Monitor Barrel Heat in Summertime with Stick-On Temp Strips By:

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[[{“value”:”May 16th, 2024

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Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Summer is coming soon, and temperatures are starting to heat up. We are already seeing unseasonably hot conditions in many areas of the country. You never want your barrels to get too hot, which can happen more quickly in summertime. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these horizontal strips (item 59535K13) costs $14.49. That’s a mere $1.40 per barrel for strips — cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, you should try to keep your barrels under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

NOTE: On the McMaster.com website, you’ll need to scroll down to the multi-use “Temperature Indicating Labels”. Then click on the horizontal label and select item 59535K13, as shown below.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Forum member Nomad47 says: “I have temperature strips (bought at McMaster-Carr) on all my barrels. I try not to shoot when the barrel gets to 122 degrees or higher[.]” Here are photos of the McMaster-Carr temp strips on Nomad47’s customized Savage.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Creedmoor Sports now offers handy Temp Strips, with 3-packs for $12.95. These have colored temp range markers so you can quickly see if your barrel is getting too hot. Creedmoor Sports notes: “The temperature range of 30-160° spaced in 10° increments fit most … shooting situations. The 1″-wide 6″-long LCD strip will provide many years of service. In general, we recommend that if a barrel begins to reach 140°, it is too hot and continuing to shoot at these temperatures accelerates barrel wear These barrel temperature strips use a 3M® adhesive and will stick to blued, parkerized and stainless barrels.”

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Bad things can happen if your barrel gets too hot. First, with some barrels, the point of impact (POI) will shift or “walk” as the barrel heats up excessively. Second, even if the POI doesn’t change, the groups can open up dramatically when the barrel gets too hot. Third, if the barrel is very hot, the chamber will transfer heat to your loaded cartridge, which can lead to pressure issues. Finally, there’s considerable evidence that hot barrels wear out faster. This is a very real concern, particularly for varmint shooters who may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. For this reason, many varminters switch among various guns, never letting a particular barrel get too hot.

imageNeconos.com offers BAR-L Temp Strips that visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees. Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers that monitor barrel heating.

Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. There is also a “general purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (see bottom row). The Benchrest model strip (86°F to 140°F) is in the middle. These Bar-L temp strips cost $9.00 each, or $25.00 for a 3-pack.

NOTE: These strips can be permanently fixed to the barrel with the heavy-duty clear plastic tape strip provided with the BAR-L Temp strip.

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Tags: BAR-L Heat Strip, Bar-L Temp Strip, Barrel temp, Barrel temperature, McMaster Carr, Stick-on thermal strips

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