MGM Barrels: Standard vs. Shilen Select Match

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Hornhunter32, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Hornhunter32

    Hornhunter32 Well-Known Member

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    My buddy is going to order a barrel for his T/C Prohunter but doesn't know if he should should go with the Shilen Select for $100 more or go with their standard barrel,which is a Douglas. I spoke with MGM and they said there is no advantage with the Shilen which I thought was weird. The wait is 5 weeks for a Douglas and 15 for a Shilen. Any feedback would be great.

    Thanks,
    Todd
     
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    there has been a lot of talk about the new Douglas barrels lately with target shooters. Seems like a lot of them are showing up in the winner's circles. One well known gunsmith has said that they seem to be the straitest barrels out there right now
    gary
     

  3. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Edited
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  4. MOOSE39465

    MOOSE39465 Well-Known Member

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    I have a MGM 35 whelen barrel and it shoots very well. I got the Douglas barrel with muzzle brake.Another upgrade to the barrel would be a hanger bar system Stratton Custom. Mine will shoot under 1/2 inch at 100 yards all day.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I have not had good luck with Douglas for the past 15 years. they used to make good barrels
    and it would be good to see them produce the quality that they used to.

    I will say, that with barrels you get what you pay for and the wait for the best barrel is allways
    worth it, and after spending the money to have a custom barrel installed often the more
    expensive barrel ends up being cheaper.

    Most high quality barrels will have a long delivery because of demand.

    Depending on what caliber, twist and contour you want some barrel makers have In Stock
    barrels ready for shipment.

    I know Lilja does.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    there was quite a discussion about it over on the Benchrest board a couple weeks ago. Apparently the long range crowd are starting to notice them, and they are starting to show up on the equipment lists in quantity. The company has changed hands, and a guy named Tim Gardner owns it now (I don't know him, and actually never heard of him before). I kinda gather that he's been making a lot of changes since he took over. One guy posted a list, and they had 16 barrels on the list with the next closest maker being 11. Is there something in the wind; I don't know, but that's a lot of barrels for a generic barrel manufacturer.
    gary
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    for a barrel that won't shoot, I have one laying about five feet from me that's an all day quarter inch barrel (Douglas). I've seen lots of them over the last fifteen years shoot in the twos.

    When you get in the big time you don't wait for a barrel. It's often gave to you. (how many barrels do you think Boyer has bought?). Calfee uses almost nothing but Lilja barrels in his world class bench guns. Yet he will openly tell you that three out of five are sent back to the factory as unusable! (sometimes four out of five). Does this mean that a Lilja barrel is sub-par? Not in the least! Lots of folks swear by Krieger barrels, and lets face it he makes a pretty good barrel. But a look at the equipment list and who won will tell you another story. Boyer is probably the best benchrest shooter we'll ever see in our lifetime. He uses nothing but Shilen barrels. He did make a slip once and say that he will go thru several barrels before he gets a "hummer." And then he only gets about three to four hundred rounds thru it. I'd imagine that the "shot out barrel" is better than anything we'll ever use.

    Virtually all barrels are bored in a similar fashion off something like a Pratt or an Albion (both are similar quality). I doubt that anybody is using an Elderado or Seneca Falls as they simply don't fit the needs here. Some use cut rifeling and some use a button setup. All the big winners seem tobe button if you check the equipment lists. Aside from the fact that the Albion has a stronger cast iron frame than the Pratt; there's little difference between the bore quality when using the same grind on the drill. The reaming processes are all similar between each bunch wether they'll admit it or not (I seriously doubt any of them will pay the cash for a Mapol reamer so I left that out). The only serious differences are the hand lap job and how the rifeling is cut assuming we're talking the usual 416 SS steel. If Mr. Gardner revised the way he laps the barrels in, then there is little difference. And if by chance mr. Gardner spent the $6K on a Mapol reamer; he has a better blank to rifle right away.

    gary
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I think you are on to something Gary.

