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Old 12-06-2020, 03:44 PM
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Default Rifling forward of the forcing cone shot out

While cleaning my 627-2 I noticed that the rifling in front of the forcing cone seemed worn smooth!! The rifling appears good when looking down the muzzle with light in the forcing cone. I have checked my other guns and they have distinct rifling starting at the forcing cone. I tried to take some photos and may try to upload them if someone wants to look. I have noticed I have not been shooting as well as I used to, but have pretty much figured it was an age thing.

I have been shooting jacketed 130 grain .38 Special ammunition in this gun for probably 20 years to the tune of maybe 50,000 rounds. Plus a lot of .38 lead bullets. I have a hard time believing my eyes that it could be shot out.

I have another 627-2 just 42 serail numbers later that clearly displays rifling at and forward of the forcing cone. It has been my backup and has not been used much at all. It seems to shoot a bit better, when I shot it las week.

The question is "What do I do now?" Is the barrel still good? Send it back to the factory for a new barrel? If they have any?
Has anyone shot out a Smith barrel?
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:33 PM
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You have to shoot A LOT to shoot the rifling out of a pistol barrel. I would say if it does not affect the accuracy don't sweat it. If it does it is not very expensive to have a new barrel installed. I don't know what a new barrel would cost. Shoot the two guns side by side with the same ammo and compare results. Maybe have somebody else do so as well. Make a decision from there.
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:48 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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Sounds to me like you may have lead buildup in the rifling. I would clean it with a Lewis Lead Remover tool. I bet the rifling will magically reappear. If it does, the gun will also shoot a lot better groups.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:02 PM
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How's accuracy?

"If it ain't broke...".
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:05 PM
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Like stated above it very well could be lead in the groves. That was my first though when I read your post and then you said you have shot lead bullets in it so there is a very good chance that is why it looks smooth.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:22 PM
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I agree that the first step should be a good cleaning, specifically to remove any accumulated leading in the forcing cone area. Routine cleaning with solvents and brushes can polish the surface of leading deposits rather than cutting through the leading to the steel. I would try a new bronze brush applied dry for a couple of dozen strokes, then examine the forcing cone to see the results. The Lewis Lead Remover, Chore Boy, or 0000-steel wool wrapped around a worn bore brush can also be very effective in cutting through leading deposits (and will not harm the steel or the finish).

Swaged lead bullets are nearly pure lead. Cast bullets typically are lead alloys containing tin and antimony. Plain base bullets are exposed to the high temperatures of expanding powder gases, and this can cause transfers of molten bullet metal to the forcing cone. Friction of the bullet passing through the forcing cone can cause heat sufficient to transfer bullet metal to the steel. All of these events are similar in nature to applying solder to steel.
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:19 AM
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First thing to do is to thoroughly clean the barrel, especially the forcing cone area. Buy a Lewis Lead Remover and follow the instructions. If you do not want to invest in a Lewis Lead Remover, then buy some pure copper Chore Boy pot scrubbers. Don't buy the cheaper, knock-off brands as many of those are copper plated steel. Cut a piece of that Chore Boy scrubber and wrap it around a bronze bore bush. Use this with a dry bore and see if it starts stripping away a lead build up.


If the forcing cone actually is eroded, there are two solutions. Overbore the barrel and insert a liner or have the barrel replaced. Neither of these options is particularly cheap and neither is a DIY project unless you have the equipment and skills.
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Old 12-07-2020, 09:20 AM
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I once had a used model 66 (bought sight unseen, online) where the rear barrel was truly worn smooth, but there were plenty of other signs of very heavy use, probably with full .357s.

From what you describe I would agree with the above posts about a leading issue; I doubt even very frequent .38 Special use would cause what you see. Please let us know what you find after a good scrubbing.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:20 AM
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Time to bring the back up , gun #2 , out and start using it .
Retire gun #1 to the back up role .

After so many rounds and so much shooting it might be time for a re-build . They don't last forever !

I would consider having S&W do the work ... call them and see what they say about an overhaul .
I live in Louisiana so would get Clark Custom Guns to do the work , I can drive there to deliver and pick up... no postage and they have rebuilt a gun or two .
Gary
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightowl View Post
While cleaning my 627-2 I noticed that the rifling in front of the forcing cone seemed worn smooth!! The rifling appears good when looking down the muzzle with light in the forcing cone. I have checked my other guns and they have distinct rifling starting at the forcing cone. I tried to take some photos and may try to upload them if someone wants to look. I have noticed I have not been shooting as well as I used to, but have pretty much figured it was an age thing.

I have been shooting jacketed 130 grain .38 Special ammunition in this gun for probably 20 years to the tune of maybe 50,000 rounds. Plus a lot of .38 lead bullets. I have a hard time believing my eyes that it could be shot out.

I have another 627-2 just 42 serail numbers later that clearly displays rifling at and forward of the forcing cone. It has been my backup and has not been used much at all. It seems to shoot a bit better, when I shot it las week.

