accuracy and function. I know what a "mirror" bore looks like, but how does one differentiate between a "frosted," "pitted," and "sewer pipe" barrel?

I was inspecting an Egyptian FN49 today and saw that the last few inches of the barrel were fairly corroded. Is the going to result in a drastic loss in accuracy?

January 8, 2009, 01:34 AM

Frosted -- the bore looks similar in quality to "mirror" in respect
to condition except that it is not shiny. Has a dull appearance to it.
This is invariably due to lack of timely cleaning after the rifle has
been fired with corrosive primed ammunition. Bore has kind of a
sand blasted appearance.

Pitted -- this is an expansion of the frosting condition. The integrity
of the surface has now progressed to an eroded state. You will observe
"spots" in the bore that will not clean out.

Sewer -- bad state of pitting.

The problem with all of these bore conditions is that metal will strip
off of the bullet jacket as it traverses the bore. This will copper foul
the bore and accuracy will be impaired eventually. Cleaning the bore
is a (much) more tedious job than with a mirror condition bore.

Some rifles with poor condition bores due turn in respectable accuracy,
but this is more of an anomaly. Be wise. Avoid rifles with these kinds
of bore conditions if all possible.



January 8, 2009, 09:04 AM
thanks for the tips Dr X. I was wondering about this stuff myself. :)

Mike Irwin
January 8, 2009, 12:14 PM
The most humorous case of bore corrosion I've ever encountered...

Friend Bob gets himself an M1 from CMP.

Nice gun. Rebuilt, but a good solid stock and not too badly rack dingled.

Except he's worried about the pit in the barrel near the muzzle.

He wants me to look at it and tell me if he needs to get the barrel replaced...

"Uh, Bob? You NEED that pit. It's the gas port." :D

January 8, 2009, 04:30 PM
"Frosting" will usually get cleaned up after a few firings.

Most minor pitting, believe it or not, will not affect much. Ask any surplus rifle nut, we've all shot guns with fairly pitted bores and most of them still shoot great.:)

January 8, 2009, 06:24 PM

Here is a pic of a bore that has pitting --


January 8, 2009, 08:41 PM
Here is a pic of a bore that has pitting --

HA...Thats nothing!!! The only thing you should be really concerned about is just keeping it maintained like you would with any other gun so it doesnt get worse.:)

January 8, 2009, 08:59 PM
However, all that being said, I have seen many barrels that were pited that shot minute of angle. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Shoot it , see how it shoots. I had an 03 Springfield that had a sewer pipe for a barrel, shot like a dream. Sold it to a friend years ago, he unts with it and bags a deer every year.

January 8, 2009, 09:10 PM

I'll up the ante a bit -- Pitted Bore Version 2.0


For this kind of shooting, I recommend buying rifles with pitted bores ---




January 8, 2009, 10:27 PM
Xring, you take those pictures yourseld? How, I can never get a picture to turn out like that? What kind of camera do you have?

January 8, 2009, 10:36 PM

JW -

No, I grabbed them off the net. That really pitted one
is taken with a borescope.

I've take one like that frontal shot. Trick is the backlight.
I took the shot inside the house and had the butt facing a
daylighted window. Let the camera focus on the muzzle. Try it.

I used two cameras. A Nikon D70S and a Canon SD790IS.


October 8, 2012, 09:48 PM
Mosin-Nagants are the worst....corrosive old 7.62 ammo and "former owners" (ie, soviet infantry conscripts) whose life-expectancies were much shorter than the rifles - all make for about 40 million surplus rifles with horribly neglected bores. I have owned a couple of them and all have frosty barrels. They shoot straight still. Sometimes it comes clean with shooting, sometimes it doesnt. Just make it as clean as it will get and shoot it ;)

Mike Irwin
October 10, 2012, 06:58 AM
No sense in responding to a nearly four-year-old thread as if it were posted yesterday.