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February 26, 2007

Roll Out the Barrel

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Anything interesting going on? No? Anyway, one of the questions I get pretty often is on barrel life. The only thing I can tell you for certain is that no two people agree on how many rounds you can put through one before it’s worn out. But before we get to actual numbers, here are some factors to consider:

Very few barrels are actually worn out. Most die hideous, unnatural deaths from cleaning-rod misuse and neglect.

The hotter your barrel is when you shoot, the quicker it goes. For this reason, the barrels on prairie-dog rifles usually go quickly.

If you handload, the higher the pressures your loads generate, the hotter the flame that goes up the barrel, and the quicker you visit the gunsmith.

Stainless-steel barrels probably last 20 percent longer than chrome-moly.

There are two kinds of accuracy. First is absolute accuracy. That is the very best your rifle will do when it’s new, before it starts to deteriorate. This is of concern to target shooters, benchresters, and varmint hunters who need the smallest groups they can get. The second type is useful accuracy. A big-game rifle barrel that grouped an inch when it was new and will now do 1 1/2 inch is still perfectly useful.

So, with all that said, here are some estimates on how long a barrel will last:

  • .22 Long Rifle: The lowest estimate I’ve ever seen is 10,000 rounds. I’ve seen some estimates go as high as 500,000. I think the question here is academic; you’re not going to wear one out, period.
  • .224 centerfire: Probably a maximum of 4,000 in small rounds like the .222, to a minimum of 2,500 in big cartridges like the .22/250.
  • .270 Winchester: 3,000 or so.
  • .30/06: I recall seeing 5,000 somewhere respectable, maybe in Hatcher's Notebook. I’ll go with that.
  • 7mm and .300 magnums: 1,500 to 2,500.
  • Great Big Magnums (.30/378, etc.): 1,500.
  • I gave up worrying about barrel life years ago. Shoot the thing and enjoy it. There are so many people making wonderful barrels that when you do need a new one, it will likely be better than the original.

    Comments (56)

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    from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

    I purchased a Remington Model 700BDL "Varmint" in .22-250 in 1975 and I've kept a record of much of what I've fired. To date, the rifle has digested 4,300 rounds, >98% were reloads. Any factory ammunition I used was primarily for the fire-formed brass. As a pattern, my loads are not hot. A friend's chronograph measured 3400-3500 fps with 55-53-52 grain bullets. The varmints really don't notice the difference; they seem to expire immediately when struck. The same gentleman who owns the chronograph assembles loads for his .22-250 that exceed 4,000 fps, and his barrel did wear out but was subsequently replaced with a stainless tube from a reputable barrelmaker. I've purchased four .22-250s and this one seems to have outlasted the others in my safe, which were cycled to other shooters' hands to support my next purchase.The rifle does not group as tightly as it did when new, but the difference is not important. The I've toyed with the idea of rebarreling it, and I'm sure I'll get around to it, but it isn't a high personal priority at this moment. Admittedly, another project (rebarreling my Ruger #3) is higher on my to-do list.I've put less than 1900 rounds through a restocked Rem Model 600 in .222 Rem, and I'll replace that barrel because I want a 23-inch stainless, fluted barrel on this action and for no other reason.I've never burned out a barrel on a hunting rifle. My .30-30 sees a fair number of 110-grain RN reloads because I use it as a plinker, but the barrel is still in fine shape.I don't know how many rounds it would take to wear out a barrel, though I suspect my .22-250's barrel would look like a smoothbore if I gave it a steady diet of maximum loads.

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    from rob wrote 6 years 10 weeks ago

    i just purchased a 30-378 that has about 150 rounds through it. i have shot the gun and found that it does shoot about 1.5inch groups. all i want to do is hunt with the gun, is it a waste to have the rifle rebarreled at this point?

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    from rob wrote 6 years 10 weeks ago

    i just purchased a 30-378 that has about 150 rounds through it. i have shot the gun and found that it does shoot about 1.5inch groups. all i want to do is hunt with the gun, is it a waste to have the rifle rebarreled at this point?

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

    Yo, DP!Speaking of barrels, How come Remington guards aftermarket RemChoke barrels so tight for 28-ga in 1100’s? I have tried for the last year to get this barrel for my 1100 28-ga skeet gun and all I get from Remington is hysterical laughter.I think Remington has fallen to the Dark Side wanting me to buy a new 1100 to replace my perfectly good 30-year old 1100….that I’ve had to replace the rings, extractor, firing pin, extractor springs after…..well, after a lot of skeet shooting and grouse hunting.MY response to Remington? Ya Mudda!

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    from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    ohh.... and it is 7.62x39... So .30 cal for that laymen.

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    from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I use a 5 round mag and a 4x IOR PSO scope to fill White Tail tags during hunting season. And pop in a 30 on the range and let the good times rool the rest of the year. I put around 1000 rounds a year through her and .... so far so good...Mike

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    from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    So what you are saying is that you hunt big game with that Romanian GPWASR-10???Hmm what caliber is that.

