A few years ago on the way home from a family trip away I graced a gun shop next to the cafe we stopped at for refreshments. On the rack was a BRNO 581 semi auto .22RF, something I had covetted from when I first started shooting but at the time could not afford. Complete with a ‘rimfire’ scope the owner was asking $400.00 which was fair or at least would have been were it not for the pair of bulges in the barrel near the muzzle. When I pointed these out to the store owner his response was “Is there? Really?” like he was not aware. Yeah, right. Anyways, I left with the rifle for $300.00 and at home had a local benchrest shooter and clever machinist lop off the offending piece of barrel leaving me with 16 inches (still sufficient for .22RF) then had him thread the muzzle and hang a weight on the end to maintain balance; sort of a faux suppressor. Prior to cutting the barrel the rifle shot well given the flaws in the bore but after chopping it shot remarkably for a semi auto with a heavy trigger. Sub 1 inch at 50m with HP hunting ammo (Olin Winchester Power Point 40gr ex Australia).
For those that have not seen what a bulged barrel looks like here is the sectioned piece. Note the two areas of rust. These are the bulged areas. When looking down the barrel from the muzzle they appeared as dark rings but where not detectable on the exterior of the barrel when running fingers over the area.
Of course what happens when shooting over such imperfections is the bullet momentarily becomes unsupported and prior to engaging again is allowed to get slightly out of alignment. Hence the departure from primo accuracy. I suspect the rifle had been subject to a bore obstruction or even two but fortunately remains very shootable.
A pair of Central Otago bunnies from our Christmas break 2013:
Keep your powder dry. Jeff.