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Old October 26, 2013, 07:38 AM   #1
std7mag
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Cartridge shape vs barrel life.

Ok, so the "new" philosophy is for "short, fat" cartridges vs the long, skinny cartridges. Powder is supposed to burn better, shorter stiffer actions.

The question I have is....

Has anyone really taken notice of whether or not the typical barrel life has shortened with these shorter, fatter cartridges? (powder capacity being similar to a longer, skinnier cartridge).

Your thoughts???
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Old October 26, 2013, 08:43 AM   #2
jmr40
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I don't know the answer and would also be interested in factual information. I do know this, the short fat cartridges use CONSIDERABLY LESS powder to generate SLIGHTLY LESS speed than the more traditional longer rounds. MY GUESS is that this would result in no real difference in barrel life since chamber pressures are roughly the same. Maybe longer barrel life, but I'm simply making a semi-educated guess here.

I load for 308, 30-06, and 300 WSM. I know that my best 308 loads are about 4% slower than my best 30-06 loads but use 22% less powder to do it. I don't load for 300 win mag, but looking at my manuals my best 300 WSM loads are only about 2% slower than 300 WM, but use about 12% less powder to get there. I could be wrong, but don't see how slightly reduced bullet speed and significantly reduced powder charges would wear out a barrel faster.

The shorter cartridges burn more efficiently, this means you need less of it and can get similar speeds, even from slightly shorter barrels.
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Old October 26, 2013, 11:14 AM   #3
DAVID NANCARROW
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In the end, its all about pressure and powder. If you have a large case with a lot of powder and a small bore, you will burn the barrel up in fewer shots, all else being equal. Doesn't really matter if its a long standard sized case or a short fat case.
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Old October 27, 2013, 07:18 AM   #4
std7mag
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Thank you for your input.
I was just wondering about it, as I have heard 6mm-284 being referred to as a "throat burner", and am looking into developing my own line of cartridges.

Again, thanks!!!
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Old October 28, 2013, 07:20 AM   #5
Bezoar
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however the big volume cases of the old school, are normally going to give you a wider allotment of different powders you can use. A good many of these new small cased cartridges only seem to get that magical burning rate with a very small number of different powders.
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Old October 28, 2013, 08:25 AM   #6
DAVID NANCARROW
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a 6MM-284 qualifies as being a bit harder than standard on barrel life. The case capacity is roughly the same as a 30-06
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Old October 28, 2013, 04:14 PM   #7
Darren007
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I remember reading in Hornady's Reloading manual (7th edition) that their .223 WSSM barrel showed significant throat erosion after about 300 rounds. Other manuals have talked about short fat cartridges wearing out barrels a bit quicker than their standard counterparts.

Anyway, that's just what I have read from the bullet manufacturers. However, I have no personal experience to speak of with short, fat cartridges like (for example) the WSSM line.
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