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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently I saw mentioned a Mosin with a sewer pipe bore or words to that effect and
I know many of you don't let bore condition get in the way of a rifle that fits a need in your
collection (or gun hoarding ).

To those who have rifles with sad bores /worn bores and old stocks with cracks, its not the end of the world of shooting them. With careful slugging of bore to get cast bullets of the correct size, one
can safely put these collectable rifles back on the firing line. Accuracy results can be quite good with right bullet and load.

Cast bullet loads can be quite gentle to old rifles and Lyman manual has many using pistol powder that work quite well.

7 inches for a group at 300 meters is one result using the right bullet , shot out of a very worn WWI era Lithgow No1MkIII Enfield. It shoots inside 2 inches at 100 yds.

There are a few tricks: gas checked bullets, use of M Die to prepare case necks so they don't swage bullet as it seats into neck, bullets sized 1 thousandth over bore diameter and of course do a bit of load development using loads per Lyman manual.

A Finn or Mosin rifle bore can vary hugely. Just get a Lee sizing die in .311 and if bullets sized in it don't do well for accuracy, take a wooden dowel and some 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and open the die up ....It took .314 die size to get that old Enfield shooting well. Lee die is $15 so its not a huge cost and you may indeed put back a rifle on the shooting line and enjoy accuracy out of it.

There is a limit to success here: you got to have rifling left in the bore. If not, no sizing of bullets will really bring any success for a shot out rifle. I have a M44 that I brought out of IV Corps in Viet Nam with a smooth bore due to rifling dissolving in that wet region, the FMJ rounds key hole at 25 yds and miss the state of Virginia at 100 yds. That rifle I won't try cast bullet loads in. However I have other rifles in which there was worn rifling and in which cast bullets restored them into shooting very well and with less recoil and almost zero effect on old wood stocks.

You can cast bullets yourself or order them on line / Food For Thought .

One other thing: Cast bullet loads can be shot very cheaply which is another Value Added .

Parting Shot: You don't have to wall hang a collectable rifle with worn bore, you can do something and get it back on the firing line. That rifle may indeed have a long life of shooting for you. That rifles accuracy may be restored. Most will shoot exceptionally with right cast bullet load.

That old Enfield...iron sights and 7 inch groups at 300 meters ? I am way good with that result and the load does not abuse my rifle nor my shoulder either !
 

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Well said!
Many ratty-looking bores still shoot pretty decently when properly cleaned and shot a reasonable amount.
I just saved a Finn-capture 91/30 that had a bore that looked like rats lived in it, but a good scrubbing a few times and my "Italian tune-up" shooting until hot got it to about 3 1/2 inches at 100 yards first time out with milsurp, with improvements to come as it is shot more.
(An "Italian tune-up" is an old mechanic's term for running a sports car engine up to about 6000RPM on the road until the spark plugs are cleaned from heat and the carbon comes loose from the pistons and valves -it might blow the engine, but usually it runs a lot better. You can often improve the shooting of a nasty bore by shooting twenty plus rounds through it as fast as possible, heating the rifle until the cosmo starts to melt out of the stock, knocking loose the crap imbedded in the barrel and then giving it a super cleaning again.)
 

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Well said!
Many ratty-looking bores still shoot pretty decently when properly cleaned and shot a reasonable amount.
I just saved a Finn-capture 91/30 that had a bore that looked like rats lived in it, but a good scrubbing a few times and my "Italian tune-up" shooting until hot got it to about 3 1/2 inches at 100 yards first time out with milsurp, with improvements to come as it is shot more.
(An "Italian tune-up" is an old mechanic's term for running a sports car engine up to about 6000RPM on the road until the spark plugs are cleaned from heat and the carbon comes loose from the pistons and valves -it might blow the engine, but usually it runs a lot better. You can often improve the shooting of a nasty bore by shooting twenty plus rounds through it as fast as possible, heating the rifle until the cosmo starts to melt out of the stock, knocking loose the crap imbedded in the barrel and then giving it a super cleaning again.)
Done this on many occasions with rifles that looked like they had sub par bores. Sometimes thats all it takes is a good shooting and another thorough scrubbing and cleaning after it's heated up. Had very good luck with this in the past!
 
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