Mitigating Barrel Whip and Harmonics

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Doozy, Nov 27, 2019.

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  1. Doozy

    Doozy Active Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I'm deciding on a barrel contour for a hunting rifle build (300 PRC) and my research on barrels has brought to light the question of barrel whip.

    We know that heavier barrels are supposed to be more accurate, but I wonder what can be done to mitigate the loss of accuracy as one goes with a lighter barrel.

    I have a theory that fluting a barrel helps mitigate barrel whip. Any thoughts on this?

    I also came across a strange contraption on Amazon: "LimbSaver Sharpshooter X-Ring Barrel Dampener." For $9.99, people are swearing that this thing is helping their groups considerably. Is this for real? Is it only helpful to light-weight barrels? Why would this be okay but having a floating barrel be so important?
  2. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2016
    Heavier barrels are not more accurate. They simply absorb more heat from repeated firing without heating up as much as a light barrel would.

    There are 2 schools of thought on the harmonics thing... either dampen them to death or support and accentuate them. My match rifles sit in aluminum chassis and get the actions epoxy bedded, the recoil lugs epoxy bedded, the scope rail epoxy bedded and many other little things get done which in the end net me a rifle that positively rings like a bell when you cycle the bolt. There are no voids for vibrations to have trouble crossing.

    I know quite a number of people that have dampeners on their barrels. I can't say it has definitely helped anyone with anything. To me it looks like a way to take 10 bucks from people that are desperate.

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2014
    Didn't Browning offer some gizmo on one of their rifles to counteract barrel whip a few years back? I don't think it had much of a shelf life.
  4. Rhett Crider

    Rhett Crider Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2018
    BOSS. Browning and Winchester. You can tune your barrel harmonics to factory loads. It works.
  5. Jluck

    Jluck Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    Shorter (Stiffer) larger diameter high quality barrel IMO. Go carbon to save some weight.
  6. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2017
    The heavier the barrel the wider the accuracy node.
    Fluting is for looks and weight.
    The more material the stiffer the barrel
    The shorter the barrel the stiffer it is.
    If ur handloading none of it matters, tune ur load to the rifle
  7. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    I have used the de resonator rings, they work, and they work very well, move the ring 1/2" at a time. I start with the ring just off the forearm tip and move toward the muzzle.

    A friend invented the Browning Boss system, and they work in spades. Accuracy ends up being a single ragged bullet hole, even with BAR's in 7 Mag, 30/06, and 270 that I have had them on.

    Don't over look standard tuners, and they are easy to use, just different...

    Harrells precision makes a dandy for $95

    RAS tuner brake

    Mike Ezel tuner

    First time you put a tuner ring on your barrel, you will be impressed. Focus the groups shooting two shot groups...hard to believe just how simple this works.
    Doozy, SMK1000plus, Frog4aday and 4 others like this.
  8. Buckreed

    Buckreed Active Member

    Dec 27, 2017
    My understanding of fluting is to add surface area to allow the barrel to cool faster. I don’t think has any influence on dampening for harmonics.
    Tlr155, 25WSM, waterford103 and 4 others like this.
  9. ndking1126

    ndking1126 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    In theory, the dampener doesn't cause any problems because it doesn't hit something solid like the stock. The barrel can still vibrate as its going to, just not as much. When it hits a stock, it's vibration is interrupted on only one side (this is my non-engineering, simple minded explanation, of course) which can throw it off. I'm not convinced the dampeners do much of anything compared to sum of the other factors (quality of barrel, bedding, type of bullet, muzzle velocity, shooter ability, etc). I agree with others, the BOSS did allow you to tune your rifle to your cartridge and so it did help at least a little.

    Finding the right velocity and getting your bullets to shoot as close to that velocity time after time will give you more accuracy than adding a dampener.
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Weight is your friend, And the heavier the contour the more consistent the rifle will be.
    Almost any barrel can be accurate but the lighter the contour/barrel weight, the more finicky it will be.

