The best Barrels made?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by kc, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    I have a .308 Remi I am planing to pull the Barrel and build a 6.5/08 (260) for long range target shooting/compition with some of my friends in green, I have a Shilen at this time on one of my rifles and would like to better the choice. I do much of my purchases with Sinclair but as shown they have no 6.5mm Barrels.Soooo, What can you say about other Barrel makers? and out and out who makes the best out there. I know what you might think its like a debate of who makes the best truck or how should the tp be on the dispencer.
    There is an old friend north of me that has a load of land and has a stack permits for Deer.
    (Land owner permits) Farmers get them here because of the degree of crop damage and the complants. If I get the chance I would love to send you a photo of his blind its 6ft sq with an old barbers chair he re apolstered. I get the loft of the barn with heat and a TV.
  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    Shilen builds about as good a barrel as it gets in most peoples opinion. You are not going to find one mftr that unilaterly builds better. Now they all build really great ones at times, and some not so great. Bruno's stocks Shilens most of the time in 6.5 also.

    We all have our preferences. I like Hart, Lilja, Rock, Krieger, Broughton and have more than one of each right now on guns to include one Shilen.

    Do you want cut rifled or button rifled, straight or canted rifling? Some are tighter bores than others and might effect which bullet you choose etc. At least start from that point.


  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    KC like Bountyhunter said I'm not sure there are any better barrels
    than Shillen.

    I have used Hart,Lilja,Shillen,Krieger and others and the reason I use
    more than one barrel maker is because the client has a preference
    or a special requirement. Length,twist,contour,delivery and etc.

    As long as they are target select match I can guarantee 1/2 MOA

    Lilja is one of my favorites along with Shillen.

    I have not used all of the premium barrels but I'm shure some of the
    other shooters have and can recomend one of them.

  4. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    I had a Rock on my GAP TIS rifle before I sold it. Great barrel and shot and cleaned up well. Mike builds a heck of a barrel

    George put a Broughton on my AR, another fine barrel which shot lights out and cleans up with ease.

    Currently I think the best barrel being made out there now is Bartlein

    I just had my LH Model 70 300 Win Featherweight re-barreled with a Bartlein barrel. Looking through the bore scope I've never seen a barrel with a glass smooth almost mirror finish like I have with this Bartlein barrel, it's flat out incredible. It's a real shooter and cleans up with no fuss.

    What I like about Bartlein is they offer services and twist rates no one else offers. They can do about any twist rate you can think of as well a barrel diameter and contours. So if you want a truly custom barrel setup they can do it.
  5. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Most top end barrel guys will give you bore/groove some offer different type rifling as options same with extra length.

    I just had a Lawton cut barrel SS on a 270WSM also Chanlynn barrel on a 7x57,Kreiger on a 280AI,Hart on a 243AI,Lilja on a 300Wby,Shilen on a 22-250AI,Obermeyer 5r on 30-06, Boughton 5c on a 300WSM plus afew others.

    I've been very lucky with good gunsmiths over the years and that is the make or break with any good barrel and you have to have a gunsmith willing to use a barrel than may not be on his list.

    You have Spencer,H&S,Badger,Brux,Schneider,Rock,Bartlein making good barrels. If you look back Chanlynn,Rock,Kreiger started with Obermeyer,Bartlein started with Kreiger so Obermeyer has started alot of the good barrel guys. Bartlein is now making a 5r barrel in some calibers and twist can be carried out to the 4th decimal point so with all the new things being add be pretty hard for me to get locked into one barrel. My LR varmit/target maybe antelope rifle is a tight neck 6.5x284 with a 28" Hart barrel build by Mike Bryant, if I was to rebarrel that rifle today I'd be looking at the Broungton 5c,Bartlein 5r or Shilen Ratchet barrel and I call Obermeyer first see how long he be on getting a barrel.
  6. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    All of them have put out great individual barrels. But on average the best barrels I have used were made by Hart.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  7. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    No such thing as "best" barrelmaker. Opinions are like noses everyone has one.

    One smith that I use only uses Kreiger says he is willing to change if you can prove that there is a better one out there. A different smith that I use only uses Broughton and says the same thing. The Maker mentioned are all good, and I have personally shot on rifles that I own Hart, Broughton, Bartlein, Kreiger, and Rock. I've never had a bad barrel form any of these builders. So which is best - who knows; they were all good.


