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smooth bore rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jhco, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. jhco

    jhco Well-Known Member

    what is the advantage/disadvantage to a smooth bore rifle

    i thought that the rifleing was to make it more accurate?
  2. alemonkey

    alemonkey Well-Known Member

    If it's a smooth bore it's not a rifle, it's a musket or shotgun.
  3. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    The only relatively recent smooth bores manufactured for common sale that I know of, that weren't reproductions or shotguns, were the "garden gun". These were smooth-bore guns meant to fire .22 caliber rimfire birdshot.

    From casual external appearance they were identical to the far more common .22 rifle of the same maker, whomever that might have been. Usually, the only difference was the unrifled barrel. And that may be where your confusion lies. Alemonkey is correct, if it's a smooth bore, ipso-facto, it's not a rifle.

  4. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    Roger on CB's post.

    Back in the 1960's a Boy Scout camp I attened had a Smooth bore .22LR that was used in "Mini Skeet" Small clay pidgeons were hand thrown and the shooter engaged them at much closer range than with a "real" shotgun.

    The smooth bore "rifles" used the then common crimped shot cartridges of #12 shot locally referred to as "rat shot"

    I believe it was a member of the Remngton 510 family.

    -Bob Hollingsworth
  5. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    I think there are a few smoothbore "rifles" made for the European market in order to comply with their gun laws.
  6. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member


    A rifle must have rifling or it isn't a rifle.

    Rifling makes firearms more accurate by stabilizing the projectile. Without rifling modern spitzer (pointed) bullets would basically not be viable. Without rifling we would probably still use Minie balls out of a musket (much like a foster shotgun slug.)
  7. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Minnie[sic] balls were used in muzzle loading rifles. It is a conical projectile with a hollow base that expanded into the rifling under the gas pressure during firing. The purpose of the design was to eliminate the need for forcefully ramming an oversized ball and patch down the bore in order for the bullet to engage the rifling.

    Foster type rifled slugs have about as much in common with a Minnie ball as they do a jacketed spitzer.

    Round balls for muskets.
  8. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    It is spelled Minie.

    But you are correct about their use in muzzleloading rifles not muskets though, my mistake.
  9. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Well-Known Member

    Some experimental military guns - called "rifles" - have probably been made in smoothbore because they were designed only to work with fin-stabilised flechettes (which get disturbed by being spun by rifling).

    I don't know for sure because I haven't examined one to check the bore, but I suspect that the US SPIW series of the 1960s, and the Steyr ACR of the 1980s, may be smoothbores (or at least have only vestigial rifling near the muzzle to help with sabot separation). Technically these should not be known as "rifles", as has been said, but they have been.

    The British also made a variant of their .303 Lee Enfield rifles in a .410 Musket calibre, which was the .303 case necked straight and fitted with a round lead ball. I am almost certain these were smoothbores, although on the outside they looked like Lee Enfields. They were for issuing to Indian police IIRC, to ensure that their weapons could easily be outranged by the army's .303s, just in case of rebellion. I have one of these rounds in my collection.
  10. mp510

    mp510 Well-Known Member

    The rifles CB900F was referring to were made by Marlin.
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And Winchester, and Remington, and probably others.

  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    While it is technically correct that a rifle should have a rifled barrel, there is a division of the Pennsylvania-Kentucky rifle collecting field known as the smoothbore rifle. These are guns that look just like a Kentucky rifle except that they are smoothbore. Maybe it is because they were cheaper, or were cheaply rebored from a worn rifle, or maybe because they would throw a shot load better than a rifle and would shoot a ball well enough for a stalked deer or attacking hostile. But they are out there. Not the same as a fowling piece, musket, or fusil, which are all different styles of gun.
  13. jhco

    jhco Well-Known Member

    i have a garden gun with the 9mm rimfire
    but i was refering to several anschutz smooth bore .22s that i have recently seen on gunbroker

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