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    from gun_papa wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave, I am concerned that not having a chromed lined barrel in an SP1 Colt. I hunt alot with it and I am concerned about the elements effects on the non chrome lining.

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    from Tim K wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Mike,That depends, do you shoot the GPWASR 5 times a year, during deer season, like a Fudd, or do you do mag dumps until the hand guards burst into flames like Dr. K intended? :)

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    from mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hey Dave,What kind of life should I get out of my Romanian GPWASR-10 High Cap (AKM Clone, AK-47 to the layman) barrel? It has a chrome lined barrel and I understand that helps with life expectancy, but I have never received an official verdict on it.Mike

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    from Tim K wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Well, I know the barrel life of my AMD 63 is hundreds of thousands of rounds, and I've been using it for hunting for several years now. Very effective. Since I will be losing it shortly after the Dems take the White House, I guess we'll all be hunting deer with our 22lr singleshots. Thank God we have that hunting Amendment in the constitution!

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    from jackie gantt wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    so what you are saying that the wsm,wssm calibres of rifles,burn up the bbls quicker.hotter loadsthan the bbls can handle.so severebbl wear is expected,from such a wildcat load.preformance,is the same,the only reason is for a shorter bolt stroke.shame on all of you.

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    from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Aaah, gotcha. If I have an idea for an article that I think a lot of people would be interested in, to whom do I send the idea and request feedback as to if they'd like me to submit it?Thanks!

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Dave. Thank you.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Roger. Thanks again. You are correct. I should not fix something that works fine. I live and mostly hunt in Maryland that do not offer many long shot opportunities. But occasionally go on hunting trips with potential for shots in 300 yards and above ranges.I enjoy a lot talking about hunting and related subjects and did not enjoy the "other" issue that dominated this blog.Wish you good hunting. Norman

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    from Rich Hayes wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hi Dave,Great article. I have a 7mm Rem Mag that I bought new in 1964. I have done extensive load testing with it and also have competed with it in hunter rifle bench rest matches magnum class. I estimate that I have fired over 5,000 rounds through this rifle and I still get sub MOA groups. Take good care of all rifles and they usually continue to perform well.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Norman: Nope, no real advantage to 24 inches. All my 06s have 22-inch barrels, and that's all you need.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To John: I told Mr. Rutledge why we were not buying, but the problem a writer faces is that he develops a style (if you don't develop one you'll never sell in the first place) and that style is it. You are never going to change. You can't make a pointer act like a Lab, or vice-versa.About pay, very few writers make any real money. The was a fee is calculated is the importance of the story and the importance of the writer to the magazine. If it's demonstrable that your byline sells issues, you do a lot better financially than someone whose name doesn't mean anything.

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    from Larry Rayburn wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    In regards to barrel life, It does vary, As I have just worn the barrel out on my .220 Swift, I have fired over 3500 rounds through it(all hand loads just 1 grain above starting load), And I have a friend in our gun club who also shoots a .220 Swift, he has to replace his barrel every 2000 rounds. so as you can see it depends on the gun, the load, and yes, cleaning procedures.

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    from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave, regarding Archibald Rutledge - that story just wrenched my heart, and I never even heard of the guy. Did you at least tell the guy that you were looking for a different style of writing, to give him an idea of how he could continue to write articles that you guys would accept?Anyways, really curious, how much would a writer get paid if their article were accepted? Would it be based on the number of words, or the topic, etc.?Thanks!

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    from George washington wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I wonder how long the barrel will last in my evil ak-47? That is if out masters (democRats) dont take them away first

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    from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Thanks Norman; Is good to know there are a few sane people who shoot guns and understand that each hunter/shooter has their opinion about the many guns and ammo available to us these days. In my hunting/shooting life,I have learned, if it works for you thats all that counts, be it a BB gun or a Cannon. In my 72 yrs I also learned, you never get to old,smart or dumb enough to know that what works for you, may not work for the other guy. That old expression yet stands: If it ain't broke,don't try to fix it. Enjoy what works for you and be happy: Good hunting to you, shoot-um-straight. Roger from N.C.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hello Mr. Reeves,Thank you for your comment. I hear similar opinion from my friends who shoot 06. Also, enjoy that blog is focussed again on GUNS.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hello PbHead,Thanks. I also tried it with my shotgun. I have 28 inch barrel and usualy stand on newspaper (sunday edition) to compensate when hunting geese with my buddies shooting 30 inch barrels. It really works !But I really would like to know how many steps is needed to compenstae for 22 inch barrel while shooting 30-06 caliber

