Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

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Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by JimTom » 12 Feb 2018, 7:25 pm

Gday Fellas
I know there are a significant amount of variables in this question such as muzzle velocity, quality of barrel etc, however anyone care to take a bit of a stab and estimate a ball park figure for one or both calibres, or is this a "how long is a piece of string" question?
Muzzle velocity is under 3000fps for both.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by sungazer » 12 Feb 2018, 7:49 pm

They will in some cases go off a bit around 2500-3000 rounds and I know of barrels that still perform very well that are 5000 and 6000 rounds. The MV depends on the length as well to determine how much you are really pushing it or wearing it out.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by marksman » 12 Feb 2018, 7:59 pm

I know guys who shoot comp and get at least 4k out of a 308 of competitive accuracy, that's one reason why the 308 is popular
but these are not factory barrels and are looked after and used a bit different

I would expect at least 5k-6k of accurate in 223

a lot depends on your loads, hot loads and fast long strings of shooting such as range shooting will kill a barrel quick
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by Rikta » 12 Feb 2018, 8:18 pm

ammo makes a big difference, and cleaning out fouling and corrosive material... and as said before barrel length and type and so on, also how many shots in quick succession, or what velocity rounds yadda yadda.... but i would say safely 3000-4000 before too much drama on most.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by SCJ429 » 12 Feb 2018, 9:36 pm

If you expect your barrel to deliver in the .200 and anything in the .3s is unacceptable then with careful cleaning using a bore guide you may get 3000 rounds out of it. If your idea of barrel life is consistent groups of one inch at 100 metres then you may do better than 6000 rounds. I polish the throat in my chamber to close the pores in the steel. My gunsmith hates this practice but the bore scope seems to show a less damaged, eroded throat.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by bladeracer » 12 Feb 2018, 10:17 pm

Scooter wrote:Gday Fellas
I know there are a significant amount of variables in this question such as muzzle velocity, quality of barrel etc, however anyone care to take a bit of a stab and estimate a ball park figure for one or both calibres, or is this a "how long is a piece of string" question?
Muzzle velocity is under 3000fps for both.


I have seen a barrel life calculator somewhere, though I think it was specifically aimed at F-Class rifles.
The life of any barrel is primarily going to come down to how accurate is no longer accurate enough for _your_ needs.
A target competition barrel might not even make 1000rds before it gets dumped as worn out, despite still being perfectly adequate to go onto a hunting rifle.
Some milsurps have probably seen tens of thousands of rounds and still shoot well enough to be enjoyable.
I'm not even aware of any reliable indicator of a worn out bore, some rifles with a heavily eroded throat and/or shot out muzzle rifling still shoot just fine. How much heat and pressure you subject the barrel to is probably going to be the biggest decider of barrel life.

I don't see any sense in shooting full-power loads all the time, unless that's what you need for competition purposes. I don't use a full-power load to shoot a fox 50m away for example. It's unnecessarily hard on the barrel, the brass, the rifle, the shooter, the fox, and the neighbours. I carry low-velocity loads in the mag when moving as any quick shots are likely to be close-range. Once I'm in a position that offers longer shots then I'll chamber a high-velocity load. I don't see any need to shoot jacketed bullets in my milsurps all the time either. I'm primarily shooting them for enjoyment so I use cast bullets at reduced velocities rather than work the rifle harder than it needs to be.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by Mr.Seacucumber » 13 Feb 2018, 5:24 am

Depends, are you going to clean it when it reaches copper equilibrium or are you going to clean it like a F Class shooter and clean every other second?

Every time you clean the rifle you decrease it’s barrel life, you are adding mechanical friction to the bore and that wears It Dow . Leaving powder fouling in the barrel won’t do it any harm and really rifles only need to be cleaned when the copper starts to throw the group sizes. Unless your in F-class and new barrels are like buying new socks.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by JimTom » 13 Feb 2018, 6:36 am

Thanks for the input gents. I have taken it all onboard. Much appreciated.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by sungazer » 13 Feb 2018, 7:44 am

Here is a barrel life calculator I found on the net somewhere it is an excel speadsheet so I dont know how to attach it.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by JimTom » 13 Feb 2018, 10:13 am

Found it mate. Thanks.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by bladeracer » 13 Feb 2018, 11:04 am

Mr.Seacucumber wrote:Depends, are you going to clean it when it reaches copper equilibrium or are you going to clean it like a F Class shooter and clean every other second?

Every time you clean the rifle you decrease it’s barrel life, you are adding mechanical friction to the bore and that wears It Dow . Leaving powder fouling in the barrel won’t do it any harm and really rifles only need to be cleaned when the copper starts to throw the group sizes. Unless your in F-class and new barrels are like buying new socks.


If you're only using patches I doubt it'll wear anything away. Nylon brushes might...over several lifetimes. Bronze brushes are likely to do the most damage, but it'll still take a while to wear away steel. Punching 200-degree copper-jacketed bullets through it at three times the speed of sound is likely to do the most damage, but can be minimised by simply not shooting it at all, just clean it a couple times every year as corrosion does even more damage.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by sungazer » 13 Feb 2018, 11:25 am

Yep the working life is estimated that they last somewhere between 6 and 10 seconds.
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Re: Estimated .308 & .223 Barrel Life

Post by in2anity » 13 Feb 2018, 5:42 pm

Depends on your pressures - at least for a 308, 60kpsi will see em (the throat) burn out at 2-3k. 40kpsi expect 5-6k. <30kpsi (i.e. reduced load, cast lead plinking recipes) and it’ll last a looong long time. I put it to yu, if you’re just target-plinking at 100m or less, why not load lead over Trail Boss? That’s what I practice with... you see in the target world a barrel is a consumable, no need to unnecessarily accelerate this process... save the hot stuff for matches and hunting...
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