    Also the shorter the barrel normally the less barrel whip. I have also found that straight tapers normally do a better job of reducing harmonics. The longer the barrel the more likely it will have barrel whip especially with the heavy bullets.

    Fluting does not reduce whipping or harmonics, It only increases it because it removes material. a un fluted barrel that weighs the same as a fluted barrel has the same basic

    Structural strength and rigidity are best with a fast taper, the problem is that if a barrel needs to be 26'' or longer the fast taper will be very small at the muzzle The limbsavor does work but looks so ugly in my opinion. This is the reason that many factory rifles have tip pressure applied to the barrel at the fore end of the stock. It make the barrel act like it is very short. (The length from the tip pressure point to the muzzle).

    I always recommend a #4 or #5 as a good medium barrel contour and for the potent big bores 30 cal+, I recommend a minimum of a #6 straight taper.

    One more pound of barrel weight can definitely be worth it in accuracy.

    Just my opinion

  11. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    #4 minimum, #5 preferred.

    Great post JE!

    I found a pawn shop speical, a Savage Pump in 30/30 and these rifles are famous for being accurate. I work up loads at the rifle range and came up with a 1.75" load fairly quicky with a 4x12 leupold.

    I put on a doughnut, immediately the groups went down to just over an inch. Shooting two shot groups, I tuned the doughnut to where I could shoot 5/8"-3/4" at 100 yards, five shot groups. Groups at 200 were great, also.

    You have to wonder if people will think you are Queer Bait using one of those rings on your barrel, however! Different is sometimes awkward. Next attempt was a very accurate Rem SPS sporter in 223 that shot 1/2", got that barrel down to shooting in the high 2's.

    Next was a Ruger 270 in the boat paddle stock, not bedded or free floated, got this rifle down to 5/8" shooting 110g ttsx with H4350 at near 3400fps.

    I have to say that it is a real ego stomper to use one of these darn doughnuts, but dam to they work...easy also!

    It had been a while since I went through the BOSS Phase on all those brownings A Bolts and BAR's. So, I decided to try a RAS tuner/Brake on my 6 XC. Photo bucket has locked me out or I would show you targets of the tuning, three targets went from group size to .070 to .191.

    Next, I bought a Harrells Tuner Brake to put on my 6 DASHER, dialed that barrel in to shoot in the 1's real easy.

    I have a Mike Ezel that I am about to put on a 6 BRA, it is a tuner with no brake.

    I work up my best load with the tuner screwed to the rear. Then start working the tuner out in two increments at a time. Groups will get to a point to where they open up, then close back down. This very tight group we will call a node. There maybe 5 nodes in a single revolution of the brake around the circumference of the barrel.

    For guys shooting factory ammo only, the Harrells tuner/brake would be a no brainer to install to have incredible accuracy as many thousands of us knew with the Brownign BOSS system. I am sure that Harrells can make you a tuner without the muzzle break if that is something that you do not like.
    Doozy, 25WSM and Lee Goodwin like this.
  12. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2012
    My father has a couple BOSS system rifles and it definitely works but is only as good as the barrel is. What I mean is if the barrel is only on it's best day capable of a 1inch group then no matter how much you use the tuning thing it will only do 1 inch groups. The cool thing is you can basically make any factory ammo do those groups with out having to do hand loads. It truly is a cool system, just people did not buy into it AND couple that with most new rifles capable of sub MOA anyways.
    Doozy, SMK1000plus and 25WSM like this.
  13. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    We always got the BOSS guns down to 3/8" groups. People have different shooting abilities, and for sure some do not clean the barrels or know how to clean barrels. Some people shoot off of sand bags, others off of bi pods, while others wad up a coat and shoot across the hood of the truck. It is just a hobby, make it fun for you.

    All of our Brownings got cleaned well at the 25 round mark. We had a flock of 7 Mags with BOSS' on them over the years.
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    There is more to BOSS than a muzzle device. Look at the patent & a BOSS gun & you'll see there is a certain barrel taper and a special hard rubber bedding with it.
    It's a comprehensive system, well beyond aftermarket add-ons.
    Doozy and NCWshooter like this.