Barrel problem, S&W M-52

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Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 2:31 pm

I bought my M-52 a couple of years ago.  The fellow I bought it from used it for a short time probably in the 1980's, then put it away.  I bought it, but didn't get to use it much.  I cleaned it once, but before that I hadn't shot it very much.  For the past few weeks, I'm shooting it more, and working on what to do to improve my shooting.  Today I intended to do a thorough cleaning.  

When I got to the barrel, the cleaning brass brush felt "funny" when it was close to the chamber end of the barrel.  I looked in, and saw what I thought was lead fowling.  So, lets of patches, lots of "Shooter's Choice", followed by lots of Hoppe's #9 - now it's better, but it's not clean.


Somehow I managed to get a photo of it.  The photo looks worse than what I see looking at it, but my main issue right now is what to do about it.  Can I clean it at all, or do I need to send it to a specialist?  Can it even be fixed?  Maybe I should post this in the S&W forum as well - maybe someone there has already dealt with this problem.  Here's the gruesome photo:

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by Steve B on 4/20/2018, 2:35 pm

Drop it in a jar filled with Hoppes, give it a day to soak then brush it some more.  If it isn't clean then soak it another day.  The Hoppes will slowly eat the lead out.

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 4/20/2018, 2:37 pm

That's lead build-up at the beginning of the rifling.  I've had a slight amount of that with my .45.  I used a dental pick (I think from Harbor Freight) to carefully scrape away the lead after applying patches with Hoppes #9.  Kroil would probably have been better, but the lead was not difficult to remove.  There are many options for lead removal.  That was mine.

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 3:05 pm

That was fast - thanks!!!   

I'll follow suggestion #1 first - I stuffed the chamber end with patches, sealed it all with aluminum foil, then filled the barrel with most of my remaining Hoppe's.  I'll wait until tomorrow, try again, and keep at it if needed.  I guess I head to the gun shop tomorrow and buy more Hoppe's.  

I do have a collection of dental tools, but that sounds risky.

Maybe this is the reason my gun hasn't been shooting as well as expected, even from my crude bench rest.  Hmm, the total number of times I've shot this gun can't be more than three or four hundred, if that.  I suspect much of this was there when I bought the gun...
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by Tim:H11 on 4/20/2018, 3:19 pm

That’s a lot of lead! Get that junk outa there! Lead is bad for your health too. 

This may or may not be a good idea but if it’s bad enough take the rod and brush, chuck it in a drill, and go to town with a lot of solvent. Just use a very soft brush. Don’t wanna hurt the bore. I’ve don’t this to a die that was all messed up before but never a barrel. Try at your own risk.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 4/20/2018, 3:24 pm

You can also use Chore Boy solid copper (NOT PLATED) scouring pad strips on a bore brush to scrub it out.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by CR10X on 4/20/2018, 3:26 pm

Clean it, do not abuse it.  You will not find a replacement M52 barrel without a lot of begging and probably $'s these days.

This is how a lot of 52 barrels look after shooting HBSWCs.  

If you want to shoot a 52, then you'll have to learn how to clean it.  Careful brushing, patches and more brushing.  And if its pitted or oversize, then you'll get to do it very often.  

CR

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Lewis Lead Remover

Post by tray999 on 4/20/2018, 3:36 pm

When I shooting a lot of PPC it was my go to for lead removal.....   Here is a link: Brownells


Last edited by tray999 on 4/20/2018, 3:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Better Link)
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 3:41 pm

CR10X wrote:Clean it, do not abuse it.  You will not find a replacement M52 barrel without a lot of begging and probably $'s these days.........This is how a lot of 52 barrels look after shooting HBSWCs.........If you want to shoot a 52, then you'll have to learn how to clean it.  Careful brushing, patches and more brushing.  And if its pitted or oversize, then you'll get to do it very often......
I haven't had this happen to my other guns, but most of those are shooting jacketed bullets.  I better take a closer look at the Salyer though.   You're right about replacements, but I spoke to Colton at Clarks Custom Guns, and he expects to have barrels available in several months.  They are already in production.  Chances are I will buy one anyway, 'just in case'.  

Careful cleaning - maybe I need to do this a lot more often - I don't want lead building up like this again.  Maybe every time I shoot it.  It's not that difficult to take apart - I followed (and made a copy of) this video (but I think the way he treats unscrewing the barrel bushing, he risks damaging the threads - I'm much more gentle):


EDITED -- DO NOT DISASSEMBLE THE GUN AS SHOWN IN THIS VIDEO.  FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM S&W, AS POSTED LATER IN THIS THREAD.

I AM NOT DELETING THE VIDEO, AS I FOUND IT USEFUL DESPITE THE ERRORS, BUT BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO DO TAKE THE GUN APART.  




Last edited by mikemyers on 5/22/2018, 2:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : NEEDED TO LEAVE A NOTE THAT THIS VIDEO IS INCORRECT.)
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by Multiracer on 4/20/2018, 3:48 pm

Find yourself a couple of "tornado" brushes in 40mm. Clean all oils from the barrel until dry, then scrub with the tornado while the barrel is clamped in a vice.

