Can you shoot with a bulged barrel?


December 18, 2003, 12:45 PM
I have my first gun that my dad gave me with a bulged barrel now, and since I refuse to deal with Savage anymore I cannot get a new one. It shoots Colibri'[\s just fine, but can I shoot standard velocity or high velocity ammo through it still? On the outside, it's only been bulged about 1mm or so, so not a severe one I beleive. Inside you can see the ring, though. Federal Classic ammo did it, by the way. Ruined 2 other barrels the same way, unknowing.

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December 18, 2003, 12:52 PM
I've never done it, but I've known of several others who did and even had good results.

Couldn't a gunsmith rebarrel it for you?


December 18, 2003, 01:09 PM
According to what they taught me - NO. VERY unsafe.

December 18, 2003, 01:12 PM
Cash isn't flowing lately, so a rebarrel isn't possible. Plus there are no smiths in my area, I'd have to ship it and it wouldn't be cost effective. That and Savage demands the receiver back along with the barrel which they would destroy, and they're not destroying my first gun, that's for sure. 50% say yes, 50% say no, need more opinions on if this is ok to do...

December 18, 2003, 01:15 PM
I've known a few to do it. Personally, I wouldn't.

December 18, 2003, 01:22 PM
This doesn't sound right. Did you talk to Effie?

Is the receiver unsafe? If it is unsafe, then don't shoot it.


Matt G
December 18, 2003, 01:23 PM
What kind of firearm? With a 1911, a bulged barrel won't cycle through the barrel bushing, and locks up. With a bolt action rifle with low-pressure loads, it'd probably work okay, I guess. What caliber? .22 LR? (You mentioned Colibri ammo.)

Just out of curiosity, why did you (or whoever was operating the firearms in question) fire again when you had a bullet stop in the bore? Was the lack of recoil and noise not apparent? :confused:

December 18, 2003, 01:26 PM
Sure you can!

You can ride a motorcyle on an iced over freeway, too, and you might even make it to work and back.

But I wouldn't recommend it.

December 18, 2003, 01:33 PM
I'm no gunsmith or metallurgist, but this seems to be in the category of "asking for it."

December 18, 2003, 02:59 PM
Every firearm manual I have ever read says that you should only shoot guns that are properly maintained and in good condition. Also, if you look on most any ammo box, you'll see a warning that says the same. If it's not factory spec, don't shoot it.

December 18, 2003, 03:00 PM
I have to agree, this is asking for it. Since this gun has sentimental value, I'd retire it for now, and later on when finances allow it, consider re-barreling.

Car Knocker
December 18, 2003, 03:45 PM
OK, edumicate me, please. Exactly why and how is a bulged .22 barrel unsafe to shoot. What are the physics that make it unsafe?

December 18, 2003, 03:50 PM
Exactly why and how is a bulged .22 barrel unsafe to shoot. In order for metal to deform (bulging), it must be stressed, which means it's probably weakened, which means it could blow out.

Think of how you can weaken and break a wire coat hanger by bending it repeatedly (stressing) -- the bulged part of the barrel is weakened like the spot where you've bent the hanger.

I'd retire the gun or get a new barrel.

December 18, 2003, 03:53 PM
Yes, you can. Particularly with .22s. You run the risk of leading or fouling building up in the ringed area, which may cause yet another stoppage and worsen the bulge. Worse yet, a catastrophic failure, since that area is already weakened to some extent.

Bolt-gun, or revolver? You're likely not firing it fast enough to miss a 'miss' on the target. Semi? I'd avoid it altogether.

Bart Noir
December 18, 2003, 06:22 PM
Yeah, but how do you keep your mind on the shooting instead of the girl who caused the bulged barrel?

Bart Noir

cracked butt
December 18, 2003, 07:37 PM
Where is the bulge in the barrel? If its near the muzzle on a rifle, you should be able to cut the bad part off and recrown.

December 18, 2003, 07:43 PM
where is the bulge and what model is it?

Standing Wolf
December 18, 2003, 09:47 PM
I'd shoot it anyway and see what happened, and would be very surpised if anything happened but slightly decreased accuracy.

NRA Instructor
December 18, 2003, 10:34 PM
Why take a chance. Don't try it.

December 18, 2003, 11:02 PM
As cracked butt said, cutting off the bulged part of a barrel is the standard manner to fix it. (Be sure you have 16 or 18 inches of barrel left after surgery.)