The question is "What do I do now?" Is the barrel still good? Send it back to the factory for a new barrel? If they have any?
Has anyone shot out a Smith barrel?
Let me start off with the bottom line first. If your Revolver is still accurate and reliable, do nothing! The rifling just forward of the forcing cone is the least important while the rifling at the muzzle is of utmost importance. The last thing that touches the projectile will determine how true it flies.

I understand that 50,000 jacketed rounds is a lot, however the rifling might have been a bit light in that area to begin with - we'll never know now.

Just for S&G's, you could try cleaning the bore with a chemical copper solvent. Follow the directions carefully and see if that helps. You might have an accumulation of copper in there in conjunction with normal wear.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:43 AM
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Clean it well. I have seen a S&W shot out, it was supposedly from a professional shooter who was putting 120,000 ~ per year. He was running jacketed bullets almost exclusively. I have seen worn rifling in a revolver that the owner was aggressively using a steel brush for cleaning, I believe his cleaning did the damage not shooting. I am not a metallurgist, but copper clad bullets over steel rifling at 38 special velocities does not seem like a likely candidate. A S&W 19 with a 6" barrel had, thousands of 38 special SWC through it, and I noticed that my rifling had gone away. As stated above, it required a good cleaning with a lead remover, not Hoppes 9. To this day the rifling is back, and has a steady diet of jacketed 357, the forcing cone will go before the barrel. I purchased this in June 1976, it still shoots better than I @ 100 yards with open sights. Clean it, avoid the temptation of a steel brush. Be Safe,
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:50 AM
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If there is not a lead build up , then there is one more possibility . It could of had a bad " tight spot " where the barrel threads onto the frame . There was / is a process I have read about where you actually remove the rifling , just above the forcing cone , the 1st 1/2" inch . It eliminated the tight spot and properly sized that area in the barrel . It supposedly did not affect accuracy , in fact after removing the tight spot it improved accuracy . I don't remember the exact name , I think it was " Taylor Throat Cut " . Maybe someone else will have more details . Bottom line --- if the accuracy is good , don't worry about it . Years ago , one of the gun mag writers talked about doing it to a Ruger in 45 Colt and how the accuracy was much improved . Regards Paul
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:38 PM
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Removing the rifling in the start of the forcing cone is called free bore.

I mainly shoot moly coated leadcast bullets. At the end of the shoot I fire a few jacketed bullets to remove any lead that maybe in the barrel.
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Old 12-29-2020, 03:14 PM
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It took me awhile to get the photos uploaded as my phone and computer did not want to cooperate. So, hopefully they will show.

Seems like some folks didn't think I knew how to clean a barrel!! So, offended, I was! Anyway, since I have been known to be a dummy sometimes, I went to the cleaning rod once again, just in case I hadn't done a good job the first time. Did the bronze brush, brush with bronze wool, then a stainless brush that I only use for stubborn lead buildup. Not a bit of lead to be found.

I checked with Smith and they have no barrels for the 627-2.

The two photos on the left are from CDY5215 and the one photo on the right is from the sister 627-2, CDY5257. Clearly a difference.

Now what, replace with a custom barrel, shoot and hope? I'm debating what to do. Opinions requested!
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Old 12-29-2020, 03:44 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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The bottom line is - does it shoot predictable small groups? Some people swear by Taylor throating, which shaves out the rifling just ahead of the forcing cone for about 1/2 inch. What you have would be a similar situation. If not shooting well, a new barrel is probably in order.
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Old 12-29-2020, 04:28 PM
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Yeah, how does it shoot? If accuracy is unaffected, then don't worry.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:57 PM
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Is accuracy affected? Now that has been my question for some time. Is it the gun or me? Getting older, eyes not as good at seeing the sights, lack of good practice? Truthfully, I have been shooting some other guns with perhaps not much better results than this one is giving. However, today, I took the sister gun to the range. It shot better than the "bad" barrel.
The "bad" barrel has been shooting jacketed bullets better than coated bullets for some time. I kinda blamed the coated bullets, but apparently, its the gun as much as the bullets. I feel like the newer guns are optimized for jacketed bullets and not so much lead ones. Could be my shooting, I suppose. Anyway, today, my bad shots were fewer and closer to the group than the bad barrel gun. I guess its going to get a new custom barrel.

Thanks for all you help!
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:15 PM
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Good photos, just a little bright. 50,000 firings? Did you inspect the concern when new, before the 50,000 firings?
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:28 PM
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In my humble opinion, I would guess that your gun is good for at least another 50,000 rounds. As far as accuracy is concerned, it probably does shoot better than you can shoot it. A couple of people have mentioned Taylor throating where the rifling is actually removed and there is a slope for the bullet to use when entering the rifling. Yours is naturally "Taylor Throated". Finally, almost all of us shooters are anal and when we get an idea of 'perfection', or the lack of it, reality doesn't matter and we will never rest easy until we have 'fixed' what we perceive as a problem. All that being said, there are a multitude of gunsmiths who can pop a bbl on your gun.... the range in price and the range in quality is up to you. You know you are gonna go for a new one, so do it and don't give it another thought.
IMHO of course,
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