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RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

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72 usmc
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RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#1 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:08 pm

RIFLE PICTORIAL BORE CONDITION GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

The other day I was wanting to search out on the web some photo views of what the typical, average condition, Mauser bore might look like. I wanted some condition views of rifling that ranged from like new to sewer pipe rifling. However, most of the photos of milsurp bores seem to be gone from the archived or old forum posts. Most are also missing on a general search like “bore condition.” There does not seem to be a general guide with informative photos that provides a variety of bore conditions.
See: https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... light=bore

In addition, there appears to be a wide range in the definition/meanings/usage of barrel terms such as sewer pipe, minty, dark, pitted, dinged, strong, bright, polished, frosted, rounded, sharp, bulged, counterbored, mirror like, rusted and so many other terms used. Now, people will aways differ on how to inspect and judge a bore. So this is not a thesis on how to judge a bore. You can judge a bore as you see fit. As a general rule, I look for a cleaned rifle bore so I can see its condition with a bore light, not one that is left filthy, with the seller telling me it will clean up fine.

When inspecting a rifle’s bore, I first look for a clean bore that is somewhat bright (like a clean metal surface, but not overly polished & so shiny that I can not see rifling). On an old milsurp I look for the rifling that appears distinct —with somewhat sharp edges. In fact, I generally do not see such a described, like new barrel, condition on old military surplus rifles; hence, I wanted some pictures of what I should expect to see on an average condition military rifle. Most of the milsurps I find seem to have darker bores showing different stages of rounding to the sharp edges of the rifling. I wanted to find some views of the different kinds of rifling observed in WW I & WW II weapons. No guide seems to exist. The lack of information spurred me to research the few available references and glean photos from what I could find in an effort to add some collector data about military surplus rifle bores.

After an inspection of a rifle, I always think I have selected a winner with a great bore. But how can I be sure? I really never know how a rifle will shoot. Some that appear to have like new bores shoot a wide group, while other rifles with dark barrels and worn, rounded rifling shoot tight groups. In the end, the only real test is the range test. One must take the so called “good” rifle out to shoot. The real accuracy test is to take it to the range and place the rifle on a sled and fire it. I have found that some rifle bores that I initially judged somewhat poor, shoot very well.

Since I was doing my yearly oiling of my rifles, I decided to snap a few photographs of the barrel bores so I can post about 50 photos of their overall condition. This can serve as a BORE PHOTO GUIDE. Some rifles with specific bore conditions that I wish to illustrate, I do not own. Therefore as part of the background research, I searched for example photos to add to the discussion in Parts 1 & 2. I compiled screen shots of these better photos. These include examples of counter bores, cracked or bulged barrels, and poor crowns. For these, I had to rely on reference photos from other sources. On the other hand, most of my photos in Part 3 will be of specific rifles that I actually own and have fired. They shoot fine at 100 yards. If they do not, I will let the reader know. For each rifle, I shall provide one or two photographic views of their bore taken from the muzzle. This collection of photos will provide a start to a photographic bore guide. Over time others can always add some more photographs of bores/rifling from different rifles that they own. My photos are from examples I own that are in good to average condition, not wall hangers, not safe queens. My goal is to first provide some primary information in Parts 1 & 2 about what to look for when looking at barrel condition. Some research photos will provide specific examples showing a range in barrel/bore conditions. In Part 3 you will see a photographic record of specific rifles selected at random as I did my yearly oiling. Photos will show their bore condition as well as what their rifling looks like. Most of part 3 photos are direct from the camera and enlarge , a few are from my lost photos taken from the Wayback files- these do not enlarge.
:doh:
Some of the images, those labeled with a name and times viewed (such as MG_3848 U drillkrag poor bore copy.jpg (20.94 KiB) Viewed 1388 times) can't be clicked on and enlarged.
Some photos will enlarge others will not depending on screen shots, direct transitions to the desk top and my photos from the camera down loads. With a Mac I never know. It is best to go to the link it is from. At least you can see most and do not have to be a member to see the photos. The screen shots taken form other sources or old posts on the Wayback Machine do not enlarge. Most are at a good size to see. My old 2003 mac does not do photos too well. And deleting photos seems to really cause a mess. So what you see is what you get due to the age of my system & ancient camera.

Gunsmiths or the experts can provide and argue to refine/correct the definitions of the many bore terms I use. I will provide a photo and define the conditions shown in the sample photos found in the first two sections. I hope others can add comments and better descriptive photos, especially if they have advanced cameras to provide clear photographs. My pictures will be taken with an old, Canon Power Shot SD 1000. Other pictures are screen shots from the web and I have provided the source if known.

PART 1 BACKGROUND SOURCES

First, let’s look into some back ground references. Here is a screen shot diagram of the basic nomenclature of a barrel and its source information.

photo B
B   Nomenclature of a barrel.png
Nomenclature Back to Basics: Rifle Barrels, by David Campbell 15 May 2017, NRA American Rifleman
https://www.americanrifleman.org/articl ... e-barrels/

The next article, American Rifleman, Back to Basics: Rifling, by the same author, explains the basics of rifling and its purpose and influence on firearms. Mr Campbell outlines two basic types of rifling: conventional (found in most milsurps) and polygonal found in some pistols. Two examples of polygonal barrels are found in the Glock and CZ 83. In this post, I am mainly concerned with conventional rifling as found in military surplus rifles. I am providing one nice, clear example of a Glock bore photo obtained from the Glock Forum.

photo D
Screen Shot D   glock pistol source Glock pistol form .png
Screen Shot D glock pistol source Glock pistol form .png (141.56 KiB) Viewed 3855 times


I have no photo of a CZ 83’s bore. Examples of Polygonal rifling can be seen in the listed references.

Here is a diagram from the above source showing the two basic barrel types:

photo C
Screen Shot  C diagram of rifling .png
Polygonal rifling, even when new, looks like worn down rifling; like one has a worn out bore on a pistol, when in actuality it is a very good condition pistol barrel. Polygonal rifling exhibits a hexagonal looking interior with smooth rounded edges. There is less distinction between the lands and grooves. (Lands are the raised portions between the lower grooves inside the barrel)
Source article:
American Rifleman, Back to basics: Rifling by David Campbell, 21 July 2017 NRA American Rifleman.
https://www.americanrifleman.org/articl ... s-rifling/




Barrel rifling is placed into the barrels of rifles or pistols to impart spin on the projectile. This following short article provides some information about conventional rifling:
A short history and description about rifling. By Firearms ID.com.
http://www.firearmsid.com/a_bulletidrifling.htm

Conventional rifling has pronounced sharp edges to the land and grooves. It is most commonly found in surplus rifles. A definition of each major type is as follows:
Conventional Rifling
The most common type of barrel rifling that you will find on most gun barrels is conventional rifling. This rifling features defined sharp lands and valleys. The bullet is slightly larger than the bore and is therefore forced into this shape producing marks on the bullet known as ‘rifling marks’.
These lands and valleys can vary in number, depth, shape, direction of twist (left or right) and twist rate, depending on manufacturer.
Polygonal Rifling
Polygonal barrel rifling has a much less defined set of lands and valleys, and is generally smoother in shape. This results in less resistance for the bullet when traveling down the barrel, higher bullet velocities and cleaner operation. The smoother bore deforms the bullet less than conventional rifling and supposedly leaves it more aerodynamically stable.
According to users, since the barrel rifling is still tight there is little to no difference in range or accuracy between the two. Although, polygonal rifling is reported to be easier to clean, as it’s less destructive to bullets and has less ‘corners’ for deposits to form.

