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View Full Version : Which rifle calibers are considered to be "barrel burners"?


TheNatureBoy
April 30, 2010, 06:03 PM
I was sitting in my garage yesterday with a fellow firearms enthusiast and he started talking about "barrel burners" such as the 6.5x.284, .264, and others that I can't recall to memory thus the question which calibers are considered to be "barrel burners"? I appreciate your input or if anyone knows of a list that I can find on another website I'd appreciate it.

Brian Pfleuger
April 30, 2010, 06:07 PM
The basic rule of thumb is high pressure and high speed.

Basically, over 58,000psi and 4000fps is a good clue.

Scorch
April 30, 2010, 06:27 PM
Large powder charges through a small bore generally get tagged as "barrel burners". Like the 264 Win Mag, or 220 Swift, or 257 Weatherby, or 300 RUM; just think large powder charge + high pressure + high velocity = barrel burner.

But really, it's pretty easy to tame a barrel burner. Just slow the bullet down, shoot a heavier bullet, or reduce the pressure, and pretty soon the barrel burner gets pretty tame.

22-rimfire
April 30, 2010, 08:22 PM
I read the other day that the 220 Swift would pretty much wear the barrel out in about 2000 rounds (at normal velocity).

GeauxTide
April 30, 2010, 10:36 PM
Hot loaded 22-250, 220 Swift, 257 Weatherby, and 264 Winchester. I would suspect the Ultra Magoons will be right up there, too.

FrankenMauser
April 30, 2010, 11:19 PM
I read the other day that the 220 Swift would pretty much wear the barrel out in about 2000 rounds (at normal velocity).

Negatory.

Search these forums. The Swift's "barrel burning" tendencies have been beaten to death. (Along with other cartridges.)

The consensus is always the same: A properly cared-for rifle will yield many thousands of rounds before erosion is considered any kind of issue. There are quite a few of us Swift shooters on these forums, that have up to 5,000-10,000 rounds down the pipe... with no noticeable throat erosion.

My Swift came from my dad. He put several thousand rounds through it, before I put about 500 through it. He was a speed freak, always seeking 4,400-4,500 fps with 52gr bullets. He ruptured more cases, and blew more primers than I can remember. Yet... the rifle is just fine.

Case shape, velocity (powder charge), powder choice (granule shape and burn rate), and bore size can be linked together to show why some rifles show erosion faster than others - but, not all.

Most rifles labeled with "burned barrels" were subjected to insane pressure (over max), high velocity, way-too-light projectiles, and poor powder choices for extended periods of time. ...Or, were fired continuously for several hundred rounds, with no cool down for the barrel.

Those that seek the 5,000 fps mark are those that own barrel burners.
The rest of us own normal rifles.

noyes
April 30, 2010, 11:42 PM
Why do manufacturers keep most of their loads to just under 3000 fps or a tat over ?

The ammo makers know.

FrankenMauser
May 1, 2010, 01:53 AM
Why do manufacturers keep most of their loads to just under 3000 fps or a tat over ?

The ammo makers know.

Please specify what you're referring to.

There are MANY, MANY commercial loads that exceed 3,000 fps (in a plethora of cartridges). There are quite a few small bore loads that exceed 4,000 fps, and several near 4,200+ fps for the .204 Ruger and .220 Swift.

Please elaborate on your comment.

44 AMP
May 1, 2010, 02:14 AM
Most of the "barrel burners" got their rep because they were (are) over bore cases, burned large amounts of IMR powders, and because the steel alloys used in the early/mid 20th century was not as good as we can use today.

FrankenMauser hit the nail on the head pretty well.

And, the reputation as a barrel burner is also a comparative thing. Its highly likely a high intensity round like the .220 Swift or the .264 Win Mag will wear its barrel sooner than a .300 Savage or even a .30-06. And we're talking slow fire here, as well. AND we are also talking about how much wear it takes for a barrel to be "burnt out". When/if that .75MOA shooter opens up to 1.25MOA (after 5k rounds) is it "worn out"? IF a 1MOA open up to 2MOA, is it useless? Or is it still a viable big game rifle, the way it was before?

It all depends on what you use the rifle for. ANd, when you come down to it, a set back and rechamber, or even a brand new barrel don't cost much, compared to the cost of a new rifle, or even the money you spent "burning" out the barrel in the first place.

Indy racers rebuild/replace the entire engine after a single race. And that normal for them. What's normal, for you?

radom
May 1, 2010, 06:11 AM
Well one would be the 16 inch 50 cal gun, another would be the 5 inch 54 caliber. Both are said to need retubed at around 265 rounds.

Come and take it.
May 1, 2010, 12:23 PM
amount of powder burning and temperature caused by this is what results in burning a barrel up. You will burn up a barrel throat shooting a 7mm remington magnum long before you will burn the throat up on a .220 swift.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
May 1, 2010, 06:28 PM
Well, if you are so lucky as to burn out a barrel, and haven't been stupid in the process, consider yourself VERY LUCKY! You have done a great lot of shoot'in in the process.

Your at the range or in a varmit patch and the barrel gets hot, let it cool off. take a break.

You can take almost any modern centerfire and wreck the barrel in one outing, if your stupid.

Pour enough ammo down the barrel fast enough and you can wreck a barrel in one session. If you so chose to do so, there is no one to blame but yourself.

However, with reasonable use, and this is including the 220 swift, 22/250, 264win. mag. etc. etc. be thankfull if you can shoot enough to shoot one out.

Wife bought me a 243 probably 30 years ago. I am at least the third owner. It was a great shooter when my friend had it and it is to this day.

Fact is, now I'm working up loads in that rifle with 55gr Nosler Blastic Tips that will leave the 22-250 in the dust.. If I ever shoot this one out, think I'll have it rebarrel as it is one rifle that means a lots.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Red_Eagle
May 1, 2010, 09:29 PM
I don't have first hand knowledge, but the 223, 243, and 25 Winchester Super Short magnums have had the label applied to them. Not sure I believe it about the 243 & 25 WSSM, as they duplicate the 6mm Remington and 25-06. But the 223 WSSM mimics the 220 Swift and some one unfamiliar with how to care for a magnum 22 would probably damage it. i.e. how to clean it, shooting it hot, over ambitious hand loads, ect.

FrankenMauser
May 2, 2010, 12:57 AM
I don't have first hand knowledge, but the 223, 243, and 25 Winchester Super Short magnums have had the label applied to them. Not sure I believe it about the 243 & 25 WSSM, as they duplicate the 6mm Remington and 25-06. But the 223 WSSM mimics the 220 Swift and some one unfamiliar with how to care for a magnum 22 would probably damage it. i.e. how to clean it, shooting it hot, over ambitious hand loads, ect.

I saw one of the .223 WSSM fried barrels, first hand. Less than 300 rounds, and the throat looked like an Apollo Program heat shield, after re-entry. It was scrap.

It turned out the shooter had been putting nothing but the 40gr Winchester factory loads through it (you know - the load that "knocked the Swift off its throne" as speed king, but had to be tamed due to barrel issues).... with no cool down period for each 40-50 round volley.

predator86
May 2, 2010, 01:12 AM
the old cats down at the shop have a saying," if you can responsibly shoot a barrel out of a gun in your lifetime son, ya dun good, real good."