??? For you long range precision shooters...


July 6, 2013, 02:15 AM
How many rounds have you gotten out of your rifles before you noticed your groups opening up? Some people have told me they have only got 1000 out of their's and others say they have like 7,000 rounds out of their .308 and they can't tell any difference. So I am wondering what you all's experiences have been. Another thing is I am inclined to believe that most shooters are probably not consistent enough in ability to know when their rifles have opened up. Some say bring it back to 100 and check it but my reservations about that is the fact that if you being it back to 100 and keep chasing paper to see if your groups have opened up then you are wasting life trying to determine something that may be entirely the shooter!!!! And, I guess my next big thing is at what time do you retire it? 1moa, 2moa or what? Many rifle barrels that people retire are still very capable as like deer rifles! And do you rebarrel and fix up your rifle after it has been shot out or do you buy another rifle altogether and start over?

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July 6, 2013, 02:20 AM
Are you only wondering about .308s?

People who retire their barrels do so because they are no longer acceptable for the standard that the shooter wants them to achieve. If they are still capable of taking a deer? Great, but that doesn't mean anything to an F-Class shooter.

July 6, 2013, 02:22 AM
A big factor is how hot you get it. If you get the barrel extremely hot and keep on shooting you will burn out the barrel a lot faster than if you let it cool. You can burn out a barrel in a single day if you get it extremely hot and just keep blasting away. It's been done on many prairie dog hunts.

That said, the barrel life is going to be fairly long on a .308. I don't have enough experience with a .308 to have ever worn out a barrel on one, but as long as you take care of it, you should get a fairly long life out of it.

July 6, 2013, 02:23 AM
.308's is my main long range gun at this point so I am most interested in it, but I have others as well. For example, I also have a .243win that is fairly nice and I know that it will shoot the barrel out much quicker than the .308 simply because its a much hotter round.

Then to add to this there is that age old argument about cleaning and not to clean and then not to clean to early. I have heard valid arguments on all fronts from clean every 600 rounds to after each range session to never cleaning at all.

July 6, 2013, 09:49 AM
308 should be fine for thousands and thousands of rounds. In fact I wouldn't worry about burning out a barrel if a 308. Of you do however just have your smith slap another barrel on and rock on. If you start hot-ridding hand loads in the .243 you'll have around 2500-3000k barrel life out of it. This is all just general info and every gun is differnt. Regardless don't worry about barrel life just shoot and be happy. Way too many people over think long range shooting on this board.......just go bang steel!

July 6, 2013, 09:54 AM
Silent, when people talk about noticing groups opening up, they are saying from .5 MOA to .8 or something of that nature. If you are just shooting it as a deer rifle then you will never put the rounds through it to burn out the barrel.

Jim, West PA
July 6, 2013, 10:01 AM
That's an impossible question to answer unless you ask about a specific Bbl, a specific caliber, load etc. There variables are too great.

July 6, 2013, 10:47 AM
A couple of the long range guys told me it's more about pressure and speed of the round. And generally along with the pressure comes somewhat higher temperatures than with a slower round.

Keep in mind here that it's not so much about what your barrel feels like once the heat "leaks" out to the outer surface. Instead it's all about the localized heating that occurs during and for a very short few milliseconds as the shot is fired before the heat can bleed away into the mass of the barrel. What occurs during this very few milliseconds is that the heat and pressure erodes some of the metal around the chamber and lead in as well as working on the edges of the rifling. And the very high speed of such bullets rips away at the finer edges of the rifling.

The miniscule amounts that takes place even in the bore of a very high speed round takes it's toll on the accuracy. A hunter won't notice the difference. An F class guy will change the barrel.

Then again a .308 isn't the high speed and high pressure sort of round which is going to be at risk of early wear. Your .308 may well open up its groups. But it'll take many, many thousands of rounds or it may never be an issue.

July 6, 2013, 01:13 PM
It depends on the accuracy requirement. Many guys aren't happy with a rifle that won't keep 5 shots in the .1's. A 308 barrel could be shot to the point where it won't do that in as little as 1,000 rounds. But that same barrel might still be good enough for 1/2 MOA for 5,000 rounds or more and still keep 3 shots under 1 MOA for up to 10,000 rounds.

The 308 isn't nearly as hard on barrels as many other rounds. Those numbers might be much different with other rounds.

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