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The brass tubes of the 550 and the 552 are the same but the plungers are different, as you probably know by now after freeing the existing plunger in the 552, it should be longer than the 550.

That gouging of the inside of the barrel is strange, maybe a dud got stuck in the barrel and someone tried to drill it out. Check the crown to see if it's damaged, a few of my Remingtons have bulged barrels and shoot just fine but a damaged crown will affect accuracy.

Sounds like the ADL model 550, same as the BDL but without checkering and upgraded sights. I think your assumption on the manufactures date is corrrect, the barrel was made in 76, assembled in 77. My 552 is barrel stamped also. Good luck = Bob
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