Definition Source Abbysupply 2017
https://www.abbeysupply.com/blog/The_Di ... fling.html


Finally, more information can be found here: Barrels and Bullets Conventional Versus Polygonal Rifling by Cantrell 2010, Bearing Arms News.
see this link:
https://bearingarms.com/ccantrell/2010/ ... l-rifling/

PART 2 HOW TO INSPECT A BOLT ACTION CONVENTIONAL BORE

The purpose of this post is to act as a photographic guide (with all pictures posted through the forum with its 5 picture limit per post) showing the types and conditions of conventional bores observed on some commonly found milsurp rifles. THE BASICS are the same with pistols. However, I am not concerned with pistols. This discussion is primary about rifles. All of the later photos in Part 3 will show bore examples from military surplus rifles. For a general review of what attributes to consider when selecting a military surplus rifle, please review this post: Buying the first surplus rifle, what to look for.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2911#p17902

Gun boards inspecting a rifle reference:
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... finn+mosin



First, I want to talk about how to look at a rifle’s bore.
There are a variety of ways to view a muzzle/bore at an indoor gun show with poor lighting or at an outside rummage sale with good light. It is rare to carry a bore scope to a gun show. Viewing a bore with a bore scope is best done at home on the work bench or at the gunsmith. Expensive bore scopes allow gunsmiths to examine the internal sections of a bore that are inaccessible or not viewable by the naked eye or other methods. They offer a clear view with the ability to see and identify imperfections like tiny pits, cracks and heat erosion.

So lacking a bore scope, most buyers will use one or two of the three poor boy methods to view the interior of a bore (you need a light to see what’s in the barrel): 1) a bore light (this is the best method), 2) pull the bolt and hold the barrel up to a bright light source, or 3) place a piece of white typing paper that acts as a reflector in front of the bolt and get the the best, nearby light source to shine up (light up) the bore.

Bore light
The bore light comes in a variety of forms. I favor two types over a small pocket flashlight. I like the cartridge size Maglite called the “Solitaire.” This small LED Maglite works great because it can be placed on the follower like a cartridge within the magazine area or placed in the chamber so it will shine up the bore. The Solitaire has an adjustable beam that allows for a strong or diffuse glow. It is small and can rest on the follower with an open bolt still in the rifle. This tiny Maglite can also be set at an angle to lessen the light’s intensity or be utilized as a flash light to inspect other non bore-related details. Others prefer the Flex Bore light, a flashlight with a small cord that has a LED light on its end. This tiny light source can be inserted into the bore from either end. Both work well.

Hold up the Rifle
If you do not have or forgot your bore light, then you can remove the bolt from a bolt action rifle and point either end of the rifle toward a strong light source while looking up the bore or chamber to view its condition. The problem with this method is that the rifle can get heavy and you certainly do not want to drop it (this would certainly get the dealer’s attention), or smack someone in the head with an old milsurp!

Paper Reflector
Another safer method is to set the rifle’s butt on the ground, open the bolt while leaving it in the rifle, and then place a white piece of paper or handkerchief against the front face of the bolt covering the back portion of the receiver. While looking down the muzzle, turn the rifle toward the best light source possible so that light from the sun or room will shine onto the paper and reflect up the bore allowing you to view the bore’s condition- a poor mans bore light! Consequently, when utilizing any of these three methods to inspect the bore; if the bore is clean, not dark, has distinct edges to the lands & grooves, has visible rifling, it is usually a good average bore. You discovered a winner!
Last edited by 72 usmc on Tue May 28, 2019 11:55 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#2 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:15 pm

So what to look at first when inspecting a rifle barrel?

Here we go. Before I even get my bore light out, I am concerned about five items: a counterbore, the condition of the crown, if the rifling continues up to the end of the bore, if the barrel has any above the wood bulges or cracks, and then I want to gauge the muzzle’s internal size with a bore gauge.

Counterbore
I am a counterbore snob. I hate barrels that have been counterbored. It is a repair to a rifle. The first photo is a Mosin, the second is a Turk Mauser, each was counterbored.
photo Z2
Screen Shot  Z2 counter bore great photo.png
Screen Shot Z2 counter bore great photo.png (98.28 KiB) Viewed 3852 times

photo Z3
Screen Shot Z3 counteredbored turk.png
On a Mosin, a counterbore is an authentic arsenal repair, on others like a Mauser or Enfield, it should not be present. Ivan never threw anything away. A counterbore is when a damaged muzzle is refreshed by removing damaged rifling by a drilling process that removes the inner diameter of the barrel down to a depth where good rifling still exists. This boring process can extend an inch or two deep. It retains the original barrel length, but enlarges the interior of the muzzle producing a clean internal edge like a new crown that does not hinder the bullet. It improves accuracy to a worn muzzle.

Another solution to correct for a damaged muzzle is to cut off the barrel a wee bit, maybe re-attaching the front sight depending on how much must be cut to get to good rifling, and then re-crown the barrel. Both procedures restore a beat barrel with a poor muzzle. However, you have to wonder if the muzzle is in poor condition, what about the rest of the barrel? For me, it’s a repair that may be an arsenal repair or not, but more importantly, it is an indication of a pitiful bore that may exhibit additional problems that have not been corrected. Does the poor muzzle condition reflect the general condition and care of the rifle? What other problems may be found: a dark bore, worn rifling, its chamber may have erosion to the throat, pits in the chamber walls, or dings to chamber’s outer edges. A counterbore may or may not enhance accuracy. It is a cheep way to restore accuracy— maybe. It is a roll of the dice. You have to shoot it and see the results. A counterbore will always sell for a lower price. Like a cracked stock, refinished stock, or missing cleaning rod on a milsurp; all detract from the price when its comes time to sell the rifle. For more information on counterbores see beantownshootah’s great photo & post in the link below.

picture Z
Z    beantownshootah pic  counterbore .png
Source: Picture of a Counterbore vs Normal Barrel, by beantownshootah 2011, Gunbroker Forum
https://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=510998


Also see the link to the: Anatomy of a Counterbore, by Fal Grunt 2017, Gunboards
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... ounterbore
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#3 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:32 pm

Crown
Second, I take a look at the crown of the muzzle. Most old milsurps have really beat crowns or show a heavy patina. The barrel crown should be square with the bore and the edge should be sharp and crisp. Only the most obvious damage to a crown is actually visible. From the Midway USA Gun Dictionary:
Definition for "crown" : The shaping of the point on a muzzle where the end of the bore intersects with the face of the end of the barrel. A variety of different styles and shapes of crowns have evolved to meet specific shooting needs. Maintaining uniformity and consistency of the crown is important as this is the last point of the bore that the bullet contacts as it exits the barrel


