Fact or Fiction

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by dogknott, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. dogknott

    dogknott Member

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    I have always heard that Boat tail bullets will wear/burn out a barrel quicker than a flat based bullet.

    Any truth to this?
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    From where I am its a fact that's fiction.:)
     

  3. moses42ak

    moses42ak Well-Known Member

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    Fiction. Extreme heat from repeated shooting sessions and pressure will burn out a barrel. The basic design of a bullet (boattail or flat base) will have very little to do with this. That's the abridged version.

    I have never heard of this being the case but just because I have never heard of it doesn't mean it isn't so. :)
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I am not so sure its completely fiction, there are alot of other variables to consider. If we are talking about bore wear, I would say its fiction, BUT, if your talking about throat wear, it can certainly be fact. DEPENDING on the specs of the throat.

    If the throat is loose, the hot gases certainly are directed around the base of the bullet to a more focused degree with a boat tail then with a flat base bullet. Meaning that more volume of gas will be allowed to slip around the bullet and this will be harder on the throat then a flat based bullet. Will it be measureable....... Hard to say.

    All that said, in a match barrel with a quality chamber, the throats are cut very tight so in that case, the bullet will nearly seal off in the throat and there will be no gas blowby, very little anyway compared to say a factory chamber with loose throat.

    Again, many variables to consider and can greatly effect how things work and wear.

    In the end, while there may be some difference, it may not be measurable.
     
  5. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    I don't know of any tests that have been done to address this.

    In response to the reasonable and credible posts above which suggest that BT bullets may accelerate barrel or throat wear, I say; "who cares?"

    A .30-06 will wear out a barrel faster than a .308 Win, and a .300 Win Mag will wear out a barrel faster yet. But the important question is: "what's best at long range?" Higher velocity, of course; it's worth it because it achieves a better result.

    Even if it were shown that flat base bullets did act to prolong the life of a barrel by a measurable amount, I don't think that would change anyone's choice to shoot BT's at long range, because the reductions in base drag and the resulting increase in BC and trajectory are worth it.

    I'm not discouraging your question, just pointing out that in my opinion, it doesn't matter.

    Good shooting,
    -Bryan
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    After reading my original post, keep in mind that I do not shoot any flat base bullets. All the bullets I shoot are either rebated boat tail or standard boat tail bullets so you can see even though I theorize that there may be something to this, I do not worry about it.
     
  7. Bull45cal.

    Bull45cal. Well-Known Member

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    dogknott,

    If I said, Yes, beyond a shadow of a doubt that BT's wear out barrels faster, would you decide to shoot flat base (FB) bullets to 700+ yards? If you are not going to take a shot greater than 300 yards, shoot FB's. If you're going to shoot long range, then you've got to shoot BT's.
     
  8. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    It may or may not be a fact, BUT it is definitely FRICTION :)

    edge.
     
  9. dogknott

    dogknott Member

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    Never was sure, have heard ALOT of differnt veiws, I think I will keep shooting them.
     
  10. BTDT

    BTDT New Member

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    All else being equal,bearing surface beats up barrels more than ANYTHING else.
     
  11. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    This is absolutely false.
    Barrels NEVER wear out. They can be rechambered to no end.

    Some call it when the lands move beyond their tune. Lands are a torch cut point. It might even be stretched to suggest they wear. Especially with very inefficient cartridges(like a 30-06) which blasts the lands at their hottest with a bunch of unburned powder chasing the bullet. Overbore cartridges are like an extra shot of oxygen..
    Either way, they don't last long.

    But what ultimately kills a barrel(even beyond loose expectations) is carbon constriction. This is similar in affect to a loose bore at the muzzle or a bad crown.
    When a bore constricts due to carbon(or carbon ring), so must the bullet -right there.

    Now you can allow the throat to cool a bit between shots, and greatly extend life.
    But that life will not continue through many rechamberings unless you stay on top of carbon. Otherwise it works it's way into the metal surface, where eventually it can no longer be removed(without ruining the barrel).
    That's when a barrel is officially dead..

    Those BR shooters brushing and JB pasting, love their barrels. They hope their barrels will love them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  12. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    OK, first my post was a bit of a play on words, but wear is caused by FRICTION whether you believe it or not!

    edge.
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I'm like most, I have never seen any conclusive test that would prove one way or the other.

    And the only experience that I have with boat tailed bullets is in my 308 match rifle that
    has 20,000+ rounds through it and it will still shoot sub 1/2 MOA groups and has never
    seen a flat base bullet.

    So my gut feeling is , There is no difference.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  14. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    In this shooting business everybody has a "theory" based not on science, but on what that individual "thinks" could be possible. Many myths abound but are untrue. I doubt that BT bullets would cause throat wear, but I cannot prove it. Most certainly, a small diameter bullet in a large capacity case with slow powder will prematurely erode the bore. Bryan Litz has it right: What difference does it make if you get your best performance from BT bullets?