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  #1  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:34 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Anyone ever actually burn out a barrel on an AR type rifle?

By burn out I mean shoot it enough to where the accuracy becomes markedly degraded. If so I would be interested to know about it. What type of rifle/barrel, round count, ammo used, shooting conditions, etc.

Whatever your experience has been, let us hear about it.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:17 PM
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I have killed a couple M-16 barrels over the years.

Lots of full auto abuse. They were still running just fine, but only minute of coffee can accurate.

As far as good quality Kreiger barrels go shot only on semi and only getting moderately hot, it takes a season or two of shooting (4,000-5,000 rounds) before accuracy drops off and I pull them.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:55 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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No big surprise that running full auto would cook a barrel out pretty quick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
I have killed a couple M-16 barrels over the years.

Lots of full auto abuse. They were still running just fine, but only minute of coffee can accurate.

As far as good quality Kreiger barrels go shot only on semi and only getting moderately hot, it takes a season or two of shooting (4,000-5,000 rounds) before accuracy drops off and I pull them.
A little surprised at the 4,000-5,000 round drop off for a semi auto gun though. I have a heavy barreled S&W performance center gun 20" that is pushing up past six or seven thousand rounds (not sure what kind of factory barrel it is). I am not seeing any appreciable degradation of accuracy though. It loves the 62 grain Barnes TSX bullets on top of 24.5 gn of Varget that I load for it. Of course this shooter is only in the bush leagues. Although the S&B glass does help. Interesting.

I am waiting for good weather to see how the chrome lined barrel of the REC-7 that I bought the other day. How it compares to the stainless barrel of my Noveske that I have had for a while. What I hear is that the chrome lined barrels will not be in the same class accuracy wise, as the stainless barrels will be.

Last edited by USMM guy; 02-28-2020 at 12:58 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2020, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
A little surprised at the 4,000-5,000 round drop off for a semi auto gun though. I have a heavy barreled S&W performance center gun 20" that is pushing up past six or seven thousand rounds (not sure what kind of factory barrel it is). I am not seeing any appreciable degradation of accuracy though. It loves the 62 grain Barnes TSX bullets on top of 24.5 gn of Varget that I load for it. Of course this shooter is only in the bush leagues. Although the S&B glass does help. Interesting.

I am waiting for good weather to see how the chrome lined barrel of the REC-7 that I bought the other day. How it compares to the stainless barrel of my Noveske that I have had for a while. What I hear is that the chrome lined barrels will not be in the same class accuracy wise, as the stainless barrels will be.
My accuracy needs on those rifles was 1/2 - 1 MOA with match ammo. Once they couldnt hold that, they went into the scrap bin. Still good barrels for sure, but for my needs, not good enough anymore.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:21 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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My LWRC has a little over 10k on it with lots of 3-gun, class, suppressed, and some FA use and it's still 1.2 MOA but at 300 out of a 10 round group there is a strong chance for a group expanding flyer now that's not due to me or the ammo.

Not burned out for what I use it for but if it even kinda a precision gun it would get tossed as above
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:42 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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About 5 years ago, an associate and I conducted an "experiment" (and I use the term very loosely) with an entry level SW M&P15 with a chrome lined 4140 barrel that was collecting dust in his safe. At the time, there was a robust, and sometimes passionate thread here about what made for a "quality" AR.

We took the rifle out, with 1K rounds of M855 loaded into magazines. We shot a few 25m KD groups to establish baseline accuracy; it was decent. We then did mag dumps until the rifle had a stoppage that could not be cleared with immediate action. Going from memory, it was just under 300rounds, and the failure was a stuck case. Once the gun cooled and we cleared the stoppage, we did a few more 25m groups. They looked like a shotgun blast in comparison...

So yes, I've burned out a barrel... however, it was the result of abusing a poor quality barrel to begin with.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:23 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Funny that you mention a S&W M&P.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
About 5 years ago, an associate and I conducted an "experiment" (and I use the term very loosely) with an entry level SW M&P15 with a chrome lined 4140 barrel that was collecting dust in his safe. At the time, there was a robust, and sometimes passionate thread here about what made for a "quality" AR.

We took the rifle out, with 1K rounds of M855 loaded into magazines. We shot a few 25m KD groups to establish baseline accuracy; it was decent. We then did mag dumps until the rifle had a stoppage that could not be cleared with immediate action. Going from memory, it was just under 300rounds, and the failure was a stuck case. Once the gun cooled and we cleared the stoppage, we did a few more 25m groups. They looked like a shotgun blast in comparison...

