View Full Version : How Do I Determine the condition of a 220 swift barrel and throat?

April 29, 2010, 05:06 PM
I am considering buying a pre-64 model 70 in 220 swift. i would like to examine the first 2 to 3 inches of the barrel (the throat) for erosion and wear but short of having a bore scope (they are expensive and no one has one) how do I do it? Any tricks, short of shooting it, to evaluate its condition. thanks in advance.

April 29, 2010, 05:34 PM
Clean it well, dry patch it, and shine a bright light down the barrel from the muzzle end. Look into the breech end and see if you can detect any smudged looking areas in the throat. The leade should be bright, the ends of the lands sharp, and the grooves shine from one end to the other. Without a bore scope, that's about all you can do.

FWIW, I have seen rifles with the throat burnt out for 5" that shot very well, and I have seen rifles with very acceptable throats not shoot worth a hoot. Go figure.

LongRifles, Inc.
April 29, 2010, 05:38 PM
A scorched throat on a barrel tends to look like either a dried up mud puddle (with centerfires) or like it has a coat of frost on it (rimfires)

If the mud puddle look is prevalent then it's probably best to avoid unless your willing to stick a new barrel on it.

The best test is to shoot it. I don't care if a 338 bullet was shot out of a 30 cal barrel backwards, if the gun shot exceptional, was reliable, and what I wanted, I'd buy it on the spot.

April 29, 2010, 05:52 PM
If it did need a new barrel can i get an original for a pre 64 model 70. how would i go about that. the rifle is at cabelas so i can't shoot it. any idea on gunsmithing charges for such a project...its a really nice rifle.

April 29, 2010, 06:23 PM
You can have a barrel redone for $250 (ER Shaw), or four times as much if you get a Krieger, Lilja etc barrel with some blueprinting on the action.

April 29, 2010, 06:44 PM
Do you mean that they make a new one from scratch? Are there any parts dealers who have used barrels? Can a barrel that is bad be repaired preserving the same caliber.?

Jim Watson
April 29, 2010, 07:14 PM
You might find a takeoff Winchester barrel on one of the firearms sales sites like Auction Arms or Gunbroker. Maybe on some of the forums like this.

There is no way to "repair" a worn barrel in the same caliber. It could be rebored to a larger caliber and re-marked. That would cost nearly as much as a new barrel.

A high end barrel shop will duplicate the factory contour so it will fit the stock and look right... except it won't say Winchester on it. That would run the cost way up there for a shooter with no collector value. Just as well buy a Remington or Ruger Swift.

There was one outfit making total reproductions of Winchester lever action barrels, right down to the markings, but I don't know of an admitted faker of bolt action barrels.

April 29, 2010, 09:02 PM
If you just have a bad throat and a barrel with long enough threads you can have a gunsmith take off a thread, and re-chamber the barrel. People claim you get another 50% barrel life out of it that way (aka if it got bad after 2000 you get another 1000). Probably only worth it if you're shooting 1/4 moa from a top ($400) barrel, and you just can't live with 1/2 moa.