I recently purchased a Ruger 10/22 Target Barrel - Stainless.
10/22® Target Barrel - Stainless
It shined up very nicely. The external surface, on the flats, appeared to have the same appearance as a flat mill file, not as pronounced, but that is the pattern—was not shiny in the least, and covered with a thick wax-feeling substance. After denatured alcohol, Kroil finally removed this substance. Over the period of a few days, I installed the barrel with the following parts: Brownells BRN-22 railed receiver, Brownells 10/22 bolt assembly, Ruger standard charging handle, BX trigger group (do NOT put moly grease on the sear)(added trigger over-travel to the trigger return plunger-sounds nutty, but it works), Victor Titan22 stock with anchor spike. Fit between receiver and the barrel is an interference fit: anti-seize, heat receiver, freeze barrel—and it still needed encouragement from a rubber mallet on the receiver’s rear.
First day at the range, 50 yard groups with Federal Gold Medal Match, Eley Benchrest Outlaw, and CCI standard velocity (sorted) gave groups of 1.5 to 2 inches. 350 total rounds fired. I figured one of two things: the barrel is junk, or the scope stopped holding zero. The scope is first generation Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x with target dot reticle.
I borescoped the barrel with a (retired) medical endoscope. Good grief, what a mess (the bore, not the endoscope). The best that I can describe them: ‘rings’ throughout the length of the bore, with only two that appeared to match—through the entire length of the rifling. I could see ‘ledges’ after the ring (movement from chamber to muzzle). These ‘ledges’ were larger than most of the chatter I’ve seen in button-pulled barrels. The rifling (lands) have inconsistent height: the height of each land varies throughout the bore. The lands are sharp, regardless of height. The transition area from the chamber to the rifling was SHARP: no lead-in angle. The chamber just stopped, and the rifling started. I have Ruger American rifles and a Ruger American rimfire rifle, and these bores, though not as nice as I like to see them, have a much better internal finish than this stainless target barrel. In the past, I have had to lap or polish high-end after-market barrels to get them to shoot tighter.
I cleaned the bore (chamber to muzzle) using a bronze brush and Remington 40-X (or whatever it is called nowadays: Rem Clean?). Supposedly, it is a non-embedding compound that scrubs deposits from the bore. I have used this, rather extensively, on K98 and M91/30 rifles, as well as match-built Garands and M1A rifles, both chrome mole and stainless. I’ve watched 22LR benchrest shooters and centerfire benchrest shooters use it as well (along with Bon Ami cleanser—that is just a bit too much for me). After Remington 40-X, I used Kroil mixed with stainless steel/silver polish (without abrasives). I wore-out a new bronze brush: fit extremely loose when done. If you are still reading this, you have not passed-out, as this cleaning regiment is rather harsh.
Once spotless, after removing all cleaning agents, I borescoped again. The ‘rings’ were still present. The ‘ledges’ were much less pronounced. The rifling remained unchanged: still sharp and having inconsistent heights. The chamber is unchanged too, including the transition area. The bore’s color brightened from a dull grey to silver or steel in-the-white.
Next range trip, yesterday (and it was cold), I switched scopes to my Leupold M8 12x with target knobs and fine crosshair reticle: this is a known good scope to track appropriately and hold a zero. After 30 fouling rounds, groups appeared. Federal Gold Medal Match shot the best: best group = 0.458 inches, edge to edge, at 50 yards. All other ammunition shot tighter groups. Well, that shows that the barrel is not junk, and probably worth the $129 it cost. I changed back to the Nikon scope: groups were larger, as shooting with a half minute dot does not lend itself to real tight groups, due to not being able to see the target under the reticle dot. However, my Nikon scope has not gone bad either. (How I wish the Weaver T-24 was still in production—and the Leupold M8 for that matter!)
Now, here is my general question.
Is this customary of Ruger hammer forged stainless target