3 grove barrel??

Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
7
I have a 28” 1:10 #5 Lilja barrel going on a .300. I have agonized over all sorts of options an variables on this riffle and thought I had every thing set. Then the gun smith called and dropped this bomb on me. “Three or six grove barrel?” All of my guns are 6. What may I gain or not gain using a 3?

I understand that it may be easier to clean…..I don’t care about that. I am wondering about performance. I typically shoot 210 berger bullets and have had some luck with 200 gr SGK. But this gun has not been fired yet, since it is still in a bunch of pieces..... It is a hunting rifle and I am comfortable shooting to 800 yards.


Thanks
 

Michael Eichele

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Jan 6, 2003
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The rifle range, or archery range or behind the co
3 grooves shoot as good as 6 grooves. The theory behing the thre groove is that the lands are twice as wide as the lands in a 6 groove and thoretically increases throat life. It wont offer twice the life butu can offer some percentage more usable life. Most guys shy away from them with smaller calibers due to the jacket displacement of smaller bullets.
 

elkaholic

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hauser, id.
I had a 3 groove 11 twist Lilja in 300 RUM and it shot great. The most impressive thing was the barrel life which was better than I expected....Rich
 

Chas1

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Feb 15, 2009
Messages
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You said all your guns are 6 grooves, are you happy with how they perform? if so then you could go 6. What's your smith think? 6 or 3-you'll hear pro and cons but I haven't seen any concrete evidence that 6 is better than 3 or vise versa. I go with 3 grooves.
 

J E Custom

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Messages
10,725
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Texas
I had a 3 groove 11 twist Lilja in 300 RUM and it shot great. The most impressive thing was the barrel life which was better than I expected....Rich

+1

I have used 6 of the 3 grove barrels on small bores (17 CAL AND 224 CAL) And have been
very pleased with them.

I have not used them on larger cal but either 6 or 3 groves should work very well.

J E CUSTOM
 

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
Messages
1,412
Location
Central AZ
Many of us shooting the 270AM and 277AM rifles ran into problems using the longer/heavier .277 wildcat bullets in Lilja 3-groove barrels. After about 350-400 rounds down the tube, these bullets began to break apart before reaching the target. The problem was primarily with the bullets. The 3-groove barrels have a lot of contact with the bullet jacket. The heavier/longer bullets have a lot more bearing surface. When you combine that with a slightly thinner jacket, you get a recipe for disaster. We needed a heavier jacketed bullet (not available yet), or a shorter bullet (lighter) to reduce the bearing surface to solve our problem. The other solution might have been to switch to more grooves in the barrel. A quick search will turn about several threads on this problem that began occuring approx. two years ago.

I should emphasize that this situation with the .270 Allen Magnums was the exception rather than the rule with 3-groove barrels. Other calibers fair very well. It shouldn't be a problem in a 30 cal, unless you start shooting 240 gr. bullets with thin jackets. :)
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,725
Location
Texas
Many of us shooting the 270AM and 277AM rifles ran into problems using the longer/heavier .277 wildcat bullets in Lilja 3-groove barrels. After about 350-400 rounds down the tube, these bullets began to break apart before reaching the target. The problem was primarily with the bullets. The 3-groove barrels have a lot of contact with the bullet jacket. The heavier/longer bullets have a lot more bearing surface. When you combine that with a slightly thinner jacket, you get a recipe for disaster. We needed a heavier jacketed bullet (not available yet), or a shorter bullet (lighter) to reduce the bearing surface to solve our problem. The other solution might have been to switch to more grooves in the barrel. A quick search will turn about several threads on this problem that began occuring approx. two years ago.

I should emphasize that this situation with the .270 Allen Magnums was the exception rather than the rule with 3-groove barrels. Other calibers fair very well. It shouldn't be a problem in a 30 cal, unless you start shooting 240 gr. bullets with thin jackets. :)

Also wasn't there a problem with twist rates being to fast ?

Some were trying to use fast twist like (1 in 7 or 8) and these are very hard on bullets even in
6 groove barrels at the velocities some of the wildcats achieve.

The best advice I can give is to talk to Dan Lilja and tell him what you are going to expect out
of your rifle (Velocity) and let him recomend the proper twist and groove style that is best.

J E CUSTOM
 

elkaholic

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Dec 4, 2008
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Location
hauser, id.
Also wasn't there a problem with twist rates being to fast ?

Some were trying to use fast twist like (1 in 7 or 8) and these are very hard on bullets even in
6 groove barrels at the velocities some of the wildcats achieve.

The best advice I can give is to talk to Dan Lilja and tell him what you are going to expect out
of your rifle (Velocity) and let him recomend the proper twist and groove style that is best.

J E CUSTOM

Very good advicelightbulb
 

liltank

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Nov 3, 2008
Messages
4,178
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Here... try this out and see what it recommends. If it adds any comfort, I have decided on the Lilja 3 groove 1:11 for my 300WSM. I currently shoot the 208grn A-Max and I think this will help me to capitalize on velocity, pressure, and barrel life.

