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My barrel has three holes

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by DeadFlies, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. DeadFlies

    DeadFlies Well-Known Member

    I was shooting my Winchester M94 today and noticed there there was a bunch of soot on top of the barrel. It was right where the front hole for a scope mount was drilled and tapped. I tried blowing some air through it and sure enough, the hole goes clean through to the bore. I never noticed this before and I'm not sure why I am noticing it now except that I recently started handloading and have been using TrailBoss, Unique and H4895 and maybe one of them is more sooty or dirty than the Remington factory stuff that I usually shoot.

    Is this a big problem? Is it dangerous? Can I just put the mounting screw back in with some Loctite and call it good? Any help here is greatly appreciated.

  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Wow. Well, if you consider that a fair number of guns are sold with (or have added) "porting" to reduce muzzle rise, there's nothing inherently bad about a hole into the bore.

    Now, porting holes are usually quite close to the muzzle where they'll do the most good, but also where the pressures have dropped most before the gas vents. Holes into the chamber would be very bad. Holes where the scope base attaches would seem to be pretty close to that.

    But I'd have to say that if you've been shooting the rifle that way and nothing catastrophic happened, I'd probably assume that it will be fine to continue.

    Be careful inserting the screw. If it is possible to seat that screw too deeply it could protrude into the bore. That would be considerably worse than having a bit of gas and soot venting.
  3. DeadFlies

    DeadFlies Well-Known Member

    Exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks.
  4. BBBBill

    BBBBill Well-Known Member

    Not safe IMO. Sooner or later, the screw will likely blow out. I've seen it happen. Maybe when a finger is near it. Maybe bouncing off something and lodging in someone's eye. It may stay for a long time, but it can and most likely will become a projectile.
    If it was factory drilled/tapped, USRAC owes you a new barrel. If a smith did it, he owes you a new barrel. If you did it, you owe you a new barrel.
  5. tryshoot

    tryshoot Well-Known Member

    If it is a 94ae with factory scope mounts you can get a plug for it. Didn't need plug with scope mounts on.
  6. Malamute

    Malamute Well-Known Member

    Where exactly is the hole? The factory holes are in the receiver over the chamber. You said in the barrel, whch sounds like an aftermarket forward mounted scope base.

    Towards the muzzle, it likely woudln't cause any trouble, back towards the rear or middle, I'd be leary of shooting it. I agree, if it was done after it left the factory, whoever made that hole should buy you a new barrel.
  7. col.lemat

    col.lemat Well-Known Member

    I'm with Sam 1911 on this one. Have a couple this way myself,just plug it with a screw and forget it.
    Ps. one actually improved on accuracy
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    If the holes are in the receiver or over the firing chamber, does your fired brass show marks where the holes would be?

    I have heard of worse things than drilling scope mount holes through the barrel into the bore. A few. I recall when I was a kid looking at a .303 Enfield someone had sporterized. They had cut a dovetail slot and mounted a sporting rear sight. When I checked the bore, I could see the base of the sight dovetail protruding into the top of the bore. I had my doubts about that, but being a kid, I did not say anything to the adults, who obviously knew more than me.
  9. DeadFlies

    DeadFlies Well-Known Member

    It's a '75 vintage, so it's not an AE and the offending hole is in the barrel, about six inches forward of the chamber area. This was, I believe, done by a gunsmith a few years ago. I'm not sure, as this rifle was gifted to my by my father.

    Maybe I'll call him tonight and figure out who is to blame.

    FWIW I went out and put about a dozen more rounds through it this afternoon. Meh. Seems ok. I'll probably plug the hole as the soot gets all over the place. Messy.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  10. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    And the idiot who did the drilling probably thought he did someone a real favor didn't he? Fools and their tools! :fire:
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Just don't decide to increase velocity by covering up the hole with your finger. ;)

  12. Malamute

    Malamute Well-Known Member

    Its probably not the end of the world where its located. Still, it may be a good idea to lay hands on a used barrel. They aren't expensive or hard to replace, and seem to index and headspace well for the most part.

    Plugging it with a filler screw is a good idea. As was mentioned, be sure it doesnt protrude into the bore. A touch of blue loc-tite may be worthwhile also.
  13. desidog

    desidog Well-Known Member

    Well, the hole shouldn't effect accuracy - AR's have holes in the barrel too...but they're connected to a gas tube. Now, velocity on the other hand, probably suffers...

    but No, i wouldn't think it would be inherently dangerous.
  14. DeadFlies

    DeadFlies Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I occurred to me that this may be the reason why some of my reloads using Trail Boss are so disappointing.
  15. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Well-Known Member

    time to rebarrel to something interesting like 38x55

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