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Old January 09, 2013, 11:26   #1
Funkenwerk23
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Average barrel life?

Hello and thank ya!
It's been a while and something got my attention that I hope you all can help me with.I found an article on M4 barrel erosion and in their test they where comparing the erosion rates of Tula,Wolf and Federal ammo. After 6,000 to 10,000 rounds their barrels where shot out. Now on the M4ergeries barrels can be swapped out fairly easily; clearly this does not apply to us.It had me thinking and a bit worried.So I ask you good folks: On average what is the average round count/barrel life for a chromed chamber Enfield barrel? should I keep the spare barrel or is it too much trouble to do so given the locking shoulders? In general I guess I am asking , without barrel swapping what is the average lifespan of an CAI(mostly Enfield parts) L1A1?
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Old January 09, 2013, 11:39   #2
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25k + gets my vote, with noted accuracy degredation as well
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Old January 09, 2013, 12:33   #3
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I don't think there is an "official" number of rounds. The Brits required that a barrel be changed if it did not meet a certain requirement of firing a number of rounds within a specified spread.

If you are shooting a ton of rounds non stop in a test situation yes you will wear a barrel out. If you are going to the range on the weekends and shooting 60-100 rounds at a time I doubt that you will ever have a problem.

That said, at the price of ammo today, if you can afford to shoot enough ammo to shoot a barrel out you can afford a new barrel.
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Old January 09, 2013, 13:27   #4
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It depends on how you use it.

If you are doing lots of mag-dumps, it won't last long.

If you shoot slowly, it will last a lot longer.

There is some evidence too that steel-jacketed bullets are slightly harder on the barrel.
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Old January 09, 2013, 14:14   #5
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There is some evidence too that steel-jacketed bullets are slightly harder on the barrel.
I've been shooting a long time and have never seen a steel jacketed bullet!
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Old January 09, 2013, 15:46   #6
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I've been shooting a long time and have never seen a steel jacketed bullet!
All Wolf steel-case ammo also has a steel-jacketed bullet.
The just electroplate a thin film of copper on top of the steel bullet.

Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Ammunition
Steel-jacketed bullets

In addition to using steel casing, certain types of Wolf rifle cartridges use steel jacketed bullets, which are often copper-plated and cosmetically similar to standard copper-jacketed bullets. The copper exterior of the bullet is approximately .005 inch thick, with an underlying steel jacket of about 1/32 inch thick. This type of ammunition is labeled "bimetal". Indoor shooting ranges, which use backstops often constructed of steel, have accordingly widely prohibited steel-jacketed and bimetal ammunition to prevent shooters from damaging their backstops.
There are many other types of milsurp ammo with steel bullets.

A term you will hear is "cupro-nickel."
That means a mix of copper and nickel to cover the thicker mild steel jacket below. Sometimes the color is copperish. Less frequently, its silvery (for instance "DAG" surplus).
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Old January 09, 2013, 17:39   #7
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ask gunplumper ... he says it has no meaning in the "real world" ... wherever the f@ck that is ...
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Old January 09, 2013, 18:21   #8
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ask gunplumper ... he says it has no meaning in the "real world" ... wherever the f@ck that is ...
To me it means youll never shoot one out and if needed to shoot that much your not worried about accuracy but suppresive fire at that point
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Old January 09, 2013, 18:32   #9
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Listen guys, you will not turn every thread into a Gunplumber baiting session.

I'll just start handing out bannings until the word gets around.
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Old January 09, 2013, 19:02   #10
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Listen guys, you will not turn every thread into a Gunplumber baiting session.

I'll just start handing out bannings until the word gets around.
Amen!
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Old January 09, 2013, 19:29   #11
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If you have ever met him in person, you might think differently than the dog pile BS that seems to happen here. I actually got to meet him yesterday. He may be opinionated and rub people the wrong way, but all of his shit is definitely in one sock, I can assure you. He's damn good at what he does.


