Fouling of the Barrel
Fouling is another important branch of internal ballistics. The chief cause of fouling is the fact that all of the various substances of which powder is made do not burn up and form gases, but instead a part of them are reduced to a liquid or a solid state, and these are forced along toward the muzzle of the gun by the gases of the powder that is burned up.
The lands, as the sharp corners of the rifling are called, tend to hold these particles or deposits, with the result that the barrel begins to get crusted. Each time a shot is fired a little more of the deposit is formed and a little more fouling results, until finally the crust is so thick that the bullet in passing through the barrel gets scraped and this leaves small particles of lead behind.
The combined effect of the lead and fouling causes the barrel to rust, and many a fine gun has been spoiled in this way as well as making it bad to use, for fouling is very apt to lower the velocity of the bullet as well as to throw it out of its true path.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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