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does pitting in chamber area seriously affect accuracy?

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Joined
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I bought a T/C Hawken 45 cal about a year ago. SN indicates it was made in the '70s. It shoots ok but not consistently accurate enough for our monthly matches, even off a bench rest. I looked at the entire bore with a bore camera. The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting. Looks like it was not cared for in the past. The bore forward of this pitted area is shiny and very little pitting.
I shoot a 440 LRB with a WonderLube .018 patch over 45g Swiss 3f.

My question is this...does this pitting seriously affect the accuracy at 25-50 yds? Is it feasable to replace the barrel? will it improve the accuracy?

Thanks in advance

Salty
 
I bought a T/C Hawken 45 cal about a year ago. SN indicates it was made in the '70s. It shoots ok but not consistently accurate enough for our monthly matches, even off a bench rest. I looked at the entire bore with a bore camera. The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting. Looks like it was not cared for in the past. The bore forward of this pitted area is shiny and very little pitting.
I shoot a 440 LRB with a WonderLube .018 patch over 45g Swiss 3f.

My question is this...does this pitting seriously affect the accuracy at 25-50 yds? Is it feasable to replace the barrel? will it improve the accuracy?

Thanks in advance

Salty
I am not expert, but pitting where the ball is moving is not good, and will hinder accuracy. The bottom line (to me) is if it isn't accurate and you can't fix it, get another barrel or rifle.
JMO.
Larry
 
Yes.

Depending on the depth of the pits, this is a good candidate for lead lapping. If you have the tooling and knowledge you can probably fix it. You will end up with a tapered bore. That is a very good thing for accuracy and ease of loading.
 
Yes.

Depending on the depth of the pits, this is a good candidate for lead lapping. If you have the tooling and knowledge you can probably fix it. You will end up with a tapered bore. That is a very good thing for accuracy and ease of loading.
Great idea!
I do not have the tooling or ability to do it myself. Do you know who might?
 
I have a vintage .35 caliber rifle in which the "chamber area" was badly eroded from a load being left in it for over 100 years. My first shots with this gun would give me about 3.5" groups at 25 yards, and patches were shredding. I tried loading with a 1/4" felt wad over the powder, and then the patched ball. Accuracy improved to 1" at 25 yards. With some lapping, and the use of a felt wad you just may squeak the accuracy out of the barrel. Giving it to Bobby Hoyt for a re-bore or re-line would be a good choice also.
 
I bought a T/C Hawken 45 cal about a year ago. SN indicates it was made in the '70s. It shoots ok but not consistently accurate enough for our monthly matches, even off a bench rest. I looked at the entire bore with a bore camera. The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting. Looks like it was not cared for in the past. The bore forward of this pitted area is shiny and very little pitting.
I shoot a 440 LRB with a WonderLube .018 patch over 45g Swiss 3f.

My question is this...does this pitting seriously affect the accuracy at 25-50 yds? Is it feasable to replace the barrel? will it improve the accuracy?

Thanks in advance

Salty
I've seen some pretty rough bores produce really nice groups. Red Cline in his book talks about rough bores and getting them shooting for matches.
You might try an over powder patch, or a larger ball. That's the thing about this sport; there are so many variables you can tweak to change performance.
 
If it shreds the patch, there will be problems
Maybe, maybe not. Testing will tell the tale. Shoot it first and don't fix what ain't broke.

I've seen some pretty rough bores produce really nice groups. Red Cline in his book talks about rough bores and getting them shooting for matches.
You might try an over powder patch, or a larger ball. That's the thing about this sport; there are so many variables you can tweak to change performance.
^^This. I have one old CVA with a bad bore. It's so rough I call it a sewer pipe on a stick. Read a patch from this gun? First pick up the shredded lint and try to make a patch. Will it shoot? Well, you tell me...

Check out the pics to see what I'm talking about. A pristine bore is only needed if you're after world records. A dark, pitted bore can shoot better than you can hold it. You won't know until you try.

Initial testing with a "normal" load of 70g. 50yd offhand. No patches recovered. And yes, I think the sights on this gun are garbage as well.
IMG_20210808_122210.jpg


Same gun 25yd offhand with 50g 3f. No patches recovered.
IMG_20191012_130252.jpg


And something completely different. Same sewer pipe, 50yd, custom minie design for gallery style shooting. This was a torture test for the minie, these 6 shots were fired at the end of a ten shot string, all shots fired with no wiping.
Sewerpipegroup.jpg
 
Maybe, maybe not. Testing will tell the tale. Shoot it first and don't fix what ain't broke.


^^This. I have one old CVA with a bad bore. It's so rough I call it a sewer pipe on a stick. Read a patch from this gun? First pick up the shredded lint and try to make a patch. Will it shoot? Well, you tell me...

Check out the pics to see what I'm talking about. A pristine bore is only needed if you're after world records. A dark, pitted bore can shoot better than you can hold it. You won't know until you try.

