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Question about Fluting a New Barrel

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Unread 02-22-2008, 09:22 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 85
Question about Fluting a New Barrel

I am in the process of building a 338 lapua. I went with a 28' Shilen Select Match Barrel. I first was thinking I wanted to get the barrel fluted. I was looking on Shilen's web page and read where the warranty would be voided if the barrel were to be fluted. My question what would you do if you were doing this build. I mean how many times out of a 1000 would I ever have to send the barrel back to the factory for warranty work. I know that it is really six one way half a dozen the other if it affects how the barrel shoots. I just wanted everybodies thoughts on it. Thanks!
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Unread 02-22-2008, 09:56 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
Well if you don't shoot the gun before the barrel is fluted and after its all done you can't get it to shoot then your our the cost of a barrel and fluting because Shilen is gonna say that having it fluted ruined it and the smith will say that the barrel was bad to start with , the truth will never be know , if sombody gets a little dumb with the fluting and pressures the barrel to much then it may ruin it.

Their are alot fo guys out their that flute barrels later in their life with good results , I know a couple that have ned no troubles , just make sure that the smith is copetant and doesen't stress the barrel and that he re-laps its when hes done.

Personaly I would not have a barrel fluted after it was finished especialy not a button rifled barrel
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 02-22-2008, 01:09 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Fairfax County, Va
Posts: 765
Just my opinion, if I already had the Shilen barrel, I would not risk it. If for any reason the rifle does not live up to your expectations it WILL get blamed on the "Fluting".
Next time if you want a fluted barrel order on from Lilja or someone who does the fluting DURRING the barrel building process.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 12:30 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 421
When a barrel manufacturer flutes a barrel it's always done before finish lapping, and often done before a button is pulled or rifleing is cut. The barrel will also often recieve an extra turn in the kiln to de-stress the steel before the next process. To flute a finished barrel could certianly effect the accuracy of your rifle, even if you have it de-stressed afterward. If you took an extremely small amount of material off the barrel and made tons of passes to get your desired flute depth, it may be possible to keep the accuracy, but I'd still recomend against it. My smith has fluted many barrels for folks after the fact even after he told them the issues it could cause. When you push a brush through the barrel (if you have a sensitive hand) you can actually feel the difference from were the flutes stop and start. My smith always insists on leaving several inches of the barrels muzzle unfluted as this can help maintain the accuracy potential.

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