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    from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Finally we on a subject we should be on, GUNS. I wish I had to replace the bbls on all my hunting guns each year. That woudld indicate that I had done a lot of pratice and hunting. I doubt many bbls are sho-out from shooting, most are worn out from negelect. I neve put my guns away till the bbl is swabed down and wiped off, be it at 8PM or Mid-night. But we all not created equal, and I want my gun to shoot the same patern tomorrow as it did today. As for 22-24 " bbls, my opinion is a 24" is better. I bought my first 24" bbl 2 ys ago, a 700 CDl in 06. There is as much difference in the zeoring in of a 22" verses a 24" as day and night. I never thought I would shot at game beyond 200 to 250 yds. Last year usig my 06 in 24" bbl, I shot a 4 x 4 deer in Montana at 345 yds, and the animal fell in its tracts, using l80 gr. Sciricco by Rem. All my guns 0 for 200 yds. I do think a 24" bbl will drop less at longer ranges than 22". But again, thats my opinion. Sure hope this message don;t start a war as the Jim Zumbo article did. Such a waste of effort on many. I thought this was a free press world, and each of us had an opinion. Apparently if a statement by another person don't agree with us, we attack them like a wild animal. Wish I was a writer and could tell a few Idiots how the hunting world really is. At 72 ys of age, I do have some facts and figures i would like to share, but after the war over Jim's statement, I sure not going to share with anyone, other than my good friends whom I hunt with from the East coast to Idaho. So in closing to each his own, but better be careful whom you speak of.Yep, to me, a 24 " is better than a 22" regardless of distsance to game. PS; Why did the old PA B/P guns have from 28 to 36" or longer bbls.??????????

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    from Mr. Sea wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Sounds like the Fudds have got several of you drinking the Zumbo kool-aid thinking old Jim is going to be some kind of great spokesman for gun rights.From what I have read, he has been pretty dismal so far. He had a prime opportunity last weekend to make some statement to the Washington Post about gun rights or his opposition to a new AWB, but instead he hid from the media and didn't return their calls.Zumbo's only interest in given these jumbled apologies is to get sympathy so he can get his sponsorships back.I wish the old skidmark would STFU and fade away. That way we could move on and forget about his sorry behind. We have bigger fish to fry.

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    from Randall wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Those pump .22 rifles we used to shoot at the county fair were so shot out you could see blowby gasses and fire all the way to the target. I think they were usually chambered for shorts only and must have fired many thousands of rounds over the years. Am sure many of the barrels of gallery rifles were shot out but don't know how many rounds it took. It would be interesting to know.

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I recall somewhere a stainless steel barrel's metal is more pure than the average generic barrel. This allows for what I suppose is more stable vibration and harmonics in the barrel...hence, better accuracy. Target shooters and varmint busters love white barrels.

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    from El Laton Caliente wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    What would a bunch of Elmer Fudds know about barrel life anyway compared to competitive shooters and military collectors...

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    from PbHead wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Norman and Dave: If two inches of barrel makes a lot of difference, could it be compensated for by getting two steps closer before pulling the trigger? My uncle used to stand on a milk crate while shooting ducks to compensate for his 26 inch barrel so as not to feel inferior to his friends with 30 inch barrels. Is this not the same principle?

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    from Gerald Keller wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    It is not the relative hardness that makes the difference in barrel life between chrome/moly and stainless,but the resistence to heat erosion from the hot gases. Stainless steel has a much higher tolerance to heat,therefore will tend to last longer,all else being the same.

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    from Visitor wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Stainless more durable than chrome-moly? There's no way, CM is harder than any stainless alloy. Check your facts there, you'll find that P.O. Ackley and Hatcher both disagree...

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dear Mr. Petzal,Almost on a subject. I have 22 inch factory barrel in my 30-06 Rem 700. I read that there is no significant difference in energy when shooting 24 or 22. (but ballistic data are based on 24' inch barrel only) My shots, so far, were up to 250 yards and were quite effective at this range including african game like oryx or zebra. The rifle is well within the useful accuracy limits. Wonder, if would be any advantage for me to install 24 inch barrel?

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    from PbHead wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    If you do not wear out a barrel once in a while, you are not shooting enough. Go burn some powder.

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Tom, I think some of the trolls on this site could probably use those mini-condoms for their own "shortcomings."

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    from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I load pretty hot for my 7mm Rem. Mag. A-Bolt and actually look forward to shooting the barrel out. It's too long(especially for the mostly woods hunting I do) and is equipped with a BOSS which does work (quite well I might add) but I handload and don't really have a need for it. I'd also really just like to try a quality barrel to see what I'm missing plus theres the possibility of re-chambering which interests me because I don't really need a magnum (although I do like the 7mm Rem Mag. and it's always performed perfectly).

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    from Visitor wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I don't why everyone is so worried about barrel life. I only shoot a couple of rounds at the range before hunting season to make sure I'm on target ( a 12" paper plate at 50 yards usually does it). After that, I may see a deer when hunting and take a shot.Heck, I've been using the same box of ammo I got five years ago. I just don't see the need for a true sportsman to have more than a few rounds onhand. Anymore just makes you look like a mental patient.

