The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 10, 2013, 07:47 PM   #1
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 572
Barrel life

I never hear any one talk about barrel life on handguns. Why is that?
Ruger480 is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 07:57 PM   #2
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 755
I don't know but I've been told...that barrels are burnt out by excessive burning powder forced down behind the bullet at supersonic velocity. In rifles, that's easy to accomplish with 4000fps bullets and super mega magnums. In pistols, well, there just isn't enough room to fit the powder needed to torch the barrels quickly. Possible exceptions might by your 460XVR and 500SW high pressure, high capacity rounds, but typical service calibers are very far down on the charts as far as burning bores. Especially if you shoot unjacketed projectiles and don't clean needlessly, the bores will last pretty much forever (unlike slides, springs, and firing pins )

TCB
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:05 PM   #3
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,577
The two main reasons are:

1. Not many people shoot enough to wear out a handgun barrel, and many of those that do have a number of guns so they don't shoot that much through any single firearm.

2. Those who can afford enough ammo to wear out a handgun barrel, don't usually have a problem paying for a replacement barrel.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:10 PM   #4
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 572
Ok then. Good to know. I feel better about buying used handguns now
Ruger480 is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:20 PM   #5
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,175
In [IFast and Fancy Revolver Shooting][/I] Ed McGivern has pictures of one hole machine rest targets fired out of 1920s vintage S&W K-22s with over 200,000 rounds apiece. Barrels in Browning designs-and many other semiautos are easily replaced. Perhaps cheaply made handguns-say Spanish off brands of the 1920s and 30s and Khyber Pass copies are made from low grade steels that will wear quickly but it seems all the major and many of the minor US-and European-manufacturers use proper alloys. Also I think there is some evidence with some of the hotter rifle calibers-220 Swift,e.g. that stainless steel holds up better than carbon steel,and stainless has to alarge extent displaced blued steel in modern manufacture.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:26 PM   #6
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,017
Probably for the same reason you don't hear about the life of shotgun and .22 rimfire barrels.
Lower pressure = lower temperature and less throat erosion.

Another thing to remember is the definition of "worn out". A quarter minute of angle degradation in accuracy is most likely unacceptable to a competitive rifle bench rest shooter but will barely be noticed by most pistol shooters or even people who shoot rifles non competitively, deer hunters and such.
B.L.E. is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:35 PM   #7
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,577
Quote:
A quarter minute of angle degradation in accuracy is most likely unacceptable to a competitive rifle bench rest shooter but will barely be noticed by most pistol shooters...
Good point. I would go so far as to say a quarter minute of angle degradation (about a sixteenth of an inch at 25 yards) in accuracy is essentially undetectable when assessing pistol accuracy by any common methods.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 10, 2013, 08:45 PM   #8
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,945
I keep a log book of my guns and round count for each one. My Ruger .45 Colt Blackhawk (I call it a Super Blackhawk as I have set it up as one) is approaching the 20,000 round milestone with no apparent loss of accuray nor any other malady. Most of my guns all are in excess of 15,000 rounds fired, including a couple of .44 Magnums with very hi-mileage use of heavy loads with H110 and #2400 powder.

As was pointed out I shot a lot in times past, but spread my shooting over many different revolvers, so no one revolver gets very heavy shooting.

Reduced income of retirement has indeed put a crimp in my shooting agenda.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 10:53 AM   #9
drail
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
I would not worry about a used gun's barrel being shot out UNLESS it belonged to an IPSC shooter. We wear barrels out.
drail is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 11:24 AM   #10
CDW4ME
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Posts: 625
Wonder if # of shots fired per session and between cleanings would affect barrel life.
Same pistol & caliber, but one owner shoots 50 - 100 rounds a session then takes it home to clean vs a different owner that shoots 200+ rounds a session and dislikes cleaning.
__________________
No internal lock or magazine disconnect on my pistols!
CDW4ME is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 12:58 PM   #11
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 2,507
Quote:
Wonder if # of shots fired per session and between cleanings would affect barrel life.
Same pistol & caliber, but one owner shoots 50 - 100 rounds a session then takes it home to clean vs a different owner that shoots 200+ rounds a session and dislikes cleaning.
Yep, it would make a difference. Proper maintenance extends barrel life and helps to maintain accuracy.

