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  1. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 11:59am

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    How easy or hard is it to accidentally damage a rifle?

    This is probably something everyone here knows except for me. How easy or hard is it to accidentally damage your rifle barrel and affect accuracy? I personally am confused because there are lots of people who write articles or posts on the internet about how they baby their rifles, refrain from using aluminum cleaning rods, etc., which gives the impression of great fragility. Other people say things like you will not damage your barrel even with a lot of cleaning using a copper brush, and so on.

    Besides for cleaning, what about accidental dings or impacts? Let's say you accidentally bump your rifle on a tree or some furniture as you walk past, or you lean the rifle against a wall, but it gets knocked over and falls down. Is stuff like that going to cause any real damage? I imagine not considering you're also supposed to use a bayonet on a rifle in a hand to hand combat situation, but I figure I might as well ask here.

    Thanks for helping to educate a rifle n00b!
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
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  2. Roaming East is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 12:53pm


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    Depends on what you got. Routine maintenance ensures your rifle stays in top form for as many years as you have it, but lets get real. Your average rifle is a very durable piece of machinery. Gun barrels are designed to fire thousands of rounds before failure and if maintained will fire beyond that, just look at how many WW2 surplus rifles are still out there in use.

    But yeah, if you have a chrome lined barrel on a piece designed for extreme reliability, scratching said lining would lead to minute changes that can affect a barrels performance yadda yadda yadda..(if a barrel is chrome lined, its generally not a high accuracy model ANYWAY...)

    Long story short, regular cleaning of a firearm will ensure it works for damn near ever, minor cosmetic damage such of dings and scrapes happen but dont diminish anything but the appearance and REAL damage like burred barrels and misaligned headspacing happens after decades of use.
  3. wetware is online now

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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 1:13pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    That depends on the rifle. Most rifles aren't going to be bothered by being bumped around, especially battle rifles and hunting rifles and the like. It's a good rule of thumb that the more accurate a rifle is the more sensitive it will be to rough handling. An accurized sniper rifle, for example, could be knocked out of tolerances more easily than say an M14. Optics are another matter entirely and again vary widely on the scope.

    Your barrel, on the other hand, is typically made of chrome-molybdenum steel with a Rockwell hardness of about B92. Copper has a hardness of about B82 and Aluminum has a hardness of about B60, which isn't going to leave much of an impression on the steel at the forces you can make with your body, especially considering the forces put on the steel when you fire a bullet. The real danger is cleaning with power tools. Don't do it.
  4. Lord Skeletor is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 3:50pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Depending on the rifle, of course...however, one thing you can do to destroy or screw up your weapon's accuracy is damaging the rifling or damaging the crown of the barrel. In other words, don't drop the crown onto the pavement and keep steel away from your rifling and don't shoot steel bullets (unless they are copper jacketed).
  5. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 5:20pm

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As far as damaging the crown goes, would a flash suppressor protect the crown in the kind of situation you describe?

    I read a forum post where someone damaged the accuracy on a World War 2 rifle by using a stainless steel bore brush. Apparently rifles were made from softer steel back then.

    By steel ammo, you don't mean wolf, do you?
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
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  6. Lord Skeletor is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/07/2011 6:35pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
    By steel ammo, you don't mean wolf, do you?
    No. I mean armor-piercing. Many older forms of armor-piercing ammo weren't copper-coated. Many were outright steel, or some sort of heavy metal which was outright detrimental to the service life of the rifle.
  7. Roaming East is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2011 2:59pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Skeletor View Post
    No. I mean armor-piercing. Many older forms of armor-piercing ammo weren't copper-coated. Many were outright steel, or some sort of heavy metal which was outright detrimental to the service life of the rifle.
    WW2 rifles are damaged more from using corrosive ammo than any amount of bore cleaning in my experience. You would have to actually go out of your way to a large degree to even obtain a non copper bore brush. But the salts from using old mil-surp ammo can and will eat away at a barrel in fairly short order. If you're shooting old or questionable ammo, immediately use a soap/water solution to counteract that.
  8. Lord Skeletor is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/09/2011 4:59pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming East View Post
    WW2 rifles are damaged more from using corrosive ammo than any amount of bore cleaning in my experience. You would have to actually go out of your way to a large degree to even obtain a non copper bore brush. But the salts from using old mil-surp ammo can and will eat away at a barrel in fairly short order. If you're shooting old or questionable ammo, immediately use a soap/water solution to counteract that.
    Totally good call. I forgot all about that ****. Corrosive ammo is hardcore bad on your gun.

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