Look at the crown for evidence of rifling extending up to its edge, rust, chips, or dings at its interior. Here are pictures of a new Tokarev barrel that I own and Calf's Yugo Mauser with a new barrel. Notice how clean and sharpe the rifling is. The rifling extends up to the end of the barrel and meets the crown.

photo E
IMG_3525  E  tok new bore .jpg

photo F
Screen Shot F 2018-12-30 at 8.32.39 PM.png
Here are photos of rifle crowns in good condition. The first two views are of a Mosin 91/30 and M44 crown, and the third is a Mauser crown with a barrel with some frost.
photo GGG
IMG_7937 91 30 Mosin crown nice GGG .jpg
photo G
IMG_4376 G  M44 mosin good crown.jpg
photo H Mauser with good crown and some frost in the bore.
Screen Shot H good crownnand decent barrel.png
Screen Shot H good crownnand decent barrel.png (145.77 KiB) Viewed 3846 times
Here is a link to a Midway video on: The Importance of the Muzzle Crown for Accuracy. See this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsg-Yt6t-HM
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#4 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:38 pm

Rifling
I always look at the top of the muzzle to inspect if the rifling extends to the crown or if the rifling has been worn down by the use of segmented, steel cleaning rods. On this next photo of a Mauser, I could not see any rifling extending to the end of the bore. Furthermore, the bore appears a wee bit dark. The crown is in about average condition for a well used VZ 24 Mauser. On this rille, I would have to get out my bore light or a flashlight in order to give it a quick inspection. Actually, after a closer look, it was found that well worn rifling did extend to the crown. I purchased it, and it shoots OK. A good case of “you just never know till you shoot a rifle”. The second screen shot photo shows an example of a bore where the rifling definitely does not extend up to the crown. I would not purchase a rifle with a barrel in this condition.
The final photo is a good example of a K98 Mauser lacking intact rifling. This rifle is something most would not care to purchase as a shooter. The crown has a few small dings. While I own the Mauser, this k98 shoots poorly. When I aim at a central target; it will hit the adjacent target to its left! This was purchased as a parts rifle for its unmolested stock. See the bottom picture M.

photo K VZ 24
IMG_8609  K vz 24 crown average surplus rifle.jpg
photo L
Screen Shot L 2018-12-09 at 3.35.48 PM.png
Screen Shot L 2018-12-09 at 3.35.48 PM.png (306.1 KiB) Viewed 3842 times

photo K98 M
M  K98 with little to no rifling extending to crown & dark bore.jpg
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#5 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:43 pm

Barrel
Fourth, I always inspect the exposed portion of the barrel that is visible above the wood line. I am looking for barrel cracks or more common, slight barrel bulges. Some of these are so slight that they can only be felt by your hand running over the exposed metal of the bore. It is a feel thing. Sometimes you can feel this bulge with your fingernail on the outside of the barrel. You may also want to run a patch down the bore to see if you feel a gap that allows the patch to slip/slid easier all of the sudden. There may also be a release of pressure that you can feel with a very tight patch pushed down the barrel. A barrel bulge can sometimes be observed if you look down the top outside of the barrel. While doing this, also check if the barrel looks straight. Sometimes you cannot feel or see a bulge. Later, during a bore light inspection, clues can be seen inside the bore such as a dark ring that might suggest the location of a barrel bulge. Most of the time this condition is not discovered until after the purchase. It is discovered too late, during the initial disassembly and cleaning process. Here are some photos of a barrel crack and bulges taken from the web. I do not buy rifles in this condition. If I did, it would become a parts rifle. First shown is a photo of a barrel crack. The second photo is one of a Tokarev barrel with a bulge. What follows are two additional views of bulged rifle barrels. One is of a modern hunting rifle. Source of photos is web screen views.
Photo N
Screen Shot  N  crack under wood and bluge.png
Photo O
Screen Shot  O  bulge tokarev barrel.png
Photo P
P  screen shot bulge.jpg
Photo Q
Screen Shot  Q  bulge.png
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#6 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:50 pm

Rust Pits
A fifth condition that can be found after the purchase during the disassembly is the presence of deep rust pits. These are not generally seen on the surface; they are found under the wood on rifles used in the world’s jungles. Wet wood from constant jungle rains causes rust. It can be severe where it has eaten half way into the barrel. Not much can be done to identify this prior to purchase. If you see deep rust pits at the wood line on the outside of the barrel use some caution. It may be a clue to a worse condition under the wood.
photo R
Screen Shot R deep pits use caution.png
Screen Shot R deep pits use caution.png (247.47 KiB) Viewed 3839 times
photo S
Screen Shot  S  very deep pits under wood .png

Muzzle Gauge
Finally, I take my bore gauge and measure how much wear is at the muzzle. I want to find out the degree of wear in some actual empirical measurement. Some also use a throat gauge in the chamber. I don't really worry about TE too much on a bolt action rifle. If it was an M1 Garand, it would be different. Spend your time looking at the general condition of the bore with an emphasis on the muzzle. A barrel with a high TE measurement and a pitted barrel can still shoot fine provided the muzzle crown is still in good condition.

The CMP and Fulton armory sell nice muzzle gauges. The Fulton Armory gauge is a .30 caliber tool calibrated in thousands of an inch which is carefully inserted into the rifle’s muzzle. It should fit snug, but not tight. A good M1 carbine should read 0 if it has a new or like new barrel, if it swallows the gauge you have a counterbored rifle or a poor barrel with lots of muzzle wear. The three pictures below show: the Fulton gauge, its use in the bore of an M1 carbine providing a wear measurement for its muzzle at 0.5, and the gauge in its improvised holder —a red Bic pen tip. This pen holder protects the gauge and I can easily see it on a table due to its red color. You do not want to leave your tiny gauge at the gun show.
photo sss1
Fulton muzzle gaughe SSS1.jpg

photo SSS2
Gauge in M1 carbine  reads .5 SSS2.jpg
photo sss3
maglite and bic pen tip to store gauge sss3.jpg
You have to understand the correct bore size of a new bore if you also use this gauge on a Mosin. A Mosin has a land to land nominal bore diameter of .300" or 7.62mm. So on a like new Mosin barrel the gauge will go up to or over the 3 mark. I have a black sharpie mark to indicate where it indicates a good bore on a Mosin. It is an incorrect gauge for this rifle. Likewise, on a .303 British Enfield, the gauge will insert up to the handle on a new bore because it has a size of .303 inch with the bore diameter measured between the lands as is common practice in Europe. The Fulton muzzle gauge is a .30 caliber gauge. I altered it by adding a ring of packaging tape near the end so it measures beyond 3 thousands of wear on an Enfield. Again an incorrect use of the gauge- but a make-do alteration so I can use it on Mosins and Enfields. Here are the instructions from Fulton armory for its correct use on a .30 caliber barrel:
…insert the the gauge into the muzzle as shown. Read the gauge directly from the side. Observe where the muzzle "falls" on the gauge.
• 0.0 indicates a .300 diameter bore, that is, .30 caliber, new, perfect.
• 0.5 is like new, .3005 caliber. Proper re-crowning will perfect the crown.
• 1.0 is excellent for a used barrel (.301 cal.) Re-crowning should make it like new.
• 1.5 is good (.3015 cal.). Proper re-crowning should make it excellent.
• 2.0 is fair (.302 cal.). Proper re-crowning should make it serviceable.
• 2.5 is poor (.3025 cal.). Proper re-crowning might make it serviceable.
• 3.0 or more is a "bald tire" and is now a British .303 caliber barrel. Replace barrel
Source Fulton Armory
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#7 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:53 pm

