It all depends on the batch of barrels, Ive seen barrels from all companys shoot good. well, I guess not all but the name brands, shilen, hart , krieger, lilja and a few others. I think it depends on what the steel lot they got in was and if the guy doing the work has had a good day or not. So if the guy thats doing your barrel just found out his wife has been cheating on him it may not be the greatest barrel. Etc, and so on.
If it were me and I was going to shoot the 142gr.smk like alot do in Fclass I would go with a 8.5 twist krieger. Just me though.
I dont know who ever came up with the imaganary word of "Over Gunned"
I've had Kreiger, Shilen, Hart, Broughton and Brux. I'm not sure which parameter you want to use to judge the best by. If it is shear accuracy, the most accurate barrel I have ever had was a Shilen. If you want to throw in ease of cleanup, along with accuracy, I would say get a Hart. But the most truthful thing I could tell you is that you find a great barrel where you find it. Stick with any of the companies listed above and the accuracy will be inherently good.
I could live with either brand, the thing you need to find is the best gunsmith, otherwise its foulplay.
the best gunsmith with an A&B VS. a mediocre gunsmith with an expensive one...who knows...!!!
my two cents..
You are right. back in the 80's I was thinking about getting into Br we had a gunsmith in town who only worked BR tight neck rifles I ordered a barrel was a match select etc barrel best barrel this company made. Gunsmith called me one day and said he didn't have a pilot big enough for his reamer was doing a 6ppc.
There is no question sometimes bad barrels show up for what ever reason I had 3 barrels before from that company and they took care of the problem. I think I was pretty lucky to have that gunsmith looking out for my interest. Kind of like a Br shooter walks into a well known BR gunsmith shop and ask the gunsmith can you build me a rifle to shot in the 0's gunsmith ask him can you shot in the 0's.
....but, I have owned and/or shot Broughton, Hart, Lilja, PacNor, and Shilen. The first 2 custom rifles I owned both wore Shilen bbls. AFTER I had Shilen rebarrel my actions, I heard some talk about how they USED to make great barrels, but got more into quantity than quality and had quite a spell of making some bbls that perhaps didn't meet quality known to be associated with the name Shilen. In fact, Lex Webernick, of Rifles, Inc. used to ONLY use Shilen barrels but due to some concentricity issues, he switched to Lilja and hasn't looked back.
As for my 2 rifles with Shilens, well, lets just say that I'm more than satisfied, and would quickly rebarrel both guns with Shilen again. Broughton had not yet come out with the 5C barrel. I've heard nothing but great things about this product. The folks at "Best of the West" have tested a LOT of custom rifles with the Broughton bbls as well as most others and related to me that this is "the best" long range rifle barrel made, in their opinion.
One of my 270s wears a Hart. This is a truly accurate bbl but was a beyotch to clean and break in, which goes against their own website's recommendation stating that break in is not necessary. Of all the bbls I have and have had, the PacNor was by far the fastest to break in and to this day, is the easiest to clean and keep clean.
My Broughton 270 (700 action) is probably the least picky rifle I have. I've had it for 5 or 6 years now and have yet to shoot anything through it, test loads included, where it grouped greater than 1.25" at 200 yards from a solid rest. However, I have only used reasonably known combos for a 270, like the various 4831s, 4350s, Re19/22 and 130 or 140 grain bullets. Greg Richards of Hobbs, NM built this rifle for me back when he owned and produced Broughton bbls. He sold the company to its current owner. The stock is a Rimrock from Jim Borden. Despite the popularity and truly accurate reputation of McMillan stocks, it is my opinion that Rimrock stocks are their equal.
Many reputable riflesmiths would tell you that among the elite and well known barrel makers, you probably could not tell who made what barrel once it is fitted to the rifle properly. As previously mentioned, the bbl maker is at the mercy of the quality of steel, the smith relies on the quality of bbl, and the rifle owner is at the mercy of the skills of the smith, bbl maker, AND steel producer, such as Crucible.
The good news is, you probably wouldn't go wrong if you tossed a coin for any of them that have been mentioned.