As to your question you and I probably can't afford to shoot one out, certainly not at today's prices. As Gary said, there are a lot of variables to consider. I know with tanks, the round count actually doubles (2 for 1) when you shoot at temps above 105 degrees. Does it with a rifle? Dunno. Mag dumps, cleanliness, type of powder...
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Old January 09, 2013, 21:06   #12
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Depends on what you are looking for. To me all rifles are 6 MOA rifles if you are given Military Issued/Surplus ammo and 2 mags. If 6 MOA over 40 rounds is good enough, then I say 25k rounds easily. Ole Dirty is at 16k rounds now, and from what I last heard, the groups are still respectable.
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Old January 09, 2013, 21:08   #13
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ask gunplumper ... he says it has no meaning in the "real world" ... wherever the f@ck that is ...
With all due respect I don't know who that is...

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Old January 09, 2013, 22:09   #14
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With all due respect I don't know who that is...
here's a link to one of the many threads on the subject ... !!!

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341656


wow ... gunplumper actually uses a gauge to sell a barrel ... he called me a liar and actually trying to mislead someone if I used a gauge ...

strange ... ... something smells bad around here ...

the song by Tammy comes to mind ... "Stand by your man" ...
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Old January 09, 2013, 22:33   #15
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here's a link to one of the many threads on the subject ... !!!

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341656


wow ... gunplumper actually uses a gauge to sell a barrel ... he called me a liar and actually trying to mislead someone if I used a gauge ...

strange ... ... something smells bad around here ...

the song by Tammy comes to mind ... "Stand by your man" ...
Last warning before you are banned.

One more incident of Gunplumber-baiting, and you're gone.
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Old January 10, 2013, 19:49   #16
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Any way you look at it, it's gonna take $5000-$10,000 worth of ammo to wear out your $200 barrel on your $1000 rifle, so I don't see where the worry is. Otoh, I don't see any reason not to have a spare $200 barrel laying around, so I usually have one. They aren't difficult to change on an FAL and the locking shoulder poses no problem.
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Old January 14, 2013, 16:25   #17
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Any way you look at it, it's gonna take $5000-$10,000 worth of ammo to wear out your $200 barrel on your $1000 rifle, so I don't see where the worry is. Otoh, I don't see any reason not to have a spare $200 barrel laying around, so I usually have one. They aren't difficult to change on an FAL and the locking shoulder poses no problem.
In a real bender, like not having another shoulder for it or matched to it. you might have to make an adjustment??To the rear of the bolt?? Law of supply and demand mixed with survival skills??
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Old January 14, 2013, 17:11   #18
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In a real bender, like not having another shoulder for it or matched to it. you might have to make an adjustment??To the rear of the bolt?? Law of supply and demand mixed with survival skills??
haha no no no......i mean itd work but noooooooo
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Old January 14, 2013, 21:16   #19
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Last warning before you are banned.

One more incident of Gunplumber-baiting, and you're gone.
There is no limit to the hypocrisy on this board.
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Old January 14, 2013, 23:37   #20
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On this subject, by looking, what in general makes a bad barrel bad? Corrosion, dark spots like in bends are the easy anwsers. but how does one decide by inspection that a barrel is shot-out?

I have a barrel that appears to have lighter rifling 3-4" out from the chamber, is that what is commonly known as barrel erosion? Should I consider that a bad bet?
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Old February 19, 2016, 08:56   #21
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In no particular order, these are the things that shorten the life of a barrel making it a candidate for a new one.
1. Corrosive primer ammunition whose corrosive residue is not cleaned out. This residue promotes rust and pitting in the bore and chamber.
2. Extended periods of rapid fire where the barrel does not have a chance to cool down. This increases barrel erosion (that is, extended rapid fire versus slow fire).
3. Chamber throat erosion (usually from extended rapid firing) and/or muzzle erosion caused by improper cleaning.
4. The type of barrel you have: plain steel, stainless steel, or chrome plated. Plain steel barrels wear faster than stainless or chrome plated. Chrome plated are designed to stand up to corrosive ammunition and prolonged rapid firing. Stainless steel would be an aftermarket barrel with a life expectency between the plain steel and chrome plated barrels. A stainless steel barrel indicates that the rifle has been rebarreled once before. (Note: Chrome plated means the chamber and rifle bore are chrome lined.)
5. Extensive use of steel core, copper jacketed ammunition or tracer ammunition.
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Old February 19, 2016, 16:58   #22
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Life

