Muzzle "tightness" test


March 25, 2003, 07:18 PM
Ive been seeing people judge the barrel life of thier 03, Garands, etc., by sticking an appropriate(sp?) cartridge in the muzzle of the weapon, to show how far the brass case is from the rifling. (The further, the better). Well, I just did it with a 30-06 168SMK handload of mine, to my 03A3 and Garand, and got about 3/8" for both. Just for the hell of it, I tried my two 303 Enfields, and got the same measurement! How is this possible? Are the lands/grooves much deeper in the British rifles? Or is this "rifling test" a bunch of bunk? Thanx-

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March 25, 2003, 07:41 PM
Many military surplus rifles have been abused by using a steel cleaning rod from the muzzle end without benefit of a bore guide. This results in extreme wear of rifling at the muzzle which would be obvious when placing a bullet of the proper size in the muzzle.

Actually, if rifle is cleaned properly, the wear will be in the throat of the barrel, not at the muzzle. I had a 30-06 SS target barrel which had 7000+ rounds through it which began to throw fliers (indication the barrel is gone). Removed it from my target rifle, had it cut back to 24", rechambered and screwed it into a 1903A3. This removed the worn throat and it is still shooting great after 1200 rounds.


March 25, 2003, 07:55 PM
Wow, I didnt even think about the cleaning wear aspect. Thanks Hps!

March 25, 2003, 08:07 PM
Perhaps this will help :-)

In the site that I made showing our CMP Experiences I detailed this on page 6.

see Page Six HERE (



March 25, 2003, 09:11 PM
I think I get your question.
I think it is the same one that I have.
Correct me if I am wrong, but here goes.

My 308's are supposed to be .308.
My 303 is supposed to be .311.
But, if I take a .308 round and place it in the muzzle to do the "shot out bore" test, the 303 and the 308 look to engage the bullet at the same point, suggesting that a .308 ball could be used with the 303 with no problem.

Is that the point that you were trying to get across?

March 26, 2003, 10:40 AM
Yes, and also, shouldnt the 308 round be swallowed up by the 303`s muzzle? After all, the lands of the rifling should barely touch the sides of the 308 bullet, when the rifle is brand spanking new! Why is the test showing the same results as with my .30 cal rifles?

March 26, 2003, 10:49 AM
One would think that a .308 bullet would fall right through and out the other end.

March 26, 2003, 11:19 AM
The 303 uses a bullet dia. of .311 which is only .003" larger than the .308. A sheet of laserjet paper is .004". Pretty hard to see the difference on a bullet ogive.


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