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Thread: K-38 ringed barrel

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    K-38 ringed barrel

    I have a 4 screw K-38/M-14 that has a very slightly ringed barrel. It is so slight that it can't be seen on the outside. I have laid a straight edge scale along both sides and there is no discernible bulge. It can barely be felt when a tight patch is pushed through, but it is there.

    It does not seem to effect accuracy, since it shoots almost a well as my M14-5, which is probably the most accurate handgun I own.

    My question is, should I just live with the ring or should I rebarrel? I can get a very good condition 6" barrel for a rather reasonable price and I have the ability to swap barrels. Even with the cost of the barrel I'm still way ahead of the going price of K38/M14s in similar overall condition, (sans the ring).
    There are 550 million arms in worldwide circulation. This is 1 firearm for every 12 people on the planet. The only question is , HOW DO WE ARM THE OTHER !!? The Lord of War.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    It isn't going to get worse unless you fire another round on top of a squib stuck in the barrel (probably what happened to begin with). It's safe to shoot. It's just whatever you want to do about it. If it shoots good and if it were mine, I'd probably just leave it alone.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Second vote for "as is", since it's retained its accuracy.

  4. #4
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I agree with the above, as long as she still shoots really well I don't see a need to re-barrel either.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    Yes, agree with the above posters. There is no guarantee that the replacement barrel will shoot as accurate as the one that you have now. And as you have already stated, the accuracy is still there on the ringed barrel. just my .02 anyway, james

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like a very small issue. Probably no more detrimental to accuracy then the jump through the barrel/cylinder gap and forcing cone. I'd leave it as is.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In general I would agree, but this also presents an opportunity to inspect other aspects of the revolver regarding cylinder gap, end shake, bore to charge hole alignment, forcing cone condition, etc. IF the gun could benefit from gunsmith tweaking, it may indeed be worth the expense to fit a new barrel and make other timing, alignment and lockup adjustments.

    There is no safety issue continuing to use the revolver as-is, but having the ringed barrel will reduce potential resale value by about $150 (typical cost to fit a new barrel and adjust, not including cost of the replacement barrel). If that is not an issue for you, enjoy the gun, but be aware of the option if you should change your mind later. I would be searching for a barrel anyway.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If you notice it every time you shoot or clean the gun you won't be happy with it the way it is, if on the otherhand you can just forget about it...

    It just depends on how much it bugs you. If it were me I would never be happy with a flaw in the barrel and would rebarrel, and then with my luck is wouldn't shoot as good with the new barrel!

  9. #9
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    Everything else being equal, put me in the "live with it" column.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Give it to me. I'll inspect it for a few years- no charge!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Depends on what you want; if you can "live with it" then since it shoots "almost as good" as your M14-5 then no harm no foul. However, with the new barrel it may just shoot better than the M14-5.......you won't know if you "live with it".........a conundrum is that.......
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    If it were me I'd just leave it alone as long as it continues to shoot well. By the same token if you can buy a very reasonably priced replacement barrel right now I think that I'd buy it while it is available and tuck it away in a drawer for future use just in case the accuracy of this existing barrel does deteriorate. Never hurts to "hedge your bets" ...
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master clintsfolly's Avatar
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    How about firelap the barrel and see if it removes the bulge. Can’t hurt and may help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    If it were me I'd just leave it alone as long as it continues to shoot well. By the same token if you can buy a very reasonably priced replacement barrel right now I think that I'd buy it while it is available and tuck it away in a drawer for future use just in case the accuracy of this existing barrel does deteriorate. Never hurts to "hedge your bets" ...
    This is what I would do as well.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I'm one that would leave it alone. I hate to mess with any gun that shoots good. I have a S&W that I don't like, it's a 45 and I keep it because it's astounding accurate. On the other hand if a gun doesn't shoot I get rid of it and I don't care what it is. It's always cheaper in long run to find another. As with any thing that comes off assembly lines you are going to have a few lemons, most will be decent and a few cherries. In the older model S&Ws I have found few lemons and non in guns that were properly used & maintained.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by roysha View Post
    I can get a very good condition 6" barrel for a rather reasonable price and I have the ability to swap barrels.
    I would leave as is but I would also pick up the reasonably priced barrel. As they get harder to find the price will go up and if truly reasonably priced you will not lose money on it.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  17. #17
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    EMC45's Avatar
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    Leave it be. I have a Model 30 3in nickle that has a ringed barrel and it shoots great.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    I would leave as is but I would also pick up the reasonably priced barrel. As they get harder to find the price will go up and if truly reasonably priced you will not lose money on it.
    I will second the idea of picking up the spare barrel while you can.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 09-19-2019 at 06:03 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    I will second the idea ofpicking up the spare barrel while you can.
    Having a spare K frame barrel isn’t a bad idea. I figure they aren’t making them any more and there are a lot of the guns out there so there’s a good chance that barrel might come in handy some day.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Have an old Colt trooper MKIII in 357 magnum. Years back bought most of the parts from one that had been stripped down for parts. Nice complete cylinder,nice 6" barrel and a few other parts. Did the same for the 1937 Contract N frame in 45acp. The barrel for this revolver is in mint shape the one on the revolver is good. Buy the spare barrel, if and when you need it you'll already have it and money well spent. Frank

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