Originally Posted by Mikecr
Tight lipped? Or Clueless?
I queried many top button barrelmakers in the past about this, and none, not one, accounted for stress/bore changes as part of their process. They also did not actually measure their finished bores(other than a relative swipe with an air gauge). Do they contour before lapping, or after? Well to many it made no difference.
And then there was the standard "and my barrels are winning" diversion..
The only exception is LW. They have the capability to do anything done with barrels, with the best steels.
But what do we want?
The flaw to mob rules is that it truly accomplishes nothing. Top barrelmakers spit out straight(bull) blanks, and point blank BR shooters finish them as short, straight, and stiff. But this is not what the rest of the world uses. We use longer barrels for larger capacity cartridges. We contour for a stock fit & weight that is carried in the field.
And we're doing this with button barrels made as though used for PB BR group shooting.
They were not made to produce ACCURACY at all(much less cold bore accuracy).
Cut barrels on the other hand, atleast minimize bore changes due to stress in rifling and contouring. Will this make a difference? NOT FOR GROUP SHOOTING.. But who cares about group shooting?
Anyway, there is not a barrel maker who actually knows what will produce accuracy, and none could predict a screamer from fence post beyond flagging an obvious flaw..
The mob hasn't chanted for change. So we end up with 50 barrel makers merely sharing the take.
If any stand out in your mind as better than another, you should prove it,, as nobody ever has.
I hate to wade of into this because it is just a matter of personal preference. But maybe I can
shed a little more light on this subject with out offending anyone.
The evolution of rifling starts with Hammer forged smooth bores.
Then next came hammer forged rifling. Some were hexagonal some were octagonal and some
even had some form of rifling. Hammer forging was a process that used a mandrel with the shape
and twist desired that was placed in a tube that had been heated to forging temperatures and
hammered down until it fit the mandrel as it was pulled through the barrel.
This was not very precision and the barrel then had to be hand lapped to true it up. Also after
lapping bullets molds had to be sized for that particular bore diameter for any kind of accuracy.
(It was normal to get a bullet mold with the rifle that was hand fitted by the rifle maker.
Next came the cut rifling . In the beginning it was cut 1 grove at a time with multiple passes
for each groove. there were 2,3 and 4 grove in the beginning because of the time and number
of passes needed to cut multiple groves 2 or 3 were normal and the depth of the groves was
deeper because of the use of lead cast bullets.
The process has not changed much except the use of multiple cutters and shallow groves
due to the use of jacketed bullets.
The really fine cut rifling years ago was done by hand and very expensive because of the time
it took to produce one of these barrels by hand. These were the barrels that the bench rest shooters had to have in order to be competitive and were the best at the time.
Next came the buttoned rifling and at first they were plagued with problems. And became very
secretive about there fix to the problems and still are.(who can blame them if they spent the
time and money to make good barrels and don't want to help there competitors).
All of the different rifling methods started with problems and these problems forced them to
improve the process or get out of the business.
I have used barrels rifled with all three types of rifling and if they are done right they will perform
well and each have there place. I have also looked at the different types of rifling with a
magnified bore scope and was shocked by the finish of some that were premium barrels.
With this said I have settled on custom barrels based on many things,trueness between
centers(Constance straightness of finished barrels), and trueness of outside diameter to bore,
Trueness of bore diameter from end to end, internal finish of bore and the lack of fouling
that a barrel does barrel to barrel.
Every Now and then you will find a barrel that just exceeds all of your expectations and it may
be a brand of barrel that others have had problems with or be one of many of the same brand.
But it does happen and even the barrel makers can't explain it (If they could they would make
them all that way and corner the market).
A good example of this was when Hart finally figured out how to produce the best buttoned
barrels out there made out of stainless. Almost everyone that was a serious shooter shot
Hart SS barrels .Even the factories that needed quality barrels in stainless for there new
magnums used Hart barrels.
There was a question about the life of a buttoned barrel compared to a cut barrel and there
is an advantage in the wear abilities of a buttoned barrel because it produces a forged effect
on the inside of the bore and this makes the bore more resistant to wear.
So based on "MY" experience and the barrel to barrel consistency I have found that Lilja
barrels meet my requirements better than any other barrels and the other brands are my
second choice no matter how the rifling is done.
Over the years I have changed barrel makers several times for one reason or the other
(Cost , quality , accuracy and customer service) and until I find something better Lilja
will be my barrel of choice.
I have not found a single Lilja barrel that would not shoot under 1/2 MOA and most have shot
under 3/10 ths of a MOA.
Just my opinion for what its worth (And no I don't have any lilja stock)
J E CUSTOM