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Rifle Shooting question regarding barrel heat???

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cowtownup, Aug 29, 2013.

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  1. cowtownup

    cowtownup Member

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    When shooting centerfire rifles what is a good method to avoid overheating a barrel? Should you allow the barrel to cool after say 2 (5 shot) groups, etc.. And also, at what point does heat effect accuracy?
     
  2. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Depends upon the barrel contour and barrel manufacturer. That's just one more reason to have a heavy contour barrel made by a quality barrelmaker.

    Don
     
  3. cowtownup

    cowtownup Member

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    This is just a stock sporter barrel on a Savage 110 in 308.
     
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I have some stock savage sporters in .243 and 300wm. Both will open up after a few quick shots. Heat from fast repeated shooting can rapidly increase throat erosion.

    Standard rule-o-thumb is if it's too hot to comfortable hold, continued shooting will be hard on it.

    If it's a deer rifle, don't worry much about it. If you're shooting a lot of ammo from your deer stand, well, you're not a very good shot. :)
     
  5. DanTheFarmer

    DanTheFarmer Member

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    I'm sure others can provide a more complete answer but in my experience 2, 5 shot groups will heat up the barrel pretty good. Carefully touch the barrel after those 10 shots and it will feel "hot". If you are using a scope your sight picture will be affected at this point. The heated air near the barrel will cause the target image to move around (and sometimes split in two! Shoot in the middle??!!).

    I try not to start shooting a group with the barrel hotter than "warm-ish to the touch". I notice I get vertical stringing if it is hotter than this. After I shoot my group I check again and let it cool as needed.

    One of the best ways to do this is to bring two rifles. Shoot one while the other is cooling and then swap. I try to be patient and let my barrels cool but I've noticed that my accuracy drops off at the end of range session through a combination of tired eyes and heated barrels.

    Good Luck.

    Dan
     
  6. cowtownup

    cowtownup Member

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    Thanks.. I've probably put a few rounds down the tube when it too hot, but not very many... I'm using this rifle to get some trigger time with and learn on really..
     
  7. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Heavy barrels heat up slower but hold heat longer too.

    How much a barrel changes when hot depends a lot on residual stress in the barrel. The different barrel manufacturing methods leave the barrels stressed differently. Cut rifled barrels should have the least amount of stress, but between button rifled and CHF it's probably a toss up.

    BSW
     
  8. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Depends on your cadence of fire too. In high power matches it is common to shoot a 20 shot group. But up to 20 minutes is allowed. 10 shot groups in 60 or 70 seconds are common too.

    A good barrel won't walk much at all, some go all over the the place. I have never been impressed with Rugers in this regard. My gov profile ( light under the hand guard) and light weight profile ars, and Garands with Criterion barrels hardly shift.

    I have a new production 30-06 M70 Sporter (walnut) that seems impervius to heat, at least to 10 rounds. I shoot it in some local matches that include 2 strings of 10 rounds in 60 seconds (sitting) and 70 seconds (prone). It holds a nice small round group at 100 yards. I can't tell you an exact size it will do as I am shooting in full panic mode to get the shots off, reload (without a striper clip) and get the remaining shots off in time, but it is quite respectable under the circumstances.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If it is uncomfortable to touch it is too hot. Let it cool a while. Thin barrels heat up faster, but also cool down faster than heavy barrels. On a hunting rifle you should be able to get 3-5 shots off at a rate of about 2-3/ minute with no problems. How long it takes to cool depends on the weather. In Georgia during the summer it could take 15-20 minutes in the shade when it is 100+. If I need to shoot more often I may keep the truck running with the AC on and alternate between 2-3 guns. After shooting, the hot one goes in the truck while I shoot the other. During cooler seasons it may cool down enough within 5-7 minutes.

    Hard to say about accuracy. Some are effected quite a bit, others much less. Thin barrels usually start losing accuracy more when they heat, but not always. Every thing is a compromise. I used to own a Remington Mt rifle that would put the 1st 2 shots close enough for bullet holes to overlap. #3 would almost always open the group up to almost 1". Shooting a 4th and 5th shot and you couldn't keep all 5 under 2". But as a hunting rifle that was just fine. I'd never shoot more than 2 anyway and those 1st 2 were more than good enough.
     
  10. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    As stated above it is throat erosion that is the enemy, the bore doesn't take much abuse. Putting your hand on the barrel isnt going to tell you much. It would be pretty hard to shoot out a .308 with a few rapid fire strings.
     
  11. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Stop when you can no longer hold the barrel bare handed, I don't mean touch it, hold it like a handle. I use a towel soaked in cold water draped over mine to help cool it after firing a group. Leave your bolt open between rounds. Firing a hot barrel is hard on em. If you clean it when it is hot, it scrubs right up.
     
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