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#1725508 - 10/09/07 Fire lapping a 22lr.
Centex Bill Offline

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 207
I was looking through the Midway catalog and saw that David Tubb has a firelapping kit for 22lr. I think it has progressively finer grit to polish the bore? This kit is about $30.

Is fire lapping advisable in a 22lr. I have a Marlin 39a microgrove barrel and will be getting a CZ452 American.

What do you fellows think????

Centex Bill

RV 728 BP
#1725511 - 10/09/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Centex Bill]
VAnimrod Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 61130
Loc: gone
Just shoot it.

The 39A and the 452 are about as accurate as they will ever get, if you feed them what they like.

The lapping kit, will be a waste of money better spent on ammo.

#1725524 - 10/09/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: VAnimrod]
Stillwater Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 261
Loc: In the far West
It's just my opinion, but I think a rifle barrel should be lapped, only if there is a compelling reason to do it...!


#1725553 - 10/09/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Stillwater]
Gene L Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/15/06
Posts: 4773
Loc: Georgia
I ain't lapping no .22 rifle. I've got some precision target .22s, and I don't see any reason to mess with them.

Plus, in my experience, and I think in the experience in others, a .22 LR shoots better after 100 or so rounds, up to 500.

Every time I've cleaned a match rifle, I've lost accuracy for a while.
Not many problems you can't fix
With a 1911 and a 30-06

#1725568 - 10/09/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Stillwater]
HawkI Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 06/10/07
Posts: 16861
Loc: The Hawkeye State
Yes, firelapping works but you can damage any gun by not doing it right! It's advised that you do not lap the bore larger in the grooves than your bullet diameter. This means you must have the proper tools and ability to slug your barrel end to end.

I would just shoot it!
" 'Hey look at me!' Who gives a schit about YOU. There's ten other guys out there".
Dick Butkus

#1726983 - 10/09/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Centex Bill]
Chinook Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 754
Loc: Sonoma, California
The concept seems questionable for a quality .22 LR barrel that already shoots.

I'd pass.
"You cannot miss fast enough to win."-- Ross Seyfried

#1740981 - 10/16/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Centex Bill]
1minute Online   content
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 19633
Loc: Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
A large proportion of the accuracy issues with 22 lr's involves finding one or two brands of ammo that work well. One my do no better than hitting baseballs at 50 yds with one brand and be driving tacks with another. Spring for a box of every brand one can find and go shoot some paper. Give the rejects to someone who doesn't care.

I would not dink with a barrel until one has looked at ammo and/or a potential headspace issue. 1Minute

#1741181 - 10/16/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: 1minute]
260Remguy Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 21198
Loc: NE

Even if Dave Tubbs sells this kit, I can't imagine ever fire lapping any barrel. If a factory rimfire barrel is so rough that it needs to be lapped, it probably needs to be replaced.

Whenever someone brings me a .22 LR rifle that won't shoot, I check the base and ring screws. Then I run a patch with Hoppe's #9 through the bore, if for no other reason than to establish a baseline performance level. Then I shoot a variety of ammo, usually starting with RWS Target Rifle or Rifle Match. On Ruger 10/22s, I always check to make sure that the barrel attachment is tight.


#1741422 - 10/16/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: 260Remguy]
DMB Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 13436
Loc: Grayling, MI
For barrels that aren't lapped by the maker, hand lapping works.
I'd never consider fire lapping however.
Don Buckbee

NRA Benefactor Member
NSSA Life Member

#1741606 - 10/16/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: DMB]
shreck Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 16724
Loc: littoral North Carolina
I have never heard of fire lapping a small bore.
Would this work on an older rifle?
A government is the most dangerous threat to manís rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.

#1741758 - 10/17/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: shreck]
rost495 Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 46961
Loc: La Grange, TX
Fire lapping works on centerfire guns. Never did it on rimfires though, would not see that after trying all different kinds of ammo, it would not hurt to try.

Much like CF barrels, if load testing doesn't work, lap it, instead of a new tube. If that works, it was cheap, if not its time for 500 bucks...
We can keep Larry Root and all his idiotic blabber and user names on here, but we can't get Ralph back..... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot....

#1742680 - 10/17/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: rost495]
TomC321 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 422
Loc: Maryland
In the case of abrasives in the barrel, a little goes a long way. I got a new Ruger MKIII 512 that didnít shoot that well. I suspected a little residual roughness from the manufacturing process. I hand lapped it with JB Bore Bright. Six passes with the stuff. Not much, but enough to take out the roughness. It shoots much better now.

I have some experience with this. I have ruined a couple of barrels in the past by over-enthusiastic use of abrasives.