Initial testing with a "normal" load of 70g. 50yd offhand. No patches recovered. And yes, I think the sights on this gun are garbage as well.
View attachment 226385

Same gun 25yd offhand with 50g 3f. No patches recovered.
View attachment 226386

And something completely different. Same sewer pipe, 50yd, custom minie design for gallery style shooting. This was a torture test for the minie, these 6 shots were fired at the end of a ten shot string, all shots fired with no wiping.
View attachment 226384
I've seen guns at the local matches not shoot no where near as tight as those groups.
I know I've said it here before. Before dropping hard earned cash on anything, clean it up and shot it. You have nothing to lose by some time and elbow grease.
 
I bought a T/C Hawken 45 cal about a year ago. SN indicates it was made in the '70s. It shoots ok but not consistently accurate enough for our monthly matches, even off a bench rest. I looked at the entire bore with a bore camera. The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting. Looks like it was not cared for in the past. The bore forward of this pitted area is shiny and very little pitting.
I shoot a 440 LRB with a WonderLube .018 patch over 45g Swiss 3f.

My question is this...does this pitting seriously affect the accuracy at 25-50 yds? Is it feasable to replace the barrel? will it improve the accuracy?

Thanks in advance

Salty
IF THE BARREL SHOOTS WELL KEEP IT.
I've shot original firearms with pitted bores for a few decades & have gotten excellent groups.
In barrels that shredded patches, the pitted section can often be smoothed up by wrapping a slightly smaller diameter cleaning jag with a piece of 3M abrasive fabric pad & lapping the rough section until patch drag is reduced or eliminated.
There are different abrasive grades of 3M abrasive fabric pads, you will need to determine what grade fits your situation.
Relic shooter
 
The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting.
6" After the chamber isn't important, you just have to know if the patch follows correctly the rifling, if it is the case "kein problem", unless, of course, they are real "caves" in the barrel...
Here is an example of a very old Jukar (brand before Dikar/Ardesa/Traditions Firearms) with a bad barrel that had got rust (a bit of honing paste to remedy the situation):

24-11-2022_PlainRifle.jpg
 
It would really depend on how badly and where the bore is pitted. I had a .40 that acquired a pitted breech. The rifle always demonstrated "gilt-edge" accuracy prior to that but not so much afterward.
 
I bought a T/C Hawken 45 cal about a year ago. SN indicates it was made in the '70s. It shoots ok but not consistently accurate enough for our monthly matches, even off a bench rest. I looked at the entire bore with a bore camera. The chamber area and about 6" forward of the chamber have plenty of pitting. Looks like it was not cared for in the past. The bore forward of this pitted area is shiny and very little pitting.
I shoot a 440 LRB with a WonderLube .018 patch over 45g Swiss 3f.

My question is this...does this pitting seriously affect the accuracy at 25-50 yds? Is it feasable to replace the barrel? will it improve the accuracy?

Thanks in advance

Salty
Salty i've run into crud in the breech area numerous times over the past few decades in poorly stored muzzleloaders & resolving that issue is usually no problem.
You don't have much room to lap that short area so plug the nipple or touch hole with a toothpick & add enough vinegar to soak the affected area to soften the rust & crud for 24 hours.
After the soak wrap some 3M abrasive cloth around a smaller caliber brass cleaning tip & lap that & any other areas that need it & then flush well with water & baking soda to neutralize, dry well & apply some long lasting good bore lube like G96 or Ballistol.
Patch tip;
Some commercial off the shelf patches are pretty thin & also lack thread density. These patches tend to suffer blow out around the prb's contact area when fired thats destroying group size.
If you don't buy & cut your own patches, consider buying thicker patches & use a good patch lube.
This tighter combination along with 60 grains of 3F will very likely produce some grins :thumb:
Relic shooter
 
Salty i've run into crud in the breech area numerous times over the past few decades in poorly stored muzzleloaders & resolving that issue is usually no problem.
You don't have much room to lap that short area so plug the nipple or touch hole with a toothpick & add enough vinegar to soak the affected area to soften the rust & crud for 24 hours.
After the soak wrap some 3M abrasive cloth around a smaller caliber brass cleaning tip & lap that & any other areas that need it & then flush well with water & baking soda to neutralize, dry well & apply some long lasting good bore lube like G96 or Ballistol.
Patch tip;
Some commercial off the shelf patches are pretty thin & also lack thread density. These patches tend to suffer blow out around the prb's contact area when fired thats destroying group size.
If you don't buy & cut your own patches, consider buying thicker patches & use a good patch lube.
This tighter combination along with 60 grains of 3F will very likely produce some grins :thumb:
Relic shooter
Thank you. I’ll try that.
 
Try some cream of wheat filler between the powder and ball for a cheap fix. It will raise the ball up to the good rifling. And it raises pressure to ensure a complete burn of the black powder.
 

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