Re: WSM Barrel life
Two things about barrel life;
One, it ain't the same for everyone, and two heavy bullets eat up barrels faster.
In the first, what a hunter needs or is satisfied with is going to be different than what a competitive shooter has to have. I used to have guys line up wanting the test barrels I was done with, because they "wouldn't shoot" anymore. For me, in that type of testing, that meant a barrel that wouldn't hold 1/2 MOA ten-round groups, every time, without fail. Many of these take-off barrels went on to live long, happy lives as hunting barrels after I could no longer use them. So, it's a relative thing, and variable to each application. As far as the AMU pulling their 300 Mag barrels at around 1,000 rounds, the same thing applies. They're done for competition, but I'll guarantee you they'd still make decent hunting barrels for some time to come.
On the second, it's the heavier bullets that are significantly harder on barrels. Those AMU barrels would have been primarily used with the heaviest bullets (they're strictly long range guns, after all). This holds true regardless of cartridge or bore diameter, as long as we're talking about equivalent pressures, etc.. It's a sliding scale, and there's several variables that come into play, but you get the idea. Frankly, I've always looked at it this way; they're perishable tooling, threaded on one end. They come right off, and you can screw another whenever the situation dictates. Don't get attached to them, and realize that they're just a spare part, briefly threaded onto the rifle. You select a chambering based on the performance you require. Barrel life is a factor in that consideration, but it's a trade off in the final decision. Ultimately, you and the requirements of the purpose of the rifle are the deciding factors in when a barrel is truly shot out.
Last edited by Kevin Thomas; 04-13-2009 at 08:17 AM.