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    from Ed J wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    My brother's Mod 74 Winchester has had so many rounds through it that you can drop a 22 round down the muzzle all the way to the rim. I'm guessing 500,000 rds. He bought not by the brick but by cases of bricks. He was also a scout master so a lot of neighborhood kids learned to shoot using it.BTW a local sporting goods store subsidized him.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Interesting, thanks for the response. I was just curious. I remember Rutledge, not from the magazine but numerous anthologies. You're correct, very patrician, almost antebellum style of writing.You're right too. Mark. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but writing, like any creative pursuit, just flat wears you out sometimes. I'm not a gun/outdoors writer but I am a full-time scribe and I can't think of a more exhausting career. You'd think ideas would be something any reasonably bright person could crank out easily. It might be that way for the prodigies out there, but for the rest of us hacks it's always a struggle

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad: I’m in my 2nd career as a blues/jazz pro. Last Fall I had to refurbish three-guitars I wore out playing within the last five-years. You would think I be playing better and have that fat recording contract. I understand writing is the same way, except pant seats and typewriters are worn out.I recall a story from somewhere a writer threw his novel’s manuscript with the last rejection letter in the trash. His wife picked the manuscript out and mailed it to another publisher. It got accepted. Novel: Carrie; Writer: S. King I don’t know if it’s true, but makes a good story.I only saw one rifle worn out in my shooting career. My ex father-in-law had a varmint rifle built in 264 Mag. He loaded it HOT with 100-grain bullets. I recall after 1200-rounds the rifle simply wouldn’t print at 100-yards.BTY: .223-- I helped one fellow out working three-days on loads for his rifle in this caliber. At first I thought something seriously wrong with his rifle, but according to him apparently monumental effort working out .223 loads for a particular rifle is the norm. Sure enough we did stumble upon a good, accurate load. But is his statement on .223 being fussy a fact?

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    from tom, too! wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I use them in rainy weather to cover the muzzle of all my guns.I too, give them to my buddies and tell them that they have multiple uses if you happen to be on the "small" side of things.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad Love: Thinking about it, I can tell you what the saddest rejection was. For something like 50 years, a writer named Archibald Rutledge wrote for us, almost every issue had something of his. He did long, long pieced that always too place in South Carolina, and wrote in a style that was out of the 19th century.Well, tastes change, and about the time I came with the magazine we had begun rejecting everything he sent in, and it fell to me to write the reject letters. One day I received a note from him that said, simply:"I don't understand what has happened. You used to be so kind. I will not trouble you again."And he didn't.

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Chad,Have you ever seen those "mini condoms" they are actually made for you fingers if you get a cut they work great on a rifle. I think they are called a "finger cot". I dont like using tape it comes off too easily.PS, you can also give them to friends as a joke :)

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    KJ, you're right, but it wasn't me I was talking about, it was, uh, a "friend."My "friend" ended up letting the buck walk, then repeatedly slapped himself in the forehead all the way back to the truck. He also always carries a boresnake in his fanny pack now...

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad Love: I don't remember the greatest number, but I can tell you that we've had many writers submit scores of articles, sometimes over several years, and never sell. We've also had people who sold one article, and then never sold another no matter how many they tried.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Tom: I don't think it has much to do with the rifling twist. Just about every .222 ever made has a 1 in 14 twist, but there may be something odd about your Sako. Some rifles are just fussy, period.I'd try getting some match-grade .22 bullets and trying. Them. Sierra, Berger, Nosler Ballistic Tip. If you go on long enough, you either figure it out or go mad trying.

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave,I appreciate that Field and Stream is removing the comments that do not pertain to this blog. As a regular blogger on your site, I am supportive of this method of filtering, and I also assume that the majority of your regulars support my opinion. Thanks

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Wow, Dave, a troll. This one doesn't even have the guts to use her own name. Cowardly and misinformed - not too impressive, is she?

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Chad, I imagine the barrel life of that particular rifle would be about 1 round.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    OK, here's one on-topic. What do you think barrel life would be for a rifle whose owner, upon seeing a very shootable buck, promptly jams its barrel in to the side of a sandhill while getting in position to shoot? Keeping in mind that the bolt has been removed and the barrel cleaned out as well as can be expected with a sprig of sagebrush as the buck politely waits to be shot.I suppose it would depend on the size of the buck and how badly you wanted to re-barrel the gun?

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I commented on another posting about a little Marlin M99 that I've had for years, and have finally retired after it quit ejecting spent casings. The gun still shoots right where I point it, but fixing the ejection problem would cost more than a new rifle itself. The barrel is in great shape, though, and God-only-knows how many bricks of .22 ammo my grandfather, brother, and I have put through it.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    This too is a bit off-topic, but what the hell, I'm curious and in an off-topic mood: What's the greatest number of rejected queries you've ever had from a single would-be writer?

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave,Interesting post. Since we are back on the topic of guns. I have and issue with a .222 my father gave me (Sako).My father was able to shoot very very small groups with it (1/2 inch or less). I have tried hand loaded ammo, tried some store bought ammo. I can get it to 1". I was fairly upset when I ran out of the Norma ammo he gave to me with the gun.The ammo he used was a Norma ammo(1970's era)that you can't buy anymore. Is there a premium "Match" ammo that you would recommend.I have been told that the .222 is very accurate as long as you know your twist rate and match it to the right bullet weight and velocity (many variables). The gun has not been fired much (less than 300 rounds)This gun has been difficult to dial in unlike my 300 win mag...