I have a Model 10 revolver that I fixed in this manner. Had a bulge right under the front sight (6 inch barrel gun). It's now just in front of the extractor lug. No discernable damage to the cylinder or frame.

A .22 lr rifle or shotgun can be fixed the same way, unless that would be too short.

The only real problem with shooting a rifle with bulged barrel is the loss of accuracy. A shotgun won't suffer that, even.

December 18, 2003, 11:48 PM
For everyone, it's a .22LR, Savage Semi-auto Model 64F.

bogie - Receiver is perfect, no issues.

Matt G - Didn't know we had bulges, all of the shots sounded normal. 2 experienced shooters, and 1 unexperienced all didn't notice a thing.

Bart Noir - It's a tough one when she's doing as good or better than I am, yet is too shy to admit it.

cracked butt - About 3 inches down from the breech.

Standing Wolf - Actually, the accuracy with the Colibri's is perfect. Hit's it everytime.

What I'm thinking is, wouldn't lead build up and then once it's built up to the same width as the rest of the inners, a bullet just pass right on through, replacing the lead everytime? Has anyone heard of a .22 actually having a catastrophic failure and blowing up, or just bulging the barrel?

December 19, 2003, 04:43 AM
i won the '95 national junior prone smallbore championships with a bulged barrel. i was having some new parts installed on the firearm, anschutz 1813, and they cleaned it after they were done. the guy cleaning it felt the bulge. you couldn't tell it from the outside. once i knew about it i could look down the barrel and see the "ring". didn't have enough time to get it fixed before the championships so i just went and shot anyways. i shot a 595/600 the first day, then blew it the second day with a 588/600. i had it rebarreled a week later. the bulge was about 6 inches from the end of the barrel, so i decided to get it rebarreled instead of cut/recrowned.

December 19, 2003, 05:51 AM

How much is your life worth?

Sure it's 'only a .22' but a .22 can be just as deadly as a .338 Laupa Magnum.

December 19, 2003, 09:25 AM
Want to see a picture of a .340 Weatherby that was fired with snow/ice in the barrel up near the porting? This was posted in a thread on in the factory rifle forum IIRC. JT

December 19, 2003, 09:51 AM

December 19, 2003, 12:26 PM
About 2,000 is what it's worth., If I did fire it I'd obviously take some precautionary measures, but like I said, it's norking perfectly normal with lower pwoered ammo and building isn't an issue as far as I can tell.

JonBT - A .340 Weatherby isn't exactly in the same power class as a pissant .22 though, is it?

December 19, 2003, 12:31 PM
If crap comes back through the action, that's a bad thing regardless. Don't shoot it without GOOD safety glasses.

Now, did Savage say that they'd replace/trash the receiver, or what?

Call Savage, ask for Effie, tell her it has sentimental value, but you want to rebarrel it.

Of course, maybe that design cannot be rebarreled...

December 19, 2003, 12:34 PM
"Effie" and I aren't on the best terms. That company is all about liability and want's to cut my old barrel in half no matter what. I refuse to give them anymore business regardless. It's a 64, so it's the most common model out there, you can buy them at Wal*Mart for 100 bucks. I just need to find a barrel supplier that does it cheap. I've had to stript he bluing from it through due to a rust issue when it was stolen, so it might look odd but a new blued barrel would be ok I suppose.

December 19, 2003, 06:20 PM
Load it with the hottest ammo you can find, lock it in a vise, or tie it to a tree, rapid fire the entire magazine, then repeat, from cover. You have just provided it with conditions more extreme than you ever will shooting it. heat, vibration, solidly anchored so there is no give to anything. If it lives through that it may be safe,,,,,,, but it comes down to ,,,,,,,, "It is your life, and your responsibility".

That said, a buddy and I were shooting his old remington pump and got into a discussion about refinishing it. I ended up volunteering, and two weeks later I had a high polish blue on the barrel, and there were two very obvious bulges visible in the new finish. Knowing they were there we could feel them with a cleaning rod with a loose brush on it. It still takes a few rounds on targets and squirrels every year.

December 19, 2003, 06:24 PM
Yeah, Doing something like that would seem like the best idea. I don't shoot the gun that much, it's mostly a safe one, I just want to preserve it but still test it every once in awhile.

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