375CT barrel life.

Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Hi all from across the Pond.

I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of my Voere X5 which will come with a 32” 50cal barrel and a 35” 375CT barrel with a 1 in 10” twist, which I intend on running Lehigh Defence 353gr Match Solids and/or CE 377gr MTAC’s (choice & availability of projectiles appears to be severely limited in Europe due to Covid-19 related hoarding, but I digress).

I read in a number of ELR related threads that barrel life/accuracy appears to diminish anywhere between 600 to 1200 rounds fired.
Can anyone direct me to any previous threads or clarify this with a few more details on the subject; namely,

1) Is this due to throat erosion?
2) Are the Lands showing signs of wear?
3) Does Barrel twist or length affect barrel life?
4) Does the barrel making process have any bearing on this, ie Hammer forged, or cut barrel etc?
5) At what point do you declare your barrel is “worn out”? When you’re missing your target, when velocities start dropping, or A.N Other reason (having a crap day and consulted the Bumper Book of Excuses)
It goes without saying that hot loads will have a detrimental effect, as well as a poor cleaning regime etc, but I’m struggling to understand why barrel life appears to be so short in comparison to other calibres, particularly as the Cheytacs run on slow burning powders.

As mentioned above, can anyone point me to some well grounded data on the subject.

Does the 408 Cheytac suffer from the same issue?

Lots of questions, and apologies for them, but I need to know if I’ve got to order a dozen barrels in 6 month intervals (along with the nightmare of having to go through U.K. Proof testing as well as Firearms Licence Variations, not to mention the kidney rupturing costs of being a U.K. shooter).

All the best.
 

Dogtown

Ke = (mv^2)/2
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Jun 21, 2007
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Throat erosion is a constant in all cartridges, but the more overbore the cartridge is generally the faster the throat erodes. As the throat erodes the groups tend to open up, regardless of twist or barrel length - it's all about very hot gasses and high pressures as the bullet heads down the barrel.

Yes, the .408CT has a similar barrel life because it too is overbore to some degree. My headache with .408CT (from 2005-2010) was that there were only a few decent bullets to choose from, and the highest performing one (LRBT 419gr) fouled the barrel so badly in such a short time that I found myself scrubbing the shit out of the barrel in the middle of the desert in the middle of a session. The .375 has always had many more quality bullet options and stayed supersonic quite a bit farther than .408.

ETA: in the ELR game, barrels should be thought of the same as brass and bullets: as consumables.
 
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Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Thanks for your informative reply.

In your experience, have you (or anyone reading this) noticed any differences in barrel life between manufacturers and how their barrels are made, ie hammer forged, button or cut?
Does the European penchant for chrome lining make any difference?

I fully take on board your comment regarding barrels being “consumables”; in the UK, a chambered barrel is technically regarded as a firearm, so is therefore a restricted and licensed item. So unless I’m swapping one for one, I have to go through the process of applying for a spare barrel. Currently that is a 3 month process.

However, I can already hear you saying,” don’t go buying a sports car if you’re worried about fuel consumption” and I understand that.

At least the Voere X5 has a switch barrel chassis, so no smithing required, but it does limit me to one make of barrel; Lothar Walther.

Again, thanks for your reply.
 

Yerman

Private
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Jun 15, 2013
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Palmdale, CA
 

Dogtown

Ke = (mv^2)/2
Belligerents
Jun 21, 2007
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154
Wellington, NZ via Dogtown, CA
I personally haven't noticed a clear durability difference in different barrel types/manufacturers. Chrome lined barrels, from my experience, are easier to clean and a bit more durable, which is why the military has used them for ages. But there's also a perception (true or false) that chrome lined barrels are a bit less accurate in precision rifles because the bore imperfections get amplified. So this is why you generally see chrome lined barrels in hard use tactical rifle like assault rifles and battle rifles, less so with precision rifles (though chrome lined bolt guns were the standard in mil circles for ages as well).
 

Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
That’s a very interesting point.
I’m pretty sure most Steyr barrels are chrome lined; certainly the Scout and Aug which I own have chrome lined barrels, as well as being hammer forged too.
But I’m unsure who makes their barrels, as I don’t think they’re made in house (but I might be wrong); so Lothar Walther would be their natural choice of barrel supplier, being “local” so to speak. I know Voere use Lothar Walther, so I’ll be interested to see if my barrels are also chrome lined.

