Bartlein Press Release - New Barrel Material

ntsqd

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I wonder what kind of accuracy the GAU-8 cast stellite barrels can claim? Maybe that's the way to go.......
 

Don Garlow

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Recommend a FAQ page on your site dedicated solely to this new barrel material. Thanks for your innovation and work to improve what so many of us obviously enjoy. This sounds really GOOD!
 

pig ranch deadeye

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I use Bartlein barrels almost exclusively for LR competition barrels and go through 2-3 per year. I think this new steel will certainly be a cost saver for those who run enough rounds to burn out a barrel in a year or two (or less). I think competition shooters and high volume varmint shooters will be the main civilian benefactors. I usually pay $375-415 for my blanks (special pricing at national events can be as low as $300 pre-order...thank you Bartlein) so if I can get twice the round count at a bit less than twice the price it is a money saver.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS NEW MYSTERY STEEL?
 

Gone Ballistic

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I think I would pay double the price for double the life......I might even pay closer to 3x the price. When you figure-in the down time + the gunsmith fees to chamber + time/money/effort for break-in and/or load development, it's easily worth it in my mind.
I certainly hope someone at Bartlein doesn't read your comment, as I would rather see the price dropped than raised 3x higher!
 

Rardoin

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WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS NEW MYSTERY STEEL?
Proprietary and the heat (or batch) was specified by and for Bartlein. Frank Green said they have been working on this for a year and a half to make sure it was performing as expected. Keep in mind that the civilian market is not the only market that Bartlein makes barrels for. In certain markets barrels that can take sustained fire much better than current steel could be very strategic and save lives. I doubt that much will be divulged of the formulation.
 

milo-2

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I think I would pay double the price for double the life......I might even pay closer to 3x the price. When you figure-in the down time + the gunsmith fees to chamber + time/money/effort for break-in and/or load development, it's easily worth it in my mind.
For the sake of conversation, I am not in the camp where I would pay 3X. Yes, there are times when paying more for extended life would simplify the crap out of things. But for me, there are times when I don't want the life, as in I don't want that chambering, it is doing nothing for me and good barrel life prolongs the agony.
I like new, as in new paint schemes, new cartridges, etc..
No doubt when I have something I like, it would be great to have the extended life, and I will give these a try.
Not wanting to get into my shooting, but I just took possession of a 6BRA, I am a yr late in bringing it into service, and while in the build process, circumstances changed dramatically, and I did not pump the brakes on it. I have all the components to shoot it, and not taking the loss on a sale. If it had a 2X life barrel, I'd be firing this thing into 2022, instead, it is going to endure 100 rds in 2 hours every outing till it is toast. If the cerakote starts to run on the barrel I may slack off.
But I would rather be halfway through a barrel and a magic wand could bless it if I choose so, and for that, paying 3X would be a bargain. Lol
wand.png
 

ripnbst

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A guy on FB testing one of the new metallurgy barrels reported the following:

“ These are phenomenal barrels. This new material has me at about .003” per 100 rounds as opposed to the normal .007-8” I see per 100 rounds. I’ve got my second one on the way already. These are definitely worth looking into.”

Chambering: 6 x 47 Lapua
 

Privi457

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Nitriding give 3-5 times the barrel life for an extra $300.00. It not the material, it's the hardness. Would be interesting to find a NIB first gen M70 in 220 Swift and have bbl Nitrided. Probably get 5000 out of it. Blaser Tac 2 308s out there with 35,000 rounds still shooting MOA.
 

ntsqd

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Nitriding is probably worth looking at. The racing engine shop that I worked for did a process known as "Cool Case" hardening to the crankshaft journals. Hardening won't have any effect on throat erosion, but I can see other benefits. Don't know enough about 416SS, it may not be possible to use this process on it. There are more than a couple stainless alloys that can't be hardened.

There is a whole family of carbon steels out there known as "HSLA's" (High Strength Low Alloy). Many of these were developed specifically to deal with abrasion. that there could be one that deals well with abrasion at high temperature would not come as a shock. Alloying a "stainless steel" to have these properties may have already been going on. The amateur metallurgist in me wonders how close this new alloy is to Carpenter 625 or any of the other "Super" SS alloys.
 

Hand Skills

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If barrel life was as much of a concern as some make it out to be, we'd all be running hammer forged barrels, would we not? There is an abundance of military data on the subject.

I too am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to marketing vs. actual materials engineering, but Frank and the rest at Bartlein have never been in the hype business, as far as I've seen.

There are some really interesting 'nitrogen' based steels available today, where nitrogen is used instead of carbon. This type of steel is very difficult to manufacture, and hence very costly because the nitrogen wants to come out of the solution during manufacturing, and as a result an advanced set of environmental controls is required during manufacutre.

What's interesting to me is these nitrogen steels like LC200-N (developed with NASA for a corrosion proof bearing material to send to space) and Vancron / Niolox is they are very resistant to adhesive wear (galling) which is the probably the biggest contributor to barrel wear after thermal stress/fire cracking. I have been fooling around with nitrogen steels for a few years, mainly in the form of edged tools, and the properties are quite fascinating.

When I saw the headline, I was thinking this might be the route Bartlein is headed down, but based on the cost, I strongly doubt it.
 

Buck Fever

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The bad bush
I think chrome lining would be the move, that does increase barrel life a lot. It's not so great for accuracy usually. Hammer forging doesn't seem like it would do anything particularly good for barrel life. Some times the residual stress from the forming process makes them string as they heat up, I don't want to take a chance on that either.

Nitride seems like the best avenue to explore. It doesn't build up a surface like chrome and the temperature of a nitriding treatment is high enough to act as a secondary stress relief or tempering so it might make a barrel string less.

On the other hand, people have tried nitride on accurate rifles and had mixed results.

I'm sure something out there could be better. I'm not sure if we will ever see it.
 

Bob Wright

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There is a 403 alloy available from Penn Steel. It's chemistry is additional Chromium at 11.5-13% vs ~12% on 416R. To be corrosion resistant (stainless) requires 10% minimum chrome content. Other chemistry add-ins improve machinabilty, and other qualities to work as barrel steel.
My money is on a higher chrome content in the 400MODBB steel. Possibly other chemicals to improve but not eliminate higher tool wear in drilling, reaming and rifling. The end user will see chamber reamer wear as they mentioned.
I'm glad Bartlein has researched and now bringing new metallurgy to the barrel market.
From my experience in aero, its a great thing. The buyer will ultimately decide whether it's a great thing. I'll watch once the results are fielded, tested and reported on. Hoping success for Bartlein and that they open up some of their data for all to see.
 

josip89

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Apr 23, 2014
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I know (and have) LW barrels ,
They have their own stainless barrel name of the steel is LW-50.
From what I explore it has at least 2x barrel life vs 416 and similiar.
 

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