The experimental measurement of fatigue crack growth rates is an integral part of the fracture mechanics approach to safe life estimation in structures subjected to cyclical loading. To assess the variation in crack growth properties, data has been collected from five different gun steels from various sources. The experimental, analytical and statistical techniques are described, and an assessment is made of the applicability of a single growth rate expression. There are significant differences in strength, toughness and extent of autofrettage between these gun steels, and a correspondingly wide range of fatigue crack growth rates has been encountered.

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