View Full Version : Can you identify how much a rifle has been used?

10-07-2013, 3:26 PM
So I,ve been browsing through the sale threads and noticed sellers putting up specific numbers on how many rounds have been shot through their rifle.
1. Can anyone really identify how many rounds have been put through just by looking at it?
2. Since I'm shopping for a long distance 308 rifle, can a rifle such as a rem 700 or savage have too many rounds put through it? Basically what's the usual life on these guns before performance takes a dive.

10-07-2013, 3:33 PM
Most rifles are damaged more from bad cleaning techniques than from shooting.

You would need a good bore scope ($800+) to look all the way down the barrel to see signs of mid life erosion.

Bolt guns generally do not get abused by rapid fire- shooting them when they are too hot.

A good .308 barrel will last 3,000-7,000 rounds.... unless you shoot bi-metal bullets such as wolf.

Look at the owner... old guy who hunts or a young guy with tactical crap on the gun....
Look at the stock
Look at the blueing on the action
Look at the crown.....
Inspect and test the safety

all will give some indication as to how the rifle was used.... but not how used the rifle is....

from 6MMBR


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desert dog
10-07-2013, 3:35 PM
308s have a long barrel life and often remain MOA accurate for up to 6k rounds. I would never buy a used 300 win mag or 7mag without factoring a new barrel into the price.

Always take a bore light. Check bore/rifling condition and check for throat erosion (which is were most wear takes place(. Also, make sure the gun has a good sharp crown with no chips or dull spots on it.

Dutch Henry
10-07-2013, 3:48 PM
In my experience, to do it right, you'll need a bore scope as previously mentioned. You should look in the area of the leade (where the rifling starts ahead of the chamber) for signs of erosion. It will look like a grainy grey patch and under magnification it will look like the dried mud in a lake bed. This is the result of many rounds of ammo being shot through the barrel. Usually, the barrel can be set back and rechambered, giving some new life to the barrel.

Depending on the barrel, the caliber and load intensity, barrels will wear at different rates. Usually, the hotter the load the faster the wear. Rifles with the largest over-bore capacity (big magnums) usually show erosion more quickly compared to rifles firing moderate loads.

It usually takes quite a long time to literally wear out a rifle barrel, but there are probably exceptions.

My 2 cents worth anyway.

10-07-2013, 3:49 PM




10-07-2013, 5:03 PM
They make muzzle and throat erosion gauges for the 308.

10-07-2013, 5:30 PM
I would never buy a gun from anyone under 35 years old. I have bought one but it was almost new and a low budget rifle anyway I didnt have much to lose.

10-07-2013, 6:32 PM
Look for a dark bore about 6 or 8 inches in front of the chamber. That is erosion. If it's bright you should be OK

10-08-2013, 1:24 AM
look at it - poke at it - shine brite lites down the bore -
put gages in the muzzle - check the crown --
check the bluing - check the wood -

It all don't mean squat till you pull the trigger and look down range ---

10-08-2013, 7:16 AM
Thanks gents for the knowledge being shared.