Life of a .243 Win. Barrel?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 17Fireball, May 29, 2013.

  1. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Does anyone in the know have an idea of the life of a typical factory .243 barrel. I just got a Savage Model 10 and I will have 500 shots through it by the time I am done fine tuning it for three different bullets and loads. I got nervous when a friend said his bench rest buddies tell him they are only good to about 1,800 shots before accuracy starts to wane. I realize many factors influence this exact number but just looking for some general guidelines.

    I never let my barrel get to hot to touch and rest it between five shot groups for about five minutes. Followed recommended break in procedures as well. Clean regularly, etc.

    Can someone help me out...
     
  2. northernexposure

    northernexposure Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    I'm up to over 1000 on mine with no loss in accuracy. I sure hope your buddy is wrong and I get more than 1800!
     

  3. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    how is accuracy now? around 1500 .
     
  4. Steel Rain

    Steel Rain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    I have a hand me down that has several thousand through it and it still holds MOA with factory ammo. Haven't loaded for it yet. Previous owner didn't take that good of care of it so it kind of surprises me.
     
  5. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    John whidden ( berger bullets) and g david tubb ( sierra bullets i believe ) were national champs shooting a .243 . there is an 800 number to sierra bullets, they can answer with some authority . also several articles on accureteshooter.com dealing with barrel wear.
     
  6. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Could you please paste any links you feel are worthwhile?

    Thanks.

    :)
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    sorry unable to. go to articles- " startling facts about barrel life" is one .
     
  8. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Thank you, I read the article...yikes 1,500 shots!!! I don't know if I should be upset my gun will have 500 shots down the pipe in a month or celebrate and start planning for my first custom barrell....I'll need one sooner than I thought. :)
     
  9. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,007
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Without bullet weight & powder type the question may be somewhat subjective. A heavy bullet & slow burning powder will extend the life of the barrel significantly. A 55 grain pill & fast burning powder has the ability to torch a throat relatively quickly.

    Using Accurate Shooter's BBL Life Calculator:
    (Load data from Hodgdon's website)

    Load 1:
    107grn SMK
    46.0 grns H-1000 @ 50,100 PSI = ~ 2950fps
    BBL life total ~2050 rounds


    Load 2:
    55grn Ballistic Tip
    44.0 grns of BL-C2 @ 49,500 PSI= ~4050fps
    BBL life total 1400 rounds


    650 rounds is pretty significant. Properly loaded & utilized, I believe 2k rounds is achievable. A setback could net another 500-800 rounds before a new tube needs to be purchased.


    t
     
  10. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    And then there is the defining of 'accurate' barrel life.
    A gun shooting 1/4moa, will show exactly where accuracy departs. This would probably be ~1400rnds from a 243Win.
    A gun considered acceptable at 1moa, will likely go several thousand rounds before barrel life worsens it even further..
    With this the question must be qualified for a valid answer.

    While Tubb probably won with a lot of cartridges, he created the 6XC to improve on the 243Win, including barrel life. Then Joe Hendrick's 6CM(competition match, not Creedmore) further improved the 6XC (barrel life-wise) by providing capacity for cooler H1000 powder.
    Also, rapid shooting for group, even with cooling between groups, represents a big hit on barrel life.
    Another bad situation here: high pressures.

    A 243Win has always been known to produce low barrel life and with this(and other poor reloading attributes) it fell out of favor in competition long ago. It's overbore in capacity, and much of the powder follows the bullet(due to low shoulder angle), adding to recoil, burning further down a bore, and increasing muzzle pressures and ES.
     
  11. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Mikecr- that was my question. i am doubt those champion shooters went into a match with 1299 rounds through that barrel either.
     
  12. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    395
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    I have a buddy who has been using a customed 700 with a better barrel for woodchucks for over 15 years. He has over 2200 rounds thru it and it still shoots just like it did when he had it built. He takes 2 shots max at the range once a month to make sure it is holding zero and he gets 40-50 woodchucks a year. He is using 55 grain BKs, I am not sure what powder. In other words, don't worry, be happy.
     
  13. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Good point Zep
    Single shooting dramatically increases barrel life.

    To see the opposite, refer to the competitive barrel life of a 6PPC.
    This is a tiny little cartridge that should get 3600+ accurate shots, but BR shooters get 850-1000 shots when they see their barrels wave bye bye!
    This, even running N133, which is one of the coolest powders available..

    The reasons:
    ~10sec median shot rate, for every shot fired in their barrel
    ~75Kpsi loads

    If you ran H1000(same heat as N133) in your 243Win, and focused on cold bore accuracy rather than group shooting, you could easily get over 2000 accurate shots from the barrel.
    Yet there are people here who insist you need 20sht groups to prove an accurate load. IMO, you should not take that advice with a 243Win.
     
  14. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    if it takes 500 plus to find an "accurate" load, the begining and end point of an accurate life of a barrel is in question for me . once i had an aftermarket barrel my frustration was reduced.