Tons of lead in my Mossberg 500 barrel


June 8, 2005, 01:44 AM
Is it just me or are Mossberg 500 barrels rougher on the inside?

The only other shotguns I've used and cleaned were an old Sears auto 12ga, a Daly Field pump 12ga, a NEF Pardner12ga, and a Win 370 410.
Of all those the Mossberg has the deepest machining marks in the bore.
I shot 10 rounds of standard slugs and 10 rounds of reduced recoil buckshot last weekend. After using a Tornado brush I pulled out enough lead for a .22lr bullet.

I'd like to know if anyone else noticed the poor internal finish on a 500 and what yall do to get all the lead out. The time before this I used Rem bore cleaner (slightly abrasive) and a ton of elbow grease. I can't find my bottle of that cleaner so I just used Hoppe's Benchrest. It's still got a bunch of lead but I quit after 30 min of trying.

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June 8, 2005, 02:04 AM
I can't speak for the Mossberg 500's finish but I can relate to "slug sludge".

I have gotten a lot of lead streaks when I used rifled slugs sometimes in my Saiga. The rifling on the slugs swage a bit when it's forced through a smoothbore shotgun (to encourage it to spin of course) and the results of this seems to deposit streaks in the first 6" or so of my barrel. As far as how much of the swaged lead rifling is deformed into the lands of the slug or deposited on the barrel's surface, and if it varies between shotgun barrel makes and ammo brand, I can't say for sure as I haven't really asked others or peeked in the barrel after each ammo brand.

The only solution I've come across is plenty of Hoppes soaked patches alternating with working up a bronze-phosphor brush like a toilet scrubber for a good 15 minutes...half of your 30 minute trial but by no means a quick and dirty solution. I ended up splattering a mixture of a lead suspension and cleaner juice all over when the brush pops out of the bore and actually pull out a LOT of lead flakes.
Messy but it eventually works...but it's fustrating in that you remove half the debris, then half of that half, and so on until there is that last little patch that doesn't seem to go away.

I've actually worn out my brush already; the bristles at the tip have already come undone from the twisted wire frame. I saw some "looped" metal bore brushes the other day that look a bit more durable and I might have to give those a shot. I usually run a boresnake when shooting buckshot at the range and that works, but the snake can't touch slug sludge even after a few dozen yanks (and it gets tiring to yank on that snake since it fits so bad jokes please!) so I have to resort to the chemicals and plunger when I get home.

Dave McCracken
June 8, 2005, 04:28 AM
Interior finishes of barrels have been getting a bit rougher. Best to work polish them by lots of shooting, eventually they get better.

The 4/0 steel wool on a dowel chucked into a variable speed drill method will speed lead removal and polish a bit.


June 8, 2005, 08:53 AM
I only get any leading if I shoot slugs (rarely) or the S&B 00 buckshot which has no shot cup...If I shoot alot, I'll get small amounts of lead (but nothing like you're talking about). BTW gun is about 5 yrs. old. So, I would say mine is pretty smooth inside.

June 8, 2005, 12:33 PM
I saw some "looped" metal bore brushes the other day that look a bit more durable and I might have to give those a shot.
Thats the Tornado brush that I use :)

It pulls lead out better than a bronze brush and doesn't wear out.
Unfortunately it takes more strength to push/pull and still doesn't get it all out.

June 8, 2005, 06:54 PM
Thinking about actually doing something to the barrel surface versus ways of cleaning it most efficiently led me to this idea: perhaps a very fine metal polish?

June 8, 2005, 08:11 PM
I now hand load slugs in conventional wads and don't have the leading problem. In the past, using factory ammo I had severe leading ( I shoot 3-gun which can be lots of slugs very fast). My solution was to make a small patch out of Scotch-Brite and put in front of a worn out brush, and chuck the rod in an electric drill and let'er rip. I used Hoppes #9 as a lubricant/coolant

June 9, 2005, 12:31 AM
I've chucked up a dowel with 0000 steel wool on the end into a drill and smoothed it out when I first got it.
It didn't help a whole lot, the machining marks are deep.
I'm gonna do it again and maybe add some polishing compound.

June 9, 2005, 02:13 AM
Here ya go...

Get a bore mop, and do this one outside.

Put a good amount of heavy oil on the bore mop. Now, get some JB compound, and really rub it into the bore mop.

Mount it on a rod, and chuck the whole thing into a 3/8" variable speed drill.

Now, starting at the chamber end, push the mop in BEFORE you start the drill. Run the drill at slow speed; and push it slowly through the bore, taking care not to bang the rod against the sides.

It helps to put the end of the barrel against a firm surface (as in a piece of scrap wood) to prevent the mop from leaving the bore. Run the mop back and forth about five times. Now, sweep the bore out, ONE WAY, with a patch saturated in Hoppe's.

Next step: take the same rod you used before. Make sure it's clean, and chuck up a snug fitting patch. Use a little bit of Hoppe's on the first one, chuck the rod into the drill, and run it through slowly.

After that, run dry patches through. They should come out clean before too long.

If you want a REALLY smooth and gleaming finish, get another mop, use some oil and some JB Bore Bright.

June 10, 2005, 07:21 PM
Looks like a concensus for us efficient folks to use POWER TOOLS when required. Yes, after about 10,000 rounds, my clays gun, a Browning 425, no longer accumulates plastic wad residue.

June 10, 2005, 11:20 PM
I put some 0000 steel wool on the end of a rod and a few passes cleaned it right out. I couldn't find my dad's drill.

I guess for now on a little bit of 0000 will be SOP for shotgun cleaning after slugs until I don't get severe leading.

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