Pitted barrels and shooting

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Roundball2319

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Good day to you all. I just picked up my first smoothly barrel. It's a t/c .56 cal barrel. It has a fair amount of pitting but no really big rusted out areas. Any hard earned advice or ideas on moving forward or on loads. I'm hoping it's still going to be a shooter and that I can get it to shoot round ball and some shot for small game and turkey.
 

ppg1949

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Rb2319, I bought a T/C 56 SB cheap that has the same problem. Mine is a single trigger and I bought it to use with shot only. The barrel bore looks like it has chicken pox. No large area of rust, just rust pocks evenly spaced throughout the whole barrel. As a shotgun, mine shoots fine. But I’m thinking about having it reamed to a larger bore perhaps 58 caliber. My advise to you is to clean it thoroughly. I mean like twice as long as normal. The rust pocks can hold on to the left over debris from shooting. My normal load is 60 grains 2F and 70 grains shot. I don’t shoot roundballs.
 

SDSmlf

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Good day to you all. I just picked up my first smoothly barrel. It's a t/c .56 cal barrel. It has a fair amount of pitting but no really big rusted out areas. Any hard earned advice or ideas on moving forward or on loads. I'm hoping it's still going to be a shooter and that I can get it to shoot round ball and some shot for small game and turkey.
It will shoot, but can be a PIA to load after first shot. May not matter for hunting if first shot is all you are concerned with. Also more difficult to clean as fouling will want to hid in the pits. Best way to figure it out is to shoot it. Might be pleasantly surprised.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Any hard earned advice or ideas on moving forward or on loads. I'm hoping it's still going to be a shooter and that I can get it to shoot round ball and some shot for small game and turkey.
You can.... simply send it to Mr. Bob Hoyt, and have it reamed out to .580. Probably won't need to worry about pits after that!. 😉

LD
 

Carbon 6

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It's a smoothbore, not nearly as affected by pitting as a rifle is. If you can hit a paper plate with a ball at 50 yards I'd call that acceptable. Anything better than that and I'd be quite happy.

If the bore is rough and interferes with loading try polishing or send it out to be reamed. If it fouls easily wipe between shots. Every problem has a solution.
 

Roundball2319

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Thanks. I hope to get out and shoot it the next couple of days. Will it handle # 6 shot well? I would really like to get a turkey with it. I'm also looking forward to some grouse hunting with it.
 

Stony Broke

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I sent one of those to Bobby Hoyt and had him ream it out to .58 caliber. He did a very nice job, and it will be shooting for a long time now....but a friend wanted it and it's gone now.......
 

Stony Broke

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I had it done smooth....and he did a very nice job on it. All the pitting disappeared !
 

DocCasualty

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Not sure if this an apples to apples comparison but FWIW I have an Eddystone Model of 1917 (P17 Enfield) that has a bore that looks like a sewer pipe. When I bought it I thought it would clean up, but not luck. Nonetheless, it’s battle accurate.

I would freak out it any of my firearms developed rust or pits but come to find out, they’re probably much more tolerant when it comes to accuracy than we might think. Shoot it and see what it does. You might be surprised.
 

Roundball2319

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Great example. I will definitely put it through the paces. So is a 3 inch group at fifty really just a dream with a smooth bore or is it something that is really possible. I need to know what a realistic goal should be.
 

Topsail

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Not sure if this an apples to apples comparison but FWIW I have an Eddystone Model of 1917 (P17 Enfield) that has a bore that looks like a sewer pipe. When I bought it I thought it would clean up, but not luck. Nonetheless, it’s battle accurate.

I would freak out it any of my firearms developed rust or pits but come to find out, they’re probably much more tolerant when it comes to accuracy than we might think. Shoot it and see what it does. You might be surprised.
Several years ago I bought a Yugoslav M48 Mauser that was advertised as “dark bore “. Definitely very pitted but shot hunting ammo very well. Took a bit of effort to clean it up but was well worth the $80 I spent.
Also got a Traditions Woodsman Hawken used for $100. Hadn’t been cleaned well but shot well so just live with the bit of rust in the barrel.
 