tipoc
tipoc is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 01:07 PM   #12
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 2,507
It's fairly easy to see in a longgun or handgun if the barrel has run it's course. You can usually see this with the unaided peeper and a bore light helps.

tipoc
tipoc is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 02:50 PM   #13
CADILLAC HOOSIER
Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 2010
Location: INDIANA
Posts: 62
I talked to a guy at my club a couple of years ago who had replaced barrels in a couple of 45 glock or springfields at around 40-42000 rounds as I recall. He was retired and shot 5 days a week, using bulleats that he cast.
CADILLAC HOOSIER is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 03:25 PM   #14
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 20,015
A lot of varialbles. A .357 revolver fired only with .38 Special lead bullet wadcutters would probaby last about forever. But the same revolver fired exclusively with the hottest jacketed bullet .357's the user can load might not last 5000 rounds. There is more to it than velocity and powder. For instance, heavy jacketed bullets (e.g., GI .45 ACP) won't expand to fill the grooves at any pressure that is safe in the gun, so burning gas shoots through the gaps and erodes the barrel steel. Not a concern to the military, of course, but maybe to target shooters using the .45 or 9mm military loads.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 03:39 PM   #15
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,321
Another factor is that if enough rounds were fired though a handgun to erode the rifling. Chances are the other moving parts would have worn out by that point.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 04:20 PM   #16
KO3422
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2011
Posts: 124
Firstly, it's wayyyy too costly for me to wear out a handgun barrel. Second, I'd have to shoot the same handgun versus rotating with different handguns. I do try to maintain my barrel in hopes that it will preserve barrel life. If I ever did wear out a barrel at 40,000, I wouldn't mind dropping a few bucks for a new one at that point.
KO3422 is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 06:12 PM   #17
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,709
A lot of it depends on the bullets being fired and how hot the barrel gets while firing. The US Border Patrol found that @ 20,000 rounds of hot 40 S&W the accuracy began to rapidly degrade in H&K USP/C's and P2K's. I had 15,000 through mine and it was starting to go. I would think that lead bullets in a S/A revolver it should last forever.
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 06:18 PM   #18
bbqbob51
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2005
Posts: 739
With ammo as expensive as it is now, a barrel should last forever.
bbqbob51 is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 06:26 PM   #19
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 2,064
Another factor is which web forum you post in. . .if you post in Glocktalk, Glock barrels last for 3,000,000,000,000,000 rounds. If you post in handgun benchrest forum, they are only good for about 3000 rounds.

Yes, this is posted tongue in cheek, but it has a real side to it.
Nathan is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 07:36 PM   #20
Colt46
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: Campbell Ca
Posts: 942
I had a boss that shot competively for a while

He had a colt Official Police in .38 that he tuned up for a comp gun. He said that somewhere north of 50,000 rounds the rifling got so worn down that it would sometime fail to stabilize the bullet upon exiting the muzzle and keyhole.
Colt46 is offline  
Old March 11, 2013, 09:39 PM   #21
nanewt02
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Posts: 249
+1 regarding ammo, if you can afford to shoot enough ammo for your barrel to wear out, you neednt worry about buying a new one
nanewt02 is offline  
Old March 12, 2013, 03:37 AM   #22
Venom1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 3,107
Quote:
With ammo as expensive as it is now, a barrel should last forever.
^^^^ THIS!

I've seen only two barrels in my life time that I KNOW were worn out and that was from 2 different glocks that had some insanely high round counts probably more in each gun then i've fired in all my years of shooting.

Helps when someone else pays for your ammo from what I hear.
__________________
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.- Yeah I can do that.
I guarantee you will know it if a bicyclist hits your house going 1000 mph.
Venom1956 is offline  
Old March 12, 2013, 08:08 AM   #23
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,087
A handgun barrel should last at least a minute.

That is considering the bullet doesn't spend more than about 0.0005 seconds in there at a time.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old March 12, 2013, 09:50 AM   #24
Venom1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 3,107
Quote:
A handgun barrel should last at least a minute.
ha! I see what you did there!
__________________
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.- Yeah I can do that.
I guarantee you will know it if a bicyclist hits your house going 1000 mph.
Venom1956 is offline  
Old March 12, 2013, 01:26 PM   #25
Noreaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,373
Recently I have seen some agencies having to replace barrels when they train allot with frangible ammunition. One agent I spoke with said it was after 20,000 rounds.
Noreaster is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12609 seconds with 7 queries