Barrel contour

Rick Richard

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Jan 7, 2014
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I went through this exercise...twice in the last 2 years and about to be a 3rd and 4th time this year as I'm building a switch barrel on a short action. I went with Proof on the last 2, as volume won't be high (they're for hunting, not high volume steel or comp). Weight was a factor on these builds.

The switch barrel build I'm currently considering will be a Proof for one barrel (weight is the consideration) because it will be easy on barrel life so even if I do some plinking it won't kill my investment in a year. The other barrel will likely be a fluted #3 from Bartlein. Again, weight is the consideration here but also barrel life- this chambering will be more of a barrel burner and so I don't want to shell out ~$700 for a barrel plus smithing fees to burn it out quickly. I'll sacrifice a little weight here, but I can buy 2 of these Bartlein barrels for the cost of a single Proof, and given that the barrel life will be less than half of the others I've done in different chamberings, that seems like the better thing to do FOR ME.

Regarding use of the Proof- at the range I haven't had a problem with heat. I live in TX though, so I'm always overly cautious. Out of habit, for carbon or steel, I don't shoot any more than 5 rounds in a string, with at least 30-60 seconds in between trigger pulls. After the 5th round, I set the rifle aside and grab another to work with. I try to let each barrel cool for 10 minutes or so, maybe more depending on outside temp. The exception here are some very heavy steel barrels I have that were purpose built for 10 round strings...still, I then let cool and switch to another rifle, take breaks, shoot the $h!t with other range patrons, etc.

Like @FEENIX said, though, personal preference.
My experience: by the time you purchase a steel barrel Such as a Bartlein and then have it fluted, it is not that much of a savings over a CF barrel. Just saying.
 

jpfrog

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My experience: by the time you purchase a steel barrel Such as a Bartlein and then have it fluted, it is not that much of a savings over a CF barrel. Just saying.
I would typically agree, but I have a very good relationship with my smith and he has very good pricing. I can get the barrel blank for ~300. A Proof is anywhere from ~650 to 700 before chambering. Chambering being the same for either barrel, I'm not going to spend ~350+ on fluting...I won't even come close to it. Again, that's me with my smith- others may have a much higher price point and then I agree with you that the difference would be trivial.
 

Canhunter35

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Jun 13, 2017
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Thanks for the response Shane! My next question is do you prefer the carbon barrel enough that you’d recommend it over a non carbon? Are they a game changer in a sense as far as weight? Just curious. I guess the only way I can find out is to play with one. I’ve heard they just look sexier from a few friends that have them. But I’m a performance type and don’t wanna spend that much for nothing more than looks.
Thanks
I have a proof, it’s awesome, not sure deep spiral flutes won’t get you close to the weight savings from a performance standpoint. By the time you get a spiral flutes barrel you’re close to a carbon barrel
 

David Emerson

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Jan 1, 2020
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Drayton,ND
Like others say here personal preference. For a packing rifle, up and down mountains. I like a #4 or 5 contour on a 7 bore. I order mine with a longer than normal shank. Typically 3 inches and cut the small end to length that you want. Some like to go one contour heavier and flute but you really gain nothing but looks. Mass is mass. Another thing. Choose a barrel maker that stress relieves as their last operation. No worry about shots walking as the barrel heats up.
 

BigDon

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Oct 2, 2018
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Cheyenne, Wy
Can a barrel be too heavy? I have an un-contoured 28” 6.5-284 on a trued Remmy in a Brown Precision stock. I don’t like the barrel heavy/nose heavy balance. But I wonder if that much barrel flexes or stresses the action itself. Thoughts?
 

jrock

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Mar 12, 2014
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After owning a rem 700 in 7mm RM and building a gun with a #4 contour at 0.630" at the muzzle, I would opt for the rem #3 magnum for packing. I could get 4 quick shots off before the barrel warmed up. I have noticed that my premium barrels can shot more shots before POI is affected than factory barrels of the same contour.

I also noticed that the 700 I owned didn't have a straight shank portion at the breech. That saves a bunch of weight. I was surprised since most books recommend a straight shank until the shoulder of the case.
 

North Idaho Hunter

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Nov 14, 2013
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if you have the funds and a stock to accept the larger contour i would go with a proof sendero lite. Asthetics are very nice! along with great balance, especially in 22 to 24 inch barrels.

i have never had issues with stringing when hot, over the past year i have done load development on 9 proofs. all have been rock solid.

if steel is your goal, i prefer the bartlein 3b fluted contour. very nice packable setup!
 

Jnm300ultra

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Jan 31, 2015
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My advice would be never go heavier than a 3B or a 4. The barrel at the muzzle end is .700. My 3B blank is 4 pounds and I believe the fluting only saved .25 pounds. The cf barrel is much lighter than a 3B or 4. A number 2 barrel is still lighter than a cf barrel but should probably be only good for a mountain rifle, 2-3 shots and let it cool. Here’s my experience with my Gap 300 Win Mag, Defiance action, Bartlein 3B 26” with a APA micro bastard brake. The barrel is fluted. Bell and Carlson stock, Leupold VX6 3-18-50,Talley light weight rings/ mounts, Harris 9-13 bipod, sling with 4 rounds attached, and 3 rounds in the gun it’s at 10.5 pounds. I had a Nightforce 5.5-22-56mm scope and a steel 20 moa base and the rifle weighed in at 12 pounds, I sold the scope and removed the base -1.5 pounds. The easiest way to make a rifle heavy is put a large scope on it. I also have a Christensen Ridgeline in 280 Ackley. The rifle is 7 pounds and I put a Meopta Optika 6 4-27-50 now it’s at 9.5 pounds.Christensen said the rifle weight was 6.8 pounds, not true. The scope is to heavy for a light weight hunting rifle. If you want it to be a light weight long range rifle go with the cf barrel, get a light weight stock, with no adjustments in stock it adds up fast. Also pay attention to your scope choices. Good luck with your build.
Jason
 

Shane Lindsey

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Jul 13, 2010
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Lone Peak Razor, Proof 26” Sendero in 300 WM, Manners MCST Elite fill. NF NSX. Weight without bipod. Heavy is only forgiving while shooting. But ultralight takes really being in tune with your body mechanics while shooting.

F85D95BB-AB7C-48A8-B432-583245F986B0.jpeg

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Jnm300ultra

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Jan 31, 2015
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Shane that is a beautiful example of long range hunter. I love the components and color. Nice rifle.
Jason
 

Shane Lindsey

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Jul 13, 2010
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863
Shane that is a beautiful example of long range hunter. I love the components and color. Nice rifle.
Jason
[/QUOTE]

Thank you Sir!

Intent was to keep it as light as possible, but still allow me to reach out a bit. We shall see.
 

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