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Barrel life consideration

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Unread 03-29-2014, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 984
Re: Barrel life consideration

a barrel is a chunk of metal with a hole in it ,
a barrel is an inanimate object , it has no LIFE , it has no soul ....
a barrel is a consummable part on a firearm (see the threaded location for removal & replacement ?)
a barrel attached to other parts becomes a firearm, which is nothing more than a tool !

once you understand that logic, you will be much happier and barrel stress will haunt you no more !
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Unread 03-29-2014, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 1,192
Re: Barrel life consideration

I have 2 "practice rifles". The first is a Savage 10 PC 223. From the factory it was a 9.25 twist, but I now have a 1:8 twist varmint barrel on it so that I can shoot the 80gr Bergers and SMK's.

My second is a 308. It was built from a used $285 Savage model 10 that had a 26" Shilen 1:10 varmint contour barrel fitted to it. The 308 is more demanding of the shooter since with the added recoil your hold has to be more repeatable in order to shoot it well.

If I do a target session, I will first get out the 223 and shoot groups on my 12x12 plate at 320 yards. It will show me if I am concentrating, getting the trigger discipline and breathing down. If I am doing good, then I will get out the 308. I am shooting 175gr SMK in my 308 and shooting it does cost close to double the 223, but it is more representative of any hunting weapon I have. It happens that my 308 is one of the most accurate riles I have ever owned and I have a proven load in it that will repeatably shoot less than 1/4" at 100 yards as long as I am on my game.

If both of these tests go well, then I will get out the 243 AI which is loaded up with either 95gr Bergers or 105 VLD's. The barrel life of the 243 will be much less than either of the others before it starts dropping off, but it is a reliable 1/2MOA rifle (another Savage 12 with a 26" Shilen varmint barrel 1:8).

I think what the OP is going to find, like most of us, is that factory rifles generally (except for the 308) do not have suitable twist rates to shoot high BC bullets. Then when you start looking at the expense of re-barreling a Remington and that fact that the factory barrels generally suck, the financial equation does not favor a Remington. In addition to the expense, you have the problem of finding a good smith to finish the barrel and what his schedule looks like. Some of the most rabid Remington supporters on this board have a machinist/perfectionist friend who does their barrel fitting and receiver accurizing and those of us who have to rely on a smith have an altogether different experience with higher costs without the benefit of having the job well done. In such cases, the prefit barrels for the Savage that I can fit myself for just $30 for a go gauge are a much better deal.

If you can't stand the feel of a Savage action (a real subjective negative) then my advice to the OP is to suck it up, and go to bugholes.com and get a Stiller custom action and a suitable blank (generally in stock, no wait), then get a suitable smith to fit the barrel to the action. The rest of the work fitting the stock and trigger etc should be within most peoples skill set.
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Unread 03-29-2014, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 4,057
Re: Barrel life consideration

Originally Posted by Joe King View Post
There's no reason a barrel can't go 2-3000 rounds on a 22-250 or more if you take care of the barrel, keep it clean, don't get it hot, don't push it for max velocity.

A friend of mine used to get about 3000 rounds out of his AR chambered in 223, but he was shooting High power for the NG shooting team. Used for more conventional purposes, varminting, pinking, a barrel on a 223 taken care of will last a long long time. Depending on your specific load, barrel combination I don't see why a 223 wouldn't be fine out 500yrds on a yote.

243 I'm still on the original barrel on my 243, Dad gave it to me for my 1st hunting rifle 30years ago, I couldn't begin to guess how many rounds down range it has. I used it for everything from gophers to deer.
not arguing with anybody here, but I do have a comment of the 22-250 and barrel life. I own three of them, and each one likes the same identical load and bullet! Is that not rare? The first rifle I discovered this load is long gone, or otherwise there would have been four rifles. The load is 35.5 grains of IMR 3031 with a Sierra 55 grain bullet seated within .003" of the lands. Shot a few sub .20" five shot groups with it. In rifle #2, I started to see the groups opening up after about 1400 shots. The groups were still quite acceptable and were sub 3/8th". Pulled the barrel and gave it a major cleaning, thinking that was all it needed. Still shot about the same. So I pulled the barrel again, and soaked it over night and then cleaned it. But before reinstalling it, I went over to a buddies place and we looked at with his Hawk Eye. The throat was starting to erode. Not real bad, but you could easily see it. Did a 3/8th" barrel set back, and rechambered it. Went right back to shooting those common quarter inch groups again. Now I honestly think that rifle #2 would have gone a rock solid 2000 rounds, but also think the groups would have been north of a half inch. Thinking about this a little bit, I think some of this issue was the preference for IMR 3031 (known to be a little harder on barrels). Now I can expect the samething out of the other two as well. On the opposite side of the scale, I used to shoot a couple of 6mm Remington's with some seriously hot loads.
The cases used were from a very old lot of Winchester .257 Roberts brass that held about a grain and a half more powder. On one of them I did a scope check with about 1800 rounds down the tube. The throat looked like it might have had 500 rounds of .243 thru it (we actually compared two .243 barrels to it for giggles). Plus it was a C/M barrel to boot. Without a doubt that barrel would have gone to 3000 shots. I think case design here was the plus factor.

In a typical hunting rifle being shot well under 500 yards; the above is over the top. But after taking two or three Coyotes in the 650 yard area it became important. Add to this the fact that the average hunting rifle rarely sees 1200 shots anyway. Anyway I put a lot of credence of case design verses barrel life when it's all said and done.
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