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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a new SS bbl from a name manufacturer chambered for 6mm XC.

This bbl is their top of the line match grade unit in 7.5 twist.

The round count down the bbl is 325rds. Bullets would be half 70 SMK and half 107 SMKs.

I recently put the borescope down the throat just to see how my cleaning regiment was performing and WOAH!

There just down the throat, on one land, and one land only, was what appeared to be steel that was missing from the land. It was there when the bbl was new and thru about 250 rds or so. This land damage has taken place in less than the last 100 rds.

The damage appears to look like circular pits strung out for 3/8-1/2 inch down the land, but they are rather deep. The "Pits" appear as if metal has been pulled from the land rather than some sort of chemical pitting action.

One land next to it appears to have the beginnng of the same condition. The bbl has NEVER had any ammonia copper remover type solvents in it.

This "Pitting" doesn't appear in any of the grooves or farther down the bbl.

I have examined many bbls and will typically see the fire cracking and throat wear, but that is in bbls with 1000 or more rds down the tube. This is not my first XC bbl and therefore have experience with the breed.

Might this "Damage" be a bbl steel quality issue or do you just get one of these bbls that don't hold up very well. I hate to think that bbl life is a complete crap shoot for $300+ a pop.

If this was a 6.5x284 or a really hot wildcat, I could see damage at this round count, but I have never gotten less than 2000-2500 rds out of an XC bbl. The bbl still shoots good so no problem there, YET!

Is it worth calling the bbl manufacturer up?

Looking for your thoughts.

Reply with quote  #2 
I would call the maker. It probably has nothing to do with the barrel making, it sounds like it is a problem with the steel itself. The steel is an alloy, it is a "mix" of several components. There could be softer areas than others, and there could be porosity. Neither is wanted, but it happens.

I bet the maker will replace it without trouble. They may want the old barrel back, but you can't blame them for wanting to see it.
Reply with quote  #3 
I sent them an email, let's see just how they respond.

Reply with quote  #4 
I've heard all kinds of "round counts" on shot out 6XC barrels. I've heard everything from 500 rounds to 3,000. A friend got 3,000 rounds by using an occasional cleaning with diamond lapping compound to remove roughness in the throat area. Another prominent national shooter got 500 by only cleaning occasionally. Are you shooting a cut or button rifled barrel?
Reply with quote  #5 
You get what you pay for. If you buy a high quality barrel you should not have these problems and if you do the better barrel maker will make it good by replacing the inferior barrel.

The lessor quality barrels will have problems because of inferior materials, poor workmanship and tooling. Many of the less expensive barrels are not even stress releived or lapped.

Nat Lambeth
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