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Recommend Gunsmith - Barrel Bend
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January 10, 2023 - 4:08 pm
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Hello All!  I was hoping the membership could help guide me in the right direction for a repair.  I recently acquired a Winchester Model 71 made in 1955.  The rifle is in beautiful original condition, with only a few minor handling marks on the wood.  Bluing is great.  Unfortunately, sometime during it’s life it acquired a slight bend in the barrel.  The bend is in the last 6-inches at the muzzle end, and I don’t think the gap between the barrel and a straight-edge is even 1/8.”  Naturally I’d like to have the issue addressed.  I was wondering if anyone could recommend a gunsmith for this type of work.  Replacing the entire barrel seems excessive given how minor the bend is, but I’m certainly no expert.  Turnbull has already turned it down, as have all of my local smiths.  So….any recommendations?  Thanks!20221025_092838.jpgImage Enlarger20221025_092932.jpgImage Enlarger

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January 10, 2023 - 4:16 pm
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Verify that the bore has the bend before you do any bending not that its just had too much metal removed in that area in the finishing process.

Bob

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January 10, 2023 - 4:59 pm
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ck4241 said Turnbull has already turned it down, as have all of my local smiths. 

  

Be grateful for that–you may have saved about as much as the gun is worth.  And be doubly grateful the “local smiths” turned it down, or you’d probably have a disaster on your hands!  But the cardinal question is, how does this defect (if that’s what it is) affect the accuracy of the gun?  If it will produce a reliable 3 shot group of about 2 MOA, I don’t think you have a problem beyond a minor aesthetic one.

If AFTER testing it, you discover a serious accuracy problem, you might speak with John Taylor at Taylor Machine.

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January 10, 2023 - 5:26 pm
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clarence said

ck4241 said Turnbull has already turned it down, as have all of my local smiths. 

  

Be grateful for that–you may have saved about as much as the gun is worth.  And be doubly grateful the “local smiths” turned it down, or you’d probably have a disaster on your hands!  But the cardinal question is, how does this defect (if that’s what it is) affect the accuracy of the gun?  If it will produce a reliable 3 shot group of about 2 MOA, I don’t think you have a problem beyond a minor aesthetic one.

If AFTER testing it, you discover a serious accuracy problem, you might speak with John Taylor at Taylor Machine.

That’s a good point.  I can live with it if it puts the shots where they need to be.  To be honest I haven’t fired it as of yet.  I’ve only got one box of .348, though I could put together some handloads. 

1873man said
Verify that the bore has the bend before you do any bending not that its just had too much metal removed in that area in the finishing process.

How would I verify this?  My eyesight isn’t good, but I cannot discern any evidence when looking down the bore with the naked eye.  Run a dowel down the bore perhaps?

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January 10, 2023 - 5:48 pm
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Winchester would straighten barrels after the boring process by looking down the barrel at a window with a line across it but I think that was before the rifling was put in. If you can’t see a bend in the bore then a metal dowel is the next best option. A wood dowel might follow the bend depending on how hard of wood you used.

Bob

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January 10, 2023 - 6:12 pm
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Thanks Bob!  I’ll get a metal dowel from the hardware store sometime today and check it out.  I appreciate the input.

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January 10, 2023 - 7:17 pm
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My dad had a rifle with a bent barrel.  We just learned where it grouped and adjusted our hold. 

Sometimes with our older guns it is better to adjust the shooter and not the gun.

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January 12, 2023 - 10:39 pm
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As long as it groups well, I wouldn’t worry about it. Especially since its not all that visible with the naked eye.

Various military groups had several rifles with practically 90 degree bends in them for shooting around corners. They were accurate. 

 

My father once had a friend with a Remington Model 700 Bolt Action Rifle fitted with a Fluted, Tapered, and Matte Stainless Steel Barrel. He was target practicing with it in his back pasture when he realized he forgot it was almost time for him to go pickup his grandkids at the bus stop / end of his driveway. He was checking his target when he looked back towards the road and saw the bus coming. Well he hurriedly jumped back in his pickup to drive from his back 40 to his driveway. All while forgetting he laid his rifle on the hood. He made it halfway down his driveway and the gun fell off the hood. Well he pickup the kids and say it headed back up the drive. The rifle landed in the mud straight up and down muzzle end buried a foot in the dirt. Well once he got through with the kids, he pulled the barrel out of the ground. Then he noticed the barrel had a a bend of about 20 degrees off center 3/4 the way down the barrel. The bend was a downward bend in line from the scope. 

So my dad’s friend was all distraught and thought it was totally ruined. He talked with several gunsmiths and the ones that would look at it wanted an exorbitant amount for fixing the barrel. Dad told him to bring it over and he’d fix it. Dad put it in his workbench vice and blocked the receive end in from moving. He took it and bent 20 degrees in the opposite direction and when it he let it go free. It bent right back in place to its original form. They then remounted it in the stock, went out and shot it. It was grouping 1″ at 300 yards and they called it a day.

Sincerely,

Maverick 

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January 13, 2023 - 6:21 pm
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Cool story.  My Dad taught me to lay guns on the hood near the windshield.  This way they wouldn’t get damaged or left behind.  I guess we didn’t think of what would happen if backing up in a hurry?  My Dad found a shotgun once that was left behind.  Lucky for the owner my Dad was able to find out who owned the gun.

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January 15, 2023 - 11:52 pm
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Shoot it! PAST Magnum recoil pad, plugs/muffs recommended if firing from a covered bench. Would be interesting how one of those laser boresighters would co-witness with the sights.

 

Mike

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