barrel temperature

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by JimDuncan, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. JimDuncan

    JimDuncan Guest

    I have heard that barrel temperature can affect groupings during competitions, is there any method of cooling your barrel thereby making your gun more accurate?
  2. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    Dry Ice works really good as it is very cold. A water jacket with cool water running through it will work out well also. You could also utilize a barrel diameter that is 7 times the bore diameter to help.


  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Oh barrel heat will have a drastic affect on your groups. I would not be one for putting dry ice on my hot barrels that could cool one part of the barrel to fast causing it to warp affecting your barrel even more than the heat.

    Many guys I know that go out Pdoggin will once a barrel is too hot to shoot take a small bottle of water and pour it down the barrel to cool it down. It all depends on what your shooting. Sometimes you can not have a nice fat barrel due to weight/class restrictions.
  4. longshot

    longshot Guest

    Personally I'm against cooling barrels with water, dry ice or any other method. When I got out for Pdogs I'll take multiple rifles or a buddy. When another shooter is present we switch off from shooter to spotter to allow the barrels to cool down naturally.
  5. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    I am surprised, and not surprised, that nobody thought what I posted was actually a tongue in cheek response to the post... I guess my fault for trying to inject a little humor... :)

  6. bradam

    bradam Member

    had an old timer tell me to use a damp cloth
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Let me think on this....

    -IDPA has normally 18 rounds per string (Nah, that won't get the barrel too hot).
    -The most I've shot in an IPSC string was 48 rounds with a lot of movement between targets. (It didn't seem to affect the accuracy of the firearm as much as it did me.)
    -Cooling a barrel incorrectly could warp it and create inaccuracy or other problems.
    - I've had only one firearm get too hot to shoot when I was messing around with a dueling tree and someone of about equal capability. But the accuracy was still there after 80+ rounds were shot.

    So what are you shooting to get the gun so hot that accuracy is affected?
    (Now rifles are a different story.)
  8. Gonzilla

    Gonzilla Active Member

    Mini -14's have thin barrels & when shooting 30 rd mags they get smoking hot fast. I have a friend who has the exact same gun and we compete by throwing a tennis ball out and see who can keep it moving.
    (Fun game - accuracy can wander but also challenging to walk rounds in.)

    IPSC - 1911's can take the heat but I don't recall ever shooting beyond 25 yds in a compeition.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    Rifles with a sporting barrel heat up very quick. I have a Marlin XT 22MR. After one 7 shot magazine I can feel the barrel heating up. After the second magazine the rifle is spraying shots like buckshot. Sporting barrels are intended for hunting. They are light enough to carry all day but there is a trade off, you can only shoot a limited number of rounds before the barrel heats up.
  10. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    I am assuming you are possibly speaking about rifle barrels. Unless you are required to shoot sub 3 MOA (3 inch) groups at 100 yards. The heat factor is not going to be that much of a concern for regular competition shooting. Most generally the barrel will cool enough between phases of competition not to affect the overall performance. If you are shooting precision rifle competition where sub MOA groups of 1 MOA are normally required there is certainly a consideration for barrel heat. That is why Sniper and precision marksmanship rifles have heavier barrels or fluted barrels to accelerate the cooling of the barrel. My first assigned sniper rifle was a regular contoured barrel. It would fire the first three rounds sub 1 MOA groups. But shoot the fourth in the sequence and I had a 1 1/2 MOA (1 1/2 inch) flyer! Let it cool and the next three were tack drivers! But the key point as I have stated, most of the regular competition events that some are engaged in allow the weapon to cool between stages.

  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    the only proper way i know to cool down a hot barrel on a rifle is time.

    my general rule of thumb on barrel temperature, is if i can't grab ahold of the barrel and hold it, then it's too hot and needs to cool down.

    i generally shoot five shot strings, then let the rifle cool down about 5-10 minutes, depending on outside ambient temperature. on a really hot summer day, about 95-100 degrees, i may even go longer between shot strings.

    as general rule, sporter barrels can be every bit as accurate as a heavy varmint barrel, but they will heat up much quicker and possibly throw accuracy off. heavy barrels, can usually go more shots before heating up and accuracy degrades.
  12. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

  13. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    It would be useful to know what type of shooting you are talking about, what kind of accuracy is required, what kind of rifle and barrel we are talking about as well.

    Barrels are a lot like people. There are different categories and in each category are individuals and they all have some differences.

    Competition shooters who are concerned about heat will usually buy the highest quality barrel they can get. Those barrels have things done to minimize heating effects. Rifling methods that minimize causing stresses on the barrel that would cause it to expand and contract unevenly as it warms and cools. Stress relieving the barrel, cryo treating, free floating and concentric boring are all methods to minimize vibration variations in barrels. High quality barrels in both heavy and light profiles will exhibit better consistency.

    In a cheaper barrel heavy profiles help as they add rigidity and slow temperature change. A barrel heats slower, but it also cools slower once hot. Some barrels get fluted to increase surface area to cool them faster.

    Strategies: shooters will use is to open the action between strings and let air flow through the barrel. I wouldn't hit a hot barrel with cold liquid.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  14. nitestalker

    nitestalker Active Member

    No one who knows steel or rifle barrels would ever use water or ice to cool a match rifle. This can and will cause "Flash" rust and throat erosion. No legitimate rifle match allows this sort of idiocy any way.
    The rifle is not shot in such a manner to raise the barrel temperature above its stable point. The Rifleman knows his rifle and times his shots to allow the barrel to remain static. Any experienced rifleman knows the effect of lineal expansion on his personal rifle.:)
  15. Mercator

    Mercator Well-Known Member

    A boresnake sprayed with a cleaner cools the barrel while cleaning it.
  16. nitestalker

    nitestalker Active Member

    The point is, you do not over heat the barrel. If you are shooting groups and allowing the barrel to get hot you are wasting ammo. Know your rifle and time your shots properly. :)