Re: Barrel Fluting Question
There is some question about the difference between buttoned and cut rifling barrels being fluted.
The difference is in the manufactures process. A premium buttoned barrel is stressed relieved/Heat treated twice because of the process. Once by the mill that allows the barrel maker to drill,ream and rifle without to much dimensional movement in the barrel blank. after contouring and/or fluting the barrel has to go back and be heat treated again because of the stresses applied during the process.
Some of the buttoned rifles are not heat treated the second time and these should not be fluted
Cut rifled barrels come from the mill heat treated just like the buttoned rifle barrel but do not require the second heat treat and there for can be fluted later with little or no chance of a problems
The exception being if the fluting is poorly done it can change dimensionally and hurt accuracy.
The reason I recommend that the barrel maker do the fluting is that the fluting proceeds the last heat treatment and then the barrel maker does his final dimensional checks that assures it is within his tolerances.
Cut rifled barrels are dimensionally checked and approved without the second heat treatment and as long as the fluting is done correctly the risk of effecting the dimensions are minimum.
There are many reasons I like the buttoned rifled barrels better than the cut rifled barrels and there are others that feel the same way about cut rifled barrels. I personally have had great luck with both type of barrels made by some of the premium barrel makers but have not had the same luck with fluted barrels from some manufactures that were done later.
So whether you like the buttoned rifling or the cut rifling get the barrel maker to flute it and then he has total control of the process and total responsibility for the quality.
There are some smiths that can do an excellent job of fluting, as long as they get an excellent barrel that has been properly manufactured and heat treated. But the best smiths cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
The main point I am trying to make is Fluting, even if it is done right does not guarantee that it will be a shooter. There may be some but, I have never seen a bench rest barrel that was fluted, And I assume that it is because there is to much of a risk of inaccuracy so it is not done.
We all know how good it looks but they must not think they look good or there is another reason.
Just my opinion based on my experiences, and knowledge of heat treating and the barrel making process.
J E CUSTOM