Barrel Temperature


September 26, 2006, 12:36 AM

Just fired my 870 12 ga. for the first time on Sunday and the barrel heats up pretty quickly.

How hot is to hot?

How many rounds can I fire before having to let it cool down?

Thank you.

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September 26, 2006, 01:10 AM
The gun is designed to shoot longer than a shooter can use it.

Most clay shooters will shoot 1 box (25 shells) per round. A tournament in Skeet or trap is 4 boxes (100 rds). Five Stand and Sporting Clays shooters also will shoot similar round counts.

It is not uncommon for a shotunner to shoot 200 rds in one day [8 boxes]. I have personally shot 16 rounds of practice in one day with various shotguns, including the 870. Easiest way we broke in and smoothed up a new 870 was to just bring it out and let it be shot by any and everyone.

Four guys shooting sharing that one gun for 100 rds each - a fast 400 rds. In a day, it was not uncommon for a gun brought to repeat this again with another squad of 4, maybe even 3, 4 or 5 squads of 4.

Not uncommon to put 200 slugs at one time thru a gun. Take note of the round count a training class puts thru a gun per day, per class total.

Easiest way to smooth a 870 ( any shotgun) is to let everyone shoot it during a week that wants to. Too many guns over the years have survived a week of 2k, 3k even 5k rds in one week and went on to shoot over hundreds of thousands of rds.

Gun club rentals survive high round counts per day, week and years.

You will be fine.

I shot a particular 870 recently with over 300k rds thru it, made in the late 50's. Very smooth, and has been hot a time or three over its lifetime.

September 26, 2006, 01:18 AM
Often, I practice in the middle of the week, either alone or with my wife. During those times, I'll susually hoot 5-stand by myself, nearly as fast as I can reload. It's not uncommon for me to run 100-150 shells through the gun in uner 30 minutes. The limiting factor is not how hot the barrels get, it's how tired I get holding the gun up and operating it.

Shotgun barrels can easily get hot enough to hurt when you touch them; however, I've not found that that level of heat affects the accuracy one whit.

September 26, 2006, 01:33 AM
In a pump shotgun don't worry about damaging the barrel by heat.

September 26, 2006, 07:05 PM
I agree...I've had shotgun barrels so hot they will literally blister your fingers. So far no damage of any kind to any of my Remingtons or Mossbergs.

If it ain't glowin' cherry red, don't worry about it!

September 27, 2006, 12:36 AM
I'm assuming you're referring to a slight decrease in accuracy due to a hot barrel rather than the barrel getting so hot it withers and bends at a 90 degree angle toward the ground ;) ....

While you do have to worry about rifle barrels and heat vis-a-vis accuracy, shotguns are a bit more "robust." Perhaps if you're taking 100 yard shots with slugs it's another matter but for the most part shotgun heat will not affect shot accuracy.

I remember as a kid shooting a 22 rifle at small sillouhettes (sp?) when I was a kid and after a few dozen shots I couldn't hit anything and had to wait for the barrel to cool.

September 30, 2006, 10:12 AM
I had the opportunity to do some wing-shooting in Cordoba Argentina last week. On the first day, I put 1000 rounds through a Beretta 391 Optima before lunch! :evil: Thats an average of about a shot every 12 seconds for over 3 hours. A little Rem Oil in the action every hundred rounds or so and no problems. Gloves were definitely required, even the receiver was uncomfortable to hold.

Dave McCracken
September 30, 2006, 01:36 PM
I've done some fairly fast shooting. I've had fingers singed a bit after a wobble flurry, a fast COF in 3 gun, etc.

No damage to the gun, some to my ego on occasion.

Gloves are a good idea. On 870s, the old corncob forend is a bad idea for hot work.

October 2, 2006, 10:43 PM
Does anyone here use heatshields? I see them at the store a lot, but haven't seen anyone using them in person.
October 2, 2006, 11:30 PM
You have to worry about rifles overheating because there is more pressure, smaller space, accuracy is very important and rifled barrels can change quickly, a remington 870 or any shotgun barrel can get some major abuse and get way hot before it even starts to affect accuracy. Ive shot at least seven boxes in a few hours at competitions and believe me there is no harm ever to the gun, it just loves you that much more.

Go 870!

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