In the last issue, I wrote a “How-To” about slugging handgun barrels. I finished it by saying measuring a slug from a barrel with an odd number of grooves is more difficult because the grooves don’t oppose one another. Let me begin with a brief overview of slugging a barrel for those who might not have read the last issue.
A great many handguns have barrels with actual groove diameters varying from their nominal specs. This was common in bygone times, but still is with some foreign pistols and revolvers. Forget all about it if you’re going to only shoot factory-made jacketed bullets because you can’t vary from the sizes manufacturers offer anyway. The place slugging is beneficial is with lead alloy bullets, especially those made yourself. Commercially sold lead alloy .45-caliber bullets can be commonly had measuring .451″, .452″ or .454″. If you’re casting them yourself you can also size them to .450″, .453″ or .455″.
Slugging a barrel is ultra simple. It consists of merely pounding a piece of lead down the handgun’s barrel and measuring it. There are a few caveats to consider. First, use only pure lead for your slug. Second, tap it into the barrel’s muzzle with something non-metallic, such as a weighted rubber hammer or a hardwood stick. Next, tap it on through with a piece of wooden dowel. Don’t use a metal cleaning rod! And don’t let the slug bounce off the floor as it exits the barrel as being so soft it will be deformed.
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