Posted by Nathan Schueth on Oct 31st 2016
Frequently Asked Questions: What Is Faxon's Rated Barrel Life?
We are often asked the question "how long will your barrels last?", "What is your barrel life?", or "How long will I shoot at sub MOA?" All of these are great questions! Unfortunately, the answer is difficult to formally specify as its subject to long list of variables.
Since there is no detailed military specification on how to test "barrel life" commonly between companies, we do not formally rate the life of a barrel.
Perhaps the biggest question is "Will my barrel last (X) rounds?". We typically answer this with a question of
"What is considered End-of-Life for the barrel?" For some customers, this is when the barrel loses its base accuracy. For others, it's when the barrel starts keyholing or failing to stabilize the bullet.
Outside of the end-of-life, a large number of variables play into total "barrel life"
- Duty Cycle - How hard is the barrel going to be run? Heat is the enemy of barrel life. Barrels shot full-auto or rapid fire like 3-gun competitions will last less rounds than barrels shot slow-fire. The difference can be astounding for those firing drum magazines full-auto.
- Material - Mil-Spec 4150 steel will handle the stresses of high-heat better than 416-R stainless steel.
- 5.56 or .223? - 5.56 NATO burns at a higher pressure and hotter than .223 Remington loads. Using 5.56 NATO like XM-193 55-grain or XM-855 62 grain will wear a barrel faster than .223 Remington
- Bullet Composition - Bi-metal cased bullets will wear a barrel faster than copper full-metal jacketed rounds. The bi-metal rounds (like Wolf, Tula, etc.) are more abrasive.
- Barrel Profile - Thicker barrels are able to handle high-heat better than thin barrels, as the extra steel distributes heat faster than transferring it from steel to the air. *Note - This does not apply to casually shot barrels - only those under extreme duty cycles.
- Coating / Treatment - Barrels coated (chrome) or treated (nitride) last longer than barrels not coated/treated. QPQ and other processes harden the bore and increase its resistance to abrasion, drastically increasing barrel life.
However, we are highly confident that the barrel will meet your needs. As such, we make the following statement:
"Faxon barrels will have the same barrel life as all other high-quality barrels with similar composition and treatments."