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Hello All,
I've been looking into getting an M14 for a while now. I'm fairly new to the platform and have some questions I can't seem to find definitive answers to. I was wondering the barrel life of a chrome moly vs a stainless steel. I've heard that the stainless steel lasts longer but I'm curious about the round count for both.

Thanks!
 

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About 4500 rounds thru either barrel of 'best accuracy'.
And that's assuming very little long duration rapid fire that over heats the barrel.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 

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Barrel life

I suggest you start a new thread.

Having read this one you can see that 5,000 round from the standard SAI 18" barrel that came with my rifle in 2009 is still giving good performance.
 

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Oooops, I mis-spoke

Sorry about that. I thought this was an existing thread in which I'd spoken with Springfield Armory about barrel replacement @4,900 rounds. They said to keep going. I think the standard barrel s/b good for 7,500 or so before losing significant accuracy.

My barrel and everyone else's may be different. Mine has been kept clean and fed premium ammo.
 

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OP - I think that is a very illusive question. So many variables. Unless some group shot guns barrelled with each, side by side, same ammo and same rate of fire. What grade of stainless, steels and chrome, and diameter/profile of barrel. I wold think most stainless would be weaker (Rockwell) than the steel, but how long would the chrome hold up and to what level of accuracy for each. Stainless might be weaker from the start but once the chrome failed what happens to the steel's accuracy? And how would the testing relate to your application for the rifle, will you shoot the same ammo the testers do, same rate of fire? It seems now that chrome is not in favour for extreme accuracy. If you might be slack on maintenance or use the gun in adverse weather (salty coastline, snowy hunter, humid cabinet) the stainless might hold up better.

IMHO it comes down to do you like a black or shinny silver barrel.
 

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I don't imagine there is a magic number. It's going to depend on the load, the maintenance of the barrel, luck of the draw, etc. Maybe it's around 5000 rounds either way.

You can buy a tool to measure throat erosion and keep track of the number. You can also keep an accurate record of round count/type.

Or, you can just shoot the thing until the groups open up. But therein lies the problem - for me... I can shoot a whole bunch of different group sizes all during the same session. How would I know when the group has opened up? But, assuming a consistent shooter, it will become apparent when things aren't what they used to be.

Probably more than anything else, keep track of group size. I know at least one shooter who photographs every group. That's a little pedantic for me but I do keep my better targets.

Richard
 

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Most will agree.....

You can forget numbers, for the casual shooter/plinker the barrel should last them almost forever.

For Match shooters it's a different story normally they will shoot a barrel until the accuracy starts too drop off at 600yds. What does that mean when the accuracy drops off at 600? When the shooter expects the bullet too land in center of the scoring rings assuming they have done there best in the (X) and it doesn't ie the rifle and ammo combo no longer predictable at that distance.

Or after they have fired about 32lbs worth of powder in there hand loads, they starts watching real close.
 

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You won't see much difference between CM and SS as far as wear. The big difference is how they wear out. SS goes fast once it gets to that point, where CM will sneak up on you, making you think there must be something wrong with your shooting rather than blaming the rifle. I found that my Krieger heavy SS barrels would start loosing long range accuracy around 6500 rounds while still able to hold a minute of angle at short range. That's when I would change the barrel. If you are not a competition shooter you can expect up to 9000 rounds or more of acceptable accuracy from most barrels with good care.
 

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A nitrided barrel should last even longer, according to those that do nitriding or sell nitrided barrels anyway. I have a Wolfe barrel that is nitrided, but it is not installed yet.
 

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There you go Annie, ask and you WILL receive. Welcome to the forum from all of us Rough Riders. Giddy Up.
 

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Howdy, AO. First we know you mean an M1A not a M14. But who cares on the details. I would agree at the 5k mark but this depends on your desired level of accuracy. First notice a barrel starts to open up at 300 yards, unless scoped then you will see it at 200 yards. If you want a course NM grade and want on stage I would say to start planning your barrel change at 3500 to 4k so it will group at 600 verses a rat poop in the drawer group. So 5K on top end.
 
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Oddly enough I read a consumer report in 1972 that said a Rem 700 in 7mm Rem Magnum was still shooting MOA groups around 5,000 rounds. That rifle was a button rifled barrel in a magnum caliber too. Carbon ("ordinance steel" as Rem called it in those days).

I've heard of rifles still shooting reasonably well since then (today) at 10,000 rounds. To me if the rifle is MOA and it's something like a 7mm Magnum or .308 or .30-06 I think that's incredible and the norm. The Magnums do burn out throats sooner (erosion which looks like a dried lake bed with cracking tiles of mud) but if you are the average guy like me shooting half of 5K in one barrel in a lifetime is a daunting task that cannot be done overnight with simplicity and aplomb.

I mean, in other words, those marksmen who replace barrels when they see things going south at 600 yards are few!
 

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Barrel life

A barrel is changed when it no longer produces the accuracy you require. Something like a good trigger, it is a good trigger if you like it..
 

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About 4500 rounds thru either barrel of 'best accuracy'.

And that's assuming very little long duration rapid fire that over heats the barrel.



Jay Kosta

Endwell NY USA

Jay, what is too fast between shots? If I shoot every 30seconds for 20 rounds, is that two fast? Just curious as just feeling the barrel isn't telling the whole story.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If you are using a TE gauge to measure barrel life, you need to measure the throat when the barrel is new. USGI barrels start out at 0, but most commercial barrels are throated long for 168 and 175 grain bullets. Many will leave the factory measuring 1.

The best way to preserve barrel life is to use clean burning extruded powders like IMR 4064 and avoid rapid firing. Shooting 20 rounds of surplus ammo in 5 seconds isn't doing your barrel any favors. RNGR2
 

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I feel that the barrel of a rifle owned by the typical casual shooter is in more danger of losing accuracy from improper and too frequent cleaning than from shooting it out.

I have read that the average service life on an M1 barrel is/was 10k rounds. I don't see that an M1A barrel would wear more quickly but I could be wrong.
 
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