Some are not too concerned about an actual number and will use a poor boy’s “bullet test”. People want to know how much muzzle wear is on a rifle. On some rifles like the M1 carbine or M1 Garand cleaning takes place from the muzzle end. This can cause wear to the rifling from the sectional, steel cleaning rod rubbing against the rifling and crown. Over time this damages the muzzle by enlarging its land to land measurements at the muzzle. The rifling can get wore away so smooth that rifling is no longer present at the end of the barrel. If the rifling at the muzzle is really worn, this will certainly effect the barrel’s accuracy.
photo bullet test SSS 5
Screen Shot  bullet tsest SSS5.png

The bullet test is a cheap way to indicate the amount of wear. It can give you a generalization of how bad a bore may be. If you insert a dummy round bullet into the muzzle and it goes in up to the brass case or swallows the entire neck of the case, there is a lot of wear, or it is a counterbore. On a good bore, (you do not know how good?) the bullet should enter the muzzle and stop at some point on the side of the bullet. The trick is how far? Individual plug gages measured by thousands say— .300 through .309 thousands will provide a better feel for the land to land condition at the muzzle. In a like new British or Mosin barrel, the .303 or .304 plug should slip in. The lower photo shows two plug gauges out of a Mauser set of 10. Each gauge increases by .001. These cost approximately $100 a set. You can also get different sets. I also have an Enfield set of 10 plug gauges.
plug gauge photo sss4
Mauser plug gauges  SSS4.jpg
I don’t like the poor boy "bullet test" as each bullet is going to be slightly different in diameter when using different ammunition or a dummy round. The only true way to gauge/determine how worn the muzzle is, is to use an actual muzzle or plug gauge made of hardened steel that has accurate increments shown on the tool.
Here are links to a muzzle gauge and a TE gauge:
https://www.fulton-armory.com/muzzlewea ... bores.aspx
https://www.brownells.com/aspx/search/p ... &source=ir
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#8 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:03 pm

The Bore Inspection. What are the details to look for or view in the barrel?

Next I want to show some photos of the general conditions associated with specific terms such as: a new, a bad, an average, a dark, a frosted barrel, and a polished barrel. We have seen what a new barrel looks like. Here is a photo of a Finnish M 39 Mosin with a new bore. This is one sweet barrel! A Winner.
Finnish Mosin photo T
Finnish mosin T  new bore  copy.png
Looking at a drastic contrast, here is a view of a “sewer pipe” bore, it is a view of my Krag drill rifle’s bore. Not a great shooter and a nightmare to clean.
Krag photo U
IMG_3848 U  drillkrag poor bore copy.jpg
IMG_3848 U drillkrag poor bore copy.jpg (20.94 KiB) Viewed 3835 times
So what does an average bore on a well used Milsurp look like that still shoots fine? Here is a view of a 98/22 Czech Mauser. This is a great shooter.
98/22 photo V
Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 9.00.56 PM.png


Here is another view of an average condition bore on a Mauser. This one has well rounded lands, no sharp edges, yet it shoots fine at 100 yards.
Mauser photo W
2 copy  W mauser average bore some wear rounded.jpg


What follows are two views of what one can consider average bores found on Mosin Nagant M44 rifles. This photo is of a M44 Mosin with good rifling, but it has some light rust spots in the bore.
Mosin photo X
X  91 30 average bore some rust.jpg
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#9 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:14 pm

This next photo listed below is another example of an average bore on a 91/30 Mosin, it is somewhat dark, but has no rust and is an excellent shooter.
Mosin photo Y
IMG_7961  Y Mosin  average bore.jpg

As a contrast, here is an additional photo of a poor bore showing well rounded lands, it is what I would consider a dark bore exhibiting rust and pitting. The second close up is of an Argentine Mauser’s poor barrel and crown with rust and eroded rifling. Hardly any rifling is intact at the muzzle of this specimen. Source: https://www.ar15.com/forums/armory/Is_m ... /2-352931/
photo AA
08  poor bore AA .png
08 poor bore AA .png (187.38 KiB) Viewed 3835 times
Argentine Photo BB
Screen Shot Argentine Mauser BB.png
Screen Shot Argentine Mauser BB.png (176.78 KiB) Viewed 3835 times
Next is a photo of a clean bore with well rounded rifling, but it has a specific condition referred to as a “frost.” The definition of frost may be stated as having some discoloration or "frosting" of the surface of the steel. It is not heavily pitted, it is not rusty, it is not smooth & shiny, but has a mottled look. The barrel exhibits a mild surface roughness to its surface. It is not a deal killer. I have found such well worn, frosty, barrels to shoot well.
Here is an interesting article showing the target hits by Mosin rifles with different bore conditions; its title is: Impact of Bore Condition on Accuracy of a Military Surplus Rifle. The source is PreciseShooter.com.
This article is found in their reference Library under Range Reports and the title (Impact of Bore Condition on Accuracy of a Military Surplus Rifle). Here is the link:
https://www.preciseshooter.com/blog/Bor ... uracy.aspx

Additional information discussing pistol accuracy is found in, Does a rough bore mean poor accuracy? by Brad Miller 2016, Shooting Times. Link :
https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial ... racy/99084#

Here is a reference photo showing an old pistol bore verses a good pistol bore referenced from the above source (Shooting Times).
photo DD
DD   Screen Shot tshooting times source.png
This is a view of my new PhP MV17 pistol barrel.
photo DD 1
new bore PhP MV 17 DD1.JPG
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
Firearm Fanatic
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Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:28 pm
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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#10 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:21 pm

Polish
Most will polish a dull/dark chamber on a milsurp rifle, a few might polish a rough bore. Some use JB bore paste, Comet cleanser, while others use lapping compound to achieve a mirror bright chamber or bore. Polishing a chamber is good. Polishing a bore can/may improve accuracy, but I have never attempted it. I would rather just buy a specimen with a decent bore to start with. Find the best rifle you can afford, unless you like tinkering on them. Anything you put down your bore from a patch, steel brush, brass brush or nylon brush with some abrasive material, has an effect of removing some amount of metal through the polishing. Removal of imperfections to obtain a shiny or uniform surface in the bore has a tendency to round over the rifling and smooth down the edges of the pits. Whether the rifle accuracy will benefit from a polish is a risk. The bore will be easier to clean because the pit craters are smoothed over. How it shoots depends on how aggressive the polish or lapping is. Who knows? If I am purchasing a rifle, I generally avoid super, mirror bright, highly polished bores with well rounded rifling as shown in the lower photo:
photo EE
polished bore EE .png
At least this example shown in the above photo still has some rifling and most likely will hit a target. Others I have seen, have been polished so much it is difficult to see its rifling. Polished too oblivion is not good. I would avoid such a specimen. For me, barrel life is judged in empirical observations: the best bet is to shoot the rifle before and after and see if the groups get larger and larger or smaller as one polishes a bore. With any rifle, as bore wear get worse, the groups get larger and larger over time. Barrel life is measured by the number of shots, the manner in which it is cleaned or not cleaned, and the climate or conditions it is used or stored in.

