Spiral fluting is NOT allowed by barrel manufacturers

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Southernfryedyankee, May 29, 2009.

  1. Southernfryedyankee

    Southernfryedyankee Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    because another barrel manufacturer has a trademark on it, WTF. How can someone/company put a patent/trademark on fluting a barrel to a customers wants? I just ordered my Mcgowen in 300 win mag and asked about spiral fluting. Jon told me that they and other barrel making companies are NOT allowed to spiral flute barrels unless they pay a royalty because ER Shaw holds a trademark/patent on it. That is BEEEEEYOND ubsurd. Any opinions or comments on this BS
  2. Seven Oaks

    Seven Oaks Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2009
    That does sound silly. I would think you could patent a process but not a decorative design.

    I would tell you to just have the spirals run in the opposite direction to get around this, but running counter to the rifling would just unwind your barrel the first time you shot it.

    Had to throw that in. That does sound odd though.


    Last edited: May 29, 2009


    JPRITT Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I know what you mean. i wanted spiral flutes also but found out that E.R. Shaw thinks they are original. Some smiths will do it for you. Ask around. If anyone asks, tell em its a shaw barrel. Good thing Shaw didnt patten sprial flutes on bolts they would have made alot more money. :)
  4. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    It looks like those guys do have a patent (http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6324780.html).

    What this means is that no other manufacturer can utilize this same, or substantially similar technique, to spiral flute a barrel, and MAKE MONEY from the service. Thus, you could spiral flute your own barrel, you just couldn't offer the service to anyone else, since that would violate the patent that Shaw holds.

    You could do the following: In their patent, they claim "For example, if the gun barrel 10 has spiral flutes that are twenty percent longer than straight flutes for the same length of a gun barrel then it is believed that the spiral fluted gun barrel will cool twenty percent faster than the straight fluted gun barrel. Further, it is believed that the stiffness characteristics will improve with the spiral fluted gun barrel over a straight fluted gun barrel."

    The supreme court recently held that you could "try out" patent to see if their claims are valid. So you could get someone to spiral flute a barrel for the purposes of seeing if this method allows the barrel to cool faster, or is actually stiffer. If it turns out that spiral fluting is merely cosmetic, and offers no real advantages over existing prior art, you could then challenge the patent.
  5. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2007
    I don't believe sprial fluting will do all of the things it claims especially make it stiffer. However if someone developes or invents something and goes through the money and trouble to patent it then they should make the royalties from it. Have you thought about calling Shaw to see how much this royalty might be. It could be affordable, I would not however get one of their barrels.
  6. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Makes perfect sense to me. Fluting is like chrome hubcaps...really dont do anything.

  7. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    Here's another way around the patent. According to the patent definitions:

    7. A gun barrel, comprising: an open-ended hollow body having a first end, a second end, an inner surface and an outer surface, said inner surface defining a gun barrel bore and a number of internal spiral grooves and said outer surface defining a number of external spiral grooves, wherein the number of the internal spiral grooves equals the number of the external spiral grooves.

    It would be easy to make sure that the number of flutes was different than the number of rifling grooves.
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    I wouldn't think that something like spiral fluting could be trademarked but that's just me. I wonder if the twist and depth of the fluting is also trademarked? Seems like this would be easy beat in court.

    I lke my flutes straight, the bullets fly faster and straighter with straight flutes :)

  9. apache17

    apache17 New Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    To bad ER Shaws' barrels of of such poor quality they have to sell them at Wal Mart prices to move them. I have customers buy them from various suppliers and bring them to me to have them fitted and chambered. Time and time again I turn them away as I will not install any barrel that is not guarenteed. Take a look inside the bore of one their barrels and observe the finish bore reamer rings inside the bore. Im Amazed thought at the "patent" on the spiral fluting process. New one on me or sure. Guess Im patent infringing when I use a screw driver to loosen a screw on any number of firearms in the process of repairing it. I spiral flute barrels as well as bolts. I charge for bolts and accept donations for spiral fluting barrels. I do make sure I dont use the same shape or size cutter as ER , and my twist ratio is different. I even use a different finishing process. Maybe I can even check into them "infringing" on my process as well as my constitutional rights to care for and feed my family. Second rate products protected by smoke screen patents. Sounds like the current administration in office this tearm.
  10. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Patents are founded on law. Law is what makes this country great. (Lawyers however are another matter.) Just buy an ER Shaw barrel if ya want all that spiral foolishness.
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I am the holder of several patents and I can tell you it means almost nothing anymore !!!

    If an item is a really good one then someone just simply steals it and has it made in china
    by the millions and markets it . and if the heat gets to much they just discontinue the product
    after making millions.

    The only way a patent has any strength is against any American manufacture like a Winchester or
    a Remington and they would not be able to get away with doing spiral fluting with in the
    guide lines of the patent. But if they wanted to they could study the patent description and figure
    out away around it in most cases.

    The fact that a person has a patent does not mean that they though of it first just that they
    applied for it first and it was excepted.

    I had one patent stolen by a company that simply predated my design and submitted it and
    my application was denied.

    So I say lots of luck to Shaw. It will probably cost them money rather than make them money.

    Its like saying you can't file any notches in your pistol grips because I have the patent.

    If a barrel manufacture does not want to do it "No Problem" there are many good barrel
    makers and gunsmiths that will.

  12. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2009
    So does Berreta use ER Shaw barrels?

    I think that is teh rifle I see the spiral fluting on is it not?
  13. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    JE is correct. China/India do not observe patent laws, you can have anything made you want there. Importing and selling into the US, though, is another story.

    Looks like a weak patent to me, without any proof that the spirals actually do anything novel. The thing you need to understand about patents is that you can FILE a patent on almost anything -- the gov't gives it a cursory look, but does NOT test any claims for validity.

    The strength of a patent is not vetted unless it goes to court. Therefore, any other manufacturer could decide that the claims in the patent are bunk, and start manufacturing/selling them. The patent holder would then be within their rights to sue. In court, however, they will have to PROVE the claims in their patent. If they do not, the patent will be VOIDED.

    The caveat here is that the person/company challenging the patent has to feel it is worth their time/money to fight it in court. My guess is that the market for spiraled fluting is pretty small, so even a weak unfounded patent will stand due to the financial disincentive to challenge it.
  14. 300WSMMAD

    300WSMMAD Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2008
    Now Im no expert in this field, and if some one knows some one who is a patent lawer ask them to validate this , but my understanding is that so long as the product has no less than 14 points of difference to the patented product it is in the clear because it is deemed different to the original product.

    Should'nt be hard to do that different lenghts, depths, angle, twist rate,
    bla bla bloddy bla, the guy that invented the wheel or discovered fire should be around today!:rolleyes:

    Regards 300WSMMAD