View Full Version : Do I need to recrown this barrel? (pics)

March 18, 2009, 10:30 PM
Don't know exactly how the barrel has come to look like this. I'd guess about 2000-2500 rounds through it. I have never cleaned inside the barrel (maybe that's my problem? lol) Other than that, I do take care of my rifle--the muzzle wouldn't have come in contact with anything other than the foam in my rifle case and maybe my finger.

I ask because accuracy isn't what it used to be. I'm getting 1" to 1.25" groups off a rifle rest at 25 yards. (Using the same rest I can shoot 1" groups or less with my .30-06 at 100 yards with match ammo). I've always shot the Federal 550 bulk pack, nothing else really.

I did the best I could with the pictures.. it was pretty hard to get them focused.





March 18, 2009, 10:58 PM
have u tried cleaning the barrel yet? easiest way is to get a bore snake that will fit your cal. open the action run the rope down the barrel and grab it at the other end and pull the snake through. do this 5 times and ur done. maybe u should run some copper solvent or some type of oil to help break up the fouling before you pull the snake through. then get a wire brush and rub the end to try to get that wierd gray looking gunk (or is that metal?) off the end. no offense dude i support people getting in to gunsmithing/anything to do with firearms.and im about to sound like a complete a-hole but should u really be recrowning the barrel of ur own rifle if u cant even clean the darn barrel.? i just got done crowning a 8mm mauser and boy it took me a long time to do it right.

March 18, 2009, 11:15 PM
I have never cleaned inside the barrel (maybe that's my problem? lol) Other than that, I do take care of my rifle--the muzzle wouldn't have come in contact with anything other than the foam in my rifle case and maybe my finger.
2,000-2,500 rounds and never cleaned the barrel is a pure lack of care IMHO so your statement I quoted is not entirely true. I am a poor example and I can't call the kettle black but I don't claim to have taken great care of my arms. If it comes clean with picks etc. fine. if not... it was lack of care that did alot of the damage... 2.5K rounds with no cleaning... I would consider the bore eroded and toss the barrel before re-crowning it...
I like a dirty bore on my .22lr and it gets a brush and swab followed by patches every 500 or so rounds...

March 18, 2009, 11:20 PM
Yeah you are an a-hole! No seriously, I'm just kidding. Don't worry I would not be the one doing the recrowing!! :) And I haven't cleaned the barrel because I don't have a cleaning rod/bore snake that fits down the barrel. All my other guns get cleaned regularly. I've only recently noticed the lack of accuracy (the last month or 2) and have been unemployeed since then. I've really had to be careful where I spend money, so I will buy a cleaning rod when I get a chance. Thankfully I haven't run out of my ammo reserves yet, but am getting darn close!! :eek:

To the best of my knowledge that is metal with no blueing. I tried to wipe it down, but no changes. Again, sorry about the pictures.. that was the best I could get with the macro setting on my camera.

And I'm asking at least partially for the simple pursuit of knowledge. I'm guessing a smith would charge me more than I'm willing to pay for a rifle I've had for a while. I'd probably go out and buy another one to replace it. But I was hoping to gain some knowledge first to help me with my future decision.

March 18, 2009, 11:48 PM
I am seeing alot of what appears to be lead... Ever heard of a "solder wick" used in electronics to draw solder off circuit boards? Not very high dollar and available at radio shack... may help bud!
I am reiterating... I am surely not a pot to call the kettle black and I would go to picking at that mess in a heartbeat as I too, am an unemployable wounded redneck with not a dime to spend, a pot to pee in and barely a window to toss it out of!

March 19, 2009, 12:04 AM
I'm not a solder-er, so I'm not familiar with the tool. But I might know someone who is.. I missed in your first post you were recommending for me to try to pick it off. That I can try! My first assumption was that it was eroded away. But I don't remember what it looked like when new, so picking is definitely an option at this point.

I'll be sure to update when I know something. Great project for tomorrow.

