I have a Douglas barrel, a Brux, a Hart and a Pac-Nor. IMO, good gunsmithing can make a second tier barrel a better shooter than a first tier rifle with gunsmithing that is not as good.
First tier would include Krieger, Lilja, Bartlein and some others. Second tier would be Douglas, Hart, Pac-Nor, Shilen and others. There will be much disagreement on this and almost any after market barrel will shoot better than most of us can who make the reloads and pull the triggers.
That being said, my next rebarrel will be another Pac-Nor 3 groove. However, since you want to know about Douglas, I am satisfied with mine
**** those flyers!
Chances are a Sako rebarrel with a Douglas barrel will be excellent.
Woods, how did you come up with that ranking order of barrels. I completely disagree with it. How much experience do you have to call a Hart barrel a second tier barrel? I am not trying to pick a fight. I am just saying I completely disagree.
In the past when I used douglass a bit they would stamp their best air gauge barrels Douglass XX with a circle around the XX. That means it is their best XX supreme air gauge barrel. If you can not verify it is a XX supreme barrel then it may not be worth it. They have other levels of barrels including bulk barrels a smith I knew years ago ripped a bunch of people off by selling as top line douglass barrels.
Yeah, I shouldn't have listed any. It is the whole cut-rifled / button rifled thing. Most consider cut-rifled superior (I know Lilja is a button rifled but they seem to be considered the best one of those). Those mentioned were just a sampling and many could be added like Broughton etc.
Truth is that all are so close that good gunsmithing or good reloading will put one over the other.
BTW, my Hart 280AI is my favorite gun but I would not say that it is a better barrel than the others.
Thanks for all the info. I bought the gun today I found out a little more about it. Its a Sako .270 L61r, 24in Douglas barrel flur-dis-lis checkering on a custom stock 1 1/2 lb trigger pull. Was built in the late 70's-early 80's. Owner must have been a looker not a hunter. Its in excellent condition. Can't wait to try it.
I was never a Douglas fan but recently purchased a used 25x284 Ultra lite arms rifle. This guy Melvin Forbes only uses douglas barrels. Today i shot a 3 shot group .338 , vel. 3550fps with a 100 grain sierra fb. Complete rifle, 4.5-14 lupy 30mm 40 lens, bipod, sling with 4 loaded rounds weighs a whole 7 1/4 lb. I dont think any other barrel could out perform this, what a sweet gun.
not to jump on ya' here, but I've gotta agree with LTLR here on your listing. My standard answer on who makes the best barrel is usually, "depends on what day of the week it is." Not being facetious here, but seriously, regardless of the process (cut vs. buttoned), it really depends more on the care taken by the maker. Both processes can turn out superior barrels if it's done correctly, and both can turn out stainless steel tomato stakes if the manufacturer doesn't do it right. Virtually all of the makers you've mentioned here can turn out some outstanding barrels. I've shot out more than a few truckloads of Harts in routine QC testing over the years, as they were my "standard" barrel. I've set, and still hold, some range records using Douglas barrels on various match rifles. As far as which is best, they're all good, some will turn out an exceptional barrel on a fairly regular basis, but it really just depends on which maker is having a good day that day as to who's the best.
I'd also have worded your comment about gunsmithing a bit differently, though I essentially agree with what you're saying here. No gunsmith can make a bad barrel into a truly good shooter, however, and half-arsed gun plumber can render a truly outstanding barrel into one of the aforementioned tomato stake. Unfortunately, far too many out there are willing to prove my point. Be careful who you trust to assemble your next tackdriver. All the best equipment in the world just makes for an expensive pile of crap if it's not properly put together by someone who knows his business.