Enfield-Rifles.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Enfields > Enfield Rifles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - barrel life question
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

barrel life question

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
Donald303 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: September 27 2018
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: barrel life question
    Posted: October 02 2018 at 12:07pm
 he!!o again friends. I saw a video online that showed how to check to see how much barrel life I might have left on my No.4. I posted this photo. I inserted a .303 snap cap in the muzzle and there is a good 1/4 inch left of the bullet. The other test was to drop the snap cap into the breach and there should still be about 1/4 inch left of the case sticking out. As you can see from the photo the case drops almost all the way in with just about 1/16 inch remaining. There is also a very tiny bit of play side to side. Very hard to notice but there. Is there a concern about this fit? And how can the muzzle be so good and the breach be so worn? Thank you as always for your replies. Donald.
You can lead a horse to water but a bullet must be lead...
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 12141
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 2:28pm
"The Bullet Test" is a highly controversial one at best.
All it tells you is the condition of your bore at the muzzle.
It used to be you'd "slug the bore", forcing a slightly oversized soft lead "slug" through a very well oiled bore then measuring it at the exit. Even that only tells you the tightest spot though.
Now a days with the advent of "cheap & cheerful" bore scopes that work with you cell phone that's the preferred technique, just slide it in & look at the bore from the inside.

I've never heard of the 1/4" of the case sticking out till now either!

Headspace (with a gauge) pore diameter at the forcing cone (beginning of the bore where the rifling starts) with a different gauge, are the only real tests.

Unless you're getting a problem I'd relax as 99% of shooters will never wear out a barrel anyway.
Hug
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1933
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 2:32pm
I might be missing something here.  Inserting a .311 bullet into the muzzle may give you some idea on the bore diameter, but I'm not understanding on how inserting a dummy cartridge (or snap cap) into the chamber tells you anything.  The .303 is a rimmed cartridge and it will always protrude from the end of the barrel chamber.   
 
In my experience, barrel life is in many thousands of rounds, unless cordite cartridges have fired in quantity, in which case, erosion of the rifling throat (leade) occurs much faster than nitrocellulose cartridges (cordite burns much hotter than powder).  I don't know how much faster, but it could be on the order of 5x to 10x.  
 
Bore gages can be used to assess the barrel condition (a muzzle and throat gage).  I've got a set of bore gages measuring .30350, .30325 and .30300.  They are really intended on measuring the amount of metallic fouling in the bore, but if you know the bore is squeaky clean, you could use these to measure the amount of wear.  In my No. 4, which had a new barrel when I got it, would just pass the .30300 gage with slight drag, the .30325 gage would only run part way into the bore past the chamber.  Now, the 0.30325 gage just about runs thru the bore.  That's after thousands of rounds.   
 
Further complicating this is that there is a significant range of bore sizes from barrels as machined from the factories.  I don't have the specs here on hand, but I believe they can be as small as .301 and as large as 0.304 (don't quote me on this, I'll check tonight if I remember and update the post).  Groove diameters have an even larger acceptable range. 
 
But, really, the only meaningful way to determine if the barrel is "shot out" is to shoot the rifle for accuracy.  If it shoots good, it is good. 
 
 
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1933
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 2:51pm
Looks like Shamu was responding at the same time I was.  But, we are thinking along the same lines.
I was once told by a very experienced armorer that the only way to tell if a barrel is "bad" is to eliminate all other possible problems first.  For the LE, the other area that can have a dramatic effect on accuracy is forend fitting and a loose butt stock.  If this checks out good, and proper barrel pre-load exists with the main screw tight, then the barrel may be bad. Dings in the crown (at the muzzle) can affect accuracy.   If a .308 bullet drops in the muzzle, don't expect the rifle to shoot good!  If you slug the bore with a pure lead bullet driving it from breach to muzzle, I think it would bump up (or down) to the bore diameter in the last few inches of the barrel. 
 
I do know of many rifle barrels that show significant wear at the muzzle and throat still shoot very good.  I'm not talking bench rest rifles here, but service rifles with service weight barrels. 
 
 
 
Back to Top
MJ11 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 18 2008
Location: A warm beach
Status: Offline
Points: 1493
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJ11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 2:56pm
I think you worry to much. At over a dollar a shot for non-corrosive PPU you will go broke long before you ware out the barrel. I could be wrong and you are sitting on a pallet of corrsive corodite ammo and don't have bore cleaning skills or care a nit. The barrel will out live both of us.

