I borescoped an unused cut rifled barrel: help me learn about what I'm looking at.

Obrez

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May 31, 2019
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Yup, another "idiot with a cheap borescope" thread.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to passive aggressively "call out" a barrel maker or finisher because I genuinely don't know what I'm looking at. In fact, I'm not even going to say who cut it or finished it. I only want to learn about what I'm seeing so I can understand more about barrels. If it turns out this is really bad, then maybe I'll have to do something but I'm not sweating anything right now. I have many proverbial "Sewer-pipe" surplus rifles that shoot fine and I'm still going to install this one and shoot it. This is a new cut rifled barrel for my PRS rifle that I received last summer that has been sitting in a climate controlled safe in a climate controlled room ever since.

Also, yes, I only own a cheapo crappy borescope with far too bright of a light and I'm bad with cameras, so apologies for the bad pictures.

Edit to add a quick list of facts:
  • The barrel maker and the people who finished it are not the same, but both are well regarded.
  • This is a "prefit" shouldered, cut rifled barrel.
  • All pictures are of the last inch or so on the muzzle end. The chamber and the rest of the barrel look good.
  • The barrel has been cleaned, and the pictures are still accurate representations.
  • This barrel has never been installed onto an action let alone fired.
First up, what almost looks like a large chunk of pitting.
WIN_20210303_11_57_49_Pro.jpg
Second, a series of perpendicular cuts across the rifling:
WIN_20210303_11_58_11_Pro.jpg
WIN_20210303_11_52_57_Pro.jpg
(lower left)
WIN_20210303_12_06_59_Pro.jpg
***New picture #1:
20210303_134144.jpg***New picture #2:
WIN_20210303_13_53_29_Pro.jpg

And lastly, what looks like pock marks, some on the very edge of the lands. These did not show up well at all with the lighting:
WIN_20210303_11_59_23_Pro.jpg
All of this is in the last inch to an inch and a half of the barrel, the rest is near immaculate.

So, what causes this? Shavings getting in the way during machining? Inconsistencies with material? Something that is prone to getting loose as the machines get to the end of the barrel?
 

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Supersubes

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    Wow, that looks like hell! The perpendicular marks look like they were done during machining.

    Edit:re-read your post, all in the last inch and a half. The barrel looks wet to me, did you patch it out yet?
     
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    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    Wow, that looks like hell! The perpendicular marks look like they were done during machining.

    Edit:re-read your post, all in the last inch and a half. The barrel looks wet to me, did you patch it out yet?

    The marks are all right around the same depth but in different spots around the bore.

    I did not patch it before taking those pictures. I plan to do that after work and snag some more images.

    The cross cuts especially are clearly visible to the naked eye just peeking into the muzzle end.
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    My philosophy on this is
    1. If it shoots I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; I'm keeping it.
    2. If it doesn't shoot I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; it's getting returned
    As you might guess, I don't have a borescope
     

    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    Is this a completed barrel or an unfinished blank?
    Completed barrel.

    My philosophy on this is
    1. If it shoots I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; I'm keeping it.
    2. If it doesn't shoot I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; it's getting returned
    As you might guess, I don't have a borescope
    I'm still going to install it and use it. I'm just looking to learn a thing or two.
     

    Steel head

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    Doesn’t look lapped or as nice as any of my cut rifled Barrels.
    Bullets down range tell the important facts.
     

    TRPrecision

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    If it were a blank I would say not to worry about it since the las 1-2" of barrel is cut off anyway. Since it is a completed barrel, just go with what 308pirate said. lol
     

    Drumie

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    I would clean it good then look at it again. I have seen some funny looking stuff with my cheap bore scope and it looked different after running a patch thru the barrel
     

    Steel head

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    I would clean it good then look at it again. I have seen some funny looking stuff with my cheap bore scope and it looked different after running a patch thru the barrel
    Yea
    If its non clean and dry some weird stuff shows up.
     

    shoot4fun

    Gunny Sergeant
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    You have not ever fired a round thru this barrel?
    To be clear, it has been threaded and chambered by a gunsmith, correct?
    If the answers are NO to first ? and YES to last ? then I would put all the onus on the gunsmith.
    No gunsmith in his right mind should send that out to a customer.
    EDIT:
    On second thought, it may be a Savage barrel. They look like shit but usually shoot well.
     

    CerebralDistortion

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    There will allways be tool marks on metal. If you look close enough and/or use a digital camera it makes everything look even worse.

    When using cutting tools there will allso always be chips and splinters that lodge between the tool an the material being worked.

    Mr @308pirate Sir says it all above.
    If it shoots, shoot. If it doesn't, don't.
     

    pfl338

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    Looks like someone forgot to cut the first inch off the original blank before machining it to fit. At this point I agree with the consensus, clean it and break it in and see what you get. I have had what I consider really rough bores shoot extremely well, and if that is it in your case, just forget about and run it till it goes south and don't let it mess with your psyche.
     
