Thank you very much to those who have reached out to me. Instead of replying to individual emails, I'll try to answer all the questions here so everyone can read:
1. Ammo used was Winchester-Western Super X, 2 3/4", 1 1/4 oz, 7 1/2 shot.
2. No chance of mud, etc. entering the barrel. One person in our hunting group hypothesized that perhaps the wad from the previous shot had not exited; however, there was nothing unusual about the previous shot to make me think that could have been the case.
3. What's interesting in the split is that it looks like the barrel is not a solid piece of bar stock that has been drilled, but rather a very long, narrow rectangle of steel that was rolled together to form a tube (barrel). The split in the barrel appears to follow a seam where the steel was folded over and connected to form the barrel. In other words, the split does not look like the steel was 'torn', but rather follows a seam. The reason I point this out is that if this believe is true, I wonder if the barrel could be repaired--see next point below.
4. I was nosing around the internet yesterday, and I stumble across a website for a company in Memphis that purports to be able to fix/repair barrels. The name of the company is gunlistings.org. Does anyone know anything about this company, or is there another company who might be able to help?
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me.
Responses are not allowed!