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Barrel Cooling

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Unread 03-12-2004, 08:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 323
Barrel Cooling

I've been reading on these boards that to pro long the life of your barrel you should let it cool between shots.

What is cool? How long does it take? How many shots can I take before it needs to cool. I realize that all this depends on many factors...but I would appreicate some general ideas or rules.
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Unread 03-13-2004, 12:14 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Barrel Cooling

I consider my barrels to be "cool" when I can rest the bottom of my wrist on it for extended periods with out any disscomfort.

I consider my barrels to be hot if I can't keep my palm on the barrel (about 6" in front
of the chamber) without disscomfort.

This is a very crude way to measure but it seems to work , most of my heavy barreled magnum guns get hot in about 5-7 shots , a 308 maybe 10 shots.
I have two 308 that have the same size barrel but one is fluted , shooting the same loads out of each one I haven't been able to see that the fluted barrel cooles any faster.I personaly like to have ALOT of space around my barrels to let them breath most of my guns have about 1/4" free float to let more air around the barrel
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Unread 03-13-2004, 01:31 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,519
Re: Barrel Cooling

JD I have often wondered why so many shooters go for the "I can slip a business card between my barrel and stock" distance for free floating? I think at least 1/16" is more functional especially if you tighten your field rest with a sling and I must say that when I finally build my current dream rifle it will have at least 1/8" clearance from the end of the chamber out to the tip.
GRAVITY. It's not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
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Unread 03-13-2004, 05:32 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: in front of my computer
Posts: 446
Re: Barrel Cooling

[ 03-13-2004: Message edited by: baldeagle713 ]
The one with the fancy stool.
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Unread 03-13-2004, 07:51 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,757
Re: Barrel Cooling

In 1000 yhard competitions where 10 shots are fired for record and 5 to 10 sighter shots were fired first, the barrels do get extremely hot. This is especially true in the 90 degree heat and dosen't matter if the shots are fired fast or slow. The barrel still heats up till it will burn the hand if you hold the barrel for any length of time.

Just to give you an idea of how long a good barrel will last even when it is heated to extreme, the Hooovers, who are great shooters, shoot their barrels until they have 2000 rounds on them and then they rebarrel at that point. They have found that, at that point, it is usually at the end of "two seasons" or years of competitions for each rifle. John has stated they (the barrels) are still shooting fine even at that point. They just don't want a berrel to go south in the middle of a season.

If you shoot more at one setting and in the time frame of 10 minutes then the above mentioned amount of shoots, the over heat will no doubt effect accuracy but, 15 to 20 shots does not seem to do this, at least not from what I have seen.

If you have a pencil thin barrel the info above does "not" apply.

DC [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

[ 03-13-2004: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
Darryl Cassel
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Unread 03-13-2004, 07:52 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 837
Re: Barrel Cooling

A few years ago there was a company by the name of Norlin Enterprises in Sioux Falls, SD that sold a barrel cooling system by the name of "Winter Breeze Barrel Cooling System". The idea was to blow CO2 down the bore with a special adaptor that fit the chamber. The tanks that were used were common soda pressure "barrels" that could be recharged at your local vendor or gas supply. He also included in your order small stick-on LCD thermometers that eliminated the guess work on how hot your bbl was and when to stop shooting. Don't know if this system is still available on not, but it sounded like a better idea than dunking the rifle in a barrel of water.
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Unread 03-14-2004, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
Re: Barrel Cooling

I remember reading a fairly compelling article (can't remember the source, duh!) that laughed at the idea that external barrel temp. meant anything. The author discussed the temps. achieved in a chamber at the time of firing and said the temp. between shots was so much lower that it was insignificant as far as "frying" a barrel short of firing full auto. I've always followed conventional wisdom (if the barrel's too hot to touch/hold, let it cool!). But I've always wondered whether it was "common sense" folk wisdom that could be backed up metallurgically.

I'd be interested in some sicence on this as opposed to what we "think" is important.

Let's face it, lot's of machinery runs at temperatures too hot to touch.....with that said, I'm sure as heck no metallurgist, engineer, physicist or even much of a mechanic..so what do I know! But I'd like to learn.....

[ 03-14-2004: Message edited by: rogerinneb ]
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