Question about rifle barrels.

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by gun runner, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    I got my scope dialed in for my 2nd Savage Model 25 .223 Bolt action yesterday behind the house and I shot around 20 times and thats it, but I was just wondering because the barrel got hot till where I couldnt hold it for long. Does that hurt a rifle's barrel? It was the first 20 rounds I fired out of it. Some people told me it wont hurt anything. Also I want to mention that it has a bull barrel but just concerned about the rifling but if it can cause trouble then I wont do that anymore. Thanks
  2. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    Will it effect the accuracy?
  3. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    Heat will not harm the barrel, only accuracy.
    As the barrel warms the point of impact can shift due to pressures exertred by barrel to stock contact or stress in the metal barrel causing shifts.
    For accuracy, shoot 3-5 shots and allow the barrel to cool; for fun, shoot all you want without fear of damaging the gun (within reason......)
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    gun runner:

    When I test ammo for accuracy during load development I will shoot up to five 5 shot groups all in a row with no cool down periods. Most all my guns are Varmint heavy barreled guns. With heavy barreled guns I see no degradation in accuracy. For fun shooting, once I have a load down, I will shoot 5 to 10 five shot groups without cool down periods if the range remains open during the series. Again no degradation in accuracy that I can see.

    Now if I were shooting a bench rest gun in a bench rest match (I don't!) I most certainly would let the barrel cool as much as the match format allowed. But for fun shooting cooling the barrel between groups is over rated. At least that is my opinion based on my experience and my accuracy requirements. Yours may vary.

    Unless you get the barrel red hot or at least smoking then no harm is done to most barrels with relatively continuous shooting. Most range situations force cool downs as the range is closed to allow target changes on a pretty regular basis.

    LDBennett
  5. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    Thanks folks but is the accuracy messed up forever or just when its hot? It wasnt so hot that you could fry an egg on it but It didnt feel alright to leave my hand on it. Do you think I did any damage in just those first ever 20 shots?
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    gun runner:

    The heat may make a barrel that has internal stresses in it to bend out of alignment but when the barrel cools sufficiently the barrel will return to alignment. It is not unusual to have a rifle barrel so hot from shooting that you can not touch it and there is no lasting effect on accuracy.

    LDBennett
  7. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    I have shot rifles repeatedly and then scorched my fingertips on the barrel, no harm done. I have seen guys shoot SKS rifles till the handguard was smoking, again, no harm. It is not highly recommended to do so from an accuracy point of view, but it will not harm the rifle.
    Unless you are shooting such overloaded ammo that you are beyond reasonable spec or huge case magnum calibers you will find it very hard to damage a gun barrel.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    No harm done. MAchine gun barrels sometimes run til they are red hot. then reloaded and ran some more. thier accurate service life is in the thousands of rounds.. The WW2 german MG42 AKA Hitlers Buzzsaw had a barrel service life of about 5 minutes before it had to be changed, but its rate of fire was 1200 rounds per minute, hence the moniker the Buzzsaw. It was designed so the MG crew could change the barrel as quickly as the link of 8mm ammo it fired.

    Point is the heat of sustained fire doesnt harm the barrel permanently. if allowed to cool periodically it will have zero effect at all aside from burning your hand if you touch it.

    Some rifle string when they heat up, this is an indication that you have stress on the barrel somewhere either stock touching or a stress within the barrel itself. could be mated to the action out of alignment, maybe it wasnt stress relieved at the factory, there are many variables. Just learn the limits of your rifle and shoot within them..
  9. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    Great to hear all of that. I doubt it would effect accuracy in 20 damn rounds. First 20 shot out of it but im sure a few at the factory. Im going to go do some shooting when the weather cools down this evening. Im not trying to get sub-moa but Id just like to keep things accurate. I think I just worry too much and because of $ .
  10. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    Prairie dog hunting one time I shot 120 rounds of 220 Swift in just a little over an hour. The barrel was h o t .Total round count for the day was around 300. It still shoots just fine and those were hot loads, near 4000 fps.

    AR15's...I have shot hundreds of rounds in an hour. Years ago I could kill a case of 1000 in a day.

    I'm not saying a barrel can't be harmed by shooting it, it can. But it takes a lot of sustained fire to do it with the modern steels being used today.

    And on a side note, there must be something wrong with my Remington 700 Varmint in 220 Swift caliber . When I bought it in 1993 a guy told me that the barrel will be shot out in less than 600 rounds. I have around 3500 through it now and it's still going strong.:cool:
  11. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    I been shooting this whole week and when I get done shooting the barrel is heated up like I mentioned. Its still accurate but I did notice that the accuracy goes down towards the very last few shots. I wanted to also say the .308 Im talking about doesnt have a bull barrel but instead just a regular barrel. I guess no long term accuracy loss will happen but Im going to let it cool down anyways so I keep accurate shots instead of wasting shots by them flying in other places of the target. I never shot over 20 rounds in less than 30 minutes with a centerfire rifle and I mainly shoot around 10 shots in about 10 minutes with my .223 and new .308 . Even with the bull barrel that my .223s have the barrels still get hot till where you cant keep your hand on them.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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