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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've done this before with varying levels of success shooting older rifles and revolvers pistols that have typically had at least a partial diet of black powder in the past. Today I was trying to clean up the bore on my 1904 FSS. It is right on the edge of what I consider a useable gun for smokeless so I fit a 2nd Gen 44 Special cylinder up in the gun and then shot 50 rounds of moderate 44 Special loads with 240 gr bullets and Unique. I figured the longer shanked 240gr bullets were just what I needed to get he job done compared to the 200 gr lead I shoot in 44-40.

At 15 yards all 42 stayed inside a saucer size group off hand @ 15yards. Nothing spectacular but the gun did get better with ever cylinder full (at least in my imagination), and I got better shooting it in those 42 rounds.

When I was done shooting today I went back and re-cut the forcing cone and recut the barrel's crown so that none of the pitting on the muzzle was sending rounds in the wrong direction. Next shooting session I'll sit down and shoot the gun from the bench and see how it really shoots fo groups and where they actually hit on paper with a vertical front sight.

Before a little fire lapping.
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After 42 hard cast lead bullets down range and a good bore cleaning by hand. I hope it continues to just get better as I shoot it.
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The barrel doesn't look that bad but how do you clean it. I've has badly pitted bores (is that the black powder or primers) and they shot well for a box of 50 but I got so tired of spending hours cleaning the lead out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
beemermark said:
The barrel doesn't look that bad but how do you clean it. I've has badly pitted bores (is that the black powder or primers) and they shot well for a box of 50 but I got so tired of spending hours cleaning the lead out.
Better photos for the "after" view just posted above.
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Hoppe's BoreSnake .44, .45 Pistol & Revolver Bore Cleaner (gunmagwarehouse.com)

I used a bore snake and WD-40 to start with. Kept that up till I thought I was getting what was left in the old barrel loosened up. Then a plastic brush and more WD-40. (it's just kerosene) Lots of nasty black stuff then came out with the plastic brush. Repeat.

I am still shooting the older Laser Cast bullets from Oregon trail. Pretty hard for lead alloy. No leading in my guns so far, even with this pitted .44. The next gun will be the real challenge.
 

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Looks like quite an improvement after shooting it! I wonder if FMJ's would work even better? I've used bore paste and a bore swab with some success .
 

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As long as the barrel has been pulled has anyone tried lapping? Any guess on the grit for bore paste? I have lapped a few barrels, but never on a SAA.
 

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I've read about people coating a bullet with some abrasive grease compound, shooting it, then cleaning it well.
 

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Common on rifles. Never heard of anyone doing it on a handgun let alone a old Colt 6 gun. Just seems like common sense on some of these old pitted bores. Next up I'm going to try some JB I have in the shop.

Fire Lapping a Barrel (ktgunsmith.com)
I have fire-lapped a 7" Shilen stainless barrel on my S&W 686 competition gun. It definitely shortened the break-in period.
 
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