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Old November 29, 2012, 10:55 PM   #1
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Ok, this is the first time I've come across a severely rusted barrel as well as mild rust to the individual cylinders.
The obvious question is how much rust is too much in the barrel?
I'm going to keep working on it but there is what looks like a uniform pitting from forcing cone to muzzle.

Also, has anybody ever heard of "Stone Valley Arms"?
I realize it's an importer and my .44 navy brasser has the inscription
(smblack powder only made in Italy) on the barrel and stone valley arms under the ram rod. the marking "BF" in a box looks like the Man. date.
Any ideas?
I'm thinking the SM stands for San Marco.
PS- the gap between cylinder face and forcing cone looks excessive.
With the gun cocked, I can move the cylinder forward just a skoshe to the forcing cone. Tolerances?
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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I consider any cylinder gap over .010 as excessive and .007 as ideal. Tighter is OK to a point (maybe .003-4"). That's my opinion. You may be able to narrow that gap a bit by tapping in the wedge a bit further. On several of my guns I have ground away part of the wedge spring on the top of the wedge to allow it to be tapped deeper into the slot to pull the barrel more rearward. That is usually doable on ASM & Uberti guns.

Never heard of Stone Valley.

I've got a couple of "beater" 36 cal Remingtons with pitted barrels, shallow rifling too, but they shoot fine. It is one of those things you do not tell other shooters about but must tell a new buyer. Now, I have not done precision accuracy tests. I only do Cowboy Action Shooting with mine.

SM means San Marco. I've got a few. Variable quality. My best serious match guns are a pair of ASM 44 cal '51 Navies I got back in 1994. Had a friend tune them and harden the triggers. They have been my best guns for CAS matches.

I recently read a posting where someone used Naval Jelly to remove the rust from a pitted ML rifle barrel and it shot pretty good afterward. He warned to not get Naval Jelly on bluing as it will strip it.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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thanks GATE, I'll take a closer look after I get her all cleaned up. (right now shes lying gutted on my workbench).
"Why Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your grave."
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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"BF" is 1995, according to the Italian gun date code charts lurking around the Internet.

It seems likely that it's an Armi San Marco - they marked some of their guns "SM".

Like Hellgate, I've got a few guns with some pretty good pitting and pretty light rifling. With just one or two exceptions, it seems like as long as there's a bit of rifling to engage the projectile, that's enough. For example, in my great, great grandad's 1861 Springfield rifle that he carried in the Civil War, you can feel that about half of the barrel has enough pitting to make the minie ball go in kind of rough. But there's enough rifling in there to stabilize the ball so that it's more accurate than me out to a few hundred yards.

I would do what I could to remove any active rust. Pitting, there's nothing to do about, the damage is done. If you get to the point where it just seems like you're never going to get clean patches out, try shooting a few rounds through it, then give it a good cleaning. That's worked pretty well for me several times.
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