To Ream or Not to Ream

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  • Last Post 13 February 2022
GBertolet posted this 07 February 2022

I was fortunate to aquire a S&W 16-4 revolver. The cylinder throats measure .311, verifyed with pin gauges. I slugged the barrel, and although it is 5 groove rifling, I extrapolated the groove diameter, to between .3125, and .313. I shot 30 Speer 98 gr HBWC bullets, with 1.9 gr Bullseye, out of it, leaving light leading at the first 1/2" of the barrel. It shot pretty decent. Half dollar sized groups at 50 ft from a crude rest. Granted, it was only 30 rounds, as I didn't have anymore to try. Possibly after 100 rounds, the result might be different.

Possibly the HBWC bullets were swaged down, and due the the HB, expanding up again to groove diameter. I had ideas of using a chucking reamer of .313, and putting a fired case in the cylinder to act as a pilot, while protecting the cylinder walls, or getting a 5/16" brass lap, and open it up that way. Any opinions or ideas on this situation.

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OU812 posted this 07 February 2022

Use a softer alloy such as 20/1 and powder coat the bullets. Or just try powder coating with current alloy.

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Clod Hopper posted this 11 February 2022

OP, I would try other things before I changed a good shooting gun forever.  You might also polish the bore with Remington Bore Paste or JB paste.  As OU812 suggests, a different alloy and powder coating would be the first thing I would try.

Dale M. Lock

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JeffinNZ posted this 13 February 2022

If it is shooting that well after 30 rounds are you sure it was actually leading?

Cheers from New Zealand

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