Aluminum rod/cleaning patch stuck in an Enfield barrel..


May 22, 2006, 10:07 PM
OK, tonight I decided to sit on my deck and clean my Enfield (#4, Mk. 2). I recently purchased some of the foaming bore scrubber, so I thought I'd use it to finish up the barrel cleaning on the old rifle. Anyway, after allowing the cleanser to set, I used half of a universal cleaning patch to push through the barrel to wipe away the foam, crud, etc. Well, like magic, the patch seemed to swell and get stuck about 9-10" down inside the barrel. I removed the cleaning rod and tried to use an aluminum rod to remove it. Well, the end of the rod broke off at the barrel throat and now it won't move at all.

What do you think my options are? I have no access to a shop or any more tools (brass punch/rods, solvents, etc.). Could I burn the patch out and hope the rod shakes loose or would that damage the stock? In 25 years of shooting, this has never happened. Any advice is welcome as I don't want to ruin the bore of my rifle.

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May 23, 2006, 12:24 AM
1. Never use an aluminum rod in your bore for anything.

2. Get a wooden dowel rod from your favorite home improvement store with a diameter that is just enough to fit in the bore (slightly less than .30"). Cut the rod into 6-8" segments. Put the segments into the bore from the muzzle end, stacking them until you have one that is sticking out the muzzle. Get a rubber mallet and tap the dowels to push whatever is stuck in the bore back towards the chamber (adding another segment when necessary). The whole point of segmenting the dowel rod is so you don't snap it if you use the whole length.

May 23, 2006, 09:10 AM
I've had the rifle for about a month and in years of shooting, this is the first time this has happened. The patch just seemed to swell to about twice it's size and stick inside the barrel. Will aluminum damage the rifling in the barrel?

May 23, 2006, 10:19 AM
aluminum won't dammage the rifling in the barrel, its a much softer metal and when push comes to shove, it will take the abuse instead of the steel.

I agree with the wooden dowel meathod. don't get cheap tho, you want a good hardwood dowel, and I would cut it into 12 inch segments and tap them into he barrel one at a time, (to minimilize side loading on the dowel)

May 23, 2006, 11:22 AM
aluminum won't dammage the rifling in the barrel, its a much softer metal and when push comes to shove, it will take the abuse instead of the steel.

the problem is that the aluminum oxidizes, and aluminum oxide IS harder than steel, it's usually what the grit on the wet/dry sandpaper for metal is composed of. so an oxidized rod that rubs your bore repeatedly can scratch/score the bore of your rifle.

better to use brass, Stainless, or the quality carbon fiber rods (saw a cheaper CF rod "delaminate", or whatever you want to call it,in use once. dern thing cracked in teh middle and then frayed out like poorly cut rope).

May 23, 2006, 02:28 PM
You might want to try the sectioned dowel trick with brass rod instead of wood. Many hobby supply stores sell 12" sections of brass rod. Whichever you use, don't let them jam sideways end to end or you'll never get any of this stuff out of the bore.

May 23, 2006, 03:56 PM
Sometime back I got a fiberglass rod and 2 patches ( one from either end ) stuck in an sks barrel. With much lube and a sectioned dowel I managed to drive the patches together onto the fiberglass rod and there it stuck. I ended up going the magic store (Harbor Freight, everytime I go there too much of my money magically disappears) and found 24" drill bits for about $5 for 3. Since most of the bit wasn't threaded, I inserted the bit into the muzzle, and drilled out the obstruction which was at the breech, just ahead of the chamber. There was no appparent damage to the rifling, everything worked out fine. A gunsmith wanted $50 to try to clear the obstruction with no refund if he couldn't get it.
It was only a $100 dollar gun, so I decided that if I screwed it up, I'd just buy another. We all do idiotic things, inability to admit them qualifies you as either a senior manager or a politician.

May 23, 2006, 04:12 PM
I have a Harbor Freight here in town. I can relate as I only have about $80 or so tied up in this Enfield, but I certainly don't want to wreck the barrel.

May 23, 2006, 06:04 PM
I wonder if there is a way to burn the patch?

May 23, 2006, 08:14 PM
I thought of that too, but I was worried that the patch may contain polymers and foul up the barrel pretty bad. I've soaked it with 3 In One oil to try to loosen the rod. I can move the end of the rod around a bit, so it seems to be freeing up a bit. I'm home for surgery recovery, so I have the rest of the week to mess with correcting my mistake.

Axel Roarings
May 23, 2006, 08:18 PM
When I use that foam stuff, I rinse it with CLP, then I use a bore snake, nothing can get stuck.

May 23, 2006, 09:14 PM
foul up the barrel pretty bad

Not as badly as that drill bit will... :what: :(

I wonder if the patches will shrink a little if you let them dry out...? Alternatively, I wonder if soaking with a light lubricant (for example, WD40, which would seem very suitable for this purpose) would slick things up enough to make getting the whole pile out more easily.

