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Discussion Starter #1
Which of these two types have greater barrel life assuming all else being equal -same number of rds fires,same rate,etc?

I own both types and I'm curious whether the fast but light(.223)is less stress on the barrel than the(much)heavier but not quite as fast .308 rnd ...

Megatron
 

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Good question. Usually, the amount and velocity of powder hitting the throat determines throat erosion rate, but in the small bores this seems less so.

I would guess the.223 and .308 to be about the same, but am interested to see if anyone has test data.
 

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I would guess the .223 won't last as long as the .308, but I emphasize the word "guess". Generally, my experience has been that faster-burning powders were harder on barrels than slower powders.

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Since heat is factor, I would say they would both last about the same. My AR and FAL both get real hot after a 20 round mag.

MD
 

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A target shooter of my acquaintance expects about 4000 X-ring rounds from a .308 barrel. I have read that the military match teams change .223 barrels at 2500, but individual competitors can monitor throat wear, adjust bullet seating, and get more use out of one. A service rifle would give decent accuracy for many more shots, of course. I doubt there is much practical difference.
 

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The main determiner of barrel life seems to be throat wear; the throats burn out long before any other part of the barrel. On my .308, I was told to expect 6-8000 rounds of life; however, there was a gentleman at a 1,000 yd. competition shooting 6" groups through a barrel that had well over 10,000 rounds through it. I don't know if it's the powder type, bullet type or what, but....
www.riflebarrels.com has some interesting articles on this subject. Dan Lilja seems to really know what he's talking about.

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Discussion Starter #7
I read in a gun mag-I don't remember which one-of a 10,000 rnd test on a Colt AR-15. It was conducted over the course of just two days. After 10k the barrel was shot. I could be wrong but this Colt AR-15 is(was)a steel barrel -not as durable as a chrome-lined type like the ones on Bushmasters. Also,two days is a lot of firing for 10k rnds-lots of heat on the barrel. It is my opinion that rate of fire greatly affects barrel life -a *very* hot barrel is also relatively soft and prone to erosion effects much more easily.

That being said,I'm still curious what the definitve answer is to my question: which of these two calibers lasts the longest with all other things being equal:.223 or .308?

Megatron
 

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A mil-spec .223(5.56mm) barrel will out last about anything(about 20,-25,00 rounds)

The bigger .308 Nato ball is much more ruff on the gun(18,-20,000 rouds)

But the good news is even if you think you will I bet you(most people) will never shoot that much.

I don't know what gun you have that is .223 but in my AR-15 I shoot 55gr. most of the time,the new ARs are made to shoot the bigger that 60gr rounds like SS109 and M855 so with a lighter round I have about 45,00 rouns on a barrel on my full auto gun.


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Actually, Clint at Fulton Armory has stated that he has some customers who are still shooting matches with the same barrel and bedding and holding 1.5MOA with iron sights after 10,000 rounds. I have heard numbers as high as 50,000 rounds before the throat and crown are worn badly in both rifles. You won't screw these rifles up by shooting them. You will screw them up by improper cleaning (wearing down the crown or throat by not using a rod guide). I don't think there is an answer to your question. Or it might be better answered on a highpower board instead of a 1911 forum.

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Pressure, friction - and heat. Because of that, cartridges operating at higher pressures, with large case capacities and small bores generally erode quicker than low pressure, large bore cartridges. Two respective examples being a .257 Weatherby versus the .30-30 Winchester

In the practical sense it is affected by shooting habits. Shooting long strings without allowing a barrel to cool will cause more wear than shooting a couple of shots at a time, and allowing the barrel to completely cool. The higher the pressure, the larger the case capacity, the smaller the bore (together) the more this is so.

With cartridges like the .257 Weatherby, I am led to believe that if you shoot long strings on a hot day you could ruin a barrel in less than about 100 rounds. Treat it right, and it could last 1,000 or even 1,500 - 2,000 rounds.

Weapons such as the modern 5.56x45mm or 7.62x51 military rifles often have chrome lined barrels. They can be accurate of course, and might stand up to a fair beating before losing any good accuracy they might have. But with 20 and 30 round mags it is probably a bad idea to shoot off too many at a time, very often - unless you are not concerned about maintaining any "pinpoint" accuracy your rifle (if you are lucky) might possess - or you have plenty of money to get a barrel replaced every so often.

I would think that a 7.62 (.308) would generally outlast a 5.56 (.223). But not by much. Pressures are about the same; but the case capacity of a 5.56 in relation to the bore size (expansion ratio), coupled with generally higher bullet velocities (friction) would likely burn out a barrel quicker.

I have seen lots of articles about this - and the figures all varied. The writers generally pointed out that the figures depend on many variables. Shooting habits of the shooter in particular being one of the biggest factors. From memory, I have seen figures for both cartridges running from about 1,500 to 15,000 rounds, this generally relating to hunting rifles.

Apparently, stainless steel barrels last longer too.

I would imagine that a rifle that shoots MOA or sub-MOA might lose that accuracy in short order if long, fast shot strings are fired on a hot day. Maybe even in just a few hundred rounds.
 
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