Bulged barrel - replace/repair?


April 10, 2012, 11:11 AM
Was at the range earlier and my 9mm FN Browning started jamming - noticed after I took it apart that the barrel is bulged! :eek:

I've been firing reloads so it must have been from a squib. I didn't notice anything so the 2nd shoy must have done it.

So now that the damage is done - can/should a bulged barrel be repaired? Should it just be replaced? Are you able to buy a 9mm barrel "off the shelf" and put it in the gun?

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April 10, 2012, 11:17 AM
I know that CZ sells barrels separately, but you need to buy them when they come into stock, because extra barrels are very popular for the reason you just found out.

You should be able to special order a barrel from the factory, or through your dealership.

A barrel is a "gun part" not a "gun." So the barrel can easily be sent through the mails and common carriers.

The "gun" is the receiver group, not the barrel or the slide.

While you are at it, you probably should order two of them.

April 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
Thanks for the info. Good to know you can just get a replacement.

April 10, 2012, 11:36 AM
You can't fix that.. get a new barrel. Make sure the rest of the gun isn't damaged/wrecked.

April 10, 2012, 02:03 PM
Buy a new barrel, and use this one for a cartridge gage, assuming no damage to chamber.

April 10, 2012, 03:33 PM
The good news is it can be replaced.

The bad news is, a replacent barrel from Browning costs $437.50.

I'd consider sending it to BarSto and get a match barrel fitted for half that.

PS: Nevermind. I just saw you are in South Africa.
Don't beleive you can get U.S. gun parts exported to there.


Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2012, 10:21 PM
The first thing I would do is ask the gun.

Reassemble it and work the action. Does it work smoothly when you retract the slide? If the bulge prevents the slide from coming all the way back, or if it has a noticible "hitch" you need a new barrel.

But if it works smoothly, the next step is to shoot it. Does it function reliably? Is the accuracy acceptable? If so, there is no immediate need to replace the barrel.

There is many a revolver out there with a bulged barrel (the .32-20 was notorious for bulging barrels) that gives gilt-edge accuracy.

April 11, 2012, 03:06 AM
$437!!! :cuss: Oh man!! What have I done! :banghead:

Looks like a new barrel then - the slider does not move freely anymore. It took me ages just to move it back far enough to get the pin out so that I could take the gun apart.

April 11, 2012, 03:17 AM
Looks like that barrel is shot. Pun intended.

When in doubt, throw it out. No need to risk a rupture shooting a gun with a bulged barrel.

April 11, 2012, 04:53 AM
Time for a replacement barrel. Buldged barrels can not be repaired. (I'm very sorry to hear of your troubles and even more sorry to see what a new barrel is likely to cost. Ouch!)

April 11, 2012, 06:46 AM
Most of the time a pistol is completely done after a bulge. But because the HP barrel is so long, you may have lucked out.

If the gun still cycles, the action locks up tight, and it can still be field stripped, it might be ok. Sanding a half a mic off the OD here or there is probably all it needs to get rid of the jamming. If it were much more, the gun wouldn't function, at all. I'm not saying that's the safest course of action, mind you.

The accuracy of a barrel comes from the last half an inch. POI might change a hair, but I bet that's fine, too. As long as the gun locks up tight, it will probably be just as accurate. It really doesn't matter how sloppy the barrel is when the action unlocks. Heck, on a Glock the barrel moves around all over the place when the gun isn't in battery.

BTW, barrels get that kind of bulge from obturation of the obstructed round when the next bullet hits it. The bullet turns into a pancake and presses the barrel outwards. (The bullet that slams into the obstructed bullet also obturates a little. If you look close you can probably see 2 rings inside the barrel). Gas pressure does not bulge the barrel like that. Even though the barrel is weakened a little, it's not really that important at that particular spot in your pic.

If a 9mm pistol is going to kB, it's going to happen from a ruptured case over the feedramp and/or from an open breech, or from a double/triple charge that splits the chamber. It's not going to blow out in that spot. Look at the barrel on a shotgun. There's not a whole lot of pressure to contain once the bullet leaves the chamber.

