Barrell life

AndyTheSilent

Well-Known Member
I've a variation for a .243 and a .308. From reading it sounds like a .308 is hard to wear out however a .243 has a shorter lifespan.
As such I'm thinking of buying a new .243 and a second hand .308 to save some money. Plan would be to get a better brand (tikka or similar) second hand and for the .243 a new Howa/browning. Any flaws in my thinking?
I'd only use factory ammo as at present I don't have thd tine or inclination to home load.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Do you worry about the engine life of your car?

Or more importantly, do you buy tyres based on how long they will last or how well they help you to steer the vehicle?

Everything has a life, if you are just doing recreational stalking and not target shooting or doing silly things like magazine dumps from a 10 round magazine, you are going to need years of use to wear out the 308, same goes for the 243.

There is not much difference between a Howa 1500 and Tikka T3 in terms of quality, both are strong actions with good to OK barrels, hard to get a lemon.

I'd argue the Howa 1500 S/A is the better choice for short action cartridges. Don't buy one with the stupid magazine, get the hinged floorplate version. Blued steel just fine as well, actually less prone to rust and galling as the Howa stainless steel quality is not great.

Good luck.
 

AndyTheSilent

Well-Known Member
Do you worry about the engine life of your car?

Or more importantly, do you buy tyres based on how long they will last or how well they help you to steer the vehicle?

Everything has a life, if you are just doing recreational stalking and not target shooting or doing silly things like magazine dumps from a 10 round magazine, you are going to need years of use to wear out the 308, same goes for the 243.

There is not much difference between a Howa 1500 and Tikka T3 in terms of quality, both are strong actions with good to OK barrels, hard to get a lemon.

I'd argue the Howa 1500 S/A is the better choice for short action cartridges. Don't buy one with the stupid magazine, get the hinged floorplate version. Blued steel just fine as well, actually less prone to rust and galling as the Howa stainless steel quality is not great.

Good luck.
For cars I use to buy cars to last a year, since settling down I now buy them a year old and then run them down. Benefit of cars is its easy to see the age and mileage and when buying you can gauge the owner! However with rifles you aren't going to tell if they are a dozen shots a year type or 100+ down the range type every week.
I'd be buying from an rfd so I'd hope they'd of scoped the barrell for wear and tear but I'm wary of rfds these days as I've had firing pins fail after less than 500 shots on a 2.5k used shotgun and also my .22lr having a really dodgy trigger/safety. Both where resolved but really shouldn't of been sold in that state
 

Steff

Well-Known Member
DON‘T buy second hand barrels. If you wander into the gun cleaning section of this forum and read some of the stuff written there you‘ll understand. RFD will sell you what they have. And I dare say only half of them have any idea of what a barrel looks like, or should look like, on the inside.
 

gixer1

Well-Known Member
There are plenty of secondhand rifles out there that still shoot perfectly fine and will last thousands more rounds. Some shops will even let you try out the rifle (ivythorne sporting for example)

I wouldn’t worry too much if it’s for stalking as most will shoot adequately for shooting deer at sensible ranges for many years.

Regards,
Gixer
 

Lancaster

Well-Known Member
DON‘T buy second hand barrels. If you wander into the gun cleaning section of this forum and read some of the stuff written there you‘ll understand. RFD will sell you what they have. And I dare say only half of them have any idea of what a barrel looks like, or should look like, on the inside.
That's a hell of a sweeping statement, I reckon there are an awful lot of folk in the world that have second hand rifles that they are more than happy with.
 

cjm1066

Well-Known Member
DON‘T buy second hand barrels. If you wander into the gun cleaning section of this forum and read some of the stuff written there you‘ll understand. RFD will sell you what they have. And I dare say only half of them have any idea of what a barrel looks like, or should look like, on the inside.

Don't fire your new rifle or register your new car, once done you are doomed with a second hand item.

My 1954 7x57 must be third/fourth hand, it still does the job.
 

Steff

Well-Known Member
Just to calm down the emotions. I'm sure there are many happy owners of S/H rifles and/or barrels out there. Perfect.
But if someone asks me what to do I give the advice that I adhere to myself. That's all.
 

digs

Well-Known Member
There is no guarantee that your standard new factory rifle will shoot good either - unless the brand has an accuracy guarantee.