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    Supersubes

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    There will allways be tool marks on metal. If you look close enough and/or use a digital camera it makes everything look even worse.

    When using cutting tools there will allso always be chips and splinters that lodge between the tool an the material being worked.

    Mr @308pirate Sir says it all above.
    If it shoots, shoot. If it doesn't, don't.
    Except when done properly, the work should look nothing like what the op posted. The edges of the lands are gone near the muzzle, and the OP can see it with his eyeball.
     

    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    Guys, seriously, I'm not freaking out that the barrel won't shoot. ;) I'm just looking for some good old Modern Marvels style education.
    You have not ever fired a round thru this barrel?
    To be clear, it has been threaded and chambered by a gunsmith, correct?
    If the answers are NO to first ? and YES to last ? then I would put all the onus on the gunsmith.
    No gunsmith in his right mind should send that out to a customer.
    EDIT:
    On second thought, it may be a Savage barrel. They look like shit but usually shoot well.

    I've never even installed it on an action.

    It is threaded and chambered.

    It is not a savage barrel. It's a non-factory barrel from a well-regarded maker.
     

    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    I added two new pics to the OP showing the crosscut marks from the muzzle end. It almost looks like chatter marks?
    Have you sent those pictures to the manufacturer to see what their thoughts are?
    I will later, just to see if they have any input.
     

    Supersubes

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    I added two new pics to the OP showing the crosscut marks from the muzzle end. It almost looks like chatter marks?

    I will later, just to see if they have any input.
    Not chatter, thats where the pilot runs for the tool which cut the recess in the muzzle. Sometimes the retaining screw is oversized, or the head was stamped crooked, or they get mistakenly put on the wrong tool(and are oversized. It could also have been a burr on the pilot itself. Seen that from a couple of PTG pilots.

    image.jpg
     

    rth1800

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    Why do people who don't like bore scopes post in bore scope threads?

    When I pay 350.00 or more for a top end barrel, it damn sure needs to look good with a bore scope. If not why fit it? I will say that I have used a lot of barrels from Hart, Douglass, Proof Research, Bartlien, Krieger, Shilen and Lilja.
    Out of over 100 barrels I have had two turds. One Shilen and one Lilja. Both were the only barrels I had from either maker. The others were 100% GTG. I would not shoot this barrel or waste my time with it. Even if it shoots it is likely to foul more rapidly, have less useful accuracy life and inspire no confidence. YMMV
     

    Supersubes

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    Why do people who don't like bore scopes post in bore scope threads?

    When I pay 350.00 or more for a top end barrel, it damn sure needs to look good with a bore scope. If not why fit it? I will say that I have used a lot of barrels from Hart, Douglass, Proof Research, Bartlien, Krieger, Shilen and Lilja.
    Out of over 100 barrels I have had two turds. One Shilen and one Lilja. Both were the only barrels I had from either maker. The others were 100% GTG. I would not shoot this barrel or waste my time with it. Even if it shoots it is likely to foul more rapidly, have less useful accuracy life and inspire no confidence. YMMV
    Exactly! OP paid for top quality parts and machine work, and didnt get it.
     

    theLBC

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    You have to remember the size of the items you are looking at. A bore scope can make polished metal look bad.
    i agree that how it shoots is what matters, and the crown is probably exponentially more important than "defects" or whatever you want to call what we are looking at.
    that said, some barrels look pretty different (although this is hammer forged and not cut).

    cleanCapture.JPG

    almost 60 year old Model 88 barrel.

    Snap_007.jpg
     

    TxWelder35

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    One time i thought I saw this giant chunk of something in my barrel with the borescope, so I managed to drag it all the way out with the borescope, when I got it out it was 1/2 the size of a single flake of ball powder.
    You have to remember the size of the items you are looking at. A bore scope can make polished metal look bad.
     

    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    One time i thought I saw this giant chunk of something in my barrel with the borescope, so I managed to drag it all the way out with the borescope, when I got it out it was 1/2 the size of a single flake of ball powder.
    This is easily visible with the naked eye.
     

    Frank Green

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    So the one picture of the bore looking at the very muzzle end (actually two pictures...the other one is from the outside looking in) you see the railroad tracks going across the lands....being as I don't see it going all the way down the bore....I'll say that happened when the muzzle got crowned. So whom ever finished the barrel...that was done at that time and not from when the barrel itself was made.

    The very first pictures....is that right in front of the chamber? If so that could be bushing marks from when the barrel got chambered/from the chamber reamer bushing.

    The pitting? Have you shot it at all? If so....how did you clean it?

    The picture called lower left? You have marks on tops of the lands and what looks like the marks line up in the grooves as well correct? That's what I'm seeing. If so it could be from when the barrel got rifled if truly cut rifled and or if the barrel was button rifled....that will happen from a poor finish during bore reaming and when the barrel gets button rifled those marks get pressed down into the grooves.

