Bulged or not, can't decide...


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killertom
July 28, 2012, 03:02 PM
Hi all,

I'm in a bit of a strange situation here, and would appreciate some feedback. I recently purchased an SKS, and I noticed that the barrel appears to be bulged, or rather ringed just in front of the bayonet's attachment point, if looking at it from the outside. However, looking on the inside, I can't see anything wrong. Rifling is consistent, no dark ring or shadow, nothing as far as I can tell. Pushing a patch through doesn't feel any different at that spot. On the outside the bulged part has a proof mark on it.

So the way I'm thinking, it might be a factory defect from manufacturing which was checked and deemed to be within specs, or, it is in fact a bulge, in which case I don't understand why I can't see anything if I look through the bore.

If anyone has seen anything similar or has anything to add I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,
Tom

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rcmodel
July 28, 2012, 03:31 PM
I don't know what it is.

But while shining a strong light through it, if you can't see a change in the reflection on the inside corresponding to the raised portion on the outside ?

It isn't bulged.

rc

killertom
July 29, 2012, 05:43 AM
I just checked it again. There appears to be a faint line between two of the lands at the spot, but the geometry of the bore looks unaffected, the rifling doesn't seem bulged out or anything. Resistance with a patch is the same as everywhere else. I really don't know what I have here, not what I would expect to see in a ringed barrel...

WardenWolf
July 29, 2012, 07:09 AM
What you are seeing is a step or taper, not a bulge. These rifles tend to have rather gradual steps in some places to ease in fitting the hardware onto the barrel. That's what you're seeing here.

killertom
July 29, 2012, 10:07 AM
I took out the rifle to see how it shoots. Really hot day, flimsy chair to sit on with a less than stable rifle rest, I attached two pics of the results. The better looking target is from 50 meters, the other from 100. Does this look ok? Needless to say the trigger is horrible. The targets are .22 competition rifle targets, I could barely see the one at 100 meters.

WardenWolf: I attached a picture of the area in question. What do you think?

Thanks!

303tom
July 29, 2012, 10:15 AM
Looks like a bulge............and those groups are terrible.

BCRider
July 29, 2012, 01:50 PM
Depending on how shakey your whole rest setup was I'd say that the grouping is a little open. But if you have the same quality of vision as I do, as in old guy bad eyes, then shooting with plain iron military sights is an iffy proposition at best. If those were my targets I would not be all that unhappy with them.

One way to get a feel for if the barrel is bulged or not would be to pass a cleaning jag and patch through the length of the barrel. Mark the cleaning rod so you can tell when it is at the distance in where the bulge appears to be. If you notice that the resistance to pushing and pulling lessens as it passes that spot for a moment then it's a good indicator that the barrel has a bulge.

The sort of jag i'm talking about is the round ones that look like a "honey dripper" and that are only about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long for the part that pushes the patch against the bore. That style is short enough to feel for any bulge.

WardenWolf
July 29, 2012, 03:36 PM
That bayonet mount is clamped and pinned on, correct? I think I see a gap at the bottom where it goes around the barrel. If so, it's to keep it from migrating forwards under recoil and so there's not too much stress on the pin. That does not look like a bulge to me. It's too uniform.

killertom
July 29, 2012, 04:07 PM
Depending on how shakey your whole rest setup was I'd say that the grouping is a little open. But if you have the same quality of vision as I do, as in old guy bad eyes, then shooting with plain iron military sights is an iffy proposition at best. If those were my targets I would not be all that unhappy with them.

One way to get a feel for if the barrel is bulged or not would be to pass a cleaning jag and patch through the length of the barrel. Mark the cleaning rod so you can tell when it is at the distance in where the bulge appears to be. If you notice that the resistance to pushing and pulling lessens as it passes that spot for a moment then it's a good indicator that the barrel has a bulge.

The sort of jag i'm talking about is the round ones that look like a "honey dripper" and that are only about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long for the part that pushes the patch against the bore. That style is short enough to feel for any bulge.
The rest was a shooting bag on a cinderblock, placed on the table. Not that bad, but the chair I was sitting on was really shakey. I was shooting with glasses on so vision should not have been a problem. I'm not a great shot to be honest, but I don't know what to expect from an SKS, as this is the first one I ever owned. I did try to get a feel for the spot with a pistol rod, but didn't notice any difference. I'll try again tomorrow.

