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Barrel Life - key factors?

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:20 PM
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Barrel Life - key factors?

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.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:26 PM
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
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
ones.

"BUT" with care and good maintenance they can last a lifetime of hunting without any accuracy
loss.

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
one year.

In most cases barrel life is way overrated and should not be a consideration.

Build what you want.

J E CUSTOM
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"PRESS ON"
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:31 PM
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

Go to 6mmbr and search the articles section for the barrel life program that estimates barrel life based on your info
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:07 AM
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

JE - thanks for the input. I'm trying to avoid ending up with a barrel burner. I'm not a competition shooter - I will only put 500 rounds through a barrel in a year, but I'd hate to have to replace the barel after only 2-3 years. I'm really looking for something I can get 5+ years out of...if not longer.

Bounty - I appreciate the tip. I wasn't able to get the spreadsheet off of the 6mmbr site (too many downloads it looks like), but I was able to find it on the Accurateshooter site. Even if it's not highly accurate it should give me a pretty good idea of where I'd be...very useful.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:54 AM
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Location: Oregon City, OR
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

It's just like race cars and horse power, it gets expensive to go fast! This is also why most race cars are not daily drivers.

Build what you want and put barrel life in the back burner, and build your self or buy a daily driver.
I built a 7 mag and got it dialed in, roughly 150 rounds. And bought a cheaper 308 and shoot the he'll out of it. It's much more difficult to get consistent hits at range with a 308 than a 7 mag. So when I switch back to the 7 it seems easy! This has improved my shooting skills much more than if I would shoot the hot rod.

This way I have a nice hunting gun that only gets shoot about 50 rounds a year and a 308 that gets shoot 1500 rounds! The 7 will last forever at that pace and the 308 is good for 5+ years.

As for barrel burring, small bores with big powder charges= short barrel life. Take the same powder charge and start increasing the bore size and the barrel life increases.

243 win burns out faster than a 260, which burns out faster than a 308. Simple terms.
264win vs 7mm vs 300 vs 338 Same concept.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:43 PM
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Location: SW Idaho
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

Willys - it's interesting you make this suggestion, as this is the approach I started with in my brain a few months ago but abandoned it because I didn't like the idea of spending money on 2 rifles...so now I've come full circle. I think it makes a lot of sense, so I'm going to seriously consider it again.

Since it gets most of your rounds, did ou spend some bigger $$ on the .308 to build a custom?
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:21 PM
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Location: Oregon City, OR
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Re: Barrel Life - key factors?

This was my approach. Built a nice longrange rig. Bought good glass for it and put a 20 moa base. I spent alot (relative) on glass so I could use it on both my longrange gun and then use it on the 308 in the off season.

For the 308, I started with a used rem PSS. The nice thing about 308 buying used is ok because barrel life is great. I shoot that setup for over a year. Barrel had over 3000 rounds through it. Because longrange shooting and building guns is a sickness I had a new barrel and stock put on the 308. So now I have a really nice hunting rig and a 308 to shoot. I share the glass between them. Now I shoot the 308 from jan to late aug and then set the hinting rig up and get it dialed in. Takes about 25 rounds to get comfortable again. And have 25 rounds for hunting and target practice during the season.

Just how I did it. Just remember you can get almost ANY 308 to shoot .75 moa.
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