Originally Posted by bookworm
What is the key factor (or factors) that control barrel life? Is it just bullet velocity or are there others?
Are there any resources that show expected barrel life range (even rule of thumb) for various calibers?
As I mull over my caliber options I'm trying to take into account all the important items (cost, recoil, external ballistics, etc.)...but I don't have a good feel for expected barrel life.
Barrel life is based on many things so I take a stab at some well known things that should help.
The quality of the barrel material, barrel quality, type of powder, volume of powder,chamber
Pressure, Velocity, efficiency of cartrige, barrel temperature, Etc.
Cartridges with high pressure, high velocity and that are over bore tend to shorten barrel life.
Anything over 3000 ft/sec starts to shorten life the faster you go.
308s are a good example of good barrel life , small powder charge (Most of the powder is
consumed in the case) velocity between 2500 and 2800ft/sec with most loads.
7mm with very large cases (264 Win Mag ,7 Rem Mag, 7 STW, 7 Wea Mag, 7 Rum are some
examples of barrel burners, Of course there are others, these are some of the more notorious
"BUT" with care and good maintenance they can last a lifetime of hunting without any accuracy
The worst case I ever saw was a 7 STW loaded very hard (Almost 3800 ft/sec with a 31" barrel
lasted between 1100 and 1200 rounds before accuracy fell off.
The best I have personally seen is /was a 308 target with a 28" hart barrel that will still shoot
sub 1/2 MOA (With Iron Sights) that has in excess of 23,000 rounds down the tube.(It was used
in competition for 17 years By 4 different shooters.
If your talking about a hunting rifle , Don't worry about barrel life. If it is a match rifle
considerations should be though of based on estimated rounds to be fired through it in
In most cases barrel life is way overrated and should not be a consideration.
Build what you want.
J E CUSTOM