Barrel life consideration

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by mrb1982, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    How much consideration do you experience shooters put into barrel life when choosing a caliber.

    I don't do any competitive shooting, only hunting. I have a Sendero 7mm Rem Mag that I am finally have all the stuff I need for, just working on a load right now.

    I am looking for a gun that I can shoot that I can put some rounds through for good ole fashioned practice, but that I can also use for some coyotes.

    My first choice would be a 22-250. I love everything about it except I have heard that barrel life could be a problem if I am going to want to use this gun as a "practicing" gun also, as I would be putting a descent amount of rounds through it, at least a descent amount of rounds for me anyways. I am thinking about a 52-55gr bullet for this

    Second choice, 243. I am wondering if the barrel life for these calibers are similar or if one of them outlasts the other easily. I would probably shoot something like the 87gr Berger hunting bullet to take advantage of the little bit bigger caliber and not have any problems extending my range a little.

    The third choice is a 223 rem. Seems like the barrel life would be great and it would be a good gun for "practicing" but I just don't know if it is quite quick enough to be using on a lot of coyotes. I don't really want to limit my coyote range to 250yds if I don't have to. I am thinking something like a 52-55gr bullet for this caliber.

    So if anybody can give me any comparisons to barrel life in these calibers as far as a slight guesstimate of number of rounds that would be great. Also, is the 223 a good coyote gun or not? I know they have a lot of popularity for varmints, but I just don't know if it would be enough I guess. Thanks for any input anybody can give me.
     
  2. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    There's no reason a barrel can't go 2-3000 rounds on a 22-250 or more if you take care of the barrel, keep it clean, don't get it hot, don't push it for max velocity.

    A friend of mine used to get about 3000 rounds out of his AR chambered in 223, but he was shooting High power for the NG shooting team. Used for more conventional purposes, varminting, pinking, a barrel on a 223 taken care of will last a long long time. Depending on your specific load, barrel combination I don't see why a 223 wouldn't be fine out 500yrds on a yote.

    243 I'm still on the original barrel on my 243, Dad gave it to me for my 1st hunting rifle 30years ago, I couldn't begin to guess how many rounds down range it has. I used it for everything from gophers to deer.
     

  3. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    As far as a rifle goes, my plan at this point is to go with a Remington VLS.

    As far as the 223 goes, I think as long as you know how your gun shoots, it would probably be fine. Probably the main reason why I am thinking about the 223 is I have a bunch of shells for it already, and a bunch of brass for it already, so it would be easy and cost efficient to get some rounds going through it. Plus, it would be a cheap practice gun.

    The 243 is always one that catches my eye. Down the road, I could get a different stock for it for a shorter length of pull and it would be a good rifle to get my girls learning to shoot a little bit on as they get older. The nice part with the 243's is there is generally some fired brass out there a guy can get fairly cheap so that tends to help with some shooting cost a little I guess.

    Someone told me a 223 will go 8-10,000 rounds with your average load. Anybody got a guesstimate on what a 243 will go?
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Barrel life is variable depending on many things, velocity,barrel care, rate of twist, Material,
    powder type and charge, ETC.

    if you keep the velocity at or below 3000 ft/sec, keep it cool, keep it clean and well maintained
    it should last for a long time if primarily used for hunting.

    Most dont worry about barrel life, they are aware that hot loads,high pressures and temperature
    may cut barrel life.

    There is no free ride. If you want to shoot into the next zip code, barrel life will not be great, and most are willing to except 1000 to 1200+ for what they want.

    The calibers you mentioned are not bad. The 22-250 being the worst, on average with good
    practices they have been known to do 4000 to 6000 rounds before any accuracy was lost.

    Go with what you want and dont worry about barrel life. You will know when it is time to change
    barrels.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Most answers you get on this subject(anywhere) are flat out wrong -without first defining 'barrel life'.
    Obviously for some, barrel life holds until bullet jackets separate. For others it's the point where sustained performance passes a peak.

    Even a 223Rem would not likely see 4000 rounds of 'peak' performance(without having melonite treated the barrel).
    Competitors who actually shoot precisely(well under 1/2moa) would provide completely different numbers than tactical shooters chasing steel, or hunters who think 1moa is as good as anyone can expect from a hunting gun.
    Hell, 1moa ain't never gonna be about barrel life... You'd shoot forever before barrel life itself degrades performance that badly.