Real Guns

Tank
 

royinidaho

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Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
8,950
Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
J E Custom's response is pretty much spot on.

The problem isn't the 3 grooves, it's the fast twist rate. My email conversation with Mr. Lilja indicates that more robust jackets are necessary.

Bullets that work well in my 270 AM, I believe one of the earliest ones made, include:
Nosler Solid Base (NABs or Ballistic Tips)

Hornady Interlocks (lead tipped).

All others dust at AM velocities.

The jackets on these three not only maintain integrity and shoot very well, they also have good terminal performance. Especially the 140 Hornady.

The down side is that the BC of this selection is is dismal when compared to the original Wildcats.:)

I'm working on modifications to the nosler and hornady to improve bc and maybe a touch of weight.

I'm also working on a jacket design to get back performance that I came to expect from the original Wildcat 169.5s

I'd be weeks ahead of where I am at the moment but had to take 2 weeks down time and am in the middle of 4 weeks of very light duty time.

I now know what a deer or elk would feel like if after you shot the thing and didn't know that he needed a second shot until you had made fthe full cleaning incision. At which time it was decided to sew him shut with some ten twine, get him on his feet and send him to grow another year.:rolleyes:

That's what was pretty much done to me though they threw away some, what I would have thought, were needed internal organs.:)
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,725
Location
Texas
J E Custom's response is pretty much spot on.

The problem isn't the 3 grooves, it's the fast twist rate. My email conversation with Mr. Lilja indicates that more robust jackets are necessary.

Bullets that work well in my 270 AM, I believe one of the earliest ones made, include:
Nosler Solid Base (NABs or Ballistic Tips)

Hornady Interlocks (lead tipped).

All others dust at AM velocities.

The jackets on these three not only maintain integrity and shoot very well, they also have good terminal performance. Especially the 140 Hornady.

The down side is that the BC of this selection is is dismal when compared to the original Wildcats.:)

I'm working on modifications to the nosler and hornady to improve bc and maybe a touch of weight.

I'm also working on a jacket design to get back performance that I came to expect from the original Wildcat 169.5s

I'd be weeks ahead of where I am at the moment but had to take 2 weeks down time and am in the middle of 4 weeks of very light duty time.

I now know what a deer or elk would feel like if after you shot the thing and didn't know that he needed a second shot until you had made fthe full cleaning incision. At which time it was decided to sew him shut with some ten twine, get him on his feet and send him to grow another year.:rolleyes:

That's what was pretty much done to me though they threw away some, what I would have thought, were needed internal organs.:)

I'm glad they didn't take your great sense of humor and that your doing better Roy !!!!

And back to the subject, I like the 3 grove barrels so much I just ordered a .224 in a 1 in 8
Per Dan Liljas recommendation for the intended use.

I have a lot of faith in his opinion because he could just as easily have sold me one of the 6 grove barrels he makes if he though it was better.

I highly recomend that anyone ordering a barrel from "Any" barrel maker ask them what
they think would be the best twist rate for your preferred bullet weight and velocity, after all
it would make sense for them to try and place you in the best performing barrel instead of
having an unhappy customer and loosing future sales.

Some times we are our own worst enemy and need to listen to the expert in that field and
avoid more heartaches.

Any way get well and keep on posting.

J E CUSTOM
 

Bart B

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Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
2,760
Re: 3 groove barrel??

For what it's worth, folks shooting 30 caliber 150 to 155 grain bullets in long range matches around the world learned years ago that 4-groove barrels shot them more accurate than 5 or 6 grooves do. Why may well be a mystery, but it's a fact.
 

elkaholic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
9,844
Location
hauser, id.
J E Custom's response is pretty much spot on.

The problem isn't the 3 grooves, it's the fast twist rate. My email conversation with Mr. Lilja indicates that more robust jackets are necessary.

Bullets that work well in my 270 AM, I believe one of the earliest ones made, include:
Nosler Solid Base (NABs or Ballistic Tips)

Hornady Interlocks (lead tipped).

All others dust at AM velocities.

The jackets on these three not only maintain integrity and shoot very well, they also have good terminal performance. Especially the 140 Hornady.

The down side is that the BC of this selection is is dismal when compared to the original Wildcats.:)

I'm working on modifications to the nosler and hornady to improve bc and maybe a touch of weight.

I'm also working on a jacket design to get back performance that I came to expect from the original Wildcat 169.5s

I'd be weeks ahead of where I am at the moment but had to take 2 weeks down time and am in the middle of 4 weeks of very light duty time.

I now know what a deer or elk would feel like if after you shot the thing and didn't know that he needed a second shot until you had made fthe full cleaning incision. At which time it was decided to sew him shut with some ten twine, get him on his feet and send him to grow another year.:rolleyes:

That's what was pretty much done to me though they threw away some, what I would have thought, were needed internal organs.:)
Roy.....I hope your recovery is fast and complete! MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family. If you want to talk bullets, :Dgive me a call....Rich
 

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