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Monday, 24 July 2017

Slugging Bores - Pt. 2 - A Winchester Story:


Greetings Mister K.

Yep, 'slugging the bore' can certainly be beneficial, particularly if done
before the actual purchase.

Years ago having spotted several traditional style lever-action Winchester M94 angle-eject 'trapper' models with 16 inch barrels in .44 Magnum at a major firearms retailers shop we decided that this was a short, handy & desirable carbine that was worthy of a closer look.

A 'Commemorative' M 94 Winchester - Should Be 'on -Spec'?

Turned out that every one we looked at had the sights misaligned and they leaned to one side. We then ordered one from Richard (a firearms retailer) which duly arrived from the agent and this one had the same problem, although the agent was prepared to pay for a gunsmith (Rod) to rectify the problem. Before Rod commenced the work we asked him to 'slug the bore'.....and shock horror..... the bore turned out to be .4315 instead of .429. Hell; who makes .432 diameter projectiles?.....Anyone?

Bugger that; the rifle was returned to the agent and a replacement supplied. This one had the sights aligned and the bore slugged at .4295, which we figured was possibly as good as we were likely to get. We somewhat reluctantly accepted this although with serious misgivings regarding 'quality control' or lack of, at the Winchester factory.

We then scoped the Winchester with a new Tasco 'World Class' low powered 1x-5x variable which proved to be a huge mistake. While testing various hand-loads the Tasco was found to arbitrarily adjust the point of impact in pronounced curves instead of just vertical and horizontal, which made it impossible to 'sight in' the carbine.

A credit was duly obtained on the Tasco and a Leupold 1x-5x variable with aftermarket pop-up scope caps was fitted. However, no matter what load & brand of projectile was tried, we could not obtain acceptable groups at 100 meters.

We then found that Richard-The-Retailer had several boxes of a particular discontinued Winchester .430 diameter 240 grain JSHP projectile which he was jealously hoarding for a future Ruger .44 Magnum semi-auto project. He offered to let us try a few with the warning that additional stocks would be unobtainable.

A Nosler .44 Magnum JSHP

Bingo.....the groups shrunk from around 3+ inches at 100 meters to 1-1/8 inches. Certainly not bench rest accuracy, but quite acceptable given the range limitations of a .44 Magnum carbine.

We then figured we had to coerce Richard into selling us his remaining stock of these projectiles. After several horses had changed hands in the trade, thankfully, we ended up with around 700 of the projectiles.

As a 'bush rifle' and for general use out to around 150 meters this particular Winchester is superb. Being so short it's also very handy to carry and great when crawling through scrub.

Colpepper Aramberriberri.

- A bloody good story Col, well done,

Marty K.