#1743025 - 10/17/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: TomC321]
Klikitarik Online   sick
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 16143
Loc: Alaska - N63¬ļ, W162¬ļ
Fire-lapping 22s? I thought this was something every kid did (unknowingly). It seems to me that most of us who started out hunting with 22s probably carried a supply of ammo in our pockets. I can't speak for all, but I suspect most pockets have enough grit to qualify for lapping compound. (Why else would Remington's Golden Bullet have been marketed like it has been?) I attribute those "pocket lapping shells" for the fact that I could shoot so much better with irons as a youngester than I do now. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;\)
Sometimes, the air you 'let in'matters less than the air you 'let out'.

#1743256 - 10/17/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: Klikitarik]
StubbleDuck Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 4570
Firelapping a .22LR?

I've never done it, but the Dave Tubb "kit" only has enough cartridges to do 2 or 3 barrels.

Most .22's don't need the treatment, but just because a .22 might benefit from the process doesn't mean the barrel is bad or beyond saving.

The idea is to shoot no more than 10 or a dozen cartridges of differing grits trough said barrel. About 2 or 3 or 4 differing grits (like emory cloth or finer).

Was it me, I'd try shooting 2 or 3 cartridges of each grit through the barrel, running a moistened patch through it after each shot.

I dang sure wouldn't go hog-wild with 'em.

I agree shooting a couple bricks of ammo through the gun will do more than anything to clean up and smooth a bore. I also agree nearly every gun has a preference for one or two favorite flavors of ammo, and not necessarily the most expensive.

I've met countless shooters who had more good luck with 'Wally World' Federal bulk ammo, than any other .22LR brand or load!

Plus I know a fellow who owned a .17HMR NEF Sportster who needed to shoot (nearly) two bricks of ammo before the barrel settled down and broke in! A very tedious and "expensive" process, but he was happy afterward.

All of Tubb's 'kits' or bullets are designed to be fired at low (subsonic-like) velocities, usually no more than 5rds of each grit - if not less.

Brownell's sells both.

#1768772 - 10/30/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: StubbleDuck]
222Rem Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 10162
I'll keep it short, but the only experience I have with firelapping a .22lr involved using Verl Smith's (LBT) abrasive compound on my 10/22. According to instructions, I was supposed to put "a dollop" of compount on the tip of the bullet, then chamber and fire. I kept this up while cleaning and shooting for group. The group never improved and I realized that I had fired more rounds than I originally had planned. I took a peek down the bore and found about have of the rifling profile was GONE. Fortunately I'll never shoot out the rest of the bore with .22lr, but I still feel stupid every time I remember that dumb little adventure I took.

I've also firelapped centerfire revolvers and I feel that it does work quite well. I'd never try it on a .22lr again though.

To the original poster, PLEASE don't screw up nice little 39A.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
--Winston Churchill

#1768894 - 10/30/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: 222Rem]
vbshootinrange Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/04/01
Posts: 6703
Loc: RETIRED in Oregon, USA
My thoughts are, the Micro-Groove rifleing could "go away" real quickly....I WOULD NOT do it to the Marlin.
Virgil B.

#1768980 - 10/31/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: vbshootinrange]
olhippie Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 1737
Loc: Georgia
...The whole process spooks me a bit. I'd have more confidence in conventionaly lapping the barrel if I thought it was in need to a better polished bore surface. "JB" compound on a bore mop, with plenty of elbow grease mixed in, swabing the bore would smooth it up a bit without washing out the rifling.
...If a slightly more agressive polishing grit was needed, "Pearl Drops" toothpaste would do, worked the same way.

#1769634 - 10/31/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: olhippie]
222Rem Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 10162
I've never seen a 39 Marlin that didn't shoot the lights out. If one didn't, I'd start with a good barrel cleaning and then dive into as many brands of ammo I could find samples for. I'd rather live with the best results I found from the samples than EVER firelap or even JB the bore. I've JB'd a lot of centerfires, but I think the risk is a bit high in a 39, even with the receiver apart.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
--Winston Churchill

#1779405 - 11/04/07 Re: Fire lapping a 22lr. [Re: 222Rem]
StubbleDuck Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 4570
One really easy way to firelap might be to get some Aguila SSS 60grn "sniper" 22's and use them [sparingly] with a drop of some JB bore paste or similar on the top of the bullet, but like was mentioned above - with only a few rounds!

The 60grn Aguila's are advertised to have @950fps muzzle velocity, altho I've found they're much slower than that. They are solid lead however, with a long bearing-surface and look ready-made to help smooth a bore.

I'd also run a patch trough the bore after EVERY shot to catch any left-over and accumulating residue. Plus one would have the benefit of feeling/seeing the patches (theoretically) get easier to push through bore as it became polished, indicating how successful and quickly the "firelapping" was working.

Apparently the procedure is indeed a very delicate one!


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