Barrel life of a .22LR?


November 15, 2007, 02:45 PM
How many rounds does it take to wear out a .22LR barrel? I've heard stories of over 100K rounds. Who wants to claim the record?

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November 15, 2007, 05:19 PM
I'm somewhat curious about this too. I've been shooting the same Marlin 39A for thirty years and have put at least a zillion rounds through it (give or take a few billion ;) )
In the old days I probably cleaned it too much. Plus, I always used an aluminum rod from the muzzle end. In 1994 I heard that could be harmful, so I switched to the Otis pull-through system. Now I only clean it through the breech.
The rifle seems to shoot okay, so maybe I didn't damage the barrel too much.

Bazooka Joe71
November 15, 2007, 05:24 PM
Jeez, do they ever go bad?:confused:

November 15, 2007, 05:31 PM
I ruined a 22 barrel- mine was from over cleaning. had an honest 20-25k through it. i ruined the crown with a steel brush.

November 15, 2007, 05:31 PM
I have a Glenfield model 25 from the mid/late 70s, it was my dads and he shot the hell out of it. Since 1995 I have shot well over 600 rds a week through it, minus a few weeks like vacations and such. The gun still shoots a quarter size group at 60 yards...and doing the math, I have shot close to 350,000 rounds, not to mention the rounds my dad put through it. I have heard stories that the .22lr has a barrel life of about 1.5-2 MILLION shots. I don't know if this is true, but hell mines got over a quarter a million and still works great so you never know

November 15, 2007, 05:45 PM
Keep a couple of things in mind. Where .22 LR is primarily a short range round, the same kind of accuracy doesn't really apply like it would to say, a premium bench-rest rifle. Even if you completely shoot it out, you might move it from 1 MOA to 1.5 MOA. Where this is death for an extremely accurate rifle, it's not AS big of a deal for a .22. (At least not to ME.)

Also, .22 LR ammo isn't jacketed. Soft lead bullets don't grind out the rifling the same way long-term usage of fmj does. If you can 'shoot out' a .22, I have never heard of it. I suppose if you have a serious varmint-barreled tac-driving 10/22 setup, and you just shoot it to death for years, you might do some damage.

Last summer, I took my dad's 10/22 (completely stock) which is about 35 years old, he cheerfully claims "I've shot a bajillion jackrabbits with this rifle, and even cleaned it once or twice," to the range, resting it over a sandbag, using standard winchester ammo, I started doing 3" groups at 100 yards, when I was warmed up and broken in, I had them almost down to 2". How much accuracy do you need from a short-barreled .22?

November 15, 2007, 05:49 PM
My father had a 10/22 for about 30 years and it still shoots very well. Mine is about 15 years old (shooting a brick or two per month), still going strong. I think that bad cleaning etiquette is more a cause of failure than running lots of ammo through it.

I just run a dry bore snake through after shooting and it is plenty. I only clean it with patches and solvent every 3000-4000 rounds.

Don't Tread On Me
November 15, 2007, 05:51 PM
A .22LR should be able to shoot hundreds of thousands of rounds. The soft lead bullet and the velocity/pressure simply isn't enough to wear it down with any significance to worry you.

Cleaning will destroy it faster. There's also a school of thought that doesn't believe in EVER cleaning the bore of a .22LR. Assuming you use the same type of ammo of course. These are benchrest type shooters.

Abrasive particles, either from the powder inside a .22LR case or perhaps embedded in the lead of cheaper ammo would probably have the only wearing effect. Cleaning brushs, mops and whatnot can retain abrasive particles. Which is why you should always buy good brushes (like Dewey) and rinse them clean afterward (they don't rust). Always brush in 1 direction. Always go in 1 direction.

Whatever the case, I wouldn't worry about it. Just shoot it.

November 15, 2007, 06:03 PM
Well as far a I know if they were made post corrosive ammo they can go on longer than any of us no matter how much we shoot as long as they are cleaned properly!
What exactly is cleaning properly?This is the question!

