Lothar Walther barrels

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by heatseekins, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. heatseekins

    heatseekins Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    I build my own rifles and was thinking about using a Lothar Walther barrel for my next 308. Has anyone had any experience chambering one? I’ve heard their stainless is very hard. I was also curious how they performed? I usually use hart barrels and they always performed well, but thought I would try something new unless convinced otherwise.

    Thanks, Glen
  2. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003

    If your going to rebarrel for a .308 I'd recommend a Mike Rock barrel (Rock Creek Barrels) and be done with it. For .308 IMHO and many others there the best you can get.

    I really haven't found a bullet that won't shoot in mine. We tried some 170 gr round nose 30-30 bullets last fall and they even shot in the mid .3's at 100 yards.

    They really are one of the best .308 barrels made.
  3. rost495

    rost495 Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    I've shot 2 Walther barrels. Not anything to get excited about. They shoot well and all but are not my personal pick. And I'm fairly picky. There were a handful of service rifle shooters using them when I shot. I was never seeing super groups from those guns. They'd beat me, but then they shoot all day for 6 months out of the year and should be able to beat me with a daisy...

    I would certainly not drop Hart just to play with Walther. The cost of the tubes leads me to believe they just cannot be the best out there.

    OTOH, I dont' think they will ever be a bad barrel. Just not top notch.

    I just about forgot about the 6.5 Grendel.-- Have shot one of those with a Walther. It shot really good but I didn't get to shoot it enough to know exactly how well. But first impressions where that barrel would win matches in Highpower anyway.

  4. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2004

    One smith you should get a hold of is Jeff Hicks from HD Rifles in Del Rio, Texas..He uses L-W barrels exclusively, and might have the skinny on the do's and do not's on chambering the LW barrel steel..Speeds and feeds and such..Haven't chambered one myself, just heard they are hard on reamers, but that could just be a case of having to change your method a bit for the different type steel..

  5. sullijr

    sullijr Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    here is a site that builds target rifles in England using walther barrels they have barrels for sale and will probably give specs.www.hps-tr.com
  6. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    I'm not certain but pretty sure that their SS isin't the run of the mill 416 that most all barrel makers use , I believe that they use 17-4 which is alot harder and resist throat erosion better.
    I know that they amde the Accu-Max barrels for Black Star because they were the best at dealing with the 17-4SS that the Accu-Max tubes were made of.

    As for their quality , I have one BlackStar Accu-max barrel and it'll shoot into the .3" range pretty consistantly,and the life is definalty better than any other SS barrel I've ever had chambered in 22-250Ai.
  7. heatseekins

    heatseekins Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Thanks everyone. I talked to mike rock for quite some time and ordered a barrel from him. I will also be testing out one of his new SOPMOD bipods, so I will post my thoughts about it after I test it for a while. The best part was.....he had the barrel I wanted ready to ship. I was very pleased that I don’t have to wait for 2 months

    DANTEC Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2002
    To Jr

    hello , you are right chambering lothar Walther need very stiff machine tool and mostly carbidereamer IF you want to keep your reamer a long time ( same time as regular High Speed steel reamer )

    Lothar Walther are made in SS stel from 700 serial ( close to 17/4) they are not harder they feel just toughter to machining as any SS steel from 300 serial compare to 416 steel ,I have chamber some to practice and know how and test shot them , Ok that work but if I am a US citizen I will go with a maker as PAC NOR or Krieger , du to cost of change between $/ Euro european product are more costly in the US

    Lothar barrel are not better than other they are just good as most custom barrel , sale barrel for amazing barrel life or no fouling barrel is a big lie , only improvement between 416 and 700 steel is the better microstructure of the 700 so 700 is more stainless than 416
    In the same range I have tets Mike Rook barrel ( 416 steel ) 5 grooves barrel , OK that work but that not better than a Krieger or a Border , now Border make 5 grooves barrel too nad that works fine and doesn t think that a magic pitch caas 11.25 in 1 can do something to increase accuracy , that will be very interesting to compare side by side in a switch rifle cal 30
    1 in 12 5 grooves from Border
    1 in 11.25 groves from Mike Rook
    1 in 12 5 grooves from PAC NOR

    good shooting

  9. Pete Lincoln

    Pete Lincoln Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2004
    Take your pick of any top name barrels. you won't go wrong,it comes to personal preference.
    Recently a walther barrel in 6.5x284 in a SWS2000 beat the existing 1000m BR record, unfortunately it was innoficial as it happened during practicve zeroing. full story is floating the German shooting press at the mo.
    Ive a walther in my 9.3x62,, shoots real good. me, i'd go for the nearest custom barrel factory to where i lived, makes logistics easier..
  10. Ackman

    Ackman Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Lothar Walther barrels ......

