View Full Version : Barrel Life

February 21, 2000, 01:49 PM
I have heard that really hot rifle cartriges like the 220 swift and most of the Weatherby Calibers have a shorter barrel life. What I was wondering is how long should a standard barrel last compared to a really hot caliber, say the 25/06 compared to 257 Weatherby Mag. I know that it is partialy a function of the steel used in the barrels and how often you clean the gun and a bunch of other variables but if both barrels are made of the same steel and are treated the same how much difference is there? Is the difference enough to worry about?

James K
February 21, 2000, 02:23 PM
There was an excellent article in one of the gunzines a few months ago on barrel life. For hot cartridges, it was surprisingly short. I will try to dig out the article. If I can, I will post the mag and date.


February 21, 2000, 02:56 PM
The .300 WinMag is real lucky to get 2500 rounds, many say it's gone after 1K.

This is mainly due to throat erosion.

February 21, 2000, 03:04 PM
Had a .264 Win Mag, it was shot out at 350 rounds. Tremendous throat errosion.
That was a long time ago, and now with modern powders it is easy to stretch their bore life to 400 rounds. :(

If you are thinking about a 25-06, I think it is a GREAT round. Never had a problem with barrel life with one either. It is much more accurate than the .264 win mag and the .257 Weatherby as well.

I wish that there was a better (read wider) selection of .257 bullets out there.

Gale McMillan
February 21, 2000, 03:45 PM
Barrel life is proportionate to the number of pounds of powder burnt at a given pressure and a given barrel diameters An example is a 222 Rem shooting 20.5 gr of powder at 50
000 barrel life is approx. 3,000 rounds Where with a Swift shooting 39 grs of powder at 3800 fps would have ½ the barrel life as the 222 plus an even shorter life due to the extra 5000 lbs of pressure 55,000 for a barrel life of under 1000 rounds. Take the 300 Win Mag ..shooting 80 grains of powder at 55,000 psi is about ¼ the life of the 222 plus a small bonus for the extra 5000 chamber pressure. This can be confused by the rate of fire as the faster the rate of fire the excelerated shortness of barrel life. Barrel life of a 223 firing one round per minute will be considerably longer than when fired from a AR15 in semi auto. I would always give a rifle barrel to win a match so I have never been concerned about barrel life. If it is a deep concern to you pull the pressure off till you start to see A loss of accuracy and never shoot it till it gets hot enough that you can't hold your hand on it. Or look at it as part of the cost of having a hot rifle like driving a hot sports car.

Gale McMillan
February 21, 2000, 03:55 PM
Nukum the Marine corp. takes the rifle away from first squad and give it to the second string when it has 800 rounds through it and gives the first string a new rifle. Or that was the way it was when I was building them for the Corp.

Oleg Volk
February 21, 2000, 05:43 PM
So what would barrel life for a P14 .303 be assuming that no one overheats it with cordite ammo?

February 21, 2000, 06:23 PM
Gale, glad to see you back at the keyboard.
We had a discussion on rec guns in the fall about the .300 and you convinced me to get a premium bbl even with the sort life.
I took your advise and had a stainless Douglas XX airgauged made for it. Have not shot it yet since I'm still waiting for that stock ;) Had him make me a real nice Douglas for my AR DCM upper too, shot it yesterday, very nice, made a difference, that and the Jewell trigger.

[This message has been edited by Nukem (edited February 21, 2000).]

February 23, 2000, 11:43 PM
Thanks for all the info! It helped me to know what to expect.