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Cooling a barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Dilettante, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. Dilettante

    Dilettante Well-Known Member

    Is there any reason not to put a cold pack around the gun barrel while reloading?
    This seems like an obvious way to prevent overheating, but it might be bad for the barrel to cool it too much.
    What might happen? Has anyone tried it?
  2. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member


    I've used a bag full of ice to help cool a barrel when shooting my deer rifle in summer. I just try to make sure the barrel cools relatively evenly and is back to ambient temp before I shoot again. Never had any problems.
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I believe I'd be concerned about condensation, especially inside the barrel.
  4. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Shoot it again....condensation should flee.

  5. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member

    Condensation would be dependent upon humidity and dewpoint, but if you don't cool it much past ambient then you should stay dry.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Dump water in it, ice it down, whatever you use to cool it is fine as long as you take care of it when shooting. There is a commercial device that uses a bucket with a small battery powered pump that pushes water through the barrel to cool guns quickly. I cannot remember the name though.

    You cannot cool a barrel too fast even with ice, and need a squad of ammo handlers to get even a semi-auto pistol hot enough to bother about.

    Unless barrel temps get over 400* you have no worries, so spit check it (spit on it, it if boils and dances and does not touch the metal itself you are getting close to being too hot) to see if it is too hot to continue.
  7. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member

    Most semi-auto pistols don't get that hot, but get a rifle barrel or your T/C Encore hot enough to boil spit and you are definately shortening it's life span.
  8. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    When cooling my P7M8 I keep the action open to help promote air flow...and I bring another gun ;)
  9. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Rifle mag had an article about barrel cooling and included a blast of C02, rubbing with ice, pouring water. The barrel will be so hot there won't be condensation. Just evaporation. Furthermore, water on exterior won't hurt it anyway. Remember the water cool MGs in WW I & WW II?
  10. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden Well-Known Member

    Just to play the devil's advocate:

    Those guns were surrounded with water as they began to heat up, not splashed (or doused) with water when they were already hot. What I'm getting at is that introducing cool water to a hot barrel will make the metal contract at different rates since the outside is cooler and the inside hotter as opposed to a uniformly heating barrel of a water-cooled MG.

    Does this have any effect on modern production guns? No idea, I've no empirical evidence either way. ;)

  11. Dilettante

    Dilettante Well-Known Member

    Yes! This is exactly what I was worried about.
  12. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Well-Known Member

    Remember how they cooled the mortar tubes in "We Were Soldiers"? :D
    The range master might frown on that method though................
  13. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member

    Metal is an excellent conductor of heat and it will disperse the remaining heat quickly even if you only cool one part. The distance of the radius of most barrels is very small. Half an inch on the outside.

    This type of cooling happens in reverse every time you shoot your hunting weapon in subzero temps. For a small moment the inside is very hot and the outside is ambient. No problem.
  14. giese

    giese Well-Known Member

    Canned air

    How about trying one of those canned air products used to dust off electronic equipment. When you tip them upside down and squirt them they eject liquid that is very cool, I am not sure what it is though, tetrafluoroethane or something. It should not contain any particulate matter and should not harm the gun, plus with the long tip you can shoot it right down the barrel, it might even keep your gun more clean and it disapates mucho rapido.
  15. Dilettante

    Dilettante Well-Known Member

    My experience is that canned air gets used up very quickly. It would be an expensive way of cooling the gun.
    I think I'll try the ice pack next time I'm shooting.
  16. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Easy way to keep a cool gun barrel.
    Exchange barrels, or even guns.
    The problem with hot-swapping barrels is that, well, they're hot.
    Two, even three guns are the answer.
    I wouldn't even bother going to the range, unless I packed at least three different bullet launchers.
  17. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Well-Known Member

    That's what a .22 is for

    Gives you something to do while the big bores cool down.
  18. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Some folks doin endurance testing get em pretty hot.
    Dunkin em in a bucket of water tween strings seems to do good and little or no harm.

  19. NewShooter78

    NewShooter78 Well-Known Member

    So how many rounds, fired how rapidly will get your gun hot enough to warrant cooling the barrel?
  20. Hutch

    Hutch Well-Known Member

    I read an account (or heard it, I disremember) of an IHMSA shooter who would cool his Super Blackhawk between 5-shot strings with a butane cannister (the kind you refill cig lighters with). Push the nozzle against the barrel and let the cold butane (it's all thermodynamics) cool it. I sure wouldn't have the nerve....

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