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    from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I have a .22 rifle (from Mossberg) that's way over 40 years old. It's had thousands or rounds put through it and still will print .75 inch groups @ 50 yards all day long.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    At close range, there would be no real difference in the terminal ballistics of the two bullets, but you're quite right that any bullet can be deflected, regardless of shape. I'd go with whatever shoots best in your .270.

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    from Dan wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Mr. Petzal,A little off subject, but I just bought a Remington 7600, in .270. I do most of my deer hunting in Maine in heavy timber. I intend to use it as my "brush" gun, keeping the open sights and maybe going with a peep. My question is bullet type..... more specifically round nose vs. pointed. I can not imagine any shot being over 50 yrds where I hunt. I am of the school of thought that brush will deflect any type bullet so I'm more concerned with the terminal ballistics at close range with the 2 bullet types. Would one have an advantage over the other?Thanks,Dan

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    from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 33 weeks ago

    I purchased a Remington Model 700BDL "Varmint" in .22-250 in 1975 and I've kept a record of much of what I've fired. To date, the rifle has digested 4,300 rounds, >98% were reloads. Any factory ammunition I used was primarily for the fire-formed brass. As a pattern, my loads are not hot. A friend's chronograph measured 3400-3500 fps with 55-53-52 grain bullets. The varmints really don't notice the difference; they seem to expire immediately when struck. The same gentleman who owns the chronograph assembles loads for his .22-250 that exceed 4,000 fps, and his barrel did wear out but was subsequently replaced with a stainless tube from a reputable barrelmaker. I've purchased four .22-250s and this one seems to have outlasted the others in my safe, which were cycled to other shooters' hands to support my next purchase.The rifle does not group as tightly as it did when new, but the difference is not important. The I've toyed with the idea of rebarreling it, and I'm sure I'll get around to it, but it isn't a high personal priority at this moment. Admittedly, another project (rebarreling my Ruger #3) is higher on my to-do list.I've put less than 1900 rounds through a restocked Rem Model 600 in .222 Rem, and I'll replace that barrel because I want a 23-inch stainless, fluted barrel on this action and for no other reason.I've never burned out a barrel on a hunting rifle. My .30-30 sees a fair number of 110-grain RN reloads because I use it as a plinker, but the barrel is still in fine shape.I don't know how many rounds it would take to wear out a barrel, though I suspect my .22-250's barrel would look like a smoothbore if I gave it a steady diet of maximum loads.

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    from rob wrote 6 years 10 weeks ago

    i just purchased a 30-378 that has about 150 rounds through it. i have shot the gun and found that it does shoot about 1.5inch groups. all i want to do is hunt with the gun, is it a waste to have the rifle rebarreled at this point?

    0 Good Comment? | | Report
    from rob wrote 6 years 10 weeks ago

    i just purchased a 30-378 that has about 150 rounds through it. i have shot the gun and found that it does shoot about 1.5inch groups. all i want to do is hunt with the gun, is it a waste to have the rifle rebarreled at this point?

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

    Yo, DP!Speaking of barrels, How come Remington guards aftermarket RemChoke barrels so tight for 28-ga in 1100’s? I have tried for the last year to get this barrel for my 1100 28-ga skeet gun and all I get from Remington is hysterical laughter.I think Remington has fallen to the Dark Side wanting me to buy a new 1100 to replace my perfectly good 30-year old 1100….that I’ve had to replace the rings, extractor, firing pin, extractor springs after…..well, after a lot of skeet shooting and grouse hunting.MY response to Remington? Ya Mudda!

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    from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    ohh.... and it is 7.62x39... So .30 cal for that laymen.

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    from Mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I use a 5 round mag and a 4x IOR PSO scope to fill White Tail tags during hunting season. And pop in a 30 on the range and let the good times rool the rest of the year. I put around 1000 rounds a year through her and .... so far so good...Mike

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    from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    So what you are saying is that you hunt big game with that Romanian GPWASR-10???Hmm what caliber is that.

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    from gun_papa wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave, I am concerned that not having a chromed lined barrel in an SP1 Colt. I hunt alot with it and I am concerned about the elements effects on the non chrome lining.

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    from Tim K wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Mike,That depends, do you shoot the GPWASR 5 times a year, during deer season, like a Fudd, or do you do mag dumps until the hand guards burst into flames like Dr. K intended? :)

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    from mike wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hey Dave,What kind of life should I get out of my Romanian GPWASR-10 High Cap (AKM Clone, AK-47 to the layman) barrel? It has a chrome lined barrel and I understand that helps with life expectancy, but I have never received an official verdict on it.Mike

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    from Tim K wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Well, I know the barrel life of my AMD 63 is hundreds of thousands of rounds, and I've been using it for hunting for several years now. Very effective. Since I will be losing it shortly after the Dems take the White House, I guess we'll all be hunting deer with our 22lr singleshots. Thank God we have that hunting Amendment in the constitution!

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    from jackie gantt wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    so what you are saying that the wsm,wssm calibres of rifles,burn up the bbls quicker.hotter loadsthan the bbls can handle.so severebbl wear is expected,from such a wildcat load.preformance,is the same,the only reason is for a shorter bolt stroke.shame on all of you.

