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· Super Moderator
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Welcome to the Forum

I do not know who may be re-rifling muzzleloaders these days. My local gunsmith did take a rough .50 flintlock barrel and ream it out to a .54 smoothbore. I might suggest talking to a competent gunsmith or do a web search. All the best...

· Registered
1,511 Posts
A good smith should try lapping the barrel first, in my humble opinion. Recutting rifling is an all-or-nothing proposition, or you wind up with basically a blackpowder 12 gauge.
You'll never lap out a badly pitted bore. The only way to remove pits is to cut the surface down to below the depth of the deepest pit. It takes hours of lapping to enlarge a bore by .001" and that is nothing to an old pitted bore.
"Freshing" as originally done used a single hook cutter set into a lead lap so that the cutter was guided by the original bore. The cutter was then pulled through repeatedly to first cut the grooves deep enough to clean up any pits, then cut the lands down to proper groove depth. Thus you end up with essentially the same bore but of larger diameter. The smith then enlarged the ball mold to fit the new bore. I know of no modern smith or barrel maker who does that today.
There are several barrel makers today who will rebore a barrel. In that case they bore out the old rifling entirely, ream the bore smooth and then cut new grooves. Bobby Hoyt rebored a .54 to .58 for me and that is the way it normally works today. They will rebore to a "standard caliber" such are reboring a .45 to .50 or a .50 to .54. The old timers didn't worry about "standards" because there were none. It didn't matter if a bore came out at .47 caliber or .51 caliber so long as the mold cast a ball to fit. You couldn't buy balls from your sporting goods store anyway.:D
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