what would be a safe temp to keep under? And the range by my house is surrounded by trees so no wind at all.
Well, to give you an example, I was shooting this past Saturday. Temp was 35 degrees. My bbl never got above 46 degrees. I had a good continuous breeze which helped a lot.
I don't like the bbl to get over 20-25 degrees above starting temp on cooler days. I don't shoot much when it is hot outside as it just takes too long for the bbl to cool. I'm probably a bit on the conservative side but I know I've never fried a throat either.
Thats always a plus, I hope I never fry one. Luckily it doesnt get to hot in Washington. Ive been looking for a place to get some long range practice in around here, no where yet to much snow everywhere I could go.
I like your switch rifle idea, only if I had another rifle. Yea, I made sure to take time in between my shots, especially since I was just sighting in my rifle. I would shoot 2, wait 5-7min. It seemed to cool off pretty fast with the colder temperature. How much affect does temperature have on a bullet? Will it drop faster or slower in mild temp changes, between 46deg F and say 60deg F?
I cool my barrels down with a Misty Mate that has been adapted to a Sinclair bore guide. Fill the bottle with ice water, pump up the bottle, insert the bore guide into the chamber and point the barrel down hill slightly, then turn the switch. Bingo. Ice cold barrel in about 1 minute. Just have to remember to run an oiled patch down it afterwords if you're storing it for awhile. If not, just shoot it. Whatever moisture is in the barrel is gone ahead of the bullet.
But in the long run, can't going from a hot temp straight down to cool temp like that warp the barrel?
Not a chance in the world. If you were pumping liquid nitrogen maybe but this is just ice water and it won't hurt a thing. I have shot some of my best groups in competition (including two range records this year) right after cooling my barrel down in this manner.
The water that comes out immediately after turning the switch is warm, then it gets cooler, then finally cold. A gradual step down in about a minute.