Frankly, I am puzzled

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Bill in Oregon
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Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

I just stumbled on a grail gun, for me anyway, an affordable Model 8 in .25 Remington from a large "collector gun" seller in Houston. They said it had "strong rifling" which always makes me a bit uneasy. But when the rifle arrived this morning it looked to be in pretty decent shape. No cracks in the wood so far, metal mostly smooth patina with a little light freckling on the barrel shroud. I removed the barrel and taking a quick peak from the breech end, the bore looked passable, cleanable -- at least a jacketed bullet shooter. So I grabbed a rod and a bronze brush, dipped it in Hoppes and gave her a couple of strokes. Hmmm. Feels like a loose spot up toward the muzzle. Maybe just crud. But another eight strokes and then a patch through told a sad story: the barrel was badly rung about five inches from the muzzle. Additional brushing and patching and a soak with Wipeout and I saw something I have never seen before in more than a half-century messing about with guns: the bore was lightly rung FOUR MORE TIMES between the first deep one and the muzzle crown!
I have been puzzling over this discovery all afternoon and still can't quite sort it out, but it probably accounts for why the rifle is otherwise in pretty good shape for having left Ilion while Taft was still president.
Considering my options, the first that comes to mind is to clean the bore as best I can, then see if it will shoot a 117-grain roundnose with any sort of accuracy. I doubt it will, so my second thought was that the least expensive route would be to have the last five inches of the barrel counterbored. I would see a loss of speed going from a 22-inch tube to one 17 inches long, but it would seem that accuracy might be passable -- even with cast.
Third option would be to have it relined by someone such as Bobby Hoyt.
The fourth would be to find a spare .25 barrel for a Model 8 just gathering dust in someone's shop. HA! Not hardly.
I'll get some photos up here in the next day or two. The rifle has the deep crescent butt with the Remington UMC logo on a circle. The receiver is not marked SAFE when the safety is in position. The only other markings on the outside of the rear half of the rifle are the "Remington Trade Mark" on the tang, and the serial number, 28XXX, with an F above and a K in a circle below it.
Last edited by Bill in Oregon on Wed May 24, 2023 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JimT
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by JimT »

I would shoot it first, with several different loads. I have seen "rung" barrels give decent accuracy, though I confess my only experience with them is with handguns. A friend brought his Colt Gold Cup that had a stuck bullet fired out of it and it bulged the barrel, locking the slide about halfway open. We got it apart and my Dad turned down the outside of the barrel so that it would function. Shooting it, the gun with standard hardball loads would shoot near an inch at 25 yards, even with the big bulge in the bore. So I would give it a go first.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

That's a shame! First thing I would do is contact the seller and let them know your displeasure!! See if they will give you your money back ,or some of your money back OR pay to have it relined?
Then shoot it...

I wrecked a fantastic .22 barrel, Russian ammo. It ringed at about the 12" mark. No NFA stuff allowed here so I gave to a friend who was going to cut it back and suppress it.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Tycer »

Would using powders on the faster end of the load data reduce flame cutting a lead projectile?
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by AJMD429 »

.
Counterboring would be easy and my only question would be how much it would affect collector value…? :shock:

I mostly own ‘shooters’ so wouldn’t care.

Could you also have a liner put in or is the barrel too thin…?

then again, you could also counterbore it and use a Form 1 or whatever to fit over it a can and some baffles, then drill a bunch of vent holes for an integrally-suppressed 25 Remington Model 8… :shock: …antique the finish and tell people it belonged to Al Capone… :lol:
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Fellas, I will shoot it first with Hornady 117-grain RN handloads -- kind of the gold standard for this and the .25-35.
John, if it shoots jacketed, it might shoot gas-checked cast. Hard to tell.
Doc, counterboring might affect collector value, but I bought this for me to shoot and if that turns out to be the right solution, I won't hesitate.
I can't quite abide the thought of returning it, now that I have had its voluptuous curves in my hands. Not often that I get to own and shoot a design out of the mind of John Browning made in 1912.
I have another Model 8 made in 1923, in .30 Remington, in much better condition, but it's the .25 I have long wanted, so the .30 will soon be looking for a new home.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Old No7 »

GunnyMack wrote: Wed May 24, 2023 3:37 pm That's a shame! First thing I would do is contact the seller and let them know your displeasure!! See if they will give you your money back ,or some of your money back OR pay to have it relined?
I agree -- that is #1. Don't touch it yet -- until you get some agreement or settlement.

But I get it, it's a "Grail Gun", one you always wanted; but recall you did want it to shoot -- so get something from the seller as it's not shootable to yours (or our) standards the way it is.

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marlinman93
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by marlinman93 »