May 23, 2006, 09:55 PM
I used 3 in One Oil to see if I can loosen the whole mess up. I'm letting it soak in overnight.

May 23, 2006, 10:42 PM
I've taken off the wood from the barrel and I've got some generic WD-40 to fuel the fire. Would this cause any damage to the barrel? I only want to burn the patch enough to loosen the mess I've made inside.

May 24, 2006, 09:15 AM
Dont try burning the patch, if it has any synthetic material of any sort it will melt to the bore and you will have an even worse mess on your hands.

If you ran it in from the breech you will need to keep driving the mess in the same direction.
If you try to drive it back out the way you put it in you will have a bigger mess.

You will probably have to have a gunsmith turn a piece of brass bar stock to chamber dimension and female thread the end.
He will chuck up the action in a heavy duty vise.
He will place a turned chamber guide into the chamber that is about half as long as the amount of distance needed to drive the obstruction from the bore.
He will male thread a portion of the rod that is sticking out of the chamber and screw the brass rod to that piece.
He will then drive the rod further into the bore.
If need be he will attach a second turned brass rod to the one in the bore with the same type of threading set up and continue driving the mess forward until it comes free from the muzzle.
If you find somebody willing to do all this for $50.00, count your blessings.

There is another way that usually works but I don't recommend it.
Cut the rod flush with the chamber.
Insert a primed, NO POWDER cartridge case into the chamber and allow the rod section to go down into the case.

Tie the rifle to an old tire, tie a string to the trigger, close the bolt and shoot the offending obstruction out.
This usually won't ring a barrel but I won't guarantee that.

May 24, 2006, 09:50 AM
Ouch...doesn't sound safe at all.

I have no real suggestions, as everyone else had several, running the gamut. I will say this is one reason why I have boresnakes!

May 24, 2006, 09:55 AM
You could try burning a patch from the same set of patches and see what is left behind. If it is all cotton, it may work out.

May 24, 2006, 11:30 AM
it appeared to be all cotton as there was no melting in the fabric.

May 24, 2006, 12:11 PM
I wouldn't try burning it out IIWY. Getting the area of your barrel where the obstruction is hot enough to char or ignite the patch material, no matter what that might be, will generate temperatures great enough to affect the structure of the metal at that point to some degree.

Mo' betta, IMO, would be to soak the bore forward of the obstruction with the best penetrating lubricant you have handy and use the dowel method to drive it out the muzzle end. "Liquid Wrench" and "Kroil" are a couple of options. FWIW, a short section of Delrin rod placed between the broken rod and the dowel would help by keeping the wood from being split or disintegrating quite so easily.

I'm guessing that there's a solid jag of some sort inside that stuck patch. P*sser! The oversized patch is already compressed about as much as it can be and, unless that jag is plastic, there ain't gonna be much "give" left. You might want to use an old, worn-out bore brush instead of a jag for this kind of duty in the future. It's a lot more forgiving when it comes to pushing a dry patch down a less-than-pristine bore after an aggressive solvent has stripped it.

May 24, 2006, 12:38 PM
I'm amazed anyone would actually consider burning the patch.

Again, dowel rod and rubbert mallet. Should have had the patch out already.

May 24, 2006, 01:14 PM
I can see a situation where going the same direction would be best and I can see another where comeing at it from the other side would be best.
Burning could cause a lot of problems,the wedged portion of the Patch won't burn well or at all because it is under compresion and won't get any air.
The wood dowel might work but if you push it too hard it could break or mushroom the end,both could cause a wedge situation and jam the heck out of things.
I once had a squib lodge a bullet 1//2 way down a 25/06 barrel . First attemps to drive it with a cleaning rod aparently mashed it and jambed it good. Gun smith had his shot and gave it back to me.
I thought the barrel was shot but before I had it replaced I was going to give it another shot.
Picked up steel rod from home center (largest that would fit). in my case a 1/4 inch did not clear rifeling and the next size down was fairly wippy. With the first couple of taps I could feel the rod flexing and springing around. I took some scotch tape and did a wrap about every 3 inches to just under what would fit in the bore. I was working from the front end and was afraid of smacking the crown so I took a block of hardwood and drilled a barrel sized hole 3/4 of the way through the block,then a rod sized hole the rest of the way through. I oiled the heck out of the bore and let it sit a couple of days. When I was set to go I had only two inches of this rod sticking out of my block of wood.The stock was off ,bolt out of the gun and the reiciever resting on another wood block on the concrete garage floor. I took a 3 lb hand sledge and went to town with every smack harder than the last. after four or five serious smacks it finally broke loose . Once it finally slid to the oiled section of the bore it only took firm taps to keep it moveing(I had to change out and use a longer rod) Mark your rod to see when you are makeing progress.
Proper application of overwhelming force is the solution of many dificult problems!
Good luck

May 24, 2006, 01:42 PM
from my dad tomorrow. I've got the patch soaking in some oil now to free it up. I can wiggle the rod around a bit (it's flush with the end of the barrel), so I'm still trying to loosen the patch a bit.

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