Originally Posted by J E Custom
I have not had good luck with Douglas for the past 15 years. they used to make good barrels
and it would be good to see them produce the quality that they used to.
I will say, that with barrels you get what you pay for and the wait for the best barrel is allways
worth it, and after spending the money to have a custom barrel installed often the more
expensive barrel ends up being cheaper.
Most high quality barrels will have a long delivery because of demand.
Depending on what caliber, twist and contour you want some barrel makers have In Stock
barrels ready for shipment.
I know Lilja does.
J E CUSTOM
for a barrel that won't shoot, I have one laying about five feet from me that's an all day quarter inch barrel (Douglas). I've seen lots of them over the last fifteen years shoot in the twos.
When you get in the big time you don't wait for a barrel. It's often gave to you. (how many barrels do you think Boyer has bought?). Calfee uses almost nothing but Lilja barrels in his world class bench guns. Yet he will openly tell you that three out of five are sent back to the factory as unusable! (sometimes four out of five). Does this mean that a Lilja barrel is sub-par? Not in the least! Lots of folks swear by Krieger barrels, and lets face it he makes a pretty good barrel. But a look at the equipment list and who won will tell you another story. Boyer is probably the best benchrest shooter we'll ever see in our lifetime. He uses nothing but Shilen barrels. He did make a slip once and say that he will go thru several barrels before he gets a "hummer." And then he only gets about three to four hundred rounds thru it. I'd imagine that the "shot out barrel" is better than anything we'll ever use.
Virtually all barrels are bored in a similar fashion off something like a Pratt or an Albion (both are similar quality). I doubt that anybody is using an Elderado or Seneca Falls as they simply don't fit the needs here. Some use cut rifeling and some use a button setup. All the big winners seem tobe button if you check the equipment lists. Aside from the fact that the Albion has a stronger cast iron frame than the Pratt; there's little difference between the bore quality when using the same grind on the drill. The reaming processes are all similar between each bunch wether they'll admit it or not (I seriously doubt any of them will pay the cash for a Mapol reamer so I left that out). The only serious differences are the hand lap job and how the rifeling is cut assuming we're talking the usual 416 SS steel. If Mr. Gardner revised the way he laps the barrels in, then there is little difference. And if by chance mr. Gardner spent the $6K on a Mapol reamer; he has a better blank to rifle right away.