    But if your cartridge has truly held 1/4moa, and did so for ~3000 rounds, you'd be real unhappy about 3/8moa at 3500 rounds. Don't matter what others think the barrel life should be for it. You know what it is to you at that point.

    You know 22-250 and 243 are barrel burners, so they're not ideal for target shooting, which is why you don't see them in competition(as actually competitive).
    If you want your cake & icing too, you might seek a 6BR or 6.5x47L or 7WSM. Something mild & middle of the road for cal.

    As mentioned, nothing is free
     
  6. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    That's probably a good explanation. Kinda what I was thinking in the back of my mind. It is always hard to tell what someone expectations are I guess. Thanks for the explanation.

    Just out of curiousity, people talk about these Savages that you can just drop barrels in and out of. Is it as simple as unbolting and bolting one in? Can you do it yourself? Kinda curious I guess. I have been more of an archer than a firearm guy for the last few years so I have kinda lost touch with this stuff.

    As you explain, everything has a trade off. Kinda the same for archery, so it all makes sense. Thanks everybody for the explanation.

    Basically what I am concluding after all this is buy what you want, worry about the rest later.
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    lol yep that about sums it up

    As mike said depends on what you call acceptable. And like i said it depends on how you treat it. You can cook a barrel pretty quick or maxmize its life, and as Mike pointed out theres also melonite treatment, its interesting, but it also seems to have its draw backs.

    Myself I'm not at all disapointed with the barrel life on my 22-250, many many rounds and 10 years it still shoots better than me.
     
  8. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    I have a buddy that tells me I tend to overthink things, and as I think about it, I agree. hahahaha

    I am figuring I could probably make a 22-250 last quite a few years. I will never be using it for target shooting so it will be strictly a practice/coyote/PD rifle, so I think it will probably be alright. Although, I will say, I do like to push the envelope on velocity, but that can be played with a little more once I buy the gun. hahaha I am guessing it will probably be fine though.
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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  10. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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  11. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    Reviving and old thread I started man moons ago to get a little more input.

    I am a big fan of the Remington VLS. Probably gonna be my next gun. Just gotta have one of those nice laminate stocks!!!! hahaha Most of my other guns are synthetic so I would like to have one gun in my safe that looks pretty!!!!

    I am kinda leaning towards a 223. Cheap to shoot, and probably all I really need. I am considering doing something like sighting it in around 300yds or even a hair more possibly for kicks and grins. Less drop out long to try to compensate for not shooting as flat as some of the faster rounds.

    Two questions. 1) What kind of velocities are you guys getting in real life with a 53-55gr bullet? 2) Would I regret buying a 223 over some of the other speedier calibers?

    Cheaper to shoot and I already have a whole bunch of brass I have accumulated over the years. Just curious what I can really expect performance wise out of a 26" factory tube. Thanks.
     
  12. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    You won't regret the 223.
    I get 3750 from a 40grn bullet
    You should get 3250 to 3450 for the 53-55 range but accuracy in your rifle could be slower depending on everything in the world.:D

    I use my 223 for practice, local matches and general fun out to 300yards. It only likes light bullets.

    It took about 1000 rounds to figure out what this factory barrel wanted. I have an additional 1500 rounds through it for a total of near 2500. I expected it to start giving up but it is getting better. I'm gonna rebarrel anyway when I run out of bullets for it. Well, maybe.

    I try to keep the barrel temp low enough to hold my palm on.
    I try not to shoot more then 5 shots before letting it cool, matches break this rule as some strings are 10 round.
    I clean as soon as it drops accuracy and with that many rounds and data I know when it's me vs. the rifle.

    Don't worry about barrel life for a hunter. Think about it for about 10 seconds for a shooter. Then resolve to use good practices and not worry about it.
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    .223 barrels can last a LONG time. Look at the military's M4 barrels, and how much they get shot. Granted, they use CHF barrels, but I think a good stainless barrel will last a long time in a small caliber like .223.

    If you want a long lasting plinker that can shoot good out to around 750 yards, look into the 7mm TCU. You use .223 brass, with high BC bullets. I have been wanting to buy a Thompson Center Encore so I can buy different barrels for it, so it will be cheaper to own as a wildcat gun. Buying barrels will be cheaper than building a whole new rifle everytime.
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you rebarrel it to a .300 Blackout? Uses the same action, and you can reuse your 5.56/.223 brass for it.