Worn barrels: resell or recycle?

Ivan Engleson

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Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Alexandria, Minnesota
New to the forum. Asking from the buyer's point of view: If a barrel was too worn out for long-range competition or long-range hunting, could you & would you put them on a rifle for shorter distances?

In other words, once the barrel starts to lose accuracy, how quickly does performance fade? Does anyone here buy used barrels knowing their performance is declining?

(And no, I'm not looking to buy or sell. Ha!)
 

chutinlead

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Jan 2, 2020
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135
Location
Wyoming
To pay a gunsmith the money to thread it, no, not really worth it.

I took a 6.5x47 26" barrel that was pretty well fire cracked in front of the throat and cut 4" off the breech end, 2" off the muzzle, and make a 20" 6.5-06 barrel for my old 270 savage. But I did the lathe work myself, bought a reamer, and threaded the muzzle. My thought was if I could get enough like to hunt for 10 years, it cost me nothing for the barrel(It was in a local shops scrap pile) and $100 for the reamer. Plus I can use the reamer again down the road on a nice new barrel when it wears out.
 

Jerry M

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Aug 20, 2006
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681
Location
Glen Burnie MD
Three so far in the gunsmith's scrap barrel. They can use them to make muzzle breaks. I did give a forth one, a 40 X barrel in 7 mms Magnum, to a guy who cut off both ends and rebarreled a Savage in 7 mms Bench Rest. But he did the work himself.
 

WAMBO

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Dec 22, 2001
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Southwest Desert
I think it all depends on the definition of worn out, I've bought many used long range match barrels and had them rechambered, all have shot good.
The best was a 30" Kreiger Palma contour 6.5x284 barrel with 1200 rds thru it that I bought for $85, seller said it still shot ok but wasn't "match grade" any more.
Cut 2" of the breech end and 1" of the muzzle, had it chambered/recrowned in the same 6.5x284 cartridge and it's one of my favorite long range hunting rifles, shoots the Hornady 140 AMAX at 2800+ fps, .5 moa and sometimes better for 3 shots out to 1000yds, killed many Coues whitetails at 500+ yards.
Has over 300 rds thru it since rechambered, still going strong, cost me $250 for the gunsmithing work but was totally worth it to me.
 

LRNut

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Dec 4, 2004
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408
Location
Arizona/Colorado
I replaced a standard twist .220 Swift with a fast twist; in that case, someone could probably get a lot of use out of it since it had less than 100 rounds. But if it is toasted, scrap it.
 

BillLarson

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Mar 1, 2003
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790
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No.IL.
Doing my own work i have set back quite a few barrels.one swift barrel i owned was a shilen select match.i set it back 3 times and it was a terrific barrel at each length.About the same work is involved in clambering a new barrel.so if you gotta pay 150$++ to set back.go with a new barrel..
OMHO
mileage may vary.
 

trigger puller

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Dec 10, 2011
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210
Location
West Texas
I look at barrels like brass and bullets, they are expendable. I buy enough powder, bullets and primers to shoot a barrel out. Unless you are doing the work your self or are using a barrel for fire forming I cant see setting one back verses a new tube.
 

ducky

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Jan 17, 2016
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450
Location
Colorado
I usually have the wrong contour barrels, there isn't enough meat to cut the shank back for a new chamber to clean up a throat. I've only been able to use a used barrel once, I had a .30-06 take off cut back and threaded for a small ring Mauser and then chambered in .300 Savage. It was done by a gunsmith student in Trinidad for the cost of parts and I had $50 in the Bubbaed M93 rifle. Now it's just a slightly better version of a Bubba rifle! 😀
 

Hugnot

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Sep 26, 2020
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575
Location
Montana
I don't have a lathe and setting a barrel back with a rechamber would take up a considerable cost of a new barrel. Bullets are expensive and paying for 10 or so boxes of bullets might equal the cost of a new barrel and the loss of potential accuracy using a worn barrel would defeat the extra money spent on premium bullets.

Facing these facts, I use my old barrels to pin rail road ties together to make retaining walls. The stainless barrels work best and after boring an appropriate size hole, the barrels, chamber side up, are driven in with a sledge hammer. Seems like a waste for a nice piece of work. I have not found a source that will re-bore my stainless barrels to bigger calibers, like .224 to .264 and there is the accuracy potential of a re-bore, and cost to cut rifle the barrel. I don't know if button rifling would work in a contoured chambered barrel.
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
1,356
My only thought is a used barrel might be ok to recycle, but it will cost me about $500 in Gunsmithing and $350 in components to find out. I’d prefer to start that with a fresh blank.
 

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