There are a few other inner barrel attributes that indicate a damaged bore. During my bore light inspection, I look for dings or gouges in barrel, isolated sections exhibiting deep pits or missing exfoliated rifling, and erosion rings. Here are three photos: the first showing deep barrel pits, the second showing a gouge, and the third showing an erosion ring.
photo FF deep pits
Screen Shot  FF  deep pits lands erosion eaten away .png
photo GG gouge
Screen Shot  GG 2018-12-24 at 11.13.05 AM.png
Screen Shot GG 2018-12-24 at 11.13.05 AM.png (126.52 KiB) Viewed 3831 times
photo HH erosion ring
erosion ring  HH.jpeg
erosion ring HH.jpeg (7.83 KiB) Viewed 3831 times
source all 5 of these are screen shot from the web


Disintegrating bore phenomena
One thing to watch out for is a barrel that is dark and dirty, but looks like a average barrel with rifling. Just a dark, even, nice bore with rifling. It exhibits a bore that appears to have fired 100 rounds that day and was put away dirty. Some dealers have old military rifles with such dirty looking barrels. The Problem, and this is a big PROBLEM, the rifle may have been sitting in some overseas arsenal or Legion building not cleaned for years, or they are already know as having a pitted bore and the dealer is masking its condition because he knows it's a garbage bore. He fired a few rounds in it to dirty it up. If you buy it "because it will clean up fine" :lol: :lol: :snooty: :snooty: you can end up with a dog due to poor long term storage, or poor sales practices to hide a bores true condition. Buy it & Clean it up and the barrel turns out to be a sewer pipe with heavy frost, or has worse-- deep pits or exfoliating, crumbling rifling due to corrosive ammo in barrel that was never cleaned and set stock piled for years in some arsenal. An honest dealer/seller will have a clean bore for the best sale- if not buyer beware.


Summary
What do I look for in a barrel when purchasing a milsurp rifle?

A clean bore so it can be inspected
No barrel bore internal damages
No counterbore
No bulges or deep rust pits on the outside of the barrel
Sharp, crisp and distinct land and grooves in the rifling
Rifling extending to the crown
A good crown
A bore with a good muzzle gauge reading
A mirror like chamber lacking dings along edges of the chamber
A barrel that has not been cut/shortened from its original length
An original barrel with proper markings- not a replacement

And finally, something I did not discuss. A rifle that passes a FIELD headspace test with the barrel that matches its bolt. In addition, I like original chambering, not some re-chambered/rebuilt gunsmith or importer special. In a perfect world, I desire a non-import marked specimen. If the milsurp has an import mark, I’d rather have a tiny one on the barrel than a huge, billboard like import mark on the receiver. Finally, I want original military configuration. However, this may not always be the case when it comes to specific specimens like a Norwegian K98 or Israeli K98. For a review of all the attributes I consider when looking for a milsurp please review my 29 Nov 2018 post: Buying my first surplus rifle, what to look for.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2911#p17902
Buying first surplus rifle, what to look for
Edit Report Quote
Post by 72 usmc » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:39 pm

Things to look for while at a gun show or store prior to purchase if you do not take the rifle for a safety check to a qualified gunsmith. This is a repost of my former lost post in the old forum. Updated. It contains some important information that one may find useful, especially since surplus rifle prices have gone nuts.

What you will pay a gunsmith is twice the cost of a field gauge and muzzle gauge. As you gain more experience you will be your own gunsmith. Things to look for when buying or after you purchased a surplus rifle. My 2 cents worth of info.
Most gunsmiths have a dislike for old surplus junk--lots of attitude. A few of the old school are true artists and craftsmen that love antique firearms. You really need to know your smith. Another source : Find an old fart at your range that is shooting military rifles and they got the knowledge and gauges; most will be more than happy to help. Most will talk your ears off. :shifty:

1 Check for matching numbers-is the bolt matching to the receiver. Look for force matched, renumbered bolts- do the fonts match ? Was it reground and renumbered to match at an arsenal rebuild, or by someone faking a matched bolt? Certainly, a rifle to look at with more caution if ground & renumbered. This one I would headspace. But, if it's a factory match :arrow: :arrow: this is the best bet for a rifle that is going to headspace. A true matching bolt may make it more shootable and all numbers matching more collectible, but still does not guarantee head spacing is correct. I invest in a field gauge (Midway and Brownells carry them). IF THE BOLT DOES NOT MATCH, then pay special attention to its movement in the rifle, and headspace just to be sure, because you just never know if it's out of spec.

2 Have a field gauge for every firearm you collect or plan to buy. Especially, if they are in the $500-1500 ball park. This is mainly for the old bolt actions. Always ask to inspect a rifle or pick it up. Tell the seller you are serious, but need to look it over. Check the head space. If he say no, leave it on the table. With a military rifle it is best to use the military gauge not a SAAMI gauge. A rifle can fail on a SAAMI gauge and still headspace on a military gauge. Remember you really only need a field gauge so you do not buy a useless dog. You just do not want a bolt action that fails the field reject gauge.
At a gun show I check old military rifles with the coin gauge unless it is a non rimmed cartridge and use only the field reject gauge. If it's bad, it stays on the table. If it passes, I take my treasure home and clean it then check it with a No Go and Field reject. I have both gauges for all the old junk military stuff I mess with. Many a time I saved myself from a good screwing from a dealer by checking the rifle before buying. Especially M1 carbines, US Enfields 1917, British Enfields, Arisakas, Turk mausers, 98/22s, GEW 98s, and Vz 24 Mausers. But RC K98 Mausers, the new Yugo rebuilt mausers, K31s, Berthiers, the French Mas, and the Mosins always seem to headspace.

