Q:The muzzles of rifles and pistols hardly ever seem to be cut flat. Why is this the case?
A:Well-made rifle and pistol barrels are almost always finished by a process known as crowning. The crown is simply the raised area on the barrel's muzzle that allows a slight recess at the bore.
Crowning is done to protect the bore edge from dents and burrs should the muzzle strike against or be struck by a hard object. Rifling must be absolutely true at the end of the barrel for maximum accuracy and must be protected. The most popular type of crowning is the rounded type found on most rifles and pistols. Target guns often feature counter-bored crowning, made by recessing the muzzle face slightly and then lightly beveling the bore edge. Re-crowning a barrel can often improve accuracy in a gun where the muzzle has been just slightly damaged.