    My .02 for now.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
     

    Im2bent

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    So the one picture of the bore looking at the very muzzle end (actually two pictures...the other one is from the outside looking in) you see the railroad tracks going across the lands....being as I don't see it going all the way down the bore....I'll say that happened when the muzzle got crowned. So whom ever finished the barrel...that was done at that time and not from when the barrel itself was made.

    The very first pictures....is that right in front of the chamber? If so that could be bushing marks from when the barrel got chambered/from the chamber reamer bushing.

    The pitting? Have you shot it at all? If so....how did you clean it?

    The picture called lower left? You have marks on tops of the lands and what looks like the marks line up in the grooves as well correct? That's what I'm seeing. If so it could be from when the barrel got rifled if truly cut rifled and or if the barrel was button rifled....that will happen from a poor finish during bore reaming and when the barrel gets button rifled those marks get pressed down into the grooves.

    My .02 for now.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
    So are you saying this is abnormal and not acceptable work from the smith or are you saying this is typical and not a problem?
     

    Obrez

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    May 31, 2019
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    So the one picture of the bore looking at the very muzzle end (actually two pictures...the other one is from the outside looking in) you see the railroad tracks going across the lands....being as I don't see it going all the way down the bore....I'll say that happened when the muzzle got crowned. So whom ever finished the barrel...that was done at that time and not from when the barrel itself was made.

    The very first pictures....is that right in front of the chamber? If so that could be bushing marks from when the barrel got chambered/from the chamber reamer bushing.

    The pitting? Have you shot it at all? If so....how did you clean it?

    The picture called lower left? You have marks on tops of the lands and what looks like the marks line up in the grooves as well correct? That's what I'm seeing. If so it could be from when the barrel got rifled if truly cut rifled and or if the barrel was button rifled....that will happen from a poor finish during bore reaming and when the barrel gets button rifled those marks get pressed down into the grooves.

    My .02 for now.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
    Thanks. I should clarify, because I didn't make this clear, when I've said "maker" what I really meant was the one who finished it. The original maker and the finisher are not the same, but both are very well regarded.

    Every picture I've posted is within the final inch or so of the muzzle end. The chamber area and remainder of the barrel look great.

    I have not shot it at all. I've never even installed it on an action. Between the time I took the original pictures and the two "new" ones from the outside looking in, I did patch it out with some pro shot bore cleaner followed by dry patches until they came out clean and dry. It really looks no different through the bore scope other than a few small debris pieces being removed.

    Yes, all the "crosscut" marks line up more or less with a more noticeable ring as seen in new picture #2. The invoice I have for this barrel says cut rifling.
     

    shoot4fun

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    The picture called lower left? You have marks on tops of the lands and what looks like the marks line up in the grooves as well correct? That's what I'm seeing. If so it could be from when the barrel got rifled if truly cut rifled and or if the barrel was button rifled....that will happen from a poor finish during bore reaming and when the barrel gets button rifled those marks get pressed down into the grooves.

    My .02 for now.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
    This was my thought as well. More than a couple of the pre-fit barrel sellers offer both cut and button rifled barrels and the cut barrels are usually a premium price.
    Hmmm, now that I think about it, guess I better go take a look at the Proof SS pre-fit I just bought. :unsure:
    EDIT:
    as for the front end of that barrel I thought maybe that is the "sacrificial" part of the barrel gunsmiths usually chop off for just this reason.
     

    Sogan

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    I would clean it good then look at it again. I have seen some funny looking stuff with my cheap bore scope and it looked different after running a patch thru the barrel
    This. Sometimes fibers or oil can look funny. I’ve patched it out and then not been able to find that same mark again. However, that barrel looks like shit and looks like way more than a couple random patch fibers.

    Edit: You said you patched it out prior to the pics. It still looks awful so my suggestion is zero help.
     

    FUNCTIONAL

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    What length is the barrel? It looks very similar to what I'd see at the last 1" or so of a blank. If its at the ragged edge of the blank length the smith may have goofed up on the chamber end and any set back was made up at the muzzle end in the part you are supposed to cut off. Typically most manufacturers recommend a certain amount of barrel cut off each end because of cutters and buttons entering and leaving the bore.

    Since its just the muzzle end and everything else is perfect thats my guess. I'd HIGHLY recommend cleaning the hell out of the bore and dry patching it a few times before you run a bore scope though. Oils, powder residue and other crap can play some games on you.
     

    Obrez

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    What length is the barrel? It looks very similar to what I'd see at the last 1" or so of a blank. If its at the ragged edge of the blank length the smith may have goofed up on the chamber end and any set back was made up at the muzzle end in the part you are supposed to cut off. Typically most manufacturers recommend a certain amount of barrel cut off each end because of cutters and buttons entering and leaving the bore.

