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Topic: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt (Read 510 times) previous topic - next topic

Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

In talking with some long range friends, they were telling me that they have barrels that didn't last much longer than 1000 - 2000 rounds.  My immediate response was WHAT!!!!

I am used to my Wilson Combat 1911 that has about 15,000 rounds through it and still as accurate as when I first bought it.  A friend put about 50,000 rounds through his WC1911 and Wilson Combat rebuilt it for him at no cost.  I just find it hard to believe the rifle barrels have such short lives. 

I now have a Wilson Combat Super Sniper 22" chambered in 6.5 creedmore.  I reached out to WC with the question of how long should I expect my barrel to last.  Their response was somewhere between 5000 and 10000 rounds.  This is an interesting range.  I have had my WCSS for just under 2 months and already have put about 600 rounds through it.  I like to shoot and typically put no less than 100 rounds through it at a practice session. 

Not sure what would cause the barrel to wear out quicker and or last longer.

It would be interesting to see what others have experienced and how well the different barrel manufactures fare.  Are there any recommendations for managing barrel life?

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #1
Rifle barrels operate at much higher pressure and velocity and the bottle neck cartridge shape is like a rocket nozzle blasting directly on the throat.  Eventually they wear out.

A .45 ACP won't have much luck hitting a target at 1,000 yards so it's a trade-off.

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #2
Agree.  The 45 ACP runs about 850 fps whereas a Creedmore runs at lest 2700 fps.  It also depends on the quality of barrel and how much cash is in that bucket in your back seat.  My nephew makes his own rifles and he went as far as getting his customized barrel Cryoed.  We used to x-ray car parts back in the 60's and a cryo for a barrel assures no perceivable or latent flaws exist.  Now is it worth it?  Not so much unless you have specific requirements.  So, the Wilson barrel might be a good fit for you but for someone else, maybe not. 
In adversity remember to keep an even mind, train hard and fight easy.
                            Horace and Alexander Suvorov

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #3
You have to temper expected barrel life with the requirements for the user.  If I only needed 1 MOA precision in 3 shot groups inside of a couple of hundred yards then I might get 5000rds through my 6.5 Creedmoor rig loading it at or under 2700 FPS/ 140gr bullet....MIGHT get...  In my F-class rigs I need at/under .5 MOA out to 1000yds over 20 shots to be competitive.  My 6,.5 Creedmoor Bartlein barrel is at over 1500rds and about .6 MOA at 600yds on a good day with a 141.5gr Cauterucio at 2720 fps and likely would shoot a little better if I would spend some time load tweaking.  My first barrel's throat was toast after 800rds at loads no faster than 2750 fps with 140-141.5 gr pills; I think I had some bad steel in the chamber end of the barrel as the throat erosion was way out of the normal.  As much as I respect WC and love my WC 1911 I think they are way off base in their suggested round count unless loading for subsonic loads ;) .

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #4
I'm with everyone else.  No way your getting 10,000 rounds or even close.  If Wilson is stating this, have them put in writing and when you smoke this barrel at 3000 have them rebarrel it at their cost.  I'd buy one to if they were willing to state it in writing.  I'm guessing they are not willing to back up this claim..

 

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #5
I doubt that WC is truly claiming that... my suspicion is that was just a W.A.G. thrown out there based on their .223 AR platform rifles by a company rep that has not much experience with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge in their rifle.  :) 

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #6
5-10,000 rounds? LOL Nope. You will get around 2500-3000 if you get more consider yourself lucky. I wouldn't plan on over 3500 especially the way ARs are shot. My bolt guns have never made 3,000.

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #7
If anyone out there is actually getting anywhere close to 10000 out of a  barrel please let me know so I can not only buy some of their barrels but stock in the company.

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #8
If anyone out there is actually getting anywhere close to 10000 out of a  barrel please let me know so I can not only buy some of their barrels but stock in the company.

I have a barrel with excess of 10K rounds and still shoots minute of turtle at 30-40 yds (IF I do my part...LOL).

It is a Winchester Mod 62 pump purchased by my grandfather for my father in the mid '40's.  I wish I had a nickel for every brick of shorts / cb shorts / Aguila subsonics I've run through that gun.  Well....you didn't specify centerfire! :))



Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #11
WC explicitly stated "no guarantee" and for good reason.  I imagine that there are so many variables that would affect barrel life and those variables are outside of WC control.

Do bolt gun barrels last longer than gas guns?

I have been able to push rounds in excess of 2800fps out of my WC but have settled on a round that averages around 2720fps.  If i keep my muzzle velocity to just over 2700, should i expect my barrel life to be better than average.

What are the tale tale signs that a barrel is going bad, other than groups getting looser?

Again, I am used to pushing lots of rounds during practice sessions, a habit from my pistol shooting days.  How many rounds do others put through their creedmores during practice sessions?

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #12
..as many have said, it all depends on your expectations regarding accuracy and/or precision.  I prefer AR's and like you, go thru a fair amount of rounds in a session....just the nature of the platform  ;D 

....costs of replacement barrels or barrels w/new upper is relative if you put it into a perspective akin to something like "brown bagging lunch for a month, skipping a couple of dinner dates out during a month, skipping movie theater night, a couple rounds of golf cut out", etc. ...  the saved dollars when used to purchase during sales that come up between high buying periods can ease the perceived "pain".  

...a barrel that can no longer print >.50 MOA is still more than proficient for plinking and practicing to instill and enhance muscle memory or try new manual of arms...and for those that might consider it relevant, "minute of man" capable.  

..me, I do my best to avoid that "impulse" buying syndrome, it was always expensive and sometimes what I purchased didn't always meet the hype that it was touting....  ::)

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #13
I have heard that one Weatherby 7mm Magnum owner re-barreled at 1,500 since accuracy became an issue above that.
In adversity remember to keep an even mind, train hard and fight easy.
                            Horace and Alexander Suvorov

Re: Average Barrel Life - Gas and Bolt

Reply #14
Here is a different way to look at it...

http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/facts-about-barrel-life/

And, your rate of fire with a MSR will have a significant impact on barrel life as well.

IMHO... and without trying to sound flippant ... enjoy your barrels accuracy, and try not to dwell to much on its useful life.

I've tried to remember, that barrels are expendable. Far more then your time.

The more powder your specific round burns.. ( IE the .264 Winchester Magnum w/ its 1200rd'ish life ) the less practical the barrel life, certainly in accuracy context.

A .223 Bolt action has considerably more practical barrel life then a .220 Swift, or .22/ 250. ... but it depends on what you are looking for... so try to just enjoy it for what it is.

Factor in a .223 AR15, with some people just blasting away... and that barrel will have a shorter life. The barrel temperature will be much higher then a slower rate of fire.

Consider the Water cooled machine guns from WWI and WWII... verse an aircooled Machine Gun....

So put it all together... low pressure and  a slow rate of fire will yield better barrel life... rapidly blasting away, with large powder charges, and high pressures will shorten those barrel lives.

Kind of makes me wonder what a typical Abrams tank barrels expected life is.... or the barrels on the USS Wisconsin...