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deerman

Best barrels out there and their availability in the UK

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Hi all,

 

Apologies in advance if this post is in the wrong place - moderators, please feel free to move it if needed.

 

I am looking at having my trusty bog standard .243 Tikka T3 Lite re-barrelled and have a 6.5mm Creedmoor buit from scratch. Both rifles will be used for deer stalking and the occasional plinking.

 

Can your share your experiences and opinions on the best barrels available on the market and lead times for components and build? I am in no major rush to have these done, but I also don't want to wait a very long time for components, build, etc.

 

Look forward to having your input.

 

Best,

 

George

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Sassen and Walther appear to be the easiest to obtain and availability seems to range from a few days to a few weeks

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Fox Firearms has a substantial and varied stock of barrel blanks from many different makers.

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The choice of builder is more important than the barrel make.

I`d say its 50/50 , no use having a top smith fit a poor barrel and no use have an amateur fit a high end barrel, proven track record and referrals mean a lot.

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I`d say its 50/50 , no use having a top smith fit a poor barrel and no use have an amateur fit a high end barrel, proven track record and referrals mean a lot.

Its not 50/50, thats for sure

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Pedant.

Moi?

 

My point being... i'd rather have callum ferguson/neil mckillop/ paddy dane/andy mass fit me a take off remmy than have (enter name here) fit a kreiger or something....

 

My favourite/best was a 22-250 fluted Hart barrel fitted to a blueprinted remmy by Dave Tooley. I currently have only one custom barrel which is a pacnor, its proving to be very very good

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Hi all,

 

Apologies in advance if this post is in the wrong place - moderators, please feel free to move it if needed.

 

I am looking at having my trusty bog standard .243 Tikka T3 Lite re-barrelled and have a 6.5mm Creedmoor buit from scratch. Both rifles will be used for deer stalking and the occasional plinking.

 

Can your share your experiences and opinions on the best barrels available on the market and lead times for components and build? I am in no major rush to have these done, but I also don't want to wait a very long time for components, build, etc.

 

Look forward to having your input.

 

Best,

 

George

 

 

I have regularly turned around a rebarrel including proof in 3-4 weeks and often less depending on my workload. Ive also got an action and stock on order in the US for a customer and the lead time is one year for the action. Your answer Im afraid lies somewhere between this two extremes depending on exactly what you want to build.

 

Different rifle builders may have access to different components depending on what they stock or can obtain. Your waiting time will depend on who you choose to use and what exactly you want, I would say you need to speak with a few guys and get their thoughts or maybe try to firm up on a spec and then it would be easier to give you an idea of lead time.

 

It is entirely possible to build a full custom rifle from UK made parts or imported US parts that are already available in the UK, there are stocks of custom actions, barrels and stocks out there now. If you happened to spec a build from readily available parts then typically I am taking turning builds around like this in 4-12 weeks depending on workload and parts availability.

 

I would be happy to talk you through the process if you wanted to chat on the phone.

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Tried a few and the best barrel I've had fitted was a bartlein by paddy Dane

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At this present time I have tubes fitted from Border (cut rifled) x2, Bartlein cut rifled X1, Shilen buttoned X1, GB barrel cut X1 and Lothar Walther buttoned X1. If I had to choose one barrel maker to stick with in the future from this list, without considering availability, I would choose Bartlein as I believe they produce a state of the art cut rifled tube . This barrel I have is beautifully finished, shoots really well and cleans soooooo easily. Saying that I am happy with all of the others and they are easier to get hold of. I think Fox Firearms bring some Bartlein in to the UK

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Guys,

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences and opinions. It is a real minefield for the uninitiated and your input is priceless.

 

Many thanks and keep the thread going.

 

Regards,

 

George

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A good smith/builder won't fit a sh1t barrel for you. Pick a reputable gun-smith and go......

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I'd go for a Bartlein.................best barrel I've come across so far. I think you really do get what you pay for as far as barrels are concerned.

 

RePete

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Dasherman has just taken a wee delivery of bartlein barrels. About £160k if I remember rightly.

 

Had a creedmoor built last year by him, on a bartlein R5 into a Tikka action. Very quick turnaround and attention to detail was top draw.

 

Will be having a 223 built in the not to distant future by him again to match the creedmoor.

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George,

 

Not sure if there is one specific 'best barrel out there' a lot of the top makes win things if that's how you want to judge performance.

 

Choose the gun smith you want to use an let them recommend a barrel - after all if it does not work you simply hand it back and they fix it till is does

 

You could follow 'trends' say from the US, the PRS results are often quoted as a place to start but what has happened in the past is a particular barrel maker's product does well, so everyone wants to use these, he becomes overloaded, lead times go up, someone uses a different make, does well so this make becomes the flavor of the day thereby loading up the next maker etc.etc. I've had Hart, Lilja, Bartlein, Shilen, Border, Krieger and currently using Benchmark.

 

Regardless of the make I'd personally choose odd no of grooves and canted rifling i.e. 5R, 5C etc.

 

I've never found the barrel is the problem in accuracy - always me! :)

 

So it is down to your Smith, the time line you can live with and cost - make sort of comes at the end of this

 

Terry

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Choose the gun smith you want to use an let them recommend a barrel - after all if it does not work you simply hand it back and they fix it till is does

 

 

Thats a very interesting point Terry but as most things in like its usually not that simple.

