Bore pitting, does it really matter?


June 14, 2005, 04:46 PM
I am just now getting into the mil surplus collecting thing, and when it comes to WWII or eastern block weapons, you are pretty much going to get a weapon that has fired corrosive ammo throughout its life. One soldier forgets to clean the his gun and Ta-Da, you got a rusty and pitted bore.

What my question is though, is if a pitted bore should stop me from buying some surplus rifle that I may run into down the line. I donít really expect a tack driver, mostly because I am not that good of a shot, but I do expect say, a k98 to land them all on the paper at 100 yards. Nor am I really looking for an investment, but rather a shooter.

So, what does a pitted bore really mean, and why would it affect accuracy? I can understand why a damaged crown could affect accuracy, but not pits along the bore.

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June 14, 2005, 04:52 PM
Well, turns out that the 1917 I shoot all the time has a pitted bore. My neighbor used to win 200 yard matches with it, and the bore was pitted then too.

I don't really see problems as long as it's not severe to the point of barrel damage re: strength.

June 14, 2005, 05:06 PM
I agree that it should not be a problem, as long as it isn't too severe, and doesn't foul the bore from picking up jacket material too fast. I have a 1903 springfield that I shot corrosive ammo in as a kid, and didn't know was corrosive. It pitted the bore, but after cleaning it up it would still shoot certain loads into an inch at 100 yards. I've hunted with it and shot it for years this way, and it does not appear to be a problem.

June 14, 2005, 05:30 PM
yeah I had several guns back in the day that I purchased used cheap that had pitted bores, and a couple were astonishgly accurate. I had an old savage in 222 that had a pitted bore and a fair amount of the rifling worn away that was one of the most accurate guns I've ever owned--dime sized groups and less.

June 14, 2005, 05:44 PM
Depends on how big and where in the bore they are.
The smaller the better, the closer to the chamber end the better.

Some of them will foul with jacket materiel but most don't seem to matter a whole lot for casual shooting.


June 14, 2005, 06:59 PM
I also have an M1917 with a 1918 dated barrel which has a very pitted bore. That rifle is one of the most accurate I have. The lands are still sharp and that's what seems to be most important.

It's just harder to keep clean with the carbon and copper muck getting into the pits.

June 14, 2005, 07:09 PM
US military criteria for reject is if a pit crosses more than half of the land. A small amount of pitting will make little if no difference (especially if we're talking about milsurp rifles).

My M1A Supermatch is moderately pitted in the last 6" of the barrel, and I won a gold Leg with it back in April. I've got a Win M92 that looks like a sewer pipe on the inside but it shoots ragged holes at 50yds.

IMHO, the condition of the muzzle crown is the most important part of the barrel. If the rest of the barrel is in somewhat decent shape, it should still shoot well. If the crown is unservicible, the barrel is unservicible.


cracked butt
June 14, 2005, 08:33 PM
Pitting doesn't make much difference, just makes it a bit harder to clean.

With mausers and mosins, the groove diameters are going to be deeper than the bullet diameter in most cases anyway, a little copper build up isn't going to hurt much. Your going to get copper fouling in many good surplus foreign barrels anyhow because of hot gasses blowing by the undersized bullet.

The biggest killer of accuracy is going to be cleaning rod wear on the muzzle. If the lands look rounded off or nonexistant at the muzzle, there isn't much likelyhood that the rifle is going to shoot well at all.

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