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What Am I Seeing?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JDinFbg, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    The good news is after lapping it, it'll be easier to clean after another 10,000 rounds between cleanings!
     
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  2. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I have tried many products, I like Bore tech foam as well as other products. I also use VFG or another brand pellets with JB bore paste and also wet patches to get out residue. I tried Brasso mixed with ammonia but it is pretty corrosive so I didn't use it again. Good luck. I have made shooters out of old fouled barrels but it doesn't always work. Thanks for posting your Saga, looking forward to the results.
     
  3. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    I envy your patience, am impressed by your efforts and wish you better shooting results when you are done.
     
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  4. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    It liked to wore me out too, but it was done over the course of a week or more. I don't know if it's patience or stubbornness, and I suspect more than a few out there probably think I'm either delusional or insane for doing this and that it will yield good results, but I want to see what I can get out of this old barrel before I relinquish it to the scrap heap. I do not subscribe to the throw-away mentality rampant in our society, and always try to repair or refurbish first.
     
  5. PWC

    PWC Member

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    "Use it up, make it last
    Make it do or do without"
     
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  6. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    With my next planned step being to run the series of Tubb Final Finish bullets through my rifle, I wanted to confirm my bore and grove diameter so I could order the proper diameter Tubb lapping bullets. In load development work for this rifle that I had done, I could never get .308 diameter bullet to shoot well at all, and I found that .311 diameter bullets produced the best (although not good) results. I had previously slugged the barrel and determined it was closer to .310 grove diameter, but given all the copper removal I had done and the removal of a couple of sizable 'sheets' of lead from the bore, I decided to repeat the slugging process. Without a special V-micrometer it is not possible accurately measure the groove diameter of a 5-grove barrel, but by carefully rotating the slug inside the jaws of a caliper, the caliper will open up to approximately the circular diameter of the grooves. I made 2 slugs of the rifling, and using the noted caliper process I came up with a diameter of .310 or a little over. As a second check, I drilled a hole in a piece of scrap steel with an N drill bit (0.302" diameter), then using emery cloth on a mandrill I carefully and slowly enlarged the hole in the steel until I could just get a .308 diameter jacketed bullet to pass through. I determined that neither of the slugs I had made would pass through this hole, so this confirms my grove diameter is larger than .308. I continued the process of slowly enlarging the hole in the scrap steel piece until the slugs would just pass through. Measurement of this hole with my calipers showed it to be just a tad larger than .310. So this indicates I need to use the .311 diameter Tubb lapping bullets in order for them fully 'scrub' the bottom of the grooves.

    A second test I made was to try to determine the bore diameter of my rifle. The forums are full of opinions regarding the bore diameter of the 1917 Enfield, some saying they were spec'd and produced as a .300 bore rifles, and others contending that some rifles were made using surplus barrel stock that was left over from when US manufactures made this rifle for the British in the 303 British cartridge, resulting in rifles with a .303 bore. Some contend that in the rush to produce rifles for the US Army when the US entered the war, manufacturing tolerances may not have been strictly adhered to. So to answer that question for my specific rifle, I machined a brass sabot I could attach to my cleaning rod to pass down the bore. I started with a sabot machined to .3030" and it would not pass down the bore. I kept gradually reducing the diameter of the sabot until I could get it to pass through the bore, and measured the diameter with my micrometer as .3017". This suggests my rifle started life as a .300 bore rifle (more or less) and the lands diameter has increased by 0.0017" during its one hundred year-plus life. Given my determination that I have a .310 groove diameter, this means I have rifling that is about 0.004" deep which should be more than adequate for gripping bullets.

    I then decided to lap the bore to see if I could clean up some of the 'alligator-skin' looking fouling that remained. I did not have any JB Bore Paste that was suggested to use, but I have some 800 grit lapping compound. I first started by using the brass sabot coated with the lapping compound and made several passes through the barrel to until the sabot would pass easily. My thought was that this would 'scrub' off the tops of the lands. I then switched to a cleaning patch coated with the lapping compound, wrapped around a bronze bore brush and made about 25 passes through the barrel. After thoroughly cleaning the barrel, I examined with my borescope. This definitely cleaned up many areas of the barrel, but there is still evidence of the 'alligator-skin' fouling in many areas. I am undecided as to whether I want to do more lapping at this point or just wait until I fire the series of Tubb lapping bullets.
    18A-After Lapping 4in from Muzzle.jpg 18B-After Lapping at Muzzle.jpg 18C-Affter Lapping near Throat.jpg 18D-After Lapping mid-Barrel.jpg
    There is a lot of pitting which will remain even if I can remove all the 'alligator-skin' looking fouling.
     
