Rusty bore repair suggestions


December 21, 2007, 10:41 AM
Picked up a 1903a3 in great shape. Looked new- except the bore which had obviously seen some corrosive ammo. It was pretty rusty, couldn't even tell it was a barrel, couldn't even see rifling.

Anyway I cleaned it with regular Hoppes, Hoppes copper remover and some foaming bore cleaner (also copper remover).

It actually appears shiny now but I can still see some roughness in the lands. I took it to the range and I believe it shoots about as well as I can with iron sites.

I don't want to replace the barrel because I am content with it's performance and I really don't need a precision 03A3 anyway.

My goal is to get the barrel as rust free as possible and not have it continue to rust. I don't plan on shooting it a lot and I don't want to pull it out of the safe and see the bore as rusty as it was.

Brownell's had an article where it suggested JB bore paste and some other rust preventative. Should I do that? How do you apply the paste?

Search is actually not working for me now, but I will check that later too.

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December 21, 2007, 10:48 AM
JB Bore Paste is the final thing you can do that you haven't already done.

I use it by wrapping a patch around an old bore brush, and then just using a lot of elbow grease.

You need a tight fitting patch to really get down in the rifling.
Continue to change patches and new JB when things get loose feeling.

Eventually, you will reach a point when the patches stop turning black on the first pass, and then you can clean again with Hoppies and see what you got.

Don't worry about it ruining the barrel.
It will not!

BTW: R.I.G. grease is the best thing there is for rust protection during long-term storage.

December 22, 2007, 09:34 AM
If you need/want something a bit more aggressive, wrap
a thin layer of OOOO steel wool around a wire bore brush, slop on some JB paste and go to town. When your arm gets good and tired you're done. Clean with new brush & patches and with final oil.

I also use this method to clean bores that have had a bunch of lead bullets thru them. Seems to get the lead out easier.

FWIW: Rough bores do seem to shoot very well. I have a
'43 Remington-Rand 1911 with original barrel that is mildly rough all throughout. Its shoots about as accurate as any of my newer ordinary out of the box 1911's. I cleaned it using the above method.

December 22, 2007, 11:02 AM
I have used my variable speed drill with a cleaning rod installed oversize wire brush and lots of hoppe #9, saves the arm wear and tear.

December 22, 2007, 12:40 PM
A drill is fine for chambers, but it won't do much good for the bore.

The bristles on the brush just skip over the edges of the lands & grooves and don't do a thing in the edges of the grooves.

Straight back & forth lapping is the only way to get to the bottom of the lands & grooves.

December 22, 2007, 12:56 PM
Don't molest that barrel any further if you want it to keep shooting as well as it does.

Clean it the same way you would clean a brand new rifle, and leave well-enough alone.

Making the inside of the barrel "shiny" will do it no good.

December 22, 2007, 09:09 PM
"A drill is fine for chambers, but it won't do much good for the bore"

No, it sure doesn't......It absolutely ruins a rifled barrel.

The old trick of spinning a bore brush with a drill to clean a barrel IS a valid technique.....IN A SMOOTH BORE SHOT GUN .
Using even a bronze brush with a drill will ruin a rifled barrel in short order.

As above, the best treatment for your barrel is to use JB Bore Paste to remove the final amount of rust.
Just because the bore is dark and frosty is no indication that it might not shoot nicely.

Use the JB, forget the steel wool and electric drill.

December 26, 2007, 03:35 AM
I don't know who produces the bullets, but they comes in various grit
to smooth rough bores. It is either Midway or Brownell that have them
Pretty sure if not badly pitted, as you can't replace metal missing, but
smooth what is left. Also will take a lot of the work out hand polish with
a cleaning rod and patch soaked polishing agent such as JB. Load em up
and fire. Instructions come with the bullets. If this doesn't not clean up,
the choices are to rebore to a larger caliber, or rebarrel. New barrels (GI),
two groove A3s, go for 100 to 150 dollars, plus installation.

December 26, 2007, 11:50 AM
I have seen some convencing tests done that proved to me the abrasive embedded bullet lapping, or "fire lapping" as it is called, will actually ruin a good shooting barrel.
I wouldn't do it to any decent barrel on a bet.

I still recommed nothing harsher then cleaning with JB compound, which won't harm the barrel.

Besides, his 03-A3 probably will shoot as well as it ever did, even if the bore is slightly dark.

December 26, 2007, 05:19 PM
I am just going to do the JB on patch described earlier. Like I said, the rifle shoots fine. I just want to remove the rust so it doesn't continue. Shooting it (with greek HXP surplus ammo) seemed to make the bore look a little better too.

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