How to Check a Crown on a Rifle

Written by nathan fisher
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How to Check a Crown on a Rifle
A rifle's crown is the last part of the barrel to contact the bullet. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

When inspecting a rifle, either before purchase or during routine maintenance, it is important to check the rifle's crown. This is the area at the end of the rifle's barrel, where the rifling exits the bore. Rifling is defined as the spiral grooves cut into the inside of the barrel that causes the bullet to spin, stabilising it in flight. A damaged crown can lead to inaccuracy as any imperfections can affect the bullet's rotation as it's shot from the barrel, causing an off-target shot. (see reference 1 and for all steps)

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • White gun cleaning patch
  • Bore light (or small flashlight)
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton swab

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  1. 1

    Insert a cleaning patch into the front end the barrel. Push the patch in just far enough so it clears the barrel's opening.

  2. 2

    Turn on the bore light and shine the light on the patch. The light reflecting off the white patch will help you to notice any issues that might be present with the crowning.

  3. 3

    Examine the rifle's crown visually. Look for rust spots, pitting and scratches, all of which need to be addressed. Remove the cleaning patch with the tweezers.

  4. 4

    Rub the cotton swab over the end of the barrel and around the rim on the inside of the barrel, where the rifling meets the front of the barrel. If there is any damage, such as burrs or pitting, the swab will "snag" on the damaged areas.

Tips and warnings

  • Minor imperfections in the crowing can be cleaned up with a metal file. However, unless you have gunsmith experience, major issues should be left to a professional gunsmith, or you might risk making the situation worse.

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