    I use 2 Walther barrels and think they're excellent. One is their 10/22 barrel chambered for .22Mag, and it shoots very well with several different brands. The other is a 22-250AI and that barrel is just amazing. I did no break-in...the first 35 rounds were load work up. There was NO copper in the bore. The next 45 rounds were shooting prairie dogs, and again there was NO copper. Even after 100 rounds, Sweet's will produce only the slightest trace of blue. I clean the gun mostly with Butch's or Montana Extreme and wet patches, it sees the brush very little if at all. This is fireforming with waxed 50's at 4110fps. The chamber has a .255" neck. My other heavy barrel 22-250AI has a Hart barrel with .250" neck - with 3" more length and FORMED cases, it gets 130fps more velocity. Both guns shoot about the same, in the .2"s - .3"s...the during load workup the Walther actually shot some groups in the .1"s, both fireforming and with formed cases. Their stainless is different stuff and not really any harder, but a lot tougher. Because of that, some people have problems chambering them. Talk to Walther or Dave Kiff at Pacific Precision and either of them can help you. I don't baby that gun and the barrel has probably 1,200 rounds through it. It's also been real hot a bunch of times, yet the throat has grown by only about .010"-.012". I have barrels from 12-14 different manufacturers and none are more accurate than the Walther. It's my favorite.
  11. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    I built a win 243 with a Lothar Walther barrel. Very fine shooter. The material they use is very tough and requires different speeds for reaming.
    Heres a pic of a 5 shot group at 100 yards.
    5 Shot Group

    Here's the rifle.
  12. John P

    John P New Member

    Jan 14, 2013
    I have had a few 30-06 and 7 mag custom long range hunting and target guns made with Lothar Walther barrels,they all shot very good no flyers even when there hot,you could pay twice as much I don't think you would see much improvement,its hard to improve when your bullet holes touch at a hundred yards.I have had problems with gunsmiths but not the barrels.
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Walther barrels are made of either 17PH4 or 18-5 rearc melt stainless steel. This stuff is not for the average guy to work with. It's very tough to machine, and most guys that do machine it closely guard their processes. But the metal is a light year better than the typical 416 stainless steel most guys use. Tends tohandle heat a little better and is far more rust and errosion resistent than 416. 17PH4 and the other are not really any harder than the others, but much tougher to cut. Takes a low surface speed with a specialized insert (I cannot tell you what I used). Chips come out extremely hot and I've set more than one set of prints on fire from them so be carefull.

    But if you do decide to work with it, I'd send an email to Baldwin steel in PA. Then ask them what the best setup is for machining MR10. They sell the samething under a different name. They are very good to work with. The work I did with it was in military aps, and the talorence window was nothing like cutting a barrel. I found that it was easiest to do on an EDM. Never was pleased with the grind finish I got, but was acceptable. Very hard on a Bridgeport if you making serious cuts. Never noticed any work hardening with it, but as I said I kept the surface speed extremely low. If you can machine Hestalloy, you'll do just fine
  14. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008

    The materials used at Lothar Walther fall into two categories. The normal steel barrels, those which require bluing are made from LW19, a chrome-molybdenum type steel. The stainless steels, which do not require bluing are LW6, which is used mainly for .22l.r. and similar cartridges and LW50 which is used for centerfire cartridges. This last material was developed in 1994-95 as a safe alternative to 416R and to solve durability problems associated with 416R. LW50 can be used in all calibers and all contours.

    (Lothar Walther)

    Supposedly, machining instructions are included on every barrels ordered.