I've shot a Bersa .380 with a bulge that looked quite similar, only closer to the breech. The gun functioned, perfectly. Accuracy was superb, before and after.

April 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
Any old milsurp barrel should drop right in.

April 11, 2012, 11:10 AM
You bulge a barrel, replace it.

You have exceeded the yield of the material. Steel can bend, stretch, and return to shape below the material yield.

You go above the yield and you permanently deform the material.

This is bad as the material is never going to be as strong as it was before the deformation.

I really don’t know how much it will take to blow the sidewall off the barrel, but such things are not worth finding out.

Replace it.

April 11, 2012, 05:06 PM
Given the price of the barrel, I'd play it safe(r) and buy a new gun. Unless you can have the receiver magnafluxed or x-ray'ed I'd just err on the side of caution. Life's too short to take any risk with the integrity of a firearm. Just use the old receiver for parts and write it off as one of the unpredictabilities of shooting.

April 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
I'd try Sarco or Numrich. Should be able to get a barrel for about $100 or less.

April 11, 2012, 07:00 PM
you need a taurus....free repair for life! HAHAH

Jim K
April 11, 2012, 07:15 PM
If you had to hammer the slide open, the bulge may have expanded the barrel bushing. Try the new barrel but if it is loose or the gun is inaccurate, you may need to send the gun to Browning USA for a new barrel bushing. I have no idea of the cost involved.


Walt Sherrill
April 11, 2012, 08:50 PM
When I first noticed damage to my BHP's barrel -- a section of the lands and grooves near the muzzle was messed up -- I started checking everywhere. Neither SARCO nor NUMRICH had BHP barrels, and almost never do. Great demand; small supply.

Bar-Sto is an EXCELLENT choice, but they don't always have the FN/BHP barrels in stock. You'll pay a lot extra to have them fit the barrel to your gun, and shipping via FedEX or UPS is costly -- but it may be worth it. You'll end up spending almost $400 if they do it all. You can have their barrel fitted locally, and save all the shipping costs.

I first bought an "Olympic" aftermarket replacement barrel from a auction site. They seemed to have a decent reputation. My gunsmith fitted it, and he had to do quite a bit of adjusting, and had to install a screw to take up some unnecessary slack where the barrel and slide stop met.

I started looking again, and the EFK Firedragon barrel turned out to be a good choice. I got mine from Arizona Gun Runners, and it was $155, shipped. AGR had the barrel shipped directly from the EFK Firedragon factory, and it took less than a week.

Surprisingly, the new barrel literally dropped in and it shoots beautifully. You may not be so lucky, but there's hope.

April 11, 2012, 08:56 PM
The problem is, the OP apparently lives in South Africa.

And he cannot get gun parts exported from the USA to there.


Walt Sherrill
April 11, 2012, 09:02 PM
He may be able to find a used BHP/FN barrel in South Africa. There were a lot of BHPs in service there, over the years. Let's hope so.

April 11, 2012, 09:45 PM
Watch ebay. Here's one in Uruguay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/BROWNING-HI-POWER-9MM-BARREL-HP-35-EXCELLENT-BORE-ORIGINAL-PART-/320884334333?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab6325efd

Walt Sherrill
April 12, 2012, 06:50 AM
I never think to look to EBAY, after having a run-in with PayPal about gun-related stuff a couple of years ago. Good idea! Be prepared to watch that auction closely, and wait until late to do all your bidding.

April 12, 2012, 09:26 AM
$437? What the heck? Is it made of gold?

April 12, 2012, 10:07 AM
Instead of going (were it to come to that) the $500 route, I'd buy a beater and or true clone for the barrel/parts for $275 or so. I gather that the Inglis HP barrels are slightly dimensionally different than the rest though.. due dilligence might be wise.

April 12, 2012, 10:11 AM
What might confound the above though is I thought I heard that South Africans can only have one gun at a time or life? Don't know.

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