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Rimfire Firearms .22, .17 and other Rimfire Handguns and Rifles

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  #1  
Old 09-27-2018, 8:50 AM
Relativist Relativist is offline
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Default Stainless vs blued barrel, does heat dissipation matter?

I was considering picking up a Marlin Papoose, but currently new rifles are stainless steel barrels. Iíve always liked the blued barrel because my understanding is they dissipate heat better.

Has there been empirical testing of this?
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Old 09-27-2018, 8:55 AM
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I could be wrong but I don't see a .22 rimfire generating enough heat to matter. I've shot .22 a lot and don't recall the barrel getting that hot.
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Old 09-27-2018, 9:10 AM
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Perhaps the Papoose barrel is different, but on the 60 & 795 the barrel is so thick that it takes forever to heat up. After 500 rounds it's still cooler than my car exterior on a hot summer day. I don't think heat dissipation is a problem regardless of material.
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Old 09-27-2018, 9:36 AM
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I had a blued 10/22 factory barrel that definitely got hot after non stop shooting. Had to let it sit before putting it away.

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Old 09-27-2018, 12:04 PM
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How did you come to the understanding that blued steel dissapates heat better than stainless?
Mass and surface area of the barrel surely more impact than the steel alloy.
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Old 09-27-2018, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha_romeo_XV View Post
How did you come to the understanding that blued steel dissapates heat better than stainless?
Mass and surface area of the barrel surely more impact than the steel alloy.
The thermal conductivity of stainless steel is lower than that of carbon steel. Since we are talking about .22LR the barrel is not going to get hot enough to worry about.
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Old 09-27-2018, 3:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relativist View Post
…..I’ve always liked the blued barrel because my understanding is they dissipate heat better.....
I am not a mechanical engineer nor gun smith , but I don't think that is a true statement.

BTW, what barrel will dissipate more heat , the Navy grey or the Army green (oops FDE now) ?

Last edited by newbie1234; 09-28-2018 at 2:02 AM..
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Old 09-27-2018, 6:07 PM
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i have both a blue barrel/wood stock and a stainless barrel/plastic stock papoose. i dont notice any difference in shooting and love them both. great, politically correct trunk and camp guns.


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Old 09-27-2018, 6:19 PM
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carbon steel usually has a higher thermal conductivity than stainless - though it all depends on the specific alloy used:
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/t...als-d_858.html

Higher thermal conductivity means the heat will distribute more evenly and have a more uniform temperature.


Another important property is coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). CTE is generally higher on stainless steel which means it will expand more at a given temperature compared to carbon steel.
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/l...ents-d_95.html

Seems like carbon steel performs better thermally but my guess is its corrosion resistance, even when blued, is not as good. However, at the end of the day, the numbers may not result in noticeable differences using 22lr and depending on the distances/rate fired.
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Old 09-27-2018, 7:16 PM
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You won't live long enough to notice the difference.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:09 PM
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Interesting, this.
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Old 09-28-2018, 7:31 AM
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there is one other piece that is not considered; machineability.

my understanding is stainless steel is generally easier to machine than carbon steel.

this means, over 18" of barrel length (or however long), that 0.22X" barrel diameter can be held to much tighter tolerances using stainless as opposed to . carbon steel - resulting in a tighter group.

my guess is the tighter tolerances achieved thru stainless machining out perform the thermal drawbacks for 22lr.

now, fully automatic higher caliber - that sounds like a fun experiment/trade study!
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:39 PM
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I'd expect that radiative heat transfer would be dominant. Radiative heat transfer depends on the emissivity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissivity

Here's a table.

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/e...nts-d_447.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation

Luckily I have a FLIR camera for my iPhone, next time I'm at the range I'll take pictures.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstert View Post
i have both a blue barrel/wood stock and a stainless barrel/plastic stock papoose. i dont notice any difference in shooting and love them both. great, politically correct trunk and camp guns.


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Thanks for the answer. I'm probably going to just buy new. Another thing that was holding me back is the lack of a forward handguard and place to mount a scout scope, but I found a keymod handguard, which solves both.

http://www.rangerpointstore.com/marl...mod-handguard/
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Old 09-30-2018, 7:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relativist View Post
Thanks for the answer. I'm probably going to just buy new. Another thing that was holding me back is the lack of a forward handguard and place to mount a scout scope, but I found a keymod handguard, which solves both.



http://www.rangerpointstore.com/marl...mod-handguard/


wow, very interesting papoose mod, thanks for sharing.


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  #16  
Old 09-30-2018, 9:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relativist View Post
I was considering picking up a Marlin Papoose, but currently new rifles are stainless steel barrels. Iíve always liked the blued barrel because my understanding is they dissipate heat better.

Has there been empirical testing of this?
Not aware of any empirical testing.

As you surmise the blued, carbon steel barrel will cool faster, all else being equal. However it is ultimately convection that will transfer heat to the atmosphere, and that depends on many factors beyond your control.

Stainless is preferred over normal carbon steels in high-temperature applications because it gives about 100-200 F more working temperature before softening or carburization sets in. For shooters, this really only matters if we're talking about a match barrel with fine tolerances; this means a higher round count before the barrel is "shot out." But for a rimfire, you're not going to reach those temperatures under any realistic situation.

This is a Marlin Papoose you're talking about. Stainless barrel might not be a bad idea just because rimfires tend to get real dirty. Other than that it's just cosmetic. My archaic Marlin 70 with its mild steel barrel is still trucking along fine with no discernible loss in accuracy. Cleaning your rimfire will probably hurt the accuracy more than shooting it.
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2018, 7:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstert View Post
wow, very interesting papoose mod, thanks for sharing.


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Sure, if you get one, it'd be neat to see some pics.
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