Interesting stuff here. I expected to read the same information I've seen posted in the past on this topic, but was pleasantly surprised by the comments/input being posted here from some members that obviously have a fair bit of first hand experience. Thanks to all for posting.
One thing that surprised me was to read that button-rifled barrels may take the heat of fire better than cut-rifled. I'd tend to believe it is most directly related to the specific grade of barrel steel rather than the method of rifling. I've read in the past that cut rifled barrels may last longer prior to burning out the throat area because rifling can be cut into steel that is more heat resistanct than the button rifling method can handle. Is there any accepted train of thought on this issue? I mean, can cut-rifled barrel manufacturers use a tougher, more heat resistant grade of steel than button-rifled barrel manufacturers, such that one could reliably expect a longer throat life from a cut-rifled barrel?
The opinions and theories, that have been posted on this and other forums, about which method of rifling handles heat better are just that, theory and opinion. The same is true concerning which type of rifling process produces the most accurate barrels. Shooters are notoriously accustomed to following the leader. If someone wins a big match with a cut rifled, gain twist barrel, within the next few weeks many shooters will switch to cut rifled, gain twist barrels. As to material used for barrels, most stainless steel barrels being made today are made from 416 alloy steel. Some are not. This alloy lends itself to machining easily and holds up to wear and tear as well as any alloy out there. If it didn't, the barrel makers would not use it. There have been many experiments on stress relieving and heat treating 416 steel. I have yet to have any one barrel maker tell me, his process for stress relieving barrels. I have also never had any of them tell me what lube they use on a button. Everyone has their method and some, if not all have their own secret procedures. I respect that.
Last edited by EddieHarren; 05-25-2009 at 06:30 AM.
There is a reason that all of these barrel makers are in business, and thriving. They make a vastly superior product.
Would you suggest that all of the thriving gas stations are in business because they offer a superior product?
Superior to what?
Barrels made twenty years ago?
I don't know about this. Most barrel makers are using pretty old machining technology, and I bet they knew what they were doing back in the day.. Of all the components that have changed in my life, I think of barrels least.
Perhaps superior accuracy to factory?
Well, beyond cleaning, and your reamer, this might be pretty hard to prove. You just have to step away from turn-key point blank BR(6ppc, 30br) to see it.
If you aftermarket rebarrel a hunting gun, in 22-250 for comparison against a Savage. Set em up, work the ammo up & down. You might not see your aftermarket outperform this factory..
Now I'm not talking about which can hold the longest string of shots into a hole at 100yds either. These are hunting guns. Stretch em out a bit, and measure to center of mark. Afterall, it takes only one shot to define accuracy.
If you wanna see consistancy, let em cool and do it again..
Now, there are factory guns that perform very well, as well as customs that can whip all before them. But most of both don't. It is an abstract. A crap-shoot.
You imply 20yrs of BR shooting Eddie, maybe in competition. Well, I have never..
But I'll submit that true competitors don't believe things are as good as it gets.
They just don't.
Barrel is only as good as the gunsmith. I've got cut,button,5c,5r,rachet rifling on some of my rifles and some make different grades of barrels.
I see got a Broughton,Hart,Shilen,Chanlynn,Lawton,Kreiger,Bart lein,still have some K&P barrels,
Kostyshyn,Lilja,Obermeyer,Pac-Nor,Douglas getting ready to order a Rockcreek. I just pick a barrel not that ones better than the other plus I like to try different ones.
I agree there are some good shooting factory rifles but I disagree buy a Kreiger,Bartlein etc is a crap shoot. it's a crap shoot if you cann't shoot the rifle bad gunsmith etc and that easy to find out just send the rifle back to the barrel manufactor. You pull up their site and they tell you about the warranty.
My self I've always own the factory caliber before I rebarrel a deer/elk rifle.
Mike, I guess that's why the old saying, "that's why they don't only make vanilla", applies. I once had a shooter tell me there is no such thing as a "hummer barrel". My responce was that he obviously had never owned one and that that was a pity. Once you have owned a true "hummer" your life will never be the same. Accuracy requirements differ from sport to sport and from shooter to shooter. I build quite a few Highpower longrange rifles and the accuracy requirements for these shooters is everybit as important as to us short range BR shooters. Think about this, do you know anyone who would go to Camp Perry with a factory rifle and expect to be competitive? If your present set-up is acceptable to you, for your shooting needs, good for you. I just don't agree with your theory about custom made match grade barrels. If that theory were true, those Savages, which use buttoned rifled barrels, would be winning major matches all over the country. I have had my say and respectfully withdraw from the subject.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I
I can see both sides to this argument.
The most accurate barrel I have ever used was a factory barrel. I was very sad when it was used up and no longer servicable. I have had some factory barrels shoot well and some that have shot like poop. On the flip side, I have had some "custom" barrels that shot very very good and some that shot like poop. The difference here is when a custom barrel shoots like poop, they will replace it. Most factory rifle manufacturers dont care if it shoots like poop. I have also looked at both factory barrels and custom barrels through a bore scope and was very suprised at what I saw. Most factory barrels look pretty horrible that it is suprising that they shoot as good as they do. however, after making these side by side comparisons, I will most likely never use a factory barrel again. My opinion is that yes you have a chance of getting a custom barrel that is a turd, but less of a chance than with a factory barrel. The point is that factory barrels can in quite a few cases be real gems. They may clean up harder but they sure can shoot. Custom barrels typically have more consistent results and clean up much easier. The problem with quality custom bores is they are as smooth as they are ever going to be and can only degrade by use of harsh chemicals or abrasives. It really doesnt take much to pit a very smooth barrel with hard chemicals such as amonia.
The biggest reasons I think aftermarket barrels are better is because the tolerences are tighter, you can get the twist you want instead of what the factory offers, you can get a contour you like, flutes, in some cases you have options for land and groove numbers and demensions, and the finish lends itself to easier clean up AND if it is a turd, they will replace it. If that isnt "better" I dont know what is. It isnt that factory barrels are worthless, I just think you can get more predictable results with a custom and in a package that is pleasing to [you].
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, 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.