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Unburned Powder in Big Cases, Right?

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Unread 04-17-2009, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: montana
Posts: 215
Re: Unburned Powder in Big Cases, Right?

Thanks guys. I knew I could get the info I needed at Longrange. Sounds like the unburnt powder will happen under ideal circumstances. I still question the throat erosion aspect however. Thanks again, mtmuley
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Unread 04-18-2009, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Patagonia Mountains, Arizona
Posts: 770
Re: Unburned Powder in Big Cases, Right?

Have you ever considered the actual life of a high power rifle barrel. I'll use the 7mm STW with a 26" barrel as an example with a 180 gn bullet at 3000 fps. If you allow that it will give 1000 useful shots thats only a lifetime of 1.27 seconds. The time the bullet is in the bore per shot is only 1.27 milliseconds.

Shooting high performace rifles is hard on bores. I really coiuld care less whether all of the powder burns or not. What matters is the pressure curve which is generated.
Desirable pressure curves
1. achieve a desired muzzle velocity.
2. don't exceed rated chamber pressure,
3. give repeatable burn rates resulting in low velocity spread. That usually means case fills in the 95 to 100% range.
4. as a tie breaker give lower muzzle pressure than other loads.

Nohwere on that list is long barrel life.

If I want more barrel live I choose a smaller capacity cartridge.
I consider 1000 shots, maybe even 500 reasonable life in a hunting rifle barrel. I'd prefer 5000 in a target rifle which I shoot a lot. Barrels however are an expendable item. They rarely cost more than the ammo it takes to burn them out so they're not the major cost of shooting.

Last edited by LouBoyd; 04-18-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Unread 04-18-2009, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,740
Re: Unburned Powder in Big Cases, Right?

Originally Posted by LouBoyd View Post
If I want more barrel live I choose a smaller capacity cartridge.


The short bbl life in a hyper mag has more to do with the pure quantity of powder in the case and the heat and shock associated with it.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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