I would think the barrel life of a FAL or L1A1 would be about the same as that of a M-14. I never saw any evidence of a shot out barrel due to number of rounds fired when i first got in Vietnam. Mine shot as good as it did when i turned it in as when i got it. I have also never shot a barrel out in the long years since 1966/67 either. Semper fi
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Old February 19, 2016, 17:32   #23
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From new, I would imagine that a ColdHammerForged barrel would have greater durability than a button pulled one, in general - then if there was chroming of the barrel etc...that would go some way to equalize, unless the chf barrel was chromed as well. Not all Fal barrels are equal - not all Fal barrels are CHF. So I would imagine a non CHF Fal barrel would perform similarly to a non CHF M4 barrel - etc...! Instead of another barrel, get another Fal, spreading the load, as it were! You can't have just one Fal, or there's something wrong!
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Old February 20, 2016, 09:19   #24
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From new, I would imagine that a ColdHammerForged barrel would have greater durability than a button pulled one, in general - then if there was chroming of the barrel etc...that would go some way to equalize, unless the chf barrel was chromed as well. Not all Fal barrels are equal - not all Fal barrels are CHF. So I would imagine a non CHF Fal barrel would perform similarly to a non CHF M4 barrel - etc...! Instead of another barrel, get another Fal, spreading the load, as it were! You can't have just one Fal, or there's something wrong!
Rotary hammer forging does not substantially lengthen barrel life. It does produce a barrel with a higher burst strength, and very uniform bore diameter and surface finish, that can be produced faster with less (but more expensive) equipment.

And, just like any other barrel, the care and attention to detail of the manufacturer will govern the end quality of the barrel. CHF is not a magic pill that automatically produces barrels superior to any button, broached or cut rifle barrel.
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Old February 20, 2016, 09:25   #25
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On this subject, by looking, what in general makes a bad barrel bad? Corrosion, dark spots like in bends are the easy anwsers. but how does one decide by inspection that a barrel is shot-out?

I have a barrel that appears to have lighter rifling 3-4" out from the chamber, is that what is commonly known as barrel erosion? Should I consider that a bad bet?
The proof is in the groups.

If your rifle, pistol, artillery piece can maintain the level of accuracy you desire, the barrel is 'good', if it cannot, it is 'bad'.

There are indicators that will allow you to make assumptions on whether a particular barrel is bad, a throat or muzzle gauge, bore scoping to visually inspect the throat, but the are only indicators, not proof.
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Old February 20, 2016, 11:06   #26
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It depends on what you class as worn out

If I am remembering correctly, the article you reference on worn out AR barrels uses the point where they start key holing as the worn out point. Lots of people have different points where they feel accuracy has been sufficiently degraded to need replacement.

I shoot more Service Rifle than anything else. For caliber .30 Service Rifles such as the M1, most barrels will start to show one or both of the following at about the 5000 round point: instead of a well centered 200 yard group having a lot of shots in the X-ring, there will be an even dispersion across the 10 & X rings, and at 600 yards one will start to have shots way high and low off call.

For .223 AR barrels, life seems to be about 3000 shots, for most barrels, before those same problems show up.

The British barrel that came on my CIA L1A1 would hold the 9 ring on a 200 yard NRA target with decent ammo. I fed something like a thousand shots through it before rebreeding with a DEZ barrel, and accuracy was the same. The DEZ barrel, with flash hider, does not shoot quite as well. My feeling is the British barrels would last about the same as M1 barrels.
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Old February 21, 2016, 07:33   #27
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Years ago DSArms did a test on an STG build and it was something like 10,000 rounds in 24 hours. The gun tested had shot out the barrel with that many rounds fired over such a short time. There are a couple of reviews here on the Files of the test by DSA and it is interesting reading if only because I felt like there wasn't a clear conclusion on the test results and what was proven or disproven.

