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Old 03-29-2006, 11:40 PM
BobforBass

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Advice needed. I hope I didn't ruin a new barrell



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Greetings gentlemen. I know there are a lot of gun owners that are much more knowledgable about my problem than I am. I need your opinions and suggestions.

I purchased a NIB T/C barrell in .17HMR several months ago. All excited about my new toy I mounted it on the frame but had no time to shoot because of work and weather. When I finally found some time to shoot a couple months later I was in a bit of a hurry. I took the gun to the farm and set my target at 50 yards and after bore sighting the Burris 2x7 scope I shot my first round. My target was mounted on a large heavy cardboard box. When I went to see if I was on the paper all I saw was a small long hole in the lower left corner of the paper. I looked for an exit hole but found none. Confused, I assumed the hole in the paper was there before I shot. So I went back, raised the scope and fired again. This time, upon inspection, I saw another small long hole higher up on the paper and this time there was an exit hole. I didn't understand what was happening. (now, after reading on this site, I know the bullet was keyholing) So I went back and fired another round. This time there was a small round hole where I was aiming. I ended up shooting about 20 rounds and then had to go inside. It was cold and very windy. Still confused about the first two shots I did a more detailed inspection of the target and box. I looked at the first hole and saw the bullet lodged between the two flaps of cardboard that makes up the end flap. I was shooting hollow points (I think they were CCI). The bullet tip was VERY slightly deformed and the whole length of the bullet was slightly flattend.

After going through what I did prior to taking the gun out I realized I had NEVER cleaned the barrell before firing.

What I need from you guys is your opinion as to weather or not I damaged the barrell and any suggestions on ways to determine if I did or not. I did take the gun out last weekend for the first time since the above incident. I did clean before shooting and shot about 15 round at 50 yards. My groups were around an inch but I had a terrible rest to shoot from and the wind was blowing pretty hard so I know I have a huge window for improvement from those two areas alone. I know I can shoot better than that when I get a good stead bench to shoot from and a calm day.

All opinions are welcome.

I also posting this message on the .17 HMR forum to get their advice as well.

In advance, thank you.

Bobforbas
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:27 AM
Lame Rabbit

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Hi BobforBass:

I doubt that you did any real damage. Unless T/C had left something to obstruck the barrel, all seems well. Not the best as it might have been, but only time will tell. A worst case would have been if T/C had left a lot of oil in the barrel. What could happen then is the brass could/would refuse to grab the chamber wall, causing the case to bust off in the back, or causing the case to split, burning both chamber wall and the oil. Doesn't sound like this happened, I am sure you would have noticed, as the case splinting would continue with almost every shot. doubt that you did any real damage, besides barrels are much better than they use to be..... better steel and so on

Jim
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:21 AM
BobforBass

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Thanks Jim. I left out on my original post that the barrell was 14" for the original Contender pistol........if this would have any different effect from say, a rifle.

Bob
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:31 AM
Lame Rabbit

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The only difference is that the muzzle velocity is a bit less. The 14 inch contender runs around 2490 FPS, least wise the one I tested did, rather than the published of 2550 for 20 to 23 inch barrels, I had a 26 that ran right around 2600, go figure.....

Jim
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2006, 11:56 AM
richlcampbell
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I doubt that you did any damage to the barrel. It could be grease, oil, burr, or piece of metal from cutting the chamber and throat. I have had quite a bit of chambering residue in a few new barrels. Did you have the keyhole effect after cleaning it and shooting again?
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:30 PM
BobforBass

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Richlcampbell,

After cleaning and shooting last week every worked the way it should.....no keyholing. My groups were about an inch but like I said in my origional post my bench was not the most stable (saw horses w/ plywood) and it was very windy. I feel I can get under a half inch with improvements in those two areas alone. I have no fears whatsoever that the gun will keyhole again after the cleaning and continued proper maintenance. I just wonder what I am supposed to look for to see if there might have been any damage.

Bob
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2006, 01:47 PM
richlcampbell
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Since it seems to be doing fine, I probably isn't worth the effort looking for any problems. An inch group with wind and a limited rest is pretty good for a handgun.

If you still want to check, you might be able to inspect the chamber and throat area, but it might be hard without a bore scope since the 17 is so small. I can get by with a loupe and light source on the big calibers. You could cerrosafe the chamber to look for any issues.

I have a 19" Bullberry 17 HMR that shoots excellent, and I use it both as rifle and pistol since the length is over 16". I use a rifle scope on it, and the eye relief is no problem since the recoil is about nil. Be sure to try different ammo, since the right combo can really make the groups shrink. My Bullberry was second hand, after the original owner couldn't make it shoot to their standards with Hornady ammo (all that available at the time). I traded for it, and anticipated rechambering it to 17 Mach IV. I decided to shoot it a bit before rechambering and it didn't shoot good with Hornady for me either, until I used Remington and Federal tipped ammo. It shot so well with those, that it placed the best group in a specialty pistols postal match. I look forward to trying the new Winchester ammo in it this spring.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:37 PM
Contender

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You did not damage the barrel. Their is different opinions on this subject, but my opinion is you do not need to clean a barrel before shooting it or break it in, If it was really that critical I would have a safe full of Contender barrels and other guns that would not shoot worth a toot. I bought a 14" HM2 barrel last summer and shot it without cleaning it. Last week it shot a 15 shot group that measured 5/8" at 50 yards. Bought a Marlin 41 Mag a few weeks ago and the first 2 rounds were about an inch apart and the next 5 were touching at 50 yards and I did not clean it first. I have many others like this.

I haved cleaned a few barrels before shooting them, but I do not make an effort to do it, depends on my mood I guess.
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