Real 5.45 barrel erosion ctgs.?


#1

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All of these have been advertised as “barrel erosion test” cartridges, but I beleive them to be fakes. One source suggested that they came out of FN in Belgium.

All are on Soviet cases.

AKMS


#2

Those case mouths don’t look original.


#3

Agreed. The question remains, were these legitimate barrel erosion test cartridges using Soviet cartridges to provide the cases for “reloading” or just someone’s fantasy? The chipped lacquer around the case mouths could have happened in either case. The first cartridge on the left of the group of three looks to have a heavy case mouth crimp and little damage to the lacquer…also looks like an aluminum projectile.

If these came out of FN as I was told, why would FN need to test barrel erosion in this caliber?

AKMS


#4

Barrel erosion in high pressure high velocity ammunition is largely a misnomer. Its throat erosion or lead (pronounced LEED) erosion that is the problem and its caused by firecracking.

The high temperature and pressure causes carbon to be absorbed into the steel of the barrel immediately in front of the case mouth. This effectively is case hardening and causes the surface to become brittle and eventually microscopic cracks appear.
Bits then start to break off causing a rough surface which then accelerates the process until under a bore viewer it looks like a some of the metal has just vanished and what is left is a jagged mess.

Match level accuracy can start to be lost in a target barrel in as little as 1500 rounds. I am sure that Ray as a benchrester can beat that.

The force of the bullet when it hits the start of the rifling is what causes the bits to be broken off but ordinary steel jacketed bullets are probably a lot harder on the barrel than any of the bullets above. Its more of a hot gas problem than a bullet related issue.

Real barrel erosion is at its most noticable in the old black powder rifles where the gritty powder residue acts like a grinding paste and does remove metal over time. Some of the old shotguns had barrels that wore paper thin.

Today, I can always tell a martini rifle that has been used as a shooter because the barrel is so shiney compared to a rifle that has been stored for the last hundred years or so. The combination of powder residue and paper patched bullets acts like metal polish


#5

[quote=“AKMS”]
All of these have been advertised as “barrel erosion test” cartridges, but I beleive them to be fakes. One source suggested that they came out of FN in Belgium.

All are on Soviet cases.

AKMS[/quote]

At least I can say what none of them ever has appeared here in Russia. It


#6

[quote=“AKMS”]Agreed. The question remains, were these legitimate barrel erosion test cartridges using Soviet cartridges to provide the cases for “reloading” or just someone’s fantasy? The chipped lacquer around the case mouths could have happened in either case. The first cartridge on the left of the group of three looks to have a heavy case mouth crimp and little damage to the lacquer…also looks like an aluminum projectile.

If these came out of FN as I was told, why would FN need to test barrel erosion in this caliber?

AKMS[/quote]

AKMS, FN did and likely still does a lot of testing on foreign Material. Further a well known faker worked at FN years ago and made plenty of experimentals only for collectors. Luckily he can’t do that anymore.


#7

I believe I am the “proud” possessor of some sabotted Tokarev and Makarov rounds from that gentleman:(


#8

Jon, could you show them to us to be aware?


#9

Here they are. I’ll also post them on their own thread.


#10

Yes Gentlemen!

I put a post higher up to answer Jon’s question.

It is almost certain that these “barrel erosion test cartridges” are fakes, from the same maker as noted before. I have several specimens in my drawers, same as the ones pictured.

Years ago, I had a discussion with Bill Woodin, who thought that they could have been correct, and coming from Czech Republic, but for what use ???
The trouble was that the guy who"imported" them from the Czech Republic was the same character who worked at FN…! At the same time, he had also for sale a so-called 5,45 mm caseless russian round, from identical originh, which revealed to be a very well made total fake!

The only genuine barrel test ctgs I know are from Finland, with a slightly under-calibrated cylindric massive steel bullets, in 7,62x54R and maybe 7,62x39 M43.

They had been designed to check the condition of the rifling of machinegun barrels, after a good number of shots, to determine exactly when a barrel total change was necessary, without firing thousands of rounds.

I hope that you will find some interest in these lines …!

Philippe


#11

Jon, thanks a lot!