I think good lube and not to much,effective cleaning agents but not to often,a hardened steel cleaning rod with a muzzle protector(rod guide) or something like the ottis system,and knowing how to strip and reassemble the firearm compleatly and knowing what to look for for wear!
The only bolt actions I clean from the muzzle are rimfires and it is always done with barreled action removed from the stock.I do this to be sure I clean the chamber without making it a seperate process.With the rod guide in place the only time I need to worry about rod and rifling contact is at the chamber end,I see the brush or patch coming out I change directions!But I then give the whole thing a brake cleaner rinse and then hit it with compressed air and then blow a little oil threw it with compressed air.The trigger group or parts and bolt get cleaned seperatly.
I have some Marlins made in the late 30's or early 40's that I bought used and have no idea how much they were shot before me but at one point I was shooting about 3000 rounds a week between 3 of them and did that for several years.No noticable wear as far as shot placement goes but the triggers have a better feel.
I almost wish I never moved,It was fun having a sand pit in the back yard and shooting when ever you wanted.

November 15, 2007, 10:00 PM
The old ad Remington had for the Nylon 66 claimed 75,000 rounds and the barrel still measured as new. If you can afford to shoot one out you can afford a new barrel.

Just for grins, 100,000 rounds of ammo is 200 bricks of 22. At ten bucks a box thats $2000.00 dollars worth of ammo not including taxes. With taxes here in my area the price just went to $2165.00 and 22s ain't ten bucks anymore.

November 15, 2007, 10:16 PM
Wow ratshooter. never looked at it that way. To tell you the truth i know i have purchased more than 200 bricks. Wow thats scary i have purchased what 20 times more ammo than what i paid for the gun. amazing.

I bought my marlin 700 at big 5 back in 1988. i remember buying it on sale. i have shot so many rounds through it its amazing. This past weekend i was shooting steel at 100 yards. It was amazing to be able to load a 15 rnd magazine and fire 15 rnds hearing the steel being hit with every shot.

November 15, 2007, 10:27 PM
I have heard somewhere in the area of 100,000 to 200,000 rounds. However it appears people have reported otherwise. Either way, its a long time. I should buy a 10/22 or a 60 and blaze away until i lose all accuracy.

November 15, 2007, 10:43 PM
the one to get.

November 15, 2007, 10:59 PM
Barrel life of a .22LR?

About the same life expectancy of me (or more). :what:

November 15, 2007, 11:10 PM
Lilja claims around 5000-10000 rounds in a 22LR barrel before accuracy begins to decrease.

As far a 'wearing' out a barrel, that depends on what wearing out means to you. If you mean how many rounds before it can't stablize a bullet beyond 50 yards, then I have no clue. It could be hundreds of thousands of rounds before you can kill the throat on a 22LR barrel.

Danny Creasy
November 15, 2007, 11:17 PM
Near the end of old Rhodesia, the defense forces used Ruger Standard Model .22 semi-automatic pistols for marksmanship training. I read in the American Rifleman a couple of decades ago that there were documented round counts of over a million cartridges fired through some of these pistols with no major repairs required.

Il Duca
November 15, 2007, 11:20 PM
I've never seen a bad .22 bbl that wasn't a result of the user. Never heard of one wearing out either.

November 15, 2007, 11:33 PM
Over twenty years of gunsmithing and I have yet to see a .22 rimfire barrel completely worn out by shooting and that includes the magnums.

I have seen them pitted to unservicability, I have seen them with chambers eroded by using a steady diet of shorter than actual chamber length cartridges, in example, .22 shorts in a long rifle chamber, and I have seen them with the muzzle crown worn out, nicked, and buggered up.

The first two can be prevented by regular cleaning and avoiding shooting anything but the actual cartridges the chamber is cut for.

The third can be corrected by cutting the barrel down and recrowning and sometimes recutting the front sight dovetail if it is affected by the cutdown, and as long as the barrel isn't already at the shortest legal length.

November 16, 2007, 08:45 AM
I've never heard of shooting out a .22 lr barrel. A recrowning may be nevessary every 15 or 20 years, but that's about it

November 16, 2007, 10:16 AM
there is not enough heat/pressure in a rimfire, the biggest danger is overcleaning, and ruining the bbl/ muzzle. It should last indefinitely.
i have a speedmaster that has at least 100k through it right now, and i aint that old.

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