Recently a reader sent his Editorship, Roy, a request for a specific column about how one goes about “slugging” barrels. Since I’ve been doing that for decades, I got elected to detail the process. First, a word about why anyone would want to “slug” a barrel. The sole reason is to determine its size, or more precisely, its interior diameter. Why? So the proper size bullets can be sent through it. With most American made handguns of modern manufacture, slugging a barrel is likely not necessary. Tolerances today are that good. With handguns of yesteryear, or modern ones of foreign make, it’s possible their barrels can measure all over the map.
Also, there’s this to consider. If you are going to only handload factory jacketed bullets in your handguns, or fire only factory loads, I say don’t bother. You will be restricted by the diameters available anyway. However, if you’re going to cast your own bullets or fire commercially cast bullets, then it pays to know what diameter you need.
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