That’s very interesting to read the announcement regarding Bartlein’s new barrel material. I’ll be monitoring the hide to see if the claimed extra longevity manifests itself.

I found a barrel life calculator (https://pierrevanderwalt.com/barrel-life-calculator/) which confirmed my 375ct’s barrel life at 736 shots running 142.5gr RE50 @ 68,318 psi, approx 50 shots less than a 408CT barrel running 142gr of N570.

It’s a bit like poking a borescope down your barrel for the first time and revealing a lunar landscape of craters & pits! Even though the barrel shoots fine, you end up with that niggling thought that perhaps you should change the barrel. Had I not used a borescope I’d probably still be running half my rifles with supposedly worn/burned out barrels and not noticing any real world drop in performance.
Case in point was my old 1942 Longbranch Enfield No4 that was super accurate all the time I had it. A borescope revealed the throat nearly reached the crown, with hardly any rifling in the first 12” of the bore!
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Commercial Supporter
Belligerents
Nov 27, 2017
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Enon Louisiana
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Hi,

You should call up Voere and speak with Sven (Owner). They guy is a wealth of knowledge and will talk barrels with you until your head is spinning so much that you cannot even spell ELR, lol

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Hi Theis,
Thanks for that; I’m already in touch with Sven who was my first port of call through my UK Voere supplier (Hammer Pair Performance)
Being a lefty, the X5 system was a no brainer as it’s fully configurable to left hand use without any optional parts required.
Sven has made sure my 375CT barrel will be a 35” heavy profile but without Voere’s standard progressive twist rate (on account that no one as yet has been able to show any genuine benefits from using progressive twist rates); likewise the 50cal barrel will sport the heavy profile.
He sent me these pics of the X5 (and crate of 416 Barrett & 50cal barrels) with their extended forend which will allow me to use my Accuracy Solutions Bipod eXt ELR. (Currently on my M99)
Sven has been most helpful.

Once again, thanks to all of you for your input.
Robin.
ADC09413-03F7-472E-84B4-D97700D71AB8.jpeg0BE3FBF2-329C-450C-80E7-190E884835D0.jpeg0BE3FBF2-329C-450C-80E7-190E884835D0.jpegADC09413-03F7-472E-84B4-D97700D71AB8.jpeg
 

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GIXXER2000

ELR Junkie
Belligerents
Aug 5, 2013
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I just had my Cadex 375ct re-barreled. I went with a 34in Bartlien 1-7 twist heavy contour. Its 1.265 at the muzzle. The factory Barrel was a lighter contour Bartlien 32in 1-7 twist. I was able to get over 1000 rounds out of it before it was pulled. The accuracy was good and at a match i went 5x5 on a 40 inch plate at 2195 and 2x5 at 3090. The new barrel give me an AVG FPS of 3066 with the 400 gr Cutting edge Lazer bullet. Robert Vestal did a great job on the re-barrel.


CADEX 375CT.jpg
 

Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
That’s reassuring to know someone’s getting more than 700 rounds out of a barrel, and not having to either shoot shorter distances or at larger targets!

with a 1 in 10” twist I’m going to be limited to 380gr projectiles, so will have to stick to what I’ve got until I need a new barrel.
I read that 1 in 7” & - in 8” seems to be the go to twist rate; definitely for the heavier bullets too.
Hopefully this new Bartlein barrel material will make it across the Pond, as I imagine that’ll be quite a game changer for those in the UK that can’t quite stomach the idea of going through the licensing process for a barrel change every 1,000 rounds or so.

Thanks for your thoughts and insight
 

badassgunworks

Sergeant of the Hide
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Dec 25, 2018
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Average Barrel life of a well-maintained 375 CheyTac is approximately 1000 rounds to the point that you cannot Chase anymore will produce about 6 inches fire crackling. The amount lands ware is insignificant. If you start out with a 40 inch barrel 2 inches can be removed set back and re chambered with virtually no reduction in velocity for another five hundred rounds giving you a total Barrel life of 1,500 rounds Chrome Moly barrels seem to last a little longer then stainless if they are maintained and cleaned properly. The 408 CheyTac will have a little slower throat erosion but is insignificant..
 
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Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Thank you very much for that; definitely worth bearing in mind for my next barrel.
The barrel my Voere is coming with will be 35”, so I guess cutting 2” off that, as you mentioned, will probably reduce it to a near minimum length, although I note that the Accuracy International AX50 ELR’s barrels are all 27”, regardless of calibre; I’m guessing to conform to military requirements, but surely no real use for ELR shooting, particularly with the 375CT barrel?
Once again, thanks for the advice.
 

