How much shooting is too much shooting? Many hunters, shooters, and firearm owners wonder, "is it possible to shoot out a barrel?" meaning can you ruin a barrel – its accuracy, stability, and safety? To test this theory, MDT Pro Shooter Ryan Mclean took a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle to the range and shot 1,000 rounds through it.
After an initial sight-in, he shot 100 rounds as fast as possible and then shot a group for accuracy. In this manner, he would measure how much the groups would open up or shrink as the barrel's round count and heat stress increased.
Surprisingly (or maybe not for some), MDT was able to cook bacon on their rifle with the exterior heat pushing over 450°F! The next step in the research was to put a bore scope down the barrel to see the damage (or lack thereof). What they found was a tremendous amount of carbon build-up. Once the barrel cooled, Ryan fired several groups with the dirty barrel, thoughtfully cleaned it, then shot some more groups.
- Group #1 – 1.272"
- Group #2 – 0.921”
- Group #3 – 1.053"
- Group #1 – 0.815”
- Group #2 – 1.418"
- Group #3 – 1.093"
Ryan's conclusion from this mini-experiment is that the barrel had been "shot out" – the heat damaged it so significantly that the accuracy is now suffering. The way to curb against running your barrel when you anticipate a high round count is to let your barrel cool down between magazine and shooting sessions.
Ryan postulated that once you begin to shoot around 15 to 20 rounds in succession, you will witness a marked decrease in accuracy over time if you are not allowing time for your barrel to cool. All things considered, this extreme torture test was completed in 2 hours. Thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.