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    from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Aaah, gotcha. If I have an idea for an article that I think a lot of people would be interested in, to whom do I send the idea and request feedback as to if they'd like me to submit it?Thanks!

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Dave. Thank you.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Roger. Thanks again. You are correct. I should not fix something that works fine. I live and mostly hunt in Maryland that do not offer many long shot opportunities. But occasionally go on hunting trips with potential for shots in 300 yards and above ranges.I enjoy a lot talking about hunting and related subjects and did not enjoy the "other" issue that dominated this blog.Wish you good hunting. Norman

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    from Rich Hayes wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hi Dave,Great article. I have a 7mm Rem Mag that I bought new in 1964. I have done extensive load testing with it and also have competed with it in hunter rifle bench rest matches magnum class. I estimate that I have fired over 5,000 rounds through this rifle and I still get sub MOA groups. Take good care of all rifles and they usually continue to perform well.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Norman: Nope, no real advantage to 24 inches. All my 06s have 22-inch barrels, and that's all you need.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To John: I told Mr. Rutledge why we were not buying, but the problem a writer faces is that he develops a style (if you don't develop one you'll never sell in the first place) and that style is it. You are never going to change. You can't make a pointer act like a Lab, or vice-versa.About pay, very few writers make any real money. The was a fee is calculated is the importance of the story and the importance of the writer to the magazine. If it's demonstrable that your byline sells issues, you do a lot better financially than someone whose name doesn't mean anything.

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    from Larry Rayburn wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    In regards to barrel life, It does vary, As I have just worn the barrel out on my .220 Swift, I have fired over 3500 rounds through it(all hand loads just 1 grain above starting load), And I have a friend in our gun club who also shoots a .220 Swift, he has to replace his barrel every 2000 rounds. so as you can see it depends on the gun, the load, and yes, cleaning procedures.

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    from John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave, regarding Archibald Rutledge - that story just wrenched my heart, and I never even heard of the guy. Did you at least tell the guy that you were looking for a different style of writing, to give him an idea of how he could continue to write articles that you guys would accept?Anyways, really curious, how much would a writer get paid if their article were accepted? Would it be based on the number of words, or the topic, etc.?Thanks!

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    from George washington wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I wonder how long the barrel will last in my evil ak-47? That is if out masters (democRats) dont take them away first

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    from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Thanks Norman; Is good to know there are a few sane people who shoot guns and understand that each hunter/shooter has their opinion about the many guns and ammo available to us these days. In my hunting/shooting life,I have learned, if it works for you thats all that counts, be it a BB gun or a Cannon. In my 72 yrs I also learned, you never get to old,smart or dumb enough to know that what works for you, may not work for the other guy. That old expression yet stands: If it ain't broke,don't try to fix it. Enjoy what works for you and be happy: Good hunting to you, shoot-um-straight. Roger from N.C.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hello Mr. Reeves,Thank you for your comment. I hear similar opinion from my friends who shoot 06. Also, enjoy that blog is focussed again on GUNS.

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Hello PbHead,Thanks. I also tried it with my shotgun. I have 28 inch barrel and usualy stand on newspaper (sunday edition) to compensate when hunting geese with my buddies shooting 30 inch barrels. It really works !But I really would like to know how many steps is needed to compenstae for 22 inch barrel while shooting 30-06 caliber

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    from Roger E. Reeves, Sr. wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Finally we on a subject we should be on, GUNS. I wish I had to replace the bbls on all my hunting guns each year. That woudld indicate that I had done a lot of pratice and hunting. I doubt many bbls are sho-out from shooting, most are worn out from negelect. I neve put my guns away till the bbl is swabed down and wiped off, be it at 8PM or Mid-night. But we all not created equal, and I want my gun to shoot the same patern tomorrow as it did today. As for 22-24 " bbls, my opinion is a 24" is better. I bought my first 24" bbl 2 ys ago, a 700 CDl in 06. There is as much difference in the zeoring in of a 22" verses a 24" as day and night. I never thought I would shot at game beyond 200 to 250 yds. Last year usig my 06 in 24" bbl, I shot a 4 x 4 deer in Montana at 345 yds, and the animal fell in its tracts, using l80 gr. Sciricco by Rem. All my guns 0 for 200 yds. I do think a 24" bbl will drop less at longer ranges than 22". But again, thats my opinion. Sure hope this message don;t start a war as the Jim Zumbo article did. Such a waste of effort on many. I thought this was a free press world, and each of us had an opinion. Apparently if a statement by another person don't agree with us, we attack them like a wild animal. Wish I was a writer and could tell a few Idiots how the hunting world really is. At 72 ys of age, I do have some facts and figures i would like to share, but after the war over Jim's statement, I sure not going to share with anyone, other than my good friends whom I hunt with from the East coast to Idaho. So in closing to each his own, but better be careful whom you speak of.Yep, to me, a 24 " is better than a 22" regardless of distsance to game. PS; Why did the old PA B/P guns have from 28 to 36" or longer bbls.??????????