Bill DeShivs
March 19, 2009, 01:21 AM
That is simply leading. Clean your gun! Solder wick will not remove it.

March 19, 2009, 03:44 AM
How much are cleaning rods where you live? Are new guns and gunsmith work cheaper?

March 19, 2009, 06:39 AM
Thankya Bill! I have never had to try but thought it may work:o

March 19, 2009, 10:34 AM
That is simply leading. Clean your gun!

Good to hear. I'm on it a little later this afternoon.

March 19, 2009, 10:45 AM
That is simply leading. Clean your gun!

Ditto. Clean that darned thing. :D

March 19, 2009, 12:53 PM
You guys came through again! It came off pretty easily. I sprayed a little gun oil on it and then wiped it off with cloth. Took a little while to get all of it, but it looks almost good as new.

I'll definitely get the inside of the barrel cleaned as soon as possible and get her back to the range. I'm pretty sure she'll be shooting tighter groups with a little cleaning.

March 19, 2009, 12:55 PM
Ack!! I clean my bore and action after every range session. Luckily that damage is reversible.

Just curious, how many shots can the average barrel endure through? I hope mine don't look like that in 2500 rounds...

March 19, 2009, 02:17 PM
how many shots can the average barrel endure through?

Man, I don't know. I will re-iterate that only my 22 gets this absolute lack of attention. Seems I remember a post a while back where some people had shot 3-5K rounds through their .22's without cleaning them.

I seriously doubt a higher powered centerfire could handle the same abuse. Anyone else have knowledge to contribute?

March 19, 2009, 06:08 PM
yep u should defanitly clean the barrel. accuracy should clean a little. if u cant afford to have it crowned right now thats the joy of firearms. u can put it up it sits there and dont charge u nothing. then when u get enough saved up u can go get it crowned. may i ask what brand/ model the gun is? and its a .22 right.

March 19, 2009, 08:12 PM
Just a plain-jane Marlin 60. I'm expecting now that I won't need it recrowned because it all cleaned off so well. I would like to remove the front sight and having the barrel shortened just enough to get rid of the screw hole. Mainly because I like the look of a clean barrel. Just a frivolous dream for another day..

March 19, 2009, 10:02 PM
Although it is hard to really see it the crown doesn't look that bad. A handy tool to get that lead off is a piece of heavy gauge copper wire. Hammer one end down to a flattened screwdriver shape and you't be able to pick all manner of crud off and out of your gun. That much lead buildup is probably not helping your accuracy any. Plug screws are available from Brownells to fill the screw hole.

March 19, 2009, 10:12 PM
how many shots can the average barrel endure through?

A .22LR should go 10,000-15,000 rounds as I recall. Some rifles (.22-250, .220 Swift, .25-06, .257 Weatherby mag to name a few) can be shot out in 1000-3000 rounds depending on how they're treated.

March 19, 2009, 10:17 PM
Take a large,very sharp(new) drill bit and drill into the bore a bit,about a 1/16".that will recrown it.A gunsmith will do about the same thing and charge you $$$.It aint rocket science.

Bill DeShivs
March 19, 2009, 11:07 PM
The gun doesn't need recrowning-it needs cleaning!

March 19, 2009, 11:09 PM
never heard of using a drill bit to crown a barrel. the redneck side of me says yea it does do the exact same thing (isnt that wat the russians did to the mosin nagants after they began to lose accuracy? i also know the did this to mauser argentino modle 1891. but i bet accuracy wouldnt be as good as if u had it proffessionally crowned. please reply everybody about using a drill bit to crown. im interested in these quicker less expensive short cuts. (aint we all?) well until tommarrow good night and have a safe tommarow, kind people at the firing line. also 1.25 groups at 25 yards is still OKAY for a .22 ive never really killed any small game beyond 40 yards (good old georgia brush)

Gregory Gauvin
March 19, 2009, 11:33 PM
You can't wear out a barrel with a .22 LR like you could with a center fire, especially if you only shoot soft lead all day. It looks to me like your barrel has a recessed crown that has been caked up with lead deposits. The rifling still looks sharp to me. I would say you do not need a re-crowning, but do need a good cleaning. I would give the barrel a thorough cleaning until all patches come out totally clean. A few soaks overnight with a good cleaner is a must. Multiple cleanings with a bore brush will ensure all layers of lead and powder residue are removed. They sometimes can stack on one another.