I've had barrels with one bulge shoot like new, but the loose spot was within the last 6"-8" and only one spot. I'd certainly try it to see how it does, but if it doesn't shoot well I'd hope the seller would take it back? If it was sold as is, or needed to be returned within 72 hrs., then I guess you're stuck. Not sure if a .25 Remington cartridge chambering is one a gunsmith would do a liner in?
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Follow-up that I am posting on a couple of other forums:
Guys, I have been watching for years for a Model 8 in .25 that I could afford. I spotted one Sunday at Guns International and reached out to the seller, Collectors Firearms of Houston, TX. The deal was done and the rifle arrived Wednesday, very well-packed.
When I dug it out of the styrofoam peanuts, I was very pleased: wood sound, metal finish almost uniformly that olive blue shade, just a bit of freckling and a quick glance down the bore with a light in the receiver suggested that it might clean up very nicely. "Good bore, strong rifling" had been their description.
But alas, when I pulled the barrel assembly off and ran a bronze brush soaked in Hoppe's down the bore, I hit a wide spot near the muzzle. Fearing the worst, the borelight confirmed a badly rung bore about inch 17 of the 22 -- and three more shallower rings between the first one and the muzzle! I have never seen multiple rings like this.
So on Thursday, I sent photos and an e-mail to Collectors Firearms with the comment that the bore they described as "good" would be described by most riflemen as "ruined," and what incentive would they offer for me to keep the rifle rather than return for a full refund.
The most straightforward option would be to shoot it and see if it is accurate; one never knows. The second option would be to counterbore the barrel down to the first ring. The next most drastic option would be a reline and rechamber, but that would be very expensive. And no machinist in his right mind would attempt to turn, mill and rifle a duplicate. Browning designed for things to work; the machining needed to make the parts seemed secondary.
Anyway, I suggested it would cost about 25 percent of the purchase price to ship the barrel to a gunsmith and have it counterbored. Collectors agreed and promptly refunded the amount this morning.
I felt compelled to lay out this case first to note how easy it can be to innocently overestimate rifling condition. One would think sellers would at least run a patch down the bore of used firearms they consign or resell, but I cannot count the number of times over the years when I have examined a rifle for sale whose bore had scarcely if ever been cleaned, and I used to bring put a cleaning rod and patches in the truck when going on the hunt at gun and pawn shops.
I of course could not examine the bore of the Model 8 before purchase, but at first glance it looked OK to me, too. I do not believe Collectors intentionally inflated the bore condition.
The second point is simply to congratulate Collectors on their prompt, courteous and fair customer service. I would buy from them again without hesitation -- except to confirm bore condition is as described.
Here are a couple of images of the Model 8. Dies, brass and bullets arrive next week so I will be able to load a sample of cartridges for testing.

Image

Image

Image
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GunnyMack
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

No doubt about that bore! Glad they were willing to work with you.
I'm curious how it shoots please let us know.

Hmm, now im wondering if a guy could work out a hydraulic system to iron out the bore...
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Just heard from a wiser man than I -- and there so very many of them! :D --that the barrel, once free of the jacket and springs, disassembles further, to the point it might not be ruinous to have a new one turned and chambered. Help Mr. Wizard!
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GunnyMack
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

I vaguely remember a classmate restoring a Model 8 in school. I didn't think the barrel was all that intricate, the jacket/ spring are separate so it shouldn't be too difficult...getting the orignal off the receiver might prove the problem.
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GunnyMack
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

Hey Bill, I saw this and thought of you

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns- ... =102237363
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Gunny, thanks for the link. They're kinda proud of that tool, aren't they? I actually ran across a Youtube showing how to make do without special tools, although there is a thread on the Great Model 8 forum about efforts to duplicate the original FN takedown tool.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by marlinman93 »

Glad to hear that Collectors worked with you Bill, and returned the funds you asked for. I sure hope the gun shoots OK, or that you find a solution that makes it a good rifle for you.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Mike Armstrong »

When I see a gun described as "good bore; strong rifling" or "some bore darkness; will probably clean to excellent," or even "shiny bore," I run away from the deal and the seller ever after.

Most such sellers won't even talk to you about a refund when the bore ultimately turns out to be unusable. And even if they do, the paperwork in some of the states I've lived in (ID and VT were fine, but lately NY, WA, and CA aren't) have got regulations for selling and buying and shipping costs that make your head and wallet ache.

I'm only a shooter and hunter, never a collector, so I'll gladly accept a "minute of deer" or "minute of quail" bore. But I won't pay a "minute of angle" price for it.

Hope your Remington adventure works out. Those Model 8/81s are not my cup of tea, but they are mechanical marvels and 'way ahead of their times.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by jnyork »

I have two .22 rimfires with ringed barrels, they both shoot just fine.

Try shooting first before you spend big bucks.
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Hope to give it a chance tomorrow. Busy with drywall and such today ... :(
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Rimfire McNutjob »

I used to live down the road a short way from Collectors Firearms in Houston ... if that's the one we're talking about. They were always pretty good with me, but that was, of course, in person.
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

That's the one, Rimfire.
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Made it to the range with the .25 and handloads consisting of 26.5 grains of CFE223 under the Hornady 117-grain RN in Grafs brass. Poor old Model 8 scattered the 117s at random. At 25 yards, four of five shots hit the 25-yard slow-fire pistol target -- oddly two a half-inch apart at 11 o'clock and two an inch apart at 7 o'clock. Bullet holes round.
At 50 yards, two out of 10 rounds struck that same 25-yard slow-fire target. The other eight apparently departed in a northerly direction toward Amarillo.
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GunnyMack
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

Well poop Bill that ain't good! How did it function? Did it put all the brass in the same general area? Only ask , maybe you need to try other powders/ bullets...?
Must be something with the quarter bores ( i know yours is ringed )as I'm still not happy with my 257 AI after 30 years!!
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Gunny, it ran the shells like butter, and put them all in a small puddle just a few inches right of the receiver. These Model 8s are so well mannered!
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GunnyMack
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Re: Frankly, I am puzzled

Post by GunnyMack »

Great! If it was tossing them all over I was thinking maybe the burn rate wasn't getting along with the ol girl- maybe causing the groups( even though we know the barrel is bad)
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