why does the barrel get the credit?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Derek M., Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't we all agree, for the most part, that every part of a rifle, the ammo, the builder, and the shooter contribute to that rifle's accuracy potential? I was just thinking about it but why do we read and hear so much about certain barrels winning records and setting new records? Seems like the barrel is the primary, or only "winning" component 100% of the time as far as the rifle is concerned. What about the action? The shooter? I don't know enough about competitive shooting so I don't know a lot of the names out there.

    Just a guess, but if you had a champion shooter who won, say, a few competitions with a Krieger barreled rifle, and it was time for a new barrel, the next one being a different make altogether, say, a Schneider polygonal rifled bbl, isn't it conceivable that the diligent loader/shooter could work up another winning load with the new barrel and win the next competition(s) just the same?

    I guess I'm just curious why so much falls on the barrel for credit when there are so many excellent barrels that could be on the action and do the same thing.
     
  2. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    The guys that I know that have shot records, go back usually to same maker and why wouldnt they.They also try to save the barrel as much as possible .
     
  3. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    People tend to get superstitious or whatever you want to call it. I would bet that a barrel made by any reputable barrel maker matched with a reasonably good action and the same shooter will produce the same results. I think the barrel is very important, but it does not matter what the barrel is, if the shooter is an idiot. I think the barrel is important, the shooter is important(because it does not matter how good the components are if the shooter can't shoot) and the action is in third place. The factory, un-touched action on my Savage/Criterion will shoot less than 1/2 minute.

    I am not the greatest shooter, as I am a hunter not a paper puncher. My loads and rifles shoot well because I understand what I am doing and know the concept of making a good load. I don't care about neck turning, matching brass, neck tension etc., as I am not a competition shooter and quite frankly, COULDN'T CARE LESS! My factory barrels shoot nearly as good as my custom barrel because I can shoot and I know what I want from a load.

    If you are into spending all your money on fancy stuff, then go for it, but I think a lot of this accuracy crap is just hype and superstition. It does not take custom, expensive stuff to shoot well unless you are into splitting hairs or shooting at obscene distances-which I am not.
     
  4. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Some barrel makers have tighter tolerances than others, I know 1 in particular that holds .0001" tolerance from end to end. Also they tend to stick with same barrel maker and smith sometimes, if they don't do there own work, because sometimes they are sponsored by the smith or barrel maker.
     
  5. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    I give credit to the shooter. He is the guy putting everything together. More often then not they load their own ammo and even build their own guns.
     
  6. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100% , the barrel is just one component of a long chain of things that have to be right to be competitive .
    However as the barrel is the last thing in contact with the bullet it tends to get given a higher standing than other components , helped along by the fact that barrel makers are the loudest mouths in the business and some of the biggest sponsors of top shooters .
    They want you to believe that a new match barrel will fix everything , however you don't want to be shooting with a bad one either .
    So all in all the barrel is very important as you don't want the last link in the chain to be a weak one .
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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  8. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree but a great shooter might be very hamstrung with a bad component like a bad barrel. A pretty good shooter is still in the conversation if everything else is working. A great hunter could get the job done with a sharp stick.
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I have rifles with 100% factory Remington actions (not 'trued') with custom barrels that shoot in the .1s, .2s and .3s with repeat ability.

    I have one rifle (fully 'trued') Remington that has shot very well with several barrels but I had one recently that just would not shoot well at all. After trying 8 powders, a dozen bullet types/weight, 4 primers and every possible charge weight, could not make it shoot. Put another barrel on it...instant shooter.

    IMHO, (assuming the shooter is doing his part) a barrel is what makes or breaks a rifle.

    An improperly fit or bedded stock can wreak havoc on accuracy as can stress induced on the action from improper scope mounting but no amount of stress relief or bedding or shooter skill for that matter can make a bad barrel shoot good.
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    In my view, in very high precision bench rest shooting the barrel ends up getting the main focus for some legitimate reasons and this gets extrapolated to other forms of shooting for less legitimate reasons. In Benchrest shooting, the very heavy rifle is placed in a rest with little if any body contact except for the tip of the finger touching a very light trigger. Distances are known, flags are set along the line, and most all the remaining technologies like stock bedding, action squaring, scopes, loads etc. are well understood. The skill component on the part of the shooter and the aforementioned aspects while important, are aspects that quickly become a lower priority than the higher complexity level of the barrel. When groups in the 1's and 2's change, it invariably gets proven that the barrel is the reason. It doesn't mean the other aspects aren't important, but statisicly the barrel is the variable. As you start to place more variables in the mix, like F- class does, heavier triggers, changing positions, heavier calibers, hard holds, etc, the influence of the barrel for success, while still important, is far less, and other variables like shooting skills, and scope capability play a greater role for success. Because of this, a factory barrel can win against the best custom barrel because of factors other than the barrel/precision level. There is little chance of this happening in bench rest competition. This can be even more pronounced when you look at long range hunting where the variables for success increase even further. I think starting out with the best accuracy as possible in any form of shooting should be the goal, but in reality that high level of precision can be negated by other factors depending on what kind of shooting you are doing. IMO.
     
  11. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    'The same thing' is more than just spitting bullets out of one end...
     
  12. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    The bench shooters at our club will order a dozen "premium maker" barrels and end up with maybe a few that they will consider for their rifles. They have been doing this for years and are convinced that each barrel, even though subjected to the same construction process, is unique in terms of performance. Having seen this first hand, I have to concur.
     
  13. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    We call them 'custom' barrels, but in fact they are not. They are 'aftermarket' barrels.

    Ever wonder why any one of too many barrel makers don't find a 'best shooter' in cal and setup to replicate it?
    I looked into this a while back and found that there was only one barrel maker with the capability. That is, the ability to actually measure all aspects of a bore(not just air gauge, but measure), and setup to manufacture to a blueprint.
    That barrel maker was Loather Walther.
    Sadly, they had and still have, no reason to do so.

    I talked to the president of LW about testing barrels made to varying specs, with the goal of defining an accurate barrel, and then designing a process of replication(EDM, or extrude honing).
    He was open to this and fair, offering test barrels in lots of 25 per spec, at standard rate. This was a great deal considering the resources invoked to make each barrel to a different spec.
    If I ever hit the lotto this is just what I'd do, despite no real return on my investment.

    But this is my point; there is no reason for barrel makers to do this on their own, and so, no barrel maker ever has.
     
  14. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Well-Known Member

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    I've chambered over 150 custom barrels for myself and can attest to this as well. The percentage of duds has gone down over the 22 years I have been building my own but they are still there. All else considered the barrel makes a rifle accurate. I would put 95+% of the accuracy on the barrel with the remainder on the bedding, action truing, etc.