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 4:11 pm

tray999 wrote:When I shooting a lot of PPC it was my go to for lead removal.....   Here is a link: Brownells
Thanks - went to your link, watched the video, and remembered I have one of these from 30 or 40 years ago!  Found it, and took a photo.  This can be "Plan B", but before I even consider using it, I need to get. more of the "rubber" cylinders that the brass wraps around.  I doubt mine are still "rubbery".   :-)     ...lots of options now, but I'll start with the simplest one, soaking overnight in Hoppe's #9, cleaning, and repeat as needed.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by JKR on 4/20/2018, 4:12 pm

Some of the advise I'm seeing here makes me nervous! What CR has told you is dead on. Treat that bore lovingly. For Gods sake don't use a dental pick or spin a brush with a drill! I've used bronze wool on a copper brush for lead that won't come out with patches after soaking with Kroil. 

Jim

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 4:17 pm

Steve B wrote:Drop it in a jar filled with Hoppes, give it a day to soak then brush it some more.  If it isn't clean then soak it another day.  The Hoppes will slowly eat the lead out.
This is Plan A.

What Cecil wrote is exactly what I hope to do, but I need to learn how.  Soaking overnight can't hurt anything, and I'm guessing it might take more soaking.  You're right, several ideas here sound scary.  I don't plan to use them.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 4:19 pm

I should add, my cleaning with Hoppe's (over and over for almost an hour) did get some out.  The only tool was the wire brush, and lots of patches, wet, dry alternating.  Each time some lead did come out - patches never got to where they came out clean.

Before I posted this, I suspected lead, but I've never had a barrel like this to deal with before.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by jglenn21 on 4/20/2018, 4:39 pm

your lewis lead remover should be Plan A not B.  it's a great tool and been around forever.  My rubber cylinders are over 30 years old and it still work fine.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by jglenn21 on 4/20/2018, 4:41 pm

I use a 50/50 mix of Hoppe's and kroil.. works well on lead verses straight Hoppe's
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by tray999 on 4/20/2018, 4:46 pm

mikemyers,

Good luck with Plan A it is worth a try.    I have found Hoppe's not what it use to be for removing that much built up lead.   That is why I recommend the Lewis lead Remover.

Back in the 70's we would use mercury and a rubber stopper to eat the lead out of PPC guns.  But that was before we knew about mercury poisoning...... Shocked
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by jglenn21 on 4/20/2018, 4:54 pm

yeah once they removed the Nitrobenzene from the original it doesn't work quite as well
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 5:01 pm

I've heard of Kroil, but never had or used it.  It will take a week to get to me from Midway USA, and the shops I've called nearby don't have it.  Do you guys agree it's that good?  If so I'll order it, along with the Lewis Lead Cleaner part from Brownell's.

The rubber pieces I have feel like they're made from metal.  Not sure why, but I didn't even buy them - they came along in a box with my reloading gear, and I just put it away for the future.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by dronning on 4/20/2018, 5:26 pm

mikemyers wrote:I've heard of Kroil, but never had or used it.  It will take a week to get to me from Midway USA, and the shops I've called nearby don't have it.  Do you guys agree it's that good?  If so I'll order it, along with the Lewis Lead Cleaner part from Brownell's.

The rubber pieces I have feel like they're made from metal.  Not sure why, but I didn't even buy them - they came along in a box with my reloading gear, and I just put it away for the future.
Kroil is one of if not the best penetration oils you can buy.  Years ago I was turned on to Kroil by a friend that was in a Model T restoration club, they swore by it and I've used it ever since.  This stuff will creep in the smallest of spaces.  I actually have it in my sonic cleaner tank.

- Dave
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by fc60 on 4/20/2018, 5:59 pm

Greetings Mike,

I have an Outers Foul Out electronic bore cleaning tool I use often.

I would avoid trying to clean it with an abrasive method.

You would have to mail me the barrel and pay for the return postage.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 6:20 pm

Kroil is now on order.

In the meantime, I am keeping a patch with lots of Hoppe's inside the barrel.  Will keep track of how quickly the lead is coming out.

I also ordered the part I need for the Lewis Lead Remover.  Maybe I won't even need it this time.  I'd rather try it out on another barrel first.
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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 4/20/2018, 6:40 pm

Here is another source for the Lewis barrel lead removal kit:  http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=71&category=7&secondary=&keywords=

That kit is the best (mechanical) method for lead removal, in that it won't damage the bore when used per the instructions.  Soaking in kroil will only help.

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by mikemyers on 4/20/2018, 6:50 pm

Thanks - but I already ordered the part I need.  I have an ancient kit....

Thank you anyway.  I had trouble finding places to buy it.

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Re: Barrel problem, S&W M-52

Post by kjanracing on 4/20/2018, 8:47 pm

DON’T as in DO NOT follow that guy in the video showing how to take down a 52! He has no clue how it’s done.
Kurt
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