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Had a problem with my Kibler Colonial (operative word "had")

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40 Cal
Nov 10, 2020
Reaction score
Gainesville, GA
I seem to have fixed it by doing something folks here say wouldn't work. Well, it worked!

The problem was, every since I completed my .54-caliber Kibler and started shooting it, it was one-and-done if I didn't clean the barrel between shots. Seriously, one shot was all you could get. Shot two could only be seated with a hammer. Forget about a third shot -- it wasn't happening! BTW, I use .530 balls and .015 pillow ticking patches lubed with mink oil.

But, as long as I took the time to run a wet patch (spit or moose milk), followed by two dry patches, no problem. It loaded easily and shot well. So I didn't worry about it. I carried it all deer season knowing that if I got a shot, I'd have to run a spit patch, followed by a couple of dry patches, before I reloaded. I figured that it would eventually "shoot itself in" and the problem would disappear. Well, several hundred shots (and a thousand cleaning patches) later, it was just as bad as on day one.

The problem is, I also used this rifle in monthly club matches. In some of these matches, we would be required to fire as many as 40-50 shots. In one match, I wore myself slap out trying to keep up with the rest of the field who were not having to swab between shots. I ended up withdrawing before finishing it I ended up going back to my percussion Hawken rifle to compete and not keep everyone waiting on me to finish my string.

I finally decide to try and see if there was a way to remedy the problem, and turned to my old stand-by, You Tube. On it I found a video of a guy who had the exact same issue and fixed it by polishing his barrel with Scotch Brite pads. Being a skeptic, I came here and did a search and saw where several posters said that this would not work! Then they went into detail about how a rough barrel needs to be lapped with a lead slug an lapping compound, a very complicated and time consuming operation. But, it seemed that most felt the Scotch Brite wouldn't hurt the barrel, it just wasn't abrasive enough to smooth out the machine marks causing the problem.

Well, I decide that I didn't have anything to lose and this weekend went down to my workshop and put a .50 caliber jag on my range rod and, with great difficulty, forced a 1" Scotch Brite pad down the .54-caliber barrel. After ten strokes, I changed out the pad. I repeated this cycle ten times, for a total of 100 strokes. I then cleaned the barrel and readied it for today's range session.

I went ahead and put my target out at 80 yards and loaded up 80 grains of soon-to-be-extinct Goex 2f. My shot was pretty close to perfect, as are most all my bench shots with this very fine rifle. Then came the moment of truth.

I took the rifle to the reloading area, poured in 80 grains, put the lubed patch over the muzzle and placed a ball on top. I put my bullet starter on the ball and pushed. It slid smoothly to its four-inch limit. I then placed my range rod in the barrel, and to my surprise, and delight, the ball slid down the barrel with no stops or stutters until it contacted the powder charge. The next shot hit about two inches from the first, and again, without running a patch, my ball slid down the barrel easily. After a five shot string and about a three-inch group with no patches and no hammering the ball home, I went ahead and ran a moose milk patch, followed by two dry patches, down the barrel. I only did this because I was changing my powder charge to 90 grains and wanted to start my group with a clean barrel. Again, I loaded five consecutive shots without swabbing, with the fifth shot loading as easily as all previous shots. (BTW, 90 grains grouped almost exactly the same as the 80-grain load to the same POI.)

I am now a happy camper! It's not very often that I try out something I found on the internet and it actually works. I figure that whatever burrs or spurs that were impacting my barrel must have been pretty minor for the Scotch Brite to have knocked them down, but whatever -- I'm off to shoot a match this weekend with my Kibler!!!!
Kibler uses Green Mountain cut rifled barrels in his kits. At least I'm pretty sure that's what they are. My 40 cal SMR was a little rough too. I did the scotchbrite and 320 grit silicon carbide on a tight patch and smoothed things up to where it loads easy and shoots great.