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Yes Mike, the barrel and barrel cap holes can wear, this allows the barrels to sit at slight angles and can, if bad enough, lock up the intermediate wheel, not only that but if you have wear in the clock plates too this can add to the problem.
Binding will occur under load as it pushes the pivots into the areas they have worn in the plates, this in turn will make the arbors sit at slight angles and again, if bad enough, can lock up the train.
Have you checked the rest of the gears to make sure none of them have any wear in the clock plates?