View Full Version : Barrel Slugging Problems...HELP!

August 11, 2001, 01:22 PM
OK, I thought I'd slug a new gun. I'd done it before & no problem. I got the round lead fishing weight, drilled the hole through it bigger so it would have pleanty of room to push in, bought the closest fitting dowel I could, put a little lube on the weight & started hammering. It got in a ways, and broke off, "no problem" I thought, I cut it off square & started another piece of dowel on top of that one. It soon broke off again & I did the same thing (damn cheap WalMart dowels). It started getting harder & harder to drive it in. I was past halfway so I thought I had better keep at it. Soon it got so hard that it wouldn't budge. I then tried a brass rod & still couldn't get much further. The wood must have wedged in so tight on itself at the breaks that I can't move it from either end, even with the brass rod & a two-pound hammer.

Is there some trick I can use, like a wood solvent (Drano?) that would soften up the wood without hurting the barrel & let me get the plug out? Maybe even heat it up & burn the wood out?

Please help!

August 11, 2001, 01:35 PM
sorry I can't help, but what is slugging the barrel? What does it do? Why?

August 11, 2001, 02:03 PM
It's done so you can buy/cast bullets of the correct size for your barrel...not all .30 cal barrels (for instance) are the same size...you want a bullet that best fits your particular gun & load you're using.

Mal H
August 11, 2001, 02:11 PM
What kind of gun are you trying to slug? Please don't say it is a revolver because if you can get to the slug from the other end, I think you have the best chance of hammering it back out with a long enough brass rod. You might drop some light oil into both ends of the barrel and let it sit for a while before resuming hammering. I believe the original problem might have occurred because you used a soft dowel which may have been too large and it wedged itself tight into the lead like a wood wedge in an axe head.

Personally, I would be leary of using any harsh chemicals in the barrel and burning it out is definitely out of the question.

SBLars - Sluggling a barrel means to run a soft lead ball or slug through the barrel so you will end up with a mirror image of the inside dimensions of the barrel, i.e., the dimensions of the lands and grooves. Using a micrometer, you can determine the exact size to use for lead bullets, etc.

August 11, 2001, 02:30 PM
It's a .30 cal rifle barrel. I considered using oil but thought it might be absorbed and cause the wood to swell up even tighter.

Can a gunsmith drill it out on a lathe?

James K
August 12, 2001, 02:42 PM
Don't even think of drilling, as it is too easy for the drill to run out and ruin the barrel. Put in some penetrant, let it soak, then use a brass or steel rod (drill rod) of as near bore diameter as you can get. Keep the end flat, rounding the edges just enough to avoid scratching the barrel. A cleaning rod may work but may be ruined in the process. In any case, make sure there are no projections (like there might be in a jointed rod) to scratch the barrel.

And for future reference, don't try to drive a slug through a barrel with a wood dowel rod!


August 12, 2001, 03:12 PM
I like the idea of the steel rod with the smoothed ends, as long as you're not running it up and down the barrel, I doubt much damage will occur.

I'd also pound it out the way it came in, since you have the crap from the wooden rod at the other end. Offhand, it sounds like your lead was a bit too hard for the exercise at hand, or maybe it was just the wooden rod...

Mike Irwin
August 12, 2001, 03:23 PM
Couple of hints for next time you do this.

1. Use a pure-lead slug. Find a friend with a muzzleloader and get one from him.

2. Use a HARDWOOD dowel, not one of the pine dowels that most places sell. You want oak, not pine.

3. Better yet, use a delrin-coated steel rod. Expensive, but worth it. You can also make your own coated rod with a piece of drill rod and vinyl electrical tape.

August 12, 2001, 09:02 PM

I think your point about the pure lead was probably on target. The only time I slugged a barrel, I used a very soft lead, and it went through pretty easily. I can see where a harder material would be bad news. :)

August 13, 2001, 07:57 PM
Hey did you get that out yet?? I have it figured out....Set the BBL up in a press held in place firmly. purchase an aluminum cleaning rod as large as possible so it won't bend. Cut the rod in sections about 6 inches long start pressing the slug back out the way it went in. Shorten the pcs of cleaning rod so they don't bend and the aluminum shouldn't hurt the rifleing.

August 14, 2001, 01:41 AM
Never done this so information can be easily disregarded.
Take your cleaning rod, should be largest size possible, diameter, and see if you cannot fabricate a screwin tip for it. Should have a machined thread on one end to go in rod and on other end a very coarse screw thread of not to much length.
Run in from the wood end and use coarse thread to start breaking out the wood. Screw it in then pull out. Once you can remove the wood you can actually use the same technique on the lead slug.
Remember, you cannot get it all at once so it will take time.

Best of luck.

August 14, 2001, 09:53 AM
Thanks for all the help/information/suggestions. I took the barrel to my gunsmith & he said he would bore a small hole through the middle of the jamb & then be able to pound it out. He assured me that the barrel would be in no danger from the drill...I shore hope he knows what he's doing.