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Hey Guys:

I have recently purchased a Marlin .45-70 with a 22" barrel.  I am using it as a back up for archery bear hunting.  Believe it or not my wife carries it and does well with it.   Given all of the discussion of fire lapping I'm wondering what improvement I will be likely to experience with this stock weapon and if any of you can tell me from your own experience with .45-70's how much improvement you found after fire lapping.  I'm shooting Randy Garrett's solid lead bullets in the 420 grain load.  My real question is fire lapping really worth the effort for shots under 50 yards?  I'm willing to do the work required but not if the return is negligible for up close and personal type shots.  Am an avid archer and will not likely use this weapon for anything out beyond 100 yds even for meat hunting.  Your help will be appreciated.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Gary,
   I suppose whether you should lap or not depends on the performance you are now getting. Is the rifle leading the bore after a few shots? Is it shooting a group that is adequate for your intended purpose? I have rifles that shoot cast bullets admirably without lapping, but one needed it to prevent fouling from building up and ruining accuracy after just a few rounds.
   I would let the rifle tell me what it needs, and if it ain't broke don't fix it!          IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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50 yards... doubtful that it's worth the effort - my opinion.  Just depends on the person - some people want every last drop of performance, others are happy the way the rifle comes from the factory.  You might not now need that performance now, but could change your mind in the future.

But you know, firelapping isn't really all that much effort, either.  It is pretty easy.

You don't say what sort of groups you are getting now.

Lapping is a great thing also if the barrel leads a lot.  That's probably my #1 reason for doing it.

That sure was a helpful answer wasn't it?!?!?  I think that you have to shoot the rifle a little and see if it's meeting the expectations, before deciding on any modifications.
 

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Pardon my ignorance, but what is firelapping and how do you do it???
The main reason I ask, is,I have a 45/70 sharps repro with a pitted barrel. Would this process improve thing if I did it?
 

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If you want to know about firelapping, try to get a copy of Marshall's book here on this site.

I learned not only about firelapping, but other really interesting and helpful info.

The only problem with Marshall's book and articles, is that there's never enough of them!! He and the people on this board have a lot of good info.

Chuck
 

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Know other people have larger expectaions that I do, but if fire lapping cures a barrel fouling problem or relieves a tight spot, feel it's done it's job. Relieveing a tight spot will always increase a\overall accuracy; reducing fouling will just extend accuracy before fouling increases group size.

In other words, it the barrel shoots well but foul quickly, fire lapping may nbot make it more accurate, but will increase the number of shots before fouling makes your groups into patterns.

Personally, seldom fire lap a barrel that doesn't show signes of one of those two problems (tight/rough spot or excessive fouling)...if it geroups well and allows a reasonable number of shots befor needing a cleaning, will leave well enough alone.
 
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