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    from Mr. Sea wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Sounds like the Fudds have got several of you drinking the Zumbo kool-aid thinking old Jim is going to be some kind of great spokesman for gun rights.From what I have read, he has been pretty dismal so far. He had a prime opportunity last weekend to make some statement to the Washington Post about gun rights or his opposition to a new AWB, but instead he hid from the media and didn't return their calls.Zumbo's only interest in given these jumbled apologies is to get sympathy so he can get his sponsorships back.I wish the old skidmark would STFU and fade away. That way we could move on and forget about his sorry behind. We have bigger fish to fry.

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    from Randall wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Those pump .22 rifles we used to shoot at the county fair were so shot out you could see blowby gasses and fire all the way to the target. I think they were usually chambered for shorts only and must have fired many thousands of rounds over the years. Am sure many of the barrels of gallery rifles were shot out but don't know how many rounds it took. It would be interesting to know.

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I recall somewhere a stainless steel barrel's metal is more pure than the average generic barrel. This allows for what I suppose is more stable vibration and harmonics in the barrel...hence, better accuracy. Target shooters and varmint busters love white barrels.

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    from El Laton Caliente wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    What would a bunch of Elmer Fudds know about barrel life anyway compared to competitive shooters and military collectors...

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    from PbHead wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Norman and Dave: If two inches of barrel makes a lot of difference, could it be compensated for by getting two steps closer before pulling the trigger? My uncle used to stand on a milk crate while shooting ducks to compensate for his 26 inch barrel so as not to feel inferior to his friends with 30 inch barrels. Is this not the same principle?

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    from Gerald Keller wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    It is not the relative hardness that makes the difference in barrel life between chrome/moly and stainless,but the resistence to heat erosion from the hot gases. Stainless steel has a much higher tolerance to heat,therefore will tend to last longer,all else being the same.

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    from Visitor wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Stainless more durable than chrome-moly? There's no way, CM is harder than any stainless alloy. Check your facts there, you'll find that P.O. Ackley and Hatcher both disagree...

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    from Norman wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dear Mr. Petzal,Almost on a subject. I have 22 inch factory barrel in my 30-06 Rem 700. I read that there is no significant difference in energy when shooting 24 or 22. (but ballistic data are based on 24' inch barrel only) My shots, so far, were up to 250 yards and were quite effective at this range including african game like oryx or zebra. The rifle is well within the useful accuracy limits. Wonder, if would be any advantage for me to install 24 inch barrel?

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    from PbHead wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    If you do not wear out a barrel once in a while, you are not shooting enough. Go burn some powder.

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Tom, I think some of the trolls on this site could probably use those mini-condoms for their own "shortcomings."

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    from MattWV wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I load pretty hot for my 7mm Rem. Mag. A-Bolt and actually look forward to shooting the barrel out. It's too long(especially for the mostly woods hunting I do) and is equipped with a BOSS which does work (quite well I might add) but I handload and don't really have a need for it. I'd also really just like to try a quality barrel to see what I'm missing plus theres the possibility of re-chambering which interests me because I don't really need a magnum (although I do like the 7mm Rem Mag. and it's always performed perfectly).

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    from Visitor wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I don't why everyone is so worried about barrel life. I only shoot a couple of rounds at the range before hunting season to make sure I'm on target ( a 12" paper plate at 50 yards usually does it). After that, I may see a deer when hunting and take a shot.Heck, I've been using the same box of ammo I got five years ago. I just don't see the need for a true sportsman to have more than a few rounds onhand. Anymore just makes you look like a mental patient.

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    from Ed J wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    My brother's Mod 74 Winchester has had so many rounds through it that you can drop a 22 round down the muzzle all the way to the rim. I'm guessing 500,000 rds. He bought not by the brick but by cases of bricks. He was also a scout master so a lot of neighborhood kids learned to shoot using it.BTW a local sporting goods store subsidized him.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Interesting, thanks for the response. I was just curious. I remember Rutledge, not from the magazine but numerous anthologies. You're correct, very patrician, almost antebellum style of writing.You're right too. Mark. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but writing, like any creative pursuit, just flat wears you out sometimes. I'm not a gun/outdoors writer but I am a full-time scribe and I can't think of a more exhausting career. You'd think ideas would be something any reasonably bright person could crank out easily. It might be that way for the prodigies out there, but for the rest of us hacks it's always a struggle

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    from Mark wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad: I’m in my 2nd career as a blues/jazz pro. Last Fall I had to refurbish three-guitars I wore out playing within the last five-years. You would think I be playing better and have that fat recording contract. I understand writing is the same way, except pant seats and typewriters are worn out.I recall a story from somewhere a writer threw his novel’s manuscript with the last rejection letter in the trash. His wife picked the manuscript out and mailed it to another publisher. It got accepted. Novel: Carrie; Writer: S. King I don’t know if it’s true, but makes a good story.I only saw one rifle worn out in my shooting career. My ex father-in-law had a varmint rifle built in 264 Mag. He loaded it HOT with 100-grain bullets. I recall after 1200-rounds the rifle simply wouldn’t print at 100-yards.BTY: .223-- I helped one fellow out working three-days on loads for his rifle in this caliber. At first I thought something seriously wrong with his rifle, but according to him apparently monumental effort working out .223 loads for a particular rifle is the norm. Sure enough we did stumble upon a good, accurate load. But is his statement on .223 being fussy a fact?

