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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Lilja's website their FAQ section, I was reading and got this..

Q. What barrel "Life" in number of rounds fired, can I expect from my new barrel?
A: That is a good question, asked often by our customers. But again there is not a simple answer. In my opinion there are two distinct types of barrel life. Accurate barrel life is probably the type most of us are referencing when we ask the question. But there is also absolute barrel life too. That is the point where a barrel will no longer stabilize a bullet and accuracy is wild. The benchrest shooter and to a lesser extent other target shooters are looking at accurate barrel life only when asking this question. To a benchrest shooter firing in matches where group size is the only measure of precision, accuracy is everything. But to a score shooter firing at a target, or bull, that is larger than the potential group size of the rifle, it is less important. And to the varmint hunter shooting prairie dog size animals, the difference between a .25MOA rifle or one that has dropped in accuracy to .5MOA may not be noticeable in the field.

The big enemy to barrel life is heat. A barrel looses most of its accuracy due to erosion of the throat area of the barrel. Although wear on the crown from cleaning can cause problems too. The throat erosion is accelerated by he at. Any fast varmint type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups. A cartridge burning less powder will last longer or increasing the bore size for a given powder volume helps too. For example a .243 Winchester and a .308 Winchester both are based on the same case but the .308 will last longer because it has a larger bore.

And stainless steel barrels will last longer than chrome-moly barrels. This is due to the ability of stainless steel to resist heat erosion better than the chrome-moly steel.

The benefits of deep cryogenic processing of barrels and the use of moly coated bullets in prolonging barrel life are discussed in our answers in this section on those specific subjects.

I thought it might be interesting to point out a few exceptional aggregates that I've fired with 6PPC benchrest rifles with barrels that had a number of rounds through them. I know benchrest shooters that would never fire barrels with over 1500 shots fired in them in registered benchrest matches.

I fired my smallest 100 yard 5 shot aggregate ever in 1992 at a registered benchrest match in Lewiston, Idaho. It was a .1558" aggregate fired in the Heavy Varmint class. And that barrel had about 2100 rounds through it at the time. Another good aggregate was fired at the 1997 NBRSA Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona during the 200 yard Light Varmint event. I placed second at this yardage with a 6PPC barrel that had over 2700 rounds through it at the time. I retired this barrel after that match because it had started to copper foul quite a bit. But accuracy was still good.

Incidentally, neither of these barrels had been frozen or had any moly coated bullets fired through them.

As a very rough rule of thumb I would say that with cartridges of .222 Remington size you could expect an accurate barrel life of 3-4000 rounds. And varmint type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this.

For medium size cartridges, such as the .308 Winchester, 7x57 and even the 25-06, 2-3000 rounds of accurate life is reasonable.

Hot .224 caliber type cartridges will not do as well and 1000-2500 rounds is to be expected.


now, I'd think for 339 bucks that I'd plan on using the barrel for a bit more than 2500 rounds :eek: or am I just expecting too much?
 

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i think this may apply to their barrels more than just barrels in general...however it is true that with the super hot 22's like the 22-250, 220 swift, .222, etc that barrels get eaten up...this is due to friction and heat from the burning powder...remember those rounds are MOVING...they aint slouches. Now its important to note that if you allow the barrel to cool/ dont let it overheat that it will last longer. Also i think lija may be covering their asses a little with those estimates...because im willingto bet there are 2223's out there with more than 4k rounds that shoot benchrest accuracy, but then again there may be some with 3k rounds that may not be able to hit the broad side of a barn. By claiming such low numbers, if a barrel doesnt last they can show the preson that FAQ and say, see right here it says 1500 rounds...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
at an IR 50/50 match, you shoot 60 bulls for the day, plus spotters, so let's say 100 rounds per match. This would mean that you'd need a new barrel every year :( I guess these people doing this are a lot more serious than me.


this hobby just got real expensive :eek:
 

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stratcat said:
at an IR 50/50 match, you shoot 60 bulls for the day, plus spotters, so let's say 100 rounds per match. This would mean that you'd need a new barrel every year :( I guess these people doing this are a lot more serious than me.

this hobby just got real expensive :eek:
oh yea...umm centerfires tend to eat barrels faster than rimfires, due to the copper jacketed rounds...esp 22lr's generally use lead rounds with a lubricant on them which saves barrels. so everything that lija said applies to centerfires more than rimfires...
 

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FWIW

I asked Scott Volquartsen about the life expectancy of his .22WMR (Magnum) SS barrels.

He said, "They have guys with well over 100,000 rnds thru their barrels, with NO loss in accuracy, at all."

I've also heard that the U.S. Army Shooting Team would start to consider changing barrels after 4,000 - 5,000 rounds.

I think the "average" guy, like us, probably couldn't tell the difference with a new barrel or one of their "rejects"
 

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Funny. It said Stainless Steel bore lasts longer than Chrome-Moly...

"And stainless steel barrels will last longer than chrome-moly barrels. This is due to the ability of stainless steel to resist heat erosion better than the chrome-moly steel. "

So what's the benefit of chrome-moly, besides the slight loss of accuracy?

(wink wink... CM lasts longer, ya doofs). What you say?
Some one set them up the bs!
=)
 

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CM is considered to be much easier to machine than the tougher SS so a more precision bore can be attained. SS will last longer because its molecular structure is more resistant to "burn out".

