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 .22 Long Rifle Barrel Life Question
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stevecrea
Senior Member

USA
1497 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  08:23:53 AM  Show Profile
I have wondered, can you shoot out a .22 barrel? If so, with reasonable care and cleaning, but not babying, how many shots could one expect from a quality rifle before accuracy may be impacted?

Would 50,000 rounds do it? Or 100,000? Or 200,000?

And, I would fully expect to clean thoroughly and recrown the muzzle periodically.

Steve Crea

RCrosby
Advanced Member

3515 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  08:34:58 AM  Show Profile
Steve,
I have no idea, but shootins more fun than counting, so I don't worry about it. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing a really shot out .22 barrel. Rust, yes, buggered crowns, of course, eroded throat or worn out rifling; no. With careful (and minimal) cleaning from the breech you shouldn't even have to worry about recrowning.
Good question, though. Lets see what folks who really know something have to say

Rob
NRA Life Member
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perry shooter
Advanced Member

14078 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:01:07 AM  Show Profile
Hello most Bulls-Eye Pistol shooters fire 10,000 rounds a year and many I know have used the same pistol 20 + years we may clean the bore once every 1000 rounds more from needing to clean the gunk out of the hammer sear area then the barrel it self . The military marksmanship pistol teams fire 100 + rounds a day I don't think with clean ammo with out dirt and grit will wear out a good quality 22 rim-fire barrel . I suspect dirt does more harm then the bullet.
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tsr1965
Advanced Member

USA
7140 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:01:38 AM  Show Profile
It is mostly worn crowns from cleaning, and erroded throats, as that is where the highest pressure, and temperature occurs.

Best

Edited by - tsr1965 on 01/20/2010 09:38:33 AM
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RCrosby
Advanced Member

3515 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:23:55 AM  Show Profile
eroded throats

Rob
NRA Life Member
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MIKE WISKEY
Advanced Member

8005 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:27:51 AM  Show Profile
I have heard that eley will fire abouy 1,000,000 rnds from a test barrel before 'setting' it back and rechambering it.

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beantownshootah
Advanced Member

USA
13190 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:55:18 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by stevecrea

I have wondered, can you shoot out a .22 barrel? If so, with reasonable care and cleaning, but not babying, how many shots could one expect from a quality rifle before accuracy may be impacted?

Would 50,000 rounds do it? Or 100,000? Or 200,000?

And, I would fully expect to clean thoroughly and recrown the muzzle periodically.


Is it possible to wear out a .22 barrel? Of course it is.

The easiest way is to fire it super-fast with high-cap magazines, either in actual full auto, or in full-auto like rounds per minute counts. For example, the Ruger 10/22 Gatling gun conversions tend to burn out barrels pretty fast, with overheating being the big culprit here.

Another way to ruin a .22 barrel (and probably the most common way) is to damage the crown with bad cleaning technique, or to wear/damage the rifling with too-vigorous brushing or steel brushes. Be careful of overcleaning your .22. In general .22s need minimal cleaning. If you are careful while cleaning and don't do it too frequently, you should really never damage your muzzle and need a recrown.

In general, .22LR has a few things going for it that greatly enhance barrel life:

-Soft lead bullets that simply don't wear out hardened steel barrels. In fact, some say that large numbers of .22 bullets actually "polish" out imperfections in the barrels, increasing accuracy after a time!

-Low bullet velocities also act to minimize throat erosion and wear to rifling.

-Low powder content in .22 LR cartridges. This helps prevent .22 barrels from overheating, which is one of the biggest contributors to barrel wear. Along the same lines, because of low powder content .22s just don't make the big fireball inside the breech that contributes to throat erosion.

I don't know how many rounds it takes to wear out a .22 barrel, but with NORMAL use, particularly with slow-type target shooting they last a LONG time (ie at least tens of thousands of rounds).

Speculating here, I would imagine that constant use of jacketed "hypervelocity" .22 rounds would potentially increase barrel wear.

Personally speaking, (and this may be more superstition than science), but I won't fire ANY of those rounds from any of my target guns. In fact, I generally won't even fire normal "high velocity" rounds through my target guns. In this case, its not barrel wear that I'm concerned about, but increased slide-frame battering, particularly in my high standards which are known for frame cracking.

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stevecrea
Senior Member

USA
1497 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  12:36:41 PM  Show Profile
Thank you for the good input!!

I had a nice Anschutz .22 LR, and I estimate that I put 50,000 to 100,000 rounds through it over an eight year period, and had it recrowned at least once, and cleaned it every 1000 or 2000 rounds. The accuracy seemed to deteriorate, and I do not know if it was just the cheap ammo, or something else.

Most of the ammo I shot was High Velocity cheapie stuff like bulk Federal and Remington, but also quite of bit of the hyper velocity Stingers, Velocitors, and QuikShoks.

Steve Crea
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brotus2
Junior Member

USA
148 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  11:32:13 PM  Show Profile
I don't think it's possible to wear out my Dad's 550-1 from 1948.
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MBK
Senior Member

2110 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2010 :  10:14:25 AM  Show Profile
When worn, they can have new tubes inserted.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=129341
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He Dog
Advanced Member

Australia
37552 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2010 :  10:33:10 AM  Show Profile
You will likely get better accuracy from standard velocity or even sub-sonic ammo.

The average response time for a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.
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