Thanks!

303tom
July 29, 2012, 04:09 PM
Still think I see a bulge............

killertom
July 29, 2012, 04:10 PM
That bayonet mount is clamped and pinned on, correct? I think I see a gap at the bottom where it goes around the barrel. If so, it's to keep it from migrating forwards under recoil and so there's not too much stress on the pin. That does not look like a bulge to me. It's too uniform.
I added a new pic with the area marked with an arrow to clarify the section I'm concerned with.

WardenWolf
July 29, 2012, 05:09 PM
Looks like a bulge to me. Oh well. If it shoots fine, I wouldn't worry about it. It's not going to be unsafe. I've seen AK's with fully blown barrels work fine, and the SKS is no different in that regard.

killertom
July 29, 2012, 06:22 PM
It definitely looks like a bulge from the outside. The funny thing is, I would never be able to tell something is wrong just by looking through the bore. No dark ring, no funny looking shadow, only a faint line between two lands. That is what has me confused.

I'll try and push a tight patch through the area with a pistol rod tomorrow or the day after, and report back. But so far I didn't feel any change in resistance at the spot. More mistery...

mokin
July 29, 2012, 07:05 PM
Looks like a buldge to me.

WardenWolf
July 30, 2012, 12:41 AM
Just shoot it and enjoy it, and don't worry too much about it. There's not enough damage to compromise the barrel's structural integrity. The damage is far too minor. These aren't precision rifles, though a good SKS can be a fine deer gun. Just enjoy it for what it is, a shooter.

Gunnerboy
July 30, 2012, 09:20 AM
just have a smith cut the barrel at the bulge and move your sights back to a paratrooper sks style

Mobuck
July 30, 2012, 09:36 AM
As suggested, a tight patch will reveal whether it's a bulge in the bore.

Patocazador
July 30, 2012, 11:59 AM
Compared to the groups I've seen others shoot with an SKS, I'd be real happy with those.

After seeing how one guy hit a deer everywhere EXCEPT in the vitals with one, I swore I'd never have one.

killertom
July 30, 2012, 08:31 PM
Thank you all for the input, I didn't have time to check it today. I'll run a patch through it tomorrow and report what I find.

Thanks again!

Tom

adelbridge
July 30, 2012, 11:15 PM
If the proofmark looks distorted under magnification you most likely have a bulge. Did you buy new? Did you clean the bore after you bought it? I have seen them come caked in cosmoline and often wondered what would happen if shot before cleaning. I have seen patches stuck in bores, reloads with no charge and just a primer followed by a normal round and my personal favorite dropped in mud and shot clean.

killertom
July 31, 2012, 10:29 AM
The proofmark looks OK. I'll try to get a pic of it later today or tomorrow morning. I'm having a really hectic day, I might only have the time to check it with a rod tomorrow.

I bought the gun at a shop that deals in old military guns. Our laws mandate a proof firing before sale, so it has been shot with a +30% charge. Don't know if they cared enough to clean the cosmo out of it, but I bought similar guns before and the proofing never damaged them...

chris in va
July 31, 2012, 06:22 PM
Folks overseas beat the barrels with a hammer if they get bent. A slight bulge wouldn't even be on the radar over there.:cool:

rcmodel
July 31, 2012, 06:25 PM
Our laws mandate a proof firing before saleWhere is that at?

rc

killertom
July 31, 2012, 08:49 PM
Where is that at?

rc
Well, I'm Hungarian and I buy most of my guns in neighboring Slovakia. Import paperwork is not too bad and they have a bigger selection with better prices.

killertom
August 5, 2012, 07:03 PM
Update: Checked it with a rod, can't feel any difference. But I compared the slight break in the reflection with another barrel that I know to be bulged, and it looks the same, so I'm pretty convinced this one is bulged also, if ever so slightly.

Thanks for all the responses!

Tom

Reloadron
August 5, 2012, 07:15 PM
Place a straight edge on it. That should tell you if there is or is not a bulge. You have enough space in there to work with.

Ron

killertom
August 6, 2012, 07:42 PM
Thanks, I think I'm done with the gun, pretty sure it's bulged. I'm selling it for someone with full disclosure who might need it for parts.

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