3 Check to see if all the serial numbers match on the firearm. Also if import marks are present or not--- a big price difference!
Check the size and placement of the import mark. Big import marks are nasty, this seems to be the new trend. Prior to 1968 few firearms had the standard import mark other than a country of origin stamp like "England". Post 1968 import marks contain specific info. and are generally as small as possible and found most likely on the barrel or at the wood line on a receiver. Some are so tiny they are hard to find. Later import marks are larger and can be on the barrel, frame, or receiver- most are stamped. Around 2002 the Feds made a requirement that the import mark should be conspicuous and at least a specific size. Hence, there appeared large or even huge, bill board like import marks on the receiver. Some so large they would not fit on a barrel. These are dot matrix stamped or laser etched and worse, some may have all sorts of white markings and logos plastered all over the rifle.

In my opinion, for value, no import mark is best. It is better to have a smaller early mark on the rifle's barrel than a huge nasty billboard mark on the receiver. Now, watch out for removed import marks. Generally the early, tiny import marks on the barrel are removed to obtain a higher price. For example, a matching K98 with an import mark is less value than a bring back, matching K98 without the import mark. Remove the import mark and you have a faked bring back sold at top buck. :doh: :lol:. Always something to watch out for on non import marked firearms--- REMOVED MARKS. Some even add faked stamps and markings. Buyer beware.

4 Check the bore for strong rifling, make sure it is clean or the seller may be trying to hide something, is there dirt, pits, rust, dark metal, muzzle damage, counter bores, does the rifling appear strong up to the muzzle, or is it worn away or has sections of rifling missing. Is the barrel plugged??
Check the chamber for burrs or dings. The chamber should be mirror bright, smooth, and no uneven pits or scratches. Be sure the barrel is clean, if not, it's a crap shoot as to what you will get condition wise and the seller is hiding something. A clean good bore will always get top buck. If dirty, assume it's junk or in poor condition. Some shops do not know how to clean a rifle or sell it as found. At a honest pawn shop they generally let you run a patch down the bore just to get a sale. Bring a small cleaning rod, bore light and magnifier glass. I dislike counter bores-avoid them. LOOK for matching parts, make sure the barrel is correct for the make and year.

Always check the bore for deep pits, cracks, pressure bulges and muzzle wear. Pull the bolt and look down the barrel, then use a bore light and see what you are dealing with condition wise. If you have a way to check for throat erosion and muzzle erosion, check that with your gauges. Be sure to gauge the amount OF MUZZLE WEAR. Check the crown for nicks or erosion of the rifling at the end of the bore. If you are serious about the firearm and the seller will not let you give it a good look-over ( they will not allow disassembly ) leave it sit on the table. Be sure he knows you want the firearm, they do not like the cheepos or non serious people to handle or damage an expensive weapon.

5 Check the bolt.
Look for hairline cracks on the bolt, extractor, or inside chamber. Look the bolt head over with care for cracks. Does the serial number on the bolt head match if serialized? Some bolt heads have size numbers not serial numbers. Know if the rifle has a removable bolt head so headspace can easily be fixed/adjusted, or if the entire bolt body must be replaced if it's out of headspace. This is a large cost factor in the repair if you find a jewel that is out of headspace and you wish to make repairs. Replace just a bolt head or the entire bolt? Problems arise, replace the bolt body and its serial number most likely no longer matches the rifle. Some just grind off the original number and restamp the replacement bolt with the wrong font. Now you really decreased its value as a collector's weapon. Is that OK to you- you just spent money to lessen its value? But as a shooter, maybe you do not care,---it's now a functional safe weapon to shoot. Others may really dump in tons of money to maintain the original bolt and have the gunsmith remove and set the barrel back, ream, and re headspace the rifle like new. Yahoo done right, butat a big cost $$$$$ :doh:
GO ORIGINAL. Avoid rechambered sporters or gun smith conversions. Look at the bolt face for an erosion ring and be sure the firing pin hole is still round. Check the action movement, it should be smooth, not tight when the bolt is locked. If miss matched, does the bolt close down with ease? Movement smooth- back & forth? Check the follower spring. Does it seem OK and return to the top? On some rifles the bolt is designed to catch on the end of the follower to let you know in the heat of battle you are empty. Look at the bolt lugs for wear and are they even or really badly worn? Make sure the firing pin is present and not cut. Ask if you can dry fire the weapon to get the feel for a crisp striker spring. BE SURE TO ASK. THIS IS A NO NO TO MOST untill you buy it.

6 GO ORIGINAL. No refinished stock, reblue, or parts gun. Look for cracks in the stock. Look for glue repairs or duffle cut repairs that might be poorly done. Are arsenal repairs present? In my book that is OK and better than a home boy, sloppy, incorrect glue job. Try to get a stock that has cartouches correct for the rifle. Look at the cleaning rod and sling to be sure it is correct. Does the cleaning rod still screw in, or is it the wrong threads, or worse--cut short. It may actually be an incorrect, rod. It is common to be missing or have an incorrect original rod. Better missing than a replacement, reproduction cleaning rod. LOOK FOR STOCK CRACKS. Look at the tang area at the rear top of the stock or at the wrist for the first sign of cracks. Look for rust pits at the wood line. look at the hand guards for tiny cracks.

7 Look at the finish on the parts, the markings, the wear patterns, and the color tones. Wear patterns and color tone should match or it's a mix master. See if the screws are buggered up or intact. Are the screws new replacements? Are some sections of the metal reblued and do not match? Think patina? Is the patina correct on the metal and wood. Or does the stock look to new for the wear showing on the metal? In contrast, likewise, does the stock look too beat for the new looking metal? What parts may have been switched? Hence, you no longer have a matching collectible. Rust & patina should be uniform not just on a few screws, but all. Is the surface tone & patina similar on the bands?

8 Do not be in a hurry to buy, many different rifles will be at large shows. Always buy the best condition/matching specimen you can afford. It will increase in value. BUT, if you see or find a BRING BACK. Sell the kids or dog. Buy it. All matching military rifles are rare birds. They may have the sling, bayonet and paperwork.

9 On expensive firearms, watch out for put together matching firearms with different wear patterns and color tones to their parts. Some people try to pass off all correct part rifles as original bring backs. In reality they are mix masters that have been reassembled with correct parts or reproduction parts. Remember wear patterns & finish. Get the feel for correct parts vs reproduction parts. Think Patina!

10 Watch out for FAKE reproduction parts on firearms at gun shows. Watch out for reproduction bayonets and cleaning rods. Watch out for fresh reproduced stock cartouches on US weapons, fake stamps and markings on German weapons. There are lots of fake stamps on the market to increase the value and hump a firearm. Watch out for reproduction slings and cleaning rods aged to look old. If the deal sounds too good, use caution. Research and seeing many examples helps one to know & realize the faked firearm.

11 After you buy it, detail strip the rifle in order to look for dangerous situations such as a demilled rifle with a hole in the barrel under the wood. A hair line crack in the bore, or bluge in the barrel under the wood. Strip down and Clean The Bolt and be sure it is complete. Make sure there are no rewelds or miss matched barrels. Any structural weakness in the stock not observed, cracks? filler? Reassemble the rifle, grease & oil it. No oil in the chamber or barrel.

