What is barrel life like on the safari calibers?

perttime

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Could include he following:
1) Plasma gas cutting effect of hot gas especially through the throat.
...
3) Friction and abrasion of the particles of powder as they pass through the bore especially through the throat.
4) High temp damage to metal surface due to build up of high temperature especially the throat area (commonly described as alligator skin appearance of the throat).
...
I believe some have increased the life of a fast, high powder capacity barrel by cutting off a section at the receiver end, and rechambering and refitting. That can remove the rifling damage caused by heat and abrasion, right after the bullet, gases and powder particles leave the case.
 

fourfive8

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Yes, if there is enough full diameter shank remaining... that can work where the primary damage is a burned out throat.

And completely agree with a previously posted thought in this thread... I just wish I had the time and money to wear out the bore in a rifle used on safari. :)

I also like Selby's story of his trusty and reliable M 721 Remington 30-06 camp rifle that, after so many years of abuse, finally had to be re-barreled because of a wasp's nest that ruined an inch or two of bore in the muzzle end.
 

One Day...

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First generation of old monolithic bullets were constructed without outer radial rings.
Allegedly causing high friction and barrel wear out. New generation, is made with outer radial rings, which make good gas seal, and less surface area to make friction with inner walls of bbl.

Absolutely correct. Most mono-metal bullets are now essentially bore riders with rifling bands. This reduces considerably the bearing surface and provides the inter-band grooves that allow the metal displaced by the rifling to flow out of the way. Friction is considerably reduced, which decreases both mechanical wear and thermal wear.
I fear improper use of a cleaning rod is a more serious hazard to big bore rifles than shooting.
Amen!

Metal composition?
In addition to bullet shape, the metal composition of the bullet itself has a huge role in barrel erosion (as well as barrel damage in thin walled doubles rifles). Early A Square Monolithic Solids, for example, were turned of solid bronze if memory serves. This was considerably too hard. All modern mono-metal are now made of pure copper or gilding metal. Both are significantly softer than bronze and easier on the rifling.

Most important factor?
But there is another factor not mentioned yet. It is HOW the rifle is shot. The fastest way to destroy a barrel is to shoot long and quick strings. Erosion accelerates exponentially when the barrel becomes too hot to touch. A barrel that shoots 3 rounds strings in 3 minutes then cools off completely will last many, many times longer than a barrel that shoots regularly 10 rounds strings in 5 minutes.

Harry Selby's .416 Rigby barrel life: 40 years...
I remember reading that Harry Selby had his .416 Rigby finally rebarreled in 1994 after 40 years of service, but I do not recall that a round count was given. I only hope that I would hunt Africa enough to shoot smooth a .416...


My own experience with .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .458 Lott and even .300 Wby or .340 Wby, which are much faster, is that I will likely pass them on to my sons with rifling every bit as good as they had when I bought them new.
  • Admittedly, I hardly shoot 100 rounds/year in each. I do all my shooting practice with a .22 LR. Besides being virtually free and unlimited in volume (I shoot well over 5,000 .22 LR rounds standing off the sticks annually, in the spring before going on Safari), it is actually better practice because there is no recoil to hide the mistakes, especially with trigger control ;)
  • Admittedly too, I am not obsessed with barrel cleaning (I pull a bore snake twice through them, watching to clear the crown, after using them and do not bother about copper fouling, deep cleaning, etc. until I see groups starting to open, which typically takes several hundred rounds, hence several years, which is OK as I live in humidity-free Arizona :)
 
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Forrest Halley

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Well this sure puts my mind at ease... Now if I could only figure out how to stop those .375 Ruger goofballs from constantly pulling up next to me revving their engines whilst shouting about short barrel velocity...bunch of snub-nosed woodpeckers banging away on the gutter pipe....:p

I'm never shooting the barrels out of all my medium and big bores. I let them rest when they are hot, I clean them often and I say nice things about them on the internet and to whomever will listen. They'll never abandon me...:rolleyes:
 

Fred Gunner

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most people probably don't go target shooting with these and put 100s of rounds through them every week.

My wife and I shot 25 rounds apiece each week live fire for 6 months prior to a Safari. Between us we must be close to 2000 rounds through our Ruger Guide gun in .375 Ruger...And I've been wondering about barrel life myself?
 

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I have no idea how many rounds my Model 70 in 375 H&H had through it when I bought it but I have 714 rounds through it and the rifling looks like it did when I bought it.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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I have no idea how many rounds my Model 70 in 375 H&H had through it when I bought it but I have 714 rounds through it and the rifling looks like it did when I bought it.

Just go on , you're still far from an damage.
 

2400

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I have no idea how many rounds my Model 70 in 375 H&H had through it when I bought it but I have 714 rounds through it and the rifling looks like it did when I bought it.

Just go on , you're still far from an damage.

Thanks!

I'm not worried about damage or wearing it out yet. I figure I've for at least another 2500 rounds or so until it starts getting tired.
 

Tra3

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If you:
(A) shoot the barrel out of a rifle in practicing
(B) don’t tell your hunting buddies
Because
(C) if you ever miss a shot again they will always come back to (A) and find a way to tease the s*%t out of you.
 

Philip Glass

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Just curious what barrel life will be on the Safari calibers? Ammo is so expensive I imagine not many people have actually shot a barrel out, not to mention most people probably don't go target shooting with these and put 100s of rounds through them every week. I assume the cold hammer forged barrels on stuff like the CZ 550, Winchester Safari Express, and Sako rifles will last a real long time.

Just curious what kind of barrel life can be expected on these calibers? I assume much better than the fast magnums like 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua Mag, etc. I thought I once saw someone say a 375 H&H should be good to at least 10,000 rounds while maintaining reasonable hunting accuracy, but can't remember where it was.

Thought that this would be an interesting topic as well just because there seems to be so little discussion on this anywhere on the internet, vs. the fast magnums and varmint cartridges.
I don’t think a persons shoulder could take the number of rounds required to burn out a big bore. Not to mention the cost.
 

BigSteve57

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At $70/box for factory loads I think I'd go bankrupt before I shot out my barrel.
 

Wyatt Smith

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How many rounds do you think it will take to burn out a 375 H&H? I’m guessing 8 or 10 thousand. I’m only 22 years old, and I will do my best to shoot out my 375 barrel. I think I will have enough time to get it done. If I shoot 250-300 rounds a year I should get it by my late fifties.
Of course the problem may lie in keeping the same rifle that long.
 

bruce moulds

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barrels are expendable items like bullets and powder.
if you shoot one out be thankful for the pleasure it gave you.
when I used to compete with a 6.5/284 I used more than 1 barrel per year.
but I enjoyed doing it.
using the same case but in 284 bore size, barrel life was double or a bit better.
bruce.
 

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