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Thread: Barrel life expectancy?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Barrel life expectancy?

    If a rifle is dedicated to cast boolits, and is loaded with boolits that are in the 1700 to 1900 fps range, what is the typical life of the bbl before throat erosion starts to set in? ("Life" is determined in the number of rounds fired.) Powder used is generally Alliant Reloder 7.
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    I'm thinking indefinite with lead alloy bullets at low pressure. Throat erosion will "set in" on the first shot. Better question, when does throat erosion become a problem? Let your grand kids or great grand kids worry about it.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  3. #3
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    YAP^^^^^^^What he said↑↑↑
    Calamity Jake

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    Shoot straight, keepem in the ten ring.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    forever

  5. #5
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    The NRA tested cast boolits in a 3006 and there wasn't any wear after 2k rounds...

  6. #6
    Boolit Man metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Milliseconds... relatively speaking

  7. #7
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    The biggest enemy to a barrel is hot burning powder gases in the throat area. Since you are loading nowhere near the max, your volume of hot gas is probably less than half of full tilt loads. Considering that a cast boolit goes down the barrel with less effort than one with a jacket, just shoot and enjoy. Like jmort said, your great grand children can worry about the barrel. This is the beauty of cast boolits-they will shoot through a Buick without driving them to warp speed. Aint it grand!!
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I had a 308 in 1975 that was used by a cast bullet shooter for 20 years and I used it for another 10 with no sign of wear over 20,000 rounds now with the third owner and still going strong.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Harry Pope was said to have a rifle barrel that he shot over 30,000 times in competition.
    1. He made better barrels than just about any one when workmanship is considered.
    2. That was so long ago that his barrels would have been made out of softer steels considered inferior today.

    Quote from an old article

    The high-pressure, smokeless ammunition and jacketed bullets used today are especially hard on the inside of barrels. Three or four thousand rounds is all they can stand. Owners of Pope barrels usually save them for important contests and practice with other rifles. In contrast, Pope has a .33-caliber black-powder rifle that has been fired 125,000 tunes and is still in almost as good condition as it was in 1892, when it was first made.
    Last edited by EDG; 04-09-2018 at 12:01 PM.
    EDG

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    With cast bullets at those speeds a barrel should last just about forever. Just be careful cleaning it. You can do more damage by using a cleaning rod improperly than a cast bullet will do.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    ^^^^ Good point
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by metricmonkeywrench View Post
    Milliseconds... relatively speaking
    This.
    Throat erosion "starts to set in" with the first shot, and continues to get worse with each additional shot.
    With small powder charges and cast boolits it would probably be very little throat erosion with each shot, but it would be there.

    How many shots before you could see it, or measure it?
    That's a different question.
    I'd expect it would be thousands of rounds.

    Uncle R.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    You can't live long enough to wear out a barrel with cast boolits!
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  14. #14
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    Overbore rounds can eat a throat out in as little as 800 rounds to the point accuracy suffers.this is with jacketed bullets.
    Cast Boolits do not erode throat near as fast. Cleaning rods do more damage to these barrels than boolits

  15. #15
    my own 30-40 krag is roughly 7 - 8000 lead boolits threw it.
    it is a 1898 springfield armory(made in 1903) and all i shoot threw it is cast boolits about 1800fps.

    you will have to wait for great great great great grandkids to answer that one..
    "None are staying here"
    Maria Orsic
    Oct 31, 1895 - March 11, 1945 Missing

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    At the point where you've spent $100's on primers and $1,000's on powders does it really matter if you have to eventually buy a new barrel or gun?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    As Paul Harvey would say,"Now for the rest of the story". I've been shooting cast in several .250 Savages for over 20 years now. The first two bbls that showed signs of throat erosion were Remington 700 Classics for which I was NOT the first owner;therefore I have no idea what, or how many jacketed bullets went thru them. All I knew was that a qualified gunsmith told me that his Hawkeye borescope said that the first one I had had the bbl shot out. I took it to him when I noticed my accuracy dropping off from what it once shot. I then "found" another Classic in .250 and snapped it up, again not knowing round count or type of rounds fired thru it. It only shot mediocre right from the get go, so I guessed it was worn out like the other and sold it. I looked for another .250 Savage and found a new Savage Model 16 "Weather Warrior" in .250 Savage. This rifle has shot very well in the 6 or 7 years that I have owned it. A couple of years ago, I thought I'd buy another as a "back-up", only to find out that Savage no longer chambers the .250 Savage in this model or any other bolt action.

    Well, based on the answers rec'd so far, it looks like I'll be shooting this rifle 'till I can no longer see thru the 36x scope!
    Thanks--Shuz
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    You are much more likely to wear it out by improper cleaning.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    I have a 45 ACP barrel that has about 30,000 rounds of cast through it and maybe 5,000 jacketed. It shows very little wear and zero loss in accuracy. This is just a guess but since a 308 with 175 jacketed bullets generally will get 4,000 plus rounds before you start having elevation issues at 600 - 1,000 yards and 6,000 to 8,000 rounds before 300 yard accuracy starts going south a cast bullet in the 1,700 to 1,900 velocity range should go at least 3 times that. My guess would be it will go a lot more than 3 times jacket barrel life.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    USPSA shooters exceed 200,000 rounds in a barrel with cast. That’s shooting full weight boolits at about 90% of factory load velocities. Of course, rifles are another matter entirely but that shows that the boolit itself won’t wear a barrel out very fast.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

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