So yes, I've burned out a barrel... however, it was the result of abusing a poor quality barrel to begin with.
I have a S&W performance center M&P that I bought years ago. It is currently somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 rounds in. With Black hills 68 gn BTHP it will stay inside of about.75 MOA. I try not to abuse my firearms any more than I have to.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:49 PM
US1911 US1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
About 5 years ago, an associate and I conducted an "experiment" (and I use the term very loosely) with an entry level SW M&P15 with a chrome lined 4140 barrel that was collecting dust in his safe...
I remember that thread well, it motivated me to get my gas keys properly staked on my S&W upper.
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:04 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Since 25 yard accuracy checking was mentioned here's my abused gun at that distance standing with an aimpoint. It used to be 20% tighter than shown when new so take that how you will, main thing I noticed was flyers at longer ranges. The lone hit was me screwing up breathing

https://imgur.com/a/fM4QO9P
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:53 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
I have a S&W performance center M&P that I bought years ago. It is currently somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 rounds in. With Black hills 68 gn BTHP it will stay inside of about.75 MOA. I try not to abuse my firearms any more than I have to.
There's a world of difference between a Performer Center gun and an entry-level, <$800, off the rack gun.
What prompted the experiment several years ago was a "brand X for 600 bucks" is just as good as (insert repuatable, known quantity, usually Colt 6920, ~$1k gun here).... as well as having access to what was essentially a 'surplus', lower quality gun sitting around- the owner had moved on to better things. As US1911 mentioned, the gas key was "staked" in theory only, had we not had the stuck case, I'd wager that the key would have faild in another 30 rounds or so....
As it relates to this thread and burning up a barrel, there's tons of variables to consider- rate of fire, suppression, and the initial quality of the barrel. 4140 is a fine barrel steel, wleben in hot, long action magnum chamberings- for bolt action hunting rifles that see 10 rounds a year and never get lukewarm. It may be suitable for the light use, super casual, hobby AR that's taken out 2x a year for 100 round sessions.
For a working or heavy use AR, it just won't do. If you're going to take a 2 day, 1k round intermediate carbine class, you'll fry a 4140 barrel before the weekend is over. If you have ~1hr, 1-200 round training of competition sessions, it just won't do.

My purpose for posting is to develop the query, to open up the variables that affect the original question.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2020, 07:56 PM
NuJudge NuJudge is offline
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For Service Rifle purposes, I have shot out two AR15 barrels. Both rifles had float tubes installed & match triggers. The first sign that your barrel is shot out is usually when at 600 yards you occasionally see a un-called 8, either high or low. Another is when you loose X-count, the rifle still shooting a decent score, and perhaps even cleaning a target, but it is no longer capable of shooting a knot. The first barrel was a stainless 1:9" Olympic Arms barrel, which I could not get to shoot well with anything over 55 grains, but 52 grain bullets it shot exceedingly well, until it didn't. The second was a Compass Lake 1:8" Chrome-Moly barrel which shot everything well, until it started throwing the fliers way high & low occasionally. I was sorry to see the second barrel go, because it earned me 10 EIC points.

The 1:9" barrel is still in the same rifle, I just gave it to a friend, who doesn't need his rifle to shoot a knot. It's new owner just plinks with it.

Round counts were in excess of 3000 for both. For the Oly barrel, when I could not get it to shoot anything else well, all it got was 52gr match bullets and 748 powder. The Compass Lake barrel got 69 and 80gr SMK, pushed by Reloader 15. There are some factors that are supposed to shorten barrel life: more very heavy bullets, more rounds rapid fire, and some powders are supposed to have a higher flame temperature.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:07 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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When I get to where I can shoot in that league.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NuJudge View Post
For Service Rifle purposes, I have shot out two AR15 barrels. Both rifles had float tubes installed & match triggers. The first sign that your barrel is shot out is usually when at 600 yards you occasionally see a un-called 8, either high or low. Another is when you loose X-count, the rifle still shooting a decent score, and perhaps even cleaning a target, but it is no longer capable of shooting a knot. The first barrel was a stainless 1:9" Olympic Arms barrel, which I could not get to shoot well with anything over 55 grains, but 52 grain bullets it shot exceedingly well, until it didn't. The second was a Compass Lake 1:8" Chrome-Moly barrel which shot everything well, until it started throwing the fliers way high & low occasionally. I was sorry to see the second barrel go, because it earned me 10 EIC points.

The 1:9" barrel is still in the same rifle, I just gave it to a friend, who doesn't need his rifle to shoot a knot. It's new owner just plinks with it.

Round counts were in excess of 3000 for both. For the Oly barrel, when I could not get it to shoot anything else well, all it got was 52gr match bullets and 748 powder. The Compass Lake barrel got 69 and 80gr SMK, pushed by Reloader 15. There are some factors that are supposed to shorten barrel life: more very heavy bullets, more rounds rapid fire, and some powders are supposed to have a higher flame temperature.
I guess that I will have to pay more attention.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:24 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Here is what my LWRC is doing at 135 yards vs my SCAR 17, notice how the SCAR can send 4 into the same hold with one off due to me failing to shoot well. The LWRC has one low and left not from me making an error and the group is just plain wider.




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Old 03-30-2020, 10:07 PM
OZ 1911 OZ 1911 is offline
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So it seems life expectance of an AR barrel is about 6 seconds

Grant
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:04 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
A little surprised at the 4,000-5,000 round drop off for a semi auto gun though. I have a heavy barreled S&W performance center gun 20" that is pushing up past six or seven thousand rounds (not sure what kind of factory barrel it is). I am not seeing any appreciable degradation of accuracy though. It loves the 62 grain Barnes TSX bullets on top of 24.5 gn of Varget that I load for it. Of course this shooter is only in the bush leagues. Although the S&B glass does help. Interesting.

