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Thread: Slugging the bore on a 1894

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Slugging the bore on a 1894

    So I must be doing something wrong ; which is no real surprise but two different slugs and 2 different readings done the same way and with the same lead and measurements taken with the same micrometer and caliper.

    So whatís your best tried and true method for slugging a Winchester 1894 bore?
    Kind of doing this backwards cause Iíve had the rifle for a few years and have shot it lots and even taken game with it and itís a great shooter but somewhere along the line a problem developed chambering rounds. So Iím starting back at the beginning and thinking my 311 pcd boolits may suddenly be the culprit.

  2. #2
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    Slugging the bore on a 1894

    Quote Originally Posted by nagantguy View Post
    So I must be doing something wrong ; which is no real surprise but two different slugs and 2 different readings done the same way and with the same lead and measurements taken with the same micrometer and caliper.

    So whatís your best tried and true method for slugging a Winchester 1894 bore?
    Kind of doing this backwards cause Iíve had the rifle for a few years and have shot it lots and even taken game with it and itís a great shooter but somewhere along the line a problem developed chambering rounds. So Iím starting back at the beginning and thinking my 311 pcd boolits may suddenly be the culprit.
    Because you asked, the proper way to do it is with a pure lead round ball that is just slightly bigger than the bore and brass rod as close to the bore diameter as possible. Heavily oil your bore and tap the ball through. Of course this only tells you the smallest measurement of your bore.

    I know this will go against what the experts say, but if a .311 diameter bullet worked for years before and you had no accuracy issues/leading issues I would not bother slugging the bore. As you suspected the new factor is your powder coated bullets and it is likely the culprit. Any sort of coating will add slightly to the diameter. Iíd measure your bullets and see if they are oversized.

    When it comes to cast boolits and lever actions I typically size the boolits to the largest diameter that will chamber. It does not matter what size the bore is if the round wonít chamber.


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    Last edited by 2ndAmendmentNut; 08-07-2018 at 10:18 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I also believe that your boolits very well may be the culprit.

    So lets go step by step;

    First off lets slug the bore and measure the results,
    Take a 44 cal pure lead balll from Hornaday or Speer, take some synthetic grease and smear the entire bore, next put the 44 cal on the muzzle of your rifle, take a smooth BRASS hammer (lite weight) and begin tapping on the pure lead ball. The ball will slowly begin flattening out and at the same time entering the muzzle of your barrel. When the ball is flat and thin on top of your rifle muzzle, carefully take a BRASS punch and center it on the flattened lead on top of your muzzle [ ensure that the diameter of your punch is smaller than the rifle bore]. Tap tap the slug till the flat "washer" of thin lead separates from the slug inside the bore. Now take as large a diameter cleaning rod and gently tap the slug through the greasy slippery bore , with the action closed, this will catch the slug as it leaves the barrel. Now take the slug and carefully clean off the grease. Measure the lands as well as the valleys on the slug and write this number down on a piece of paper.

    Second lets figure out your chamber/throat needs, take a fired case that has not been fiddled with and gently flair the mouth of the unmolested fire formed case. Now measure the INSIDE of the mouth/neck of the case. Write this number down on the sheet of paper.

    Thirdly lets take a critical look at your boolits, take 5 of your boolits at random. Now carefully measure them on three sides each and take the largest number and write this number down on your sheet of paper, do all 5 of your boolits and after measurement is done on all 5 you should have a column with 5 numbers in it. Are they all within .0002 of each other? If not then find the largest number and write it down with the bore/groove numbers and the inside of your fire formed unmolested inside measurement.

    Now looking at these numbers that have been marked as to what they are, so you should have these numbers, bore, groove, case mouth ID, and your boolit diameter.

    These numbets will give the answers to many questions. Please report these numbers here and myself or someone will help with the interpretation and hopefully answer to your quest.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  4. #4
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    Basically, if everything worked OK before, and now it doesn't - what changed in what you're doing ?


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  5. #5
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    Think he is powdercoating his boolits. If something changed and there is thicker paint on some or coating temp is off what it used to be or a change in color ect ect ect.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    I also believe that your boolits very well may be the culprit.

    So lets go step by step;

    First off lets slug the bore and measure the results,
    Take a 44 cal pure lead balll from Hornaday or Speer, take some synthetic grease and smear the entire bore, next put the 44 cal on the muzzle of your rifle, take a smooth BRASS hammer (lite weight) and begin tapping on the pure lead ball. The ball will slowly begin flattening out and at the same time entering the muzzle of your barrel. When the ball is flat and thin on top of your rifle muzzle, carefully take a BRASS punch and center it on the flattened lead on top of your muzzle [ ensure that the diameter of your punch is smaller than the rifle bore]. Tap tap the slug till the flat "washer" of thin lead separates from the slug inside the bore. Now take as large a diameter cleaning rod and gently tap the slug through the greasy slippery bore , with the action closed, this will catch the slug as it leaves the barrel. Now take the slug and carefully clean off the grease. Measure the lands as well as the valleys on the slug and write this number down on a piece of paper.

    Second lets figure out your chamber/throat needs, take a fired case that has not been fiddled with and gently flair the mouth of the unmolested fire formed case. Now measure the INSIDE of the mouth/neck of the case. Write this number down on the sheet of paper.

