Cut VRS Button Rifleing?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cabelas90, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. cabelas90

    cabelas90 Well-Known Member

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    What is the diffrence between the two? Also what are the pros and cons between the two, is one better for barrel life than the other, dose one being better for for barrel life make any diffrence on accuracy?
    Also do specific manufacture use only one or the other?
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Zach,

    One method isn't really better than the other, they're just different. The real determining factor in the finished quality of the barrel is the care and knowledge of the barrel maker doing the work. Hart makes buttoned barrels; first-rate quality. Satern makes cut-rifled barrels; first rate quality. They're both good at what they produce. You buy a $45 barrel from any maker, cut or buttoned, and you're getting a $45 barrel. If you're thinking about setting a gun up with an aftermarket barrel, take the time to talk to folks who're using barrels of the make you're looking at, and see how they like them. Most will be pretty straight-forward about likes and dislikes. If you see a number of competitive shooters using a particular make, there's probably a reason.

    I have, and use, both cut and buttoned as well as some hammer forged barrels. They're all good, but then, they're all good quality barrels. Don't go cheap on the barrel, whichever type you decide on. It's the heart and soul of the finished rifle!

    Kevin Thomas
    Berger Bullets
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Very good advice !!!!!!!!

    A barrel is the last place to cut corners.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    I've seen this question asked and answered many times.

    That's the best response I've seen yet.
     
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    One of the big advantages to a cut rifle barrel maker is they can ussually make the twist anything you want. If you want a 12.55 twist, they can make that without much effort.

    A button barrel maker would have to make a new button to make an odd twist. That is why Lilja and Hart offer "standard" twists and Bartlien offers anything you want.

    Other than that, Kevin hit the nail on the head. A quality barrel is a quality barrel.

    I have used both and have seen excellent accuracy potential with both. Most quality makers "lap" the bore after the bore is cut. This is where the finish part come into play.
     
  6. cabelas90

    cabelas90 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all! I understand how a cut barrel is made but how are button rifle barrels made? I don't plan on cutting any corners just wonderd what was best!
     
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    For me it is the "quality" maker who can ship a barrel to me the fastest!
     
  8. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Zach,

    A cut barrel is made by running a hook (cutter) through the barrel and removing a very small skim cut of metal to form the start of a groove. The barrel is then rotated some degree, and the adjacent cut is made parallel to the first. As the barrel is turned through a 360 degree rotation and all the grooves receive their first pass, the cutter is adjusted just a bit (a very slight bit, as in .0001" or so) deeper, and it then follows in the first groove cut, rotated slightly to the second, etc., etc, etc, ad nauseum. Cut barrels are very labor intensive, and that cutter may make 300, 400, or more trips up and down that barrel before all the grooves are cut to their final depths. And yes, you read it right, the cutter cuts one groove at a time, and only takes a very light "scratch" each time through the bore. This incidentally, is the origin of the term "start from scratch' comes from; the first pass of a cutter through a drilled blank that begins the rifling process. Yeah, there's a lot of American vernacular that originates from the gun industry; "lock, stock & barrel", "go off half-cocked", "Keep your powder dry" and my personal favorite, "the whole nine yards" among a host of others.

    "Buttoning" barrels as a method of manufacture was developed in the 1940s as I recall (anyone?), and I'm pretty sure Remington's Mike Walker was involved in this. Originally, it was intended as a faster, cheaper way to rifle a barrel for production guns. In this method, a blank is drilled out to bore diameter (little less, actually). Once done, a small carbide "button" is pushed or pulled (depending on who's doing it) through the bore. The button, shaped like a tiny football, has a series of grooves cut into the surface, essentially a mirror image of the desired rifling. The twist rate is determined by the pitch, or angle that are present in the button, which rotates itself during its passage through the bore. As the button makes its way through the barrel, it literally irons that reverse image into the interior surface of the bore, leaving finished rifling in its wake. One pass, one (almost) finished barrel. Much cheaper and faster, especially when dealing with a maker whose producing dozens (hundreds, thousands, etc.) of barrels. As Michael touched on, this button somewhat limits the versatility, since they're made for one specific bore size and one specific twist. You can make any twist barrel and any bore size with a button; you just have to cut a new button with the appropriate twist/size in its surface, and that's the only twist that button will ever make. With a cut barrel, it's just a matter of resetting the gearing that turns the barrel, and any cut can be made on the same machine. Much more versatile, especially for smaller runs or custom twist/dimension barrels. The cut barrels are also rigidly controlled during the process, generally making their advertised twists closer to the truth than buttoned barrels. With the button, the twist can vary a bit if it encounters "hard" or "soft" areas of the barrel. Remember, the pitch of the cuts on the button are what causes it to rotate at a given rate, not any mechanical control.

    As I said before, excellent quality barrels can be made by either method. Buy a good barrel from a quality vendor, and you'll get what you pay for.

    Hope this helps!

    Kevin Thomas
    Berger Bullets
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  9. cabelas90

    cabelas90 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Thats exactly what i was looking for!