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Old February 21, 2016, 12:25   #28
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Rotary hammer forging does not substantially lengthen barrel life. It does produce a barrel with a higher burst strength, and very uniform bore diameter and surface finish, that can be produced faster with less (but more expensive) equipment.

And, just like any other barrel, the care and attention to detail of the manufacturer will govern the end quality of the barrel. CHF is not a magic pill that automatically produces barrels superior to any button, broached or cut rifle barrel.
Agreed, but the arguments for HF barrels are very convincing, and yeah, there is compromise in the search for excellence in most endeavor. The actual process is fascinating - forged in some arcane Norseman's godly chamber - but there is French bread, and there is french bread! A matter of technical taste ultimately, understanding the differences might justify one over the other, depending on need. For myself, my position is obvious - though never final!
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Old February 22, 2016, 09:26   #29
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- forged in some arcane Norseman's godly chamber -
Given the Austrians are the leading manufacturers of the best hammer forging equipment, I would say they are forged by Alpine gnomes....
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Old February 22, 2016, 17:11   #30
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A friend of mine's wife has a newer car that, as she clicks through screens on the dash, tells her how much life is left in the oil in order to require an oil change. When it goes below 50% she apparently has fits and says he needs to get the oil changed because the oil is only half good. Whether this is from some algorithm GM uses that senses oil type against driving style and sensed conditions (fat chance), or a static mileage number it tracks, I have no idea (nor care). But there is an analogy to this that has been touched on above.
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Old February 23, 2016, 11:18   #31
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Given the Austrians are the leading manufacturers of the best hammer forging equipment, I would say they are forged by Alpine gnomes....
Alpine Gnomes of Visigothian/Scandinavian descent no doubt!
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Old February 23, 2016, 14:57   #32
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Alpine Gnomes of Visigothian/Scandinavian descent no doubt!
Thuringian descent....
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Old February 23, 2016, 15:08   #33
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I've been shooting a long time and have never seen a steel jacketed bullet!
Then I guess that you've never shot any US .30 CAL M2 Ball or US 7.62x51mm NATO M80 Ball, both of which have a guilding metal plated steel jacket...

As does almost all of the international production of NATO Ball ammunition...

When it comes to bore wear, the only concern I have is with 5.56x45mm ammunition with 'steel' (bimetal) jackets, since the rifling in 5.56x45mm barrels is more 'fragile' (read that as 'lands smaller') than for larger bores...

Forrest
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Old February 23, 2016, 21:16   #34
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It's not the barrel that get shot out that's the problem, it is the throat that goes first. And then the barrel may still shoot good at shorter ranges, but long range is a joke. I cleaned the 300 yard line at Ben Avery one highpower match one day, and at 600 yards could not consistently hit the target. My Douglas barrel was right at about 5500 rounds. Another upper I had shot well at 300 after more than 8000 rounds through it, never used it for 600. Won a few of the Moses steel plate match sniper events with it. You can sometimes see the end of life approaching because you need more elevation than before, say you need 4 minutes from 200 to 300 where before you needed 3.

I have heard it said that the average barrel life is about 4 seconds. That means the time that bullets spend in the bore, at 3000 feet/sec it does not take long to exit.

Cleaning rods ruin more barrels than bullets.

One of the fastest wearing barrels excluding the big magnums, is the 243 Winchester with under 2000 rounds before it is toast.
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Old February 24, 2016, 02:38   #35
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Then I guess that you've never shot any US .30 CAL M2 Ball or US 7.62x51mm NATO M80 Ball, both of which have a guilding metal plated steel jacket...

As does almost all of the international production of NATO Ball ammunition...

When it comes to bore wear, the only concern I have is with 5.56x45mm ammunition with 'steel' (bimetal) jackets, since the rifling in 5.56x45mm barrels is more 'fragile' (read that as 'lands smaller') than for larger bores...

