WSM Barrel life

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by sodbuster, Mar 31, 2004.

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  1. sodbuster

    sodbuster Member

    Mar 13, 2002
    I was talking to a smith, he said the WSM's Will probably wear out barrels faster than the regular mags. He makes and sells both. Is he right as far as you can tell?
  2. trader388

    trader388 Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    wsm usually burn about 7% less powder than regular mags...but operate under higher pressure. I'd guess wsm life would last longer.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Higher pressure equates to higher temperatures, this and the combination of time ( and possible some corrosive material in the burn residue) is what erodes barrel throats. The temperatures are higher than the melting point of the metal in the barrel, but for a very short period of time. Never-the-less some of the throat melts away.


    [ 04-01-2004: Message edited by: Jay Kyle ]
  4. RiverRat

    RiverRat Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2002
    I just had my 300 WSM rebarreled after 1459 rounds. The rifle was built for F class competition and was used as such and shot good enough to win the last F class match that I shot with it before rebarreling. After a little over a 1100 rounds I was constantly chasing the lands as they erroded to ensure the proper seating depth of the bullet off the lands. A fellow shooter that shot the 300 Win Mag. when he was shooting with the A.M.U. said the A.M.U. would rebarrel the the 300 Win. Mags. after 900 to 1100 rounds. I probably should have rebarreled my 300 WSM in about the same 900 to 1100 round window. It was just in the middle of the match season and I wanted to wait till the season was over. So from my experience with the 300 WSM and his experience with the 300 Win Mag, I would conclude that useable barrel life is approximately the same. The origianl barrel on the 300 WSM was a Lilja 1-11 twist 6 groove barrel, the new one is a Lilja 1 in 11 twist 3 groove barrel. Will be interesting to see how the 3 groove lasts as compared to the 6 groove. The loads are virtually identical using the same powder (N550) bullet (Sierra 175 MK) and primer (210M). So it is an apples for apples test. The new barrel just won the first match I shot it last Sunday so it is off to a good start. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  5. sodbuster

    sodbuster Member

    Mar 13, 2002
    Thanks guys, I couldn't see how it could be harder on the barrel with less powder and the same caliber.
  6. CRaTxn

    CRaTxn Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    That post was 2004. How did the 3 groove Lilja compare accuracy and barrel life vs the 6 groove? CR Rains SW of FW,TX [email protected]
  7. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    I have 1,550+ rounds (all either 175 Sierra or Berger 180s) through my 9 twist Kreiger on my 7WSM and it is still a hammer. I'm expecting it to crap out shortly, and already have its replacment in the garage ready for teh barrel swap. Until she dies, she shoots like crazy and I'm going to use this barrel until it does die.

  8. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Hey guys,

    Two things about barrel life;

    One, it ain't the same for everyone, and two heavy bullets eat up barrels faster.
    In the first, what a hunter needs or is satisfied with is going to be different than what a competitive shooter has to have. I used to have guys line up wanting the test barrels I was done with, because they "wouldn't shoot" anymore. For me, in that type of testing, that meant a barrel that wouldn't hold 1/2 MOA ten-round groups, every time, without fail. Many of these take-off barrels went on to live long, happy lives as hunting barrels after I could no longer use them. So, it's a relative thing, and variable to each application. As far as the AMU pulling their 300 Mag barrels at around 1,000 rounds, the same thing applies. They're done for competition, but I'll guarantee you they'd still make decent hunting barrels for some time to come.

    On the second, it's the heavier bullets that are significantly harder on barrels. Those AMU barrels would have been primarily used with the heaviest bullets (they're strictly long range guns, after all). This holds true regardless of cartridge or bore diameter, as long as we're talking about equivalent pressures, etc.. It's a sliding scale, and there's several variables that come into play, but you get the idea. Frankly, I've always looked at it this way; they're perishable tooling, threaded on one end. They come right off, and you can screw another whenever the situation dictates. Don't get attached to them, and realize that they're just a spare part, briefly threaded onto the rifle. You select a chambering based on the performance you require. Barrel life is a factor in that consideration, but it's a trade off in the final decision. Ultimately, you and the requirements of the purpose of the rifle are the deciding factors in when a barrel is truly shot out.

    Kevin Thomas
    Berger Bullets
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  9. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    My first WSM barrel had over 2300 rds down it and took 9th at the Nationals.

    Danny Brooks won the IBS Shooter of the Year and the Nationals this year with a WSM that had 4000 rds down it. Shot three 4-5 inch groups doing it too.

    We have found that almost any WSM is getting 2-3x the barrel life of a Win Mag or any other mag. Go figure why.

    We are shooting those dang Berger 210s, JLK 210s anf BIB 187s also.:D OH, MV is 2850-2975 with the 210s also.

  10. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003

    I have heard similar reports of the 3000 round nature.

    Seems to me that case design as well as efficiency can at least in part play into barrel life.