I've got a Mosin-Nagant M44 and am not actually educated (yet!) on the practical aspects of inspecting and shooting firearms.
How can I tell if the bore is in good shape or not?
Pictures of a good bore vs. bad bore would be helpful here.
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October 19, 2007, 11:00 AM
No pictures but here is what I look for in a milsurp bore;
First, I don't shine the bore light directly up the tube but instead try to get just a sliver of the light in and cause reflections all the way up. This accentuates any "non-smoothness" due to corrosion and looks like a light frosting.
Bright and shiny with well defined rifling grooves is what you want in an ideal case but few milsurps will be that perfect. A little darkness, a little frosting as described indicates some corrosion. Some is OK with me and my rifles like that shoot fine from a milsurp perspective.
A really bad bore looks literally like a sewer pipe - and that bad will be obvious even to the untrained eye.
I have had rifles that on initial inspection had pretty suspect bores clean up pretty well though. My K98 bore was pretty dark but cleaned up to that light frosting appearance and actually shoots pretty well ... minute of commie anyway.
October 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
pitting (if it's there) will show up as little dark specks. You have to use a bit of care because a dirty barrel will also show specks but in that case it's just crap in the barrel.
October 19, 2007, 12:19 PM
Bring a boresnake for that caliber when you go to buy something.
October 19, 2007, 12:22 PM
Look for sharp rifling. Some darkness/pitting isnt bad, but if it is pretty excessive, skip it. Too many decent Mosins to bother with a shot out one.
October 19, 2007, 12:36 PM
A good one would be James Mitchner. A bad one would be Al Franken...
It will be this long, round hole with a light at the end and little stripey thingies that curl down the sides...
Dr. Peter Venkman
October 19, 2007, 06:45 PM
MAKE SURE YOUR M44 IS NOT LOADED.
Take a small flashlight so that you can shine through the chamber (where the ammunition is chambered into battery by the bolt and is ready to fire) and look through the muzzle. Look at the condition of the rifling (they are the spirals inside of the barrel) and grooves (in between the spirals), the bore (the innards of the barrel) will either be shiny or dark/worn looking from excessive use or lack of cleaning, and pitting (where the metal has been eroded away) will be visible.
A new bore will look new and be bright because no crap has been left over.
October 19, 2007, 07:08 PM
Another tool that would help is the Bore Reflector (the Orange "J"-shaped thingamajig; there two in the picture below.)
The Bore Reflector is used to see if there are any obstructions or debris in your barrel; it can also be used as a “flag safety”. You place the straight part of the reflector in the chamber of the weapon with the curved part of the reflector sticking out of the chamber. You would then look down through your barrel (toward the chamber) and the inside of the barrel will light up to show if you have any obstructions. You will notice an obstruction in your barrel if the barrel does not light up. In additon, you can aim a flashlight at the other end of the Bore Reflector to brighten up the bore.
You can also use it as a flag safety when storing your weapon by placing the reflector in its normal position as stated above. This will show that the weapon is not armed, because you cannot put a round in the chamber with the reflector already in the chamber.
October 19, 2007, 09:30 PM
Sticking a small piece of paper in the ejection port and shining a flashlight on it does the trick better than the direct glare of a bore light.
Don't forget your reading glasses.
And, not that I have any financial interest in them, but a dry Boresnake will get rid of the surface fouling and let you examine the rifling itself.
Not cleaning the barrel out before examination is sorta like kicking a car's tires.
No point to it.
October 19, 2007, 11:27 PM
An M-44 won't need a bore light. Just pull the trigger as you pull back the bolt and it will slide out Look through the muzzle with the chamber pointed at a light source. Most MN bores are dark with distinct rifling. If you have a bright bore with distinct rifling, and they are out there, you probably have a dencent bore. There are also those with bores that have a mirrored appearance, my last purchase did, an M-44 with what I believe is an unused barrel.
We are talking a clean bore or nearly so. A dirty or greased up bore won't tell you much, other than dirty being generally bad when these rifles most often used corrosive ammunition. If you can clean it, then do so before you examine it. Black residue is normal, brown residue is rust, and blue residue is usually copper. It is also common for refurbished rifles from Russia to have bores that are blued, so bright isn't common and dark isn't necessarily bad. I try to avoid the use of bore brushes, and so the beautiful bore in my RC K-98 went unnoticed for months. A brush cleaned it up bright and shiney. A somewhat shiney bore on a K-11, became near mirror like when I cleaned it with a copper solvent, actually, it was Hoppe's no.9, which has a copper solvent in it. On the other hand, some rifles, like Springfield 1903's and M-1 Garands, have very shallow rifling which is difficult to evaluate by looking at it. Of course, if there are nicks and dings in the crown, which is the end of the muzzle, the rifle will likely be inaccurate.
Also, milsurps are usually chrome plated in the bore, but not always. A non-chromed bore isn't as shiney as a chrome plated bore.
October 20, 2007, 12:08 AM
I have encountered so many bores in my life that I gave up all attempts to identify them by their appearance long ago.
October 20, 2007, 02:07 AM
Thanks for the assistance. Checked mine out and there's only a couple of pits in the first 1/3 of the barrel or so. The rest of it looks nice and smooth, with nicely delineated lands and grooves.
lee n. field
October 20, 2007, 10:53 AM
've got a Mosin-Nagant M44 and am not actually educated (yet!) on the practical aspects of inspecting and shooting firearms.
How can I tell if the bore is in good shape or not?
Well, you've already got it, so it's a little late for inspection.
Clean, straight, uncorroded with unmarred rifling and muzzle crown. And, since it's a Mosin, you have to ask: what is the actual bore diameter? (mine is .314, and it shoots patterns not groups).