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View Full Version : When to change the barrel - AR15?


fliparch
10-03-2009, 6:47 PM
I'm not worried at the moment but I'm accumulating shot counts through my AR and wants to know when I should start looking into a replacing my barrel. I mostly shoot bench rest, prone and standing at 15-100 yds for now (looking into a shooting 200+ with heavier bullets) with Federal 223 REM 55 gr. FMJs. I have an LWRC upper (see my sig.). Thanks.

CSACANNONEER
10-03-2009, 6:52 PM
You should change your barrel when it no longer performs up to your expectations. It's that simple.

5968
10-03-2009, 6:57 PM
You should change your barrel when it no longer performs up to your expectations. It's that simple.

Well said.

NiteQwill
10-03-2009, 11:44 PM
How many rounds do you have? For the most part, a barrel should last a few thousand rounds. Once your groupings start fluctuating, I would look into a new barrel.

five.five-six
10-03-2009, 11:48 PM
or if you start noticing problems with your brass, like splits. I hear that 10k is run of the mill for rifles in service

fliparch
10-04-2009, 12:00 AM
Thanks, NiteQ - I have close to a thousand rounds.

Thanks, five.five - This is EXACTLY what I was looking for some sort of round count or some VISIBLE evidence I could see to tell it's time.

My expectation? I expect my rifle to shoot sub MOA every range trip but it will not so how the heck will I know now?

joelukehart
10-04-2009, 12:51 AM
How about when your rounds start keyholing.

slick_711
10-04-2009, 1:52 AM
I expect my rifle to shoot sub MOA every range trip but it will not so how the heck will I know now?

It will not or you will not?

The first response was the best one you'll get.

When your accuracy gets to a point that you think you are outperforming the barrel, replace it. I have trouble believing that more than .5% of the people on this forum are good enough shooters to hit that point before 15k rounds (given regular cleaning, factory-spec loads, and iron sights). I certainly don't fall in that 1%, so don't feel insulted.

The life of an AR barrel as far as the military is concerned (rounds on man sized targets) is anywhere from 20-40k rounds depending on which manual or armorer you consult. I'd say 30k is fair. If you expect MOA or better and YOU can shoot to that extent (or are using glass), a quality AR barrel would likely go 8-10k rounds? That's an estimation, but it's probably pretty close. If you're really worried about it wait and see if Randall chimes in; but I still think the best answer you'll get is:


You should change your barrel when it no longer performs up to your expectations. It's that simple.

Beelzy
10-04-2009, 7:57 AM
LOL!!!

ARs don't shoot Sub MOA unless they are "built" to do that. Yours in not sorry.

Look for Keyholes on a target for a shot out barrel.

For practical purposes, if you can't shoot an apple at 50yds, start worrying.

fliparch
10-04-2009, 7:59 AM
LOL!!!



ARs don't shoot Sub MOA unless they are "built" to do that. Yours in not sorry.

Look for Keyholes on a target for a shot out barrel.

For practical purposes, if you can't shoot an apple at 50yds, start worrying.

...and this is my point but it's still my expectation. What is so difficult in giving me visible cues like yours. Thanks.

Vacaville
10-04-2009, 8:05 AM
Maybe you should ask Dezertpilot. I think he's an expert on AR15s.

fliparch
10-04-2009, 8:07 AM
Nah...he might just try to sell me his bike.

Beelzy
10-04-2009, 8:10 AM
Maybe you should ask Dezertpilot. I think he's an expert on AR15s.

I believe Dezertpilot was talking POS and not MOA in his thread. :D

Vacaville
10-04-2009, 8:13 AM
Maybe you should ask Dezertpilot. I think he's an expert on AR15s.

Sorry for the hijack. Those other threads are making it hard for me to stay serious.

CSACANNONEER
10-04-2009, 2:04 PM
Thanks, five.five - This is EXACTLY what I was looking for some sort of round count or some VISIBLE evidence I could see to tell it's time.

My expectation? I expect my rifle to shoot sub MOA every range trip but it will not so how the heck will I know now?

Round count doesn't really mean as much as many people here think it does. Barrels wear at different rates and differently depending on the ammo and cleaning procedures. When precision goes, it usually happens all at once and the rounds just starts keyholing. I've heard of some guns actually shooting their tightest groups within a few rounds of the barrel going to shat.

If you expect your rifle to shoot <moa and it isn't, you'll have to figure out why. It could be the gun, the ammo or the shooter. Most likely, it's a combination of all three though. Can you consistantly shoot <moa with any gun? Most people can't, no matter what kind of rifle and ammo they are shooting. If you can, then you should be one step closer to figuring out how to make your near new barrel shoot well.

Ahhnother8
10-04-2009, 3:52 PM
You should change your barrel when it no longer performs up to your expectations. It's that simple.

This says it all. If a brand new barrel does not perform, change it. If a barrel with 20,000 rounds still shoots to your satisfaction, leave it on. Your expectations of group size are all that matters.

Lane

bwiese
10-04-2009, 4:26 PM
Chrome-lined bbls differ from regular bbls in lifespan.

"User usage profile" also accelerates wear: plinking use versus lotsa mag dumps/rapid fire near-cook-off.

Unlined bbls - stls or "4140 Cro-Moly (which is just aboiut everything non stainless) can wear in 4000-6000 rounds to a point at which the buyer may not be happy anymore if he's an accuracy maven. There may be another 3000-4000 rounds of usable plinking/self-defense life in the bbl after that.

Chrome lined bbls seem to hold up even up to 15000+ rounds without appreciable change [again, varies with usuge profile]