12 Be sure you know the correct caliber and have the correct ammunition. Use a dummy round ( not a live round) and see how it chambers and extracts. See the fit and if the follower spring is good and the bolt is picking up the cartridge and feeding it into the chamber. A rifle can work ok without a round , but place a dummy in and then some minor problem may show up in its smooth operation. The use of the dummy round will allow you to work tha action at home prior to the range visit. You DO NOT WANT A LIVE ROUND accidently firing in the house. Watch out for unmarked rechambered rifles- that round you think is correct, may be incorrect due to a rechamber. A dummy will allow you to see if it's a correct cartridge. Take the rifle out to the range and fire one round from the hip to see if it fires. Or if one is really uncertain, then fire it in a set of tires with a string and see if it blows. Check the fired cartridge. Read the cartridge for cracks, bluges, soot blackened brass, backed out or flattened primers, or deep extractor jaw marks at the base. Did a fired cartridge extract smoothly, any gas blow back? Is the bolt hard to open on a fired cartridge?

13 Watch out for drill rifles or school cadet rifles, most should not be fired. Watch out for welded inactivated rifles or rifles with holes drilled into the receiver of barrel so it can not be fired.

14 Buy a copy of Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles by Paul S Scarlata and read the introduction twice: "Caveat Emptor Let the buyer beware".
Buy a copy of Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World by Stuart Mowbray and Joe Puleo Read it as if a bible. You just did more than a gunsmith will do. This book provides fantastic photographic details of the metal markings and stock cartouches one should look for on an intact, non refinished rifle. After reading it, you will know what attributes to search out on a particular model--- to be sure you are getting the best of the best specimen.

15 It is always wise to error on the side of caution, You can take it to a gunsmith, but ( you will have to tell the smith what you want done, ie. clean, total take down, headspace, gauge throat and muzzle, replace springs??? ---and the cost goes up, up, and away. ) I headspace because I still value what eyesight and hearing I have left. Others see this as not necessary.

16 A Harsh comment, but do not assume anything! Use caution, I assume most dealers are out to screw you. If the bore is dirty and it's most likely not going to clean up or the dealer would have cleaned it for top buck. Do not fall for the "it will clean up fine". If they do not allow a headspace, they know it will fail.
Read the seller, are they a dishonest dealer, someone with hot stuff out of a trunk, or a wife or family member selling off a collection they know nothing about.
Most table guns at a show will have a clean bore or a bore with lint in it from storage. Most sellers will allow a reasonable inspection. Most will not allow any sort of parts removal or disassembly. Most would allow you to headspace for their own information. Some even have the bore gauge size, ammo type, and if it is matching and if it has been headspaced written on the information/price tag. Some stores have a specific time for returns/inspection period. Get to know dealers at gun shows- most are honest. BUT a few are dogs.
You can also read this excellent write up from Tread: Quick Inspection of Milsurp Rifles by Noah Zark, 2011, Milsurps forum.
Link.
https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=30219
Quick Inspection of Milsurp Rifles
I'm the same "Noah Zark" as at many of the major firearms forums and message boards. I joined here a couple years ago and have mostly lurked since, reading forums and articles in the Knowledge Libraryicon. This site is a great source of information for the milsurp collector.


Here's a piece on inspection of milsurp rifles that I put together for another site several years ago, based on almost 40 years of interest in military small arms. The following is intended to help the milsurp enthusiast who is interested in doing a quick "triage" check of weapons for possible purchase. The following "works for me" when needing to quickly sort through a number of milsurps of interest, and your opinion and practice may vary.

First, put together the following kit for your shoulder bag:

Small flashlight; Mini Maglite or one of the Streamlight Stylus pen lights are fine. You do NOT need a traditional borelight, IMO and experience; more about that in a minute.

Magnifying glass or a pair of cheap "cheater" reading glasses, about +1.75 to +2.50 diopter (magnification). These are a must if you are over 40 - 45 years of age anyway.

Sectional cleaning rod and patches for 22 cal. (for a quick pass thru a bore to remove preservative turds, dust, spiders, etc.). I suggest a 22 cal rod because it can be used for anything up to and including .577 if need be.

Paper towels (to wipe down an excessively preserved rifle before transporting in your vehicle)

Wet wipes in a ziploc bag or travel-size package (to clean preservative off your hands)

Small scissors or sharp pocketknife (to cut patches smaller)

A "milspec" cartridge for each of the rifles they you expect to examine, preferally a dummy, but not necessary. A milsurp round is ideal. This is for "quick and dirty" gauging the muzzle of the barrel and the rifling.

Optional: Headspace gages if you are serious about collecting/shooting and can afford them.

As with any used firearm, particularly milsurps, examine the following:

Open the action and verify that no round is chambered and that the magazine is empty.

Does the S/N on the bolt handle match that of the receiver, and preferably in the same stamping font? For a rimless cartridge-firing rifle that headspaces on the case shoulder, it usually is a plus for the original bolt to be present. Note that for rifles chambered for rimmed cases like the 303 Britishicon and the 7.62x54, the cartridge headspaces on the rim and matched bolts are not as big a factor. For shooter purposes, electropencil "forced-match" S/Ns are generally acceptable.

Look closely at the muzzle crown. It helps to shine a flashlight directly on the crown, and to use your magnifier glasses for viewing. Are the lands sharply defined, or are they rounded, or are they even present? Taking your "milspec" cartridge (ask permission first) and insert the bullet end of the cartridge into the muzzle. As a rule, there should be between 1/8" and 1/4" of bullet jacket showing between the end of the barrel and the cartridge case mouth. If the bullet disappears all the way into the muzzle with the case mouth resting on the crown, either the rifling is gone or the bore was counterbored. The latter is not necessarily a bad thing, but if there is no counterbore the rifling is gone at the muzzle and the weapon will likely "pattern" when fired. I don't even look through the bore without checking the crown and muzzle condition first, because if the rifling at the muzzle is gone, the rifle under inspection goes back to the seller's rack. (IMO, I follow Col Townsend Whelen's motto: "Only accurate rifles are interesting." I shoot what I own, and if there are indications that a particular rifle under consideration will not shoot without expensive remedy, it goes back in the rack or on the table without a second thought. IMO, functionality and accuracy trumps "correctness." I'd much rather have a postwar M1icon Rifle with a bore testing to a 0 or 1 MW and less importantly a TE of 3 or less than a "correct" WWII issue M1 Rifle with a shot-out sewer pipe. I want to "put the miles" on my guns, and not own something for the sake of ownership that's had all the miles put on by others. JMO, YMMV.)

Shoulder the rifle and sight it. Are the sights "plumb" (vertical) with the rifle held as vertically as you can? Are the sights/sight inserts tight, or is there sideplay of the front insert or the rear sight leaf? Is the front or rear sight offset drastically to either side? This may not mean that there is a problem, but it might indicate that the barrel is not in time, sights are not aligned, or that the barrel is bent. It could also e something as simple as a sight insert getting "bumped" during handling. At any rate, I personally find offset sight inserts to be annoying and usually avoid buying a rifle with offset sights.