I am waiting for good weather to see how the chrome lined barrel of the REC-7 that I bought the other day. How it compares to the stainless barrel of my Noveske that I have had for a while. What I hear is that the chrome lined barrels will not be in the same class accuracy wise, as the stainless barrels will be.
To me the key thing regarding shooting out a barrel is your accuracy expectations. If a Krieger barrel started out as a 1/2 MOA barrel, and after 5-6K rounds that accuracy opens up to 3/4-1 MOA, a long range competitor considers it toast. If your Colt LE 6920 starts out at 3 MOA and after it has 10K on it still holds under 4 MOA its still combat ready. I have shot a Krieger barrel that I sold to a friend to use in 3-gun competition after it opened up to 1MOA after said 5-6K. I told him in advance it was a 1MOA shooter, and he said that's better than any barrel he owned previously. He still shoots it. I didn't pull it for the accuracy, it was just too darn heavy for 3-gun.

Chrome lined barrels almost always start off with less than stellar accuracy. Most all of mine have been 2 1/2 to 4 MOA but will outlast most anything else. My Issue Colt had at least 10K on it before retiring and it still held under 4MOA, and I always qualified top of my class with it.

Please let us know how the REC 7 shoots.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:50 AM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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I am not an expert by any means, but I have a friend who I served with who was a "President's One Hundred" awardee (and a big long range marksman geek+++), and he told me that for competitions like that - barrels don't last long. I am not gonna say the round count he told me (because I have no way to argue or support his claim). But I was extremely surprised how quickly he would "wear out a barrel". I watched him shoot 40 out of 40 in qualification twice, so I know he knew his stuff and had proof on his shoulder (tab). I don't know the definition you guys are using to describe "burning out a barrel"? But I think some people have very tight expectations... me I shoot a Stretch 16 and many thousands of rounds later I can't tell a difference in my accuracy.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:23 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I had the REC-7 out the other day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-Peltier View Post
To me the key thing regarding shooting out a barrel is your accuracy expectations. If a Krieger barrel started out as a 1/2 MOA barrel, and after 5-6K rounds that accuracy opens up to 3/4-1 MOA, a long range competitor considers it toast. If your Colt LE 6920 starts out at 3 MOA and after it has 10K on it still holds under 4 MOA its still combat ready. I have shot a Krieger barrel that I sold to a friend to use in 3-gun competition after it opened up to 1MOA after said 5-6K. I told him in advance it was a 1MOA shooter, and he said that's better than any barrel he owned previously. He still shoots it. I didn't pull it for the accuracy, it was just too darn heavy for 3-gun.

Chrome lined barrels almost always start off with less than stellar accuracy. Most all of mine have been 2 1/2 to 4 MOA but will outlast most anything else. My Issue Colt had at least 10K on it before retiring and it still held under 4MOA, and I always qualified top of my class with it.

Please let us know how the REC 7 shoots.
And I also had the Noveske out. The Noveske Rogue hunter with a pretty low round count shoots really well. But it also wears a Leupold VX6 1-6 scope on it. The new REC-7 I just put an Eotech on it that I had sitting around. I am not sure what I want to end up with on it.

Well I had both of them out the other day on my range. At 150 yards I could ring a two inch gong all day long with either one of them. Not a big feat with 6X magnification on the Noveske. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the REC-7. It is definitely a keeper in my book. I could not really see any difference between the two rifles accuracy wise. Using IMI M-193 Ammo.

Now this does not really tell you dime sized groups at 500 yards people much. But for me it tells me that I got a pretty good rifle.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:14 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
And I also had the Noveske out. The Noveske Rogue hunter with a pretty low round count shoots really well. But it also wears a Leupold VX6 1-6 scope on it. The new REC-7 I just put an Eotech on it that I had sitting around. I am not sure what I want to end up with on it.

Well I had both of them out the other day on my range. At 150 yards I could ring a two inch gong all day long with either one of them. Not a big feat with 6X magnification on the Noveske. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the REC-7. It is definitely a keeper in my book. I could not really see any difference between the two rifles accuracy wise. Using IMI M-193 Ammo.

Now this does not really tell you dime sized groups at 500 yards people much. But for me it tells me that I got a pretty good rifle.
Two inch gong? I wouldn't even be able to see that at 150yds with an Eotech.

No surprise to me the Rec7 is a keeper. Barrett makes some great guns.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:18 AM
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I have to keep fresh neon orange paint on it.

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Two inch gong? I wouldn't even be able to see that at 150yds with an Eotech.

No surprise to me the Rec7 is a keeper. Barrett makes some great guns.
In order to see it. But if I do that then I can. Light has to be good also. Yes the REC-7 is a keeper. A little lighter than the Noveske, and a nice tight build.
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:20 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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I use white paint for my steel to actually see my dots lol!
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:27 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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For a two inch gong at 150 yards.

Just seeing them swing on the chain is good enough for me. Especially with no magnification.
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:54 PM
400cor-bon 400cor-bon is offline
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Depends on the caliber of the AR.
300 Blackout in a FN CHF barrel should last forever
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