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I don't believe I've ever shot out a barrel. But I have had a few rifles that didn't shoot as well as they used to anymore. But they were still acceptable as hunting rifles so I kept them. Something about shot out barrels, I think that term should only apply to match grade guns in the hands of match grade shooter's. I've got a 700 ADL in 25-06 I shot a .111" group with. Haven't fired it since! Afraid I'd find out it's now a shot out barrel and I have better things to worry about!

Let's see, that was a 22-250 you were talking about, I suppose you could shoot out the barrel but what do you call shot out? Whatever anyone else thinks doesn't really matter unless your a competitive shooter in which case you wouldn't have to ask! You have a rifle that used to shoot .160" 100yd groups and now it shoots .370" groups? Your a match shooter you might want to think about it but if your shooting sage rats your still good to go. Shot out barrel. My best guess is it's a rifle that doesn't shoot as well as it used to! Make's me thing a good place to get a new barrel is from a match shooter with a shot out barrel!
 

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I've replaced well over a hundred barrel and less than 10% were 'shot out' and well under 50% were 'worn out'. Most were just tired of being what they were and the owner wanted a change.
Barrels wear from the chamber end and many shoot very well with the first half looking like lizard hide. The MUZZLE wears slower than the throat, but makes MORE difference in accuracy. It takes ten minutes to freshen up a crown. I do it about every thousand rounds in my varmint rifles.

Here's a 22-250 AI after 1200 rounds of very hot loads.
And a 221 Fireball after 6200 rounds but it was freshened by two threads at 3200.

Both rifles shoot acceptably well for small varmints a long way off.
 

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Any time I run across a barrel that is 'shot out', my first instinct is to clean it - clean the living daylights out of it. I have found a number of barrels that weren't shot out at all, just fouled.
And of course, others that WERE shot out.
+1 to that!!!!!!!

i got 6 or 7 days, 8 - 10 each, scrubbing my barrel's bore till it was CLEAN!!!!!! that was on my 1898 spr armory(1903) in 30-40 krag. there was soooo much black gunk, copper, black gunk, cupronickel, black gunk, spirals of copper, black gunk.....did i tell you black gunk? i use 165gr ranch dog with h4198 and at a 100 yards(redfield peep sight) it will go 1 1/4 - 1 3/4" for 5 shots. when the wind is right, stars line up the planets and the shooting gods smile upon me, it go will 3/4" at 100 yards.

i do alot of 1891-1950's rifles. i think i have one rifle that is shot out, 6.5 carcano, but i haven't shot it yet. i have shot out only one barrel. it was a savage m340 in 222 rem. i don't know the round count because i bought it used, but i put 6000-7000 rounds thru her, over the course of 3 - 4 years. i cleaned it after 100-125 rounds(shooters choice) and i tried to NOT to heat the barrel up. i stupidly sold her and $200 to buy an 223(rem m700 i think). i should have bought a new barrel. stupid!!!!!!

i don't know how many barrels i saved by telling my friends you have to take copper out!!!!!! shooters choice, sweets....if it says copper remover on your rifle, buy it!!!!! clean the barrel when your accuracy goes to pot and don't heat up the barrel.
 

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Shooting a barrel out doesn't normally happen all at once. What happens is you get a flier you didn't call. Then maybe 20 rounds later you get another. Gradually it becomes more frequent; one in ten, then one in five, et cetera, until the whole of each group is opened up. I had that happen with the first M1A barrel I shot out. In, IIRC, 1998, Kevin Thomas, then still working at Sierra as a ballistics tech, wrote an article about shooting barrels out to test the effect of cryo-treatment. He used 308 Win machine rest guns firing 168-grain Sierra MatchKings from a special lot that had been set aside as accuracy reference bullets because it had proved to be exceptionally accurate. He said the way he determined barrel life was to wait for that first flier to show up.

