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The Bad Guy
06-05-2008, 07:16 PM
I was reading somewhere that the barrel a particular model of rifle chambered in 338 Lapua was only good for 1000-1500 rounds.

As a novice to firarms, I found this suprising. Not that I was planning on getting one, but it they lifespan of some barrels is that low, I would definately not purchase one, based on my current needs.

Approximately, how many rounds should the following barrels last?
.22 caliber
7.62x39
.308 or 30.06.

I am getting a .22, I have an AK and am considering a .308 or 30.06 or similar.

Thank you

tom

The Shadow
06-05-2008, 08:19 PM
The average sporting arm will out last you, your son, and grandson.

That said the average sporting arm is not shot that much depending on where you live and what you hunt, you might do good to fire the equivalent of one box of ammo a year through it.

I have read that even among African Safari guides/hunters that they had used the same battery of rifles for 30-40 years, and in some cases those were converted military ones at that.

Now has for the venerable good olé 22 buy a good one and it will get passed down too.

As with any mechinical device take care of it, and it will take care of you.

ScottT
06-05-2008, 08:44 PM
If your AK has a chrome bore, I don't know if you will be able to wear it out.

A .22 will last forever and more are messed up by improper cleaning than would ever be worn out from shooting.

A good .308 will last 5000 rounds or better, more if you are not heating it up, and will still be accurate. Shooting a semi auto fast and heating it up will hasten the wear in the bore.

Some magnum rounds are harder on bores, and that .338 Lapua does burn a lot of powder. But I don't know how long that barrel may last.

I shoot a great deal and I have never worn out a barrel on a rifle, though I have worn out a 1911 barrel. By the time you get to where you are having accuracy problems, you probably shot enough ammo to equal the replacement value of the barrel a few times.

Karl Kasarda
06-05-2008, 09:11 PM
For optimal accuracy in the High Power circles, barrels are discarded after 4,500 rounds (in regards to .308, 30-06 and 5.56). Some of the wildcat calibers are only good for 1500 rounds, but those are oddballs.

Now mind you, that 4,500 round number isn't steadfast, and is only for people trying to hold X ring scores at 600 yards. These barrels are still PLENTY accurate within 300 yards - it seems that the 300 yard and in accuracy starts to degrade around 10,000 rounds or more.

Also, these are not chrome lined barrels, just chromemoly or stainless. A military chrome lined barrel is probably good more than you'll use it, unless you're running full auto, or a lot of suppressed fire with a can.

For an average chrome lined military style rifle in 7.62x39 or 5.56, I'd say you're good for 30-40k until it starts getting funny.

As for .22lr barrels, YES, they do wear out - but in a different way. They start fire lapping at the mouth of the cartridge and cut a 'ring' around the mouth. Once the ring starts, it accelerates pretty quickly. However, again, this is something that the average shooter would never notice in terms of degraded accuracy, honestly.

Section1_Operations
06-05-2008, 10:44 PM
If one can afford to buy or reload 5k of .338 Lapua the last thing one's worried about is replacing the barrel for you silhouette matches when the time comes.:rolleyes:

Super-Short-Magnum's are well known for early throat erosion (~1-3k rds) due to the relatively fast powder volumes being consumed in those cartridge configurations.

Long-range rifles with more traditional designs float in the ~3-8k total round mark as it's very dependent on a number of specific variables.

The Bad Guy
06-06-2008, 05:26 AM
Thank you for the replies. Someone at work wants a Barrett. I will tell him to investigate barrel wear before he plops down the money for that.

Section1_Operations
06-06-2008, 09:09 AM
Thank you for the replies. Someone at work wants a Barrett. I will tell him to investigate barrel wear before he plops down the money for that.

The .50 BMG's don't show nearly the same wear as a .338 Lapua.

The Searcher
06-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Perhaps the biggest variable is how you define worn out.

I've seen Mosins and Mausers with barrels that have dinged crowns, severe pitting and wear in the barrels that still shoot well enough to make their owners happy.

At the other extreme bench resters will trash a barrel that still shoots sub MOA.

pete f
06-06-2008, 09:00 PM
Its a matter of two things, temp of the steel at the throat. and the temp of the flame which erupts from the case.

Remember the old WW1 and 2 machine guns with the big fat water jackets around the barrel? This was to keep the barrel cool. Prolonged firing of air cooled machine gun barrels will get them hot enough to actually see the bullets in the bore, and some will droop or warp from the heat. Barrel steels are better at resisting those types of effects now, but certainly not perfect.

Stainless will last longer than a chrome moly barrel. Certain types of heat resistant tool steels will last longer than 4140.

Some can get a .220 swift or a .22 250 barrel to last for 10 K rounds and have no problems, but it takes discipline of monitoring firing rate, barrel temp, etc. I know guys who PD shoot who keep things like bottled CO2 or rags stored over dry ice to keep reducing the temp of the steel between shots. I tend to do it by keeping several rifles ready and varying shots, from .22 lr and 17 mach 11 to .22 hornet, to .223, then 22-250 and then moving up to long range guns like 6 and 6.5 x 284 and finally the 7x340 wby.

usmc1986
05-10-2011, 07:06 AM
The Finnish military replace the barrels on their Sako TRG42 in .338 LM at 4K rounds. So 1500 to 2K seems low unless you're running nuclear hot loads and not allowing the barrel to cool down between strings of fire.

The .338 LM has great accuracy potential, but it is not designed to be a benchrest rifle caliber.

Zaveral
05-10-2011, 09:33 AM
If it takes a bullet .0007 seconds to travel down the barrel at approx 2800 fps then the .338 has a barrel life of almost 1.5 seconds. The .308 about 4 seconds. Ha!

forensicgun
05-10-2011, 10:47 AM
The Finnish military replace the barrels on their Sako TRG42 in .338 LM at 4K rounds. So 1500 to 2K seems low unless you're running nuclear hot loads and not allowing the barrel to cool down between strings of fire.

The .338 LM has great accuracy potential, but it is not designed to be a benchrest rifle caliber.

Letting the BBL cool between strings is critical if you want to get the longest life out of your BBL. Something else worth mentioning is that improper cleaning of a BBL will also degrade accuracy before the BBL reaches the end of its normal life. As mentioned some cartridges are tougher on BBLs than others, but benchrest shooters will often toss a BBL much sooner than a tactical shooter would. Again it depends on your def. of accuracy.

austin
05-10-2011, 11:56 AM
My wife's grandfather has a 30-30 and an M1 he got around 1945. Both have the same number of rounds through them - he thinks its around 200 a year.

He retired the 30-30 about 10 years ago because it was no longer shooting straight.

The M1 is still doing its job.

Both rifles survived horses falling on them and all kinds of other things that go on in a professional cowboy's life.

I'd be more worried about mechanical damage to the rifle than anything else - either through impacts or something getting in the bore.

Kansas Volunteer
05-11-2011, 04:45 PM
The shocking truth:

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2010/11/gone-in-six-seconds-barrel-life/