Barrel Life With "Barrel Burner" Calibers

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cynicrit, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. cynicrit

    cynicrit Active Member

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    I keep reading that some calibers are "barrel burners". I can see how a competition shooter would burn a barrel, just as a race driver burns more brakes and tires in a day than I do in several years. How does that relate to me, shooting my 30-06 just enough to be ready for deer season or decompress after a day amongst the hoplophobes? I've taken an interest in the 6.5mm's (6.5-06, 6.5-284, .264 Win.Mag), so am I really looking at having to rebarrel every few years? I tend not to load hot enough to extrude primers in my '06 and I'm pretty sure it will outlive me. Is the whole "barrel burner" thing just a problem for someone who pushes things to the ragged edge?
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    How many rounds a year do you shoot? 20, 100, 500, 1000+?

    If you shoot a box of shells (20 rounds) a year, at most, then ANY caliber will last a lifetime.

    But if you factor in recreational shooting, comps, practice, reloading and developing different loads, etc... Then sure, barrel life will be drastically shorter in comparison to the guy who shoots 20 rounds a year.

    And if you shoot 1000+ rounds a year, your barrels might last 2-3 years (depending on caliber). .308 Win would still last 10+ years.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Barrel life varies greatly from the use and care of it. Barrel Temperature is the biggest problem with the high velocity cartridges if not given time enough to cool after several rounds. Large powder charges will push some un burnt powder through the throat causing erosion.

    Also a clean barrel seams to last longer than a dirty barrel because of the carbon left in the barrel and being scrubbed down the barrel by the bullet.

    Velocity does have an effect on barrel life but with care and time between shots it will make life better.

    A hunter that goes to the range, shoots a few rounds, and does not heat the barrel very much will
    have a lifetime rifle in most cases.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. Gerard Schultz

    Gerard Schultz Official LRH Sponsor

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    Agreed. A big enemy of barrel life is heat. Never shoot a barrel hot and life is increased greatly. Another factor is gas that leaks past the bullet at any stage. The more one can limit gas leakage, the better.

    I have a wildcat based on a 270 case and necked down to .224". I have been using a 40gr bullet at 4700fps for years now and the rifle used to be a 220 Swift until it was converted. It had about 2500 shots done while it was a 220 Swift and it has done a further 500/600 shots as a hotrod. The barrel will still hold half a minute, as it did when I built it.

    It has never been shot hot and it has fired about 100 shots with bullets other than HV drive band bullets.
     
  5. cynicrit

    cynicrit Active Member

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    Thanks y'all. That explains a lot. I only put about 100 rd. a year through my deer guns, so it sounds like my biggest problem will be during load development. That's all manageable. Thank you for cutting through some of the hype for me.
     
  6. deadidarren

    deadidarren Well-Known Member

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    if i'm high jacking tell me and i'll start another thread..

    i have a sendero 7mm rem mag load is 69g H1000 180 buger VLD

    and i never shoot hot as a matter of fact it never gets above warm

    as i wait 5 to 10 min between shots so how many rounds do you blokes

    guesstamate i will get whith proper barrel maintenance before the groups

    go over 1 moa ..... ?

    i know it's a how long is a piece of string question just a guess is all...


    cheers D
     
  7. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Just a guess on my part, but if you are starting at about 1/2 MOA then with proper care I would say 2500 or there abouts. < 70 gr of powder in a 7mm bore is not too bad, but a 308 it ain't!
    KB
     
  8. Chickenthief

    Chickenthief Member

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  9. deadidarren

    deadidarren Well-Known Member

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    well thats a 1000 more than i was expecting so i'm happy ..

    i'd be happy with 1500 to 1800 ..


    thanks ..


    cheers D
     
  10. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    if you've played with that one a bit you will se it's going to give you rather low #'s compared to what most of us who treat our barrels well are getting.
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    As stated , Barrel life can vary quite a bit based on the type and amount of powder used, the type of bullet and velocity used and the quality of the barrel and its care.

    I used up a barrel in less than 1000 rounds but still have a rifle that shoots 1/2 MOA all day with over 22,000 rounds. I treat all of my barrels with great care and find that some just quit early and others just seem to keep on keeping on.

    With your load and good care you should get 3,000+ accurate shouts from the barrel but you may see a lot more before the barrel is used up.

    People put to much emphasis on barrel life and should just take care of there barrel and enjoy
    what they like to shoot, and when the time comes replace it.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. cynicrit

    cynicrit Active Member

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    OK, I've gotten some excellent input to my original question about burning out a barrel. I have a couple more questions. Does this erosion happen more in one area or the other, or does it occur pretty much throughout the bore at the same rate? Is there some objective way to measure how much erosion has taken place? I hear people say "That barrel is shot out." "How do you know" "Well I cleaned it, but my groups have still opened up an inch from what they used to be." That could be a lot of things, including (as I found out) an ineffective bore solvent.
     
  13. deadidarren

    deadidarren Well-Known Member

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    you will find the throat will go first with about 3" to 4" thats how my last 2 243 barrels went .
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Most of the time the loss in accuracy is very slow and not that much.

    It sounds like you may have another issue Like bedding, a bad batch of powder (Not the same as the last you used or worked up with,

    The best way I know to measure the throat erosion (Normally the first thing to go) Is to measure the Cartridge overall length while the chamber is new and keep the measurement,then if accuracy fall off check it again and you can see the difference.

    If you know someone that has a bore scope you can look at the throat and lead to also see how much erosion you have (Don't be shocked if you look at it with a bore scope because it looks much worse than with a simple bore light).

    I recommend a through cleaning, Bed and float the action and barrel then shoot 3 shot groups cleaning between each group and changing powder and primers on each group. This may rule out
    any barrel problem.

    The rest of the barrel last a lot longer than the throat. but look at the crown to see if it needs freshening up.

    Hope this helps

    J E CUSTOM