\"INENTIONALLY\" FAST BARRELS
This post probably serves no real purpose other than to satisfy my curiosity.... and as shooters, the responses may be interesting to more members than just me!(I hope).
I apologise for the length of this post and the iffy questions I've attached to it. It's one of those sort of "hey do you remember in the 80's there was some guy..." type of discussion that I figure this forum is the best venue for!
The recent post on "Fast Barrels" got me thinking I don't want to rehash what was said there, which seemed to agree with my "logic".
I had found the concept a bit obscure though, mainly because of what I'd previously read and been told. (The idea of tight, or loose systems and a faster barrel necessarily meaning a tighter system and higher pressures for the same charge etc.). But as I said I don't want to rehash past responses. I found the (short) discussion informative. I'm not giving an opinion, just sketching the background.
Anyway, this reminded me of an article / interview that I read when I was in my early teens (probably around 1984/1985) that appeared in the South African shooting publication, MAGNUM MAGAZINE. (Damn, that's already 20 years ago!) I wondered if this was cutting edge stuff in it's time and whether it was widely covered in the US shooting press.
It was about the proprietor of Bitterroot Bullets (I think the first guy to do bonded core bullets and I really liked the name so it stuck). If I recall his name was Bill but the last name evades me - Steiger or Stegers, or something like that.
Finally I'm getting to my point: Bill S was building rifles with intentionally oversize bores (around 0.0005" over I think, but I don't recall this clearly). He was using stainless barrels with (again I hope my memory serves me well here) really fast twists for the time. Stainless was used because it apparently "machined smoother" than chromoly.
These rifles were built for mountain hunts, they were light weight, short barrelled (22" or so?) and in composite stocks. There was also a b&w photo of Bill, I suppose, holding one of these rifles, ugly by most standards, but I really liked the concept and utilitarian / businesslike look of the rifle.
I recall the article being about two rifles, one in .270 win and one in .280 Rem (but it could have been a .284 - one was a 7mm bore diameter though). He was getting great accuracy and approaching .7mm Rem Mag velocities from these rifles - because of what would now be termed the "faster barrels", I suppose.
I never saw anything on this again anywhere, but it made a big impression. I've probably still got that old mag somewhere in a box.
I haven't thought about this for years, but it seems so contrary to what I've been led (?misled!?) to believe in recent years. Kirby's post seems to support my assumption that the kind of velicity increases Bill S was getting implied higher pressures. I think he talked of 150 or 200 fps (but I certainly can't say I remember those details exactly, but a .280 to a .7mm Mag implies that).
Was Bill S onto something? Was this pursued and did the idea of intentionally oversized barrels (or undersized bullets) go anywhere? Is it done intentionally by any of you guys out there? Any other comments on this?
Thanks for entertaining this lengthy, part nostalgic, part question, post of mine.