This is flat out nonsense. Shilen makes an excellent barrel and I have more faith in all the machining being done in 1 house than having several people involved in different aspects of the job.
Perhaps the very cheapest prefits, like the ones from ER Shaw are the ones that Hired Gun is referring to. (to avoid) I have tried Mc Gowan, but since they could not deliver a barrel in 6 months which was promised in 4 weeks and were evasive when contacted, I cannot recommend them.
The fact that some barrel makers like Lilja and Brux do not produce prefit barrels, by no means serve to justify a claim that a prefit barrel is in any way inferior. It is merely a fact that those makers have more than enough demand for blanks (which they sell at the price of a Shilen prefit) and they have decided to focus on their core processes (blank making & hand lapping) instead of adding the peripheral processes needed to produce turnkey barrels.
One of the big issues in the industry is the popularity of the Remington 700 and the fact that smiths that accurize the receivers do not adhere to a standard protocol (since in fact the smiths remove only enough material to clean up features). So as a result, the dimensions of accurized Remington receivers are scattered all over the place, and to accomplish a good barrel fit on those receivers requires every barrel tennon to be cut for the individual rifle. Savage does not suffer from the same malady.
Originally Posted by Hired Gun
Not even a little bit. Beware of the budget priced ones. I also would strongly urge you to avoid prefit or prechambered barrels. The barrel makers are better at making barrels than taking the time it takes to fit one to the level of precision available today.