View Full Version : .223 Barrel Life

February 1, 2006, 08:36 AM
What is the barrel life of a.223 i'm buying a Aramlite 180b today NIB i don't want somthing that is going to wear out every 2000-3000 rounds this barrel is not chrome lined no frills just the basic Armalite.



February 1, 2006, 09:20 AM
I can't speak about specifics regarding your rifle....but, as for barrel life, as long as you will not use special "hot" loads in the rifle (just normally- loaded .223/ 5.56x 45 cartridges)....I would imagine that barrel life will be just as great as with any other .223 rifle. This could be anything between 10,000 and 30,000 rounds. If you handload...and use somewhat reduced charges, this number can certainly be extended. I would not worry too much about this issue, unless (as I said), you plan on using particualrly "hot" loads.

February 1, 2006, 02:17 PM
It is my understanding that the std. barrels on Armalite AR-15's are chrome-lined (but maybe they stopped doing that ?)

According to John Feamster, a good non-chrome-lined AR-15 barrel should give at least 5,000 rds of life before accuracy begins to decrease, and often they go much longer. (Feamster makes this statement in regards to accurized rifles and barrels that shoot well-under 1 MOA). Chrome-lined barrels last longer. I have seen some with over 10,000 rds that shoot under 2MOA with stock sights. Expect less if you shoot hot loads; heavy bullets, etc.

(J. Feamster is an AR-junkie and expert; author of 'Black Magic' an excellent book on shooting and modifying the AR-15)

February 1, 2006, 02:34 PM
The most detrimental thing to barrel life is heat. If you do a lot of rapid fire, you will wear out the barrel much faster than if you put the same number of rounds through in a an extended time period. As heat from continuous firing builds up in the barrel, each succesive round will do more and more damage. At the extreme end, think of a beltfed machinegun. A heavy MG barrel like that on a 1919A4/A6 could easily withstand 2000rds fired in slow controlled bursts of 2-3 ounds each with adequate time to cool over a period of several hours. OTOH, if you take that same 2000rds and run it through in one long continuous burst (about 3-4 minutes), the barrel will turn cherry red and start to melt by the time its done. At that point, you've probably burned all the rifling out and turned it into a smoothbore.

February 1, 2006, 06:35 PM
This is one of those questions that touches on so many variables.

What endpoint do you want to use - service accuracy or peak accuracy........or maybe minute-of-gravel pit?

How will you be shooting - all slow fire, some rapid fire drills, Emmagee blasting? Are we talking a barrel that needs to shoot into .25 MOA to make you happy?

Ammo - cast bullet loads, modest SAAMI spec factory/handloads or mil-spec/surplus M193/M855?

Assuming best case use you should not see a significant decrement in peak accuracy till around 5k, and service accuracy to almost 10k.

OTOH, one of my chrome-lined 11.5" blasting uppers has seen maybe 2.5k of mild Wolf poly. The first 1" of rifling is completely gone.


February 1, 2006, 07:57 PM
The main thing with Barrel life is cleaning. If you clean your rifle after every few shots, and before you put it away, it will last far longer. I just purchased an AR-30 and was concerned about this. There is a break in procedure included with your rifle. FOLLOW IT CLOSELY!!! Mine was something like shoot 11 rounds, clean the hell out of it, shoot 3 rounds, clean the hell out of it, it does this several times until you get to a hundred or so rounds. THen i think they tell you " TO maintain match accuracy, clean the rifle after every 10 shots" and again, this is a AR-30 300 Winn mag. The 223 will be a little different and probably a bit more easy on the cleanings than mine. I have done well with my rifle, cleanings, and break in procedure as mine has shot well under .5 MOA. Armalite told me accuracy will not be at its best when new, the barrell needs to break in a few hundred rounds before optimum accuracy is reached. I am not at 300 rounds yet and my rifle will easily out shoot me. If i miss, it is my fault, not the guns. Dont knock Armalites quality, It is superb. Your getting ( got ) a great rifle , probably best $ can buy, with a lifetime warranty, ( as long as they dont find out you reload) Just shoot it , clean it every once in a while, (Very often during the first few hundred rounds) and be sure you clean it before you put it to bed. Itll be happy a long time.Have fun