Pura Vida
The Spartans do not ask how many the enemies are but where they are
Back to Top
Donald303 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: September 27 2018
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 3:22pm
Ok, thank you guys for the great responses. Still on the learning curve here and happened to see the fore mentioned video and thought I would just ask. A lot of technical stuff I still have to learn but I think you are right that perhaps I am a bit too worried about this. Will let you all know how it performs at the range. Donald.
You can lead a horse to water but a bullet must be lead...
Back to Top
Pukka Bundook View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 02 2015
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1247
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 5:27pm
Donald,
 
When I was a long teenager I worried about things like this, now I'm older I reckon the guns I worried about will outlast me and my kids.
Forget t about the case in the breech.  That only tells you two things,...you have a case And a breech.  :-)
Back to Top
Donald303 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: September 27 2018
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 6:21pm
Pukka, I just had to laugh out loud!! :-)  
 You are totally correct.  I'm sure it is just fine....Spent a bit of time doing some more cleaning on it tonight. Wanted to clean the firing pin, spring and such but do not have that special tool to take out the pin and didn't want to muck up anything so I just put it back together. Ordering some British .303 on line. I will just hand load the rounds until I can find some real chargers.  Donald.
You can lead a horse to water but a bullet must be lead...
Back to Top
hoadie View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: March 16 2006
Location: Niagara/Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 7992
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 7:24pm
Donald:

What they haven't told you here, is that these barrels all have a "lifetime gaurantee". Yours or theirs. If you die first - you won't worry about it. If they die first, they aren't going to worry about it.
Ergo..its moot
Loose wimmen tightened here
Back to Top
Stanforth View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 08 2017
Location: Oxford England
Status: Offline
Points: 628
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 10:49pm
Does it shoot straight? Yes, then it's OK.
Life.. a sexually transmitted condition that is invariably fatal.
Back to Top
Zed View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member
Avatar
Donating Member

Joined: May 01 2012
Location: France
Status: Offline
Points: 3544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2018 at 11:26pm
Donald, also please note that the Lee Enfield often has a generous chamber size. Probably to prevent problems when operating in the dirty conditions that generally occur during military use.

For us; this is only a minor problem if reloading for more than one rifle. The fired case from one rifle may not allow the bolt to close in another if you have only resized the neck when reloading. I have turned up at the range once to find I'd brought a box of ammo that did not fitConfused
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1933
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2018 at 6:02am
Originally posted by Stanforth Stanforth wrote:

Does it shoot straight? Yes, then it's OK.
 
^^^^I like this response!!! ^^^^
 
And it's really the only way to determine if the barrel is good. 
 
However, is very possible to shoot out a barrel.  Barrel life for a precision target barrel is on the order of 1000 to 2000 rounds.  A service rifle like the LE, probably more like 10,000 rounds before accuracy noticeably degrades.  Dad's No. 4 Mk I(T) barrel was completely shot out when he got it, likely from cordite.  It wouldn't hold minute of barn door.  A new barrel installed, it became near MOA. 
 
All this is moot for 99% of the shooters out there, that may put a few rounds thru the rifle every year (or, those that are collectors and never shoot them).  I'm actually beginning to worry a bit about shooting out the BSA barrel on my LB No. 4.  It was new when I got the rifle.  I don't really know how many rounds I've put thru it, more than 5,000 and less than 10,0000.  I shoot at least 1,000 rounds/yr thru this rifle.  Erosion of the throat eventually takes it's toll.  That's why I'm starting to look at building up a second .303 rifle for match shooting. 
 
Unless your in to competitive shooting it's of no concern really.  Eventually, a shot out barrel may not even be suitable for hunting purposes.   
Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 12141
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2018 at 6:20am
You can clean the bolt without stripping it.
Just unscrew & remove the head. Now stand the bolt, cocking piece down, on a bunch of paper towels (or in an old coffee can).
now get a couple of cans of "Yellow Heet" (its denatured alcohol, if you have some use that.)
Dribble it into the open front end of the bolt till its full.
Repeat as needed till it all runs out.
Leave over night to evaporate.
Spray out with WD-40. let stand overnight.
Now generously re-oil & let stand in the same way over night.
Thumbs Up
Clap
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
Donald303 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: September 27 2018
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2018 at 9:01am
 Thanks everyone for all of the great replies!! This is exactly what I need and why I joined this forum. I may find a firing pin extraction tool someday somewhere or I could make my own. Doesn't seem too complicated. But I am not there yet and the explanation contributed here is much appreciated. I did remove the bolt head and took a good look at the pin and seems to be in great shape as is the rest of the rifle. And thanks also for the input that if there is a bit of "play" at the breach all is not lost. 
 I was so appreciative of my brother for passing this fine rifle on to me that I went on line and with great gusto started to learn all I could about it. That is how I came across the video about the muzzle "test". He even had a couple of hand drawn pictures to show how it is supposed to look. DUH!!  me, as I just took that for gospel. Not that it was bad information but I guess I just took it too seriously. 
 But for sure the range will tell me a lot about the overall performance.  Donald.
You can lead a horse to water but a bullet must be lead...
Back to Top
Stanforth View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 08 2017
Location: Oxford England
Status: Offline
Points: 628
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2018 at 9:20am
My take on these thing is.. If you look for problems you will probably find them.
If there is a problem it will let you know and that is the time to look for solutions. OK check for safety, headspace etc. but as for the rest 'If you don't see a problem then you haven't got one'.
 
Enjoy your rifle and remember the usual problem is 'The nut on the butt'.
Life.. a sexually transmitted condition that is invariably fatal.
Back to Top
Donald303 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: September 27 2018
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donald303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2018 at 9:37am
^^^^^   LOL!!
You can lead a horse to water but a bullet must be lead...
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.