Barrel cooling devices / practices

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by LRHWAL, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

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    I tend to shoot my 300 WM quite a bit. We need to participate regularly in shooting events to motivate firearm licences here in South Africa and for quite some time this was my only rifle. Between that and high ambient temperatures I suspect I've not treated my barrel as well as I could have over the years.

    When doing load development I've tried shooting slowly (not a luxury I have in the required shoots), but even 5 minutes between shots and three shot groups and lots of waiting, leaves the barrel gets really hot. On hot days keeping the barrel cool is basically impossible.

    In fact the sun can take care of the too hot to touch requirement without firing a shot when the rifle is in the sun on the shooting line, or in the hunting field.

    I recall seeing a system in a Shooting Times in the 90's tested by Rick Jamieson that he used to cool a rifle barrel. I've also heard of guys using CO2 cylinders etc.

    I'm looking for a simpler (and cheaper alternative). The question is whether I can use water to cool a barrel without risk of warping and other damage. I would not use ice water. Any thoughts on this?

    I think it will save me some barrel life and whilst possibly not on this barrel, certainly on the next!

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    WAL
     
  2. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Are you shooting under a shade?

    ADDED: Don't want to disregard the basic culprit but the effects of direct sunlight (specially prolong exposure) register higher temperatures than in the shade by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes more.

    I had similar challenge when I was stationed in Arizona.

    If you must have a cooling device, see similar threads below.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

  3. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    I'll run a powder fouling solvent or light oiled patch, then a dry one down the bore.

    I've heard of all sorts of methods, wet rag on the barrel, stand rifle upright with bolt open for chimney effect, I've even heard of water down the bore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  4. EddieHarren

    EddieHarren Well-Known Member

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    Abot 6 or 7 years ago, there was a short lived fad going around the shortrange BR circuit. Some shooters were using 12 volt "Bilge Pumps"(for boats) to circulate Methyl Salicilate (Wintergreen) through a modified boreguide. down the barrel and back into the sump, positioned in a cooler full of ice. It worked like a champ, was not harmful to SS barrels, but was a bit of a PITA to set up and operate. Everyone just decided to let those 6PPC barrels "air cool". The big magnums may benefit from this.
     
  5. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    Aerator for a fish tank...pull the bolt and put a hose in chamber....runs fresh air down the inside of the barrel cooling it on the inside plus outside.
     
  6. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Also, cans of compressed air.
     
  7. Stormrider

    Stormrider Well-Known Member

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    You can also use cotton balls and rubbing alcohol. I used to do that when I was shooting matches with my 308 and the barrel would get hot. Just saturate the cotton ball and rub on the outside of the barrel. Evaporates very quickly and cools pretty good. Cheap and easy too!
     
  8. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    In long range competition shooting from prone, it's common to shoot 25 to 30 shots with each one about 20 to 30 seconds apart. Barrels from such firing heat up very much. If they're properly heat treated and fit to a receiver whose face is square with the bore/chamber axis, hot barrels don't hurt accuracy. They all maintain sub 3/4 MOA accuracy at 1000 yards. This is for the mild 6.5x.284 up through 30 caliber magnums.

    I've shot 30 shots at 20 second intervals testing 30 caliber magnum loads at 1000 yards. All 30 went inside 6 inches. Friend of mine shot 40 shots at 600 yards also about 20 seconds apart; group was 1.92 inch. I put 20 rounds from a .308 Win. at 800 yards into 3.2 inches fired at the same rate. Love shooting fast with those super hot barrels made by Kreiger, Obermeyer and the older ones from Hart. And even those skinny Springfield Armory Arsenal match grade barrels made for 7.62 NATO Garands would hold 1 MOA accuracy at 1000 yards for 25 to 30 shots fired just as fast.

    If you barrel shoots bullets to different points as it heats up, you might need to fix the receiver face. Or send the barrel back to its maker and ask for a replacement that's properly stress relieved by good heat treatment. Of course if these typical causes ain't the problem, then maybe you should check the shooter's long-term shooting technique for accuracy at the target.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  9. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    In the past when working up a load for a friend, I took a wet towel with me that I placed in a bucket with a couple inches of cold water in it. We were shooting three shot groups with several different COAL lengths and powder charges. It was early summer and pretty warm outside, we would have been spending way too much time waiting for the barrel to cool between groups if we had to just wait for the ambient temp. to cool the barrel off. I would just lay that cold damp towel over the entire length of the barrel and let it cool off between groups in order to keep things consistent. This worked great and we didn't stand around all day waiting for things to cool off.
     
  10. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    My favorite method of keeping the barrel cool was one I used as a teenager. We used to drag the kitchen table over to the front door of the house and shoot from the air conditioning. Mom was less than appreciative of this method, but it sure made summertime shooting more comfortable. :rolleyes:
     
  11. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Coleman air matter pump. I just run that into the chamber and let'r blow. Works really well.
     
  12. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

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    Subesquent to posting the initial question I've tried this suggestion. Tumbleweed is right; it works great.

    Thanks!
     
  13. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    It takes a long time for things to cool in Az especially in the summer. Tried wet towels but even that was too slow. Ended up making a CO2 system. The minimum size tank is 20 lb which is shown. Anything smaller and the cooling effect of releasing the compressed gas isn't there. Had to experiment with the correct regulator as well to get enough flow. The tip of the rubber hose is cut with a short taper and it wedges nicely in many chambers. It doesn't require max air flow but a good steady rate. Can cool a very hot magnum barrel in less than a minute. I will use this when I want to work up a load while ambient temps are still cool early in the morning. Can find out what the rifle likes in 1/2 hr.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. FUBAR

    FUBAR Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure it's common, but will say it anyway, old military method--cleaning rod down the barrel with bolt open....of course I use brass, but the big muzzle loader rod works best for my bigger bore weapons...

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