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    from tom, too! wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I use them in rainy weather to cover the muzzle of all my guns.I too, give them to my buddies and tell them that they have multiple uses if you happen to be on the "small" side of things.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad Love: Thinking about it, I can tell you what the saddest rejection was. For something like 50 years, a writer named Archibald Rutledge wrote for us, almost every issue had something of his. He did long, long pieced that always too place in South Carolina, and wrote in a style that was out of the 19th century.Well, tastes change, and about the time I came with the magazine we had begun rejecting everything he sent in, and it fell to me to write the reject letters. One day I received a note from him that said, simply:"I don't understand what has happened. You used to be so kind. I will not trouble you again."And he didn't.

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Chad,Have you ever seen those "mini condoms" they are actually made for you fingers if you get a cut they work great on a rifle. I think they are called a "finger cot". I dont like using tape it comes off too easily.PS, you can also give them to friends as a joke :)

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    KJ, you're right, but it wasn't me I was talking about, it was, uh, a "friend."My "friend" ended up letting the buck walk, then repeatedly slapped himself in the forehead all the way back to the truck. He also always carries a boresnake in his fanny pack now...

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Chad Love: I don't remember the greatest number, but I can tell you that we've had many writers submit scores of articles, sometimes over several years, and never sell. We've also had people who sold one article, and then never sold another no matter how many they tried.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    To Tom: I don't think it has much to do with the rifling twist. Just about every .222 ever made has a 1 in 14 twist, but there may be something odd about your Sako. Some rifles are just fussy, period.I'd try getting some match-grade .22 bullets and trying. Them. Sierra, Berger, Nosler Ballistic Tip. If you go on long enough, you either figure it out or go mad trying.

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave,I appreciate that Field and Stream is removing the comments that do not pertain to this blog. As a regular blogger on your site, I am supportive of this method of filtering, and I also assume that the majority of your regulars support my opinion. Thanks

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Wow, Dave, a troll. This one doesn't even have the guts to use her own name. Cowardly and misinformed - not too impressive, is she?

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Chad, I imagine the barrel life of that particular rifle would be about 1 round.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    OK, here's one on-topic. What do you think barrel life would be for a rifle whose owner, upon seeing a very shootable buck, promptly jams its barrel in to the side of a sandhill while getting in position to shoot? Keeping in mind that the bolt has been removed and the barrel cleaned out as well as can be expected with a sprig of sagebrush as the buck politely waits to be shot.I suppose it would depend on the size of the buck and how badly you wanted to re-barrel the gun?

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    from KJ wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I commented on another posting about a little Marlin M99 that I've had for years, and have finally retired after it quit ejecting spent casings. The gun still shoots right where I point it, but fixing the ejection problem would cost more than a new rifle itself. The barrel is in great shape, though, and God-only-knows how many bricks of .22 ammo my grandfather, brother, and I have put through it.

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    from Chad Love wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    This too is a bit off-topic, but what the hell, I'm curious and in an off-topic mood: What's the greatest number of rejected queries you've ever had from a single would-be writer?

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    from Tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Dave,Interesting post. Since we are back on the topic of guns. I have and issue with a .222 my father gave me (Sako).My father was able to shoot very very small groups with it (1/2 inch or less). I have tried hand loaded ammo, tried some store bought ammo. I can get it to 1". I was fairly upset when I ran out of the Norma ammo he gave to me with the gun.The ammo he used was a Norma ammo(1970's era)that you can't buy anymore. Is there a premium "Match" ammo that you would recommend.I have been told that the .222 is very accurate as long as you know your twist rate and match it to the right bullet weight and velocity (many variables). The gun has not been fired much (less than 300 rounds)This gun has been difficult to dial in unlike my 300 win mag...

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    from tom wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    I have a .22 rifle (from Mossberg) that's way over 40 years old. It's had thousands or rounds put through it and still will print .75 inch groups @ 50 yards all day long.

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    from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    At close range, there would be no real difference in the terminal ballistics of the two bullets, but you're quite right that any bullet can be deflected, regardless of shape. I'd go with whatever shoots best in your .270.

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    from Dan wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

    Mr. Petzal,A little off subject, but I just bought a Remington 7600, in .270. I do most of my deer hunting in Maine in heavy timber. I intend to use it as my "brush" gun, keeping the open sights and maybe going with a peep. My question is bullet type..... more specifically round nose vs. pointed. I can not imagine any shot being over 50 yrds where I hunt. I am of the school of thought that brush will deflect any type bullet so I'm more concerned with the terminal ballistics at close range with the 2 bullet types. Would one have an advantage over the other?Thanks,Dan

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