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First, barrels don't "wear out" suddenly. They gradually eroded at the throat and accuracy gradually declines.
My experience in burning out barrels has been the opposite. Generally, they’ll run fine, then suddenly make a step change, especially following a cleaning (ESPECIALLY if a guy makes the mistake of pushing out copper too, instead of just powder), they’ll take a huge dump in velocity, and/or jump in group size. They’ll hang on a while again, then take another dump. Almost like walking down stairs once it starts, with the stairs getting progressively taller and taller, falling off almost as if exponentially.

There’s more than one way for a barrel to “die,” meaning multiple tolerance standards for that which defines “death.” In a game with unlimited sighters, at fixed distances, and with relatively low round counts, there’s not as much demand for stability. In games with high round counts and highly variable ranges, with no sighters, the tolerance is tighter. In Service Rifle, I was satisfied with a barrel holding 1moa, and a barrel could run 3,000-4,000 rounds, finishing an entire season with ease. In long range benchrest, any barrel slipping over 1/3MOA wasn’t going to compete, but I didn’t need to track velocity as closely as I do for PRS competition (at all really, I shot with some guys which didn’t even own chronographs). In PRS, as soon as a barrel starts bleeding velocity, we have to change out, because a barrel losing 20fps per hundred rounds could mean significant misses at range in our score on a second day of a match.
 

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The AR-556 barrel has a melanite nitride treatment on the inside and a black oxide coating to provide corrosion resistance. There is no other coating on the rifling of the barrel.

Nitrided barrel should be applied to whole barrel, inside and outside, right?
No, no reason to. Nitriding on the inside is there for wear resistance and to improve durability. There is no real need on the outside and the black oxide outside is just to inhibit rusting.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
No, no reason to. Nitriding on the inside is there for wear resistance and to improve durability. There is no real need on the outside and the black oxide outside is just to inhibit rusting.
Still :confused: For salt-bath nitriding, barrel is submerged, meaning apply to whole.
Maybe, other nitriding method ( gas? ) can apply to inside only.
 

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Still :confused: For salt-bath nitriding, barrel is submerged, meaning apply to whole.
Maybe, other nitriding method ( gas? ) can apply to inside only.
Strictly a financial decision.

Melonite can be performed on any surface. But it is more expensive.

Melonite inside and the black oxide is fine.
 

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Another interesting fact, the expensive piston guns fail much quicker than the good old DI guns.
Any hard data to back up that assertion?

Everything I have read indicates that piston provides better longevity as less gas is introduced back to the chamber and bcg. Which from an engineering standpoint is common sense.
 

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Any hard data to back up that assertion?

Everything I have read indicates that piston provides better longevity as less gas is introduced back to the chamber and bcg. Which from an engineering standpoint is common sense.
Watch the “meltdown” videos on the Iraqveteran8888 YouTube channel. He takes various AR uppers, puts them on full auto lowers and shoots them as fast as he can until something breaks. The piston uppers he has tried have tended to not last as long as the DI versions. Not scientific, as it’s a very small sample, but it’s still real data.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Still <img src="http://rugerforum.net/images/smilies/confused.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Confused" class="inlineimg" /> For salt-bath nitriding, barrel is submerged, meaning apply to whole.
Maybe, other nitriding method ( gas? ) can apply to inside only.
Strictly a financial decision.

Melonite can be performed on any surface. But it is more expensive.

Melonite inside and the black oxide is fine.
Thx, That makes sense. I also emailed Ruger to put more detail for their barrel treatment, if it is indeed nitrided barrel, they should mention it in the website!
 
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