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Thread: how do you tell if a rifle is "shot out"

  1. #1

    how do you tell if a rifle is "shot out"

    hi
    I have heard and seen people talk about shot out rifles, but im not exactly sure what this means. Are there any tell tale signs that it is shot out?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    shot out means the rifling is worn away basically so the rifle is no longer accurate, a bore scope will tell you this , if its really bad then you will see it with the naked eye but the main thing to worry about is will the rifle group well?
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  3. #3
    thanks for the information

  4. #4
    Most of the time this shouldn't be an issue, most good quality barrels should handle a lot of rounds, usually it'll be down to "hot loads" or a faster caliber that would cause barrel damage, I know of plenty of rifles that have been owned for over a decade and they still shoot under an inch at 100 yards - a friends mannlicher never saw a cleaning rod and was still as accurate as ever the day he sold it, it must have had thousands of rounds through it and it was 243 which some say is a caliber known to burn barrel out.

    I'm sure I read a good thread on here or another forum on this very subject and no one really came up with a good example of a "shot out" barrel - most may have tailed off accuracy wise a little but were still shooting a perfectly acceptable group for stalking/hunting.

    Theres a good article on looking at a rifle here -

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/used_rifle.htm


    and another on accuracy here -

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_accuracy_fixes.htm

    Regards,

    Gixer
    Last edited by gixer1; 24-10-2013 at 13:34.

  5. #5
    I have a lot rifles. One I really like to shoot is an circa 1900 BSA commercial "Light Express" rifle in 303 British. The first three inches of rifling are almost gone and the rest is "brown and round" to within 4" of the muzzle. It shoots 3" at 100 yards with express (open) sights. Is is 'shot out'?? Yes. Is it a problem? Doesn't seem to be.~Muir

  6. #6
    thanks for the help

  7. #7
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    A shot out rifle is one where it has been shot so many times that the hot gases have eroded or rounded the rifling lands such that they are no longer nice and square edged when you look down the barrel. Usually noticeable at the breech end and usually accompanied with the bore no loner being bright and shiny but a dull grey.

    Other things may also cause a rifle to become useless such as failing to clean after use with corrosive ammunition and then being left for weeks, months, years. This is less an issue nowadays but was very much an issue in the 1960s and even into the 1970s when corrosive primed ammunition was still very much being used in many stalking and service rifles. It will be described as shot out yet in fact it is corrosion that has caused the damage. This will appear the whole length of the barrel and it will again seem a dull grey.

    The degree of erosion may or may not affect the accuracy of the rifle, athough the term 'shot out" implies that it does such that the rifle can no longer give accuracy to a required standard. A .22LR small game and vermin hunting rifle may well still be acceptable grouping to 1" at twenty-five yards whereas a .22LR target rifle may be no longer acceptable if it fails to group to 1/4" at twenty-five yards!

    Some rifles still, even with eroded bores, produce acceptable accuracy, indeed some guns amaze...I had a Colt 1911 dated form 1913 that the bore looked like the inside of an old cast iron drainpipe. Yet it would shoot offhand groups with lead 230 grain round nose bullets cast in linotype of 2" at twenty yards. Yet other rifles that have a pristine bore, as new, won't seem to group at all. See the recent thread about a Ruger 10-22 that won't hold 8" as a group.

    The only way to really tell is to shoot the weapon at a target and see what sort of a diagram that it makes. Other tests to see if a rifle is shot out include seeing how far down the muzzle end of the barrel an inverted (point first) bullet of that calibre will go vis--vis a new rifle of the same calibre.

    Lastly be aware of the exotics such as oval bore rifling such as used by Lancaster, polygonal rifling, hexagonal bored barrel such as Whitworth and British service weapons with Metford rifling all of which may look to be shot out as compared with a square form rifled profile barrel but in fact aren't.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-10-2013 at 17:51.

  8. #8
    My experience is most sporting rifle shooters receive the full Shadrax & Duxbury treatment long before their rifles are truly “shot out”.
    As someone has already said it’s a matter of degree.
    Buy a 22 Hornet and you too may never need worry about this ‘condition’.
    K

  9. #9
    Like Muir , I had an M-17 Enfield that someone had " sporterized " by cutting down the fore-end and disposing of the handguards and barrel bands. Like a lot of M-17's the bore looked like a sewer pipe, after some vigorous cleaning the rifling became visible. I'd bought the rifle for a donor action ( it was during my big bore phase ) but out of curiousity decided to run a few rounds through it. Surprizingly it would keep 3 rounds inside about 3 inches at 100 yrds. This was with the issue sights and younger eyes. Long story short, I gave it to a friend who works in forestry and needed a good truck gun, that was over 10 yrs ago and he still keeps it behind the seat of his truck. God knows how many moose , deer and problem bears that rifle has accounted for.

    If you are looking to put 5 rounds into less than 1/2 an inch then barrel wear is an important factor, but for woodland hunting 2 to 2.5 moa is sufficient. I love accurate rifles , don't get me wrong, but I love old rifles more.
    I'm taking my 1895 Winchester in 30-06 out for Mulies next week. At best its a 2.5 moa rifle and it has been USED. The fact is, its perfectly adequate for what I want to do, and if I'm lucky enough to connect with a buck, I know I will get more gratification out of it than I would by using one of my modern tuned bolt guns.My apologies to the OP, I realize I've gone off topic but I've seen a lot of supposed " shot out rifles " that just needed a good cleaning and a little TLC to turn them into perfectly sevicable hunting rifles.

    Ramble over AB

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by alberta boy View Post
    Like Muir , I had an M-17 Enfield that someone had " sporterized " by cutting down the fore-end and disposing of the handguards and barrel bands. Like a lot of M-17's the bore looked like a sewer pipe, after some vigorous cleaning the rifling became visible. I'd bought the rifle for a donor action ( it was during my big bore phase ) but out of curiousity decided to run a few rounds through it. Surprizingly it would keep 3 rounds inside about 3 inches at 100 yrds. This was with the issue sights and younger eyes. Long story short, I gave it to a friend who works in forestry and needed a good truck gun, that was over 10 yrs ago and he still keeps it behind the seat of his truck. God knows how many moose , deer and problem bears that rifle has accounted for.

    If you are looking to put 5 rounds into less than 1/2 an inch then barrel wear is an important factor, but for woodland hunting 2 to 2.5 moa is sufficient. I love accurate rifles , don't get me wrong, but I love old rifles more.
    I'm taking my 1895 Winchester in 30-06 out for Mulies next week. At best its a 2.5 moa rifle and it has been USED. The fact is, its perfectly adequate for what I want to do, and if I'm lucky enough to connect with a buck, I know I will get more gratification out of it than I would by using one of my modern tuned bolt guns.My apologies to the OP, I realize I've gone off topic but I've seen a lot of supposed " shot out rifles " that just needed a good cleaning and a little TLC to turn them into perfectly sevicable hunting rifles.

    Ramble over AB
    Screech!!!!
    I have one of those waiting to be shipped to me, made in the 1920's. Is yours a modern gun or original, and if original, what is your load?? I'm thinking of loading "heavy" 30-40 loads in it with 220 grain RN bullets. ~Muir

    PS: I don't remember reading of a gunsmith referenced at this site who DIDN'T say that the barrel of the rifle he was examining was 'shot out'. Seems to be a popular affliction of rifles in the UK.
    Last edited by Muir; 25-10-2013 at 02:34.

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