A fluted barrel will cool a little faster than a non fluted barrel , like it was mentioned a fluted barrel will be stiffer than a non fluted barrel OF THE SAME WEIGHT because it'll typicaly be larger in diameter.
Mike rock has a flute desgine and process thats specificaly for making the barrel lighter with larger deep flutes where Kreiger uses more shollow narrow flutes to increase surface area.
If you looking tohave a heavy barrel that cools faster than a conventional barrel then alot of folks will radial flute the barrel.
All in all I like fluted barrel simply cause I like the way they look
I never tested how much faster a fluted colls vs. Non-fluted, but if you shooting big game, who cares.
I like Fluted because it looks cooler. Like Roy said, it better cause I like it.
I will say that I have alternated shots between two rifle, one fluted and the other not, I never noticed any substantial difference in cooling time. The both get hotter and hotter the more you shoot. I wait between shots anyway to avoid a egg-frying barrel.
Most of my experience, about 90% of the barrels I use are Lilja barrels. From what I have found over the years chambering well over 300 of these barrels of every contour and taper and flute design that Dan offers is the following.
For barrels over a #6 contour standard size flutes(5/16" cutter) will make no difference in accuracy comparing fluted and non fluted barrels. It is largely cosmetic. Barrel cooling is a factor to some degree. In windy areas, a fluted barrel will cool measureably quicker then a non fluted. In calm conditions, the difference is much less.
In barrels over #8 contour up to the straight cylinder barrels fluting is completely cosmetic and barrel cooling is really no different between fluted and non fluted barrels simply because of the mass of the barrels in this size class. Once that much steel warms up, only time in cool temps will cool it down.
For contours under #6 to about #4 which is about as light as Dan will flute, standard size flutes will not have much effect on accuracy. Large flutes(7/16" cutter) can reduce the rigidity of a barrel to the point that barrel whip becomes an issue and accuracy will suffer.
For this reason. here are my recommendations. If a customer wants a lightweight rifle, under 7 lbs rifle weight, go with a barrel contour in the #4 and under range without flutes.
If they want a medium weight sporter, barrels from #5 up to #6 can be used with standard size flutes and #6 and #7 contour can be used with larger flutes to deduce weight but have no ill effect on accuracy.
For heavy rifles, flutes just give a rifle that custom look. Nothing neater then a 3/8" wide flute on a heavy barrel!!!
Remember though that fluting must be done properly. I never recommend fluting a barrel after it leaves the manufacturer. It should be fluted in the right stages of barrel making and should be stress relieved after the fluting is performed to eliminate any possible issues with stesses.
Just my 2 cents.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
"Remember though that fluting must be done properly. I never recommend fluting a barrel after it leaves the manufacturer. It should be fluted in the right stages of barrel making and should be stress relieved after the fluting is performed to eliminate any possible issues with stesses."