Time between shots

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Firearrow, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Firearrow

    Firearrow Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    How long do you guys wait when you are at the range between shots? Does it really matter if you barel is hot after your first cold bore shot?
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Yes it does matter if your barrel is hot after your cold bore. You should notice some type of change in the POI after your first shot. Some rifles are more drastic than others. Well made rifles with custom barrels generally will hold their point of aim.

    With that said. I like to wait 2 to 10 mins between shots for load development to maintain a consistent barrel temp. I think this helps to maintain a better group. I know that temps will cause groups to open up. The time is determined on the temperature of the day. This what I do, others will have there own methods.

  3. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    I haven't seen but a few rifles that have a cold bore POI change, or one thats worth worrying about. Sometimes I think it is the shooter that causes the first round flier. If your rifle seems to have a cold bore POI change, try dry firing for several minutes befor loading a round in the chamber or let somebody else shoot it first to eliminate the human error. Then if you do have a POI difference you need to make sure it is consistant as well and to the same POI. Then just anotate it and adjust for follow up shots.
    The biggest problem I've seen is guys cleaning their rifles after every trip to the range and then waiste several shots to get it to calm back down. I use to clean my rifles after every trip but now let the rifle tell me when she needs a cleaning, even my issued M24.
  4. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Before I ever start my group I set up another target and shoot 2 fouler shots this does two things 1. It of course fouls out the barrel and 2. it brings the barrel up to temperature after that and then only, I start my 5 shot or 10 shot group If I clean my barrel I will repeat this process try it you'll be amazed . Note I would not clean my barrel then go hunting without it being fouled out again . I used to clean clean befor opening day and then rush off to hunt not anymore alote of folks in competition do it this way.
  5. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Most F class and Palma shooters shoot 15 (or 20, depending on the competition) rounds for score in 22 minutes, at 800, 900, 1000 yards, so distances comparable with what long range hunters shoot.

    If you calculate that you usually make your read, shoot a few sighters, then settle in for the shots for score, your 15 shots are usually done in no more than 15 minutes, and typically in 10 or less if your target puller is fast.

    The barrel heats up, but I've not seen anyone make adjustments for that heating, nor do I. A well made rifle with a heavy barrel shouldn't change much.

    Some of the thin, hunting weight barrels might be more affected, but I have no experience with using those for extended strings.

  6. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Due to a large case capacity, I let 3 minutes pass between shot one and shot 2 and 4-5 minutes between shot 2 and 3 in my 338 EDGE barrel. I do this to help save the barrel. So far after 100 rounds, the throat and barrel look brand new with not a single heat crack in the barrel. This is the only reason I do this.

    With my 308 I will fire 1-5 at a normal pace whether it is practice or developmental.

    Each rifle will be different. Some rifles will just NOT put bullet #1 in the group from a cold bore even if it is 60+ degrees outside. Most rifles when it is above freezing will put 1-3 (for a skinny barrel and 1-5 in a heavy barrel) in the same group. With most rifles the cold bore shot means little unless the barrel is very cold. Then #1 typically wont go in the group. The colder it gets, the worse it gets. Almost all rifles will suffer some kind of bullet #1 POI shift when it gets cold enough. I think it is even safe to say all barrels will suffer a POI change given enough temprature drop.

    You will have to test your rifle to see at what point bullet #1 wont stay in the group. This time of year, I suspect you wont have to worry about it.
  7. crout

    crout Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    depends on the rifle.
    for my heavy barrel 223 i will shoot my 5 shot group and do it in whatevre time i feel like. not very scientific but when i go shoot gophers i don't wait several minutes beteeen shots. sometimes it's 5-10 in the space of 5 minutes then i'll sit for 10 minutes?
    i don't clean between groups unless i change powder, again what's the point?

    for my 6.5x55 it gets much hotter with a 1/3 of the shooting so i do take my time so i don't wear out the barrel. it's my long range varmint/predator rig so i might take 3 shots quick then hold off till the barrel cools and finish the 5 shot group.
  8. dwm

    dwm Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    I was using 3 minutes for a 7 RUM. I have some Omega reversible temperature indicator strips and put one on last week. Turns out that 5 minutes is a much better time period to wait for a 7 RUM with a fluted Sendero taper barrel to return to ambient temperature.

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    If we were all paying attention in 4th grade science class we would all know that heat and cold expands and contracts metals. Rifle barrels are no exception. Firing off rounds in a steel barrel will heat it up and change the dynamics of the steel. The more powder and overbore the barrel the more it will get heated after each shot. The heavier the barrel and/or lighter the load, the less each shot will affect the steel - heavier barrels will be able to absorb the heat better to a point, simply because they have more mass.

    During the barrel manufacturing process, stresses are induced into the barrel. A good custom barrel maker will relieve most of those stresses. Heat from firing will likely have some effect on those stresses in the steel. As already mentioned once or twice, every barrel will be different, but it only makes sense to keep the barrel temps consistant when shooting for groups. I always let mine cool between shots to an ambient temp, or maybe slightly warmer.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Let me ask this question. If quality barrel manufacturers relieve these stresses when cutting a new barrel, would it benefit a guy on a tight budget to take a factory barrel and have it treated just as a custom barrel? Now I know some manufactures don't take the time to make sure the rifling is concentric all the way through or lap the barrel, but there a lot of good off the shelf shooters.