Before you start getting too worried about your AR-15 rifle overheating, know that AR-15s are expected to heat up through regular use.
As long as the barrel isn't turning red and drooping down like in a cartoon, your rifle is probably fine (as long as the issue is not that you're abusing your rifle).The original M16s were designed as select fire infantry weapons for short full automatic firing and not to replace heavier machine guns.
How Many Shots can the AR-15 Rifle Handle?
It's to be expected that after around thirty rounds, your barrel is going to become quite hot, but as long as you have a quality build, you can safely fire hundreds of rounds in a day without doing any damage to the barrel.
If you started out with bolt-action rifles, what you were probably told is that you want to stop shooting once the barrel becomes too hot, as that's going to lead to some permanent damage. This is true for most bolt-action rifles, but remember that AR-15s are built to fire round after round. Bolt-action rifles are built for one shot at a time. If you can't fire more than few dozen rounds a session through your AR-15, then you probably need to contact the manufacturer since you have a defective product.
Firing Lots of Rounds in Quick Succession
It sounds like we were joking about the barrel turning red and drooping, but it does happen. There are videos online of AR-15s being fired until they literally catch fire. For the most part, this sort of thing happens in extreme circumstances. If you are firing a large number of rounds in quick succession, you're probably going to see something like this take place. Safe, regular usage with a quality firearm shouldn't lead to this kind of overheating.
Remember, too, that some erosion is going to take place just from regular use. You're firing high-speed metal projectiles through a tube; it's not going to last forever. Even the highest quality carbine barrels typically only go about 20,000 rounds between replacements. If you do shoot out your barrel of your Stag Arms rifle, we offer an infinite shot guarantee on our rifles and will replace it free of charge.
Precautions To Take
If you're worried that your barrel is getting too hot, too quickly, there are some precautions that you can take.
Slow it Down
It's fun to burn through box after box of ammo, but if your barrel is getting too hot to touch, you may want to experiment with controlled fire instead of just blasting targets to pieces as quickly as your gun can manage. Take some time in-between magazines to get the barrel of the rifle cool.
Invest in a Heavy, Chrome-Lined Barrel
Getting the heaviest weight chrome-lined barrel you can find is a good way to prevent meltdown. Even so, this will really only protect the barrel. If you're running your gun too hard, you're still damaging other components of the rifle. All of Stag Arms 16” and shorter barrels are government profile and chrome lined for long term durability.