Re: Rifle Barrels?
A friend and I use to buy 20-25 barrels a year for 3-4 consecutive years from Hart until the percentage of bad or mediocre barrels started increasing. Then we switched to Lilja and we've probably used 15-20 Lilja's between us. I personally have had 2 bad barrels from Lilja (I consider bad a barrel one that wont shoot sub MOA consistently) and all of them have been #7 or larger barrels. I have also used 5-6 Schneider barrels and everyone has been a sub 1/2" barrel. I have one in .338 Baer that will shoot .250" groups consistently if I do my part. We both have used several cut rifled barrels recently from Brux, Kreiger, and Bartlein and haven't had a bad one yet. We've also used Pac-Nor, Shilen, Blackstar, Lothar, and Broughton but probably less than 3 of each. The Accumax 1 barrel I have from Blackstar is crazy accurate too. It's also a .338 Baer and will shoot .250" groups. Both of my .338 Baer's have shot groups in the .1's. I also have a Lilja #7 contour in .416 Rem. that will shoot sub 1/2" groups with 350gr Speer Hot Cores and 400gr X bullets and has shot a few groups closer to .250". I also had a couple Hart .30 caliber barrels that shot numerous groups in the .0's.
I think most all of the custom barrel companies can make good barrels but it's the percentage of bad or mediocre to good/excellent that makes a difference and I think they all have higher percentages of sub par barrels at times. Wether it is the operator, the machine, the material, lube, lapping, or something else not every barrel is going to be a .250" barrel. The gunsmithing of the barrel and action can play just as big of a part, if not a bigger part generally, then the quality of the barrel when you use a top quality barrel.