#12

The first of those I saw at a German collector sometimes during the mid 90s who just brought them back from a Czech friend as experimentals. They were to find a suitable and cheap to produce solid bullet.
This same guy offered me exactly the same basket of items on the following Czech meeting and he gave me the same story.
Well, my thought was that if the former CSSR was experimenting on something like this they would have had other ways than pulling bullets to get cases. And if they had to, all would have come from the same crate with the same headstamp.
Instead the ones I saw had different origins, (270 and 539) and were made during different years. And the bloke’s hands suggested he earned his bread working on lathes.


#13

I get mine from a Czech collector sold just as experimentals, as far as I remember not really expensive. Fake? I don’t know, I’ve seen stranger ctg with are regular rounds.
Wishes, Jan.


#14

Vince is correct. A barrel is not worn out or eroded by friction of the bullet but by corrosion caused by the hot gasses from combustion of the powder. The more powder that you burn at high temperature and pressure, the faster the barrel will wear, starting at the throat and proceeding down the length of the barrel. A Benchrest rifle barrel will be considered to be shot out at around 800 to 1000 rounds. It will still show remarkable accuracy by hunting-rifle standards but will no longer be competitive. Some over-bore hunting cartridges can completely ruin a barrel in less than 500 rounds. Again, it’s the amount of powder at high temperature and pressure that is the culprit.

I know knothing about the “barrel erosion” cartridges shown. I suppose it’s possible that they were loaded to test the effects caused by different bullet materials. They sure do look fancy, I’ll give them that much. I guess if I was going to fake something like that I’d give them unusual shapes too.

Ray


#15

Thanks for that Ray, “Vince is correct…” Thats not an expression I hear much in this house!

What I was going to say is that shot out barrels can be (and are routinely) reclaimed by cutting about 2" (50mm) off the chamber end then re-threading them and re-cutting the chamber.
It works like magic and it serves to illustrate just how localised the wear is in a modern barrel.

The main motivation is cost, these barrels cost a fortune.

Just out of interest, how much would you expect to pay for a new match barrel in US? Over here about


#16

Vince

You are correct. Not about anything in particular, I simply thought you’d enjoy hearing it again. ;) ;)

The cost of barrels here in the US varies, of course, depending on the quality and how much work you need to have done for you rather than doing yourself.

Basic barrel blanks can cost anywhere from $100 USD to $400. The former being a moly-steel mass-produced bargain grade, and the latter a stainless, custom Benchrest quality. A gunsmith will generally charge $200 to $300 to fit and chamber.

Much of the cost differential that you have to pay over there (and in Europe) has to do with government regulations. Barrels and most other gun parts are tightly controlled by idiotic State Department rules that view anything related to guns as being war material. If the US gunsmiths were allowed to sell directly to you, the final cost would be the same as we pay here with only a small added fee for shipping. But, you’ll have to admit, the world is a much safer place if you and other Brit shooters are not allowed such a luxury. ;)

Benchrest shooters have to look at a barrel as an expendable, no different than powder, primers or bullets. Seldom does one last more than one shooting season or 1000 rounds, whichever comes first. So, 50 cents to 75 cents per shot is about average. Other types of shooting will cost less since the acceptable accuracy level is much different. Hi Power barrels may last for several thousand rounds and a hunting barrel can last a lifetime.

I do my own barrel work so my costs are a lot less. But shooting Benchrest is like owning a Cadillac or BMW or Rolls Royce. If you have to ask how much gasoline will cost, you have no business owning one.

Ray


#17

Ray, do you make barrels yourself from scratch?

As well as the state department rules, in the UK a chambered barrel is classed as a firearm in itself, so is regulated like receivers are in the USA.


#18

Falcon

If you mean rifleing, etc., the answer is no. I let the experts do the hard part and I simply thread, chamber, and maybe profile. I do know a couple of shooters who have made their own rifleing cutters but it’s usually just as a curiosity to see if they can do it. Even then, they try to start with an old shot out barrel that is undersize, say, a 22 barrel to make a 6mm barrel. Making that first round, straight hole is the hardest part.

But, don’t you feel better knowing that all those gang members don’t have access to unregulated rifle barrels? ;)

Ray


#19

I did mean the rifling part.

I’m sure all of the UK sleeps easier at night knowing that dangerous benchrest rifle barrels are not in the wrong hands.