Overcoming Rifle Heat at Matches

Feb 13, 2017
The other thread inspired this one... What can a guy do to cool a rifle in between stages, especially while running suppressed? I'm always searching for some shade to set my rifle in, and recently purchased a cooling towel to lay over barrel and can; but any new tech solutions? I've seen the little barrel fans but heard they make little to no difference....

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
Arizona, good place for me...
Barrel heat is a fact of shooting life. We look at the issue from the wrong end.

A heated barrel is a working barrel. We get dispersion from a hot barrel mainly because we misunderstand this.

Our loads get developed to work under conditions that spare the barrel from heat. What we should be doing, instead, is developing our loads to work best when the barrel is already hot.

The abnormal condition is the cold barrel.

If the barrel shoots differently cold (many/most do) then we should train to take the cold barrel into consideration and shoot the cold barrel with a different POA (based on experience) until it comes up to temp. This way we use the barrel heating to bring the rifle into it accuracy node.



Gunny Sergeant
Jan 15, 2005
The barrel fans actually work quite well from my findings, I’d never run one at a match though because there’s always people walking around the rifles in the staging area and dust is being kicked up which will be picked up by the fan and blown down the bore. I’d rather not put an abrasive substance in my bore intentionally.

You usually have about a half hour down time between stages, that’s ample time for the barrel to cool down as much as it’s going to. I run a titanium can which cools pretty fast so I’ll pull the cover forward a few inches to let it get some air to it at the portion with the most mass and it’s good and cool in 10 minutes or so.

Your barrel is going to be piping hot after cranking 10 rounds out of it in 1.5 mins or less whether it starts at 40 degrees or 100 degrees.
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