Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I cast my own bullets and either powder coat or lube then size. Matching the diameter of the bullet to the lede and rifling improves accuracy. There are several different methods of slugging a barrel and they work very well. They take a bit of prep to make the slug.

    Here is my stupid idea for a quick slug generator. What if you just load a round with primer only. The bullet would be only make it short distance down the barrel. Tap it out with a rod and measure the groove diameter.

    I donít recommend this method and have not tried it. Just looking for feedback.

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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I WOULD NOT do that. Since you cast your own, just melt some straight lead and cast several bullets with that. Then put them in the chamber and use a wooden dowel that is close to the bore diameter and drive the soft lead bullet through the barrel. Do several (clean the barrel in between) and then take your measurement and average what readings you get.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I agree with the above, do not use a regular bullet. You're supposed to slug with pure lead, which is soft enough that using a wooden dowel isn't difficult.
    NOBODY NEEDS ASSAULT SPEECH

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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I've done it a few ways over the years including what you're contemplating.
    Although lead bullet should stick in barrel with only primer don't be 100% confident that it will. Be safe.
    Anymore I'd do it as Xringshooter advises. Would recommend a very light coating of lubrication in barrel before slugging.
    After bullet is cast I bump it a tad with vice or hammer.
    Also I use a brass rod after one experience of having a wooden dowel break in the barrel. To be honest that was more than a soft slug I was trying to drive out.
    It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I tried slugging a barrel a few times and it was a PITA even with pure lead bullets and a lubed bore. Now I just give a quick and dirty slugging by tapping the bullet into the muzzle and knocking it out. With rifle bullets you can even drive them half way in and put the bullet into a vice and pull it out. I am sure this is not as accurate as doing it the right way but I don't think slugging needs to be that exact unless you are trying for 1 inch groups at 100 yards. You hear about people slugging each firearm, custom sizing for each of them, and they can get some amazing groups. But that seems way to complicated for my needs and I don't want to invest in a set of sizing dies in 0.001 increments (@ $30 each) and that much time working up a load. I will take a 3-4 inch group and be happy knowing I am shooting for pennies a shot. And since i usually shoot my cast rifle loads at 50 yards my groups look even better.

    There are some times where slugging a bore is important. Like if you have an antique rifle or something like a late war Arisaka rifle where the bore diameters vary. But if you shoot at close ranges and your barrel is not being badly leaded slugging does not have to be that exact.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    Thanks for the feedback and talking me out of it. I know and have used the proper methods. This idea just popped into my head this morning.

    I*ve made the slugs out of 100% lead, dead soft. I use bore butter as a lube. And a brass range rod. Would not recommend wood.

    I*m shooting out to longer distance and proper sizing does seem to make a difference. NOE bullets has a really slick sizing system. The actual die is interchangeable and individually cost less than $10 once you buy the kit.

    Trust me this wasn*t the dumbest idea I*ve come up with but at least I*ve gotten some sense not to impulsively try them.

    Happy thanksgiving to you all.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    To tell the truth while this might not be the best idea it would not be an unsafe dumb idea either. As long as you fire the squib at a range with a safe backstop (in case the bullet comes out) there is nothing dangerous about it. The biggest downside would be if there was anyone else there at the range. You would make everyone extremely nervous having a squib and tapping the bullet out.

    There may even be some advantages to this method if you are trying to slug a revolver. In a lot of cases poor accuracy is due to a tight forcing cone where it is screwed into the barrel. The cone swages the bullet down smaller than the bore. If that happens your pistol will not be accurate no matter how you size the bullet. I have never figured out a good way to pound a bullet into the rear of a revolver barrel. The squib technique might be useful for this. Just remember you will have a good chance of locking up a revolver if the bullet doesn't clear the cylinder. If it does just pound the bullet back into the case

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slugging a barrel - talk me out of doing something stupid

    I have an 1873 (1888) Springfield Trapdoor that slugged at .463".
    I use .458 bullets wrapped with butter-bored paper. Works well. Paper drops off about ten feet past the muzzle.
    There are only two kinds of guns. Those I have and those I want.

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