How can you tell if your barrel is shot out?


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Hammerhead6814
October 29, 2011, 11:51 PM
Like the title says. Subject is an old FEG PJK-9HP. Recently it stopped shooting point of aim and started throwing rounds everywhere but on target at 10, 15, and 20 yards. Under ten yards it's fine.

My only thought other than the sights (haven't been adjusted) is that the barrel may be beyond it's recommended life-span. But I do not know what to look for. Can anyone suggest a way to test the rifling?

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NOLAEMT
October 30, 2011, 12:28 AM
look at the barrel with a light, if you can see rifling, you're good to go.

David E
October 30, 2011, 12:30 AM
Clean the barrel thoroughly first, THEN look for the rifling.

OldmanFCSA
October 30, 2011, 12:35 AM
The two posters before me beat me responding with a sarcastic response, but another way is to fire a round in a manner that bullet can be recovered. Then look at rifling marks imbedded on OD of bullet. If it is smeared, the rifling is too worn to grip bullet and spin it up. Then replace barrel!

Hammerhead6814
October 30, 2011, 12:36 PM
You mean like loading an under-powered round and firing it? Sounds like it can work.

I've already looked at the rifling. I can tell it's there, but it doesn't look as sharp as other guns I own. I do not think all pistol barrels are rifled in the same way so comparing seems a moot point.

bentongunclub
October 30, 2011, 12:49 PM
Consider that it may be a leading problem. Get a Lewis Lead remover after it.

David E
October 30, 2011, 12:58 PM
As I said above (not sarcastically, either) since it just recently started throwing bullets awry, then it's probably a dirty/fouled barrel. Worn barrels get that way over time, not all at once. And it's unlikely that particular gun has been fired enough to wear out the rifling.

However, if the last ammo fired was corrosive and the barrel wasn't cleaned properly, that could account for the sudden change.

Get R Done Guns
October 30, 2011, 04:30 PM
^ Agreed,

The odds of it being fired enough to wear out the rifling is slim to none. More than likely a dirty barrel or something of that nature. Most pistols have 30,000 plus round count on barrel life.

bentongunclub
October 31, 2011, 06:20 PM
Hello HammerHead. Did you get that barrel cleaned up yet? What was in it?

hiker44
November 2, 2011, 04:22 PM
I wouldn't load an "underpowered" round, but simply walk out to the horse trough and let one go, then fish it out of the bottom of the trough and inspect the grooves on the bullet. Ballistic gel costs too much, so I'll stick with the water for a backstop. Make sure you shoot at a steep angle down into the water, though.

SharpsDressedMan
November 2, 2011, 05:21 PM
I remember reading about a 25K fired SIG P220 that started to lose accuracy. A guy at SIG told the owner (a gun writer, but I forget who) to THOROUGHLY clean the barrel with a strong copper solvent (maybe Sweet's) daily for about a week. Upon constant removal of "green" patches (indicating copper still being removed), the gun came back and shot better than it did when it was new. I think it would be hard to shoot out a pistlol barrel.

jeepmor
November 3, 2011, 02:05 AM
Ummm, does it hit the same spot consistently when clean? Minus a fouling shot or two. Good to go if it does. If it's over 1-2 moa at 100 yard off a bench for a rifle, depending on format, that's fine. If it's a bolt gun, it should be tighter, if a semi, more moa is expected.

Bottom line, are you happy with its results?

PRM
November 3, 2011, 08:15 AM
I guess it happens. But, it takes a lot of shooting for lead/copper jacketed lead to wear out a steel barrel.

I've been shooting vintage arms for decades and have never shot a barrel out. Some of the guns I own are over 100 years old ~ round count before I got them ~ unknown. Round count after acquiring, I would say is consistent and moderate (around a thousand per year). My guess is leading in the barrel.

SharpsDressedMan
November 3, 2011, 07:06 PM
""Ummm, does it hit the same spot consistently when clean? Minus a fouling shot or two. Good to go if it does. If it's over 1-2 moa at 100 yard off a bench for a rifle, depending on format, that's fine. If it's a bolt gun, it should be tighter, if a semi, more moa is expected."

I think the OP is talking about pistols.........................

Strykervet
November 3, 2011, 07:25 PM
A good cleaning, I mean a good one. You may need to plug the barrel full of Hoppes or another substance overnight. I use Sweets for copper, I don't shoot any pure lead. If you have a lot of copper fouling, the barrel will look fine, but the patches will come out greenish blue with Sweets. When the goo stops coming out and you can clean it with CLP or whatever, leave it oiled good and come back and try it again in a few days. Sometimes it takes a while to leach out and breakdown older gunk trapped under the copper, I guarantee you you will get more junk out. Just don't overdo it, eventually you will start removing the oil from inside the metal and that is a worse condition.

Anyway, after you get the barrel cleaned of all buildup of lead and/or copper (I find it difficult to think there would be much copper, given the low velocity, but it could happen with plated bullets at higher velocities I imagine) examine for pitting or rust.

Also, check out the crown of the barrel. Is it gouged or scratched? Did you drop it muzzle first? That last inch of muzzle is where most of your accuracy comes from.

If the barrel was good to begin with and the muzzle is damaged, just get it fixed (or a new barrel, depending on the price and wear).

Look at how the barrel locks up. Is it nice and tight? Like it should be?

W.E.G.
November 3, 2011, 07:29 PM
Sounds like a case of lousy ammo and/or dirty gun.

The barrel isn't "shot out" if it was shooting fine a few months ago, and you haven't spent your life savings on ammo in the meantime.

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