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Discussion Starter #1
So if you have a semi-auto water-cooled weapon, is it necessary to put water in the jacket (either full or partly full) when you shoot it? I would think a semi-auto gun would not get nearly as hot, nearly as fast as a FA weapon. Wouldn’t just removing the filler cap to let heat out be sufficient? Just curious.
 

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I would not do it . The barrel is pencil thin so easy to overheat . The barrel is enclosed in a tube so the air can't circulate . It needs the water as a heat sump .
Chris
 

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Depends on your rate of fire. If you just wanted to fire a few rounds for testing then I woud not add the water but if you were going to run a few belts then you need to add water. It only takes a few belts even in a semi to have the water ready for a cuppa
 

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As Mr E stated above if you are doing short bursts and letting it sit a bit I do not put water in. Its a pain to clean and dry it out properly after. I put soluble oil in the water when I do fill it up so it coats the inside of the jacket with a film when it dries. I usually clean the gun up and then leave the barrel and guts out and open the caps and stick a hair dryer at the pistol grip area and let it run until the jacket feels pretty warm and looks dry inside. I then spray some rem oil in the jacket and let it sit a few days apart to fully dry before reassembly and back in the safe. Been doing that over 20 years and the jacket still looks the same inside.
 

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Years ago someone mentioned they had treated the inside of the water jacket with radiator sealant. Has anyone else given that a try?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, gentlemen. For as much as I shoot the gun, both frequency-wise and the number of rounds fired per outing, the fill / drain / dry routine get old pretty fast. I spend 3 hours setting it up and tearing it down for an hour of shooting. Just looking for a short-cut that wouldn’t hurt the weapon. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.
 

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I would suggest this, ask Mike Duke. He fires his Colt vickers aircraft gun with pencil thin barrels full auto.

True he does not fire 100 round belts, but certainly 15 - 20 round burst would not be uncommon.
 

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In semi i dont think you have an issue if it’s treated as a rifle. How many rounds every 10 minutes are you shooting?
 

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Ive had a 1917 run out of water during a night shoot. When you pull the water fill plug and can see the barrel glowing red you know its overheated. The gun will eventually stop because the barrel expands enough to bind in the trunnion, but the barrel is toast long before. Long story short, all you can hurt is the barrel, and only if you run it harder than you would run an ar15 or something like that. Im one of the few I know that has cooked ammo off in a watercooled! These things are tougher than your give them credit.
 

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I used to run my fa Vickers dry. One barrel I kept just for that. Still went easy on it

I’m trying to imagine him much Jmann was shooting to cool off in a water gun !!!
 

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Well air cooled or watercooled without water Is all the same. When the barrel is glowing the rounds start cooking. It would be impossible to cook off in one that had water in it I imagine. Ive never heard of that being possible and i have a friend that ran a 1000 round belt through his watercooled .50 without stopping. It was boiling so hard the steam was whistling and we had a pump running water into it constantly, but it never got red.
 

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It's totally fine. I've done it with my 1917a1 machinegun a few times if I'm just taking it out to get it dialed in, or for a short outing of 50-100 rounds over the course of an hour.

I too loathe filling, draining, drying, etc. It's just a pain in the butt sometimes.
 
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