Forrest
Most US produced M80 has a gilding metal jacket, not the plated steel.
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Old March 16, 2016, 22:46   #36
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When to Replace a Barrel

Barrel life will vary depending on how you shoot your rifle and the kind of ammunition you fire in it. For example, copper washed steel projectiles (such as Wolf and Silver, Gold, and Brown Bear) will shorten barrel life or the use of a lot of tracer ammunition will do the same thing. Otherwise, the thing you want to watch is the size of your groups at various ranges (also called dispersion). Dispersion is good for a light machine gun, but bad for a rifle. An increase in dispersion can indicate the service life of the barrel is coming to an end because it either is getting close to unacceptable chamber throat erosion or it has muzzle erosion.

Throat erosion is the wearing away of the rifling at the chamber's throat caused by a lot of rounds going down the tube. The origin of the rifling wears down and the bullet actually jumps thousanths of an inch before it engages the rifling. The bullet may be slightly off when it engages the rifling and this results in dispersion down range at the target.

Muzzle erosion is the wearing away of the rifling at the all important last two inches of the barrel (measured back from the muzzle). This can be caused by improper cleaning. An easy way to check is to use a bulleted cartridge case and insert it into the muzzle (flash eliminator or suppressor will have to be removed). The deeper the projectile goes into the barrel at the muzzle is an indication of muzzle erosion. If the bullet should go all the way down and the muzzle bottoms out on the case lip, your barrel is a candidate for replacement. Wearing away of the rifling at the muzzle allows propellant gas blow-by that acts on the bullet to destabilize it as it leaves the muzzle. Again the dispersion down range at the target will tell the tale.

To summarize, you cannot predict barrel life by the total number of rounds fired through a barrel. Barrel life is directly related to the kind and type of ammunition and how it is fired; throat erosion of the barrel; and muzzle erosion of the barrel. Shot dispersion (including unexplained "flyers") on the target is the best indication of whether a barrel is about shot out.

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Old March 16, 2016, 22:54   #37
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When to Replace a Barrel

Some other things about throat erosion. Very "hot" loads and a lot of tracer ammunition will accelerate throat erosion. The heat generated by the burning propellent of these "hot" loads (wether from the powder charge and/or bullet weight) or the buring phosphorus of the tracer core, will increase throat erosion. Muzzle erosion, is amost entirely caused by improper cleaning from the muzzle with a steel cleaning rod. (Cleaning from the breech end of the rifle is far better if the action will allow you to do it.)

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Old March 16, 2016, 23:41   #38
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Originally Posted by hagar View Post
It's not the barrel that get shot out that's the problem, it is the throat that goes first. And then the barrel may still shoot good at shorter ranges, but long range is a joke. I cleaned the 300 yard line at Ben Avery one highpower match one day, and at 600 yards could not consistently hit the target. My Douglas barrel was right at about 5500 rounds. Another upper I had shot well at 300 after more than 8000 rounds through it, never used it for 600. Won a few of the Moses steel plate match sniper events with it. You can sometimes see the end of life approaching because you need more elevation than before, say you need 4 minutes from 200 to 300 where before you needed 3.

I have heard it said that the average barrel life is about 4 seconds. That means the time that bullets spend in the bore, at 3000 feet/sec it does not take long to exit.

Cleaning rods ruin more barrels than bullets.

One of the fastest wearing barrels excluding the big magnums, is the 243 Winchester with under 2000 rounds before it is toast.
Agree with all of the above. It is about how well the barrel shoots. Statistics are only an indication of probable life and anyway a good shooter can make a bad barrel shoot but a bad shooter can't make a good barrel shoot.
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Old March 18, 2016, 20:14   #39
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Then I guess that you've never shot any US .30 CAL M2 Ball or US 7.62x51mm NATO M80 Ball, both of which have a guilding metal plated steel jacket...

As does almost all of the international production of NATO Ball ammunition...

When it comes to bore wear, the only concern I have is with 5.56x45mm ammunition with 'steel' (bimetal) jackets, since the rifling in 5.56x45mm barrels is more 'fragile' (read that as 'lands smaller') than for larger bores...

Forrest
A good bit of USGI .30-06 was made with copper-coated steel jackets in later years...LC 69 especially comes to mind. This used to be a real problem at my old indoor range...they wouldn't accept anything that attracted a magnet. I'm sure they meant AP or other steel-core, but they wouldn't accept the steel jacketed stuff either.
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