 

My first thought would be what exactly constitutes 'does not work'? Im dealing with buyers on a weekly basis and its amazing what some folks consider the norm for accuracy and what their expectations are.

 

I say this in relation to potential customers and also established rifle builders. Sometimes I speak with potential customers who think it should be normal to get a heavy recoiling 8lb sporter into the 0.1s and Ive also recently seen rifles where the builder has said a heavy barrelled varminter in a well know accurate caliber was fine shooting 3 shot groups in the 0.4s - personally I would tend to disagree on both counts.

 

I think the terms 'works' can certainly be applied to the basic functions of smooth cycling, mag feeding, safety and trigger function etc but its a minefield if then accuracy comes in the definition as it seems different people have quite different expectations, some realistic, others not so.

 

Of course there are plenty of good rifle builders out there that will do a good job for George and look after him and guide him through his purchase and ownership, personal recommendation is probably the best place to start.

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Thats a very interesting point Terry but as most things in like its usually not that simple.

 

My first thought would be what exactly constitutes 'does not work'? Im dealing with buyers on a weekly basis and its amazing what some folks consider the norm for accuracy and what their expectations are.

 

I say this in relation to potential customers and also established rifle builders. Sometimes I speak with potential customers who think it should be normal to get a heavy recoiling 8lb sporter into the 0.1s and Ive also recently seen rifles where the builder has said a heavy barrelled varminter in a well know accurate caliber was fine shooting 3 shot groups in the 0.4s - personally I would tend to disagree on both counts.

 

I think the terms 'works' can certainly be applied to the basic functions of smooth cycling, mag feeding, safety and trigger function etc but its a minefield if then accuracy comes in the definition as it seems different people have quite different expectations, some realistic, others not so.

 

Of course there are plenty of good rifle builders out there that will do a good job for George and look after him and guide him through his purchase and ownership, personal recommendation is probably the best place to start.

Maybe UK Rifle Builders could guarantee a certain level of accuracy and demonstrate it ? , ie At least .50 MOA guaranteed , Ive seen some US rifle builders offer this http://www.gaprecision.net/ga-precision-2016-custom-rifles.html

Your customer cant argue it if you show them its possible.

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I believe some already do.

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If you have one calibre with a Bartelin (because it seems the most favoured judging by the responses?)....and the other rifle tubed with a Border (or any make of barrel for that matter) I would be very interested to see what 'you' determine as which is the best barrel....and then see what someone else who fires them determines as which is 'the best'

 

Most new barrels in the calibres you mention will shoot .5" with careful load development in the right hands shooting in ideal conditions...and that includes factory barrels...However, put your new, 'best re-barrelled' rifle in the hands of a shooter who struggles with point of aim, for whatever reason, and it's then you'll discover you've been advised of well-meant but, personal preferences.

 

As for re-barrelling your .'bog-standard' 243, why? ...It's approx the same cost to buy a new Tikka as it would be to re-barrel. A new Sako produced barrel will print as accurate a group as any custom barrel, all specs being equal. Economically speaking, better off to buy a new rifle

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Dasherman has just taken a wee delivery of bartlein barrels. About £160k if I remember rightly.

Had a creedmoor built last year by him, on a bartlein R5 into a Tikka action. Very quick turnaround and attention to detail was top draw.

Will be having a 223 built in the not to distant future by him again to match the creedmoor.

I would 2nd for this also had a Creedmoor built on a Remington action using the same Bartlein barrel and been very impressed.

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Bartlein barrels have consistently performed well for me. Their attention to detail is outstanding with normally less than a .0002 variance in size from the nominal bore dimensions and exhibiting

exceptional straightness.

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Big Al,

 

Sounds like you're skirting things a bit here?

 

In the very first conversations you have with your potential client you should be listening to what they say, finding out to what they expect and guiding them and stating what you can provide 'as a minimum' - this is the 'contract' bit.

 

As pointed out 'Gnats Arse' give a guarantee'd minimum.

 

Thinking back I've had rifles (and pistols) built by a slack hand full (got to be close to 20) of different Smiths on both sides of the pond using many different barrel makers (10++) and they have all worked as agreed, if not better. One of the US smiths does work that people pin their lives on - so that's another 'feel good' factor when dealing with them.

 

So I'll stick with my initial statement - Smith, timeline, cost - barrel last, caveat the 'Smith' bit would include the points in sentence 2 above.

 

So if i went to Dan and asked for a rifle, he'd say he would recommend Bartlein then you'd go with this - simples.

 

Brgds Terry

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Big Al,

 

Sounds like you're skirting things a bit here?

 

In the very first conversations you have with your potential client you should be listening to what they say, finding out to what they expect and guiding them and stating what you can provide 'as a minimum' - this is the 'contract' bit.

 

 

 

You will be glad to hear I skirt nothing Terry.

 

Indeed the conversation you suggest I should have in fact takes place with every rifle I agree to build. I wont start a build until my customer and I are on the same page with regard to spec, function and accuracy. How I run my business wasn't really the point here.

 

I fully agree with your feeling that is there is a problem you should be able to go back to the builder for immediate repair. I was simply pointing out that what you said about giving the rifle back if it didn't work wasn't quite as simple or cut and dried as it sounded. I have spoken with guys who have not found this to be as simple as you suggest.

 

All aspects of a rifles function should always be right, that goes without saying but the ultimate question of accuracy seems to vary from builder to builder.

 

Im very happy with my own standards in terms of workmanship and accuracy.

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