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Thread: Hot barrels

  1. #1

    Hot barrels

    Good evening all,

    Ever since I got the new rifle, my first with a moderator, I find that the time it takes for the barrel to cool between shots has lengthened greatly... obviously due to the retained gasses in between the baffles.

    I'm now starting to fire test batches of home loads and although there's no major effect on grouping by firing with warm/ hot barrels I try not to. Also - heat haze is distraction enough to not continue firing!

    Does anyone on this forum have a system for zeroing the rifle with a load that doesn't take all day? Also, what are the effects of firing with warm barrels to the rifle?

    Many thanks?


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    If your talking purely zeroing a load:

    You need support front and rear for the rifle (bipod and rear bag)

    Set target, fire shot at target (centred in paper or whatever u use but large eough to see shot fall if its off centre)

    Note shot fall, now the tricky bit:

    With rifle solid and crosshairs set on original point of aim,

    using turret ajustment and NOT MOVING rifle at all, move crosshair to point of impact (fall of shot)

    When cross hair on bullet hole, move rifle to original point of aim, reload and fire, you should now be zeroed.

    Two shots and a third for confirmation, done it this way numerous times and it works, providing you follow the steps.

    Hot barrels - take off moderator and allow barrel to cool, it will quicker without moddy on.

    Do not shoot with barrel hot - certainly not if its too hot to hold hand on, barrel wear is the result......

  3. #3
    Good advice, but how hot is hot? Im relaoding for a 22.250 and obviously trying to be careful not to overload. Im finding that after a 5 shot group the barrel and mod are hot but the mod inparticular is too hot to hold. Without a temp reader how do I know if Im overheating the barrel.

  4. #4
    Good advice indeed. I've been zeroing using sand bags below the fore and aft of the stock. Zeroing in itself is't the query. more a curiosity when maintaining groups with hot barrels.

    Yesterday evening I fired three 4 shot groups . By the time the 4th shot was fired the barrels were warm, and the mod was hot, too hot to hold comfortably for any length of time.

    My rifle still grouped well - less than 3/4 inch at 100yards. However a friend of mine for some time has always been aware that he can bet his house that he can hit a penny with the first and second shot but cannot gurantee where in a 3 inch circle the third will land... Strange.

    Have you come accross anything like this?

  5. #5
    A rifle with some wear in the barrel will often shoot OK, when cold the group opening up as the barrel heats up.

  6. #6
    The third shot wander is not restricted to moderated weapons. I rebarreled a Ruger Model 77 in 270 that would shoot exactly as you described. It became a 30-06 and the problems ended.~Muir

  7. #7
    I once had a .243 Safari P/Hale - which was the estate issue for the stallkers at the time.

    It worked extremely well with the Norma semi-pointed, soft point 100 grain for around 15 years - despite hard work during the hind seasons.
    Then it began doing exactly as Muir and Bogtrotter described - two excellent shots and the third off to one side.

    After blaming the sight, myself and chasing the warm-barrelled last shot all over the place then checking the forend woodwork to see if it had warped across to touch the barrel, (which I had free-floated), I realised that the throat or muzzle of the barrel had probably become eroded and that the barrel heating up was creating the problem.

    A new barrel set everything right.

  8. #8
    if your testing loads is inporant to take your time. i load up 5 rounds. take 3 shots and if your barrel is to hot let it cool before finishing the other two shots.

    a skinny barrel will heat alot quicker then heavy barrel. but at the same time it will cool quicker then a heavy barrel.

    just take your time then you will no if the load is a good load for your rifle.

  9. #9
    I normal take at least two guns with me when doing load development/test etc, even if one is only the rimmy to practice off hand shooting with.

    I shoot one group then pick up the next rifle and shoot a group with that one, this gives the first one time to cool while you check targets etc. If you are just sitting waiting the temptation to shoot the rifle before it is cool is too great.



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