Judging Temps

long action

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2002
Orange,TX U.S.A.
I am new here, And most of you are way over my head. If this question has been asked a hundred times, Please let me know.

How do you folks judge when a barrel is to hot. In my poor boy way of doing it, I stick a meat thermometer in the end of the bore, I leave about 18" of flagging tape on it . That way I don't send it down range.

We have very little long range shooting down here in East Texas. Sites like this are greatly appreciated by us back woods boys. Anything yall feel like sharing would sure be helpfull. Thanks


Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2002
I use TESTOTHERM sticker , that small adesive ribon with scale of temperature ( for example° C that cheep ans reliable , just need to glue on the barrel .

you can fing TESTOTHERM on the web , there is lot product from TESTOTHERM ( a greamn company ).

you can glue too a small thermocouple ( as K or other ( no need to use more costly PT100 sensor ) ) with display from TESTOTHERM but that more costly and you doesn't need a value in the ° of accuarcy

main problem is the time to heat up the barrel outside :
if you shoot very fast you heat very fast the inside ( bore ) of the barrel and that the sensible part of the barrel where erosion is if your barrel is very thick you need a time to feel the temp outside.
if you shoot slow you let the energy go outside the barrel but your barrel seem hoter outside but it isn't more hot inside .

best is record chamber temp first because that change your powder burning rate if you let your loaded round in the chamber , secong because you are near the throat .

Good Shooting



Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2001
Rule of thumb: if you can't comfortably hold the barrel, it is too hot.

Every barrel has it's own quirks. Some move a lot when they warm up, others shoot fine with a slight reddish glow.

The cooler you can keep the throat, the longer that barrel will last and shoot accurately.

For a 308 type case, I would stop after 5 rds in the summer time. 223 case, probably 10 to 15rds. With a magnum, three rds is pretty toasty in most hunting type barrels.

If you see groups grow as the barrel heats up, I would shoot my groups as 3 - 2 rd sessions on the same target. You will have 6 rds in your group and the barrel will stay cool throughout.

Good luck...



LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.