  7. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  8. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    You had sent me that link in the thread I started when I was working on cleaning up my 94 Winchester:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/treating-inside-of-barrel.876201/page-2
    That's what convinced me to try the Tubb's bullets in that rifle, and they worked great. That's why I'm planning to repeat that process with my 1917 Enfield, and I just ordered the Tubb's bullets this morning. Although my 94 Winchester had a lot of copper in it, it was nothing like I found in my Enfield. But, if all the de-coppering work I've done so far and the Tubb's bullets do the trick this time, I may have a shooter.
     
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  9. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    I give you oodles of credit for putting the time and effort into restoring that old rifle, that is a lot of love for it. I have a Spanish mauser that when I got it the bore was packed tight with what felt like stone with a pinhole on the center. I fiddled with it for a night and dropped it of to my local gunsmith. He had to "break out the pumice". To me it was gnarly and impenetrable to me. I paid the gunsmith his due and the bore was clean and bright. I got lucky.

    Excellent effort!
     
  10. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    The next phase of my project has been completed, that of firing the 50-round series of Tubb Final Finish bullets. The before/after results are shown in the attached PDF file where the caption BT means "Before Tubbs" and AT means "After Tubbs". I captured before/after images at 5 locations in the bore at (mostly) the same location, but a slight variation in the rotation angle of the borescope between the before and after pictures means they are not exact. From review of these I can see places inside the barrel where the Tubbs bullets made a difference, but not so much of a difference in other places. Being that this is a 100+ year old military rifle with the original barrel and it is badly pitted, I did not expect any miracles but believe there was some improvement. What I observed during the firing process at the range is that I got out a lot of copper when cleaning (as recommended) after each 10-shot bullet series. I am unclear whether this was existing copper fouling that the Tubbs bullets 'scrubbed' loose or whether it was copper that the rough bore 'scrubbed' off the Tubbs bullets. However, on the final clean-up once I got home it did not take undue effort to get to the point that most of the copper was removed. I'm not sure I could ever expect to get 100% of the copper out of this barrel as likely some resides deep in the pits in the barrel. The next step will be to seal the bore using the JTI-Bore Shield product I found. I attached a PDF file describing this product. After sealing the bore, the final step will be at the range to see if all my work paid off or whether it just remains a 2-3 MOA grouper. If nothing else, hopefully it will clean up easier in the future.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    Before applying the JTI-Bore Shield product in my rifle, I thought I'd make one last-ditch effort to remove some more copper. I made 400 more passes with a nylon bore brush wetted with Bore Tech CU+2. After each 50 passes, I ran a patch wetted with CU+2 down the bore to pick up any copper left by the brushing, and rinsed off the bore brush with hot water and air blew dry. At the end, I ran 3 wetted patches then 3 dry patches down the bore. The attached picture shows the results. There is barely a trace of copper on these final patches, so it would appear I did get almost 100% of the copper out of my barrel. IMG_6910.JPG
     
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  12. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

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    Here's the final results after all my efforts at cleaning up my severely fouled 1917 Enfield with the original barrel. I was finally able to take it to the range and see what it would do. I shot four, 5-shot groups with the first 3 being on an archery target with a 24" target face. When sighting in a rifle or shooting one where you have no idea where it will hit, I have found archery targets very useful as they provide a lot of 'real estate'. I had no idea how all the work I did would have affected the zero, and due to the very random nature of groups I had previously gotten, I was not sure as to how well I really had the rifle zeroed to begin with. The results are shown in the 4 PDF files attached. Shooting conditions were around 50 degrees F with minimal wind, and all shots were fired at a 100 yard target board from a sandbag rest using a 3x9 scope set on 9 power.

    After firing the first 5 rounds, I could tell it was shooting low and to the left, so I adjusted the elevation up 3" and shot the second 5 rounds. This appeared to over compensate the needed elevation adjustment, but I left that alone and changed the windage 1.5" to the right and shot the third 5-round group. After this, I adjusted the elevation down 1.25" and shot the fourth 5-shot group on a clean target. The bottom line is that I've ended up a 1.5" - 2.5" grouping rifle, which I think most believe to be typical for a WW-I era rifle with the original barrel. But, this is an improvement over the 3" - 4" (or larger) groups I typically got before. Further, the shots in each group are now more logically clustered than what I ever saw before. Previously, the shot distributions were erratic and it was hard to determine how to adjust the scope. One 5-shot group might land around one area of the target, and the subsequent 5-shot groups would land with a totally different orientation. So at least now I'm fairly confident that I ended up with a rifle where the shots are logically clustered around the point of aim.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Quite the project. I laud your patience, updates, and results.
     
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