Predicting Barrel Wear, Part Two

More indicators to help assess and prevent barrel wear.

by Joe Carlos

We’ll start with pitting and cleaning rod damage. In the decade plus that I was the armorer for the Army Reserve Shooting Team I replaced about as many barrels that were damaged by rough or improper cleaning or pitted due to neglect on the part of the shooter as barrels that were genuinely worn out. I replaced a lot of pitted barrels. Some folks are under the impression that they can “bullet proof” themselves from pitting by substituting stainless barrels in place of chrome molly barrels. Granted, stainless is more corrosion resistant than carbon steel but stainless is not corrosion proof. I have seen many stainless barrels ruined by pitting.

Pitting results when corroded barrels are not attended to for a prolonged period. Corrosion often results when the owner fails to clean his bore after a shooting session and the problem will be exacerbated if such a firearm is stored in a moist environment even for a short period of time. If you store your firearms in a gun safe make sure it has a good dehumidifying rod. Small amounts of pitting are sometimes not fatal in most sections of the bore. The exception is the muzzle and crown area where even minimal pitting will usually ruin the barrel.

Read more in our July 2014 issue. Back issues are available.

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