GIXXER2000

ELR Junkie
Belligerents
Aug 5, 2013
1,134
386
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Bullhead City ,AZ
I am considering the AI-AX50 ELR next year and would pull the 50 barrel and have a 40 inch 416 Match barrel for ELR. I did talk with AI at the Shot Show this year and told them a 27in 1-12 Twist barrel was a waste of time. They asked why and what I was shooting and my experience in ELR. I told them I was shooting 32in 1-7 twist and have shoot ELR matches with target out passed 3000 yards. I explained the bare minimum twist rate is 1-10 because no one shoots 350 smk in ELR and the 1-12 just won't spin the 350 class solids fast enough.
 

Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Yes, it’s baffling as to why they’ve gone down this route with the short barrels and obsolete twist rates for the ELR calibres; my only (and fairly uneducated) guess is that they need to magazine feed (for military purposes) and therefore spec’d the rifle to run on FMJ’s. This hardly justifies the ELR label though!
And for getting on to $13k for a single calibre with chassis, that’s a lot of money for something you’ve got to alter before firing a shot.
Although I have no commercial affiliation with Voere, take a look at their X4 & X5 system; beautiful engineering combined with true ambidextrous use.

Regards.
 

badassgunworks

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 25, 2018
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Or just build a dedicated elr rifle on a big action like the pierce 20x and forget the AI 50 as its a weak action and prone to issues. And build a big wildcat that produces performance levels wsy beyond that of the cheytac and barrett and steyr
 

Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
In the USA perhaps, but in the UK we’re somewhat limited in choice as well as availability of custom components. You guys are spoilt for choice for everything from rifles all the way down to projectiles.
No one can affordably ship actions, stocks, barrels and reloading equipment specifically for ELR to the UK partly due to the ITAR regs, but also due to demand (which although growing , is still very small compared to the US) as well as the prohibitive cost once Import taxes, unfavourable exchange rates and distributors mark up has been factored into the equation.
Small case in point: Prestacycle 10NM fixed torque wrench: $20 in the US. £56 in the UK (that’s nearly $70).
 
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Robinireland

Vulcanologist
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2020
11
2
6
Ha ha!
Her Maj won’t be too pleased I fear.

Tempted to spend more time in the US, but I think I’ll wait until the Chinese Flu has settled down a bit.
cancelled our trip to Raton for the 50cal World Championships this year; gutted, as I had arranged to collect a plane load of Cutting Edge & LeHigh Defence projectiles.
 
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Esoteric Junkie

Private
Belligerents
Aug 23, 2017
83
66
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Hi all from across the Pond.

I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of my Voere X5 which will come with a 32” 50cal barrel and a 35” 375CT barrel with a 1 in 10” twist, which I intend on running Lehigh Defence 353gr Match Solids and/or CE 377gr MTAC’s (choice & availability of projectiles appears to be severely limited in Europe due to Covid-19 related hoarding, but I digress).

I read in a number of ELR related threads that barrel life/accuracy appears to diminish anywhere between 600 to 1200 rounds fired.
Can anyone direct me to any previous threads or clarify this with a few more details on the subject; namely,

1) Is this due to throat erosion?
2) Are the Lands showing signs of wear?
3) Does Barrel twist or length affect barrel life?
4) Does the barrel making process have any bearing on this, ie Hammer forged, or cut barrel etc?
5) At what point do you declare your barrel is “worn out”? When you’re missing your target, when velocities start dropping, or A.N Other reason (having a crap day and consulted the Bumper Book of Excuses)
It goes without saying that hot loads will have a detrimental effect, as well as a poor cleaning regime etc, but I’m struggling to understand why barrel life appears to be so short in comparison to other calibres, particularly as the Cheytacs run on slow burning powders.

As mentioned above, can anyone point me to some well grounded data on the subject.

Does the 408 Cheytac suffer from the same issue?

Lots of questions, and apologies for them, but I need to know if I’ve got to order a dozen barrels in 6 month intervals (along with the nightmare of having to go through U.K. Proof testing as well as Firearms Licence Variations, not to mention the kidney rupturing costs of being a U.K. shooter).

All the best.
When shooting a 375 CT it is best to have your barrel spinner on speed dial:).
EJ