Slugging a barrel


December 15, 2010, 08:54 PM
Have been wanting to slug one barrel I have just for my own information, Being that A: I am cheap B: Way too much time on my hands C: I pack rat just about everything. I was using my high temp glue gun today and looked over at molds I have, my wife had asked about making some RB's up so she could make ear thingiees for her. Lead 54cal is way to heavy, so I cast up several with the hot glue gun and it works great. Then the idea about slugging the barrel entered the mind. Used a 3/8" thick felt polishing disc from my Dremel set I put a strong but thin wire through the center and pressed it down the barrel of a 45cal Colonial I have. Only pressed the disc in about 3/4" and stuck tip of glue gun and filled it full. About one min cooling time and pulled out perfect slug. No residue left and it does not adhere to the metal at all. Will attempt to make a deeper and longer casting just to get a better reading. Who knows it might be worth something.:D

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george d dennis
December 15, 2010, 09:36 PM
thanks for the information. i just might try that myself.

December 16, 2010, 12:12 AM
Using hot melt glue in a mold is what I do to make indoor practice "rubber" bullets for my .45 Colt revolver. You may not get a true reading from your barrel because of shrinkage of the glue when it cools down. Slugging a barrel is simple and a muzzle loader with no way to go all the way through, simply stuff many cotton/canvas patches a little way down the bore making sure they seal/fill the bore. Then get a bronze cleaning brush that also fills the bore and slide it down just past the muzzle...with the barrel in a vertical position, pour in molten soft lead and let it fill in all the way around the brush...when it's complete and cool enough attach the cleaning rod and pull the slug out and measure!
(Make sure the bronze brush is completley oil-free before using it.)
This "slug" also makes a great lapping tool for your barrel by coating it with fine lapping abrasives!

December 16, 2010, 08:19 AM
I don't cast my own bullets, so I may not have this correct, but it's my understanding that bullet molds are kept heated so that the molten lead cools more slowly, resulting in dimensional accuracy in the final product. If that's the case, pouring molten lead into a cold barrel would seem to produce an inaccurate slug.

There is a commercial product called Cerrosafe that gunsmiths use to accurately measure chamber dimensions. It's dimensional time history is well known and accurate, and it's easy to use as it only needs to be heated to about 170 degrees to melt. It is expensive, however. If an accurate slug is necessary, Cerrosafe would seem to be the better choice, but if you can stand a few thousandths error, certainly lead or the plastic glue material might be adequate.
December 16, 2010, 01:52 PM
Why not just push a oversize ball through the barrel and measure it? That's
how I've done it for 40 years!

December 16, 2010, 04:07 PM
I presume we're talking about rifles with breech plugs, in which case pushing an oversize lead slug through the barrel is problematic.

December 16, 2010, 04:26 PM
I drill a hole in the ball and push it in and pull it with my ball puller, simple as pie and it will find the smallest diameter of the barrel.
December 16, 2010, 05:15 PM
No Mykeal. I push it down, then use my CO2 thingy to blow it back out.
While the little wifely holds the pillow in front. Whaddy think now?

December 16, 2010, 06:02 PM
Don't know about the rest of you, but trying to push even a soft lead, oversized, ball into a bore is a tough thing to normally requires you to hammer it in !!!!!

December 16, 2010, 06:53 PM
I know the best way is to use Cerrosafe, I was just posting about something that I was experimenting with. Not always successful but over the years I have learned that sometimes there are simpler ways to do thing. It may or may not give 100% measurements but at least it will be a starting point

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