Ok, I have seen several people on these forums say things like "Remington barrels should be removed and used as a pry bar", or "Remington barrels should be taken off and used as a stake in the garden". I have 3 stock Remington rifles that all shoot 1/2 MOA groups, so I know that this line of thinking is baloney.
I'm not trying to create a debate. I just have a question since I have never owned a custom barrel. I know it took a lot of work reloading to make my Remington's shoot. There were a lot of loads that they shot around 3" groups.
Is the advantage of owning a Custom barrel that it will shoot everything well, or at least better? Do you avoid those 3" groups by getting a custom barrel? Are the worst groups around, say 1 1/2 at 100 yards? Just wondering as a guy who never had a custom barrel, but may be interested in the future. Thanks everyone!!!
Is the advantage of owning a Custom barrel that it will shoot everything well, or at least better?
A custom barrel should give you a significantly higher degree of probability with producing the precision you are looking for. Some factory barrels will do the same, just not with consistent reliability compared to a custom. You don't hear the complaints "My custom barrel shoots like crap" with near the same frequency as a factory barrel.
For the most part
Custom= reliability and consistency
factory=I hope I get a good one that can shoot with all those tool marks
If you take a factory barrel and rechamber it they will shoot, but it will also copper foul terribly. Only factory barrel I ever had that wouldn't shoot was a Winchester 270 WSM. Couldn't even hit the paper at 50 yds. It got a Hart real quick then it shot.
'Custom' barrels are still a crap shoot..
For one, the barrels themselves are not really custom, but 'aftermarket'.
The custom part comes in at finishing. But you're still finishing a barrel that while guaranteed good quality, may or may not offer better potential.
Why is this?
Well every barrel is still unique. They are not made to, and released from shop, verified to a blueprint, much less custom blueprint. I'm talking barrels here.
They're made 'relatively consistently', however they are, with only an air gauge check from end to end to define consistency. Barring any issues, they go out the door to customers, without regard for any future feedback about it.
To make them to a blueprint, means lapping to specific values for every aspect of the bore end to end. The bore, the grooves, the taper, the centering, straightness, widths, heights, at a set temperature, etc. Like cylinder finish lapping for a formula1 engine block. This takes actual measurement(not relative) along the way, a procedure, and the only barrel maker I'm aware of capable is Loather Walther(in lots of 20 barrels min).
Last I checked, I could not get two of the same answers from top barrel makers about how they address & manage bore growth from contouring...
Another thing you might notice; a barrel maker's product is not defined to set it apart from any others. There are none claiming theirs are 'better' than the others because of this or that attribute.
None of them have defined what made a specific, proven performer, better than thousands of other barrels(including hundreds of their own). And then detailed how they painstakingly duplicate that better barrel before sale.
They merely brag about how so & so shooter won whatever using one of theirs...
That's an abstract that means nothing to you, or all the others who who don't/won't win a damn thing with one of their barrels.
Anyway, if lucky enough to buy a barrel with great potential, your gunsmith could still screw up the finishing of it, or you chambered it with a low potential cartridge, or can't load develop or reload to it's potential. Now which was it? Who's accountable? Was it a great barrel to begin?
Nobody will ever know.
Really what you get in the best aftermarket barrels, over factory, is easy cleaning, and potential to do what you will with it's finishing. No accuracy improvement guarantees (apples to apples), no way.