Barrel Burners

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by muleyman, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    My question is what makes a particular cartridge a barrel eater. I see that some of the 6.5's seem to have this problem. But in comparison a 7mm Mag has more velocity than the 6.5-284 or even the 264 Win Mag, but not much is said about it. Does it depend more on the shoulder angle, the amount of powder or is it strictly a velocity thing. It seems that if a person was too take care of the rifle, it should last them a long time before having problems. Also for a person that does not shoot a thousand rounds a year, more like several hundred, should'nt say a 264 last basically a lifetime of hunting. Thanks in advance for the response.
     
  2. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Usually the smaller bores with the bigger powder charges give the most barrel wear.
    If you pump 94 grains of powder behind a big 338 you'll have less wear than 94 grains behind a 30 caliber.
     

  3. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,595
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    It has to do with the case capacity in relation to the bore diameter. The 264 Win Mag has the same case as a 7mm RM, therefore less barrel life. The 7RM has the same case as a 338 Win Mag therfore less barrel life, etc.
     
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Simply put, a lot of powder and a small bore. The 7mm rem mag and the 264 winchester are basically the same case but you go down from .284 bore to a .264 bore. With like BC bullets they get about the same velocity. The 264 winny is not a bad barrel burner by the way. Mine has been shot a lot for many years and is still a very good shooter. The 264 STW or 300 wby necked to .264 will have a short life of premium accuracy. These two along with the 7mm ultramag, 30-378 wby, 257 STW and a few more similar rounds are ones I have built that definitely began losing their accuracy after about 500 rounds and they just taper off until they are just not effective at all. If you get these type rifles zero and shoot sparingly for hunting.

    I believe practice with your rifle and a lot of shooting gets you very good with your rifle. Therefore if a guy saves his money for a top long range hunting rifle I always try to influence them to get a big 338. Nothing kills better at long range and they will last you a lifetime. There is absolutely no comparison to an animal hit with a big 338 and one hit with a smaller caliber. My favorite pet 338-378 has had the daylights shot out of it for years as a go to hunting rifle and it still holds extreme accuracy. I don't know if the average guy could wear out a 338 Lapua or a 338 ultramag size case since they shoot nearly a third less powder than the big 378 and similar case stuff. If you start necking those huge cases to small calibers you get a lot of velocity but the accuracy doesn't last for as long as you would like. If you want to shoot the smaller calibers it seems the short mag case is very accurate and will last a long time. I have no personal experience with them but I built some when they first came out and those guys have shot them a ton for several years and they are still very accurate. I just never did any of those for myself since I had all the wildcats off the 280 and 30-06 case that will outperform the short mags and also retain excellent barrel life with cheap brass.
     
  5. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Thank you guys for the answers. I figured that was more than likely the reason. Here's the deal, I have a Rem. 700 in 338 Win Mag. As of right now this is probably a lot more rifle than I really need. Compared to 99.9% of you guys, I'm more of a mid-range hunter- 800 yards or so. The rifle shoots the 225 Accubonds extremely well and is consistently hitting right at about the 2950 mark with the factory barrel. I was considering re-barreling it into something a little smaller but would still stretch out there. I really only hunt mule deer and the occassional elk. Whats your thoughts.
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    What burns barrels up perhaps as much as any specific chambering is how the rifle is used and cared for.

    I have seen some pretty extreme chamberings have unusually long barrel lifes and also seen some pretty mild chamberings get severe throat wear in a surpisingly low number of rounds down the barrel. All comes down to how the rifle is used and if its allowed to overheat.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    That is good to hear. I am nearing the completion of a 25-300 Wby Mag that I plan on using for a hold and shoot out to 400 rifle. Mainly for White Tails in North MO and maybe a few Antelope. I have really been kicking my self for choosing this cal. I probably would have been a lot better off with a standard .257 Wby.

    Jeff
     
  8. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Fifty, I agree a few fast shots can overheat and ruin one in a hurry and with sensible care they can last much longer. Broz, don't worry a bit about the 25-300 wby. I have had a 25-8mm rem mag since way before anyone ever heard it was suppose to be a STW and it still shoots great. I have the pet load and it is just fired a few times every now and then by me or someone who wants to borrow it and level the 500 yard playing field on deer a bit. It drives a 100 grain bullet 3950 FPS and is a pleasure to deer hunt with. You will enjoy such an incredible gun. It will out perform your 257 wby. I didn't say don't use these because I have all of them. Just respect the fact they will destroy the throat of a good barrel without some extra TLC.
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Great!! Define TLC? You mean plenty of cool down time, proper break in and regular cleaning? Mine has a stainless fluted #3 Shilin 28" and I plan on trying 110 accubons.

    Jeff
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,417
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Barrel burners depend on many factors but think of your throat like a transmission in a truck. Heat is one of the top enemies. Obviously the longer you let them cool, the better off the throat will be.

    This also lends to the philosophical differences in the fabrication of steel. Many bench shooters look at barrels as disposables, and probably quite a few long range hunters. Shoot the throat out and just get a new barrel installed. On the flip side, look at the less popular Walther barrels. Much harder steel, built to last, but hard to work with compared to the softer, higher sulfur content steel tubes. The Germans make their barrels to last a lot longer, not necessarily a lot better or more accurate.
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Broz, you got a deer killin machine there. My 257 STW's are a 28", #4 Hart barrel and a 26" #3 Pac- Nor barrel and they both shoot extremely well when taken care of like you said.