If you have groups just suddenly opening up all over, you generally either have a copper build-up or you have throat damage or crown damage. If you don't have a borescope, the inexpensive Teslong units for computers sold on Amazon work well enough for all be the most detailed forensic examination of a throat or of a bore and you might want to get one.

If your throat turns out to be the issue, one advantage to the Savage design is you can run a chamber finishing reamer in just far enough to clean the throat back up to fix it and take off an equal amount from the back of the tang. No need to set it back a whole turn and no need to add to the tang thread or worry about timing that act. You might also be able to extend its life with G. David Tubb's Final Finish product, though any of these methods may mean you have retune your best load.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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mikededman,

Would you mind posting some pictures of targets (if you still have them) that show the oblong, rather than round, bullet holes? That might useful in figuring out what is going on.
 

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You say you shoot from a bipod. Have you removed it and shot off sandbags? It would be another test that takes little effort or ammo.
 
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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Doubt that would cause oblong holes in the paper.... maybe bad groups, but not unstable bullets ;)
 

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Agreed, without knowing velocities(which I may have missed if stated), those bullets are in the marginal stability range; when at max velocity.
If velocity has slipped from erosion, then that could easily explain things.

Cheers
 

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I talked to a prairie dog hunter several years ago, that said he had burned out 3 or 4 barrels shooting prairie dogs. He shot a .22-250, and I'm assuming got his barrel pretty hot.
 

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I talked to a prairie dog hunter several years ago, that said he had burned out 3 or 4 barrels shooting prairie dogs. He shot a .22-250, and I'm assuming got his barrel pretty hot.
a few years ago, i know of 2 or 3 guys that hunt prairie dogs(i think it was montana or nebraska). we don't have none here in PA. i bet you a dollar for a dozen doughnuts, that at least 2 are shot out. i'll betcha another dollar that at least one rifle that is shot out has 22-250 on its barrel. they tell each other not to shoot the barrel hot, but around day 3, it goes out the window.
 
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In 1992 Bart Bobbitt posted a barrel wear formula on rec.gun on the old usenet [before www gun forums].
He also shot a 20-shot 3.325" group at 800 yards in 1997
So his standards are high.

There are throat erosion gauges that have lower standards

Personally, I have only seen one shot out throat:
I bought a 1971 Rem 700 BDL 22-250 in April 2001 for $180.
I re barreled it to 250 Sav and shot a deer in 2020.
 

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Been a whole lot of people testing, lots of arguments/articles written….not doing to argue with actual test results.

Heat erosion. Same bore size, same pressure level, is a safe bet the more powder burned the faster the erosion. Pressure IS pretty much temperature, but the duration is longer with more powder.

Not all steels are equal.

Faster the pace of shooting, the greater the heat build up.

Accuracy standards of the shooter…..lost best accuracy isn’t the same as “shot out”.

1600 full power jacketed bullet shots...even with reloads (it’s a hobby... labor costs would be “zero”)….is a sizable chunk of money by itself.

Have not done nearly the long varmint hunting many of you have….never thought of it so much as a body count event.
 

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There are times that rodents cause shooters to disregard the warnings. I've seen smoke and bubbling epoxy from a Swift's barrel channel with barely an MTM box of ammo through it, in about 9 minutes. It ruined that barrel in one afternoon.
Funneling fire through a small hole makes the hole bigger. Hot barrels wear faster than cold.
Extra guns are essential if you want to do all the shooting available and still save barrels. Fifteen hundred ground squirrel a day per shooter has been done a bunch of times. Same with jackrabbits or even more so. It was very hard for me to believe what a population explosion looks like, but I'd heard stories in Boy Scout camp about western troops being asked to kill jackrabbits with baseball bats and shooting brick of .22s in a day. It's one reason I'm here. They didn't lie.
 

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13 gr of BLue Dot in a 223 would be ok at a shot per minute over ground squirrels, but any more than that, I switch to rimfire.
 