    Thirdly lets take a critical look at your boolits, take 5 of your boolits at random. Now carefully measure them on three sides each and take the largest number and write this number down on your sheet of paper, do all 5 of your boolits and after measurement is done on all 5 you should have a column with 5 numbers in it. Are they all within .0002 of each other? If not then find the largest number and write it down with the bore/groove numbers and the inside of your fire formed unmolested inside measurement.

    Now looking at these numbers that have been marked as to what they are, so you should have these numbers, bore, groove, case mouth ID, and your boolit diameter.

    These numbets will give the answers to many questions. Please report these numbers here and myself or someone will help with the interpretation and hopefully answer to your quest.
    This will be done ; and as I already have some of these measurements; it should be easy. For sure my boolits are .311, that is fact known and measured. Thank you for the nice write up and as I have some 44 cal balls that’s what I’ll use.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    Basically, if everything worked OK before, and now it doesn't - what changed in what you're doing ?


    .
    That’s the head scratcher; these are loads and boolits that have been used since I made a large batch last September, nothing has changed that I’m aware of, I get the same accuracy,all were cast on the same day with same alloy and loaded over two or three days some time later still have half a large ziplock bag of boolits pcd with Smokes flat black , all
    Still read 311. So now with a inspection clean rifle loads that fed and chambered fine now don’t at a rate of about 1in 4? Sunday is our baby shower; I’m going towards the end to give thanks and load all the goodies and clean the hall; before that I’ll be inspecting and testing and scratching my head.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Just occurred to me, maybe check the cartridge overall length of the cartridges that will chamber opposed to the OAL of those that will not.

    I need to go back to the beginning and read through all the posts as the deeper we get i forget what has been done and what is left to do.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    ↑↑↑ I've had boolit seating dies "move/grow" while loading a batch of cartridges ↑↑↑

    Is your chamber clean? doesn't take much to cause a problem.

  10. #10
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    Carefully inspect the cartridges that won't chamber for signs of rubbing or scraping. The fault may not be with your boolits but could be a slight bulge in the case/shoulder area. The .30-30 case is fairly thin and if you are crimping your boolits when seating them, some slightly longer cases may cause the shoulder area to buckle slightly. This will prevent some of the cartridges from chambering while letting some others chamber freely.. Always seat boolits and crimp as a separate step. Even better--use the Lee collet-crimp die as it won't cause the case to buckle if slightly too long.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Could be case length. case neck, crimp amount or bullet fit that is causing the problem. Make a dummy round (without powder and primer) coat the case neck, crimp and bullet with Dye-Chem. Allow to dry and then chamber the dummy round. The dye will be removed where the round is contacting the chamber and barrel. Extract the round and you can see where the problem is. You can then address the problem rather that speculating on what is the issue.

    You do have Dye-Chem do you not? Every loading shop should have some. It is machinist lay out dye, which can be bought in any industrial supply house and comes in red or blue. The color does not matter, but I like blue because I have been using it since 1969.
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 08-08-2018 at 12:46 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  12. #12
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    I used a lead fishing sinker , got an assortment of bell sinkers , fat round bottom tapers to a narrow end. Use one with a bottom fatter than the bore.
    Grease the bell sinker and lube the bure , center narrow end into muzzel crown and center the fat end over the muzzel and tap straight down with a short round rod (wood or plastic) and mallet.
    Make sure the rod is centered over the sinker and the sinker is centered over the crown....light taps and gently drive the slug into the bore . Use a longer rod (I used a cleaning rod) to push the slug out , you can feel any tight or loose spots if you do it carefully.
    Do two or three , measure them all in several places and take an average.
    Gary
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    If they don;t feed right check your cartridge guides-- if the screws get a little loose things feed and chamber badly even if they look OK
    Hick: Iron sights!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hick View Post
    If they don;t feed right check your cartridge guides-- if the screws get a little loose things feed and chamber badly even if they look OK
    More than one has recommended this and I’ll
    Start there on Saturday!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Could be case length. case neck, crimp amount or bullet fit that is causing the problem. Make a dummy round (without powder and primer) coat the case neck, crimp and bullet with Dye-Chem. Allow to dry and then chamber the dummy round. The dye will be removed where the round is contacting the chamber and barrel. Extract the round and you can see where the problem is. You can then address the problem rather that speculating on what is the issue.

    You do have Dye-Chem do you not? Every loading shop should have some. It is machinist lay out dye, which can be bought in any industrial supply house and comes in red or blue. The color does not matter, but I like blue because I have been using it since 1969.
    Yes sir I have some ; and I’ll be giving it a go. Cases are another possible problem as most are range collected and odd lots, but all are in spec for length but when I make new dummy rounds I will pay special attention. This rifle has special meaning to us so I plan to stick to it and get it sorted out; the new baby is due in October and I’d live for this to be a first deer rifle and many moons from now watch or at least hear about a grandchild taking a first deer with this very rifle that me and my daughter have put so much work into!

  16. #16
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    Make a throat impact slug. Fill a cartridge to the neck with lead then when it cools chamber it and drive a well oiled slug of soft into it from the muzzle. Open the action and measure distance to lands, diameter of lands and throat. Measure your cartridges that don't chamber, probably one is bigger.
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