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View Full Version : S&W revolvers: how many rounds before accuracy is affected


nn3453
08-10-2009, 11:02 PM
Wheel gunners,

I shoot my 625 a lot. I'm at over 3000 rounds in less than a year. Accuracy is still great. Should I be setting aside money to replace the barrel or buy a new 45? I shoot about 800 rounds a month.

-What is the effective barrel life before accuracy worsens? I'm guessing I'll be okay for a few thousand rounds more. Will I get the same accuracy at 5k rounds?

-Know any good revolver smiths once I do have to replace the barrel?

Btw, I have shot a number of guns, but none as fun, well balanced, IDPA legal, fast to load and accurate as the 625. Except for Pythons.

thank you.

BigDogatPlay
08-10-2009, 11:15 PM
Replace the barrel? One of my Model 19's has 30K+ rounds through it lifetime, I'm the only owner. The barrel is pretty much as sharp as the day it left the factory, and it is still capable of more accuracy than I can give it. I've known guys who have had far higher round counts on their S&W's and have never replaced barrels.

You'll replace springs and maybe some internal parts long before you'll ever need to replace the barrel, typically.

CRTguns
08-10-2009, 11:32 PM
I shot 3500 rounds in my 627 and close to 5000 in my 625 last year alone in IPSC and ICORE... the ONLY thing I had to replace was on the older gun- the 625 (with pin-on-hammer) was the cylinder stop and locking bolt- after much very fast shooting and hard reloads with moons, thes eparts kinda developed excessive slop. Accuracy was never affected, only the cylinder would kinda slide out the back while ejecting.

But I do build and rebuild competition revos if you need. Randy Lee is way backlogged, so I'm getting some spill over these days. I'm backlogged too, but I tend to push revolvers up in the work queue just cause I like them so much.

I've never done a barrel because the old one was worn out. Only when a guy wants more weight, longer, or a threaded or otherwise compensated gun. Alos, if you want to specialize to one type of bullet- there may be a more ideal bore profile and twist.

Snapping Twig
08-10-2009, 11:40 PM
Let your grandkids worry about that, even then...

Z ME FLY
08-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Haha if you shoot out the barrel let us know!

nn3453
08-11-2009, 3:55 AM
Thanks for the comments guys.

I guess I was going with my experience with rifle barrels where I have seen wear typically around 5k to 10k rounds depending on how hot you load/how fast you shoot.

CRTguns, others, thanks for your help.

Also, anything I should look out for as signs of spring/other wear? Also what about timing? My friend's Python had to be sent back to Colt due to timing issues (whose hasn't I guess). Do S&Ws suffer from this?

Sorry if the questions seem uninformed. It is just that I've rediscovered how much I enjoy shooting and getting better with revolvers instead of buying one gun after another, which I have been guilty of in the past. I used to have a number of semi autos, none of which gave me this level of satisfaction. I confess though that I didn't own any high end models.

thanks.

B Strong
08-11-2009, 6:17 AM
Wheel gunners,

I shoot my 625 a lot. I'm at over 3000 rounds in less than a year. Accuracy is still great. Should I be setting aside money to replace the barrel or buy a new 45? I shoot about 800 rounds a month.

-What is the effective barrel life before accuracy worsens? I'm guessing I'll be okay for a few thousand rounds more. Will I get the same accuracy at 5k rounds?

-Know any good revolver smiths once I do have to replace the barrel?

Btw, I have shot a number of guns, but none as fun, well balanced, IDPA legal, fast to load and accurate as the 625. Except for Pythons.

thank you.

I've got a pre-model 27 4" that was handed down to me as a kid.

Untold amount of rounds by the time I got my mitts on it, at least 50,000 rounds since, mostly cast lead.

Accuracy has never degraded.

I wouldn't worry about ever "shooting out" your 625.

SCMA-1
08-11-2009, 7:18 AM
I've never heard of a handgun barrel ever being shot out; I've read of handgun endurance tests in the hundreds of thousands of rounds and the gun may get sloppy and need tightening up and some replacement parts but the relatively low operating pressures and velocities associated with handgun cartridges just doesn't impart the kind of rapid forcing cone and rifling wear to the barrels as seen with centerfire rifle cartridges.

SCMA-1

B Strong
08-11-2009, 8:08 AM
I've never heard of a handgun barrel ever being shot out; I've read of handgun endurance tests in the hundreds of thousands of rounds and the gun may get sloppy and need tightening up and some replacement parts but the relatively low operating pressures and velocities associated with handgun cartridges just doesn't impart the kind of rapid forcing cone and rifling wear to the barrels as seen with centerfire rifle cartridges.

SCMA-1

I've never heard of a modern wheelgun barrel being shot out, but given enough loaded highcaps a determined individual could definetely shoot out a pistol barrel.

Watch that youtube vid where some IPSC shooter ran a thousand rounds quick through a 1911 type pistol.

Do that a few times, you'll be needing a new barrel.

HowardW56
08-11-2009, 8:13 AM
Wheel gunners,

I shoot my 625 a lot. I'm at over 3000 rounds in less than a year. Accuracy is still great. Should I be setting aside money to replace the barrel or buy a new 45? I shoot about 800 rounds a month.

-What is the effective barrel life before accuracy worsens? I'm guessing I'll be okay for a few thousand rounds more. Will I get the same accuracy at 5k rounds?

-Know any good revolver smiths once I do have to replace the barrel?

Btw, I have shot a number of guns, but none as fun, well balanced, IDPA legal, fast to load and accurate as the 625. Except for Pythons.

thank you.

I've never heard of an N frame barrel being shot out, model 29's would break with lots of hot loads, I've seen some flame cutting, but with 45 ACP I can't see that being an issue....

J-cat
08-11-2009, 8:35 AM
Will I get the same accuracy at 5k rounds?



Prolly better.

Buy two extra barrels from S&W ($150 each) and forget about it. You'll have to replace your trigger finger before wearing out three barrels. They don't wear with lead bullets, and will last at least 50K with jacketed before needing replacement.

Modern steels + low pressure + large bore = no wear to speak of.

Rifle barrels have small bores, high pressure and long durations of flame cutting gas. That's why they don't last much at all. There are alloyslike LW50 from Walther that double the life of a rifle barrel to about 10K. S&W PC revolvers use this barrel steel and should last for ever and ever.

buffybuster
08-11-2009, 8:39 AM
For a 625 (45ACP) shooting lead bullets, I would conservatively expect at least 50K rounds. Keep the forcing cone brushed out to keep leading to a minimum, otherwise just shoot it. Probably need to get it re-timed before you need a new barrel.

big jon
08-11-2009, 10:30 AM
Wheel gunners,

I shoot my 625 a lot. I'm at over 3000 rounds in less than a year. Accuracy is still great. Should I be setting aside money to replace the barrel or buy a new 45? I shoot about 800 rounds a month.

-What is the effective barrel life before accuracy worsens? I'm guessing I'll be okay for a few thousand rounds more. Will I get the same accuracy at 5k rounds?

-Know any good revolver smiths once I do have to replace the barrel?

Btw, I have shoot a number of guns, but none as fun, well balanced, IDPA legal, fast to load and accurate as the 625. Except for Pythons.

thank you.

? When i use to shoot steel plates in the 80`s I would put 500 to 1000 rounds thru my Rev a day! for a few years still shot as good as the day Kehoe built it for me:)

Jeffrey Yao
08-11-2009, 11:01 AM
I had about 45k thru my 627 in 2 years. Accuracy started to degrade after 40k rounds or so but it's still good enough for the shootings I do.