Originally Posted by skyhead
Up until I actually purchased the rifle I had no idea that barrels actually wore out. Is it the rifling in the barrel that actually wears out? And how do you know when it is done for? I can only see myself launching bullets all over the place and figuring that my high dollar scope has shot crap so I send it in or replace it to find all my troubles were actually the barrel.
Read up on throat erosion. It's worse on more overbore rounds and worse on cartridges with short necks. It's also a lot worse if you let your barrel heat up significantly and shoot heavy loads through it.
A barrel is done for when it no longer puts up the accuracy you want. I've seen barrels that are pretty worn still put up 1/2" 100 yard groups. The next one won't be that bad wear wise but shoots like crap.
All barrels wear to a point, but some like 22lr's will outlive their owners. 7rums and 30-378's will seldom go 1000 rounds accurately.