Set the butt on the floor or on your shoe top and sight it from the muzzle end, paying attention to the radial position of the front and rear sights. Do the sights appear to be aligned to each other and to the receiver? (This is particularly useful for AK47 and AKM clones and rebuilt/rearsenaled boltguns) Is the front sight drifted in its dovetail excessively one way or the other? This may not be a bad thing, and although the rifle may shoot to POA with cocked sights I personally find excessively drifted sights to be annoying as mentioned above.

If the rifle passes so far, open the bolt and with the butt resting on the floor or your shoe, shine the flashlight beam directly on the boltface. This will reflect light up the bore, but not so much that it will be blinding. I find the traditional borelight with the curved plastic lens tube to be too bright and the brightness often overpowers getting a good look at the lands and grooves the full length of the barrel. Look for sharpness of the rifling lands, rust, frosted appearance, etc. Ask the dealer or owner if you can run a dry patch through the bore. If they say yes, remove the bolt (if possible) and clean from the breech. Place a paper towel on the table or floor so that it will catch any debris expelled by the patch. Orange/brown on the patch might signify either preservative or rust, and if it feels dry and gritty it may likely be rust. Greasy means preservative, especially if you pushed out a big preservative turd. Check the more again. Dark bores do not mean bad shooters; look for sharp rifling all the way to the muzzle, and do the bullet depth check on the muzzle as outlined above.

With the bolt removed if possible, shine the light into the chamber and check for scratches or gouges. Burnish marks are no problem; deep gouges will likely cause difficult chambering and most certainly difficult if not impossible extraction due to case walls expanding into the gouges and "locking" the case to the chamber. Set the rifle down and walk on if there are deep gouges in the chamber.

Check the small parts for marks or serial numbers. For example, when checking No 4 Enfields made by Savage, the more metal bits that have a blocky "S" stamped thereon the closer it is to original condition. Similarly, the 96 Swede Mauser has about 15 or 17 different parts that have the S/N or the last three digits of the S/N stamped thereon. All matching is not necessary to be a good shooter, but it helps for collector value purposes if you change your mind or interests a year from now and go to sell the weapon. The Swedishicon M38 did not have all the same metal bits stamped with the last three digits of the S/N the way the M96 did.

Speaking about Swedish Mausers, the brass stock disc on Swedish Mausers indicated the bore diameter (a triangle stamped over a 6.5 -something number), the corrosion/erosion state of the bore (a triangle over a 1 - little wear or corrosion, 2 - some wear or corrosion, or 3 - worst condition but still acceptable, or no triangle at all - best condition, no wear or rust). I've fired Swedes with a "3" bore and they still were 1.5 MOA or under.

On M1 Rifles, rotate the elevation and windage knobs. There should be definite resistance to rotation with sharp, distinct clicks. If not, take a screwdriver or coin and tighten the screw on the T105 sight slightly and see if that tightens the knobs. If not, the serrations in the receiver could be worn, and although there are repair washers, I do not like them.

Also on M1 Rifles, check to see that there is little or no sideplay in the rear sight insert. Sometimes it's a poor-fitting rear sight cover, sometimes it's wear to the rear sight insert ways. This can be tightened up, but don't expect decent accuracy with a loose rear sight insert.

Unlatch the triggerguard on an M1 Rifle and relatch it. There should be some resistance to closing when the tab end of the triggerguard is approximately 1/2" to 3/4" away from latching. If the TG snaps in place without resistance, the stock wood is likely compressed and accuracy and functionality may be compromised. The existing stock can be shimmed or have "pillars" installed to retighten the clamping effect of the trigger housing, or a new stock can be purchased; these repairs need to be taken into account when considering the purchase.

Check the stock and handguards over for cracks. Mosin-Nagants are prone to cracks on either side of the receiver tang, and often show repair blocks. This doesn't affect shooting, but it is not unusual. Unrepaired cracks might mean the purchase of a replacement stock in the future, and that means that the total cost of the rifle is actually higher than say another example on the same table.

Examine the blueing or phosphating (Parkerizing) on the metal parts, and look for any areas that are brighter, smoother, or a different color as compared to surrounding areas. This would indicate a refinish at some point. No biggie for a rearsenaled Mosin or the like, but a show stopper if it is a high-buck rare milsurp that you are looking at. Likewise, look at the interface between the barrel/receiver and the stock where visible, and examine for rust or pitting.

Assuming that you have headspace gauges and know the proper procedure for using them, and that the dealer/owner gives permission, check the headspace. There are many opinions as to which "one" gauge to buy, and IMO you should get a FIELD gage as that represents the "outer limit" for shootability. If you can afford two, get a GO and a FIELD, as that will define the entire envelope for "shootability." Your opinion may vary; this is a suggestion. If the bolt and receiver match for S/N, chances are the headspeace will be fine, but it's still best to check if possible.

Finally, but probably most importantly, do some homework first and know something about your intended firearms of interest. You may just run across that extremely rare piece of which the seller is not aware.

Hope this helps,

Noah
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon May 13, 2019 7:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#11 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:27 pm

PART 3 Photos of Rifle Bores. EXAMPLES

If members have examples of other rifles not shown, please take two views of their bores and add them to this data base. My photos are of bolt action WW I and WW II rifles. I am not fascinated by the newer semi auto rifles, so some pictures of their bores would be a nice addition to have. Each example should identify the rifle and show 1 or 2 photos of its bore. All pictures will be posted through the forum method with a limit of 5 pictures per post. There will be a great number of posts, but the photographic record should stay in place since no secondary photo host is used.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#12 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:38 pm

First is a Mannlicher M95 in 50 R Pictures will be below the description in all examples.
M95 carbine 50r  3.jpg
M95  carbine 50 R .jpg


Next is another Mannlicher M95 carbine in 56R
M95  budapest good bore .56 R.jpg

Here is my Ex-Legion, burial ceremony Krag used with blanks and not cleaned to often :naughty: It does not shoot worth a ....
IMG_3849 drill krag poor bore2.jpg
IMG_3848 drillkrag poor bore.JPG
IMG_3848 drillkrag poor bore.JPG (20.94 KiB) Viewed 3825 times
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#13 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:42 pm

Here is a nice French Mas 36.
MAS 36 av bore.jpg
Mas 36 av bore 2.jpg






Here is a French Berthier.
berthier barrel .jpg
berthier nice barrel.jpg
berthier nice barrel.jpg (48.71 KiB) Viewed 3822 times
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#14 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:48 pm

Here is A Swiss K 31 with like new bore.
IK 31 swiss 2.jpg
K31 swiss .jpg



Here is a Italian Carcano cavalry 6.5
carcano cavalry carbine.jpg
Cavarly carcano carbine.jpg
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: RIFLE BORE PHOTO GUIDE

#15 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:53 pm

Here are some Japanese rifles, first a type 38 two different rifles examples.
IType 38 2 great bore.jpg
Type 38 .jpg
type 38.jpg

Here is a type 99. Chrome lined bore indicated by the shiny ring at the muzzle.
Type 99.jpg
type 99 2.jpg
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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