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Optimal Number of Rifling Lands?

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Unread 11-07-2005, 08:42 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 32
Optimal Number of Rifling Lands?

Hi Guys,

I thought 6 lands was standard for .30 caliber rifle barrels. Now I see on page 48 of the December Guns magazine a picture of an Ed Brown sniper rifle in .308 Win with 8 lands in the barrel.

Are there any particular advantages to having a certain number of lands in the rifling? Better BC of the fired bullet or something? Is it a stability thing?

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Unread 11-07-2005, 10:54 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Idaho
Posts: 51
Re: Optimal Number of Rifling Lands?

I am liking three grooves / three lands....It definitely cleans up easier, am getting sub 1/4 MOA accuracy with some loads in a couple of three grooves. They are supposed to give slightly longer throat life? we shall see.
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Unread 11-08-2005, 10:20 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,704
Re: Optimal Number of Rifling Lands?

Most factory rifles come in 6 groove regardless of caliber. THere are some exceptions, but generally all are 6.

In custom barrels, nothing is really "normal" anymore. 2,3,4,5,6,8, grooves are all in use.

6's and 8's are absolutely easier on bullets, especially once the throat gets rough. 3's and 5's are common because people believe the fatter land resists forward throat erosion better. While this may be true, in my experience on two different barrels, I found that although my seating depth didn't change to chase the throat during erosion, it still cracked and got rough to the point where it started blowing up bullets or taking forever to clean because of the roughness. So in my opinion, 3 groove work as advertised, but don't begin to think that they resist all kinds of erosion.

I believe the best number of grooves is found somewhere in the middle. I am really liking the idea of 5 grooves as it never puts lands on opposite sides of the bullet so the "pinch" is less. But then again, I have an 8 groove 8 twist barrel that shoots bullets into the RPM level that disintegrates match bullets usually, but because it is an 8 groove, I can shoot 75 grain amax through it at 3450 with no blowups! If it was a 3 groove, the bullets wouldn't even make it through the chronograph in one piece!

Stability comes from the twist, not necessarily from the groove number.
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