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  • 223 Premature Barrel Wear

    I have an upcoming prairie dog hunt in June were I will shoot 1300+ rounds in about 5 or 6 days and I'm concerned about wearing out the new barrel on my bolt action 223. I have a light load worked up (25.4 grs of BL-C(2) under a 53 v-max with a COAL of 2.26") to keep the heat down, but I'm worried that I will prematurely burn up a barrel I use to shoot heavy bullets at long range..

    I have an AR I will try and stick with but last year I ended up using the bolt gun because it was easier to get hits. I shot so much some days that my barrel would be too hot to hold for hours. Now last year I was not concerned with barrel life because it was the Factory Tikka T3 Lite profile that I wanted replaced any way.

    So, Should I be concerned with wearing out my barrel?

  • #2
    Well, there are those who claim that the proof carbon fibre wraped barrels dissipate the heat from prolonged strings of fire faster then steel barrels. But it might be kinda hard to justify a $900 barrel to shoot ground hogs. I wonder what kind of trigger do you have on the AR? It might be easier to get more hits if you upgrade to a Geissele SSA-E or similar.

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    • #3
      The short answer is to take more rifles so you can rotate them and keep the heat down. I have problems believing your barrel got too hot to hold for hours after you stopped shooting, I don't see how that could happen even if it was glowing red.

      You don't have to shoot every dog you see - either get more rifles in rotation or slow down your rate of fire.

      I have a 243AI for which I do care about the barrel life. I still got about 150 shots out of it in a dog town over the better part of a day without ever getting it more than a bit warm...heavy sporter barrel.

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      • #4
        Chamber chiller. Rotate rifles.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by spaniel View Post
          I don't see how that could happen even if it was glowing red.

          You don't have to shoot every dog you see - either get more rifles in rotation or slow down your rate of fire.
          The way I read the OP he continued to shoot when the barrel becane too hot to touch and kept the barrel too hot to touch. I don't think it's nice to imply some one is exaggerating if you have not carefully read their post.

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          • #6
            Heat transfer rate is a function of temperature difference. If carbon fiber wrapped barrels don't heat up on the surface, how is the heat dissipating quicker than a standard barrel? Answer: It doesn't, it's an insulator.
            Sling Shooter

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lte82 View Post
              Heat transfer rate is a function of temperature difference. If carbon fiber wrapped barrels don't heat up on the surface, how is the heat dissipating quicker than a standard barrel? Answer: It doesn't, it's an insulator.
              You could be right, I did hedge my statment by saying that "there are those who say" yet today some of "those" add up to some fairly reputable people.

              http://www.shootingtimes.com/gunsmit...nsnext_200901/
              https://proofresearch.com/in-the-news/proof-positive/

              “At Proof Research, we’re proving that carbon fiber-wrapped barrels aren’t just a lightweight alternative to traditional steel barrels,” says Hamilton. In fact, the barrels provide superior performance, including extreme accuracy, unprecedented durability and increased barrel life, he says.

              Proof research: “Our lightweight barrels run as hard as any steel barrel while reducing harmonic barrel vibration and improving heat dissipation, resulting in virtually no point-of-impact shift during high-volume strings of fire,” he says."

              They have been out there long enough with dozens of hiders running them that I would have expected to see more people with actual experience calling BS if it was BS.

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              • #8
                My barrel is a good ol' stainless steel light palma contour.

                I use an LMT 2 stage trigger in my AR, The trigger is not at all the problem it's the loose screw behind it. The little bit of forgiveness that a bolt gun provides made a huge difference for me..

                Diverdon is right, my barrel stayed hot because I continued to shoot after it was warm. Shooting less, while and option, would be like leaving money on the table.

                I'm just more or less curious if someone has fired extremely heavy prolonged stings of fire and how much it affected barrel life or performance after the fact.

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                • #9
                  Geissele has tightened up a lot of those loose screws your refering to.

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                  • #10
                    Hey man, I have a .223 with over 11,000 rounds down the tube and it is still shooting good. I have never babied it and have shot it hot countless times when the shooting got good. I've been shooting 40 gr Vmax as fast as I can push them with H335. Had it set back and punched Ackley at around 9,000 rounds just because I wanted to. 40's @ 4,030 fps is very impressive.

                    Shoot it and have fun. If you ever wear it out, replace it knowing you got your money's worth.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Dai Bando! That's the kind of info I was after.
                      How did it shoot at longer ranges, like 300 yards and Beyond after 11,00 rounds? I have the room on this barrel to set back quite a bit if i need to.

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                      • #12
                        We went to Colorado last year and shot Richardson ground squirrels. 1,500 rounds in 2.5 days with 1,400 being out of a couple .223AI's, one being the rifle mentioned. Made consistent hits out to 400-450. The weather was perfect and I bet I killed over 1,100 squirrels.

                        Last edited by Dai Bando; 05-20-2017, 12:05 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Hot Damn! That's motivational! I thought I was good getting over 300 (conservative estimate) in a little over 4 days with 1,100 rounds of 223.

                          I feel a little less concerned now.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lte82 View Post
                            Heat transfer rate is a function of temperature difference. If carbon fiber wrapped barrels don't heat up on the surface, how is the heat dissipating quicker than a standard barrel? Answer: It doesn't, it's an insulator.
                            I've tried explaining that multiple times to people with just a blank stare in return. I use a suppressor cover as an example in that the can cools faster without the cover than with it on… but the carbon fiber is "magical" and somehow is able to prevent the heat from leaving the barrel on the surface, but is able to "magically" dissipate heat through that same carbon layer. Ugh.

                            I have no doubt they're GREAT barrels, but until the explanation is given on how it dissipates heat faster, I'll take everything else the company says with a grain of salt. Using a temp gun on the surface of the barrel is NOT the same thing.

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                            • #15
                              What's even more of a mystery is why you guys are even discussing Proof Research barrels.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Jimmy31593 View Post
                                Chamber chiller. Rotate rifles.
                                This. http://www.gunwarrior.com/1131/chamb...ooler-samples/
                                ...I cut it twice and it was still too short...

                                The user known as L98S10 on the old new Sniper's Hide

                                The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. - A Tocqueville

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                                • #17
                                  If it were me, I would shoot the bolt gun till it got hot and switch to the AR. Run the shit out of the AR till the bolt gun cools down and vise versa. You can replace your AR barrel for less than $200 from a reputable company like AR 15 Performance and their barrels are pretty dam accurate for not being match grade. Beat the shit out of the AR is what I'm saying!

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