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if the weather is hot, they do heat up quick. We don't have prairie dogs or jack rabbits. Only varmints we have are a few groundhogs and crows.
 

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I never knew how totally perfect the 22K-Hornet was until I got in a big ground squirrel town (3 sections). The next year I had three K-Hornets and got to five before thinning the herd some. We shoot from the truck with many miles of vacant desert backstops.
A CZ-527 in K-Hornet with a straight 8X scope is as perfect as it gets for that particular set of circumstances. Light, short, set trigger and uncommonly accurate with a minimum of work. Hold offs a squirrel wide for wind is common enough to learn what's needed and become a better shot.
Five shots a minute is the normal cadence on a sunny day with few hawks in the air. Ranges are 50 to 150 yards, but you can see GS two miles away if you want to try it. (we bet supper on a lot of things and that one bright, shining squirrel than sits on one mound all the time about 400 yards down the pasture gets shot at a lot.)

I've yet to see a shooter of a semi-auto center-fire in a squirrel town that didn't do lasting harm to their rifles. That includes two well known gun writers with ARs. ( Who can resist shooting at a running miss?)

Cleaning is about every 50 rounds with a couple pulls of a bore snake with the bore still hot. Then sit than rifle aside and tune up another one while that one cools.
 

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Over the past year I’ve been working on reloading/shooting. I bought a Savage 10-110 Varmitter 22-250 with a 1:12 twist and a 26” barrel. It has a Vortex 4-16 optic and I mostly shoot bench rest with a bipod and rear bag. The reason I got into reloading was this gun could shoot little groups with factory (Hornady 50 gr VMax) out of the box. I thought I could do better. Hmmmm
I went from load development of .375 at 100 yards to complete crap. I checked my lands yesterday and discovered that from the first time I checked until yesterday it had moved .048 ( I verified this with 3 different bullets). I hadn’t noticed the change because I had changed materials as they came available. I went from Hornady to Lapua brass, I went from VMax to Berger match grade and on to Hodgdon H380. Since I started using the Berger and was developing a load for it my lands has moved out .012. They are 52 grain and I’m finding they are tumbling where they used to make nice round holes.
My questions are:
1. Can my barrel be done with just over 1600 rounds thru it?
2. how often should a person check the lands and adjust seating for the change?
3. Now that I know my lands is different do I adjust my seating depth to compensate or start load development all over again.
4. My SD/ES goes from 7.9/15 to 39.1/82 although I‘m usually in the teens with my SD. I’m very careful with my reloading process. Anneal, full length size, trim, chamfer and de-burr each time I reload. I also dump light and trickle to weight with each load.
5.

Thanks for this forum and thanks in advance for any help,

Mike
After reading all of your comments thru this thread I am inclined to say that your missing something. Given your comments, I would first thoroughly clean the barrel, I mean scrub the heck out of it. Then go back to what worked for you originally and shoot it. Better? If not, take your rifle to a competent gunsmith and have them touch up the crown. A very almost undectectable nick in the crown will cause serious accuracy problems. Not expensive and easy to do. I have never shot out a barrel but don't shoot competitively either. I shoot "precision sage rat" and I shoot a lot. All of my precision rifles have cut rifled barrels on them and I stay away from hot loads. Your rifle will heat that barrel up very quickly if you start "mad minute" shooting. When I was in the Army I saw very hot barrels caused projectiles to spin in all directions. Don't shoot a very hot barrel if you want accuracy and max barrel life.. Not telling you anything you don't already know. Look for the little things that affect accuracy and make small incremental changes in loads so you can see when things aren't working very quickly. Maybe your barrel is shot out and maybe not. If it is, isn't the end of the world. Get a cut rifled barrel if you replace it. Good luck to you.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Also make sure your scope mounts or scope hasn't loosened up been there done that.
Always good advice.... but that generally doesn't make bullets go through the targets with oblong holes, as the OP reported ;)
 
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