Home Sports and Recreation Gun barrel dents: What you should know about safety and accuracy

Gun barrel dents: What you should know about safety and accuracy


Bruce Potts offers some important tips on how to inspect gun barrels. He also explains when you should visit a professional gunsmith.

Can you shoot an rifle with a ding in the barrel?

Q: My barrel has a dent at the end from when I bumped into it while getting it out of the pickup truck. Will it affect accuracy?

A: Inspecting the muzzle crown on your barrel should be done regularly, as it’s one of the most neglected yet essential areas on any rifle that affects accuracy. If there’s any damage, rust, or unevenness to this area of the barrel the bullet will take a slightly varying path from shot to shot.

Check the muzzle cap of all rifles, whether they are new or second-hand. Accidents do happen, and even with new rifles. Today, there are many different muzzle crowns for rifles, from flat, straight or recessed muzzles, to concave profiles of 11 degrees, all designed to ensure that the bullet can leave without obstruction. Scratches, dings and irregularities are a problem. Gunsmiths can easily recrown a rifle’s muzzle at a low cost. This is well worth it if your rifle’s accuracy starts to decline. I would also install an extended threaded protection if…

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