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I've found 1/2 inch or so on top of the powder under the patched ball will usually tighten up groups from rough bores. For smooth bores a small brake home with a cleaning Rod( aluminum shot gun type). Home the barrel to take out pits. If really rough use a proper size ball home,it will round the edges and smooth the pit it's self . Done a bunch of BP shot guns. Youv'e got to use some common sense as to the safety of a too pitted barrel. I've wound up withe a few wall hanger only over the years. This method can produce a jug choke which can give you a tighter pattern with shot. Love to grouse hunt with my chief grade trade gun.
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I've found 1/2 inch or so on top of the powder under the patched ball will usually tighten up groups from rough bores. For smooth bores a small brake home with a cleaning Rod( aluminum shot gun type). Home the barrel to take out pits. If really rough use a proper size ball home,it will round the edges and smooth the pit it's self . Done a bunch of BP shot guns. Youv'e got to use some common sense as to the safety of a too pitted barrel. I've wound up withe a few wall hanger only over the years. This method can produce a jug choke which can give you a tighter pattern with shot. Love to grouse hunt with my chief grade trade gun.
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First part should read oat meal over the powder under the patched ball.
 

Art Caputo

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Great example. I will definitely put it through the paces. So is a 3 inch group at fifty really just a dream with a smooth bore or is it something that is really possible. I need to know what a realistic goal should be.
At 50 yards?.....From my experience, quite doable. IMO, Typically heavier triggers, and the sight picture/lack of a rear sight with a smooth bore may pose more of an issue with precision/accuracy then the smooth bore itself.
 
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Eterry

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In my limited 40 years of black powder shooting I have found a freckled bore effects Loading more than Accuracy.

I bought more than 1 long arm with a "rough bore" and found it a PITA to load, but gave decent if not good accuracy.

Your mileage may vary.
 

Sparkitoff

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I don't use a PRB, just a ball on top of cushion wad and a card wad over it. My smoothie will put 5 of the .62 caliber balls into less than 5-inches at 50-yards. It usually hangs right over the 4-inch mark however you measure it. Interestingly, at 35 yards it will still produce one big ragged hole in the paper. Between the sights and whatever else is going on that last 15-yards is where stuff happens. Never tried to shoot it past 50-yards.
 

DocCasualty

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I don't use a PRB, just a ball on top of cushion wad and a card wad over it. My smoothie will put 5 of the .62 caliber balls into less than 5-inches at 50-yards. It usually hangs right over the 4-inch mark however you measure it. Interestingly, at 35 yards it will still produce one big ragged hole in the paper. Between the sights and whatever else is going on that last 15-yards is where stuff happens. Never tried to shoot it past 50-yards.
My experience with .75 cal smoothbore (Brown Bess) is similar. Patches do tighten the group a bit and seems to provide it little more oomph. The lack of rifling seems to come into play beyond fifty yds, which I assume is due to air friction. Too fast a rifling twist on a PRB, like my .54 cal 1:24 Jaeger act similarly, spinning out of control by 100 yds. That’s my take on it FWIW.
 

flntlokr

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Good day to you all. I just picked up my first smoothly barrel. It's a t/c .56 cal barrel. It has a fair amount of pitting but no really big rusted out areas. Any hard earned advice or ideas on moving forward or on loads. I'm hoping it's still going to be a shooter and that I can get it to shoot round ball and some shot for small game and turkey.
You could try and find a very small brake cylinder hone, but I'm not sure there are any that small. Failing that, you could split a wooden dowel and put emery cloth or paper (100 grit or so) in it, and wrap it around the rod with enough flexible backing to make a tight fit in the barrel. Turn it with an electric drill, and run the emery up and down the barrel a couple of hundred times; that should remove a lot of the pits unless they are very deep. Change the emery often to keep it sharp. Finish up with very fine emery to polish. This has done wonders for a couple of old shotguns I have messed with.
 
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