    SUNDEVIL Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    I agree, no one has the best. Kreiger and Schnieder!
  9. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    It all depends on the batch of barrels, Ive seen barrels from all companys shoot good. well, I guess not all but the name brands, shilen, hart , krieger, lilja and a few others. I think it depends on what the steel lot they got in was and if the guy doing the work has had a good day or not. So if the guy thats doing your barrel just found out his wife has been cheating on him it may not be the greatest barrel. Etc, and so on.

    If it were me and I was going to shoot the 142gr.smk like alot do in Fclass I would go with a 8.5 twist krieger. Just me though.
  10. Gary Morgan

    Gary Morgan Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2007
    Best barrel

    I've had Kreiger, Shilen, Hart, Broughton and Brux. I'm not sure which parameter you want to use to judge the best by. If it is shear accuracy, the most accurate barrel I have ever had was a Shilen. If you want to throw in ease of cleanup, along with accuracy, I would say get a Hart. But the most truthful thing I could tell you is that you find a great barrel where you find it. Stick with any of the companies listed above and the accuracy will be inherently good.

    JOSE A. MARINE Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    my opinion....

    I could live with either brand, the thing you need to find is the best gunsmith, otherwise its foulplay.

    the best gunsmith with an A&B VS. a mediocre gunsmith with an expensive one...who knows...!!!

    my two cents..

  12. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    It's a crapshoot because nobody knows(or can predict) what makes a barrel accurate in the end.
    They only know what makes a barrel bad.
  13. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    You are right. back in the 80's I was thinking about getting into Br we had a gunsmith in town who only worked BR tight neck rifles I ordered a barrel was a match select etc barrel best barrel this company made. Gunsmith called me one day and said he didn't have a pilot big enough for his reamer was doing a 6ppc.

    There is no question sometimes bad barrels show up for what ever reason I had 3 barrels before from that company and they took care of the problem. I think I was pretty lucky to have that gunsmith looking out for my interest. Kind of like a Br shooter walks into a well known BR gunsmith shop and ask the gunsmith can you build me a rifle to shot in the 0's gunsmith ask him can you shot in the 0's.
  14. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    Sorry about bumping this thread back up...

    ....but, I have owned and/or shot Broughton, Hart, Lilja, PacNor, and Shilen. The first 2 custom rifles I owned both wore Shilen bbls. AFTER I had Shilen rebarrel my actions, I heard some talk about how they USED to make great barrels, but got more into quantity than quality and had quite a spell of making some bbls that perhaps didn't meet quality known to be associated with the name Shilen. In fact, Lex Webernick, of Rifles, Inc. used to ONLY use Shilen barrels but due to some concentricity issues, he switched to Lilja and hasn't looked back.

    As for my 2 rifles with Shilens, well, lets just say that I'm more than satisfied, and would quickly rebarrel both guns with Shilen again. Broughton had not yet come out with the 5C barrel. I've heard nothing but great things about this product. The folks at "Best of the West" have tested a LOT of custom rifles with the Broughton bbls as well as most others and related to me that this is "the best" long range rifle barrel made, in their opinion.

    One of my 270s wears a Hart. This is a truly accurate bbl but was a beyotch to clean and break in, which goes against their own website's recommendation stating that break in is not necessary. Of all the bbls I have and have had, the PacNor was by far the fastest to break in and to this day, is the easiest to clean and keep clean.

    My Broughton 270 (700 action) is probably the least picky rifle I have. I've had it for 5 or 6 years now and have yet to shoot anything through it, test loads included, where it grouped greater than 1.25" at 200 yards from a solid rest. However, I have only used reasonably known combos for a 270, like the various 4831s, 4350s, Re19/22 and 130 or 140 grain bullets. Greg Richards of Hobbs, NM built this rifle for me back when he owned and produced Broughton bbls. He sold the company to its current owner. The stock is a Rimrock from Jim Borden. Despite the popularity and truly accurate reputation of McMillan stocks, it is my opinion that Rimrock stocks are their equal.

    Many reputable riflesmiths would tell you that among the elite and well known barrel makers, you probably could not tell who made what barrel once it is fitted to the rifle properly. As previously mentioned, the bbl maker is at the mercy of the quality of steel, the smith relies on the quality of bbl, and the rifle owner is at the mercy of the skills of the smith, bbl maker, AND steel producer, such as Crucible.

    The good news is, you probably wouldn't go wrong if you tossed a coin for any of them that have been mentioned.