A5 ring bulge - what to do

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A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby wineyarders » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:43 pm

I bought a beater Belgium A5 magnum for the salt marsh this year and ended up with a small ring bulge at the end of the barrel. As you can see in the picture, it's pretty close to the end and is relatively minor. From what I've read it's not uncommon to get a bulge at the choke when shooting steel shot through these barrels. I'm looking for some advice as to what to do. I'm not going to buy a new invector barrel as it would cost more than the gun cost. My preference would be be to just leave it be as long as it won't affect performance or result in a shredded barrel. There is a slight bulge in the rib as well but I don't think it would dramatically affect aim, but I'm a relative novice and could be wrong. If the rib deformation is an issue, any chance just the rib could be resurfaced and the bead replaced? In addition, I'm not sure if the shot pattern will change as a result of the bulge. I could probably have the barrel cut down, which I think would leave me with about 26" of barrel. Not sure I'd just end up with another bulge or how costly it would be to have it cut. In retrospect I wish I had bought a gun compatible with steel, and will probably delegate this as a loaner/back up and pick up an M2 or Affinity. Any thoughts? Thanks,

Ryan
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby jeepman » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:17 pm

I just went through the same ordeal with my Winchester X-2. The only difference with me was it is my primary shotgun so i bit the bullet and got another barrrel. A couple of options are to shoot it like it is, but i'd bet the performance will be terrible. Another option would be to have the barrel cut back and re crowned, but you most likely won't have a choked patteren and the diameter of the bore will be too big to rethread for a different set of chokes. lastly you could go buy an 870 at walmart for 350.00 and still have money for ammo for what it would cost you to get a new barrel for your browning.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby MarkM » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:07 am

jeepman wrote:I just went through the same ordeal with my Winchester X-2. The only difference with me was it is my primary shotgun so i bit the bullet and got another barrrel. A couple of options are to shoot it like it is, but i'd bet the performance will be terrible. Another option would be to have the barrel cut back and re crowned, but you most likely won't have a choked patteren and the diameter of the bore will be too big to rethread for a different set of chokes. lastly you could go buy an 870 at walmart for 350.00 and still have money for ammo for what it would cost you to get a new barrel for your browning.




Do NOT do this. That is a recipe for disaster. I believe that to continue shooting that will cause the barrel to eventually blow out.

Take it and get the barrel cut down and opened up or buy a different barrel.


If you don't wish to do any of that, use a different gun in general. Buy a cheap pump or automatic gun that isn't a fixed full choke or has interchangeable chokes.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby orphanedcowboy » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:49 pm

Cut it and have chokes installed, about $150 most anywhere or look up Rose Action Sports or Mike Orlen and have them do it way cheaper.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby tripleb » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:28 pm

I wouldn't call that amount of bulge "minor". That metal has been stretched quite a bit if the photo is accurate. I'd be concerned that it's not too far from failing if it's continued to be stressed with steel shot loads. Get it cut back and rechoked.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby solway gunner » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:59 pm

take triplebs advice.,if its a mag itl have 32" barrel measuring 31.5".,get it multi choked on 28",
keep shooting and your buddy in the blind will be wearing hot shrapnel anytime soon.

regarding shooting steel through older guns-ive two A5mags that were original fixed full chokes and had them both opened to approx i/m choking .i use them with my handloads up to 11/4oz using 4s-bbb without issues and ive put to many shells to count through them.,they pattern superbly.
always ,always open fixed full chokes up.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby wineyarders » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I think the barrel may have already been cut because the barrel strangely measures 27.5 in (assuming I'm measuring correct by measuring from a closed breach to the barrel tip). I could still have a 26" bird barrel probably. It's a fixed modified so I was hoping I wouldn't have any issues, but obviously I was wrong. I'm leaning towards cutting it down and making it a slug barrel instead of cutting and fitting with a new choke for waterfowl. Anyone know if on open choke is an issue for slug accuracy? Also, any thoughts on the type of sights to have fixed on the barrel?
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:14 pm

Nope, they are all a 1/2" short, metric measurements.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby solway gunner » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:49 pm

wineyarders wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I think the barrel may have already been cut because the barrel strangely measures 27.5 in (assuming I'm measuring correct by measuring from a closed breach to the barrel tip). I could still have a 26" bird barrel probably. It's a fixed modified so I was hoping I wouldn't have any issues, but obviously I was wrong. I'm leaning towards cutting it down and making it a slug barrel instead of cutting and fitting with a new choke for waterfowl. Anyone know if on open choke is an issue for slug accuracy? Also, any thoughts on the type of sights to have fixed on the barrel?


if that was a fixed modified choke then theres no way that barrel shouldve bulged that way.,something odd there.
you say you shoot saltmarsh ,i do too and when im in tidal muddy creeks im always checking the muzzle-possibly mud or some other obstruction couldve been responsible here?
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:47 pm

solway gunner wrote:
if that was a fixed modified choke then theres no way that barrel shouldve bulged that way.,something odd there.


Unless you're shooting lots of lettered shot sizes
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby solway gunner » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:42 pm

i shoot lettered size bbb without damage !!with 0.24 of choke in a .725 diam barrel there should be no issue with him using lettered shot.,-other than pellet count being thin.. - i think the problem may be elsewhere.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby wineyarders » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:59 pm

That's what I initially thought as well but was then persuaded it was steel shot and the choke. After some more reading and the above comment it sounds like the bulge I have is more severe than that from just using steel shot in a belgium barrel. Any recommendations on cutting down to about 25-26"and installing a new modified choke VS switching over to a slug barrel?
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby A5Mag12 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:56 am

I'd send it to Briley and have the rib removed and thin walls installed cutting off the least amount of barrel as possible.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby wineyarders » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:39 pm

A5Mag12 wrote:I'd send it to Briley and have the rib removed and thin walls installed cutting off the least amount of barrel as possible.