Some will say to not clean a .22, some say to always clean after firing. Some .22s shoot better when they are clean, some shoot better dirty. After a thorough cleaning however, it may be a hit or miss to say your first 20 rounds down range may be inaccurate, or the first few shots may group the best.

March 26, 2009, 02:54 PM
Good Lord. That has to be what the devils butthole looks like!! :D

March 26, 2009, 03:49 PM

Cleanliness is next to Godliness here.

A couple of observations. That kind of muzzle leading is due entirely to the fact your crown is slightly recessed (by design to better protect it). The drawback is that in the short distance between the end of the rifling and the mouth of the tube, gas blow-by is erroding and splattering bullet base lead, so you will need to do this cleaning on a regular basis. Long ago I made a front sight extension for my Ruger Mk I target pistol. It always got lead caked up like that on the underside. All .22's make the splatter, but only the recessed crown makes it accumulate at the muzzle.

Don't even think about the drill trick unless you have some means of keeping the drill bit constrained to be coaxial with the bore, such as a lathe. If there is any off-axis wobble in the drilling you get a crown that isn't symmetrical about the axis. This lets gas start jetting past and cutting at the bullet base on one side just before it does so on the other. That uneven pressure tips the bullet as it exits, helping deteriorate accuracy. The uneven erosion of the base makes it wobble in flight slightly, making accuracy even worse. I have a home method of crowning described in a PDF file at my file repository. You can download it here (http://drop.io/unclenick) if you want to?

The old military barrels got absolutely terrible crown damage from sectioned steel cleaning rods being run into the muzzle by soldiers. I've seen some with no rifling left at all near the muzzle and the wear is usually uneven, causing the tipping problem. A drill run in deep enough will clean the worn area out. In a gun with a crown that bad, even a clumsy drilling job may be better than the worn crown, but one drilled true is significantly better. Either a special crowning tool with bore pilots or a lathe is still going to give the most consistently effective result.

For cleaning, see if you can borrow an Outer's Foul Out from someone so the barrel can really start with a clean slate? As an alternative, there is an actual lead solvent available now called No-Lead (http://www.sharpshootr.com/no-lead.htm). It is made by Sharp Shoot-R, under their Wipe-Out brand. You may need to plug the bore and fill it with the stuff and let it sit for an hour, but it should get the thing clean for you. When I bought some of this stuff, it came in two parts, since shaking around in transit apparently weakens it by releasing gas. I only mix what I will use in a session.

You don't need to clean the .22 RF every time, but it sure helps longevity to get a little oil in there. I don't care for the bore snakes personally, since I like to avoid brushing if I can. The Otis portable cleaning kits work with a self-loader though. The have a flexible pull-through cable with a pull-through jag and patches for it so you can clean from the breech end without worrying the crown.

Wear and tear is pretty minimal in a .22 RF anyway. I remember in Ed McGivern's book, Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, he showed before and after groups for a S&W K-22 that had something like 100,000 or 200,000 rounds through it that he'd finally sent to the factory for tightening up. Not much difference. Both good groups. Russ Carniak told me years ago that he expected a .45 ACP barrel's rifling to last at least 50,000 rounds shooting lubricated lead bullets at target velocities and pressures. It would need the lugs welded up and refitted from time to time, but the bore would be very hard to shoot out that way. I know those examples are handguns not expected to have the accuracy of a rifle, but I think you've got an awful long way to go with your rifle barrel just the same.

Can you post some after-cleaning pictures? The lead in the original makes the very ends of the lands hard to see clearly.