Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics

Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics


Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-22-2009, 10:08 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

single point cut rifling or button rifling. When I want a custom barrel for a project, I want the barrel to shoot more acurately than the one that is on there. I can also get different twist rates than factory barrels to shoot the large bullets for caliber. I can also get a barrel as long or short as I want.

I have sold about half of my firearms in the last six months to fund the projects. I have decided to build up 3 or 4 custom or semi- custom rifles instead of having a bunch of factory rifles. I am stepping up to Nightforce scopes for the optics. Remington 700 for the actions.

In my search for the ultimate barrel for these projects is one kind of barrel more desirable than the other? cut rifle or button rifle
Reply With Quote

Unread 05-22-2009, 10:26 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

I forgot to add that button rifling has to be stress relieved does that cause any issues?
I read the thread that Cabelas 90 did a few weeks back and used the search function.
I understand how they are made but am curious if the barrels shoot differently.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2009, 10:42 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,830
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

Do they shoot differently? Not really. As long as you are using a barrel from a quality maker, either are excellent. When I was playing around with the 300 RUM, I had a button rifled barrel and a cut rifle barrel. They both had identical accuracy. I dont know if the cut vs buttin made any difference here or if other factors were at play, but the button barrel held up better and lasted much longer under the heat and flame of the 300 RUM case.

A couple of things about cut rifle barrels:

1: You can typically order any odd ball twist you want such as 9.355 or 11.76

2: Cut rifle barrels can be turned down to a different contour AFTER they are rifled and lapped without any bore dimension changes.

3: Cut rifle barrels require many passes down the barrel which isnt ussually a problem but could be more prone to un-uniformity.

A couple of things about button rifle barrels:

1: You are limited in twist selection. If you desire a 11.25 you will have to use 11.0.

2: Once the barrel is lapped and finished, you CANNOT turn the barrel to a different contour later without affecting the inside diameter of the bore.

3: Button barrels require one pass to shape the bore. When a good button is made, the tolerences are near perfect more times than not.

The bottom line is that any quality barrel maker should examine ANY barrel before they leave the shop and discard any that dont measure up. Any quality maker will only ship you the best.

Lately, I have chosen quality barrel makers that can deliver quickly instead of 4-6 months.

Let us know what you decide.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2009, 11:18 AM
JEREMY logan
Posts: n/a
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

I have only used two different kinds of match barrels one was a shilen and the other a (broughton) i like the broughton. Like michael said the button rifle does handle the heat better .i have shot 2 sighters then pumped 5 rounds into one big hole @ 100 yrds as fast as i could possibly get my gun set back into the bags and on target .. One more plus about the button barrel is it cleans up very easily . Give tim north a call he's very good at answering any questions you might have..
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2009, 12:52 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,041
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

Over the past 20 years, of registered BR shooting, I have used barrels by Hart, Schneider, Shilen, HS Prec., Spencer, Krieger, Kostyshyn, Broughton, Rockcreek, Bartlein and Lilja. Cut vs buttoned never seemed to matter, as far as accuracy was concerned. One HS Precision 10X cut barrel in 6mm was the most accurate barrel that I ever had, until I put the 308, 17 twist, 3 groove Lilja, that I am shooting now.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-22-2009, 05:38 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,185
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

Somethings implied so far here, I think you should consider.
It's generally implied that a 'custom' barrel is more accurate. This is not true at all.
Actually, it's a roll of the dice.
For one, 'custom' barrels rarely are. They are 'aftermarket' barrels offered in enough variety to give you some options. Assigning actual improvement over factory, would likely result in one overwelming attribute: LESS FOULING.

If they were custom, you could cut a $5,000 check for a guaranteed hummer -with umptysquat cartridge. But that isn't the case really. There aren't any guarantees that their barrel is any better than someone else's, or that it will even produce at some level, much less options for hummers at an appropriate cost.
This is because barrel makers have no idea how any one of their barrels will perform. And of course, they can't control your gun builders finishing of it.
That's not a suggestion that their barrels aren't good. But it's not a suggestion that any particular aftermarket barrel will perform well either -without alot of work..
Your new barrel, from any maker, will not be measured to a specification. It will be lapped as an art to best finish, and possibly Air-Guaged for comparison with others. Not measured.
There is no indexing for bores, which are rarely drilled perfectly straight.
There is no verification of any specific taper to the finished bore.
Some button rifle barrel makers don't even account for contouring in their process. That is, they might do it last(to meet orders).
Some top BR barrel makers have no idea how to make an accurate factory contour barrel. It's not what they do. They churn out short, fat, 6PPC barrels..
This I believe, has led to an overwelming notion amoung shooters that an accurate barrel must have a very heavy contour,, And factories respond to this market,, And before you know it, we're accepting 12 to 20lb 'hunting' guns..

But when you consider the differences between 'accuracy' and 'grouping', there is no reason a factory contour couldn't be accurate, except nobody actually knows how to make it so. It just happens now & then...Unless Savage knows!
I've spent a bunch on various barrels, buttoned, cut, and so have my friends. Yet we've concluded that none are really better than another, and none could be predicted to shoot better than another(including discarded factory).
I've tossed barrels that turned out better than I'm lucky enough to replace. And I've seen huge gains with barrel swaps. So now I buy barrels in pairs assuming one will be better than another.

Why such an abstract? Because we accept it. We wish there were more of em.
And it's the cheapest part of a gun(yet most important).
If they cost $2k each, we'd expect something. We'd expect a custom that absolutely will perform better than the last barrel.
Unless, it was a Savage...

I have never seen an aftermarket barrel I couldn't reach 1/2moa with.
But I have never matched a factory Browning Boss barrel I had, which happened to shoot under 1/8moa to 300yds. 3 barrels later on this gun, and no where near it.. Just a bit under 1/2moa.
That's about what you might expect.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-23-2009, 06:14 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,041
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I

After reading the above post I'll add that in the past 20 years, using the barrels that I listed in my post, I've had 1 barrel that I had to send back due to not shooting well. The maker sent me a new barrel and all was well. I don't agree with buying an aftermarket barrel being a "crap shoot". I believe that we have the finest barrels, being made from the finest materials, by the finest barrel makers, that we have ever had. There is a reason that all of these barrel makers are in business, and thriving. They make a vastly superior product.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See ADMIN Technical Articles - Discussion 42 06-19-2013 10:34 AM
home made barrel vise Gitthatdawg Gunsmithing 14 08-18-2010 04:07 PM
Opinion on Barrel Made by Montana Rifle hardhead045 Gunsmithing 6 04-13-2010 08:13 PM
take care when drinking tequila lurcher Humor 0 05-26-2008 03:17 PM
Remington Sendero 25-06 Special,24 inch barrel ( only 100 made) Matte dholepuncher Guns For Sale 3 08-06-2005 09:04 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:06 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC