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Thread: Barrel life

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Surprise, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by Asa Yam View Post
    Barrel erosion. Think about it - powder burns at over 5000 F, despite the burn lasting for .8 microseconds (best guess) or so. As the gas expands, temperature drops. Still, the first 3 inches of the barrel gets hit by a wall of hot, reactive gas. Carbide and nitride gasses are the worst at attacking iron atoms in steel - they also produce lower melting or brittle compounds that flake off before the barrel reaches room temperature. Is there a fix? Cheapest answer is stop shooting. Not kidding. 5000 F temperatures reduce most compounds to their basic elements.

    The above is a summary of a longer discussion from "Gun Propulsion Technology", which is Volume 109 in "Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics". Editor is Ludwig Stieifel. Best bet in finding a copy? Engineering university library. Copies of the book are available online - starting at $95. See .

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the link! You've probably cost me $95... I understand the fundamentals of barrel erosion, but my real question was what mechanism made such an abrupt change, rather than a gradual loss of accuracy over a greater number of rounds? Barrel erosion has been occurring since shot #1, and is fine for e.g. 900 rounds, then somewhere between #901 and #905 everything goes to pot? That's a very interesting phenomena.


  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    I'm intrigued that a barrel would go from great to DOA in the course of a couple of rounds, rather than taper off in performance. Any idea what mechanism would cause such a sudden change? Or is it just that the difference between competitive and DOA is so small?

    Could be that folks had rather say their barrel went south rather than say they went south. I'm probably one of those folks!

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