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Evaporative Cooling a Barrel

04 Jan 2019
@ 12:50 pm (GMT)

Todd Free

I was out shooting the other day and it was 30 C, 28% humidity.

I was taking 3 shots and having to wait 25 min for the barrel to cool down to ambient temperature. With a light breeze in shade.

To keep myself cool I was wearing a quick dry shirt that I kept wet. Worked for me, why not the barrel?

I cut an old towel into a long thin piece just wide enough to go around the barrel 1.5 times. Soaked it in water and then wrung it out to get as much water out as possible and wrapped the barrel after 3 shots. 5 minutes later barrel was slightly cooler than ambient temp.

Though it might just be the surface, so i removed the towel and waited 5 minutes to see if it heated up again. It did not.


05 Jan 2019
@ 08:35 pm (GMT)

Brendon Greig

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
As a farrier and having spent a considerable amount of time working in a forge heating steel the thicker the steel the longer it needs for the temperature to soak in which I believe would be the same in reverse when cooling but believe you are on the right track cooling it and then letting it balance out
I have also heard of someone making a fan up to blow cold air down the barrel
20 Jan 2019
@ 01:29 pm (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
Hi guys:

Shooting high power silhouette matches in the summertime with a temperature between 100 and 115 degrees and after ten rounds fired under 6 minutes the barrels sometimes don't cool down before you need to fire another 10 rounds, so we wet a towel with cold water from the cooler and it worked, we could cool it down before the next string of shots came up

Some people used to say it would damage the barrel and its performance but that has never been the case

Best regards

20 Jan 2019
@ 05:08 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
go back in time 110ish years and ask Mr Maxim or Mr Vickers...the concept isnt new at all,deer cullers were known to dip barrels of the old SMLE into creeks during a bomb up to cool them down ,heck even hollywood has done this one.....Mel Gibson in "we were soldiers once when we were young" un zips and pees on hot mortar tube while under heavy fire...who could ever forget a scene like that???

I guess a small spray bottle would do just as well,it sure works to help cool human only accelerating heat transpher by evaporation...same concept as Aussie water cooler bags.
20 Jan 2019
@ 05:27 pm (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
Nice way to put it Mike, would be funny peeing on the barrel during a match. lol

20 Jan 2019
@ 06:09 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
I always open the action, stand the rifle mussel up, face open action to the breeze if any. Hot air rises.
26 Jan 2019
@ 03:23 pm (GMT)

Lee Sellers

Re: Evaporative Cooling a Barrel
I use a one of those re-freezable gel ice chest blocks. The ones where you can take from your freezer and put in an ice chest to keep contents cool without any melt water that comes from normal ice.

A few minutes on the barrel and a few off to allow the temp. to equalize and you are ready to go again. Adjust the time to suit the ambient temperatures and the intensity of the round being fired.

This creates nowhere near the thermal shock the steel gets upon firing a shot … so there is no way to damage anything and would be faster and easier than damp cloth. I carry a couple of these blocks with me when varmint hunting. It keeps my .220 Swift very "comfortable" and has to increase barrel life compared to shooting 400 shots in one very hot day.


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