For people that win or lose because of .001 in. these things are important. But to those of us that will accept .5 in @ 50 yards they are pretty much insignificant.
 

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When you buy a custom barrel like the Lilja you are usually looking for the extreme accuracy they offer. I credit them for honesty for stating that 2500 round figure. If you want a barrel that will maintain it's accuracy for a long time it's hard to beat a stock chrome moly barrel, of course the accuracy it holds is less than you might need or want.
 

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Chrome moly (on my AR15 v-match) with excellent commercial ammo can get 1moa... some people do better, with better rests and conditions...

I love how if we can't hit a quarter at 300 yards our accuracy is suffering... ; )
 

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PIII,

Do you know what Stainless Steel is made of?

10% or more of Chromium, depending on the alloy.

Chrome "lined" barrels are probably just "plated" thru electrolysis in normal steel barrels.

SS barrels are 100% of whatever!

Chrome/Moly cannot match the accuracy of a well machined SS barrel.

You old enough to remember when cars had Chrome bumpers?

:D
 

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ski, why does it sound like you are disagreeing with me? :)

I said SS = more accurate! (though the most important thing to accuracy is the shooter). Rather, SS is typically more accurate. Put crappy ammo in a SS and match in a chrome, and the chrome will out shoot, but providing shooters, ammo, and equip are top, you go SS all the way (Benchrest shooting competitions, etc).

However, my issue is that SS does not last as long, but according to first posting, they last 'longer'... so that confused me.

=)
 

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Looks to me like you are mixing centerfire and rimfire. The paragraph you quoted from Lilja's web site is pertaining to centerfire barrels. A centerfire barrel of any manufacturer is past it prime at 2500 rounds. The throat will go first and sometimes a setback can renew the barrel for a while.
Lilja's same web site says that a rimfire barrel should be good for 10k + rounds. Even that is very conservative as the best shooting rimfire I know of (not mine) consistantly wins ARA matches here and has over 140k rouds through it and has had the barrel set back and rechambered once. You are far more likely to ruin your rimfire barrel by cleaning it than by shooting it.
Think of this, a new barrel that cost $350 is cheap compared to the cost of competition grade ammo. That same $350 will only buy 2000 rounds and if your barrel is not at its best you are just wasting all that high priced ammo.
 

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Phoenix_III said:
So why would anyone ever, EVER get Chrome oly? =P It lasts longer under high fire... as rapid fire wears more (temperature), as I understand it...
...once again...where did you ever, EVER hear that?

Ron
 

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I hope NOT to cause a firestorm of controversy, but:

Stratcat: I presume that is why you are looking into what the "worst-case scenario" of the life of the barrel is wanted.

I'm hoping you will present your Moly-Fusion findings.

For Moly-Fusion, you are looking for precision-life of the throat of the barrel, not shooting life of the barrel itself. The intent is to keep the treatment at optimum level.

Perhaps you would like to share what you have observed what Moly-Fusion-treated barrels are like.

I know for a fact that treated and retreated molyfusion barrels will resist heat damage: The new metal surface reflects heat to a tremondous degree VS original metal. While some may say I am stretching, it is a fact of performance.

It also greatly reduces dynamic friction, not just static friction - while not discounting MoS2, it functions more uniformly since it is present to the same degree the full length of barrel incuding throat for each and every round fired, and works equally well in performance with copper-jacketed bullets.

Therefore knowing the expected throat life will determine the ideal retreatment time, as life of the throat and early rifling is important - not just the barrel, when it comes to benchrest. Consistency of bullet entry is important, just as predictability of travel and point of exit is.

For this reason, Moly-Fusion treatment of the throat is great, I think, because the new metal acts as the "sacrificial lamb" for the metal. Having the barrel in near-new condition at (from the number of rounds fired) the end of its life is a good thing: not only is their the savings of $300+, but then the pain of break-in of the barrel followed by finding its "sweet spot" by trial and error.
 

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*laf. After reviewing the thread a little, it's kind of funny... we are mixing and matching things that don't belong together!

We are talking about four main things... Stainless Steel barrels, Chrome-moly barrels, throat erosion, and barrel erosion/life.

then when talking erosion and life, there is precision, accuracy good, accuracy okay, and still goes boom/very poor rifling.

and to top it all off, we were quoting and mixing centerfire and rimfire applications... erosion due to excessive heat and pressure (center fire rapid shot), vs. competition, slow, timed shots, etc

=)

My main concern is for centerfire. I know there are .22s with 140K rounds that still shoot well. The original post was for centerfire if I am not mistaken (not scrolling back now).

Regarding centerfire, what I've been lead to believe is...

SS = edge in accuracy
Chrome-moly = more resistent to heat damage, IE Rapid Fire. Combat rifles (well, the m16, not sure on too many others) are chrome lined, to take the excess heat and rapid fire...

However, I know there are accuracy exceptions to both... feed each one the correct and incorrect ammo, makes a very large difference.


*edit*
and Antlurz (Ron, you're the man), if I am mistaken, then why would anyone 'ever' use a CMlined barrel? It's not cost, as it adds to the manufacturing process, or at least retail doesn't cost less... =)
 
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