Pitting in barrel


June 21, 2006, 07:16 PM
Stevens- single shot- break open- 12 ga. Patented August 12, 1913. Chicopee Falls, Massachussetts

The outside is in pristine condition (93-95%).

I was terrified to look down the barrel and see several scratch-type marks in it. I have never seen pits, but I believe these are definitely pits. When I look at an angle down the barrel, it is evident that they are indeed depressions and not merely scratches. It is like that all the way from the beginning of the barrel to the end. This is after cleaning it with a patch soaked in CLP and running a brass brush through and then patching it until the residue was gone.

Is this a problem for functionality or spread pattern or life of the barrel? Should I fire it or just leave it be?

I know nothing about pitting by the way other than it occurs when a weapon isn't cleaned properly or after a long duration.

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June 21, 2006, 08:31 PM
Pits ? Pits are generally round and caused by corrosion .Do you then have pits down the length of the barrel ? Or are they scratches length wise ? How deep are they ?

Dave McCracken
June 21, 2006, 09:43 PM
Pits are rounded. My guess is there's some grunge that someone didn't quite get out. Clean rigorously and see if it's gone.

June 21, 2006, 09:51 PM
They are definitely length wise (the direction that the barrel points) and skinny in width (maybe 1mm). They are everywhere (probably about 30-50 in all. I am using a Pro Shot bronze or brass phosphorous brush with CLP. I have gone through it about 30 times now, and the marks remain. I am not sure what is going on. The brush is definitely for a 12 gauge and is making contact with the inside of hte barrel. Should I try and different cleaner or bigger brush - maybe 10 gauge?

June 21, 2006, 11:28 PM
Try attaching your cleaning rod and brush to a drill. Sometimes spinning the brush rather than going lengthwise will take off crud better. Try it on the chamber and a short section. Then run a patch through to see if it loosened up anything else.

June 22, 2006, 11:06 AM
All the above suggestions are good, and you should try to get any rust outa there that you can.

Having said that, a shotgun is entirely a different than a rifle. The barrel would have to be in pretty rough shape to cause a problem withe the shot patterns. even with some pitting/gouges, I doubt you'd ever see any difference in the patterns.

June 23, 2006, 12:24 PM
your pitting/scratches would have no effect on the pattern as all modern ammo shot is contained in a plastic cup until it leaves the barrel......chris3

June 23, 2006, 02:52 PM
The only question is whether the pitting is deep enough to weaken the barrel. That is a concern.

June 23, 2006, 03:16 PM
Upon further inspection in a more lit area, there are definitely the circular marks you all describe as being representative of pitting along with teh length-wise scratches. It's hard to see them until you tilt the gun at the right angle along with the right lighting. I cannot determine how deep they are though. I don't know how the outside could be in such good condition while the inside is looking not-so-good. I would figure my great grandpa would have taken better care of the inside since the outside is immaculate.

How would I tell if they pits had weakened the barrel to the point of unsafety?

June 23, 2006, 04:18 PM
I worked on a rifle that obviously had fired corrosive ammo. The outside was like new but the bor e had a thick layer of rust. Maybe that happened to yours.As for weakening the barrel you would have to find some way of measuring the depth of the pits .A few thousandths deep wouldn't be a problem .More than .010" I'd start to worry. You can also fire it , tied to a tree, and see what happens .

June 23, 2006, 06:54 PM
You can also fire it , tied to a tree, and see what happens .

"Pudd'nhead Wilson's Open Air Proof House, how may we help you today, sir?"

June 23, 2006, 07:06 PM
You can also fire it , tied to a tree, and see what happens .

I think we have an inductee into the Darwin awards.:)

June 23, 2006, 07:31 PM
Actually, the best way that I know of to proof fire a gun is to use an old car tire. Put the butt against the bead and tie the fore end down.

Use a regular brush holding a rag soaked with Flitz or Rem Clean on a drill to clean the bore. It will take out the most stubborn stuff immediately.

I'd have a real hard time thinking that a few pits in a barrel would compromise the integrity. They'd have to be pretty bad IMO.

June 23, 2006, 10:41 PM
Darwin ?? Perhaps you have never heard of it but tying the gun to a tree or tire to test for safety is a long used , valid method. How do you think they proof test new firearms ? They use a higher than maximum pressure cartridge and the gun is bolted down and the shooter is in the next room !!! The gun may blow up but the shooter won't be !! So were's the Darwin ?????

Shell Shucker
June 23, 2006, 11:24 PM
I would soak the barrel in Hoppes #9 and give it some time to work. Wrap an old 12 ga brush with 4o steel wool, soak it with Hoppes #9. I then chuck up an old cleaning rod that the handle was broken off of in a cordless drill. Run the steel wool covered brush up and down the bore repeatedly. Don't let the brush run dry, keep applying the solvent. Add more steel wool if the brush gets loose. This will remove lead "stripes", fouling, and rust. It may even polish out irregularities. It will not remove pitts but you will get the bore as clean as it will get.

June 24, 2006, 01:02 AM
I would use bronze wool rather than steel.


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