To flute or not to flute

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Aussie_hunter, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Aussie_hunter

    Aussie_hunter Well-Known Member

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    G'day iv got a 22-250 ruger and Im getting a new barrel possabley heavy duty and I was thinking should I or shouldn't I get the barrel fluted, iv heard a non fluted barrel is more accurate but then I hear a fluted barrel is, iv found this web site the go to place for info so please help

    I can't see the point on getting something just coz it looks bad ass.
     
  2. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Fluting will reduce weight of your rifle, may help cooling, and will cost about $200 US more, but will not necessarily improve the accuracy. It should be done when the barrel is produced, not later. Otherwise, you risk inducing additional stress, which is not good. I no longer buy fluted barrels, as I see no advantage, except they look good.
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Stated another way...

    If you have 2 barrels of equal contour, the fluted barrel will weigh slightly less. It may cool a wee bit faster. Done right, the fluting should neither increase nor decrease accuracy.

    Done wrong, fluting will induce stress and decrease accuracy. I looked at a factory 700 at Cabela's recently and could see the flute on top of the barrel had about a 5 degree dog leg. How something like that can pass QA is beyond me?

    As to pre/post production, I just sent one back to Bartlein for fluting after chambering and firing it. They absolutely assured me they would do it right and it would not affect accuracy. I figured they made the barrel to begin with and did the fluting. So, I'll be sending it back if there's anything suspect.

    If you take a nice custom barrel to a 3rd party for fluting, you're just begging for finger pointing.

    I personally feel that you run less risk with light fluting on a heavy barrel/small caliber than you would with heavy fluting on a sporter barrel for a large caliber as the material removed is a much greater percentage in the latter case.

    More often than not, it's all for show and you'll see all kinds of crazy patterns. IMO - the ones that criss-cross are the worst of all worlds since they interrupt the structural rigidity of the larger OD. For this reason, Bartlein stated that they only do 6 straight flutes. Other barrel makers may have similar policies.

    -- richard
     
  4. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    Depends on your wallet. They look cool, they help drop some weight, cool faster. That's really about it. I've had lots of fluted barrels and they all seem to shoot pretty good to amazing. Just my expierence
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    A fluted barrel is no more or less accurate ! "BUT" the risk of losing accuracy is greater for
    the simple reason of the more components you add to a rifle the more chances of having
    a problem.

    Having it done at and by the barrel manufacture is the best way to minimize the risk.

    Weight reduction is minimum and cooling on the barrel is enhanced but only slightly.

    So, Is it worth it? In my opinion, not from a practical standpoint but if you like the looks,
    Absolutely !

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    If you want a stiffer barrel but weight is a concern(which always should be), you go larger diameter -fluted.
    I would not flute a barrel without also going larger in diameter, as that would reduce stiffness.

    I don't know that bores react to added fluting, like they might with added contouring.
     
  7. TrueNorCal

    TrueNorCal Member

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    A lot of people might not agree with this but when it comes to questions about barrels it's usually best to ask the people that make them. Here's a quote from the Shilen barrel website.

    Welcome to Shilen Rifles, Inc.

    What about "fluting" a barrel?
    Fluting is a service we neither offer nor recommend. If you have a Shilen barrel fluted, the warranty is void. Fluting a barrel can induce unrecoverable stresses that will encourage warping when heated and can also swell the bore dimensions, causing loose spots in the bore. A solid (un-fluted) barrel is more rigid than a fluted barrel of equal diameter. A fluted barrel is more rigid than a solid barrel of equal weight. All rifle barrels flex when fired. Accuracy requires that they simply flex the same and return the same each time they are fired, hence the requirement for a pillar bedded action and free floating barrel. The unrecoverable stresses that fluting can induce will cause the barrel to flex differently or not return from the flexing without cooling down a major amount. This is usually longer than a shooter has to wait for the next shot. The claim of the flutes helping to wick heat away faster is true, but the benefit of the flutes is not recognizable in this regard until the barrel is already too hot.
    Back to top.
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. And, I love those guys God bless 'em. But, with all due respect other makers do offer it, and Shilen needs to get with the 21st century. I have several good Shilen barrels. But, their equipment and processes came over with the Pilgrims. Perhaps that's harsh since they still win some competitions?

    Nonetheless, there are a lot of good shooting fluted barrels around. So, it can be done. But, you run the risk of voiding your warranty as stated above and in several posts. So, it behooves you to get a warranty from the person doing the fluting and that's best handled by the barrel maker themselves.

    -- richard
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Did they go on to qualify this, or provide basis?
    Does it apply to cut rifled barrels of larger diameter, which are straight fluted prior to lapping, etc?

    I don't blindly put stock in a politicians view of what kind of people we should vote for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  10. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    I have sent maybe 15 cut rifled barrels for either straight spiral or diamond fluting. Most were off of guns that I or someone else had built for friends. Some where my personal rifles. None showed any changes in accuracy or even a need to change the load I was using. I messed up and sent a button rifled barrel, at least I thought it was a mistake. It too shot just as well as before fluting. I use Kampfeld for all my fluting.
     
  11. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    Bloke don't waste your money. you will need it for Powder, primers and brass.and lest not forget the A-MAX and the V-MAX you need the quid.
    A fluted barrel looks coolbut the extra money is not worth it.
     
  12. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    There is more to it than looks, or sales.
    It can suit design needs.
    While I don't think it matters for BR shooting.
    IMO, it's worth it if you want an accurate LR gun to carry, balance well, and perform off a bipod.
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    It is mainly an issue of the quality of the fluting>

    I personally have seen good shooting barrels ruined by a poor fluting job.

    Having used lots of shilen barrels I ask this question and shilen said that a poor fluting job will ruin
    "ANY" barrel and that they did not reccomend it at all.

    There is more to fluting than just cutting groves in a barrel. There are depth issues,width issues,
    barrel size issues,length and location issues,also heat treatment after fluting and other considerations
    before it is done correctly and will not have an effect on the accuracy.

    I will only use a barrel that has been fluted by the barrel maker during manufacturing of it.

    Having a barrel fluted after it has been made is poor planing and risky.

    Just my opinion.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with you J E CUSTOM