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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a 338 win mag on gunbroker that arrived with a fair amount of rust in the bore. To make matters worse I found steelwool fibers and rotational scratches in the bore suggesting the previous owner tried to clean the rust out via steelwool on a rod or dowel chucked in a drill. There is not much pitting and the scratching will probably affect accuracy more than the rust would have. I was just wondering if anyone has had any luck getting a rifle to shoot well after they had rust in the bore. I have hand lapped the barrel with JB's but I can still see some scratches and minor pitting. I have not shot it yet so I don't know what to expect when I get to the range. Are there any firelapping kits for the 338? I may just have to rebarrel but any advise from folks who have experienced rust in the bore would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the bore of this rifle. It sounds like you have cleaned it up as good as possible. Some rifles shoot quite well with less than perfect bores. The only real way to know about your 338 is to shoot it. It just may surprise you. If you are interested in hunting accuracy, as I would assume, it may be okay without a new barrel.
 

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plug up the muzzle, fill the bore full of Kroil, and let it sit overnight. Next day, dump the kroil, brush the bore good, swab it clean, and load it up and shoot it. I have found the larger bores more tolerant to a less than perfect bore than the small calibres.
For the average sized animals that are usually hunted with a 338, anything under 2" is "hunting accuracy".

I'm curious, did you go back to the seller and ask him about any of this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
beemanbeme said:
I'm curious, did you go back to the seller and ask him about any of this?
Yes I asked him about this and a couple other issues with the rifle. He claimed his employee was supposed to "clean" the rifle before shipping it, and that he gave him 0000 steelwool and 3 in 1 oil to clean up any gunk or rust on the blueing. He swears he had no idea about the rust in the bore or that steelwool was used in the bore. I have a hard time believing that he didn't know especially with the other issues I know he was aware of. I also saw he had a couple negative feedbacks for selling firearms with rust or scratches where rust was removed so this must be common practice for him (or at least his employee). I guess I should have known better but he had several positive feedbacks and I thought those items may have been isolated incidents. In his defense he did offer to take the gun back and refund my money but I've already paid a transfer fee, state background check fee, shipping, etc plus I've cleaned it up pretty good so I'll keep it.
 

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My experiences with less than perfect bores leads me to believe yours will be ok accurracy-wise. Try beemanbeme's suggestion, and see what you get. I think at worst, you may have a problem with copper fouling after a box or so of ammo, so just get a good copper remover if you need it, and clean often.
 

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Hard to predict what your gun will shoot like. I've got a 30/40 Krag that the barrel looks like a sewer pipe and the thing shoot very good groups. Others I have seen, don't shoot worth a darn?
 

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Bolt Action Rifles

oneshotonekill,

You may be surprized how well your rifle will shoot, my suggestion would be about the same as ( beemanbeme's ) use the kroil overnite and start a cleaning process juat like the gun was brand new, Shoot it and clean it just repete this process until you are sure you have got all the crap out of the bore. Take your cleaning tools with you to where ever you shoot and rebreak in the rifle and i would almost bet it will surprize you. I've had the some thing happen to me and most of the time you can overcome the problem, Best of luck to ya sir, I would like to know how you make out if you would post your results Here, Thanks.........Joe........
 

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I've tinkered with a lot of milsurps and a rusty, pitted bore doesn't mean the rifle won't be accurate. Try it out before you give up on it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took it out and shot it a little bit and was pleased with the accuracy. I only had factory ammo available (Remington and Hornady) The remington was shooting just under 2" then I switched to the Hornady's and was rewarded with 3 shots right at 1" ctc. I then started to shoot another group with the hornadys and had 2 shots well under an inch when I noticed the action was shifting in the stock. Turns out that the stock was cracked behind the recoil lug and the wood was compressing. For fear of the gun coming apart I did not shoot any more. I just got a new stock (Boyds laminate VIP) and a Taylor heavy recoil lug (the original was slightly bent and was quite small for a 338) and purchased an additional barrel in 300 win mag. When I get a little time I'll fit and finish the stock then try to get back on the range. If everything works out I'll have a switch barrel rig capable of taking anything in North America.
 

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oneshotonekill said:
I took it out and shot it a little bit and was pleased with the accuracy. I only had factory ammo available (Remington and Hornady) The remington was shooting just under 2" then I switched to the Hornady's and was rewarded with 3 shots right at 1" ctc. I then started to shoot another group with the hornadys and had 2 shots well under an inch when I noticed the action was shifting in the stock. Turns out that the stock was cracked behind the recoil lug and the wood was compressing. For fear of the gun coming apart I did not shoot any more. I just got a new stock (Boyds laminate VIP) and a Taylor heavy recoil lug (the original was slightly bent and was quite small for a 338) and purchased an additional barrel in 300 win mag. When I get a little time I'll fit and finish the stock then try to get back on the range. If everything works out I'll have a switch barrel rig capable of taking anything in North America.
Oneshotonekill,

Now that's what I call making a good thing out of a bad situation! Great idea!
 
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