    Not being a big name in shooting I'm sure I did not get the best they had to offer but I dont like
    having to send a barrel back to the maker for several reasons. after waiting 3 or 4 months time
    is getting short and I don't like explaining the customer why his rifle will be much later.

    The second reason is that I should not have to reject any barrel (The barrel maker should do that
    before it is sent). I believe that the barrel makers should treat "All" of there customers the same
    and give them the best they can make. And I do not want to have to re barrel any rifle twice.

    I have had to reject barrels from many barrel makers and have only a few that have ended up
    near perfect and those are the ones that I prefer and base my accuracy guarantee on.

    I did not to mean to imply that Douglas barrels were all bad, just that the ones I had tried were not
    very good along with others. I know that world class shooters get special treatment and that's good
    for there business, I just don't like getting seconds and I buy from those that take care of all there
    customers.

    I don't have the customers time to play with and If a barrel maker sends me a piece of crap I have
    to make it right with the customer,and that maker will not see my orders any more.

    Some barrels just out perform any other barrel and these are the ones that the record holders are
    looking for and the only way to find them is to shoot them. The term they use for those barrels is
    "its a Hummer"And I don't have the luxury of trying 4 or 5 barrels to get one.

    Also If I do reject one, I expect to have a good response and service from the maker.And if I don't
    get a satisfactory response I don't use his barrels any more.

    You mentioned Lilja and I don't have to defend him, His barrels do that quite well. Every one of his
    barrels that I have received have been great and out performed my expectations of sub 1/2 moa
    for hunting rifles (Most have been under 1/4 MOA) and some have managed less than 1/10 MOA.

    In fact I have had two barrels rejected from Lilja out of all the barrels I have ordered from him
    and guess who rejected them, He did !!!!! and called to let me know that he did not like the
    barrel and was not going to send it. But would send me a replacement in a couple of weeks
    and when I received them they were perfect.

    I have had good luck with several other brands as well and will not hesitate to use them if the
    customer wishes.

    And as I said, I hope Douglas Is doing better.

    My point is that the guy that orders ONE barrel should get a quality product even if it is the only
    one that he ever buys because he is just as important as others that buy hundreds of barrels.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. IBaShooter2

    IBaShooter2 New Member

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    I have both barrels in .44 mag as I live and hunt in Indiana. I can get just under .100 inch groups at 50 yards with my Douglas but my Shilen will only give me between .25 & .375. I am going to go with the .358 Hoosier next year as I have large fields around the wood lots that I hunt, and out there between 2 & 3 hundred yards is where I usually watch the wall hangers as they pass thru or bed. John
     
  10. tikkat3270wsm

    tikkat3270wsm Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents worth, if everyone doesn't mind. It took me 3 years or so to buy my new tube. I talked with just about every barrel maker, either on the phone or at The Great Outdoors Show in Pa. Spent a good number of hrs on this site, asking questions, being a pain in the ass to some on here, without one complaint from anyone. This site has more knowledge on shooting, barrels, rebuilding than anyone else . On that note, through my research,I have found that Brux was the easiest to talk to, order from. No attitude, just great people. Len was a hoot to talk with, treated me like i was a long time friend that i have not talked to in a while. If you have not already mad a choice, Give Brux a call. I ordered a .277 #8 twist in 10 contour, it was ready in 4 months. i could have had one sooner, but I needed a 8 twist. For 325 to your door, cant be beat. Plus, all their barrels are the best possible. what everyone else calls "Match Grade" is their standard.
    Thanks for listening,
    Craig
     
  11. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a couple of long time gun smiths tell me this. When it comes to barrels you can flip a coin to choose. You can get a hummer from them all and you can get a stinker from them all. Odds are you will get at least a good one. I have three Shilen and one Heart barrel right now and have had Douglas and they all are shooters. One of my Shilen came from MGM as a SS 14" 30-30AI for a Contender pistol. It is a shooter.