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308 Barrel Life

23 Feb 2013
@ 01:04 am (GMT)


I have become reasonably familiar with the expected barrel life, of the differing magnum configurations. But I've never bothered to find out roughly the barrel life of the 308 winchester. Which I really should have cause I own a couple.
I guess a load would assist as a 308 used a varmint rifle wont last like one used with heavier Bullets.
The current Load is 178 grn A max with 44 grns(ish) of 2206H. Chrony calls it 2593 ftps but this loads a roughy due to lack of time to finalize.


23 Feb 2013
@ 02:54 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 308 Barrel Life
Hi Blitzed. I think it is very difficult to put barrel life into exact numbers or even generalized estimates. A .308 chrome moly barrel typically lasts me 900-1200 rounds for three reasons- heat (multiple shots), clay dust entering the bore (summer) or corrosion while in the field (winter). My rifle is used for culling, as my hack rifle, for testing projectiles and as a low recoiling client training rifle.

I am currently shooting a stainless bore so there no quick corrosion, the type that sets in within 12 hours here on blued barrels when in the field in adverse conditions. But I will still have the heat and dust issues. I am very harsh on the .308 as it is my hack. In comparison, I am very careful with the magnums as accelerated barrel wear is always a concern. You can therefore see how I get the same round count from both the .308 and magnums. If I treated the .308 with more care, I would say that it would possibly last a good 2000 rounds before needing a birthday. I am hoping that this time around, using stainless, that I will crack 2000 rounds. But I won't hold my breath, environment and heat (long strings) will still be a factor.

Once the .308 bore goes over about .6MOA, I will consider it flogged. A bench rest shooter would have his own preferences. For others, acceptable accuracy may be something like 1.2MOA with over 2000 rounds down range. Then there are companies like Norma who run tests on rifles, carefully cleaning the bore, shooting steady strings, getting round counts as high as say 5000 rounds.

Cleaning regimes also have a pronounced effect on barrel (throat) life.

So I think that when comparing barrel life, we have to take all of these factors into account, whether we are talking about a magnum or a standard rifle chambering.



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