Best bet find a good shop that works for you.

I’ve bought most of my centre fire guns second hand - you have to factor in the “what if” to the price I find. To date I’ve never been sold a pup - and a few guns after threading and re crowning have shot better then I could ask for.

Like a second hand car - ask questions, history, ask the owner round count, what ammo has been used, shooting use etc
Your looking for the one previous careful owner, rather then the ex club workhorse shooting lots of surplus ammo rapid fire.
 

Mick9abf

Well-Known Member
I guess the o oh thing it won’t do it shoot a light flat shooting varmint bullet for foxing if the OP was looking for that.
Yeah I get what your saying but if you know your bullet drops I don’t see it making much difference when shooting foxes at sensible ranges without getting into the debate/willy waving competition which normally happens when discussing ranges and foxes (to make it clear if I was to miss a fox because the range was a bit stupid in the circumstances every head keeper I know would go apoplectic - nothing worse than an educated fox).
 

gixer1

Well-Known Member
Yeah I get what your saying but if you know your bullet drops I don’t see it making much difference when shooting foxes at sensible ranges without getting into the debate/willy waving competition which normally happens when discussing ranges and foxes (to make it clear if I was to miss a fox because the range was a bit stupid in the circumstances every head keeper I know would go apoplectic - nothing worse than an educated fox).
Agreed Mick, although I once saw a fox missed 4 times by some one I took out foxing with thier rifle, I then drove 11 miles one way and 11 miles back to get my rifle and the same fox was in the same stubble field…and he shot it with my rifle. And this story can be confirmed by at least two other members for the doubters….stupidest fox I ever saw…😂
 

Sampo

Well-Known Member
Not an exact science, but I have always thought of barrle life as

Lighter bullets -> hotter loads to get the velocity -> burn barrel faster -> lower round counts

So someone shooting lighter 110gr .308 bullets may have a slightly lower barrel life than someone shooting the heavier 175gr bullets. With .243, the heaviest bullet you can find is 110gr (if I got that right), so the barrel life is lower than .308.

For second hand barrels, there are a lot of these that shoot just fine without any issues. I picked up an old .243 for about £150 with some rust and pitting for those seriously wet days and it still shoots straight at the range. Its a rifle I just don't worry about and it still does the job. So while you can choose what you enjoy shooting, if for the range, you may want to stick to a heavy barrel rifle as a stalking rifle heats up after 3-4 shots and for stalking, pick a lighter one and a .243 would be just fine. Although the more expensive rifle hints better quality, if you are aiming for a 6 inch consisten hit, most rifles, including the older Paker Hales would be just find at the fraction of the cost.

Happy to be corrected if I have stated anything incorrect.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Not an exact science, but I have always thought of barrle life as

Lighter bullets -> hotter loads to get the velocity -> burn barrel faster -> lower round counts

So someone shooting lighter 110gr .308 bullets may have a slightly lower barrel life than someone shooting the heavier 175gr bullets. With .243, the heaviest bullet you can find is 110gr (if I got that right), so the barrel life is lower than .308.

For second hand barrels, there are a lot of these that shoot just fine without any issues. I picked up an old .243 for about £150 with some rust and pitting for those seriously wet days and it still shoots straight at the range. Its a rifle I just don't worry about and it still does the job. So while you can choose what you enjoy shooting, if for the range, you may want to stick to a heavy barrel rifle as a stalking rifle heats up after 3-4 shots and for stalking, pick a lighter one and a .243 would be just fine. Although the more expensive rifle hints better quality, if you are aiming for a 6 inch consisten hit, most rifles, including the older Paker Hales would be just find at the fraction of the cost.

Happy to be corrected if I have stated anything incorrect.

Wrong on the first count.

Heavier bullets will always wear a barrel faster when driven to representative speeds vs. a lighter bullet at simiar pressures.
 

HDShark

Well-Known Member
Really wouldn't worry about barrel life in either of those calibres, especially the 308. Unless you're planning on shooting 2000 cartridges a year, in which case you've obviously got money to burn anyway!
 

Littlekilmory

Well-Known Member
A useful tool to help decide. Obviously designed for hand loaders but interesting to experiment with the variables.
There was an old hot-rodding saying - “speed costs money, how fast can you afford?” This hold true with barrel life…
 
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