Pardon my ignorance, but when you say install thin walls, does that mean have a choke installed or have some sort of sleeve inserted throughout the barrel? I'm assuming I would be well served to avoid steel shot in the case of a new choke. I'm also curious why I should have the vent rib removed. I have an older light twelve without the rib that I prefer, but I'm not sure why one is better than the other.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby fishduck » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:13 pm

Why not just cut a few inches off yourself. This will cut out the damage and the choke. You will have a good gun with a fixed cylinder choke that will most likely pattern steel very well. I cut the barrel off my remington years ago when we switched to steel shot. I have shot thousands of rounds of steel through it with no issues.

Good Luck,
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby skb20 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:09 pm

A ring bulge caused by steel shot (and some lead shot loads as well) is normally about 4 thousandths of an inch (or less) over barrel diameter. That is about the thickness of a sheet of copy paper. Barely even noticeable in most cases, and of no significance to patterning performance or barrel safety. What your photo seems to show is nothing like a typical ring bulge. First because of the magnitude... which looks to be well into the hundredths of inches. Second, a typical ring bulge occurs back where choke constriction begins, not a half inch or so back from the muzzle as your pic seems to depict.

At any rate, whatever caused the damage, I would NOT shoot that gun again (with ANY load) until having things checked out by a knowledgeable barrel mechanic. Mike Orlen comes to mind, both as someone to check it out and as a provider of good quality barrel mods at good prices.

Good luck.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby wineyarders » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:15 am

OK, thanks. Mike Orlen is in my neck of the woods, I'll see what he has to say,

Ryan
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby skb20 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:48 am

wineyarders wrote:OK, thanks. Mike Orlen is in my neck of the woods, I'll see what he has to say,

Ryan



Excellent. I'd be most interested in what he does have to say... about both possible cause and potential solutions.

Good luck.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby STEVE IN SOCAL » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:31 pm

Been there done that. Bought a belgian gun that had already been cut and had a thin wall choke put in. It bulged south of the new choke. Upon inspection part of the choke was peeled back at a 90 degree angle to the barrel. One more shot and it would have blown. Get a new barrel or get a new gun. If you want to sell the rcvr, let me know.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby skb20 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:54 am

STEVE IN SOCAL wrote:Been there done that. Bought a belgian gun that had already been cut and had a thin wall choke put in. It bulged south of the new choke. Upon inspection part of the choke was peeled back at a 90 degree angle to the barrel. One more shot and it would have blown. Get a new barrel or get a new gun. If you want to sell the rcvr, let me know.



Bummer. Sounds as if your gun had faulty tube, or faulty installation, or both. There are certainly many, many Belgian A-5's with aftermarket tubes digesting sensible steel loads just fine. Not to mention those running steel through MOD constriction without tubes.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby 3200 man » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:39 am

I have a friend that shoots a old A5 with steel shot , he also had the same bulge happen ( maybe a little longer ) , he had
a Gunsmith ( friend ) that machined a slotted tube about 5" long and slept it on the barrel ,around the rib ,after pinging the
bulge back to spec's . He then welded the pc in and re-choked the barrel to Mod . After 20 some years , he's still shooting it .

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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby tripleb » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:39 pm

3200 man wrote:I have a friend that shoots a old A5 with steel shot , he also had the same bulge happen ( maybe a little longer ) , he had
a Gunsmith ( friend ) that machined a slotted tube about 5" long and slept it on the barrel ,around the rib ,after pinging the
bulge back to spec's . He then welded the pc in and re-choked the barrel to Mod . After 20 some years , he's still shooting it .

3200


That is another option. I recall seeing a picture or two in a shotgun gunsmithing book by Ralph Walker, where, instead of removing metal from the inside of the barrel, the rib was cut back, some metal was removed from the outside of the barrel to create a cylinder and a sleeve was installed over the barrel with silver solder. The sleeve was threaded for choke tubes, if I recall correctly. It wasn't the prettiest solution to the problem, but it was strong and better looking that those old Cutts and Poly chokes.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby Jarbo03 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:58 pm

skb20 wrote:
wineyarders wrote:OK, thanks. Mike Orlen is in my neck of the woods, I'll see what he has to say,

Ryan



Excellent. I'd be most interested in what he does have to say... about both possible cause and potential solutions.

Good luck.

Been trying to get an answer from him on some wrong tubes he installed in my gun. 15 months without an answer, eff that guy.

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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby BT Justice » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:03 am

The best advice anyone can give you is buy a new gun if you don't want to buy a new barrel.
That's not a minor bulge....it almost looks like there was some kind of blockage in the end of the barrel and then a round was shot through it...
Yod don't know how far back the steel on the barrel was weakened, it could be right there and it could be weakened six inches back...it's very difficult to tell.

You bought a gun you knew weren't supposed to shoot steel through ...but Ya did ayway
You played the cheapo game and lost....
Buy a new gun or take the chance of a real bad failure and possibly injuring yourself or someone else.
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Re: A5 ring bulge - what to do

Postby gunsmithing » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:47 am

Yes, I agree that its good to go for new gun..
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