    Muleyman, I have a 338 winchester story to tell you and you make up your own mind. I love the cartridge and the light 200 grain bullet because it will flatten anything with mild recoil not requiring a brake. In 2000 we had a great trip planned into my favorite supercub moose and caribou hole in SW Alaska. Delta airlines welcomed me there with my pet 338-378 broken in half and the scope bent in a horseshoe shape. My pilot buddy drove me into Dillingham to buy a new rifle. They had two in the store. A 243 remington automatic and another worse than that for Alaska. Coming out of the store to make a decision my pilots brother in law walked up and hoped we hadn't bought a gun yet. He said he had a 338 winchester model 70 with a Leupold 3x10 on it and he had already taken his moose and let me borrow it. My life was saved but he was out of his special handloads. Back in the store and they had factory ammo with the 200 grain nosler ballistic tips.

    I rough zeroed the rifle at a remote eskimo village airstrip while wating on some gas to fill the supercub. That evening we were at my favorite moose ambush point which is a 1140 yard wide gorge between two mountain ranges that funnels rut crazed river running bull moose right through there. You sit on the cliff face on one side of the river and the shots are up to 1140 yards to the cliff on the other side. As always the first evening we walked across the valley and set up some rock targets beside the trails to go back and take some spot shots to mark our clicks. My buddies gun was a 338-300 ultramag I had built for him and it shot incredible as usual. Amazingly my little borrowed 338 winny layed those 200's right in there once I got the clicks right all the way to the last trail just shy of 1100 yards.


    First morning I wanted my buddy to take his first moose so he hunted the spot while I went looking for caribou. We both past up mid 50" moose and he hunted there two more mornings passing up some almost legal 50" bulls. The next morning he had to go back to base camp and get some things so I sat on the cliff with my little 338 knowing Murphy's law that a monster would walk down the 1100 yard trail which it did. I watched him for three miles coming down the river and he was on my side of the river going to pass within 400 yards until the bear showed up. He walked across the river and stopped right next to one of the rocks I set my clicks on. The rangefinder said almost 1100 yards. I fired and after I ate a sandwich the bullet struck. Believe me it seemed that long. He hunched up and ran about 50 yards and stopped. I fired again and he just tipped over. I waited for my buddy to get back so we could cross the river together. (Dangerous and alder thickets with bears) He had watched the entire thing from the ridge above me. There were two shots about three inches apart right through the lungs with both bullets perfectly mushroomed against the opposite hide. He was a beautiful 72" B&C bull that was suppose to be my buddies but he picked the wrong time to visit base camp.


    During the remainder of the hunt that rifle took two beautiful double shovel caribou. One at over 700 yards and the other over 400. Both one shot perfect kills. I fell in love with the little winchester and offered the guy way more than it was worth for it and he refused saying it was the best shooting rifle he had ever owned. I lost a fine gun but gained tremendous respect for the little 338 winchester on that trip. Borrowed rifle, factory ammo and a perfect hunt.

    If I were you I would call it good with your 338 and keep it. It will do whatever you want it to and with good care you will never shoot the barrel out of it.
     
  12. Tyler Kemp

    Tyler Kemp SPONSOR

    Messages:
    1,461
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Wow that far with a standard 338, amazing!
     
  13. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Long Ranger, great story and sounds like a great trip, not to mention all the rubbing it in that your buddy now gets. I appreciate the advise as the rifle shoots great, and I really like it, but it does not have the best reputation for longer range stuff. Based on your previous experience and what I'm getting from the rifle and load, I think it will do just fine out to the distances I'm shooting. Thanks
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    A few things to help with your barrel life:

    -Keep it cool, never shoot more then three shot groups.

    -Find a good load and get away from load development as soon as possible. THat eats up more barrel life then anything else with alot of shooters. Finding that magical combination is fine, just get a 308 if you want to do that!!! LOL

    -Once rifle is dialed in with load, do not shoot on paper, shoot targets of opportunity or reactive targets at various ranges, small rocks, water filled milk jugs, steel gongs, etc. But get off paper once you have a good load other then checking zero.

    -Clean barrel often. I recommend my customers clean every 30-35 rounds. Many will say that will be after each outing, I reply, "EXACTLY"!!!

    -Avoid shooting in extreme air temps or extreme sun, mornings and evenings are always best and barrels will cool MUCH faster with the increased angle of the sun. If you have to prepare for a hot weather hunt, do so in limited shooting sessions.

    -Do not feel you need to wring out every last FPS your rifle can produce. The 25-300 Win has a capacity advantage over the Wby, this can be an advantage as well as you can get same velocity or slightly more with less chamber pressure unless you red line your rifle.

    -Shot the heaviest bullet that your rifle will shoot accurately. Even though they are not as SEXY as far as velocity numbers, the heavier bullets nearly always produce lower ES in your velocities and generally produce better down range groups as well. The higher BC allows the bullet to do more of the work and takes a bit of stress off the barrel compared to taking a light, ultrafast bullet and simply muscling it out there with high chamber pressure.

    DO these things and you will be surpised how many seasons you will be able to use your new rifle!!