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Barrel life


SingleStacker45

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How does barrel life compare with lead, plated and precision coated bullets. My buddy tells me that a 1911 barrel in 45acp is only good for about twenty thousand rounds with FMJ but will last forever with lead. Any thoughts or experiences. So far I prefer the plated as far as running a clean gun but lead for accuracy.

Mule

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20K rounds is just getting broken in unless you dump them all through as fast as you can pull the trigger all at once (yes there are people like that-- buy a new gun and a couple cases of ammo and try to melt it down within 2 hours.. :blink: ). I've got a Super with 80,000 rounds, all jacketed, on the original barrel that still shoots great. I bet there are people here with many more..

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How does barrel life compare with lead, plated and precision coated bullets. My buddy tells me that a 1911 barrel in 45acp is only good for about twenty thousand rounds with FMJ but will last forever with lead. Any thoughts or experiences. So far I prefer the plated as far as running a clean gun but lead for accuracy.

Mule

Lead should make the barrel last longer than jacketed, but if you don't get them really hot, they'll last ages with jacketed. 20,000 isn't going to wear out a .45 since it's a low intensity cartridge compared with many others. I'd guess that plated might wear a bit faster than lead, but it's probably not enough difference to even think about.

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If you wear a barrel out you have been extremely fortunate to do so, put another one in and hope like hell you can do it again. If you wear a gun out where it can't be fixed things must be just fantastic for you. Buy another and PRAY that you are fortunate enough to do it again.

Figure out what 20K rounds of 45 ammo costs, it will shock you. $2000 for bullets at current prices, $460 worth of primers, and $180 worth of primers. $2640 worth of reloaded ammo, and there are NO brass costs in the total. Not to mention the time to load it, the time to shoot it, gas, targets, match fee's, it goes on and on.

May dozens of barrels be shot to ruin in all of our guns!!

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20K? I'd better get on the horn for a bushel basket of new barrels. Lesse, I've got three guns that clocked over 100,000 each, (one of them has to be on the high side of 150K) another half-dozen that at either just below or just above 50K each, and then there's the Wilson CQB that has 30,000 rounds of nothing but jacketed through it. :blink:

Don't get me started on the 9-pin/steel guns, and my old single-stack Super.

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And the indication is slowly degrading groups? Is this wear due to lockup problems like bushing and fit wear, or rifling land deterioration? I just had a case of where the previous owner changed a factory-fit bull barrel because of wear causing loose fit at the muzzle, and I wonder if I could turn it down to .580 and use a bushing ...

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The gun i learned on was and is a Springfield loaded.

I put at least 75K thru it over a couple of years, combination of lead and jacket. I had to replace the barrel as my groups were getting HUGE. 10 Inch spread at 10 yards. I expect the new Nowlin to last much longer than the 2 piece springfield barrel.

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Barrels tend to wear in two different area's. One is external or the fit. This would be in how the barrels relationship wears relative to the barrel/bushing fit and the lower lugs/ slide stop. Assuming a quality barrel properly fit this takes a long, long time to wear enough to cause accuracy problems. Proper and regular cleaning goes a long ways to eliminating this problem.

The other would be in the lead area of the barrel which is the area between the chamber and the start of the rifling. This wear is actually erosion caused by flame cutting as the flame front of the burning powder moves out of the casing and into the barrel. This is normally a function of the type of powder you use and the pressures you load to. A very hot, slow burning, abrasive powder loaded to higher pressures will cause this to accelerate.

I have one Glock 17 using nothing but jackets bullets that has way over 150,000 round thru it and it will still hold sub 2" at 25 yards. My current single stack 45 has over 50,000 rounds thru it and still puts them into 2" at 25 yards. On the other hand I had a 9x25 that I used LARGE amounts of AA #9 in under 115gr FMJ's and it burnt the barrel out in about 15,000 rounds. It looked like I had shot a sand blaster down the barrel.

Reasonable loads and regular cleaning will give a long barrel life................

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I've heard the 20K number a lot, but it comes from people who can't imagine ever shooting that much, and think that's a big number.

I've got 70K++ through my Kimber .45 using cast and plated bullets with no ill effect. My Para .40 has more than that through it using plated and jacketed without a problem.

My 1969 .38 Super Colt has well over 100K though it and I'm on my 3rd barrel. The first barrel didn't wear out, but it was the original "headspace on the semi-rim" type and needed to go because it sucked. The 2nd barrel suffered through my period (young and stupid) of shooting 88 grain bullets at 1700 FPS that may have had something to do with it wearing out.

I've got several other autos and revolvers that are well past 20K and are all good to go.

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