Worn out rifles


Dr T
March 11, 2011, 01:54 PM
How many rifles have you actually worn completely out?

In many ways, rifles can be used to define the term durable goods. Looking back at 50 years of shooting, I can honestly say I have only worn one rifle completely out, a Savage 63 .22 single shot I got when I was about 9 or 10. First, the hammer wore out (several 10's of 1000 of rounds will do that). After rebuilding the hammer, I finally gave up after another 10,000 or so rounds.

I guess this is why I can't reconcile using the term "entry-level" with the term rifle. When you get a good rifle, it will probably out last you given proper care (and perhaps a new barrel ever so often).

I think the bottom line is that I need to be doing a bit more shooting.

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March 11, 2011, 02:01 PM
I've never worn a rifle out, but my rifles have been mostly hunting rifles. If the throat gets eroded and it's shooting 2 inch groups, I'm still happy.

I'm sure the target rifle guys "wear out" rifles pretty regularly.

March 11, 2011, 02:19 PM
I have a Marlin 60 that could probably be repaired, but would cost more than it is worth to me.

March 11, 2011, 02:57 PM
Barrels? Worn out a couple of those. Most notably a .243 SS sporter barrel on a 98 action. I had thrown a few hundred 4000fps plus loads through it. Then settled on a 3500fps load and got a total of 3600rds out of it. A new barrel would have fixed it though.

As far as wearing other parts out? I have broken a firing pin or dropped a stock. Things like that. Never anything that would kill a rifle though.

March 11, 2011, 09:29 PM
hmmm i've never worn 1 out now that i think of it with that said the only rifle's i shoot allot are my AR'S and my 10-22ruger i would guess the 10-22 has ummm a very high unknown amount of rds through it lol but still shoots great

35 Whelen
March 11, 2011, 10:30 PM
I've recently been corresponding with a fellow High Power competitor. He for years shot a Pre-64 Model 70 in 30-06. I don't remember exactly how many barrels he's replaced, but I do remember him saying he'd fired over 22,000 rounds through the rifle. None the worse for wear.
This is easily doable in this type competition, because if you only shot one match per month, that's about 1200 rounds per year. But the guys who take it seriously, as does this fellow, shoot a few hundred rounds per month, so it adds up quickly!


March 11, 2011, 10:52 PM
I have a 1940's JC Higgens single shot .22 that has the old manual cocking and single locking lug bolt. It's so worn from all the plinking and kid shooting through 2 1/2 generations of family members, that the bolt is sloppy and it will open in battery if hold it up and turn it over. I call it worn out, but the little beast still shoots 3/4" and 50 yds and no one will let me sell it. So it'll go off to the machine shop this spring for a bit of metal work that will cost more than it's worth and the family will keep on shooting it.

Like a good John Deere tractor, they don't really wear out, as they mostly get parked for some new whiz-bang toy. Eventually, they get rediscovered as an antique and the fun starts all over again.

I also have an 1860's Flobert 22 that is so worn, the rolling block will not even line up with the barrel. That one is going to be a challenge and a 1/2, but it's sitting in the corner waiting for my retirement to have new pieces made for it. It'll come back to life one day. If I get the itch, it may come back as a 22 WMR :)

March 11, 2011, 10:55 PM
My 3 service rifle uppers have been rebarreled 4, 3 and 2 times respectively. 2 of the current barrels are in need of replacement. 24,825 rounds in 9 years. However, none of the rifles are worn out.

A barrel is a wear item, usually 10 to 50 cents per round depending on the quality of the barrel and the overbore nature of the cartridge.

To actually wear out a rifle would likely involve some serious lack of maintenance or a heck of a lot of rounds. I am reminded of the many CMP M1s out there from the WWII era. Many have been rebuilt a number of times. Rebarrel, replace the worn parts, reparkerize and your rifle is good as new or at least usable. :)


March 12, 2011, 12:45 AM
I bought a Mossberg Model 800B in the late 60's and have used it as a hunting/ utility rifle shooting thousands of rounds through the rifle. I took it out a couple of weeks ago, put it on the bench and it's still sub-moa, far from being worn out despite the .243 being a round that will eat up a barrel.

A few weeks ago I bought a "barrel burner" 6.5X284 made by Cooper of Montana. I talked to cooper about the price of a barrel replacement since the round has a bad rep for destroying barrels. Cooper will replace a worn out barrel for $125 (forever) for the original owner.

After shooting a lifetime I've never worn out a barrel. I'd love to have a bore scope and look at some of my rifles.

March 12, 2011, 12:49 AM
I haven't worn one out yet. I bought 5 Mauser Actions back in the late 80s from Fed Ord in California when I Had an FFL and I kept one. Three other guys that were on our deer leese split the other 4. We had a friend that was a gun smith barrel them in our choice of caliber and bend the bolts and drill and tap them for scope mounts. Those guys I think had theirs barreled to 25-06 but I was different and had mine barreled to .280 Remington, which Ive never been sorry about. Anyway, the actions were cheap and I think we paid like $100 for all five. Mine was pretty worn when I got it. I had a smith tell me it was a piece of crap, but I had another smith whome I believe to be the better of the two tell me that there's not such a thing as a worn out Mauser. Anyway he rebent my bolt because the first smith that barreled the actions didn't bend them well, and he did some other work on it tuning it up, puting another bolt stop-ejector on it. Then I put a new Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 on it and worked up a load for it with a 150 Grain Nosler BT over 56 Grains of IMR 4831 which goes through my Chrony at a shade under 3,000 FPS out of the muzzle. It will shoot MOA if I do my part and I have killed hogs and deer with this rifle usually bang flop DRT. It's a bit heavy at almost 10 pounds but I don't usually walk hunt anyway. I had a Neuropathy in 2005 and have a weak left leg. So I usually hunt from a blind or in a tree, so the slight extra weight doesn't bother me. But if I have one that's worn out that one would be it. But it still works.

March 12, 2011, 05:59 AM
Only one, a cheap hand-me-down Remington 514 single shot. It had soft steel and I shot too many shorts in it, eroding the chamber. The single extractor also stopped extracting and there was tremendous blow-by that would foul the bolt in less than 50 rounds.

I did wear out three BB guns, again a hand-me-down Red Ryder, plus two Daisy pumps (the first was returned to the factory for service once). I used to shoot 5-10 red 500 BB(?), Winchester tubes per week. I got pretty good shooting the pumps from the hip. All that shooting is probably why I like offhand shooting.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 12, 2011, 08:28 AM
I wore out an Armscor 20p (.22 lr) when i was a kid. I would take my "Bailing Money" (Bailing Hay) and buy bricks of .22lr at a time. It was nothing to shoot a brick in a day. I cleaned it each time, and it was one of the most accurate .22s I have ever shot. I wore out the firing pin, had a gun smith fix the bolt and put a new pin in it (Before Numrich, or the internet was widely available). Over the next few years I wore it out again. Took it back for another tune up, and he told me....."Look, I could fix this by replacing nearly every part, or you can save a bunch of money and just get a new one." I got a new one. I bought a ruger 10/22 for the replacement. I still have the 10/22.

I was at a gun store just this week and saw an old Armscor 20p in the rack. I bought it for 75.00. It's just like my old one. (I know they still make them, but not EXACTLY like the old ones, like this one! :D)

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