chrome lined vs stainless barrel life?


February 10, 2010, 06:08 PM
i recently sold one of my AR'S to fund my new build,it will have a 18"WOA barrel and Bravo Company everything else, the WOA barrel is stainless and i'm curious will the stainless barrel have a longer life or will a chrome lined barrel have a longer life (if both are taken care of properly)

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February 10, 2010, 08:07 PM
can anybody weigh in?

February 10, 2010, 08:11 PM
Awfully soon for a bump...

Anyway, chrome lined will likely have a longer barrel life, especially if you do rapid-fire frequently. However, stainless will probably be more accurate for the first several thousand rounds. You could decide based on accuracy vs. life or just flip a coin.

February 10, 2010, 08:33 PM
Hard chrome will have a longer barrel life due to the hardness of the chrome and its increased wear resistance.

February 10, 2010, 08:39 PM
A Hard Chrome lined barrel done correctly, will have a longer barrel life.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 10, 2010, 08:46 PM
Well, so far the only barrel I've worn out is a Bushmaster chrome-lined 16" HBAR. It started giving unacceptable accuracy past 300yds around 9,000 rounds. The 1:8 SS match barrel that replaced it is still more accurate than the Bushmaster was brand new at ~4,500 rounds. My guess is that I'll get more use out of the SS barrel, even using it at carbine courses; because even if it wears faster, it was just so much better than the Bushmaster to start with.

However, if most of your shooting is under 200yds or 100yds, then it may take longer to notice any degradation.

February 10, 2010, 09:01 PM
My FNH .308 with crome lined barrel settled in at about 180 rounds. I hand load too, but I have shot a .368 five round group at 100yds. The factory test target was 1.650 at 200yds. They were using Black Hills ammo.
I use federal cases loaded with Blc2 and Sierra 168gr. match bullet. I suppose some barrels work in faster than others.


February 10, 2010, 10:38 PM
No rapid firing and bump firing. Clean and lube right and should last many rounds to come.

February 11, 2010, 09:55 AM
Stainless barrels will do just fine with rapid fire. Check this out and decide for yourself.

February 11, 2010, 12:57 PM
chrome lining does better than stainless mainly because it tolerates heat better. Chrome lining is also slick and thus easier to clean. However, chrome lining adds abour $40-50 to the price of the barrel - assuming you're comparing similar barrels.

Stainless, however, is usually much more uniform and therefore has better accuracy until it wears out. Depending on the kind of SS barrel, they can range from marginally more accurate to substantially more accurate.

February 11, 2010, 07:42 PM
longdayjake that was pretty interesting: 15,000 rds and its still accurate! i've got a White Oak Armament 18inch barrel,it just arrived on my front door a few days ago. i wanted to build a dual purpose gun, a very accurate rifle out to 400 and 500 meters but i wanted one that could be used as a battle rifle (shtf) and hold up to the high round count. i think i've made the right choice with the WOA barrel it should be able to do both no prob. i'm still gonna oreder a BCM barrel and bolt for a M-4GERY i have (back up for my back up!)lol everybody needs that right!?

Zak Smith
February 11, 2010, 10:07 PM
Which has "lasted" longer, a SS barrel that starts out 0.5 MOA and degrades to 1.25 MOA at 7000 rounds or a chrome-lined barrel that starts at 1.5 MOA and still shoots it at 7000 rounds?


February 11, 2010, 10:20 PM
My Armalite M4 copy has a chromed lined barrel and it is surprisingly accurate. I think chrome lined barrels have improved like most everything machined today.

A chrome surface is going to be a lot harder than the surface of a stainless steel barrel. It will last longer. I have "heard" that a chrome barrel on a .223 should last 15000 rounds. Best accuracy life on a regular chrome moly or stainless will be 3000 rounds, maybe 5000. You can still shoot excellent groups on high round barrels out to 300 yards but worn out barrels really blow chunks at 600 yards.

February 11, 2010, 11:36 PM
Can you chrome line a stainless barrel?

February 11, 2010, 11:36 PM
Id say it depends on the the quality of the stainless steel. I dont know the particulars about various manufacturers stainless steel quality.
It seems that a stainless steel target barrel may be more accurate for a period of time, but if its too soft it will wear faster.
Chrome lining is not as tough as what many think it is, comparing how chrome coatings wear to stainless steel in the elements in other products.
My Bushmaster has had a few thousand rds put through it, it is chrome lined, its very accurate. One particular Colt a friend has seems to be very accurate, but its also a heavy barreled 20" rifle.
Chrome as a coating is flexible, but brittle. Stainless steel can be either very flexible, or very hard.

February 13, 2010, 02:42 PM
“Stainless will not shoot one bit better than chromemoly, but will shoot better for a little longer. Expect another 10- to 15-percent longer sharp-edge accuracy from stainless. The reason is in how the steel ‘wears’ as throat erosion progresses. Chromemoly tends to get rough (like sandpaper) whereas stainless steel tends to form cracks with still-smooth areas between them (like a dry lakebed). Interestingly, though, if we were going to shoot each barrel forever, the chromemoly would probably shoot the best past either’s prime. When stainless groups open up, they tend to do so abruptly. Chromemoly group sizes cone outward more slowly.” - Glen Zediker, pp. 20-21, July ’05 GUNS

“The best target barrels have been made almost exclusively of stainless steel. This is not so much because the steel is stainless but because stainless is made to rigid quality standards with an absolute minimum of internal flaws such as carbon inclusions, voids, or folds that cause barrelmakers so much grief. As one top custom barrelsmith told me many years ago, ‘Stainless-steel barrels are good because the steel itself is good.’” - Jim Carmichael

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