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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question is for those who have actually owned a stainless barrel.

I've searched the forum and have been unable to find an answer. How long will a stainless barrel last if it is not shot often (once a month) and cleaned every time? 5000, 10000, 15000 rounds?

Also, is it true that a properly cared for stainless barrel will still be more accurate than a new chrome lined one?

Thanks.
 

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I'm no authority on the subject but I do have stainless barrels in two of my XD's (40 & 357sig tac) as well as several other guns. The old timers at my local shop say more barrels are worn out from over cleaning, than shooting. They also like to shoot lead, which doesn't wear out barrels like jacketed, steel core, and hardball ammo will.
Prevention will greatly extend barrel life. Higher velocity ammo and overheating your barrel both increase friction and will cause more wear. Short range sessions, switching guns, or allowing barrels to cool is much better than running 500 nonstop rounds of +p+
That said, I hope to get 20k rounds out of my Pistol gear/Storm Lake and Bar-sto barrels before accuracy takes any noticeable hit. As for the chrome, I'm not sure its for accuracy but more for corrosion resistance, like military use?
 

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it is true that a stainless barrel is USUALLY more accurate then a chrome lined one and i hear they wear out faster but i dont think its a huge difference but maybe someone else will know. most people worry too much about burning out their barrel especially when shooting smei-auto.

so if you dont rapid fire that often and give your gun a chance too cool down then it should last a long time

and the above poster said heat will increase friction, well i disagree for example if your driving down a mountain and ride your brakes the whole way down the brakes get REALLY hot and once they reach a certain temp they just stop working because there is limited friction between the disk and the pads. this is why race cars will have vented disks so they will cool down faster (just like barrel flutes) i know this from first hand expierence that brakes will do this but thankfully i had a stick shift and was able to downshift to slow down, i took my foot off the brake so they could cool down and then they worked again. if you keep your foot on the brake they wont cool and in turn wont work
heat however WILL increase wear and erosion, each shot you take on a hot barrel will cause more damage then shots on a cold barrel.
 

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Try some F1 carbon brakes then. :mrgreen:

Below 400 degrees Celsius, or about 750 degrees Fahrenheit, they do not provide enough friction and are useless. They work best at around 650 degrees Celsius, or about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

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I've got a stainless barrel. I actually prefer them over chrome lined. Not just because of better accuracy either, though they generally are more accurate if comparing apples on a bench rest.

I don't know how many rounds it will take to shoot one out. I'm at probably a little over 13K and still going. Not too much throat or gas port erosion, but there is some if you get the gauges out and check them.

I've shot slow fire. And I've shot in rapid fire too. It's not killed it.

Stainless steel barrels start out as a softer material than the more typical Chromemoly barrels. Though stainless gets harder when heat is applied (meaning: with use)

Chrome lined barrels are overbored when the rifling is cut and then the chrome is applied after the fact and that brings it back closer to the .224 diameter spec. (yes I did say .224 because that's what I meant)

Even Chrome lining will also wear out and begin cracking and flaking eventually. At what point, I don't really know. I'm sure there are charts on the net that state when the military recommends changing a barrel. But keep in mind that's for full auto and semi auto rates of fire aren't covered in the scope of that.

My 2 cents, get whichever barrel you want. If you do ever shoot it out, get another barrel.

If you're asking to choose between a stainless steel or chrome lined barrel, I won't do it. I think both have advantages over chromemoly. I just prefer the stainless over the lined.
 

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I had a 20" Armalite Target, Heavy Stainless 20" It was by far the most accurate AR I have ever fired. The funny thing is it wouldnt shoot under 1" groups untill after it had 20 or so rounds through a clean bore, after the initial fouling it would dump 5 rounds into a tiny little group out to 500 yds. I was shooting Sierra Match king 69 grainers and 24 grains of Reloader 15 in a 1in8" twist. Unfortunately it was too heavy up front for my kind of Varmit hunting and ended up being parted out. The Stainless barrels are fairly east to keep clean, pretty much the same as a chrome lined barrel and much easier than a cromoly barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My 2 cents, get whichever barrel you want. If you do ever shoot it out, get another barrel.
I'm all for that. My concern though is that what if the commies enact a permanent assault weapons ban, will barrels still be available? Ol Barry has already made his position known (change.gov)
 

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Then get 2 barrels.:wink:
 
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