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Old 06-13-2014, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default ar 15 barrel life..

I know I know, theres a bajillion threads out there covering this, but none of which actually gave me an accurate round count...

im just looking for a rough estimate (within 1†k rounds possibly) for barrel life on an AR15...maybe an accurate count on MY AR15..

I have a 16", cold hammer forged, chrome lined, 1:7" twist barrel made by BCM...

i shoot standard loads of 55 grain FMJ
i clean it every 300-500 rounds
i use proper cleaning tools
i rarely rapid fire it

I'm sure theres more factors that go into barrel life, but im sure thatll give someone enough info..

now i know the next thing is for me to describe what barrel means to ME..
a barrel thats shot out to one person may not be noticed by another person..

so by barrel life, i mean the approximate number of rounds before accuracy drops by 2 MOA,..

for example, right now I can easily shoot 1 MOA with my AR...about how many rounds can i expect before the best i can do with it is 3 MOA?

ive tried to research this online...and I've gotten anywhere from 3k rounds to 20k rounds...

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Old 06-13-2014, 11:10 PM   #2
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We really need a military armorer on this site to answer these sorts of questions. I bet the military is the only folks who ever wear out their barrels. If I had to guess, with your setup, it would be closer to that 20k

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Old 06-14-2014, 02:03 AM   #3
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about 35,000-40,000 rounds if run hard. more if your not heating up all the time. moderate to light use i would guess somewhere north of 60,000 rounds before it degrades too much.

filthy 14... http://www.slip2000.com/blog/s-w-a-t-magazine-filthy-14/

i check headspace every 1k rounds. or whenever i do a deep cleaning whichever comes first. pretty much anytime i detail strip the bolt. anytime a part breaks headspace should be checked.

everything you could want to know and more about the ar15/m16, just disregard reference to full auto or 3 round burst. i did the armoror thing at unit level and we used tm-9-1005-249-23P

https://ia600309.us.archive.org/28/items/ArmyTechnicalManualforM16Rifle-Tm9-1005-249-23p/Manual-Tm9-1005-249-23p.pdf

relevent page on visual inspection of the barrel condition is page 2-40

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Old 06-15-2014, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icallshotgun88 View Post
I know I know, theres a bajillion threads out there covering this, but none of which actually gave me an accurate round count...

im just looking for a rough estimate (within 1†k rounds possibly) for barrel life on an AR15...maybe an accurate count on MY AR15..

I have a 16", cold hammer forged, chrome lined, 1:7" twist barrel made by BCM...

i shoot standard loads of 55 grain FMJ
i clean it every 300-500 rounds
i use proper cleaning tools
i rarely rapid fire it

I'm sure theres more factors that go into barrel life, but im sure thatll give someone enough info..

now i know the next thing is for me to describe what barrel means to ME..
a barrel thats shot out to one person may not be noticed by another person..

so by barrel life, i mean the approximate number of rounds before accuracy drops by 2 MOA,..

for example, right now I can easily shoot 1 MOA with my AR...about how many rounds can i expect before the best i can do with it is 3 MOA?

ive tried to research this online...and I've gotten anywhere from 3k rounds to 20k rounds...
I had a Bushmaster barrel I bumpfired a lot and it lasted about 20K before I noticed any change in MOA. It was a 20" milspec A2 barrel for your reference. As long as I can remember, I have been told a barrel can last between 20K and 35K with moderate use. Unless the ammo prices come down a lot, I may not go through that much again the rest of my life.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icallshotgun88 View Post
im just looking for a rough estimate (within 1†k rounds possibly) for barrel life on an AR15...maybe an accurate count on MY AR15..

I have a 16", cold hammer forged, chrome lined, 1:7" twist barrel made by BCM...
20K would be a conservative number. 40K might be a more realistic number.

The answer is: Way more than I'll be spending on ammo anytime soon. A good barrel should hold its own well beyond 20K if not abused...and you've got a very good barrel. 40K would be my honest, educated, but less-than-expert estimation.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:07 AM   #6
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If you notice grouping larger than is acceptable to you replace the barrel. Barrels are cheap and easily replaced, also you avoid the hassle of counting the number of rounds fired. Problem solved.

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:05 AM   #7
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Not as great as people would like to believe. I saw a study possibly on this site, and you can figure about 10K if you are shooting American type ammo. Copper jacket does the least damage. the Russian Bi-metal jacket will give you 5K but the cost differential more than makes up for the cost of the barrel replacement. Now that was running them fairly hard to get the required number of rounds down the tube.

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTJ View Post
Not as great as people would like to believe. I saw a study possibly on this site, and you can figure about 10K if you are shooting American type ammo. Copper jacket does the least damage. the Russian Bi-metal jacket will give you 5K but the cost differential more than makes up for the cost of the barrel replacement. Now that was running them fairly hard to get the required number of rounds down the tube.

This was that Lucky Gunner Study which consisted almost entirely of Mags dumps.
NOT a useful guide to general barrel wear.

They did it to accelerate wear so they could compare bimetal (russian) vs US style bullets.

Even with this (IMO flawed) process that hevaily favored US style bullets the economics were still widely on the side of the russian style bullets
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:29 AM   #9
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over the years i have seen numbers from 10K rounds to 40K rounds before a barrels accuracy was degraded to the point it needed replacement.

IMO, it depends on the material of the barrel, the ammo, the shooting style, cleaning and other factors that factor into how many rounds before a barrel needs replaced.

this is probably one of those questions that will vary from user to user and is no one size fits all answers.

most people won't probably shoot enough ammo to wear out a barrel to need replacement.

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:47 AM   #10
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when you can swap one out in less than an hour, without special tools, for $150 or less, why worry about it? I mean, a lousy 5000 rds, at 40c per shot, that's $2000.

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