    Since its just the muzzle end and everything else is perfect thats my guess. I'd HIGHLY recommend cleaning the hell out of the bore and dry patching it a few times before you run a bore scope though. Oils, powder residue and other crap can play some games on you.
    26"

    I cleaned it. The view through the bore scope is the same minus some fibers and whatnot.
     

    CrabsandFootball

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    My philosophy on this is
    1. If it shoots I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; I'm keeping it.
    2. If it doesn't shoot I don't give a shit what it looks like inside; it's getting returned
    As you might guess, I don't have a borescope
    Pretty much all that matters.

    A borescope may be helpful if you are trying to diagnose problems but unless you have put a few hundred rounds through the tube, you don't know if there are problems. Assuming it headspaces,ect. If it shoots you keep it, if it doesn't you send it back. It wouldn't be the first or the last tube to look like ass and shoot lights out nor would it be the first or last to look immaculate and shoot like ass.

    People always looking for problems where none exist.
     

    Strykervet

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    I think this is your explanation:
    So the one picture of the bore looking at the very muzzle end (actually two pictures...the other one is from the outside looking in) you see the railroad tracks going across the lands....being as I don't see it going all the way down the bore....I'll say that happened when the muzzle got crowned. So whom ever finished the barrel...that was done at that time and not from when the barrel itself was made.

    The very first pictures....is that right in front of the chamber? If so that could be bushing marks from when the barrel got chambered/from the chamber reamer bushing.

    The pitting? Have you shot it at all? If so....how did you clean it?

    The picture called lower left? You have marks on tops of the lands and what looks like the marks line up in the grooves as well correct? That's what I'm seeing. If so it could be from when the barrel got rifled if truly cut rifled and or if the barrel was button rifled....that will happen from a poor finish during bore reaming and when the barrel gets button rifled those marks get pressed down into the grooves.

    My .02 for now.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels

    I think your answer is to send it back. Good job catching it. If it's a cut rifle job, I'd expect more. I think it's a fuck up, a mistake, doubt you were ever supposed to see that let alone get it in the mail.

    Until you call the mfg. and request an RMA and shipping label, you won't know if that's normal for them or if one just got by and they're actually ashamed of it. If it is normal for them though, please let me know so I don't send 'em money.

    FWIW, haven't used Bartlein (but not for any reason other than just haven't) but I can say Krieger and Satern don't look like that. Based on that reply though I bet you can include them in the "don't look like that" category.

    Based on how crazy shit has been, is it really so far out that one like this got by?

    But ask yourself, if that's "okay" then what's the point of a crown, bore guides and coated one piece cleaning rods and brass fittings?
     
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    Praeger

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    I bore scope every barrel blank I turn so if there's a problem, the barrel is still "returnable". I'd definitely send photos to the barrel maker if I got one like the OP.

    As for the "If it shoots, I don't care what it looks like" - it depends. It's one thing if it's an existing rifle and the barrel looks like a dumpster fire but it shoots, yeah, just shoot it. If it's a new barrel, no way I'd stand behind that for my time. Why risk it? There's a place for bore scoping. I've only had one bad barrel, but all it took was one photo and I got a paid shipping label the next day.
     

    rth1800

    Two Star General
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    Crap work is crap work. Those who suggest you try it and see are not logical. If you shoot it and it’s crap then the shoddy smith could make a case that you screwed it up cleaning etc.

    To recommend you try it is like saying don’t look at the crushed fender on a new car. Just drive it and see ...won’t hurt resale value, it drives fine.
     

    CrabsandFootball

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    I suppose he could have found the cheapest smith around. You know what this stuff costs.

    Should the muzzle look like that? Yes or no?
    There is no way to really tell without getting hands on , cleaning the tube and using good equipment to look at it. Cameras can make things look weird and cheap cameras are even worse.

    All machine work looks like ass from the right angle or under the right magnification. Even gauge blocks look like /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ under magnification. That is physics and chemistry.

    Tool marks are just a nature of the process. Would we like to see less? Sure. You can do everything right using the best equipment, tooling and process and still get a chip under a cutter that will drag. Should the gunsmith eat the cost of the barrel? LOL.

    People have no idea what the insides of their tools look like. If everyone took a borescope or optical comparator to their parts no one would shoot becuase they would be too busy bitching on the internet.

    There are soo many variables that go into a how a tube shoots that trying to say because this one may look shity, it won't perform is a non starter.

    Shoot it. Do people not understand what the word "Lapping" Means? Its possible those marks will get knocked down or smoothed out with rounds down the tube like MOST of the marks you don't see that are still there.

    Like has been said, there are plenty of tubes that look pristine but shoot like dogshit and plenty of tubes that look like dogshit that are absolute lasers.

    You don't know until you put the rounds downrange.